Entries in Pregnant (18)


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


Moms Push to Have First Babies of New Year

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sarah Grillo was lying on an operating table last New Year's Eve as doctors prepared for her cesarean section when she heard people singing "Auld Lang Syne" down the hall.

"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, they could really be New Year's babies," she said, adding that her water had broken about five weeks before her twins were due.  "We weren't looking to be the first of the year."

Ten minutes later, baby Grace and her one-minute-younger brother, Luke, became Boston's first babies of 2012.

But in other cities, like Chicago, a 12:10 a.m. baby would probably be too late to be crowned first baby of the year, said Dr. Karen Deighan, the director of OB/GYN at Gottleib Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

"People will be, like, 12 midnight and two seconds," she said.

Since so many babies seem to be born seconds after midnight in Chicago, Deighan said she thinks it's probably "a little artificial."  A normal day will have eight deliveries over 24 hours in her hospital, though a day without births isn't unheard of.

Dr. Lauren Streicher, who was an OB/GYN for more than 20 years in Chicago, said she'd left a party to deliver a baby one New Year's Eve and realized it was close to midnight.  She told her patient she had a choice: She could either give one final push or wait five minutes.

At midnight, the mother gave one last push, but she was a few seconds too late, Streicher said.  Another baby made it out first because that mother was holding back, too.

"They were all doing it.  They were all panting, panting, panting," said Streicher, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school.  "Particularly if someone has had an epidural, they can hold back.  Many times, someone is trying not to deliver, waiting for the doctor to get there, waiting for the husband to get there.  In most times, there's more control than you think."

Although most years Streicher's patients aren't interested in having the first baby, she said she recalls one other patient who wanted to wait the 30 seconds before midnight to deliver.

"She wanted me to put a hand on the baby's head and hold it," Streicher said, adding that the patient was having a hard time controlling her pushing.  "It was 30 seconds.  The baby's heart rate was fine."

The odds of having a baby in the first minute of the year aren't far from the odds of getting struck by lightning, said Dr. Jennifer Austin, an OB/GYN at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. 

According to the National Weather Service, the odds of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 775,000.  Because there are 526,600 minutes in a year, the odds of giving birth at 12:01 on Jan. 1 are 1 in 526,600.

"Unless you're having a scheduled c-section, it's impossible to predict exactly when and where your baby will come," she said.  "And no doctor is going to do a scheduled c-section in the middle of the night.  It's not safe."

Births are rarely scheduled for New Year's Eve because hospitals have reduced holiday staffing, Streicher said.  More likely, they're scheduled for the last few days of the year so mommy and daddy can get a tax break.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


WHO Says Pregnant Women Need Flu Vaccine Most

Jeffrey Hamilton/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- This flu season, the World Health Organization says pregnant women should be given top priority for flu vaccinations, putting them above the elderly, children and people with chronic health conditions.

Pregnant women are considered especially vulnerable to the flu because their immune systems are slightly depressed to accommodate the growing fetus, doctors say.  The mother's body does this so her immune won't attack the unborn baby, which includes foreign DNA.

"They're not more likely to get it, but if they get it, they're more likely to have severe morbidity or actually die from it," said Dr. Jon Abramson, a pediatrician at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina.

When the immune system is down, the mother's body can't fight the flu off as easily, Abramson said.  It can then escalate and result in pneumonia and other health problems.  Even if the flu doesn't result in hospitalization, the baby is more likely to have a low birth weight or be born premature, especially if the mother gets the flu in the third trimester.

Although doctors have recommended the flu vaccine to pregnant women for decades, the 2009 pandemic got people's attention.  According to a WHO report, pregnant women in New York City were 7.2 times more likely to be hospitalized for influenza than non-pregnant women during the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

Lori Wolfe, who directs the Texas Teratogen Information Service Pregnancy Risk Line, said more women call her because they are afraid of getting the flu shot, not the flu.  Since 2009, Wolfe and her colleagues have made it a practice to always recommend the flu shot to callers.

"When women are pregnant, there's some concern about anything entering their system.  The thought of having to get a vaccination alone is scary to a lot of them," Wolfe said, adding that they usually understand why it's important to get one after the teratologist explains flu risks to them.

Abramson said there's no way to get the flu from a flu shot (not the nasal spray) because the virus inside the shot is dead.  Even once the baby is born, the mother's flu antibodies are passed to the baby through the placenta and protect him or her for up to six months.  By then, the baby can get a flu shot, too.

