Entries in Labor (7)


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


Surprise Delivery: When Babies Are Born in Strange Places

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A train and an elevator were just two of the unlikely places where babies were born this week.

Rabita Sarke of Harrison, N.J., surprised morning commuters on Monday when she gave birth to a boy on a PATH train.  And Katie Thacker of Spanaway, Wash., delivered son Blake on Wednesday in a hospital's stuck service elevator.

While most moms-to-be make it to the delivery room with time to spare, experts say a quick labor can surprise even the most practiced of parents.

"The vast majority of women have plenty of warning before their baby is going to come," said Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland.  "But some people have very, very rapid labors."

Other unplanned labor locales include a Baltimore airport bathroom, a Denver library, a McDonald's in Vancouver, Wash., and an airplane en route to San Francisco.

Despite having a due date -- an estimate based on the time of conception -- babies tend to come out when they're ready, regardless of whether the parents feel the same.  But several warning signs signal the start of labor, which for first-time moms lasts an average of 16 hours.

"About 1 percent of women break their water before they go into labor," said Greenfield.  "It's usually a big gush, but sometimes it's more of a constant trickle."  Either way, "you can usually tell."

There are other, more ubiquitous signs that a baby is ready to go: Contractions that start out feeling like menstrual cramps and steadily grow more intense; a tightening feeling across the lower back; and the sensation that the baby is curling up inside. But there are false alarms, too.

"I think that's part of what keeps people from acting at first," said Greenfield. "People sometimes feel crampier and have more pelvic pressure" late in pregnancy.  "And there's the bloody show -- mucus and blood coming out of the cervix.  But they're not very predictive of labor."

Some women are caught off guard because they don't feel pain with contractions.

"Everyone's been telling them, 'Pain, pain, pain,' and they don't recognize what contractions feel like," said Greenfield of the women some would call lucky.  "But that's pretty rare."

Others fail to recognize the signs of labor because, as Greenfield puts it, they're in denial.

"I've certainly seen moms who don't accept they're pregnant," she said.  "They kind of know but are really in a state of denial.  That's one situation where we see deliveries outside the hospital."

And even for veteran moms who've been there, done that, labor can be sneaky.

"If their first baby came in two hours, the next baby may be the one they're going to deliver in the car on the way to the hospital," said Greenfield. "The second delivery, on average, is usually half the length of the first."

Although few women would choose a train or elevator over a hospital or midwife-assisted homebirth, Greenfield said quick labors are usually a sign that everything is going smoothly.

"This is the way nature intended," she said. "Labor wasn't intended to happen in hospitals hooked up to IVs."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Canadian 12-Year-Old Delivers His Baby Brother

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(CAMPBELL RIVER, British Columbia) -- Gaelan Edwards first met his new brother in an unusual way: The 12-year-old actually helped deliver the baby after his mother couldn't make it to the hospital in time.

Danielle Edwards, 30, of Campbell River, British Columbia, told Canada's CTV she woke up on Saturday around 2 a.m. already in labor.  That's when she called for her son, Gaelan.

"Gaelan, when you see the shoulders, I need you to hang on to the shoulders and I need to you pull them out," Edwards instructed her son.

Gaelan, who said he'd seen TV shows on childbirth and had read a few medical books his mother kept in the home, remembered what he learned.

He took the baby's shoulders and eased him out.  He then went to get scissors, a clamp and a blanket, and cut the umbilical cord.  After that, he wrapped his new baby brother in a blanket.

The family then went to the hospital where mother and baby got a clean bill of health.

Dr. Salih Yasin, associate professor and vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, said women can sometimes go into labor very quickly, especially if they've previously given birth, as Edwards had four other times.

And if there are no complications, delivery isn't as daunting as it may seem.

"Birth is a natural process that the human body is made to take care of on its own," he said. "There are many stories of babies being delivered in cars or in parking lots."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


World Health Organization: Stillbirths Affect Millions Globally

Comstock/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- Over 2.6 million women worldwide deliver a stillborn baby each year, according to a special series published in The Lancet Wednesday.

According to the series, which offers the first comprehensive look at the heavy global burden of stillbirths around the world, more than 7,300 stillbirths occur every day.

The World Health Organization defines "stillbirth" as fetal death after 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Ninety-eight percent of stillbirths happen in low- and middle-income countries, and nearly half of them occur during childbirth, particularly among women who do not have access to basic medical services.  But even in wealthy countries, one in 200 pregnancies results in a stillbirth.

Stillbirth rates vary dramatically, both among and within nations.  Collectively, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, China and Bangladesh account for half of stillbirths worldwide.  In India, rates vary by state, from 20 to 66 per 1,000 births.

Within the United States, which has a national rate of three stillbirths per 1,000 births and ranks 17th out of 193 countries, non-Hispanic blacks experience double the stillbirth rate of white women.

Ways to prevent these deaths are relatively simple and well-known, and the series' authors conclude that global use of 10 interventions could prevent 45 percent of stillbirths.  The availability of comprehensive emergency obstetric services alone, which can prevent complications at the moment of childbirth, could prevent nearly 700,000 stillbirths, according to the series.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Texas Proposal Looks to Curb Elective Deliveries Before 39 Weeks

Photodisc/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Texas health officials estimate they could save $36.5 million in Medicaid costs by curbing convenient, but risky, baby deliveries before the 39th week of pregnancy, while reining in use of expensive neonatal intensive care units.

For a variety of reasons -- some as mundane as moms-to-be wanting to guarantee that their obstetricians won't be on vacation when they go into labor, or that Grandma will be able to plan her trip to help out in the nursery -- some obstetricians agree to early deliveries, either by Caesarean section or induced labor.

However, early elective childbirth can subject newborns to many of the stresses of prematurity, which studies have shown can include blindness, underdeveloped lungs and long-term emotional, intellectual, developmental and behavioral issues.

These can include attention deficit disorder, said Dr. Frank Mazza, chief patient safety officer for the Austin-based Seton Family of Hospitals.

A half dozen Seton hospitals helped pioneer a highly successful program that drastically reduced NICU use by following American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidance to stop performing elective deliveries before 39 weeks.  The program had no effect on medically necessary early deliveries.

By strictly adhering to that cutoff, Seton hospitals reduced NICU costs associated with prematurity and traumatic delivery from $4.5 million a year to "somewhere in the neighborhood of $186,000 a year," Mazza said in an interview Monday.  The hospitals have consistently posted NICU savings for the last seven years, he added.

That test program, which also led to more healthy births, provided much of the impetus for the cost-saving proposal put forth last month by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  That measure seeks to reduce early elective deliveries and more closely scrutinize which babies are admitted to NICUs.

"We just really want to put an extra check and balance in place, and have doctors or hospitals call in and verify why that baby needs NICU treatment before they put them in," said Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for HHSC in Austin, which administers the Medicaid program in Texas.

"We feel like that extra step may just help make sure that the babies in NICUs really need that level of care, and that any other baby that could be better-served or as well-served in just the regular nursery, would."

While it's unclear how many cash-strapped states might follow suit and try to find similar savings in the delivery room and NICUs, any such actions could cut deeply into hospital revenues. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Amniotomy Can Reduce Length of Labor for First-Time Mothers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) - New research suggests that the time of labor can be shortened in first-time mothers who need induction if amniotomy is performed, reports MedPage Today.

The study, conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, found that when amniotomy is performed early in labor, the process can be shortened by more than two hours.

A randomized study of 585 women found that the average time to delivery was shortened to 19 hours from 21.3 hours.

Amniotomy is an artificial rupturing of the membrane to induce or accelerate labor.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio