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06 Jan

Most Women In Labor Receive Oxygen, But Is It Really Necessary?

Supplemental oxygen during delivery does not appear to benefit babies, new study finds.

Health News Results - 69

COVID-19 Ups Complication Risks During Childbirth


Women who have COVID-19 during childbirth are more likely to face complications than moms-to-be without the coronavirus, researchers say.

Fortunately, the absolute risk for complications for any one woman is very low (less than 1%). But the relative risks for problems -- such as clotting and early labor -- are significant, the new study found.

Still, "...

'Awareness' Under C-Section Anesthesia May Be Less Rare Than Thought

It's a woman's worst nightmare: You're having a C-section under anesthesia, but you suddenly become aware of what is happening during your surgery.

Now, a new study shows that phenomenon, known as "accidental awareness," is more common than believed. In fact, it may occur in 1 in 256 women who have obstetric surgery and some may suffer long-term psychological harm.

Accidental ...

Women May Transmit Cancer to Infants in Childbirth, Reports Suggest

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2021 -- In extremely rare instances, newborns can contract cancer from their pregnant moms during delivery, a new case report suggests.

Two boys, a 23-month-old and a 6-year-old, developed lung cancers that proved an exact genetic match to cervical cancers within their mothers at the time of birth, Japanese researchers report.

It appears that the boys breathed in ...

Study Finds No Benefit From Supplemental Oxygen During Labor

For decades, women have commonly been given oxygen during childbirth, but a new research review finds little evidence it benefits newborns.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women be given supplemental oxygen when fetal heart monitoring shows an abnormal heart rate. That's based on the possibility that oxygen deprivation is causing the problem.

...

Even Rich Americans Don't Get World-Class Health Care: Study

THURSDAY, Dec. 31, 2020 -- Even the most privileged people in the United States with the best access to health care are sicker and more likely to die than average folks in other developed nations, a new study finds.

People living in the highest-income counties in the United States are, on average, more likely to die from a heart attack or cancer, during childbirth, or to lose an infant th...

Dads' Health Linked to Odds of Pregnancy Loss in Moms-to-Be

A large new study suggests that men who plan to be fathers should try to get themselves in shape first.

Researchers found that when fathers-to-be had health conditions like high blood pressure or obesity, the odds that their partner might experience miscarriage or stillbirth increased.

The findings do not prove that a father's health directly affects his partner's pregnancy, experts...

Why a Newborn's First Breath Is So Important

New research on what happens as a newborn is delivered and takes its first breath may shed light on a potential contributor to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

A team led by doctors from the University of Virginia School of Medicine discovered a signaling system within the brainstem that activates almost immediately at birth to support early breathing.

The findings help re...

Too Many, Too Few Babies May Speed Aging in Women

Pregnancy can be exhilarating or exhausting, and sometimes both at the same time. It may not come as a surprise to a woman who has experienced pregnancy once, twice or many times, that it can age her.

New research reveals that how many pregnancies a woman has may affect just how much her body ages. And, as it turns out, women who have no babies — or many — seem to age faster than othe...

Newborns Are at Low COVID Risk

Overall, babies have a low risk of severe COVID-19 infection, and transmission from mother to newborn is unlikely, new research suggests.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from all babies under 29 days old who had COVID-19 and had to be admitted to hospitals across the United Kingdom between the beginning of March and the end of April, at the peak of the first pandemic wave in the ...

Pandemic Protocols Don't Stand in the Way of a Safe Delivery

New infection prevention practices started during the coronavirus pandemic have actually shortened hospital stays for mothers and their babies, a new study finds.

The changes included screening the temperature of all patients and visitors, limiting the number of visitors, providing staff with personal protective equipment, and new protocols for delivery management and newborn care.

...

Newborn Brain Bleeds Resolve by Age 2

Here's some good news for new moms: Babies born with asymptomatic brain bleeds have normal brain development by the time they reach the age of 2, researchers report.

MRIs were used to examine the brains of 311 newborns in the Early Brain Development Study at the University of North Carolina between 2003 and 2016.

Of those newborns, 26% were found to have asymptomatic subdural hemorr...

Big Babies May Face Higher Lifelong A-Fib Risk

Parents are usually pleased when their newborn seems big and strong, but new research suggests that large babies may be at higher risk for the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation later in life.

