Pregnancy

News and updates about pregnancy, health and medicine.

On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving's "village" — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIABETES AND DIGESTIVE AND KIDNEY DISEASES | NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

Intense stress faced by new moms can also affect the emotional development of their baby. That's a good reason to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income mothers in states like Missouri, which didn't expand the program under the Affordable Care Act, a St. Louis child psychiatrist argued Tuesday.

What Can Britain Teach Americans About How To Keep Pregnant Women Safe?

Sep 1, 2017
Federica Bordoni / ProPublica

This story was co-published with NPR.

At 11:58 p.m. this past June 25, Helen Taylor gave birth to her first baby, a boy, at West Suffolk Hospital in the east of England. At 11:59 p.m., with 15 seconds to spare before midnight, his sister was born. The obstetrician and her team were pleased; the cesarean section was going smoothly, fulfilling Helen’s wish that her twins share a birthday.

Emily Forman

Tia Hosler woke up at 7:35 a.m. on a friend’s couch next to her newborn son’s crib after an overnight babysitting gig.

The 26-year-old had slept through her alarm and was late for the bus, her ride to group therapy in Fort Wayne, Indiana. And now she had to scramble. She tied her Kool-Aid-red hair into a tight bun and kissed her 2-month-old, Marsean. 


Esparta Palmer

Every other week Cassidy Linnemeier carpools with a friend to their OB-GYN in Indianapolis from Seymour Indiana, where they live. The drive is about an hour and 20 minutes with traffic.

They drive this far because they can’t find a doctor nearby who will prescribe the addiction medicine they need to keep them healthy during pregnancy — and who also takes their insurance, a Medicaid plan.


In LA, Moms-To-Be Share Appointments

May 13, 2016
Anjik Butler and Alexandria Smith share their pregnancy concerns during a group session at the Eisner’s Women’s Health Center in Los Angeles. Shared medical appointments are becoming more common as a way to cut costs and improve efficiency.
Heidi de Marco / KHN

LOS ANGELES — The women sat in a circle and bemoaned their sleepless nights. It seemed unfair: Their babies weren’t even born yet.

Mayra Del Real’s daughter turned somersaults in her belly every few hours. Alexandria Smith lay awake with heartburn. When she wasn’t propped up with every pillow in the house, she was making bleary-eyed trips to the bathroom.

Sofia Mejia, pregnant with her third baby, laughed knowingly.

“It’s really priceless — those moments in the middle of the night,” she said. “You get used to it.”

These moms-to-be weren’t just commiserating over coffee. They were at a routine prenatal visit — all five of them at once.

Pregnancy Fairness Act Protects Illinois Women, But Justice Moves Slowly

Apr 19, 2016
FRANK DE KLEINE via FLICKR

Bene’t Holmes was four months pregnant when she had a miscarriage at work. It happened the day after her manager at a Chicago Walmart denied her request for lighter duties. According to her account, a doctor had told the then-25 year-old that she should no longer lift 50-pound boxes as her job demanded. But she needed the job.

Holmes told her story in a July 2014 blog post for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. A month after she wrote that post, the Illinois General Assembly approved a measure that requires all employers provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers or those who have childbirth-related conditions. The law came too late to protect women like Holmes, but its backers hope it will prevent other women from facing the same wrenching choice: Put your unborn child at risk or lose your job?

Coming Soon To A Tortilla Near You: A Vitamin To Prevent Birth Defects

Apr 19, 2016

Foods made with corn masa flour — like tortillas, tacos and tamales — could soon play a critical role in the health of babies born to Latina mothers in the U.S.

That's because, as of today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now allowing manufacturers to fortify their corn masa foods with folic acid. That's a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent severe defects of the brain and spinal cord when consumed by women before and early in pregnancy.

Florida Governor Ramps Up Mosquito Fight To Stay Ahead Of Zika

Feb 8, 2016

Florida is one of several U.S. states now reporting a few isolated cases of people infected with the Zika virus. In response, Florida's Gov. Rick Scott has declared a public health emergency in five counties in hopes of getting ahead of the virus's spread.

So far, just 12 cases of the mosquito-borne illness have been reported to health authorities in Florida, all of them among travelers who contracted the disease outside the U.S. But Scott figures it's only a matter of time before the virus starts showing up among mosquitoes in some regions of the state, too.

young woman and man drinking
Paul Holloway via Flickr

The CDC's announcement that women of childbearing age who are not using contraception should completely avoid alcohol raised eyebrows and tempers in the  media and online Thursday. 

Atlantic health reporters Olga Khazan and Julie Beck break down the CDC's advice, look at the research behind it, and offer the CDC some advice of their own. 

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