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Kids Born by C-Section May Have Weaker Response to Vaccines

Babies born via cesarean section may not mount as strong an immune response after some childhood vaccines compared to babies delivered vaginally, researchers suggest.

Antibody levels can be checked in blood or saliva, and babies born vaginally had higher levels of antibodies in their saliva to pneumonia shots at one year and meningococcal shots at 18 months, a new study showed.

But ...

Progress Against Stillbirths Has Stalled in U.S.

U.S. stillbirth rates still need to be tackled at the local, state and national levels because efforts to reduce the risk have stalled, new research claims.

Racial disparities remain as well, with Black women more likely to experience stillbirth (the loss of a baby before or during delivery) than white women.

"Over the last 40 years, we have reduced certain risk factors for stillbi...

Pregnancy Is Most Dangerous for the Very Young

When preteen children or very young teenagers become pregnant, they face higher rates of complications and a greater risk of winding up in the intensive care unit than older teens do, a new study finds.

The question about what happens when a young girl goes through pregnancy and delivery takes on more relevance after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June and subsequent abo...

Genes for Stillbirth May Be Passed Down by Male Relatives

Stillbirth is heartbreaking tragedy for parents, but exactly what raises the risk of it remains elusive.

Certain health conditions in a pregnant woman can be a factor, but new research came up with a surprising finding: Stillbirth risk appears to be inherited through male members of the family on eithe...

Umbilical Cords Could Be Lifesavers for Fragile Newborns

When doctors deliver a healthy newborn, it's common to wait about a minute to clamp and cut the umbilical cord, giving the baby the benefits of extra cord blood as it begins its life outside the womb.

The same is not true for babies born limp, with minimal breathing. The go-to plan for those babies, known as "non-vigorous" infants, has been to clamp the cord quickly and work on stabilizin...

Stories of Difficult Conception, Birth Can Boost Appreciation of Life

Stories about their difficult birth or their parents' fertility challenges can give adult children a more grateful, upbeat attitude towards their lives, British researchers suggest.

They studied the messages as well as how they were delivered, interviewing people about the stor...

U.S. Births Rose in 2021 for First Time in 7 Years

It may not qualify as a baby boom, but U.S. births were up in 2021 for the first time in years.

New federal government data show a 1% increase in births from 2020, with more than 3.6 million births last year. It was the first increase in seven years.

The

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 24, 2022
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  • U.S. Maternal Mortality Crisis Hits Black Women Hardest

    With Roe v. Wade hanging in the balance and nearly half of all American states ready to practically ban abortion if the leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court stands, the realities of giving birth in this country are being put under a microscope, and for good reason.

    "Today, [America] is considered the most dangerous developed nation in the world in which to give birth," said St...

    U.S. Rate for a Dangerous Pregnancy Complication Doubled in 12 Years

    Rates of dangerous high blood pressure problems during pregnancy more than doubled in the United States between 2007 and 2019, a new study finds.

    "The increase in pregnancy complications is alarming because these adverse pregnancy outcomes - including hypertension [high blood pressure] in pregnancy, preterm birth and a low birth weight infant - not only adversely influence both mom and ch...

    Nurses Key to Spotting Postpartum Depression in New Moms

    Nurses can be trained to detect postpartum depression in new mothers and could be crucial in spotting the condition early, researchers report.

    Postpartum depression affects about 15% of new moms and can cause persistent sadness, fatigue, feelings of hopelessness and wort...

    Use Antibiotics Sparingly After Birth to Preserve Newborn's 'Microbiome'

    New research suggests that doctors should be cautious about giving newborns antibiotics because they can upset a baby's gut microbiome -- the balance of bacteria in their digestive systems.

    "We were surprised with the magnitude and duration of the effects of broad spectrum anti...

    Fertility Treatments Don't Raise Odds for Smaller, Preemie Babies

    Babies conceived through infertility treatment are more likely to be born early and small.

    But there are reasons other than medically assisted reproduction to explain this difference, a

  • Cara Murez
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  • January 12, 2022
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  • Could Pollution Help Decide Your Baby's Sex?

    A boy or a girl? New research suggests that the air pregnant women breathe or the water they drink could play a role in their baby's sex.

    The finding stems from tracking hundreds of factors -- including pollution exposure -- surrounding the birth of more than 6 million Americans an...

    A New Way to Spot Pregnancy Risks?

    Two placenta-related markers could reveal older women's risk of serious pregnancy problems such as stillbirth and premature or very small babies, British researchers say.

