Tag Archive for 'hospital'

New Research Supports Later Umbilical Cord Clamping

New research on newborns suggests something we probably should have suspected all along, delay cutting the umbilical cord. Recent research reported in the March 21st 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that delaying cutting the once life-giving cord by at least two minutes results in better blood counts and improved iron levels for a baby. Current rule of thumb is to clamp the cord immediately after birth or wait thirty seconds and clamp.

There are some objections to these studies, claiming not enough evidence is presented and more studies are needed before clinical changes are widely recommended. However, the evidence is significant enough to warrant attention and maybe change the status quo from early to late clamping for many physicians.

There appears to be an absence of formal guidelines for most health-care practitioners. In the developed world most physicians cut the cord immediately after birth to facilitate the bonding between the mother and her newborn and to avoid possible respiratory problems. However in the developing world the timing is more variable with a greater tendency towards late clamping to counter the greater risk in anemia in those regions.

There is also the question of banking umbilical cord blood as it can be quite costly. Some parents choose to bank the stem cells provided in the umbilical cord as they can be a match for the baby later in life should the need arise. However, only half the time is there even enough blood in the umbilical cord to allow for the banking.

One study showed that delayed clamping lowered the risk of hemorrhage and the need for a blood transfusion. Some studies have found that even a slight delay in the cord clamping was very beneficial for preterm infants. Late clamping overall improved the blood count as well as the iron status of the babies and reduced the risk of anemia. The only negative effect was too many red blood cells, a condition medically termed polycythermia. However this condition was only temporary.

Although the evidence for later term clamping of the umbilical cord needs more studies to be more conclusive, I believe that delayed clamping will be the trend of the future, particularly for preterm babies who are more at risk for anemia and blood transfusions. This is definitely a subject I would bring up with my physician or mid-wife if I was expecting and I would incorporate into my birth plan, particularly in the event my infant was born preterm. After all, it does seem logical and common sense to delay cutting the cord as it does not appear to pose any harm to the infant and can only help the child that needs those additional red blood cells to prevent anemia and other related health issues.

Santa Brings New Borns To Hospital In Christmas Stockings!

For those of you who thought it was the stork who brought babies to their mothers, you are mistaken. It’s actaully Santa and he puts them in a Christmas stocking for you!

Saint Luke’s Hospital in Missouri likes to get the Christmas babies dressed up each and place them in the stocking for the parents. It’s cute, fun and the babies look like they enjoy being snuggled up in a stocking.

Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Baby Arrives!

Congratulations to Beyonce and Jay-Z who welcomed a baby girl late Saturday night at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

According to the New York Daily News, Beyonce checked into the Manhattan hospital Friday night under the name “Ingrid Jackson.” The superstar couple’s infant daughter was named Blue Ivy Carter and arrived via Caesarean Section with rapper husband Jay-Z at his wife’s side.

Jay-Z took every precaution to ensure the safety and comfort of his newborn daughter by spending $1.3 million to rent out and entire fourth floor of the hospital. Hallways were cleared for the musicians and waiting rooms were closely guarded by their bodyguards. Reportedly the hospital staff was asked to turn off their phones and security cameras were covered with tape.

Beyonce’s sister, proud aunt Solange, announced the arrival of her new niece on Twitter yesterday.

“The most beautiful girl in the world.”

Beyonce had announced her pregnancy onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards last August.

The Houston Chronicle reports that mom and baby are both doing well.

Disney enters maternity wards

From Kristen Gerencher’s, Health Matters

As if there aren’t enough people coming in and out of your hospital room in the hours and days after you’ve just given birth, add one more from the corporate world this time. The New York Times has a story on how the Walt Disney Co. is sending representatives into more than 550 hospital maternity wards through May to hand-deliver a free Disney Cuddly Bodysuit, a kind of Onesie, to new mothers in connection with a photo company that offers bedside pictures. In a bid to extend its brand and enter the lucrative newborn market, Disney is apparently asking new moms to sign up for email alerts from its new baby-product venture as well.

It’s hard to turn down free things, and some moms may like the bodysuits and appreciate the email offers that arrive after they sign up for the alerts. But there is something creepy about making such a sales pitch to customers who are first and foremost patients. They’re trying to heal from wounds sustained in childbirth and at the same time negotiate a constant stream of visits from relatives, nurses and a host of specialists that attend to them and their newborns at regular intervals. Allow me to state the obvious: They’re also learning to breastfeed in many cases — some for the first time — and that is often a sensitive time. Most new moms are sleep-deprived and yet filled with the adrenaline rush that comes from having a baby. In other words, they’re often too overwhelmed to be their own best advocates.