Wolfe said a woman can get a flu vaccine at any time during her pregnancy.  Other than the risk of miscarriage or premature birth if the mother is severely sick, a fever above 102 degrees presents the biggest developmental hazards to the fetus.

A Danish study published earlier this month also found a correlation between the flu during pregnancy and autism, reinforcing experts recommendations that all pregnant women should be vaccinated.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Study: Chemotherapy During Pregnancy Doesn't Cause Complications

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There is growing evidence that pregnant women with cancer aren't putting their babies at risk by undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

A new study that followed more than 400 pregnant women in Europe who were diagnosed with breast cancer, found little to no evidence of negative health effects on infants whose mothers underwent chemotherapy -- good news for the one in a thousand women who are pregnant and also suffering from cancer.

Infants whose mothers were treated with chemotherapy weighed less than those that weren't exposed to chemotherapy, but they were not at higher risk of birth defects, blood disorders or loss of hair.

According to the German Breast Group, which led the study, premature birth -- not the chemotherapy treatment -- was responsible for babies being born at a low birth weight and with other complications.

"More complications were reported in the group of infants exposed to chemotherapy than in the group not exposed to chemotherapy," the study said.  "However, most complications were reported in babies who were delivered prematurely, irrespective of exposure to chemotherapy."

Incidences of pregnant women with cancer are growing and it may be because many women are delaying childbirth until later in their lives.

"I would say it is an increasing problem because people are generally delaying pregnancy," said Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.  "Women want to have careers before they start a family, so women are getting pregnant later."

Additionally, pregnant women are often diagnosed with cancer at a more advanced stage because cancer symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for signs of pregnancy, making treatment more complex, Bernik said.

In the past, women have been told by their doctors that chemotherapy could harm their baby and were sometimes advised to terminate the pregnancy.  However, recent studies have found that chemotherapy treatment after the first trimester -- when most of the baby's critical growth occurs -- can be safe for baby and mother.

It was also initially feared that the high hormone levels present during pregnancy could cause a specific kind of hormone-sensitive breast cancer to reoccur.  But a recent, first-of-its-kind study found that it is safe for women to become pregnant after they were treated with this form of cancer -- which accounts for about 60 percent of all breast cancer cases.

The study by the German Breast Group confirmed other research indicating that chemotherapy treatments carry fewer risks to an unborn child than was originally assumed.  But more research needs to be done on the potential physical and mental effects of chemotherapy drugs on a child later in its life.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


1 in 13 Pregnant Women Drink Alcohol

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Older and more educated women are more likely to drink alcohol during pregnancy, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published Friday.

About one in 13 women drink while pregnant, according to the study, and out of those women, one in four reportedly binge drink.

The researchers examined more than 340,000 self-reported surveys that were a part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System of data from women between the ages of 18 and 44.

More than 7 percent of pregnant women in the study reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, compared with 51 percent of women who were not pregnant.

Women in the study between the ages of 35 and 44 reported the highest amount of drinking while pregnant, at 14 percent.

U.S. public health officials and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourage women from consuming alcohol while pregnant because of its potential to harm the baby’s physical, emotional and cognitive development.

“Pregnant and nonpregnant women of childbearing age who misuse alcohol might benefit from public health interventions…such as increased alcohol excise taxes and limiting alcohol outlet density,” the authors wrote.

Dr. Michael Katz, senior vice president for Research and Global Programs of the March of Dimes, said the numbers were “troubling.”

While some past studies have reported that light drinking while pregnant does not harm the baby, Katz said women should stay away from alcohol completely during those nine months.

“We know that alcohol is very seriously damaging,” said Katz. “We don’t know if there is any safe level of drinking, but that’s a determination that will never be made."

“It’s ludicrous to suggest that one should even look for a safe level of alcohol while pregnant,” he continued. “There is a danger that will always be there with alcohol. Unlike some other risks during pregnancy that are unavoidable, this one is. It is fully controllable and it is not such an enormous effort not to drink.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obese and Pregnant: Dieting Safe for Mom, Baby

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At a time when women are "eating for two," dieting can safely lower the health risks of obesity during pregnancy, according to a new study.

British researchers reviewed data from 44 trials involving 7,278 women to determine the safety and effectiveness of weight management programs during pregnancy.  Not only did the moms-to-be gain less weight, they also lowered their risk of dangerous complications.

"Dietary interventions were most effective in reducing complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preterm delivery," the researchers wrote in their report, published Thursday in BMJ.

Babies benefited, too, as they were less likely to get stuck in the birth canal despite no difference in birth weight.