Atrial fibrillation (a-fib) is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting more than 40 million people worldwide. People with a-fib have a five times increased risk of stroke.

...

Newborns of Moms With COVID-19 Face Little Infection Risk: Study

In some reassuring news on the coronavirus front, a new study finds that pregnant women with COVID-19 rarely infect their newborn.

That finding suggests that it may not be necessary to separate infected mothers from their infants and that moms can continue to breastfeed, the researchers added.

"Our findings should reassure expectant mothers with COVID-19 that basic infectio...

Most Newborns of COVID-19-Infected Moms Fare Well

Babies born to mothers with COVID-19 only rarely suffer from effects of the virus, a new study suggests.

These newborns generally do well in the six to eight weeks after birth, but more are admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) if their mothers had COVID-19 in the two weeks before delivery.

Of more than 200 babies studied, complications including preterm birt...

Small Risk of Autism Seen in Babies Born Preterm and Post-Term

There may be a slightly increased risk of autism for each week a child is born before or after 40 weeks of gestation, according to a new study.

Researchers are still trying to pinpoint the causes of autism, but both genetic and environmental factors are believed to play a role.

Some previous studies have suggested that being born before or after full term (40 weeks) may be a...

Genetic Research May Help Identify Causes of Stillbirth

Scientists are well on the way to understanding more about how genes can cause stillbirth, new research suggests.

In the study, researchers used genetic analyses to identify gene mutations that are linked to stillbirth, which is the in utero death of a fetus after 20 weeks' gestation. The findings might help doctors counsel parents who have experienced a stillbirth.

The ...

Gene Could Explain Why Some Women Don't Need Pain Relief in Childbirth

A genetic variant that acts as a natural pain reliever may explain why some women don't require pain relief during childbirth, researchers say.

The level of pain and discomfort experienced during childbirth varies widely, so researchers at the University of Cambridge in England decided to investigate why some women have less pain during labor and delivery.

"It is unusual for...

Lupus Drug Prevents Low Heartbeat in High-Risk Newborns: Study

A drug used to treat lupus and malaria -- hydroxychloroquine -- reduced by half the risk of a potentially fatal heart condition in newborns who were at high risk for it.

The condition -- known as congenital heart block (CHB) -- results in a dangerously low heart rate.

"Our study shows hydroxychloroquine as the first, safe, and highly effective drug for preventing pregnant wom...

Global Population Will Peak by Mid-Century, Shifting Economic Power

The world's population is shifting, with a new analysis predicting it will peak in 2064 at around 9.7 billion people and fall to 8.8 billion by the end of the century.

The United States will have population growth until just after mid-century (364 million in 2062). That will be followed by a moderate decline to 336 million by 2100. At that point it would be the fourth most populous co...

When COVID-19 Strikes in Pregnancy, C-Section Tied to Worse Outcomes

Pregnant women with COVID-19 who deliver by cesarean section may be at greater risk for complications that affect them and their babies, new research suggests.

The study focused on 82 women with COVID-19 -- four of them with severe symptoms -- who gave birth in hospitals in Spain. Thirty-seven women delivered by cesarean section (C-section), including eight as a direct result of COVI...

Are Painkillers After Childbirth a Prescription for Addiction?

Many women are prescribed opioid painkillers after giving birth, and it may in some cases lead to addiction and overdose, a new study finds.

Looking at data on more than 200,000 births in Tennessee, researchers found that nearly all women who had a C-section were prescribed an opioid like oxycodone (OxyContin). The drugs were also prescribed in 59% of vaginal births.

Exp...

Pregnancy Complications Raise Future Odds of Preterm Birth: Study

Even if their first pregnancy results in a full-term baby, women who had complications may be at increased risk of a preterm delivery next time around, researchers say.

Women who deliver full-term babies are generally considered to have a low risk of delivering before 37 weeks in later pregnancies. But it wasn't clear how pregnancy complications or poor outcomes at birth might affect ...

Menopause May Someday Disappear as Women Postpone Pregnancy: Study

As more women postpone childbirth, evolution may start to delay menopause or do away with it altogether, Canadian researchers predict.

"Menopause is not a disease. It's a medical condition that arises simply because of human behavior," and can end with a change in behavior, said evolutionary biologist Rama Singh, co-author of a paper published April 19 in the journal BMC Women's He...

