infants

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.

Robert Freiberger / Creative Commons

A panel of early care and education providers met on Wednesday in New Haven to discuss infant mental health with Congresswoman Rosa Delauro, who sits on the Congressional Baby Caucus.

Infant mental health focuses on the ways parents and caregivers can nurture the social and emotional development of children from birth to age three, a key time of brain development. 

Ep Huj / Flickr

Massachusetts doctors have seen an increase in the number of pregnant women addicted to opiates. Dr. Rachana Singh from Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield has said the number of babies withdrawing from opioids in their NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) has tripled since 2012. 

Health officials in Illinois are trying to find the source of a measles infection, after five babies were diagnosed with the contagious respiratory disease in a Chicago suburb. Saying that more cases are likely, a health official warns, "The cat is out of the bag."

Because the Illinois patients are all under a year old, they can't be vaccinated. The new cluster of cases joins more than 100 other reports of measles in 14 states this year; most of them have been traced to an outbreak at Disneyland in California in December.

Paul Goyette / Creative Commons

There were 124 child fatalities in Connecticut between 2005 and 2014.  The state Department of Children and Families studied the cases and is now implementing a new strategy to identify and support at-risk families. 

DCF's study found that the most common cause of death was from Sudden Infant Death syndrome, or SIDS.

Susan Smith, DCF's Chief of Quality and Planning, said 34 percent of the child fatalities were attributed to SIDS when combined with unsafe sleep.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The recent discovery of a dead newborn in trash can in East Hartford has restarted a conversation about the state's Safe Haven law. It allows parents in distress who are unable to care for their infants to leave them at a hospital emergency room. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A state lawmaker is calling for renewed focus on a law that lets distressed parents of newborns leave them in the state's care. The new push comes after recent news that a baby was found dead in an East Hartford trash can. 

George Ruiz / Flickr

The city of Hartford and two hospitals jointly fund a program to check in on new mothers and their infants in their homes. The goal is to reduce infant mortality rates. But one of those hospitals has told the city it is pulling out. 

State Issues Alert on Infant Sleep-Related Risks

Apr 7, 2014
vivianejl / Creative Commons

An eight-week-old baby boy slips out of his sleeping grandmother’s arms and suffocates in the folds of a couch. A seven-week-old girl is found dead lying on her stomach in her mother’s bed, where she had been placed to sleep, as a nearby crib sat unused. These are two of 23 infants who died in Connecticut last year of “sudden infant death syndrome,” or undetermined causes. 

Of those cases, 18 were found to have risk factors associated with the sleep environment, including co-sleeping in an adult bed with parents, sleeping with a heavy blanket or pillows, or being placed on their stomachs.

How Not To Name Your Baby

Mar 6, 2014

Six weeks ago today, I gave birth to a baby girl. Like her older sister, she spent the first few days of life without a name.

You see, my husband and I wanted to get our children's names just right, and that meant taking some time to consider the options and get a feel for how well they fit each new baby. But we also happen to be cognitive scientists of an evidence-based persuasion so, for us, it also meant gathering and analyzing some data.

Women with low-risk pregnancies should be allowed to spend more time in labor, to reduce the risk of having an unnecessary C-section, the nation's obstetricians say.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Over 30 percent of women deliver their babies by Caesarean section in the United States, a significant increase over the five percent of women undergoing the surgical procedure in 1970, and a change that, overall, has not improved the health of newborns.

Salim Fadhley / Creative Commons

One out of every three women gives birth by Cesarean-section in the United States today. That's up from one in five women in 1996, and one in 20 women in 1970. In a new book, Cut It Out, Trinity College Professor Theresa Morris calls this an "epidemic." 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Over 30 percent of women deliver their babies by Caesarean section in the United States, a significant increase over the five percent of women undergoing the surgical procedure in 1970, and a change that, overall, has not improved the health of newborns.

Nagobe, Flickr Creative Commons

Home birthing? Doulas? Midwives? Hypnobirthing? Prenatal massage? Today, we’re talking about alternative birthing.

Fifty years ago, it was pretty simple: you went to the hospital, they knocked you out, and you had your baby — while dad smoked a cigar in the waiting room. Or if no hospital was nearby, you gave birth at home and hoped a savvy neighborhood lady could to help out. In later years, the question became home birth versus hospital birth.

Nagobe, Flickr Creative Commons

Home birthing? Doulas? Midwives? Hypnobirthing? Prenatal massage? Today, we’re talking about alternative birthing.

Fifty years ago, it was pretty simple: you went to the hospital, they knocked you out, and you had your baby — while dad smoked a cigar in the waiting room. Or if no hospital was nearby, you gave birth at home and hoped a savvy neighborhood lady could to help out. In later years, the question became home birth versus hospital birth.

New research finds that abnormalities in an infant’s placenta at birth may signal that the baby is at risk for developing autism. This could help families intervene earlier to improve outcomes for autistic kids.

By the time a child is diagnosed with autism, they’re usually at least three or four years old.

But a new study finds that by examining a newborn’s placenta under a microscope, you can predict whether the child is at risk for developing the disorder.

New research finds that abnormalities in an infant’s placenta at birth may signal that the baby is at risk for developing autism. This could help families intervene earlier to improve outcomes for autistic kids.

By the time a child is diagnosed with autism, they’re usually at least three or four years old.

But a new study finds that by examining a newborn’s placenta under a microscope, you can predict whether the child is at risk for developing the disorder.

Does Going 'All Natural' Keep Us Healthier?

Apr 22, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons, daveparker

Two possible meaningful personal stories.

Governor Malloy’s emergency budget cuts will affect early care and education in Connecticut, but they do not reduce additional preschool slots that were part of this year’s school reform package.

Early care and education programs focus on children birth through age 8 and can include child care and preschool services. The Governor made early childhood education a priority during the last legislative session, and included 1000 new preschool slots in low-income communities. 

On Wednesday his administration unveiled $170 million in wide-ranging spending cuts. 

woodleywonderworks

We are all shaped by our genetic inheritance and by the environment we live in. Indeed, the argument about which of these two forces, nature or nurture, predominates has been raging for decades. But what about our very first environment—the prenatal world where we exist for nine months between conception and birth and where we are more vulnerable than at any other point in our lives?