Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

It's a Boy for Rachel Zoe [People]

Wearable Ultrasound Would Let Moms Watch Their Fetus 24/7 [Jezebel]

4 Easy Kale Recipes for Pregnancy [Babble]

Eli Manning & Wife Welcome Daughter Ava Frances! [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Why some children are harmed by mother's alcohol, but others aren't [Machines Like Us]

'Junk Food' Moms Have 'Junk Food' Babies [ScienceDaily]

The Heart Benefits of Fish May Outweigh the Mercury Risks [Time]

When It Comes To Certain Allergies, Birth Order Matters [Medical News Today]

Top 50 Etsy Baby Shops [Babble]

Getting Pregnant after Giving Birth

Many women assume that they are unable to get pregnant directly after giving birth, especially if they are breastfeeding. Although breastfeeding generally suppresses ovulation, a new report in Obstetrics and Gynecology reminds new mothers to start using some form of contraception as soon as three weeks postpartum.

The authors acknowledge that it’s unlikely to conceive while breastfeeding and even women who aren’t breastfeeding don’t typically begin ovulating until six weeks after delivery. However, they stress that it is still possible. In some studies reviewed in the journal, women began ovulating again 45-94 days after giving birth. Two other studies found women ovulating as early as 25 and 27 days after giving birth. Although, the studies also revealed that the first ovulatory cycles were unlikely to result in pregnancy. 

The report is mostly directed at women who are not exclusively breastfeeding their babies. Nursing mothers are not advised to use common forms of hormonal birth control because the estrogen could affect their baby’s growth. For women who are not frequently breastfeeding, the World Health Organization recommends using hormonal contraceptives as early as six weeks after giving birth.

The real purpose of the review was to make sure that women and their doctors are making plans for their future fertility, even when contraception may be the last thing on a new mother’s mind.

Do you have plans for contraception after you give birth?

Pregnancy possible soon after giving birth [WHTC]

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Financial Debate in Texas over NICU puts Early Birth in the Spotlight

Many women choose to give birth a little early whether through an elective C-section or induction. There are many reasons cited for doing it and most babies end up being born healthy. Some babies, however, are being born too early and winding up in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It's these babies that Texas legislators are targeting in an effort to cut costs as they face a budget deficit.

On the surface, the debate looks like a low-blow, but legislators are looking into unusually high preterm birth and C-section rates that are well-known in the United States. Some studies have found that early birth rates are directly correlated with for-profit hospitals and the concern that doctors are pushing more intensive medical procedures to make more money is not new. It costs Medicaid $2,500 for a routine delivery and $45,000 for an NICU stay. Since the decision to put some babies in the NICU can be subjective, doctors looking to make more money can easily be biased in that direction.

Legislators estimate that they could save $36.5 million in Medicaid over the course of two years by better managing the NICU, limiting “convenience” C-sections and refusing to finance elective inductions before 39 weeks.  State health officials say that 137 Medicaid-covered babies experienced complications in 2009 that were born through elective inductions.

Many hospital workers don’t agree with legislators on the cause of so many babies filling Texas NICUs. They point out figures unique to Texas: a high birth rate, few people with health insurance, and limited prenatal care. Plus, the rise of infertility services has increased the number of multiple births and births to older women. Regardless of the cause of increased preterm births, at the end of this debate, legislators could take a step that would limit the choices of mothers on Medicaid.

What do you think of limiting elective cesareans and inductions?

In Search of Cuts, Health Officials Question NICU Overuse [NyTimes]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shortage of Kosher Baby Formula

Hasidic Jewish families are experiencing a shortage of an imported kosher baby formula. Materna imports to the United States from Israel are apparently being restricted and it is one of the few milk-based baby formulas that conform to Hasidic religious laws.

Orthodox Jewish families have a selection of kosher formulas available to them, but Hasidic Jews follow a stricter kosher standard known as cholov yisroel. To meet these standards, the milk is watched by a kosher supervisor from the time it leaves the cow. The only other formula that follows these practices is one made by Similac that is more expensive and only available in powder form.

Materna made a statement regarding the shortage and said they are “working around the clock to resolve this,” an issue which they say is out of their hands. Mystery surrounds the actual cause of the shortage, but store owners are being told by suppliers that it will return to the shelves after Passover.

Do you use kosher formula?

Baby Formula in Short Supply [Wall Street Journal]

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy Links

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt & Kids Shop In New Orleans [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Keep baby facing rear in car seat longer: AAP [Daily Herald]

5 Ways My Day Was Made Better Just By Being Pregnant [Babble]

Children With More Severe Eczema Less Likely To Outgrow Milk, Egg Allergy [Medical News Today]

Nine Months of Rachel Zoe's Pregnancy Style [FabSugar]

Beer While Breastfeeding? These Moms Think It's OK [The Stir]

LPGA great, Annika Sorenstam, gives birth to premature son [The imperfect parent]

Tokyo tap water not safe for infants [Telegraph]

Maya Rudolph Has An ‘Equal Opportunity Womb’ [People]