I only speak for myself, but if a Disney rep would have arrived shortly after my daughter’s birth, both Disney and the hospital would have gotten an earful: Disney for arriving uninvited and the hospital for failing to protect my privacy, not to mention my time. There are plenty of opportunities to grab new moms’ attention and discretionary income after they leave the hospital. Dropping by while they’re still being cocooned and when their babies’ umbilical cords are still freshly severed doesn’t sound like a winning strategy to

Pregnancy-related deaths rise in the U.S. — But still rare for a woman to die from birth complications

By Amy Norton of Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – While it remains rare for a woman in the U.S. to die from pregnancy complications, the national rate of pregnancy-related deaths appears to be on the upswing, a new government study finds.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that between 1998 and 2005, the rate of pregnancy-related deaths was 14.5 per 100,000 live births. And while that rate is low, it is higher than what has been seen in the past few decades.

The researchers caution that the extent to which the rise reflects a true elevation in women’s risk of dying is unclear. Recent changes in how causes of death are officially reported by states to the federal government may be at least partially responsible for the findings.

However, it is also possible that part of the increase is “real.” According to the new data, deaths from chronic medical conditions that are exacerbated by pregnancy, including heart disease, appear to account for a growing number of pregnancy-related deaths.

In contrast, deaths from actual obstetric complications — namely, hemorrhaging and pregnancy-related high blood pressure disorders — are declining.

The absolute risk of a U.S. woman dying from pregnancy-related problems is still “very small,” lead researcher Dr. Cynthia J. Berg, of the CDC’s division of reproductive health, said in an interview.

But, she added, the new findings do underscore the importance of women “making sure they are in the best possible health before pregnancy.”

All women, Berg said, should try to have a pre-pregnancy visit with their ob-gyn and, if needed, get their weight and any chronic medical conditions, like high blood pressure or diabetes, under control before becoming pregnant.

For their study, Berg and her colleagues looked at data on 4,693 pregnancy-related deaths reported to the CDC between 1998 and 2005. Pregnancy-related death was any death occurring during or within one year of pregnancy that was attributed to a pregnancy complication.

The researchers estimate that for that eight-year period, the national rate of pregnancy-related death was 14.5 for every 100,000 live births.

In contrast, in 1979, there were just under 11 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the U.S. — a rate that fell to as far as 7.4 per 100,000 in 1986, before beginning a gradual increase.

In addition, the racial gap that has long been seen in pregnancy-related deaths shows no signs of narrowing. Between 1998 and 2005, the death rate among black women was 37.5 per 100,000 live births, versus 10.2 per 100,000 among white women and 13.4 per 100,000 for all other racial groups combined.

The reasons for the upward trend in the overall rate of pregnancy-related deaths are not certain, and more studies are needed to tease apart the contributing factors, Berg said.

One factor, according to the researchers, could be two technical changes in how causes of death are officially reported. In 1999, the U.S. adopted an updated system for coding causes of death — one that allowed more deaths to be classified as “maternal.”
Then in 2003, the standard death certificate was revised to include a “pregnancy checkbox,” which increased the number of deaths that could be linked, in timing, to pregnancy.

However, recent years have seen not only a change in the rate of pregnancy-related deaths, but in the specific causes.

Berg explained that the proportion of deaths from “direct causes” — obstetrical complications like hemorrhaging — is going down, while the proportion attributed to indirect causes — that is, medical conditions worsened by pregnancy — is increasing.

Hemorrhaging, for example, accounted for just under 30 percent of pregnancy-related deaths between 1987 and 1990, but only 12 percent between 1998 and 2005. High blood pressure disorders (mainly pre-eclampsia and eclampsia) also accounted for about 12 percent of deaths in 1998-2005 — down from around 18 percent in 1987-1990.

On the other hand, there was a sharp increase in the proportion of deaths attributed to heart problems. In the most recent time period, just over 12 percent of pregnancy-related deaths were attributed to “cardiovascular conditions,” while just under 12 percent were attributed to cardiomyopathy, an enlargement of the heart.

In 1987-1990, only about five percent of deaths were linked to cardiomyopathy, and a smaller percentage to cardiovascular conditions.

This study cannot weed out the precise reasons for these patterns. But Berg pointed out that “our population is changing.”

More women of childbearing age today are obese or have chronic health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes than in years past. So that could help explain the shifting pattern in the causes of pregnancy-related deaths, according to Berg.

