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Study: More Fetal Deaths linked to Home Births

Earlier this month, actress Thandie Newton announced that she gave birth to her third child at home. She is among the growingnumber of women opting for home births in the United States in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  
A recent study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting on February 7 stated that patients delivered at home by midwives had a roughly four times higher risk of neonatal deaths than babies delivered in the hospital by midwives. The increased neonatal mortality risk is associated with the location of a planned birth, rather than the credentials of the person delivering the baby, the report noted.
Using CDC data of 14 million linked infant birth and neonatal death,  researchers at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center found the absolute risk of neonatal mortality was 3.2/10,000 births in midwife hospital births, and 12.6/10,000 births in midwife home births, and it further increased in first-time mothers to 21.9/10,000 births in midwife home deliveries. Neonatal mortality was defined as neonatal deaths up to 28 days after delivery.
“This risk further increased to about seven-fold if this was the mother’s first pregnancy, and to about ten-fold in pregnancies beyond 41 weeks,” said Amos Grunebaum, M.D.
Grunebaum and co-author Frank Chervenak, M.D. said that obstetric practitioners have an ethical obligation to disclose the increased absolute and relative risks associated with planned home birth to expectant parents who express an interest in this delivery setting, and to recommend strongly against it.
They suggest that hospitals make their policies more welcoming to mid-wives and create more comfortable birthing environments, to eliminate the need for “unnecessary obstetric interventions”, a release about the study stated. 
Interesting. What are your thoughts on this study and the authors suggestion which seemingly implies hospitals should do more to obviate the need for midwives who will assist in a home birth?

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Report: UK moves closer to making it illegal to drink alcohol while pregnant

Campaigners hoping to make it a crime to drink excessively during pregnancy may be a step closer with a landmark case on the issue due to be heard by the Court of Appeal.
If heard, the legal test case will argue that a six-year-old girl who suffered brain damage due to alcohol exposure in the womb is the victim of a crime because her mother was warned of the risks of her drinking.
Figures from the Department of Health show in total around one in 100 babies are now born with alcohol-related disorders.
In the past three years there has been a 50% rise in Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), with 313 babies found to be damaged from being exposed to alcohol in the womb in 2012/13.
Experts believe the numbers could in fact be much higher, with thousands more foetuses damaged.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Raja Mukherjee warned mother-to-be do not have to binge-drink to be at risk.
Continue reading 

Utah Fertility Clinic worker swapped out his own semen in place of clients’ (VIDEO)

This is the type of stuff you’d expect to see in a TV criminal drama like Law and Order  or in a Vince Vaughn movie like Delivery Man, but nope this is real life.
A Utah fertility clinic worker swapped his sperm for those of clients using in vitro fertilization and other methods to conceive a child.
Recently, a woman named Pam Branum and her family thought it would be fun to do genetic testing to trace the family’s lineage. During the process, she discovered that her daughter Annie was fathered with semen from Tom Lippert, a former employee of the Reproductive Medical Technologies clinic at the University of Utah. 

Lippert was a  convicted felon who lied about his criminal past when he applied for a job as a college professor and clinic worker.
Apparently, unbeknownst to the the college, Lippert, clearly a deranged individual, was convicted in 1975 of keeping a woman in a black box for three weeks while using electroshock therapy on her. 

Unfortunately, more answers will be hard to come by because the clinic closed in 1992 and Lippert died a few years later in 1999.
But Branum’s discovery sparked the current investigation.
“I commented on the dozens of baby pictures up there,” Branum told a local TV station. “He smiled and looked at those and said those are all the babies that I’ve helped couples have.”
The university set up a hotline for other families worried about potential tampering.
“I’m kind of glad he’s dead,” Branum said. “It kind of puts that part of it to rest.”
Creepy. *shivers*
Watch a local Utah station’s news account of the story:

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Nun in Italy gives birth to baby boy she didn’t know she was carrying

This week, a nun in Italy gave birth to a baby boy, though the El Salvadoran woman told the doctors at the hospital that she had no idea she was pregnant.
The nun lives in the small city of Rieti and complained to fellow nuns at the convent where she lives that she was having stomach pains this Wednesday, January 15. An ambulance came to pick her up to take her to the hospital where she gave birth a short time later.
“I did not know I was pregnant,” the Ansa news agency quoted  the nun as saying. “I only felt a stomach pain.” 
Rieti’s mayor Simone Petrangeli  asked the public and media to respect the woman’s privacy.
Local pastor Don Fabrizio Borrello told journalists that the nun planned to take care of the baby, who she has named Francis after the current Pope.
Well, we know there’s got to be more to this story. Was the 31-year old woman pregnant before she joined the convent? If not, someone’s got some explaining to do as nuns are supposed to follow a vow of chastity.
Or is this another case of Immaculate Conception? The movie Agnes of God also comes to mind. Sorry God. 🙁

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Texas’ fetus protection law requires brain dead pregnant woman stay on life support

A brain-dead Texas pregnant woman will not be removed from life support against her family’s wishes because of a state law.
After suffering a pulmonary aneurysm last November that ultimately left her brain dead, Marlise Munoz would have been permitted to die naturally per her wishes in an advanced directive. Munoz was and her husband Erick is a paramedic and are therefore well informed about last wishes. 
But the Texas Advance Directives Act states, “a person may not withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment under this subchapter from a pregnant patient.”
Marlise was only 19 weeks pregnant at the time and if the arguments for keeping her alive for the delivery of her baby is a hard one considering that the baby would not have been viable at 19 weeks any way.  Right to life proponents may want to keep her on life support until 24 weeks when the baby would potentially be more viable outside the womb.
But there is no guarantee.  Over the past 30 years, there have been 19 cases of pregnant women kept alive for the sake of the babies they were carrying, but only 2 babies survived. 
“It’s our decision that we didn’t want to live in that condition,” Erick Munoz told The Washington Post  in a telephone interview from his wife’s hospital room.
He added that a doctor pronounced his wife brain-dead but administrators at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas replied that she has not been officially declared brain dead and remains hospitalized with a serious condition. 
“We are following the law of the state of Texas,” hospital spokeswoman J.R. Labbe said. “This is not a difficult decision for us. We are following the law.”
This case hearkens to the 2005 Terri Schiavo case where her family didn’t want her ventilator removed but Schiavo’s husband did and the very recent Jahi McMath case of a brain dead teen whose parents don’t want removed from life support though her parents were permitted to leave the hospital recently.
It’s quite the moral and ethical conundrum. 
What are your thoughts?

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