Journalists release shocking rates of childbirth complications in hospitals across the U.S.

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country in the world (1). There are myriad reasons for this devastating fact, one of which is that hospitals across the country can be terribly unprepared for maternal emergencies. In a recent USA Today story, journalists examined billing records from seven million births in…

Covering the cost of a NICU stay

When a baby requires care after birth, they will be transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or the NICU. Babies may require a NICU stay if they were born prematurely, had problems during delivery, or experienced complications after birth. The cost of a NICU stay depends on a number of factors including duration, treatments,…

Doulas: Who Are They, and What Do They Do?

New York governor Andrew Cuomo gained attention in April for driving initiatives to combat the horrific maternal mortality rate among black women in his state. A key element of this task force was for Medicaid to cover the use of doulas, or trained birth coaches. What is a doula? Doulas are professional birth coaches who…

How SisterFriends Is Taking On Detroit’s Maternal-Infant Mortality Rate

A recent Detroit Free Press article spoke of the horrifyingly high infant mortality rate among babies born in Detroit. According to the piece, 13 out of every 1,000 babies born in Detroit die before their first birthday. Fortunately, this rate has dropped since the founding of one Detroit organization called SisterFriends Detroit. SisterFriends Detroit is…

What is G6PD Deficiency? How Does It Impact Newborn Babies?

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, or G6PD, is an enzyme in the body that helps protect red blood cells from injury. When an individual suffers from G6PD deficiency, a genetic disease, he or she fails to make an adequate amount of this enzyme, thereby putting red blood cells in danger of cell death (1). While this condition ranges…

Leaking Amniotic Fluid and Birth Injuries

If amniotic fluid begins leaking during pregnancy, this may increase the baby’s risk of experiencing a birth injury. Some women find it difficult to determine if they are really leaking amniotic fluid or another substance (such as urine or vaginal discharge), so it is important to consult a doctor if there is any uncertainty. Read…

Obstetrical Care for Women with Disabilities

“When I found out I was pregnant, I was overjoyed, but also apprehensive,” writes Erin E. Andrews, in an article for the American Psychological Association (1). She goes on to explain: “I am a congenital triple amputee who uses a power wheelchair for mobility. I was less concerned about the effects of my disability, and…

Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are some of the most common infections (1). Although anyone can get a UTI, women are more susceptible because they have shorter urethras, which makes it easier for bacteria to ascend into the bladder. At least 60% of women experience a lower urinary tract infection (involving the urethra and bladder) during…

Pregnancy Vocab 101: Terms Your Doctor’s Using, And What They Mean in Plain English

During their education, doctors learn “medical jargon.” This refers to words and phrases that are useful when communicating with other medical professionals but may be very confusing to patients. The best doctors are careful not to overwhelm their patients with medical jargon, and instead try to use simple language when explaining things (unless the patient…