Entries in Birth (38)


Connecticut Woman Gives Birth at Home, Alone

Creatas/Thinkstock(SOUTHINGTON, Conn.) -- If Erica Bovino of Southington, Conn., is still trying to recall the exact details of the birth of her second child, daughter, Stella, three weeks ago, it is easy to understand why.

Bovino, 34, delivered Stella at home, in her bathroom, with no one else in the house besides Stella’s older brother, 3-year-old Jack, who slept through the whole thing.

“I didn’t call anyone because I figured I had plenty of time,” Bovino, a speech pathologist, said of the day, May 6, when she realized she was going into labor.

Bovino had been in labor with Jack for 30 hours, so based on the many labor and delivery books she had read, she anticipated at least a 15-hour labor with her second child.

Instead, Bovino felt her water break less than five hours after that first contraction. Her first step was to call her husband, Paul Sulzicki, also 34, and a police officer, to tell him to get home quickly from his overnight shift.

“I realized there was no way I was going to be able to get to a hospital in time,” Bovino said, throwing away the couple’s plan to drive the 30 minutes to Yale-New Haven Hospital and deliver naturally with a midwife, as she had done with Jack.

“All my instincts kicked in,” she said. “I went into a primal mode.”

Luckily for Bovino, a natural birth advocate, she had done her research during her pregnancy on delivering without the aid of medicine or, in her extreme case, without the aid of anyone else.

“I didn’t know what position she was in and I knew I had to get on my hands and knees,” she said.  “Then something told me to go into the bathroom and squat.”

“I remember just trying to squat and I said, ‘Come on baby, come on baby,’” she said. “I put all my effort into opening and getting her out. I was like I have to get her out. It’s life and death.”

At 5:35 a.m., Bovino lifted out of herself a healthy six pound and three ounces baby named Stella Jane Bovino Sulzicki.

When Stella first came out, her eyes were closed, giving Bovino a momentary scare. Then, as soon as Sulzicki made it home and ran into the bathroom, mother and father saw their newborn daughter’s eyes for the first time.

“All of a sudden she opened her big eyes and that’s the moment my husband walked in,” Bovino said. “He calmly took us to the bed and I started nursing immediately and he called 911 and called my midwife.”

Paramedics arrived shortly and after determining that both mom and baby were fine, granted Bovino’s request that she continue nursing her in bed to bond with Stella, and also allow time to introduce Stella to her big brother, who had slept through her entire birth.

“My husband went into his room and said, “Do you want to come into mommy and daddy’s room, mommy’s had the baby,” Bovino said.  “He [Jack] was just all smiles.”

Bovino was then taken to the hospital with Stella for an overnight stay, just as any new mom would do.  She says the doctors there were impressed with what she had accomplished.

“People have babies at home but they don’t do it completely alone,” she said. “It’s very rare. I’m still processing the whole thing. With lack of sleep and everything, it’s hard to remember exactly what happened.”

What Bovino does know for sure is that she wants to use her accidental home birth as a message for other moms.

“I want to be an inspiration to other women to empower them to trust themselves and their instincts,” she said. “Hospitals are there, and they’re wonderful in emergencies, but a lot of times women don’t trust themselves and their bodies that they’re able to do it.”

“I trusted my body and the process,” Bovino said. “I tried to stay as focused and looking inward as I could and not let any fear come over me.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Girl, 9, Gives Birth in Mexico

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A 9-year-old Mexican girl, under the reported name of Dafne, gave birth to a baby girl on Jan. 27, 2013 in Jalisco, Mexico.

Both mother and child are at home and healthy, Dr. Enrique Rabago, director of Zoquipan Hospital, said at a press conference Wednesday.

The search continues, according to authorities, for the baby’s 17-year-old father, who may be criminally charged for having a sexual relationship with Dafne.

“Due to her young age, we don’t know if she is being entirely truthful,” said Lino Ginzalez Corona, a spokesperson at the Jalisco State Prosecutor’s Office, who received an account of the relationship from the young mother who describes a loving relationship.

According to Corona, the 17-year-old and Dafne were dating but the young girl is unwilling to release any further information regarding the association between the two.

“She did not realize that she was pregnant until the seventh month,” said Corona. 

Her boyfriend suggested Dafne move in with him and to raise the child together but when the young mother refused, her boyfriend “decided to leave town two months ago,” said Corona.

State authorities are searching for the father of the child to acquire his own account of what occurred between the two.  The prosecutor’s office in the state of Jalisco said they are willing to request cooperation from neighboring state authorities if necessary.

