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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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Survey: Moms don’t want flowers and cards on Mother’s Day

A recent MyTime.com survey found that moms want different gifts than what they get.

While 52% of men give flowers or cards on Mother’s Day, only 16% want those gifts. Most prefer something creative involving family photos (23%), a gift certificate for a massage or facial (21%) or a gift certificate for a salon gift (17%).

MyTime, which sells instant gift certificates for those most-wanted items on mom’s list, discovered through its survey that most (73%) of the moms among the 1,000 survey participants expected to go out to eat and do something other than what they normally do on any other day.

This special something can include a trip out of town (23%), getting pampered at a spa (20%), a day off from chores (15%) or a visit to a salon (13%).

It’s not too late to get one of these preferred items if you haven’t picked up a gift for mom yet. The survey also showed that  42% of men will make plans either a few days before Mother’s Day or will wait until the day itself.  Meanwhile, 6% of men admit that in the past they have forgotten Mother’s Day altogether. doh!

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Study: White and Hispanic Women are happier during pregnancy; Black Women Not

 A new study suggests that Black women of all socioeconomic backgrounds are least likely to be happy about being pregnant, while White and Hispanic women are.  

Hamilton College economics professors Stephen Wu and Paul Hagstron analyzed Centers for Disease Control‘s Behaviorial Risk Factor Surveillance System data of more than 300,000 women between 2005 and 2009.  The survey asked participants if they were pregnant at the time and if so, if they were happy.
Both white and Hispanic women reported boosts in happiness during pregnancy, while the black women did not. This was the case for low, middle and upper income black women. 
 “Something about being a child of color, or having to raise a child of color, increases the risk” of not being as happy, director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality at Columbia University Alondra Nelson (who wasn’t involved in the study) told Time magazine.
Wu hypothesized the reason for the discrepancy may have to do with the fact that black women lack social and emotional support when pregnant. 
“Both white and Hispanic women reported enjoying more attention and help from their family and community while expecting, while black women actually reported receiving less support,” the Time piece noted.
The reason for the conclusion perhaps is that black women who were married and living with their spouse or partner at the time reported being more happier than those not. 
Finally, Nelson also pointed to “sociological data which suggest that black children, especially black males, are at higher risk than those of other races – of being victims of crime, of being incarcerated, of being discriminated, and of living potentially unhappy lives.”
She added, “that may be a reason to have a more tempered response to raising a black child in this environment.” 
Interesting. What are your thoughts?

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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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Study: Eating junkfood during pregnancy risks pre-term birth

A new study on diet and pregnancy suggests that what you eat when you are expecting is as important as what you don’t.
Women who ate plenty of fruits and vegetables and who tried to drink water instead of soft drinks were less likely to have premature babies than women who ate more “Western” diets, a big study in Norway has shown.
It wasn’t that women who ate pizza, tacos and sweets were more likely than average to have premature babies, the researchers found. It was that healthier eating lowered the risk by about 15 percent.
Dr Linda Englund-Ögge of Sweden’s Sahlgrenska Academy and colleagues studied a big database of 66,000 Norwegian women who are taking part in a larger study. One of the things they did was fill out a food diary while pregnant.
Englund-Ogge’s team classified their diets into three broad types: a “prudent” diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and not too much junk food; a “traditional” Nordic diet with boiled potatoes, fish and gravy; and a more typical modern “Western” diet with processed white flour, sweets and snacks.
“Our results indicate that increasing the intake of foods associated with a prudent dietary pattern is more important than totally excluding processed food, fast food, junk food, and snacks,” they wrote in their report, published in the British Medical Journal.
It makes sense, says Dr. Walter Willett, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health who was not involved in the study. “It does fit with what we have learned about diet and pregnancy,” he told NBC News.

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Report: Doctors cured a Second HIV Baby

A second baby born with the AIDS virus may have had her infection put into remission and possibly cured by very early treatment — in this instance, four hours after birth.
Doctors revealed the case Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Boston. The girl was born in suburban Los Angeles last April, a month after researchers announced the first case from Mississippi.
That case was a medical first that led doctors worldwide to rethink how fast and hard to treat infants born with HIV. The California doctors followed that example.
The Mississippi baby is now 3 1/2 and seems HIV-free despite no treatment for about two years. The Los Angeles baby is still getting AIDS medicines, so the status of her infection is not as clear.
A host of sophisticated tests at multiple times suggest the LA baby has completely cleared the virus, said Dr. Deborah Persaud, a Johns Hopkins University physician who led the testing. The baby’s signs are different from what doctors see in patients whose infections are merely suppressed by successful treatment, she said.
“We don’t know if the baby is in remission … but it looks like that,” said Dr. Yvonne Bryson, an infectious disease specialist at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA who consulted on the girl’s care.
Doctors are cautious about suggesting she has been cured, “but that’s obviously our hope,” Bryson said.
Most HIV-infected moms in the U.S. get AIDS medicines during pregnancy, which greatly cuts the chances they will pass the virus to their babies. The Mississippi baby’s mom received no prenatal care and her HIV was discovered during labor. So doctors knew that infant was at high risk and started her on treatment 30 hours after birth, even before tests could determine whether she was infected.
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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.
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Study: Post-Delivery Women still at leg blood clot risk