"There is no evidence that the interventions evaluated in our review or recommended in current clinical practice are associated with adverse maternal or fetal outcomes," the authors wrote.

Nearly half of U.S. women who are of child-bearing age are obese, according to a 2009 study in the Maternal and Child Health Journal.

The growing problem prompted Obese & Expecting, a TLC documentary that followed four obese women through complicated pregnancies and painful deliveries.  A scene from the special shows doctors struggling to give one woman an epidural through the fat in her back.

After several tries, the team gave up, deciding instead to give the woman a general anesthetic and a C-section.

"Going to sleep carries significant risks, even for a slim pregnant woman," said Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland.  "And the risk goes up significantly in a woman who's overweight."

Obesity also compromises prenatal care, according to Greenfield.

"It's harder to provide excellent care to someone who's obese because a lot of things we do are not as accurate," said Greenfield, explaining how ultrasounds and other tests to gauge the baby's growth can be skewed by the mother's fat.  "It's also harder to feel the position of the baby."

The extra fat, and the fact that obesity can cause irregular periods, also means women might not immediately realize they're pregnant.

"If you don't know you're pregnant, you might not avoid things that are toxic, like alcohol, smoking and certain medications," said Greenfield, adding that prenatal vitamins are also important.  "And a lot of what we do in prenatal care depends on knowing exactly how far along a woman is.  If you don't have a sense of gestational age, it's harder to provide the right care."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'"What to Expect When You're Expecting": Top 10 Changes in New Edition

Workman Publishing(NEW YORK) -- What to Expect When You're Expecting has been hailed as the pregnancy bible for moms-to-be and their families for decades.

First released in 1984, the New York Times bestseller has now sold more than 17 million copies, and it is estimated that more than 90 percent of expectant mothers have read it.

The book was recently adapted into a movie by the same title, starring a cast of Hollywood heavyweights including Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Chris Rock.  It will be in theaters nationwide on May 18.

Author Heidi Murkoff talked with ABC's Nightline about the updates she made to a few sections of the book, which is in its fourth edition.  She shares her top 10 changes since the book's first edition below:

1. More Details on the Importance of Pre-Conception Preparation

More and more research shows that a healthy baby begins before conception, Murkoff said, "with a mom's and dad's lifestyle, weight, eating habits."

2. Expanded Section on Moms-to-Be Working During Pregnancy

What Murkoff called "juggling business with baby-making," the latest edition of What to Expect When You're Expecting includes an expanded section on "how to stay comfortable and safe on the job, how long you can stay on the job, how to play pregnant office politics, how to figure out your rights as a pregnant worker, which are minimal compared to what they are in other developed countries."

3. New Section on 'Pregnancy Beauty'

Murkoff said she is often asked questions about lifestyle changes for expectant mothers, so in the latest edition, she included answers on what moms-to-be should consider about "hair color, skin care.  Can you reach for the Clearasil when you end up with zits instead of glow?  Can you book Botox now that you have more to smile about than ever or use tooth whitening products?  Salon and spa treatments and spray tans."

4. More on Alternative Medicine or CAM Therapies

More advice about common CAM therapy practices were added to the new book, "from acupressure for morning sickness to acupuncture for backache to hydrotherapy for sciatica to reflexology for labor pain relief," Murkoff said.

5. Much More on Sex, Intimacy

In the latest edition, Murkoff said she provides more answers to intimacy questions expectant mothers might not feel comfortable talking about with their doctor, such as whether sex toys are off the table, or what to do when their partner's libido has cooled and theirs is heating up.

6. New Chapter on Expecting Multiples

This new chapter includes advice for moms-to-be expecting twins, triples or quads, "from how much more you'll need to eat, to how many more symptoms you're likely to have, to the extra tests and risks involved in baking more than one bun at a time, and how labor and delivery might differ from a singleton birth," she said.

7. More Information for Dad

"While the entire book is intended for both parents-to-be, the father's chapter taps into concerns and feelings that are uniquely Y chromosome focused," Murkoff said.  For instance -- the scoop on male hormonal changes during pregnancy -- yes, they happen."

8. Advice for a Kinder, Gentler Pregnancy Diet

"No longer 'whole wheatier than thou,' as I liked to call the old diet plan," Murkoff said.  "The old diet plan was too strict, too unrealistic and, while well-intentioned, sent more women running screaming for the nearest McDonald's than running to the nearest health-food market."

Murkoff said the new pregnancy diet laid out in the fourth edition makes "eating well easier and more enjoyable."