Corona said the state prosecutor is “still open to the possibility of rape or child sex abuse.”

Dafne, who is one of 11 children, lives in Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, a poverty-stricken neighborhood 25 miles south of Guadalajara. 

“Her parents work all day and were not watching after her,” said Corona, “and therefore didn’t realize what was about to happen.”

The girl was given a C-Section at the time of the birth.

“Due to her young age and to the fact that her body was not ready to give birth,” said Rabago, “the medical team decided a C-Section was the best option” for both mother and child.

Rabago said at the press conference that Dafne will be receiving both medical and psychological attention.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Men Suffer Pregnancy Pains in Labor Simulation

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Labor is the type of pain that even makes grown men cry.  

But now, two Dutch television hosts, Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno of the show Guinea Pigs, can vouch for the fact that all the screaming isn’t just an act -- giving birth really hurts.

As part of a stunt for their show, Storm and Zeno were hooked up to a machine with electrodes stuck to their abdomens to simulate labor pains.  And just like the real thing, the cramping of the “contractions” got stronger, longer and closer together.

The men say they did it so they could better empathize with women.  But not all women are buying it.

“You can think of this as a very strong Charley horse,” said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News senior medical contributor.  “Is it as painful as labor?  My opinion would be it isn’t.”

The average labor lasts 12 to 14 hours, but Storm and Zeno only lasted two hours.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Identical Twins in Ohio Give Birth Two Hours Apart

Courtesy Marcella Farson(AKRON, Ohio) -- Call it a post-Christmas miracle, or an early New Year’s blessing.

Identical twins Aimee and Ashlee Nelson, 19, of Akron, Ohio, gave birth Dec. 31 to sons about two hours apart at Summa Akron City Hospital.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Marcella Farson, the twins’ mother, told ABC News. “It’s wonderful. This is the best New Year’s that anyone could have ever given me. I think I’m still in shock.”

Ashlee’s due date was Jan. 1, Aimee’s Jan. 6.  But the young women ended up having two baby boys on the same day. Donavyn Scott Bratten was born first, with Aimee delivering around noon. Not long after, around 2 p.m., Ashlee gave birth to Aiden Lee Alan Dilts, the larger of the two boys.

“She [Aimee] actually started calling me at 8:30 Sunday evening and said, ‘Mommy, I’m having these feelings, I’ve never had these feelings before.’ And I didn’t hear from her again until 2:30 in the morning. But by 3:30, we were on the way to the hospital. Things moved quite rapidly,” Farson said.

Ashlee was still at home at this point and had no idea her twin sister, who was due after her, was already at the hospital going into labor.

“Then I got a text from Ashlee,” Farson said. “I let her know we were at the hospital with Aimee. Then she calls me back 20 minutes later saying, ‘I’m going to go back to bed,’ and about five minutes later she thought her water broke. I said, ‘Sweetheart, get up and come join us.’ She got there about 6:30, quarter ’til seven. It just progressed from there.”

The nurses were joking with Farson, saying she needed roller skates to bounce back and forth between the sisters’ rooms.

“I am so blessed they both wanted me there. Someone was looking down on me, allowing enough time on the two of them for me to be able to experience it with both of them. It just makes me well up thinking about it,” Farson said.

The dads, Matthew Bratten, 20, and Cody Dilts, 22, are doing well, also.

“The dads are holding up wonderful. I was able to step out and get the boys a good meal,” Farson said. “They’ve not left the hospital. The dads have been right by their side. I know both of them have stepped up to the plate. They’re all doing wonderful and I’m very proud of all of them.”

When asked what the best part of being a grandmother to the new baby boys was, Farson said, “It’s a great addition because I’ve got all girls. They already had presents under the tree and both had stockings. They have their first ‘Hot Wheels’ sets waiting for them.”

The boys and their mothers were released from the hospital Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Hospitals Offer First Class Deliveries to Those Who Can Afford It

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There's special delivery and then there's extra-special delivery.  When pop star Beyonce gave birth to her daughter Blue Ivy at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City earlier this year, news sources reported that she commandeered a $1,700 a night maternity suite complete with catered meals, a flat-screen TV and round-the-clock nursing care.

Offering luxury maternity rooms to women who can reach deeper into their pockets than the insurance co-pay demands seems to be a trend at large city hospitals.

