Monthly Archives: June 2020

Fathers’ mental health: why is it important?

Changes in mothers’ mental health during the perinatal period have been well studies, while fathers’ mental health during the same often-difficult period has not received as much attention, despite the many ways that fathers’ mental health challenges can affect the whole family. In honor of International Fathers Mental Health Day today, the author of two recent papers on fathers’ mental health, published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, discusses some of the ways that fathers need mental health support for their own wellbeing and that of their partners and children.


EULAR 2020: highlights from the European e-Congress of Rheumatology


BMC Rheumatology & BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders hopped online for the European Congress of Rheumatology (3 – 6 June 2020), organised by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) society. This annual conference is the largest European-based meeting focussed on rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders (RMDs). EULAR cancelled the congress planned in Frankfurt am Main, so a virtual congress experience was instead organised. Here, we look back at some of the highlights.

Medicine Open Access

“So you didn’t feel so alone”: The value of online support for new mothers with perinatal anxiety, especially in isolation

Having a new baby can be exciting but it can also be difficult, and finding support for dealing with feelings of depression or anxiety can be an added challenge. This challenge is enhanced by isolation, such as during the current global pandemic. In this blog post, the author of a new qualitative study in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth discusses factors that contribute to perinatal anxiety and ways that women who are experiencing symptoms can seek support online.


Highlights of the BMC Series: May 2020

Are cancer patients better off if they participate in clinical trials? • Future delivery of a net-negative European power system • Nurses using computerized decision support systems perform better than GPs in telephone triage • New method to distinguish closely related species of butterflies • Route of administration impacts the pain-relief efficiency of buprenorphine in dogs

Biology Medicine Physical Sciences

The “dark matter” of nutrition – just what are you eating?


Phytochemicals and other molecules in foods can have many health benefits; but what might they be and by what mechanism? Much of this is still poorly understood due to the presence of nutrition “dark matter” – spectral data that cannot be assigned to known molecules. Parnell and colleagues have investigated this dark matter using a computational prediction tool called PhyteByte; the results of which have now been published in BMC Bioinformatics. He explains more about this work here.


“Listening to my baby before birth”: training mothers in labor to detect fetal heart rate changes to help address the gap in midwifery care in low-resource settings


Very low ratios of midwives to laboring mothers in maternity wards in low-resource settings, such as Liberia, often lead to high rates of birth asphyxia and other negative outcomes due to a lack of fetal heart-rate monitoring. A new paper in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth describes the positive results of a feasibility study in which mothers in labor monitored the fetal heart rate themselves and notified a midwife if there was any change. In this blog post, one of the authors of the paper discusses the rationale and key findings of the study.

Developing World Medicine

What are women’s experiences of decision-making and choice about their pregnancy and birth care?

Shared decision-making and informed choice, which involve patients in guiding the course of their care, are an area of growing interest in health care. However, despite recognition of their importance, they have not often been prioritized in research. In this blog post, the author of a new qualitative synthesis, published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, discusses the burden of choice and the conceptual model the paper presents for understanding women’s experiences of shared decision-making and informed choice in pregnancy and birth care.