    They analyzed blood samples and medical data from 527 pregnant U.K. women, including 158 in their 20s; 212 in their 30s; and 157 in their 40s.

    The...

    'Forever Chemicals' Might Raise Risk of Pregnancy Complication

    So-called "forever chemicals" might increase pregnant women's risk of a dangerous condition known as preeclampsia, researchers say.

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are widely used and long-lasting chemicals found in the drinking water of many U.S. communities.

    A new study found a link between PFAS exposure and late-onset preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressur...

    Depression, Anxiety Could Raise a Pregnant Woman's Odds for C-Section

    While anxiety and depression in pregnant women have already been linked to low birth weight and preterm birth, they may also contribute to higher rates of cesarean deliveries.

    Researchers called the study among the largest to document a link between mood and anxiety disorders and first-time C-sections among low-risk pregnant women.

    "Our findings reinforce the importance of better id...

    Symptomatic COVID Could Bring on Emergency Delivery in Pregnant Women

    Pregnant women suffering from COVID-19 with symptoms are more likely to experience complications that call for an emergency delivery, a new study suggests.

    On top of facing a slightly higher risk for needing an unexpected cesarean section, women with symptomatic COVID-19 were more likely to need oxygen support and their infants were more likely to need care in a neonatal intensive care un...

    Breastfeeding Longer May Lower Postpartum Depression Risk

    Besides the long-established benefits of breastfeeding for baby and mom, a new study reports one more: Nursing could help chase the blues away.

    It is linked to a lower risk for postpartum depression -- the so-called "baby blues" -- and nursing for a longer time may further ease depression symptoms, according to the findings.

    "Women suffering from postpartum depression, which occurs ...

    Pandemic Tied to Declining Birth Rates for U.S., Much of Europe

    Birth rates tend to fall during pandemics, and history is repeating itself with the COVID-19 scourge, researchers say.

    Fewer babies have been born in much of Europe and the United States. Earlier in the pandemic, U.S. births declined 7%, a new study finds.

    In Europe, birth declines varied. In Italy they dropped 9%, in Spain 8% and Portugal 7%, while in Denmark, Finland, Germany and ...

    Are Stillbirths More Common in Women Infected With COVID?

    COVID-19 is surging in U.S. states with low vaccination rates, and these places may also be seeing a higher-than-usual number of stillbirths linked to the virus.

    While the number of stillbirths is still very low nationally, doctors in the Deep South have noticed increases in stillbirths, NBC News reported.

    One of those states is Alabama. But the numbers are too low overall ...

    'Preemie' Babies More Vulnerable to Autism Diagnosis Later: Study

    Babies born prematurely, even just a couple weeks early, may be at increased risk of autism, a large new study suggests.

    It's long been known that autism, a developmental brain disorder, is more common among children who were born preterm -- before the 37th week of pregnancy.

    Researchers said the new study, of more than 4 million people, gives a clearer breakdown of the risks associ...

    Premature Delivery Raises Odds for Cerebral Palsy

    Extremely premature babies have a much higher risk of cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions than full-term infants, a large Israeli study affirms.

    Cerebral palsy -- the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and coordination -- is the most common cause of severe childhood physical disability and motor impairment. It can also affect sensation, perception, t...

    Mom's Weight-Loss Surgery Lowers Many Pregnancy Complications, Raises Others

    Weight-loss surgery can be a double-edged sword for obese women who want to shed pounds before becoming pregnant: New research shows it lowers the risk of some complications, but it may increase the risk of others.

    Investigators followed more than 20,000 women in California who became pregnant between 2007 and 2018. Of those, 9.3% had weight-loss (bariatric) surgery before their pregnanc...

    C-Section Babies Miss Out on Mom's 'Microbiome,' But Treatment Can Change That

    When a baby is born, the mother's body provides a pathway into the world, but the journey also exposes them to beneficial bacteria that live in and on their mom. But that critical exchange doesn't happen during a cesarean section delivery.

    Now, researchers report that swabbing babies delivered via C-section with gauze that has been seeded with their mother's vaginal fluids delivers the sa...

    Pandemic May Have Created a 'Baby Bust,' Not Boom

    The pandemic not only cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, but it also appears to have triggered a deep drop in births, U.S. health officials reported Wednesday.

    Until 2020, the birth rate had been declining about 2% a year, but that rate dropped to 4% with the start of the pandemic, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

    "When you tak...

    Will Pandemic Produce a Summer Baby Boom?

    America, get ready for a baby boom.

    That's the likelihood anyway, according to a new forecast that suggests a drop in pregnancy and birth rates seen during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic is about to be reversed.