At Mount Sinai Medical Center, also in New York, private maternity rooms run an extra $500-$850 per night depending on the size of the room and the view from the window.  Pampered new moms can order in-room gourmet meals, pedicures and luxury spa services.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles offers deluxe rooms for $2,673 a night that come with a personal care aide to attend to the needs of mom and baby.

Many of these rooms do their very best to impersonate a five-star hotel room.  The bathrooms in Mt. Sinai private rooms are described on their website as "spa-inspired" with "decidedly female private baths," featuring Italian glass tile, elegant sconces, and decorative mirrors.

New moms can even rent "Beyonce rooms" if they give birth outside of celebrity-magnet cities like New York and L.A.  Medical City Hospital in Dallas, for example, offers private rooms with a foldout guest bed and large screen TV for $250 a night over and above insurance coverage.

It's not as if giving birth isn't expensive enough already: The average hospital birth now costs around $10,000, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  For more complicated deliveries involving cesarean sections, the price tag can climb to over $20,000.  For some women, part of these costs will be covered by insurance.  But any added cost for special services and extra amenities are not.

Wealthier mothers are snapping up private maternity rooms as fast as they're being offered.  Often there are waiting lists.  But there is some grumbling that these posh postpartum services come at the expense of other newborns.

Kathleen Flynn, vice president of the New York Professional Nurses Union, which represents nurses employed at Lenox Hill, said that luxury suites were having a negative impact on the quality of care elsewhere on the hospital's maternity ward.

"The hospital wants to make money and we have no problem with that.  But we do have a problem when they pull staff off the regular ward to staff the executive suites," she said.

A group of anonymous Lenox Hill nurses recently told the New York Daily News that while affluent women and their bundles of joy enjoy nearly one-to-one attention, sometimes as many as 18 newborns in the regular maternity ward are monitored by a single nurse.  By contract, nurses are supposed to take care of no more than eight babies at once.

Flynn said the fancier rooms are only staffed when a patient purchases a luxury package.  Whenever that happens -- about 80 percent of the time according to the hospital -- she said a nurse must be taken off shift from the main maternity ward.  That's when nursing shortages arise.

Barbara Osborne, a media relations manager for Lenox Hill denies the allegations.

"At no point has our maternity unit been understaffed, as was reported," she said.  "As a matter of fact, in the last two years, we've hired about 240 new nurses, representing about 20 percent of the nursing staff.  We are dedicated to providing a single standard of high-quality medical care to all of our patients, regardless of accommodations."

But Flynn said the issue is so well known that some moms of means are passing up the chance for a pampered birthing experience for fear of being viewed as elitist.

"They don't want to be seen as taking away care from the other families," she noted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Father in Iraq Watches Birth of Twins Via Skype

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WHITEFISH, Mont.) -- No mountain was high enough, no river was wide enough, and no valley was low enough to keep one Montana man from watching the birth of his baby twins on Sept. 25 at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish, Mont.

Jon Zimbelman, 31, Skyped with his wife, Erin, all the way from Basrah, Iraq, where he works as a contractor in the private sector, to watch the delivery of his now-2-week-old twins, Braylon and Brielle.

Erin Zimbelman, 32, of Kalispell, Mont., was worried the hospital might not allow the Skype session to occur, but got the final approval just in time for the babies to arrive.

“I just told him, go get to hard line, go to your office, be ready,” Zimbelman told ABC News.

Because Zimbelman was giving birth to twins, the delivery had to take place in the operating room, where Internet connections are not normally allowed. The anesthesiologist had the final say, and he eventually agreed to allow the iPad in the room.

Zimbelman said she’s gotten nothing but positive feedback about the experience.

“I hope other people will be able to do it, or that hospitals won’t say ‘no’ right away. That was my main concern. No one gave me an answer until the day of, a couple hours before we were doing it all, so it was really nerve-racking,” Zimbelman said.

But the pregnancy also had its complications.

Zimbelman’s mother unexpectedly passed away on July 6, so he used the one trip allowed to him to return home for her funeral.

“My husband’s mom died and so he had to come home for that instead of coming home for the birth,” Zimbelman said. “He had visa entry issues. It was only a one-entry visa.”

So she had to come up with a plan B for him to still be there for the babies.

“I haven’t heard of anybody doing it,” Zimbelman said. “I don’t know if I’m the first or whatnot. But I had to come up with plan B.”

The hospital, knowing she’d need extra help pulling off the Skyping idea, allowed Zimbelman’s friend in the delivery room.

