childbirth

Lauren Bavis / Side Effects Public Media

Courtney Reimlinger was breastfeeding her week-old son last year when she felt a pain in her chest.

The pain was excruciating, the 23-year-old Indianapolis native remembers, much worse than the 10 hours in labor she'd spent a week before. It spread up her neck and into her head, and soon she was slipping in and out of consciousness.

As Birthing Centers Increase In Popularity, Kansas Midwives Push For Legal Independence

Mar 16, 2016
Kendra Wyatt, left, of the New Birth Center in Kansas City, Kansas, and expectant mother Sarah Lockridge inspect a 'birthing sling' in the room that Sarah is hoping to use when she delivers h
Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

The number of birth center deliveries – while still small compared to hospitals – has jumped more than 50 percent since 2007. And recent research has documented some associated health benefits.

A study soon to be published in the journal Women’s Health Issues says there are fewer pre-term births and low birthweight babies in states where midwives – working in birth centers and hospitals – do more deliveries. There are also fewer cesarean births.

Having A Baby With Just 20 Days Leave

Mar 3, 2016
Andre Engels via Wikimedia Commons

To say Tara had maternity leave at all would be a misnomer.  Her job offers no paid parental leave, putting her in the same boat with 88 percent of the American workforce. Although she works full time, she's not eligible for unpaid leave either. So Tara saved up all of her vacation days.

From contractions through going back to work, Tara kept in touch with writer Jessica Shortall, who kept her last name confidential to preserve anonymity. In text messages and photos, Shortall chronicles Tara's experience in The Atlantic

Doula Support For Pregnant Women Could Improve Care, Reduce Costs

Jan 15, 2016

Childbirth historically involved a support system of women who assisted a woman from her pregnancy through the birth and in the immediate postpartum period afterward.

Today, obstetricians and midwives provide prenatal care and help a woman deliver her baby. Doulas continue to fulfill the historical role of emotionally supporting a pregnant woman through labor and childbirth, helping her advocate for herself and communicate with her caregivers.

andre_anna via Flickr

In the United States, nearly one third of infants are born through C-section, despite evidence that these babies have more health problems than those delivered the natural way. But a new big data study out of Scotland may make a tough decision a little easier for moms-to-be. 

Big Push: Hospitals Turn To ‘Laborists’ For Safer Deliveries

Jul 29, 2015
George Ruiz via Flickr/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

MILFORD, Del. – When the only hospital in this southern Delaware town saw two of its four obstetricians move away, it knew it had to do something to ensure women in labor could always get immediate medical help. But recruiting doctors to the land of chicken farms and corn fields proved difficult.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Baby? Hospital Study Finds Huge Price Range

Jul 17, 2015
George Ruiz via Flickr/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Which hospital parents pick to deliver their baby can have serious cost consequences, according to a new study.

Hospital costs for women who had no maternal or obstetric risk factors to complicate childbirth ranged from less than $2,000 to nearly $12,000, the analysis of discharge data found. The wide variation in cost means that for expectant parents, it can pay to shop around.

A couple of extra minutes attached to the umbilical cord at birth may translate into a small boost in neurodevelopment several years later, a study suggests.

Children whose cords were cut more than three minutes after birth had slightly higher social skills and fine motor skills than those whose cords were cut within 10 seconds. The results showed no differences in IQ.

Before a couple commit time, money and emotion to the process of in vitro fertilization, they want to know one thing: What are our chances of having a baby?

Success rates vary dramatically by age. In 2013, for example, 40 percent of IVF cycles performed in women who were under the age of 35 resulted in live births, compared with 4.5 percent for women older than 42.

Officials and activists from around the world gathered in New York this week to mark the 20th anniversary of the landmark 1995 World Conference on Women.

Although there were a lot of depressing statistics discussed at the current meeting, there was one piece of good news that many kept citing as reason for hope: Since 1995 the rate of women worldwide who die in childbirth has dropped by more than 40 percent.

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