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Friday, February 20th, 2015
Choosing the right pediatrician to care for your newborn can be nerve-racking for any parent who wants to make sure they pick a nurturing and thorough doctor.
Like many parents, one couple in Michigan interviewed a number of pediatricians before the birth of their daughter, Bay. Months before she was born, Krista and Jami Contreras decided on Dr. Vesna Roi, and six days after birth, they arrived at the doctor’s office for Bay’s first appointment.
But much to their surprise, the parents were turned away for one reason: they are a lesbian couple.
After spending time in “much prayer,” Dr. Roi concluded that she would not be the best fit for Bay. Another doctor at the practice actually delivered the unexpected news. He offered to take Bay on as his patient, but that did not make the situation any less shocking for the Contreras.
“I was completely dumbfounded,” said Krista, Bay’s biological mother. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘Did we hear that correctly?’” Jami, put it more simply and accurately when she said, “You’re discriminating against a baby? It’s just wrong.”
Months later, Dr. Roi sent a handwritten letter to the parents. The letter did not directly state that she made her decision based on their sexual orientation, but she did explain that she did not judge the couple’s “free choice.”
Krista and Jami did not immediately reach out to the media about their experience, but they finally chose to speak out so that others are aware that instances like this still happen.
Although Dr. Roi’s actions may be discriminatory, they are not illegal. “Currently, 22 states have laws that prohibit doctors from discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation. Michigan is not one of these states,” reports USA Today. Also, there is currently no federal law protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination.
This is not the first time a child has been refused something because of a parent’s sexual orientation. Just last month, Brian Copeland and Greg Bullard’s visit with a private preschool was canceled once the administration learned that they were a married couple raising children.
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
Image: Stuffed puppy with stethoscope via Shutterstock
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Child Health, child's health, children's health, doctors, gay advocacy, gay dads, gay fathers, gay marriage, gay men, gay moms, gay mothers, gay rights, gay women, lesbian parents, lesbians, parenting news, pediatricians | Categories:
Child Health, Must Read, Parenting News, Pregnancy
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
Early last year, we blogged about a fairly new and controversial IVF technique called the mitochondrial transfer procedure. The IVF technique allows a mother’s egg and father’s sperm to be fertilized along with another donor woman’s genes, essentially giving a baby genes from three parents.
The “three-parent” IVF technique benefited babies predisposed to genetic disorders because the donor’s genes (contained in donated mitochondria) could “cancel” out any defected genes. But naysayers were concerned about the ethics of gene manipulation and the morals of “customizing” a baby to fit certain specifications. (Think: Gattaca)
Despite the concerns, Britain became the first country to begin legalizing the IVF procedure. The House of Commons voted 382 to 128 to approve a bill that would make “three-parent” babies official in the U.K. A similar procedure was also created in the U.S. over a decade ago, and a few benefited from having three-parent genes. But the procedure was eventually banned, reports The Washington Post
Later this month, Parliament will vote on the bill. If it passes again, the IVF technique will be legal in Britain starting in October.
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
Photo: Test tubes indicating boy or girl babies via Shutterstock
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genes, genetic diseases, genetic testing, genetics, in vitro fertilization, IVF, parenting news, three-parent babies, three-parent ivf technique | Categories:
New Research, Parenting News, Parents News Now
Monday, December 22nd, 2014
There’s a lot to keep up on when you’re a parent (or parent-to-be), whether you’re in that exhausted-and-expecting stage, the exhausted-because-you-have-a-newborn stage, or exhausted because you’re chasing around your active kiddos. So in case you missed it, here are some of the most noteworthy and news-worthy pregnancy, parenting, health, and safety stories we covered in 2014:
The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 became law
Good news from Washington (yes, really!): Thanks to the signing of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, young kids in child care will now be safer. As Parents deputy editor Diane Debrovner wrote last month, “The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary federal grant program that provides child-care assistance to low-income families. The new law affects child-care centers and individuals who care for children with the support of federal funding, but all children in child care are likely to benefit from the new higher standards.”
The government took a stand on circumcision
Few topics are more hot-button that the decision parents of boys must make regarding circumcision. But earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weighed in on the issue in a draft of guidelines, saying that medical evidence showed the procedure can reduce the risk of HIV, STDs, UTIs, and even some types of cancer. The CDC says circumcision should be covered by health insurers, but still doesn’t go so far as to flat-out recommend it to parents.
Too many babies are sleeping with unsafe bedding
A shocking study published in the January 2015 issue of Pediatrics looked at infant bedding use from 1993–2010 and found that more than half of babies fell asleep with potentially hazardous bedding. Another finding: Teen moms were most likely to use soft bedding, altough, as we noted, “the study also found a link between use of bedding and mothers who were younger in general, a minority, or not college educated.”
We’re making car-seat mistakes from the get-go
Is there a parent among us who hasn’t fretted about the car seat being installed correctly? Well, as it turns out, we’re right to be worried. A study presented in October at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 93 percent of parents make at least one major mistake (such as a too-loose harness, a too-low retainer clip, or using the wrong harness slot) before they’ve even driven away from the hospital. And in almost 70 percent of cases, there were mistakes with both the installation of the seat and how baby was positioned in it.