    "We expect a dramatic rebound soon," said study lead author Dr. Molly Stout. She is maternal fetal medicine director at Michigan Medicine Von Voigtlander Women's Ho...

    Mom's Blood Pressure in Pregnancy Could Affect Child's Stroke Risk Decades Later

    Expectant mothers' high blood pressure heightens kids' risk of stroke later in life, a Swedish study finds.

    "Our findings indicate that hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are associated with increased risks of stroke and potentially heart disease in offspring up to the age of 41 years," said study author Fen Yang, a doctoral student at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

    The stu...

    Global Warming Could Bring More Stillbirths, Study Warns

    Rising temperatures caused by climate change could trigger a worldwide increase in stillbirths, researchers warn.

    The team at the University of Queensland in Australia analyzed 12 studies on the subject. They found that exposure to extremely high temperatures throughout pregnancy appeared to increase risk of stillbirth, particularly late in pregnancy.

    "Overall, risk of stillbirth ap...

    Birth Order, Family Size May Affect Heart Health

    It's known that genetics and lifestyle can affect your heart health. Now, researchers say, your birth order and family size may also have an impact.

    A new Swedish study found that first-born children had a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes than their younger brothers and sisters. But having many siblings was associated with...

    Boys Born Very Prematurely May Age Faster as Men

    Boys who weigh less than 2 pounds at birth don't age as well as their normal-weight peers, a long-term study finds.

    Canadian researchers have followed a group of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) babies and their normal-weight counterparts since 1977.

    When participants were in their early 30s, researchers compared the genes of 45 who were ELBW babies with those of 47 whose birth w...

    U.S. Birth Rates Continue to Fall

    The baby "boom" that some expected during last year's pandemic lockdowns has turned into a baby "bust."

    The U.S. birth rate continued to drop in 2020, marking the sixth consecutive year with fewer babies born in America and raising concerns about the economic effects of declining population levels.

    There were about 3.6 million babies born in the United States last year, down 4% from...

    Being Born Even a Bit Early Might Hamper Child's Development

    Being born even slightly premature might still raise a child's risk of developmental problems, a new study finds.

    Preemies often have developmental issues, but previous research has tended to focus on those born extremely preterm (22-26 weeks' gestation), so less is known about children born moderately and very preterm (27-34 weeks' gestation). Average full-term gestation time is 39-40 we...

    'Birthing Girdle' Shows Traces of Medieval Women in Labor

    In medieval Europe, when childbirth was highly perilous for both mother and child, women and those caring for them used various talismans to try to influence a safe delivery.

    Not many of those relics have survived, but scientists have been studying one -- a parchment "birthing girdle" -- using non-invasive sampling and protein analysis.

    "Although these birth girdles are thought to h...

    Couples Everywhere Are Having More Twins

    Yes, you really are seeing double -- more twins are being born now than ever before.

    There are a number of reasons why, according to a new study.

    Since the 1980s, twin births rose by a third worldwide -- from 9 to 12 per 1,000 deliveries. About 1.6 million twins are born each year and one in every 42 babies is a twin.

    A big reason for all those twins is an increase in medicall...

    New First Look at the Tiniest Babies' Lungs

    Researchers who recorded the most detailed images ever made of newborns' lungs as they took their first breaths say the breakthrough could improve treatment of breathing problems in babies.

    "Respiratory problems are the most common reason we need to treat babies in intensive care," said researcher David Tingay of Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

    "This n...

    Fertility Treatments Might Affect Kids' Growth, But Not for Long

    The growth patterns of kids born through fertility treatment differ initially from those conceived naturally, but those growth rates do catch up over time, a new study finds.

    In-vitro fertilization and other forms of "assisted reproductive technology" (ART) has long been associated with lower birth weights in babies, but it wasn't clear how long differences in growth continue.

    To fi...

    Newborn Brains Don't Process Emotions Like Adults

    Newborns don't have the brain circuitry to process emotions, a new study finds.

    Brain scans of newborns found that the area of the brain that experiences emotions isn't connected in a mature way to areas that process visual or auditory stimuli, researchers say.

    In adults, these connections enable us to feel fear when we watch a scary movie, or love when we see a spouse or family mem...

    Newborn Brains Don't Process Emotions Like Adults

    Newborns don't have the brain circuitry to process emotions, a new study finds.

    Brain scans of newborns found that the area of the brain that experiences emotions isn't connected in a mature way to areas that process visual or auditory stimuli, researchers say.

    In adults, these connections enable us to feel fear when we watch a scary movie, or love when we see a spouse or family mem...

