Posts

Group prenatal care: a new trend combats infant mortality

According to a recent Vox article, a South Carolina physician named Amy Crockett changed the way her women’s health clinic was operated in 2008 (1). South Carolina’s horrific infant mortality rates in those years (49th in the nation, second to Mississippi) drove her to try a new approach to prenatal care. Crockett got a grant…

Prenatal vitamins: what’s inside, and why do I need them?

Proper nutrition is vital for the development of the baby. Because the mother is supporting the needs of her baby and herself, she will need more of certain nutrients during pregnancy and lactation. If you are pregnant or hoping to get pregnant, prenatal vitamins are recommended to complement a healthy diet (1). They are similar…

Pregnancy Basics

Pregnancy by trimester Fertilization Fertilization, the union of the egg and the sperm into a single cell called a zygote, occurs in the fallopian tube. During the following days, the single cell divides into more cells and migrates to the uterus, where it implants. After implantation, the fertilized egg is called an embryo, and at…

Management of Lupus in Pregnancy: Birth Injury Prevention

In the 1970s, women with lupus were often advised against becoming pregnant because of associated complications that can make pregnancies with lupus dangerous to both mothers and babies. Today, doctors recognize that with proper medical oversight and careful timing, most women with lupus can have a successful pregnancy (1). However, it is important to note…

Sickle Cell Disease, Pregnancy, and Birth Injuries

Women with sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait (those who are carriers of the gene that causes sickle cell disease) can often have safe and healthy pregnancies, but there are certain risks that are important to know about. If doctors fail to consider these risks or mismanage associated complications, this can harm the mother…

Compound presentation

Compound presentation occurs when the part of the fetus closest to the birth canal (usually the head) presents with an extremity next to it (usually hand or arm) (1). It has been estimated to affect less than 0.004% of pregnancies. What are the causes of compound presentation?  Compound presentation can occur as a result of…

Thyroid issues during pregnancy

The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that produces thyroid hormones, which affect heart rate and metabolism.  A thyroid disorder occurs when the thyroid makes too much or too little of certain thyroid hormones (1).  Hyperthyroidism: This condition occurs when the thyroid is overactive, or makes too much thyroid hormone. It can cause…

Maternity Care Shortages and Birth Injuries

One of the major risk factors for birth injuries, such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), is lack of access to high quality healthcare. This means that births may be more dangerous if the mother does not live near a hospital with trained and qualified staff, or if she is uninsured/unable to afford care.  Additionally, some states…

Increase in Drug Resistant UTIs: What Does This Mean for Pregnant Women?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a relatively common ailment, affecting about 50-60% of women in their lifetimes (1), and in many cases are easily treatable. However, if not effectively treated, they can lead to a variety of dangerous complications, especially in certain high-risk groups. One population particularly threatened by UTIs is pregnant women and their…