Enterovirus D86, ebola, and flu were—and remain—causes of concern
Three different health threats caught our attention this year: enterovirus D68, which by October had more than 650 confirmed cases, ebola, and influenza. And while, sadly, both enterovirus D68 and ebola caused a loss of life, it’s the flu that causes the most harm, killing an estimated 30,000 Americans each year and causing the hospitalization of roughly 20,000 kids under the age of 5.
The EEOC updated its rules regarding discrimination and pregnancy
Unfortunately, accusations of pregnancy discrimination seemed to abound in 2014, from the Supreme Court’s hearing of Peggy Young’s case to the woman who claims she was fired for needing to take pee breaks. But one bit of good news: for the first time in more than three decades, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new, tougher rules regarding pregnancy discrimination and “related issues” (think breastfeeding and parental leave.) As we reported, one thing the EEOC made clear is that “adjustments may need to be made for pregnant workers—including providing the option of light duty.” Furthermore, employers can’t force a pregnant employee to take a leave of absence when she’s capable of continuing to work.
Yet another study disputed a vaccines-autism link
As we reported last summer, a study published in the August issue of Pediatrics reviewed “a large body of scientific findings and concluded that parents should be reassured about vaccines’ safety.” The study found no causal relationship between vaccines and autism.
Scientists may have discovered the cause of 40% of pre-term births
In October, we reportde that scientists at Queen Mary University in London “identified the chemical chain of events that they believe causes the preterm premature rupture of the fetal membrane (PPROM)—the condition that accounts for 40 percent of all preterm births.” The findings were published in the journal Placenta. Next up—we hope: a treatment that would actually repair the membrane.
The pre-term birth rate in the U.S. is way down
In Novermber, the March of Dimes released its annual Premature Birth Report Card, which revealed that the pre-term birth rate in the United States fell to 11.4 percent—a 17-year low. Good news, to be sure, but the organization stressed that there’s still work to be done to ensure more babies are born healthy, and at term. To that end the U.S. received a “C” grade on the report because it missed the group’s stated goal of a 9.6 percent preterm birth rate.
The autism rate was lowered to 1 in 68
In March came a shocking new estimate from a CDC report that 1 in 68 kids are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The previous estimate, made two years ago, put the prevalence at 1 in 88. As our Red-Hot Parenting blogger Richard Rende, PhD., wrote, “The estimated prevalence of ASD has gone up tremendously in the last decade, and it is assumed that improved recognition and diagnosis is the primary factor. The implication here is that we have underestimated the true rate of ASD and as such the new data suggest an urgency in mobilizing resources to understand the causes and accelerate the delivery of interventions.”
Image of child in daycare: Shutterstock
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Autism, baby, health, news, parenting, parenting news, Pregnancy, Safety | Categories:
Child Health, New Research, Parenting News, Parents News Now, Pregnancy, Safety
Monday, December 31st, 2012
As we turn our calendars to 2013, it’s only natural to look back at the year we’re leaving behind. To that end, Parents.com has published our picks for the top parenting stories of 2012.
Because the piece was written by your very own Parents News Now blogger, I can share with you that the original list contained 11 stories, on topics ranging from autism to to politics to vaccinations and food safety. As the year drew to a close, though, the scandal that led to the resignation of Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, and the unspeakable tragedy of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, necessitated last-minute additions to the feature.
Click here to see the full list of the top 13 parenting news stories of 2012.
Wishing you all a peaceful, joyful 2013, and looking forward to continuing to provide you with the news that affects you, your children, and your families.
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2012, Autism, Elmo, food safety, Kevin Clash, New Year, parenting news, parents, Parents.com, politics, vaccination | Categories:
Must Read, Parenting News
Monday, September 10th, 2012
First and foremost, big thanks to Erin O’Donnell for the terrific job she did guest-blogging while I was in blissful away-land these past 2 weeks. I enjoyed visiting PNN as a reader, and I certainly learned a lot from what I read.
It was an eventful two weeks in the world of parenting news. Stories ranged from the controversial new recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics concerning circumcision to the births of celebrity babies toreality TV stars Snooki and Giuliana and Bill Rancic.
We were alerted to new warnings as well, including the dangers of colored laundry detergent gel-packs and the deceptiveness of products that claim to teach babies to read.
Perhaps the most interesting and intriguing story, though, was about the parents of twin newborns who were making their first airplane flight with babes in tow. The parents passed out candy to all the other passengers on the plane, apologizing in advance for any crying or disruption their babies might cause, and offered earplugs to anyone who was bothered. The debate that ensued was fascinating!
So again, thank you Erin for such smart coverage of such a wide spectrum of parenting news stories.
Oh, and thank YOU, readers, for taking the Parents News Now Facebook page to a thrilling milestone – we’ve surpassed the 1,000-follower mark! If you don’t follow us yet, “like” PNN on Facebook by clicking here.
Image: Thank you note, via Shutterstock
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