Even During Pandemic, Childbirth Safest in Hospital, Doctors' Group Says

Having your baby in a hospital is the still the safest choice, even during the coronavirus pandemic, updated guidelines from a leading pediatricians' group say.

"We recognize that women have different reasons for planning a home delivery, such as cultural or religious beliefs -- and right now, concerns over the coronavirus pandemic," guideline author Dr. Kristi Watterberg said in a ne...

Do C-Section Babies Become Heavier Adults?

Girls born by cesarean delivery may be more prone to obesity and type 2 diabetes as adults, a new study suggests.

Of more than 33,000 women born between 1946 and 1964, nearly 1,100 were delivered by C-section. Of those women, 37% were obese and 6% had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by 2014, the study found.

"The results of our study suggest that the previously...

Mental Health Problems After First Baby Reduce Likelihood of More Children: Study

Women who develop mental health problems after delivering their first child are much less likely to have more, a Danish study finds.

But this is not the case among women whose first child died.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 414,000 women in Denmark who had a first live birth between 1997 and 2015. About 1% developed problems such as depression, an...

Racial, Ethnic Gaps in Insurance Put Moms, Babies at Risk: Study

Though they are at a higher risk of childbirth complications and pregnancy-related death, women who are black, Hispanic or indigenous are less likely than white women to be insured, new research shows.

The study revealed that almost half of black, Hispanic and indigenous women had disruptions in insurance coverage between preconception and post-delivery compared to about one-quarter o...

New Moms Need to Watch Out for High Blood Pressure

All new mothers should know the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure, even if they don't have a history of the condition, researchers say.

It's not uncommon for high blood pressure to occur after childbirth. If the high blood pressure isn't treated, women can be at risk for stroke and other serious problems. In some cases, it can result in death.

It's unclear what cause...

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 ...

General Anesthesia Boosts Postpartum Depression Risk After C-Section: Study

Women who receive general anesthesia during a cesarean section delivery are at higher risk of severe postpartum depression that requires hospitalization, as well as self-inflicted harm and suicidal thoughts, a new study finds.

Researchers from Columbia University analyzed more than 428,000 discharge records of women who delivered by C-section in New York state hospitals between 2006 a...

Low-Dose Aspirin Might Help Prevent Preterm Births

A daily baby aspirin helped first-time mothers lower their chances of delivering too soon in a new clinical trial, though it's not clear the practice should become routine everywhere.

The trial, which was run in six lower-income countries, found that giving first-time mothers a daily low-dose aspirin reduced their risk of preterm birth by 11%. Their chances of a very early delive...

Out-of-Pocket Medical Costs Average $4,500 for Many New U.S. Parents

If you're an expectant parent, you know you're in for some sleepless nights once the baby comes. What you might not expect is almost $5,000 in medical costs.

A new study warns parents-to-be that average out-of-pocket costs for health care during pregnancy, delivery and the first three months after birth jumped to more than $4,500 in 2015 from just over $3,000 in 2008.

That...

Opioid-Addicted Babies Cost U.S. More Than $500 Million Annually

Babies born addicted to opioids cost the U.S. health care system more than half a billion dollars a year, a new study finds.

The rate of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) was 6.7 per 1,000 hospital births in 2016, four times the rate of 1.5 per 1,000 in 2004 but down from the 8 per 1,000 rate in 2014, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent...

Is Childbirth More Dangerous in Rural Areas?

If you are pregnant and live in a rural area of the United States, new research shows that you're at higher risk of life-threatening complications or death during or after childbirth.

"Our study suggests that geographic disparities may put rural women at an increased risk of requiring lifesaving interventions during or immediately after delivering a baby," said study senior author Dr....

Opioid Exposure in Womb Alters the Infant Brain

Exposure to opioids in the womb may affect an area of the newborn brain that regulates emotions, a new study shows.

Researchers used MRIs to assess brain activity in 16 full-term infants while they slept, specifically focusing on connectivity in a region called the amygdala, which is responsible for emotions such as anger, fear, sadness and aggression.

Eight of the infants...

Inducing Labor Safer Bet for Late-Term Pregnancies: Study

The risk of newborn death in late-term pregnancies may be lower if labor is induced rather than taking a wait-and-see approach, a new study suggests.

It's widely believed that mothers and babies have an increased risk of problems at or beyond 42 weeks of pregnancy. (A normal-term pregnancy is 40 weeks.) Some studies have suggested that inducing labor at or after 41 weeks reduces those...