    Births of Boys in Liberal Areas of Canada Fell After Trump Won: Study

    Experts have long known about a quirky postscript to stressful events like earthquakes and terrorist attacks: The ratio of boys and girls born temporarily turns upside down.

    Now, Canadian researchers are reporting the same change in Ontario's birthrates following Republican Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    The percentage of boys born in Canada's...

    First Baby Born From Use of Lab-Matured Frozen Egg

    In what doctors call a breakthrough, a cancer patient in France gave birth to the first baby conceived from an immature egg that was matured in the laboratory, frozen, then later thawed and fertilized.

    "We were delighted that the patient became pregnant without any difficulty and successfully delivered a healthy baby at term," said team leader Michaël Grynberg, head of reproduct...

    Small Babies Have High Risk for Heart-Lung Weakness as Adults: Study

    Being small at birth after a full-term pregnancy could leave you gasping for breath later on in life.

    Swedish researchers report that babies with low birth weights are more likely to have poor heart-lung (cardiorespiratory) fitness when they reach adulthood.

    Cardiorespiratory fitness -- the ability to supply oxygen to muscles during prolonged physical activity -- is key for ...

    AHA News: Baby Born With 'One-of-a-Kind' Heart Receives Transplant

    When a test showed a dangerous drop in the heart rate of Courtney Agnoli's unborn daughter, the doctor who urgently admitted her to the hospital said, "You aren't leaving here without a baby."

    Doctors had already identified two critical congenital heart defects that would require surgery shortly after birth. The girl, named Tessa, was delivered by cesarean section and immediately tak...

    Winter Baby? Summer Baby? Birth Season Might Affect Heart Health

    Birthdays are a time of celebration. But, according to a new study, a spring or summer birth date could mean a higher risk of dying from heart disease.

    The reasons aren't clear, but might include factors such as seasonal fluctuations in diet, air pollution levels, and the availability of sunlight before birth and in early life, the study authors said.

    For the study, the rese...

    Twins Are Becoming Less Common in U.S., for Good Reasons

    No, you're not seeing double as often these days: After decades of rising, twin births are declining in the United States.

    Twin birth rates had been on the rise for 30 years, but dropped 4% between 2014 and 2018, health officials said in a new U.S. government study. That's the lowest level in more than a decade. In 2018, there were 32.6 twins for every 1,000 U.S. births.

    A Change of Address During Early Pregnancy May Not Be Best for Baby

    If moving is never easy, then moving while you are pregnant has got to be a grueling experience.

    But could it actually harm your baby? Yes, a new investigation warns.

    The researchers found that switching homes during the first three months of pregnancy was tied to an increased risk that a baby would be born prematurely or at a low birth weight.

    "Moving has been on ...

    Racial Disparity in Care Starts With Youngest, Frailest Patients

    Many studies have uncovered racial gaps in health care in the United States, but now a new review confirms that the disparity begins at birth.

    The review, of 41 studies, found that infants born to minority women typically received poorer care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) compared with white newborns.

    The finding was often related to lower-quality care in hospit...

    In a U.S. First, Baby Is Delivered From Womb Transplanted From Deceased Donor

    Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic announced that they've achieved a first in North America: delivering a baby from a uterus that had been transplanted from a deceased donor.

    The healthy baby girl was delivered by C-section in June. This is only the second time such a delivery has happened worldwide, the first having occurred in Brazil in December.

    "We couldn't have asked for a...

    Stillbirth Risk Rises With Prolonged Pregnancies

    The longer a pregnancy continues past term, the higher the risk of stillbirth, according to a new study that analyzed 15 million pregnancies.

    The highest risk of stillbirth occurred when pregnancies went beyond 41 weeks -- then the odds rose by 87%, the British researchers said.

    They stressed, however, that women who are 41 weeks' pregnant should not be alarmed. That's b...

    Nursing Moms Who Eat Right Have Slimmer, Healthier Babies

    Breastfeeding moms with healthy eating habits have slimmer infants, who could then be protected from obesity later, researchers say.

    Rapid weight gain and fat accumulation during an infant's first six months of life is a risk factor for obesity later on, they explained.

    "A baby who is shooting up through the percentiles in weight-for-length during the first six months is two...

    Low Birth Weight Babies a Worldwide Problem

    More than 20 million babies are born across the globe weighing far less than they should, and the problem isn't limited to low-income countries, new research shows.

    In 2015, nearly three-quarters of infants with low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds) were born in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. But low birth weights persist in high-income countries in Europe, North America, Au...