9. More Details on Birthing Options and Trends

It seems there are endless options for moms-to-be to decide on where and how they want to give birth.  Murkoff expanded on birthing trends to help expectant mothers wade through the waters of labor.

10. The Latest Edition's Cover Got a Facelift

The latest edition of What to Expect When You're Expecting has a fresh new look.

"Previous editions featured an expectant mom sitting in a rocking chair besides a basket of dried flowers, looking frumpy and miserable," Murkoff said.  "I sort of have deluded myself for years that she was wearing a sort of day-dreamy, contemplative look on her face, but let's face it, she looks far more constipated than contemplative."

The new cover shows a relaxed and smiling illustration of a mom-to-be standing up, with her hands placed around her pregnant belly.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


1 in 5 White Women Have Smoked While Pregnant

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- One in five white women have smoked cigarettes while pregnant, according to a new government study released Thursday.

The report, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, showed that 21.8 percent of pregnant white women ages 15 to 44 had smoked a cigarette within 30 days of when the survey was conducted.

Those numbers contrasted with 14.2 percent of black women and 6.5 percent of Hispanic women of the same age.

“When pregnant women use alcohol, tobacco, or illicit substances they are risking health problems for themselves and poor birth outcomes for their babies,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a statement. “Pregnant women of different races and ethnicities may have diverse patterns of substance abuse. It is essential that we use the findings from this report to develop better ways of getting this key message out to every segment of our community so that no woman or child is endangered by substance use and abuse.”

The rate of alcohol use during pregnancy among black and white women was about the same: 12.8 percent and 12.2 percent respectively. Only about 7.4 percent of Hispanic women reported drinking alcohol while pregnant.

Black pregnant women were more likely to use illegal drugs than white and Hispanic pregnant women: about 7.7 percent of blacks, 4.4 percent of whites and 3.1 percent of Hispanics reported using drugs at least once in 30 days prior to the survey.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Government Reiterates Warning on Drinking, Smoking While Pregnant

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- We've all heard the warnings: Don't smoke or drink alcohol while pregnant.  Yet, more than one in five pregnant white women smoke cigarettes, according to a new report from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Dr. H. Westley Clark, director of the agency’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, says the warnings need to be repeated with each new generation.

"If it isn't reasserted, it tends to be forgotten.  And then, we have to deal with the medical consequences of low birth-weight babies or babies who are born with other problems associated with substances that their parents use," Clark says.

Among the report's findings, according to Clark:

-- Pregnant white women were more likely than pregnant black women to have smoked cigarettes in the past month.

-- Pregnant black and white women were more likely than pregnant Hispanic women to have used alcohol, in the past month.

-- Pregnant black women were more likely than pregnant white and Hispanic women to have used an illicit drug in the past month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pregnancy Safe After Breast Cancer, Study Finds

Comstock/Thinkstock(VIENNA, Austria) -- Contrary to past belief, it is safe to become pregnant after being treated for breast cancer, according to new research presented Wednesday at the eighth European Breast Cancer Conference in Vienna, Austria.

The research was specific to women who were diagnosed with estrogen-receptor positive tumors, which have protein molecules that need estrogen to grow.  About 60 percent of all breast cancers are ER-positive, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Despite the fear that high hormone levels that occur during pregnancy might stimulate breast cancer growth, data overwhelming showed that it does not, experts said.

The study included 333 women ages 21 to 48 who became pregnant after a breast cancer diagnosis and 874 women with similar breast cancer diagnoses who did not become pregnant.  About five years after pregnancy, researchers found about 30 percent of all the women had a recurrence of the cancer.

In the past, some women who became pregnant were advised to get abortions because of the potential dangers of recurrence, but researchers said this recommendation might be unnecessary in most cases.

The study showed that there was no difference in recurrence among women who became pregnant and those who did not.  Indeed, women who became pregnant within two years of their breast cancer diagnoses might have better "disease-free survival" than those who did not become pregnant at all.  But researchers warned that this observational finding must be more rigorously researched before presenting it as fact.

"These … messages are vital as women with ER+ disease were frequently advised against pregnancy for fear that pregnancy could stimulate the recurrence of the disease by means of hormonal stimulation," Dr. Hatem Azim, lead author of the study and medical oncologist at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, wrote in an email.

This is the first study ever to address the impact of pregnancy on breast cancer outcome in patients with this kind of breast cancer, Azim said.  It is also the first study to provide reliable information on the role of abortion and insights on the time to become pregnant after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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