Entries in Childbirth (17)


Increased Autism Rate Linked to Induced or Augmented Childbirth

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Boys born to mothers who needed assistance inducing or augmenting birth may have a higher risk of autism, according to a new study.

The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, found that boys whose mothers either required stimulation to begin contractions or medical action to increase the strength duration and frequency of contractions were 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism than those who did not require procedures to assist in their births.

Induced labor can often help reduce medical complications for mothers and babies. The study analyzed over 600,000 birth records in North Carolina over an eight year span and matched them with public school records that would show whether a child was diagnosed with autism. More than 1.3 percent of male children and 0.4 percent of female children were diagnosed with autism during that eight year span.

The rate of autism diagnosis was higher among both sexes when the mother required induction or augmentation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in 50 U.S. children are diagnosed with autism or a related disorder.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Smile and Say ‘Cheese!’ You’re Giving Birth

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- From water births to home births to C-sections and epidurals, the options available to women today for how to deliver their babies are endless. Now there is another option to add to that list, birth photography.  This option, like none before, is opening the doors to a once closely guarded, behind-closed-doors event for the doctors and the parents only.

The demand for birth photography has exploded so much in recent years that the career path now has its own association, the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers, with roughly 400 members, according to the New York Times.

While popular, birth photography may not be for everyone. First, the very personal pictures also come with a hefty price tag.  Rates for a delivery session with a professional photographer can run as high as $3,500. There is also the consideration that the birthing process itself is messy and not something every new mom, or even dad, wants to invite an outsider to be a part of.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Twins Born to Dead Father Ineligible for Benefits

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Twins conceived in Florida from the frozen sperm of their father who died 18 months before their birth are not entitled to survivors benefits, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The twins’ mother, Karen Capato, became pregnant through in vitro fertilization after the death of her husband, Robert Capato, from cancer in 2002. The Social Security Administration rejected her claim for Social Security survivors benefits, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in a 9-0 vote.

“Tragic circumstances gave rise to this case,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote.

But the Social Security Act Congress passed in 1935, she wrote, calls for resolution of Karen Capato’s application for child’s insurance benefits to come under state law. “We cannot replace that reference by creating a uniform federal rule the statute’s text scarcely supports.”

Under Florida law, a child may inherit property from a deceased parent only if the child was conceived during the parent’s lifetime.

Ginsburg’s ruling interprets the Social Security Act, signed 77 years ago, for an era in which sperm and eggs can be frozen and stored indefinitely.

“The technology that made the twins’ conception and birth possible, it is safe to say, was not contemplated by Congress,” she wrote.

The first “test tube baby,” Louise Brown, was born in 1978.

Ginsburg said other states may take a different approach, adding that posthumously conceived children can inherit property in California “if the child is in utero within two years of a parent’s death.”

A bill in the Maryland legislature would allow children born within two years of a biological parent’s death to receive inheritance, as long as the parent consented in writing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Texas Woman Induced Labor for Dying Husband to Hold Baby

ABC News(THE COLONY, Texas) -- Savannah Aulger will never have snapshots with her father on her first birthday, on Christmas or at a school event.

The only picture she will ever have of them is the one as sweet as it is heartbreaking. Hooked up to an oxygen mask at the hospital, the man she would call dad cradled her in his arms for 45 minutes.

He sobbed. He smiled. And there was no doubt that he loved her.

"He would talk to my stomach when I was pregnant," Diane Aulger said of her husband. "He was so excited for her."

The next day, Mark Aulger slipped into a coma.

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The Aulger family of The Colony, Texas, had a lot to rejoice about in the weeks before Savannah's Jan. 18 birth, which was induced two weeks early so her father could hold her.

A home movie on Christmas showed a pregnant Diane, 31, handing out gifts to the couple's four children, the oldest of whom is 15. Mark, 52, who had just received the news that he had beaten cancer, played the guitar, providing a soundtrack for the Christmas morning festivities.

On Jan. 3, life threw a curveball.

Mark was admitted to the hospital, unable to breathe.

Doctors told him that eight months of chemotherapy had ravaged his lungs and diagnosed him with pulmonary fibrosis. "We thought he could get on steroid treatment and oxygen and live for years," Diane said.

But on Jan. 16, Mark found out those treatments would be fruitless. He had one week left to live.

"He was awake and alert, himself. I really didn't believe the doctor [at first]," Diane said. "The next day his doctor came in and said, 'When are you going to have this baby?'"

On Jan. 18, in a larger-than-normal delivery room, Mark rested in his bed, a supportive presence for Diane as their baby girl entered the world.

"The day she was born his oxygen levels were really high," Diane said. "He held her for 45 minutes. Him and I just cried that whole time."

