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HEALTH
March 14, 2011 | By Kendall Powell, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Once a woman becomes visibly pregnant, it isn't long before she's being asked extremely personal questions by complete strangers: "Are you going to have an epidural or go natural? "You're not drinking alcohol, are you?" "Have you tried ginger for your morning sickness?" Often, such questions are followed up with unsolicited advice based on folk wisdom or anecdotes. Myths and folklore about pregnancy, labor and delivery abound. They persist in part because of the difficulties in conducting properly controlled scientific studies on pregnant and breast-feeding women and their newborns.
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HEALTH
July 11, 2011 | By Olga Khazan, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When most pregnant women go into labor, they pack their bags for the hospital. When Lara Carlos felt the contractions in November 2008, she set up a birthing tub in her bedroom. For the next several hours, Carlos alternated between padding around her home and squatting and pushing in the tub. Her midwife poured water down her back and dabbed her forehead with cold towels. When the baby (they chose the name Vincent) arrived at 1:21 a.m., he spent his first few hours cuddling with his parents in their bed. Carlos, who lives in Redlands, is one of a small but growing number of women who are choosing to deliver their babies at home.
HEALTH
August 2, 2004 | Valerie Ulene, Special to The Times
Pediatricians who specialize in the treatment of premature infants have made remarkable gains. Twenty years ago, a baby born 12 weeks early in the United States would have had little chance of surviving; today, that baby's chances of survival are more than 90%. In spite of this progress, the issue of prematurity remains a great concern because the number of children born too early is on the rise. Between 1981 and 2002, the rate of premature births in the United States increased almost 30%.
SCIENCE
March 27, 2004 | From Reuters
A developing fetus may signal when it is ready to be born by releasing a chemical produced by the lungs, according to a new study by U.S. researchers. The study, done in mice, suggests that in mammals, readiness to breathe outside the mother's womb might be the main factor in determining when it is time to be born. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr.
SCIENCE
May 11, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
For the first time in three decades, the rate of premature births in the United States has declined for two years in a row, a finding that suggests the country is finally beginning to make some progress in the battle against prematurity. The declines were widespread and encompassing, including babies of mothers in all age groups under 40, all ethnicities, singleton and multiple births, vaginal and caesarean births, and every state except Hawaii, according to the report issued Tuesday by the government's National Center for Health Statistics.
BUSINESS
September 5, 1990 | LESLIE BERKMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Tokos Medical Corp. on Tuesday concluded a $31.4-million acquisition of a small Atlanta-based firm that it hopes will be the first to win federal approval to market a uterine monitoring device to detect pre-term labor. The completion of the merger with Physiologic Diagnostic Service, first announced in June, was delayed pending completion of a Federal Trade Commission review of the deal's antitrust implications.
HEALTH
June 19, 2006
Re: "Get Healthy, Then Get Pregnant" [June 5]: I am disappointed that your article never advised women who are planning to get pregnant to get a dental examination to ensure that there is no periodontal [gum] disease. Periodontal disease is caused by a chronic bacterial infection that can increase the risk of preterm birth. Overall, studies have concluded that pregnant women who have moderate to severe periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to deliver a premature child than women with healthy gums.
NEWS
February 17, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued its strongest warning against the use of a drug prescribed off-label to prevent preterm labor, saying it appears to be ineffective at delaying premature births and poses serious health risks for pregnant woman who take it for longer than 72 hours. The warning comes less than two weeks after the FDA approved a new drug , called Makena, to reduce the risk of premature delivery. One in eight babies born in the U.S. each year -- 543,000 -- is born prematurely, says the March of Dimes . Terbutaline , commercially marketed as Brethine and Bricanyl, is a drug approved for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, sometimes called emphysema.
SCIENCE
October 1, 2007 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Pregnant white women who have abnormally low cholesterol levels are 21% more likely to give birth preterm, and both white and black women with low levels give birth to babies who weigh less than other infants of the same gestational age, researchers report today. Obstetricians already knew that women with the highest cholesterol levels are more likely to give birth preterm, but this is the first evidence of risk at the other end of the spectrum, experts said.
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