“He got to the see the babies before me, so he was excited,” said Zimbelman. “My girlfriend held up the iPad so he could watch everything that was going on. He said it was life-changing for him. A couple years ago, this would be impossible.”

Zimbelman was worried about the Internet connection working properly because, “Usually Iraq has pretty bad Internet connection, but it was flawless the whole way through.”

The babies are now happy and healthy, but still awaiting their first meeting in person with their father. Hopefully, he can make it home for the holidays.

“They’re doing great,” Zimbelman said. “They are the best babies. They’re sleeping good and are just precious.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Celebrity 'Momshells' Pressured to Look Perfect After Giving Birth

Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Applauding new Hollywood mothers for slimming down in no time flat after shedding their baby weight has become one of the hottest trends splashed across celebrity magazines.

Call them "momshells" (mother-as-bombshell) for bouncing back after having a baby and jumping right back into their busy Hollywood careers looking svelte and stylish with no signs of baby weight.

Janice Min spearheaded many of those kinds of covers during her six-year stint as editor of Us Weekly, but now, after giving birth to her third child, she's pushing back against what she calls unhealthy pressure on everyday new moms.

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In a new article for The New York Times, the 42-year-old Min says, "…the notion that instantly stick-thin figures after birth are normal is untrue. Sometimes, in my sleep-deprived nights, I ponder our ideal of this near-emaciated, sexy and well-dressed Frankenmom we've created and wonder how to undo her."

Hillary Duff, 24, gave birth to her son, Luca, in March and recently faced a barrage of critical tweets for not losing her baby weight fast enough. Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai and Bryce Dallas Howard, who starred in The Help, also faced similar backlash.

"You see these magazines that are filled with celebrities, that within weeks, have bounced back and they're back to their pre-baby weight, and I think for most women it really puts a lot of pressure on them," CEO Melissa Lawrence said.

Actress Kelly Preston, 49, said she refused to rush her weight loss after giving birth to son Benjamin in 2010.

"I actually took my time purposely because I really wanted to. You can do it much more quickly," Preston told Robin Roberts of Good Morning America in December. "I'm not into the three to four weeks. But, I did it over the course of eight months."

Katie Schunk is among a group of new moms who are fighting back against the blitz of magazine covers.

"If we could reach one woman to maybe not feel so bad about herself, I think that's exactly what we wanted to do," Schunk said.

Much like Min, Schunk says new moms shouldn't feel pressure to be thin, that being a great mother is what makes them "momshells."

Women need to have realistic goals when it comes to getting back into pre-baby shape, More magazine editor-in–chief, Lesley Jane Seymour, and women’s health expert, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, said Monday on GMA.

“Nobody can live to that standard,” Seymour said. “[Celebrities] have $40,000 exercising gurus. You’re not being paid for that. That is not your job. They have to get in shape in two weeks because they’ve got to go on the set. That is not the normal human being.”

Ashton said the pressure on women to bounce back immediately after giving birth is a type of “peer pressure,” but that it does “behoove a mother to get into as good of a shape as she can be.”

"As moms we know that being a mother and running a household is an athletic event into itself,” Ashton said. “Two seconds after she gives birth? No. ... Give yourself at least nine months to get back.”

Seymour, also a mother, said “it takes a year” to get your pre-baby body back and that’s the real message celebrity magazine cover stories should convey to readers.

“We should remember what it is. They’re celebrities,” Ashton echoed. “You don’t want to ‘keep up with the Joneses,’ you want to do the best you can for your body and your family.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NY Mom on Way to Hospital Delivers Twins on Two Different Highways

Declan (L) and Gavin (R). (Courtesy Deirdre Shea)(NEW YORK) -- Before a very pregnant Siobhan Anderson left her Amityville, N.Y., home early Saturday morning to deliver twin baby boys, her mother told her, "You'd better not give birth on the Northern State Parkway."

She didn't.  Instead, she gave birth on two other Long Island highways -- Southern State Parkway and Wantagh State Parkway.

Siobhan and Bryan Anderson expected to welcome their twin baby boys next Friday, but Siobhan's water broke at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning -- nearly a full week early, Bryan said.

Heeding their doctor's advice not to rush or panic, they took their time and got into the car at about 7 a.m.

Siobhan said she felt a big contraction, and suddenly felt the baby's head a few minutes after they pulled onto Southern State Parkway.  She told her husband he was going to have to deliver the twins right there on the side of the road.

"She kept screaming, 'The babies are coming,'" he said.  "I was like, 'I think we have time to at least get to the hospital.'"