Women have a higher risk of blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks and other problems for 12 weeks after childbirth — twice as long as doctors have thought, new research finds.
Strokes are still fairly rare right after pregnancy but devastating when they do occur and fatal about 10 percent of the time, according to Dr. Hooman Kamel, a neurology specialist at New York’s Weill Cornell Medical College. Blood clots in the legs usually just cause pain but can be fatal if they travel to the lungs.
Kamel led the new study, which was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at an American Heart Association stroke conference in San Diego on Thursday.
Pregnant women are more prone to blood clots because blood components to prevent excessive bleeding during labor naturally increase, and blood from the legs has more trouble traveling to the heart.
“Sometimes there’s the notion that once they deliver they don’t have to worry about these things,” but risk persists for some time after the birth, said Dr. Andrew Stemer, a Georgetown University neurologist.
Doctors now sometimes give low-dose blood thinners to certain women at higher risk of blood clots for six weeks after delivery. The new study suggests risk lasts longer than that.
It involved nearly 1.7 million California women giving birth to their first child. Over the next year and a half, 1,015 of them developed clots — 248 had strokes, 47 had heart attacks and 720 had clots in the legs or lungs.
The risk of one of these problems was about 11 times greater during the first six weeks after delivery and more than two times greater during weeks seven to 12. After that, it fell to level seen in women who had not had a baby.
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image: The Mother Baby Center
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Survey: Men and Women are Clueless about Valentine’s Day Plans

When it comes to Valentine’s Day Gift shopping, Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus.
That was the conclusion of a survey by Wist personalized food and drink recommendations mobile app which discovered that  men and women largely misunderstand the romantic preferences of each other on Valentine’s Day. An interesting conclusion found was that neither gender is ready for Valentine’s Day with only a few days left, though of those surveyed men (66%) compared to women (42%) have even made plans yet.
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  • While women prefer an “out-of-town trip” (25%) or a “romantic home-cooked meal” (24%) as their top two Valentine’s Day activities, men are most commonly planning “dinner at a fun and casual restaurant” (23%) or “dinner at a fancy and elegant restaurant” (15%) for the romantic holiday.
  • While 55% of men prefer to go out to dinner, only 12% of women who plan Valentine’s Day activities intend to go out to dinner with their men.
  • Unlike a Hollywood movie scene, both men (56%) and women (59%) prefer a “fun and casual” Valentine’s Day spot to a “fancy and elegant” venue.
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  • Both men (43%) and women (46%) prefer “something creative that requires thought or time” as their top Valentine’s Day gift.
  • Among traditional gifts, women overwhelmingly prefer to receive jewelry (39%), but most men (34%) will give flowers.
  • For traditional gifts, men much preferred to receive “something sexy” (32%), but most women (36%) will give their man a card.


  • With only a few days left until Valentine’s Day, 66 percent of women and 42 percent of men haven’t made plans yet about what to do on Feb. 14.
  • Likewise, with only a few shopping days left, 44 percent of women and 32 percent of men haven’t yet decided what gift to give their significant other.
Yikes! Let’s get it together peeps. You’ve got a few more days! Hop to it!

In part two to this post later today, we’ll offer suggestions based on an analysis of thousands of restaurant and bar recommendations processed by the team at WIST app to get you started!

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Pregnancy, Birth Control Pills & Stroke linked

Taking birth control pills can influence a woman’s risk of stroke. So can migraines and menopause.

Even though women die of stroke at a greater rate than men – it’s their third leading cause of death, compared to men’s fifth – many aren’t aware they have a unique set of risk factors.

“If you are a woman, you share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but your risk is also influenced by hormones, reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth and other sex-related factors,” said Dr. Cheryl Bushnell, author of a new statement published in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.

The statement, issued Thursday by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, lays out for the first time a set of stroke prevention guidelines for doctors and their female patients.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are stroke risk factors for both women and men. But other risk factors including migraine with aura, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, depression and emotional stress are more common in women.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/women-stroke-risk-factors-pregnancy-migraines-article-1.1606130#ixzz2sfoiyN43

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