Posts Tagged ‘ CDC ’

Why Waiting at Least 18 Months Between Pregnancies Is Important

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Expecting familyWomen in the U.S. typically wait about two and a half years before getting pregnant again, but nearly 30 percent are getting pregnant within 18 months of their last pregnancy, which is not recommended by health professionals.

This information comes from a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Data was collected from a number of birth certificates, which accounted for approximately 83 percent of the births in 2011.

Instead, experts say the ideal length of time is to wait at least 18 months (and no more than 60 months) before the next pregnancy so that a mother’s body has time to recover from the physical stress of giving birth. The chances for having a preterm baby and a baby with low birth weight also increase when there is a shorter period between pregnancies.

Related: Raising Two Kids Under Two

About 20 percent of women had babies more than five years apart. Oftentimes,though, this age gap between children was due to the mothers’ own age. “The older the mom was, the longer the spacing between a birth and her next pregnancy,” reports ABC News. But waiting too long, about five or more years, to become pregnant again can also increase health risks (such as preeclampsia) for mothers and babies.

If you’re hoping to get pregnant for the second time, it’s important to know that it’s likely your second pregnancy will be different than your first. And if you’re feeling anxious, no need to worry—your second-pregnancy fears can always be addressed with your doctor.

Plus: Sign up for our daily newsletters to keep up with the latest news on child health and development.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?
Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?
Pregnancy Myths: What Should You Believe?

Image: Expecting family via Shutterstock

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Why IUDs Are Becoming the Birth Control of Choice for Many Women

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

IUDsMore women than ever before are choosing intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants to prevent pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Despite a decline in users for nearly 20 years because of safety concerns, improved IUDs and implants are now a safer and more effective form of birth control.

“Among U.S. women aged 15 to 44, the use of these long-term but reversible contraceptives rose from 1.5 percent in 2002 to 7.2 percent in 2011-2013,” reports Health Day. And the use of implants also tripled during the same period, according to Time.com.

This method of protection is a great option for women who aren’t ready to start a family because IUDs can last between 3 and 10 years. Also, if the usage of IUDs and implants continue to increase, the amount of unplanned pregnancies is likely to decrease.

An IUD or implant is always in place, and women don’t have to take extra steps or rely on their partners to avoid becoming pregnant,” reports The Huffington Post. “Some women experience lighter or no periods after their IUDs have been in place for several months.” Plus, an IUD is 99 percent effective with little fuss, compared to birth control pills (91 percent effective only if taken at the same time daily) and male condoms (82 percent effective only if used correctly).

Women may currently opt for other, less expensive methods of birth control because an IUD currently costs more than $1,000. But the Affordable Care Act requires health insurance companies to cover birth control expenses at no cost, which may increase the use of this type of birth control even more.

Tell us: Would you prefer this no-worry solution for yourself?

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter:@CAITYstjohn

Are You Pregnant? How to Know for Sure
Are You Pregnant? How to Know for Sure
Are You Pregnant? How to Know for Sure

Image: Photo of an IUD via Shutterstock

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U.S. Birth Rates Still Declining

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Woman and graph chart with decreasing lineWith 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


Birth Stories: Unmedicated Childbirth
Birth Stories: Unmedicated Childbirth
Birth Stories: Unmedicated Childbirth

Image: Woman and a decreasing graph via Shutterstock via Shutterstock via Shutterstock

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Vaccinating Kids Against Rotavirus Reduces Infection

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

baby getting rotavirus vaccine

Update (1/16/14): Our readers have pointed out that the original stock photo (which showed a needle vaccine) did not illustrate the rotavirus vaccine (which is taken orally) properly. We apologize for the error and confusion; the photo has been updated.

It’s no secret that vaccines are a hot-button topic for may parents, with many either for or against. But the latest research on vaccinations, specifically the rotavirus vaccine (which was only created in 2006), provides a good reason for parents to visit the pediatrician’s office.

Researchers at the Texas Children’s Hospital revealed in a new study that kids who did not receive the rotavirus vaccine were three times more likely to be infected by the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rotavirus is contagious and the leading cause of gastroenteritis (also know as the stomach flu) in babies and young children. The stomach and intestines become inflamed, which lead to symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

The study focused on young patients for over two years at the hospital and determined their rotavirus coverage, the highest being over 80 percent and the lowest being under 40 percent. Of those patients, only 10 percent in the high-coverage group contracted the rotavirus versus 31 percent in the low-coverage group. “This shows that there is an association between not being vaccinated and getting the disease,” said lead researcher Leila Sahni.

The rotavirus vaccine is only given orally, and babies must receive three doses in their first year. The study was funded by the CDC and published in Pediatrics, though this is not the first time the CDC has been involved in rotavirus research. Last year, the CDC also released a report that the rotavirus could cause “a small risk of a dangerous intestinal blockage,” but the benefits of the vaccine (including reduced children’s healthcare costs) outweighed the minimal issue.

Learn more about the rotavirus vaccine and the stomach flu. And make sure to print this free vaccine schedule for babies and toddlers and the one for preschoolers and older kids.

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

Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids
Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids

Image: Nurse giving baby Rotavirus vaccinevia Shutterstock

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Here’s Why Enterovirus D68 Diagnoses Are Expected to Rise…

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

New Test Will Increase Number of Enterovirus D68 CasesA new spike in enterovirus D68 diagnoses is expected to crop up over the next few days, but this is one that parents shouldn’t worry about, the Associated Press reports.

As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implemented a new, faster lab test that will help the agency process a backlog of cases that have accumulated since mid-September at a rate of “four to five times more specimens per day than it has been.”

That means the number of reported cases will likely increase from around 30 per day to 90 or more, according to AP.

According to a news release, this change will allow the CDC to observe “the trends of this outbreak since August and to monitor changes occurring in real time.”

Enterovirus D68 is one of over 100 kinds of non-polio enteroviruses and has infected 796 people as of Thursday, the CDC reports. While it has had a more severe outbreak than normal this season, this virus was first identified in 1962 and has been tracked by scientists since then.

To learn more about enterovirus D68, read our interview with Dr. Delaney Gracy, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Health Fund.

When to Worry: Asthma
When to Worry: Asthma
When to Worry: Asthma

Photo of sick girl in hospital courtesy of Shutterstock.

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