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Fainting and dizziness during pregnancy

According to the American Pregnancy Association, dizziness and fainting are very common during pregnancy as a result of the drastic hormonal and metabolic changes the body goes through during the first trimester (1). These changes can lower the mother’s blood pressure or blood sugar, causing dizziness and faintness. In the second trimester, the mother may…

Spotlight on Prenatal Genetic Testing

According to a recent NPR article, the amount of prenatal genetic testing available to expectant parents has increased enormously over the last decade (1). Furthermore, the genetic testing industry is expected to continue growing by nearly 30% over the five years ahead (1). What are genetic tests used for? Prenatal genetic testing is used to…

Cost-effectiveness of betamethasone therapy for women at risk of delivering a premature baby (between 34 and 36 weeks)

Premature babies often have numerous health problems, and require extensive, costly treatments (1). Their underdeveloped organs and general fragility make them especially susceptible to birth injuries, infections, and other neonatal complications. In the United States, 70% of premature births occur between weeks 34 and 36 of pregnancy, or the “late preterm period” (2) These infants…

Researchers identify pregnancy conditions that increase the risk of neonatal hypoxia

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of newborn brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation during or around the time of birth, has been linked to a variety of pregnancy conditions. Inna Skarga-Bandurova and colleagues in the Ukraine recently published a study on risk factors for chronic fetal hypoxia (i.e. long-term oxygen deprivation). They analyzed data from…

Stillbirths and Medical Malpractice: A Legal “Gap”

Introduction Worldwide, there are about 2.6 million stillbirths each year (1), 24,000 of which occur in the U.S. (2). Our rate of stillbirth is higher than that of many other developed nations. For example, it is more than double the rate in Iceland (3). This regional variation in stillbirths demonstrates that many of these deaths…

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…