childbirth

Every day, as many as 500 babies in sub-Saharan Africa are born with HIV. Standard practice in many of these countries is to give them treatment if they test positive, but not for weeks or even months after they're born. The concern is that newborns can't tolerate the powerful drugs.

An independent panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration recommended last week that a medication to prevent preterm birth be taken off the market because, the advisers decided, the preponderance of evidence suggests it doesn't work. But some other leading OB-GYNs say they hope the FDA won't take the panel's advice this time.

Flickr / daquellamanera

Mirroring a nationwide trend, the number of babies born with syphilis is on the rise in Oklahoma.

State health officials say there has been a 283 percent increase in the number of congenital syphilis cases since 2014 in Oklahoma, and a 92 percent increase just from last year.

Imagine being in labor for hours, enduring contractions that make you feel as if your insides are tightening, twisting and ripping apart. Your ordeal is almost over, but now, more than ever, you need comfort and encouragement from your health-care team.

Now imagine that just when you need unconditional support, you get slapped or pinched. When you need compassion, you get mocked for getting pregnant in the first place. Or yelled at for not pushing hard enough.

In the fall, livestock veterinarian Dr. Bailey Lammers is often busy with vaccinating calves and helping wean them from their mothers.

A herd of auburn cattle greeted her at the barn gate during one of her house calls in northeastern Nebraska, peering from behind the dirt-caked bars. Lammers and her technician Sadie Kalin pulled equipment from tackleboxes in the back of Lammers’ truck.  

The U.S. birthrate fell again in 2018, to 3,788,235 births — representing a 2% drop from 2017. It's the lowest number of births in 32 years, according to a new federal report. The numbers also sank the U.S. fertility rate to a record low.

Not since 1986 has the U.S. seen so few babies born. And it's an ongoing slump: 2018 was the fourth consecutive year of birth declines, according to the provisional birthrate report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As my belly grows, I'm more and more stressed by a decision that's weighed on me for the past eight months.

Where should I deliver my baby?

Melody Lynch-Kimery had a fairly routine pregnancy. But when she got to the hospital for delivery, she says, things quickly turned frightening.

After an emergency cesarean section, Lynch-Kimery hemorrhaged; she heard later she'd lost about half the blood in her body.

"I just kept thinking 'I'm not going to die. I'm not going to die. I'm not going to let you let me die,' " she says.

After that traumatic experience, Lynch-Kimery spent a week in the hospital. She went home with her newborn daughter, Sawyer, thinking her delivery complications were resolved.

Having a baby in the United States can be dangerous. American women are more likely than women in any other developed country to die during childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications. And while other countries' maternal death rates have gone down, U.S.

The rate of premature birth across the United States rose for the third year in a row, according to the annual premature birth report card from March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization that works to improve maternal and infant health. This comes after nearly a decade of decline from 2007 to 2015.

In 2017, the premature birth rate was 9.93 percent of births, up slightly from 2016, when it was 9.85 percent. The report card draws from the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

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