Welcoming a new baby into your home should be one of the most exciting days of your life. Despite taking your vitamins, visiting your doctor and doing everything you can to prepare for childbirth, your body may determine that the baby wants to come early.
In 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study saying that a cesarean section rate of 10 to 15 percent may be too low. Although the World Health Organization advocates for this rate, research suggests that the optimal level may be closer to 19 percent. This was determined by analyzing 23 million C-sections that took place in 54 different countries during 2012.
Some pregnant women in Maryland opt for a home birth assisted by a midwife rather than a hospital birth. According to a new study, home births are just as safe as hospital births when the pregnancies are uncomplicated and low-risk. The study, led by a doctor from the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University in Canada, was conducted by analyzing data from thousands of home and hospital births in Ontario.
Expectant mothers in Maryland should be aware of a curious statistical anomaly relating directly to their health as they prepare to give birth. Experts and researchers have directed much speculation at this problem, and a British study has found that it is somewhat more dangerous to both the mother and the child if the hospital birth takes place on a weekend rather that during the wek.
As Maryland parents likely know, the amount of oxygen a baby receives before and during the birthing process and after birth is important. Low levels of oxygen might cause significant difficulties for the baby and result in multi-organ problems. There are ways to recognize perinatal asphyxia as birth progresses and increase oxygen saturation to both the mother and the child.
Electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) first appeared in hospitals in the 1970s, and by the early '1980s, close to 50 percent of births were managed with the technology. Before its use, physicians and midwives in Maryland and elsewhere depended on the intermittent use of fetoscopes, an adaptation of the more commonly used stethoscope, to check on the status of unborn children during the perinatal period. With only occasional checks, some incidents of fetal distress went unnoticed during stretches of labor, and a few of the infants suffered brain damage and subsequently conditions such as cerebral palsy.
Death during childbirth is unusually common in the United States compared to the rate in other developed nations, making it a serious concern for expectant Maryland mothers. Once common, the problem declined greatly in the 20th century thanks to advances in modern medicine. In the last 25 years, however, the number has been rising in the United States.
A European study looked at inducing labor for babies that pre-birth had been determined to be large. The study, which may interest Maryland readers, looked at the possibility of inducing labor in order to reduce the occurrences of shoulder dystocia. This birthing complication happens when the head of the baby has progressed down the birth canal but one or both of the shoulders get stuck behind the mother's pelvic bone. Shoulder dystocia is a complication in 1 percent of normal-weight births but has a 10 percent occurrence in larger babies.
New parents living in Maryland may not know that on Jan. 14, an Oregon couple filed a $36 million medical malpractice lawsuit against a Portland hospital system, claiming a botched water birth caused their son's cerebral palsy. The boy was born in December 2011.