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Monday, January 19th, 2015
With the recession and the economic downturn, which began in 2008, U.S. birth rates declined to an all-time low in 2013. Millennial women wondered if they could afford raising kids, with some choosing either to give birth later…or not at all.
The Centers for Disease Control recently confirmed the continued decrease in births, noting that birth rates in 2013 dropped 1 percent from 2012, with the number also at an all-time low for Millennial women.
“Birth rates for women in their 20s declined to record lows in 2013, but rose for women in their 30s and late 40s. The rate for women in their early 40s was unchanged,” reports HealthDay. And the average age of mothers increased, as women continued to wait longer to get pregnant and have a baby.
Even teen pregnancy hit an all-time low (which may or may not have been the result of teen girls watching “16 and Pregnant”). Fertility rates also reached an all-time low between 2012 and 2013, decreasing by 1 percent as well. In addition, C-section delivery rate declined along with pre-term birth rates.
Despite all this, some experts still believe birth rates may start trending upward as the economy starts to improve, notes HealthDay.
Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea
Image: Woman and a decreasing graph via Shutterstock via Shutterstock via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
While many experts are concerned with the rise in C-section rates, there’s one situation where C-section is called for—when the baby is in breech position. That’s the latest finding in a Dutch study published in the journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Breech babies (those who present feet or buttocks first, rather than the head) who are born vaginally are 10 times more likely to die during childbirth as their counterparts who were born via C-section. In the retrospective study of 58,320 of breech births, the researchers found that as elective C-sections for breech births have increased, from 24% to 60%, that resulted in a decrease of infant mortality from 1.3/1000 to 0.7/1000.
The takeaway? According to lead study author Dr. Floortje Vlemmix from the Department of Obstetics and Gynecology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, ”While elective C-section has improved neonatal outcomes there is still a good number of women who attempt vaginal birth. Our findings suggest there is still room for improvement to prevent unnessary risk to the infant. We recommend using measures to turn the baby (external cephalic version) to prevent breech presentation at birth and counselling women who want to proceed with a vaginal breech birth.”
Find out more about breech birth, and learn how to build a birth plan that covers emergencies.
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Child Health, New Research, Parents News Now, Pregnancy
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Women who have a Cesarean section may, if they become pregnant again, face a slightly elevated risk of either an ectopic pregnancy or a stillbirth–but not a miscarriage, according to a new study of Danish mothers.
Recent research has also linked c-section delivery to an elevated risk that a child will later become obese, and found that overweight women are more likely to deliver via c-section. On a more positive note, another recent study found that the overall rate of Cesareans performed before a woman’s due date is on the decline nationwide.
HealthDay News has more on the Danish study:
Those whose baby was delivered by cesarean section had a 14 percent higher rate of stillbirth in their next pregnancy than those who had a vaginal delivery. A stillbirth is described as the death of a fetus at more than 20 weeks of gestation.
That works out to an absolute risk increase of 0.03 percent. That means that for every 3,000 cesarean deliveries, there would be one extra stillbirth in future pregnancies, the researchers explained.
They also found that women who had a cesarean delivery for their first baby were 9 percent more likely to have a future ectopic pregnancy than those who had a vaginal delivery.
That’s an absolute increased risk of 0.1 percent, which means that for every 1,000 cesarean deliveries, there would be one extra ectopic pregnancy in future pregnancies.
In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg grows in the fallopian tubes or other locations outside the uterus. It typically results in loss of the fetus and can be fatal for the mother.
Having a cesarean delivery for a first baby did not increase women’s risk of miscarriage in future pregnancies, according to the researchers at University College Cork in Ireland and Aarhus University in Denmark. A miscarriage is generally described as the spontaneous loss of a fetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnant? Keep track of your medical records in one place.
Image: Cesarean section scar, via Shutterstock
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Friday, June 20th, 2014
Pregnant women who are overweight may have an electrical “switch” in their uterine muscle that makes Cesarean section delivery more likely, according to new research published in the journal Nature Communications. The switch is believed to play a role in the progression of labor, and in overweight women is often found to be faulty. More from ScienceDaily:
It’s well known that strong rhythmic contractions of the uterus are needed to allow the baby’s head to dilate the cervix. However little was known about what controls these contractions until now.The groundbreaking research from Monash University, the Royal Women’s Hospital and the Hunter Medical Research Institute, show that a potassium ion channel called hERG in the uterus is responsible.
Acting as a powerful electrical brake, hERG works during pregnancy to suppress contractions and prevent premature labour. However, at the onset of labour a protein acts as a switch to turn hERG off, removing the brake and ensuring that labour can take place.
The team, led by Professor Helena Parkington from the School of Biomedical Sciences at Monash University, found that in overweight women the switch doesn’t work, failing to turn hERG off.
“We’ve known for years that women who are overweight are much more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and labour — but we didn’t know why,” Professor Parkington said.
“Pinpointing the mechanism is a major breakthrough, not only does it ensure a smooth pregnancy, but knowing when contractions kick in at more or less the right time, is crucial to our understanding of the labour process.”
Image: C-section prep, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
The number of women who are having labor medically induced before their due dates is on the decline, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention–good news for the health of babies who may face risks if born prematurely. The rate of premature Cesarean sections is also falling, the CDC found. More from US News:
Rates of induced labor declined across the board since 2006 for expectant mothers at 35 to 38 weeks of gestation, with the greatest decline at 38 weeks, researchers with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) found.
This is good news for the health of these babies, who can face serious health problems when delivered preterm, said Dr. Edward McCabe, chief medical officer for the March of Dimes.
Babies born early are 1.5 to two times more likely to die during their first year of life, compared to babies delivered following a full term of 39 weeks or more, he said.
“There’s this feeling that we’ve done so well with our premature babies, we’ve been seduced by the advances and think it’s safe to induce delivery early,” McCabe said. “We’ve ignored the fact that there are significant risks of illness and death in late preterm and early term babies.”
The largest decline in induced labor occurred for early term births at 37 to 38 weeks, which fell 12 percent between 2006 and 2012, the CDC reports. Late preterm births at 34 to 36 weeks of gestation declined by 4 percent.
This decrease comes at a time when medical societies are raising concerns about unnecessary early deliveries.
The rate of induced labor more than doubled between 1990 and 2010, from nearly 10 percent of births to just under 24 percent. While some of these induced births were needed to preserve the life of mother and child, many also occurred to better fit the birth into the busy schedules of the parents or the doctor, McCabe said.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists doesn’t recommend induced deliveries prior to 39 weeks of pregnancy without a clear medical reason.
Image: Woman in delivery room, via Shutterstock
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