As Diane was recovering, Mark tried holding his daughter again the next day, but was only able to last one minute. "He just couldn't take it," Diane said.

The devoted husband and father of five slipped into a coma. "If she cried, he would shake his head and moan. I put her on him when he was in the coma a few times and his hand would move toward her," Diane recalled.

On Jan. 23, with his family by his side, Mark died in his hospital bed.

"The kids go on as if dad is really still here," Diane said. "Mark was a very funny guy. My kids still tell jokes how they would when he was around. He would have been a wonderful daddy to Savannah."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Premature C-Sections Raise Risk of Infant Breathing Problems

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Some preterm babies may experience more breathing problems if delivered by Cesarean section instead of vaginally, according to new research presented Thursday at the 32nd annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Meeting.

C-sections have been thought to benefit premature babies and lessen their risk of complications.

But researchers at Johns Hopkins and Yale University who reviewed 2,560 births in New York City from 1995 to 2003 found that underweight premature infants had a 30-percent greater chance of developing breathing problems when delivered by C-section compared to those delivered vaginally.

Dr. Diane Ashton, deputy medical director of the March of Dimes, said the results “overturn conventional wisdom that C-sections have few or no risks for the baby.”

One in 8 babies is born prematurely in the United States, according to the March of Dimes.

The findings were limited to a small subgroup of babies who grow in the fetus weighing less than 90 percent of babies at the same gestational age -- a condition called intrauterine growth restriction.

The seemingly rare condition can develop if an expectant mother has severe hypertension or kidney disease, or if a baby is malnourished, according to Dr. Lucky Jain, neonatologist and medical director of the Emory Children’s Center at Emory University.

In the study, the babies were delivered before 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Pre-term babies may be at higher risk for stillbirth during vaginal delivery, so they are more often delivered by C-section.

While the findings may give physicians pause to consider an alternate delivery method, Jain said the findings are not likely to change practices for most.

“The study tells me that it may not be a bad idea to let the mother give birth vaginally,” said Jain, adding that, oftentimes, the decision is made based on an individual mother’s situation.

“To change practice, one would have to do a randomized trial, which would be hard to do given the small numbers,” said Jain.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mother of Nearly 14-Pound Baby Said No to Drugs to Avoid C-Section

Photodisc/Thinkstock(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- The Iowa mother who gave birth to a nearly 14-pound baby with no surgery or medication says she chose to deliver naturally rather than undergo a C-section.

"We just wanted to avoid any unnecessary procedures," Kendall Stewardson said Tuesday on ABC's Good Morning America. "We decided to fight for that [a natural delivery] because we wanted to try to lower my chances of getting a C-section."

When Stewardson and her husband, Joshua, made that pledge ahead of the birth of their second son, little did they know he would break a record.

Asher Stewardson was born last Thursday at Mercy Medical Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces, making him the biggest naturally born baby the hospital had ever recorded.

Mercy officials say only a tenth of one percent of all newborns weigh more than 11 pounds at birth.

Stewardson delivered Asher after six hours of labor but just six minutes of pushing, all without the aid of an epidural or any other drug.

"We were just really blessed that God enabled my body to be able to do this well," Stewardson said on GMA, alongside Joshua, Asher and the couple's other son, Judah.

"It went really fast," she said.  "Six hours is something no one can complain about."

When Judah was born 15 months ago, he weighed in at more than 12 pounds, and was also delivered naturally.

While Asher has continued to gain even more weight in the week since his nearly 14-pound birth, his parents said, his mother has been able to quickly drop her pregnancy pounds.

"Apparently when your babies are so big, you don't have any [weight]," Stewardson said on GMA.  "You don't get to keep it."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Iowa Baby Weighs In at Nearly 14 Pounds

Photodisc/Thinkstock(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Asher Stewardson was born Thursday at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, tipping the scales at nearly 14 pounds.

Watch the video report below, courtesy ABC News affiliate WABC-TV.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Beyonce Says Birth Was ‘Natural,’ Despite Caesarian Reports

Jemal Countess/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Royal pop/rap couple Beyonce and Jay-Z issued a statement Monday that she had given birth “naturally” to daughter Blue Ivy on Jan. 7. But initial reports from TMZ prompted Internet buzz over questions about whether a Caesarian birth had been planned.

Some asked: “Is natural childbirth extinct?” with C-sections at an all-time high in the United States.

Today, one in every three babies in the U.S. is born by Caesarean section -- about 32.3 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Health Statistics. The rate rose by 53 percent between 1996 and 2007 alone.