The bottom line for women, she said, is that while the odds of dying from pregnancy-related problems remains quite low, it is important to go into pregnancy in the best possible health.

The CDC has information on pre-pregnancy health.

SOURCE: http://link.reuters.com/vah38q Obstetrics & Gynecology, December 2010.

All Pregnant Women Should Get Flu Shot, Say OB-Gyns

This from Frederik Joelving of Reuters Health

Despite landing in the hospital more often if they catch the flu, no more than a quarter of pregnant women in the U.S. get vaccinated against it.

That’s according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which has issued a recommendation urging all pregnant women to get the flu shot.

While the recommendation itself isn’t new, the statement, published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, adds evidence on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, said Dr. William M. Callaghan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

He said the CDC and several medical associations back the statement, which notes that the shot not only protects the woman, but also her baby.

Flu vaccines aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration for infants younger than six months of age, but babies can get the protective antibodies naturally through breast milk if their mother got the vaccine.

While some flu vaccines contain the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, a study out last week found the compound did not increase the risk of autism, as some have worried. (See Reuters Health story of September 13)

The statement does not recommend against vaccines containing preservative, but notes that thimerosal-free alternatives are available.

It adds that there have been no reports of side effects in pregnant women or their babies, but that women should only get the inactivated vaccine.

Last week, the CDC asked healthcare providers to encourage pregnant women to get flu shots.

This could have a large impact on women’s decision-making, according to data from 2006 and 2007 surveys of pregnant women in Georgia and Rhode Island.

The findings, also published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, show less than one in five women in Georgia had been vaccinated against the seasonal flu. Many of those who hadn’t, said their doctors had never broached the topic.

By contrast, nearly a third of women in Rhode Island had been vaccinated, with encouragement from a healthcare provider increasing the chances more than 50 times.

In its letter to physicians, the CDC said pregnant women were more susceptible to severe illness caused by flu, and accounted for one in 20 deaths from H1N1 influenza (swine flu) in 2009. By comparison, only one in 100 was pregnant in the population.

“We know for certain that there are changes in the immune system that allow the pregnancy to continue,” Callaghan told Reuters Health. “Perhaps the downside is that they also allow the virus to persist.”

The U.S. flu season starts in October and lasts through May.

Source : Obstetrics & Gynecology Journal

Hospital Nursing Gowns

When your contractions quicken and you grab your pre-packed bag and dash off to the hospital, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not the one size fits all hospital gown will be flattering, or at the very least, comfortable. When giving birth, you want to feel as comfortable as possible and not worry about any of the little things, such as whether or not your gown is covering you properly. One way to alleviate this stress is to bring your own hospital gown with you. This way, you are guaranteed comfort, style, and peace of mind on this incredible day. Two well-known maternity fashion designers, 1 in the Oven and Dear Johnnies, have created comfortable yet fashionable hospital gowns which are sure to make the birth of your child just a little bit easier.

1 in the Oven designs hospital gowns which encompass the most important factors for a comfortable birth, ease and practicality, while maintaining a fashionable and flattering look. One important feature of their gowns is the fabric, something which one should always consider when looking for a gown. Made of 100% cotton, they are incredibly soft. The light-weight fabric makes them easy to move in and ensures that you will not feel bogged down and uncomfortable. With no tags and such soft fabric, your comfort is guaranteed. Having a nursing gown with accessible nursing access is very important, and 1 in the Oven’s designs meet that requirement. Hidden slits in the front provide easy and discreet nursing access, ensuring that nursing your baby will be comfortable and hassle free. Covered by gentle pleats which also serve to create a figure flattering shape, the discreet nursing access is both practical and comfortable. Aside from the high level of comfort which these nursing gowns provide, they also are fashionable and flattering. With a scoop neck and hitting just above the knees, they create a breezy and easy cute look. Whether you choose the long or short sleeve option, you are sure to feel at ease when giving birth.

Dear Johnnies is another brand which exclusively designs hospital gowns. This focus on one item has paid off, as their gowns are practical yet incredibly fashionable. Designed by a mother of three, Dear Johnnies hospital gowns meet all of a new mother’s needs. They ensure that you will be comfortable and at ease while looking and feeling great. Made of 100% lightweight cotton, they are easy to move around in. These gowns are perfect for labor and after, and can be worn around the home as a nightgown in the weeks following your birth. Shoulders snap down for easy nursing access and provide easy medical access, something doctors will appreciate. Snaps down the back, decorated with beautiful ribbon, ensure that you will be completely covered and you will not have to worry about accidentally baring your backside, as is often the case with the standard hospital gowns. Aside from the comfort which these gowns offer, Dear Johnnies are incredibly fashionable. One of their most popular features is the cute patterns which the gowns come in. From pale yellow polka dots to a bright lime green mosaic design, there is a pattern for every woman. These designs, aside from being cute and trendy, brighten up the hospital room. In photos, you will feel confident and beautiful! Whatever design you choose, Dear Johnnies are comfortable, practical, and incredibly stylish.