Siobhan told Bryan to pull over near Exit 30, where he called 911.  Once EMTs arrived, Siobhan told them she couldn't move from the car because she was "holding the baby in," but they didn't believe her because even most emergency births aren't immediate, she said.

"They were helping her out of the car and into the stretcher and that's when Gavin was born," he said.  "Born right there on Southern State Parkway."  It was 7:35 a.m.  Gavin was 6 pounds, 12 ounces.

"As soon as I moved, he came out," she laughed.  "He was born at 7:35 in the open air."

Once Siobhan delivered the first baby, EMTs got her in the ambulance.  The plan was to drive to the nearest hospital in time for her second son to be delivered.

Meanwhile, Bryan got back in his car and followed the ambulance, calling his brother-in-law to calm himself down.

But less than 10 minutes later, the ambulance pulled over on Wantagh State Parkway.

Confused, Bryan said he jumped out of the car.  EMTs told him "baby number two" was coming, and let him in the back door of the ambulence.

At 7:46 a.m., Declan was born at 5 pounds, 15 ounces.

"I sat right behind her," he said.  "It was an unbelievable experience."

They walked into the Nassau University Medical Center with both babies in-hand.

"We were just in shock," Siobhan said.  "I'm still in shock that it happened.  I can't believe I was able to do that."

She said the scariest part was that she knew she had to give birth naturally, even though she'd thought that she needed an epidural before she even left the house.

Siobhan, Gavin, and Declan will be able to go home Friday to be with Dad and their big brother, Dylan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Twin Sisters Give Birth on Same Day

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Zaakira Mitchell and Shaakira White, both 20, didn’t plan to get pregnant within weeks of each other, nor did they ever expect to become mothers on the same day.  But on July 24, that is exactly what happened.

Mitchell, whose due date was July 26, elected to be induced July 24 and arrived at Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital in Columbia, S.C., accompanied by her twin sister.

White, due on Aug. 16, had scheduled a check-up that day and told her doctor she had been having contractions that morning.

“We checked to make sure she wasn’t going into early labor. Well, not only was she going into early labor, she was five to six centimeters dilated,” said Dr. David Ferguson, who was physician to both sisters.

White, who had gone to the hospital to support her sister, was soon being prepared for a cesarean section.

“The whole thing was very exciting. All of a sudden all this family who had been there for Zaakira were suddenly there for Shaakira as well,” said Dr. Ferguson.

Mitchell gave birth to a boy, Kadin, just one hour before White gave birth to twins, Landon and London.

“Once we were assured Zaakira was stable after her delivery, we went right from there prepping Shaakirah,” said Dr. Ferguson.

The sisters said they were thrilled that all three cousins would share the same birthday.

“She’s my best friend so for us to share this, it was really special and it was really emotional,” Mitchell told ABC-affiliate WOLO.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: Even Slightly Early Birth May Hurt Academic Performance

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Kids who get too early a start at life -- even if they are born in the first half of the gestation period associated with "normal term" birth -- appear more likely to struggle at reading and math by the time they reach third grade, new research suggests.

In a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers aimed to find out whether there were differences in third grade reading and math scores among nearly 130,000 children considered to have been born within a "normal" gestational range between 37 and 41 weeks.

What they found was that those born at 37 weeks and 38 weeks had significantly lower reading scores compared to children born at 39, 40 or 41 weeks.  Math scores were also lower for children born at 37 or 38 weeks.

Lead study author Dr. Kimberly Noble, assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said the findings should give parents-to-be pause before opting for early birth for non-medical reasons.

"The evidence from this study would suggest that elective induction of birth should be approached cautiously," Noble said.  "The data suggest that children born at 37 or 38 weeks may have problems with reduced school achievement later on."

Noble said that even after taking a number of other factors into account -- among them birth weight, socioeconomic background and maternal education -- the link between earlier birth and academic performance was still evident.  

She added that, while it was possible that some other unmeasured factor could be responsible for the connection, "until we have more data we would encourage parents and physicians to exercise caution when considering elective induction of birth prior to 39 weeks gestation."

The study is the latest addition to a growing body of evidence that purely elective induction of birth may be a bad idea.  According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such births appear to be a growing trend.  Only 9.5 percent of all births in 1990 were through elective induction.  Compare that to 2007, which saw nearly 23 percent of all births electively induced.

Efforts by many hospitals to encourage full-term pregnancies appear to have blunted this trend in recent years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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