A recent study published in Health Affairs suggests that giving birth in U.S. hospitals may be a more dangerous proposition than was previously thought. According to the study, some 13 percent of women, or about 550,000, suffer serious bleeding, infections, blood clots and other serious complications each year.
That puts complication rates during childbirth at about the same rate as complications following heart surgery.
And the rates of those injuries vary from hospital to hospital. The study found that 23 percent of women who delivered vaginally experienced complications in the lowest performing hospitals, while the rate was only 10.4 percent in the highest-performing ones.
But, just how do you know which hospitals have high complication rates and is there a way to avoid hospitals where injuries to mothers and infants are high? Read the rest »
A new scientific review is claiming that women who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) while pregnant may have a greater risk of pregnancy complications. Those complications can include birth defects, miscarriage, and pre-term birth, as well as more long-term problems such as autism.
While some in the mental health field have panned the study, saying it overstates the risks and understates the benefits of SSRI use during pregnancy, the review’s co-author thinks that there is “substantial” evidence that antidepressants can increase the risk of birth complications. Read the rest »
1 in 4 women is infected with potentially dangerous Group B Strep (GBS) while they are pregnant, yet many aren’t aware they are infected or never even hear of this common infection until it is too late for their unborn baby. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading cause of mental retardation and hearing loss in newborns (even more than Downs Syndrome), yet only 14% of pregnant women are aware it exists. As a result, many avoidable or treatable infections contracted during pregnancy are causing miscarriages, life-long handicaps, stillbirths, premature births, and life-threatening illnesses in babies.
Prenatal Infection Prevention Month is designed to inform pregnant women in Florida and throughout the United States that there are many common and potentially dangerous infections that they may be passing to their unborn children — infections that may be going undiagnosed because their doctors simply haven’t tested for them. The complaint that doctors have failed to inform their patients of how to avoid infections in the first place is all too common. In some cases, even when tests have been performed, false-negatives have resulted in devastating results for unborn children. Read the rest »