“Hello Hello Baby Blue,” said the official statement from the couple late Monday. “We are happy to announce the arrival of our beautiful daughter, Blue Ivy Carter … Her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful, we are in heaven. She was delivered naturally at a healthy 7 lbs and it was the best experience of both of our lives."

Early speculation began because more women -- not just those who are at high risk -- are choosing to schedule a Caesarian rather than waiting for labor to begin. It is often called the “Posh push,” so named for Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham, who with her husband soccer legend David Beckham, had four children by planned C-section.

Women say a C-section is more convenient, less painful and prevents vaginal stretching. Some also opt for a tummy tuck after surgery.

The medical term for this is “delivery on maternal request,” according to Dr. Vincenzo Berghella, director of maternal fetal medicine at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia. “It’s not a new phenomenon -- it’s been going on for years.”

Only about 10 percent of American women choose to have a Caesarian this way, and the rate is far higher in countries like Italy and Brazil, where the C-section rate is almost 90 percent of all births,  according to Berghella.

“Women don’t want to mess their bodies up,” he said.

“Like anything else, it has possible consequences and risks,” said Berghella. “If you were a 40-year-old or older woman having just one baby, having one C-section and not planning any more babies is not that unreasonable because the problem with doing a C-section just for the sake of doing it, you have a lot more risk to both the mother and baby.”

It’s not only expectant mothers, but doctors who favor Caesarians. In a study published in 2011 in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 29 percent of doctors polled said they were performing more C-sections because they feared lawsuits. Traditional births can lead to more complications than a C-section procedure.

But the trend has alarmed some medical professionals who say C-sections are more likely to cause problems that put the mother in the hospital -- and the baby in intensive care.

A condition called placenta accreta, which can kill both mother and baby, is on the rise in the U.S., largely because of the increase in C-sections.

Once a rare event that affected 1 in 30,000 pregnant women in the 1950s and 1960s, placenta accreta now affects 1 in 2,500 pregnancies, according to a 2007 report in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In some hospitals, the number is as high as 1 in 522.

A Caesarian, or any kind of surgery, including an abortion or a D & C, can destroy that layer, allowing the placenta to invade the body cavity.

“There is a chance of needing a transfusion and even losing the uterus to bleeding and much more a chance of infection and even dying of it,” said Berghella.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Twins Born in Different Years -- Times 3

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s rare enough for twins to have different birthdays. But thanks to six timely deliveries flanking midnight Saturday, three sets of twins will grow up with different birth years.

In Minneapolis -- one of the twin cities -- Beckett Humenny was born 6:40 p.m. Dec. 31, 2011, followed by his sister, Freya, at 12:26 a.m. Jan. 1, 2012. In Buffalo, N.Y., Ronan Rosputni was born at 11:37 p.m., just 33 minutes before his brother, Rory, arrived at 12:10 a.m. And in Tampa, Fla., Jenna and Leah Bear arrived at 11:59 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., respectively.

“It’s a great way to end the previous year and start the new year,” Blake Bear, now a father of three, told the Tampa Bay Times.

The six babies are healthy, ranging in weight from Beckett’s 4 pounds 11 ounces to Rory’s nearly seven pounds.

Rory and Ronan’s mom, Brighid Rosputni, who attended her sister’s wedding earlier on Saturday, said the timing of her twins’ births was “like a dream.”

“They have completely different birth dates and years,” she told The Buffalo News. “I don’t know if it’s ever happened. I’ll have to do some research. I’ll have to Google it.”

The timing means the twins won’t share a birthday, but they will share a great story.

“It’s unique,” Kathy Bean, a charge nurse, told The Buffalo News. “They definitely will have a story for the rest of their lives.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mt. Sinai Working with Mozambique Officials to Improve Health Care

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Dr. Natasha Anushri Anandaraja, director of the Mount Sinai Global Health Training Center, and Dr. Sigrid Hahn have spent the past two years traveling with medical students from Mt. Sinai in New York City to remote Mozambique, where they are working with local health providers there to help villagers in remote areas gain access to basic health care.

Hahn explained that poverty is the biggest underlying cause for health issues in a region where the average salary is just seven cents a day. The Mozambique Health Ministry is working to convince villagers to understand why it is important that women go to the hospital where it is safer to have their babies.

The doctors are partnered up with Mozambican health care workers who speak the languages of the region and understand the deeply ingrained cultural issues. While trying to impress upon villagers the importance of getting to the hospital, the team recognizes that so many of the women will continue to give birth in the villages in part because they are so far away from any hospital and getting there is difficult.

In light of the circumstances, the team trains volunteer village birth attendants on how to identify and handle complications that arise in pregnancy and childbirth in a region where one in five infants die.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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