Give Newborn to Mom Right Away -- After Moving the Electrodes

Immediate skin-to-skin contact between newborns and their mothers is encouraged, but poses some potential risks in cases of cesarean birth, researchers say.

In a new report, the researchers described two cases where newly delivered babies came into contact with electrodes on the mothers' skin that were used to monitor her vital signs during C-section surgery.

The cases were ...

When Baby Makes Four

When people in non-monogamous relationships decide to have a baby, they may find that hospitals are not ready to handle their childbirth needs, a new study suggests.

The study is among the first to look into the health care experiences of people in "polyamorous" relationships.

While the term might sound exotic, it's estimated that 20% of adults have willingly been in a n...

How Safe is Vaginal Delivery After a Cesarean Birth?

Once a woman gives birth by cesarean section, attempting a vaginal delivery is far riskier for mother and baby alike, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of Oxford collected data on more than 70,000 births in Scotland between 2002 and 2015. Among women who attempted a vaginal delivery after a previous C-section, 28% had to have an emergency cesarean, they reported.

C-Section Delivery Might Alter Newborn's 'Microbiome'

New research reveals that the bacterial composition of a newborn's gut may be dependent on how the baby is delivered.

Gut bacteria found in children delivered by cesarean section largely reflected the bacterial surroundings of the hospital in which the baby was born, British investigators report.

That wasn't the case among children born vaginally. Their gut mostly mimicked t...

Stress Takes Toll in Very Complicated Births

A "dual burden" of serious maternal complications and premature birth occurs in about one in 270 births, a new study finds.

But hospital staff are often blind to the stress caused by this double whammy, researchers say.

"The situation of combined maternal and newborn complications is likely to be extremely stressful for families concerned for both the mother's and the infa...

Many U.S. Women Get Opioids After Giving Birth

Opioid painkillers were prescribed to nearly half of U.S. women who gave birth in recent years.

That's from a new study that found 1% to 2% of those women were still filling opioid prescriptions a year later. Those most likely to be doing so were women who were prescribed opioids before giving birth, and those who got the largest initial doses.

The findings are from ...

Smog Could Land Newborns in Intensive Care

The danger that air pollution poses to the hearts and lungs of adults is well-documented, but new research suggests that newborns are also at risk.

Infants of mothers who were exposed to high levels of air pollution in the week before giving birth were more likely to end up in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).

"Short-term exposure to most types of air pollutants may in...

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...

Drug Overdoses, Suicide Are Risk for New Mothers: Study

Drug overdoses and suicide are common causes of death among women who die within a year of giving birth, a new study finds.

In fact, in the study based on data from California, these two causes accounted for nearly 20% of postpartum deaths from 2010 to 2012.

"These deaths are rare but devastating for families," said study co-author Claire Margerison, an assistant profes...

Infant Pain Heightened After Opioid Exposure in Womb

Newborns who were exposed to opioids in the womb have stronger-than-normal reactions to pain and may require special care sooner than previously thought, researchers report.

Opioids include prescription pain medications and illegal drugs such as heroin.

The study included 22 newborns who were exposed to opioids in the womb and 15 who were not exposed. To measure their reacti...

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, A...

Routine Use of Antibiotics May Help After Complicated Vaginal Birth: Study

Nearly half of infections among women who undergo an assisted vaginal birth could be prevented by giving them a dose of antibiotics soon after delivery, a new study contends.

The preventive use of antibiotics in these cases could prevent about 5,000 infections in new mothers every year in the United States alone, and many more worldwide, the researchers estimated.

"Pregnancy...

Returning to Intimacy After Childbirth

"No sex for six weeks" used to be the standard advice following childbirth and, according to many doctors, it is still a good practice to allow healing. But it's not a hard-and-fast rule.

Although a woman is at the highest risk for infection during the first two weeks postpartum (a period that could be longer if she had vaginal tears or a cesarean section delivery), the current appro...

C-Section Infection Risk Higher for Moms on Medicaid: Study

For women who deliver a baby by cesarean section, the risk of developing a surgical site infection is higher if she is covered by Medicaid versus private insurance, a new study finds.

Several factors may be at play, including a patient's living situation and social support after leaving the hospital, as well as differences in the type of care covered by insurers, according to the rese...

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