Whichever hospital gown you end up choosing, make sure you purchase the correct size. If you are ordering online and are unsure about the sizing, contact the store to find out how the sizing is done. One thing to keep in mind is that you want to be comfortable and not be constrained. With this in mind, if you are choosing between two sizes, buy the larger size. A bit of extra fabric will simply add to your comfort and ensure that you do not feel constricted. Overall, bringing your own hospital gown and erase some of the anxiety on this exciting day and will ensure that you are comfortable and feel great while at the hospital.

What To Take To The Hospital When Having A Baby

The last thing you want to worry about when you go into labor, is trying to figure out what items you need to put in your hospital bag and trying to hunt them down before dashing to the hospital. Ideally you should have your hospital bag packed and waiting by the door by at least 2 weeks before your due date. That way, when the time is right, you can grab your bag and go without any last minute delays or worries.It is useful to have 2 bags for yourself: one for labor and one for your hospital stay afterwards including your baby item essentials. It is also helpful to have your labor partner pack a bag in advance for themselves and some helpful labor items.

Labor Bag for you:
- Your Birth Plan, if you have one.
- Maternity Bathrobe. This is particularly useful for early stages of labor as you may need to walk around the hospital to progress labor. After the baby you will also need some sort of cover up to a nightgown, particularly if it’s the hospital excuse for a nightgown, when you need to walk the corridors.
- Slippers and socks
- A clean nursing top or front-opening nursing nightgown if you prefer to bring your own
- Drinks and snacks and breath mints
- A straw, which will make sipping liquids easier.
- Toiletries (hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial cream)
- Lip moisturizer
- Massage oils or lotions
- Eyeglasses (if needed)
- Cell phone and list of important numbers
- Magazines, music, word puzzles. Fun light reading to pass the time. Don’t bring heavy involved reading or work from the office! You are looking for fun and mindless distraction to pass the time. Remember, you will be productive enough in a few hours to make up for any unproductive activities during your labor waiting period!
- Maternity pads (nighttime sanitary pads), and spare maternity underwear.
- Nursing bras. If you plan to wear a bra during labor, it is helpful to have a nursing bra on already if you plan to nurse your baby. Usually you will be allowed to nurse right away after birth. Make sure you wear a very comfortable fitting nursing bra, not one with underwires.

For Labor Partner:
- Watch with a second hand to time contractions
- Camera/video camera if you want it and film/tape if needed
- Snacks, reading material
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste..)
- Change of clothes, particularly if they will be staying with you at the hospital for several days after the baby.
- Cell phone/phone card
- List of important numbers
- Dollar Bills for vending machine
- Water Spray/Mister for gentle cool-downs during labor.
- Tennis balls for back massage

Hospital Bag for your Postpartum Use:
- Front opening nursing nightie
- Comfy clothes to wear for leaving the hospital. Remember you are not going to be able to wear non-maternity clothes a few days after having your baby! So bring comfortable maternity clothing or transitional clothing. Also, if you have a C-section, the last thing you will want is any pressure on your tummy. A comfortable cotton elastic waistband that fits below the belly or that is designed to fold down bellow the belly for comfort is best.
- Easy fitting footwear
- Change of underwear and maternity pads for heavy bleeding after birth
- Nursing Bras (at least 2). Make sure these are easy fitting nursing bras that do not have underwire. Wear a nursing bra with plenty of room and stretch as you breasts may increase up to a cup in size when you milk comes in.
- Personal music player and headphones
- Magazines and easy reading material. You will be too tired for any heavy reading!

Hospital Bag for Baby:
Last but certainly not least you will want to pack a few things for the new baby:
-Properly installed infant car seat. This is a must if you want to take your baby home with you! Make sure you have your car seat professionally installed several weeks before you go to the hospital. Any fire station can install your car seat for you. An alarming number of car seats are not properly installed by parents.
- Newborn diapers
- Infant hat
- Receiving blankets
- Newborn sleeper or outfits
- Socks/booties

If you have all of these essentials ready to go in advance, you can have peace of mind that you are well prepared when the time comes to have your baby!