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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC: Do Not Travel to These 13 Countries if You’re Pregnant

World In Your Hands Concept Map

If you are pregnant or think you may be, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just issued a travel alert warning pregnant women to avoid 13 countries in the Americas currently experiencing outbreak of a mosquito-born virus, Zika, that is in linked to an epidemic of birth defects in Brazil.

In the past few months in Brazil, there has been a report of over 3,500 cases of microcephaly, a rare birth defect, compared to the normal 100-200 cases revealed in that massive South American country each year. Some of the babies have died.

For that reason, the CDC issued a travel alert Friday evening, warning people about the risk and suggesting that pregnant women, in particular, avoid Brazil and twelve other nations in the Americas that have had high cases, according to  the Pan American Health Organization: Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela

The CDC said women who cannot avoid traveling should consult their doctors and take steps to avoid mosquito bites, such as wearing long sleeves and pants. Women thinking of becoming pregnant should also consult their doctors before traveling to outbreak zones.

For the US, only the property of Puerto Rico has had a reported case, its first of Zika in December. The case was diagnosed in someone who had not traveled outside of Puerto Rico, suggesting that Zika is spreading there.

The symptoms of the virus are mild but the link to birth -defect makes it more serious.

Brazil also has reported dozens of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare immune system disorder that can cause temporary paralysis, that appear related to Zika virus.

Yikes! Be careful, TTC moms and moms-to-be!

STUDY: American Women Struggle With Weight While Pregnant

belly of a young pregnant woman holding scales  at home (focus on the scales)

A somewhat-depressing new report found that only a third of pregnant women gained the “appropriate” amount of weight while carrying their progeny, while nearly half (47 percent) put on too much and another 21 percent didn’t gain enough. It’s a veritable Goldilocks situation.

For the study, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from about 3 million birth certificates where a woman carried a single child to term (that’s at least 37 weeks). They pulled the mothers’ height as well as pre-pregnancy and delivery weight to determine how many pounds they gained as well as their body mass index (BMI).

Women who were overweight or obese before getting pregnant were most likely to gain too much weight — 62 and 56 percent of them did, respectively — even though experts say they should gain the least. The guidelines are specific to the mother’s starting weight. Specifically, women with a BMI in the normal range of 18.5 to 24.9 should gain 25 to 35 pounds, overweight women (BMI of 25 to 29.9) are told to put on 15 to 25 pounds, and obese women (BMI of 30 or above) should only gain 11 to 20 pounds. Underweight women (BMI less than 18.5) should gain the most: 28 to 40 pounds.

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Study: US Birth Rate Up, While Teen Birth Rate Down

istock birth rate

Women in the U.S. are having more babies — exactly 3,985,924 last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preliminary data show that birth rates in the U.S. were up by 1 percent last year from 2013. It’s the first increase in seven years.

But teenagers aren’t having as many babies. The birth rate in that group dropped by 9 percent in 2014 compared with 2013. For context, teen births have been on the decline since 1991.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics published the data Wednesday. The findings are based on nearly all births in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Among the findings in the report:

  • The birth rate for Asians rose 6 percent, and 1 percent, respectively, for whites, blacks and Hispanics. The rate of Native American births dropped by 2 percent.
  • The rate of unmarried women who gave birth declined by 1 percent.
  • Women in their 30s and 40s continue to have more children, fueling the rise in the birth rate last year.

One of the authors of the report, Brady Hamilton of the National Center for Health Statistics, says the increase in the number of births overall was somewhat of a surprise.

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STUDY: US moms have children too close together in age

 For U.S. moms, the typical time between pregnancies is about 2 years but nearly a third of women space their children too close, a government study shows.
Experts say mothers should wait at least 18 months to give their body time to recover and increase the chances the next child is full-term and healthy.
The study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 30 percent of women who’d had a child became pregnant again within 18 months. 
“That is actually pretty high and very problematic,” said Heike Thiel de Bocanegra, a reproductive health researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. She was not involved in the new study.
The report is based on 2011 birth certificates from 36 states and the District of Columbia, representing about 83 percent of the nation’s births that year. It was the first such report by the CDC so researchers don’t know if pregnancy spacing has changed over time.
The study found:
-The median time to next pregnancy was 2 years, 5 months. About half fell in the 18 months to 5 year range. About 20 percent had babies more than 5 years apart.
-White women had the shortest spacing – about 2 years, 2 months on average. Black and Hispanic women typically waited 2 years or longer.
-The older the mom was, the longer the spacing between a birth and her next pregnancy.

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CDC: First Baby after 40 Rate in US more than doubled; DC #1, NY #2

A new Centers for Disease Control survey released today shows that the rate of women waiting until their 40s to have their first child has more than doubled in some states, and has increased overall.
Washington, DC was number one on the list of statewide data of women having their first kid between the ages of 40 and 44 with New York second and Massachusetts third. 
The rate of women having their first child after 40 more than doubled from 1990 to 2012, the CDC said. And in 2012, there were more than 9 times as many first births to women 35 and older than 40 years ago.
The data was compiled from U.S. state birth certificates nationwide, taken from the Natality Data File of the National Vital Statistics System. The analysis includes data on all births occurring in the United States, including maternal and infant demographics, and health characteristics for babies born in the country.
There were differences in race as well with Asian American women showing the biggest increase in delayed first time pregnancy. 
The data shows Asian/Pacific Islanders’ rate of first birth in 2012 was almost double that of the next highest group.  
And Black women too have started waiting longer. Among those 40 to 44, increases in first birth rates rose 171 percent among blacks and 130 percent among whites.
A couple of things to realize about this information: 
1. The US population will decrease overall given that delayed pregnancy comes with some fertility complications for some which also means that women will usually have just one to two children when they start so  late. Depending on your world view that may be a good or bad thing. 
2. It also means that the children of those women may be better off given that women who wait until their 40s are usually more financially stable, educated,  mature and have more resources and support to provide a better life for their children, experts say.

Your thoughts?

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