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Philippe Put / CreativeCommons.org

Women in America die more frequently from complications of childbirth than in any other industrialized nation in the world. In addition, women of color are three to four times more likely to die than white women. And over the last 25 years that the maternal mortality was rising in America, other countries were decreasing their rate. 

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

Lucinda Canty is a researcher who focuses on maternal mortality. As part of her Ph.D. program at UConn, she interviewed several women who had severe complications in childbirth.

And while the specific details of their stories varied, they all pointed to a similar conclusion.

“With pregnancy, women are so vulnerable, and then you add labor on top of that, you need someone to be there to advocate and encourage you,” Canty said, “and we have a health care system that, even myself as an educated women, I still feel intimidated by it.”

Philippe Put / Creative Commons

Women in America die more frequently from complications of childbirth than in any other industrialized nation in the world. In addition, women of color are three to four times more likely to die than white women. And over the last 25 years that the maternal mortality was rising in America, other countries were decreasing their rate. 

Bain News Service / Creative Commons

The concept of the early 20th century side show evokes images of bearded ladies, sword swallowers and exotic  'others' exhibited as 'freaks' before audiences both lured and repelled by what they saw.

sabianmaggy/flickr creative commons

Connecticut's Safe Haven Law has been on the books since the year 2000 -- but supporters say it needs to be better known. The law allows a parent to legally and confidentially leave an infant at a hospital emergency room within 30 days of giving birth, if they are unable to care for it. 

Kids' Work Chicago Daycare / Creative Commons

The Office of the State Child Advocate has released a report on the deaths of nine young children who died while in licensed and unlicensed day care settings. The report recommends a host of measures, including more funding so low-income families can access quality child care.

Diane Orson / Connecticut Public Radio

New Haven, Connecticut was the site of more than 100 overdoses last week -- drawing national attention to the city and to a synthetic drug known as K2.

But what exactly is this drug? And how did it wind up in the hands of so many here in Connecticut? This hour, an addiction psychiatrist from Silver Hill Hospital joins us to answer our questions.

Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi Follow / Creative Commons

This hour, we discuss the debate concerning a woman’s right to abort her fetus following a Down syndrome diagnosis.

We also look at how advances in medical technology have changed the way health professionals screen for the a genetic disorder during pregnancy.

How far has prenatal testing progressed? And where is it headed? We find out.

Raúl Hernández González / Creative Commons

This hour: IVF -- in vitro fertilization -- has brought the miracle of life to women and families across the U.S.

Those who have undergone the procedure, however, know it does not come without a cost.

Coming up, we weigh the physical, financial, and emotional demands of IVF treatment.

We hear from doctors and patients.

We also consider a recent New York magazine article about PGS -- the test used to identify viable embryos. How accurate is it? We take a closer look. 

Kremlin / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump left a trail of confusion when he left the G-20 Summit this weekend. While the president thinks he gained concessions favorable to the United States, many feel he isolated America from longstanding consensus on issues that define liberal democracy. Instead, he sought consensus with Vladimir Putin, despite the certainty by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. 

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The rate of infants dying suddenly and unexpectedly has dropped in recent years, but data show that racial disparities persist.

As a neonatal intensive care nurse, Lauren Bloomstein had been taking care of other people's babies for years. Finally, at 33, she was expecting one of her own. The prospect of becoming a mother made her giddy, her husband, Larry, recalled recently— "the happiest and most alive I'd ever seen her."

It's a familiar scene for sleep-deprived parents everywhere: They put down the baby in the bassinet to sleep, and those tiny eyes flutter shut. Then they flutter back open and the crying starts. The only thing perhaps more harrowing than those long wakeful nights of a baby's first year is the fear that one day the child won't wake up.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A Connecticut woman who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for killing her newborn baby is speaking out about the state’s Safe Havens Law. 

One impact of the addiction epidemic has been a skyrocketing rise in newborns experiencing withdrawal after being exposed to opioids in the womb. 

From 2006 to 2011, the number of newborns in withdrawal more than doubled in New Hampshire, and hospitals say the problem is only getting worse.

Patrick Hoesly / Creative Commons

A new report that identifies the most distinctive cause of injury death for each state, compared to national rates, has some findings that might be expected:

Andrew Seaman / Creative Commons

It's been 16 years since Connecticut passed its Safe Haven law to protect newborns. The state Department of Children and Families says in that time, 27 babies have been brought to local hospitals.

The World Health Organization says there is now scientific consensus that the Zika virus is connected with microcephaly — a condition in which babies are born with very small heads and brain damage.

Scientists have been working for months to confirm a link between Zika and microcephaly, ever since Brazil reported a startling increase in cases last fall.

Malglam via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

The first milk bank in the state has opened in Guilford. It's a place where mothers in Connecticut can donate their breast milk.

How safe is it in the United States to be born someplace other than a hospital? The question has long been the focus of emotional debate and conflicting information. Now, Oregon scientists and health workers who deliver babies have some research evidence that sheds a bit more light.

Josh Michtom / Creative Commons

Police say the body of a seven-month-old boy who has been missing since his father jumped into the Connecticut River with him two days ago has been found.

Women in the U.S. are having more babies — exactly 3,985,924 last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preliminary data show that birth rates in the U.S. were up by 1 percent last year from 2013. It's the first increase in seven years.

But teenagers aren't having as many babies. The birth rate in that group dropped by 9 percent in 2014 compared with 2013. For context, teen births have been on the decline since 1991.

Robert Freiberger / Creative Commons

A panel of early care and education providers met on Wednesday in New Haven to discuss infant mental health with Congresswoman Rosa Delauro, who sits on the Congressional Baby Caucus.

Infant mental health focuses on the ways parents and caregivers can nurture the social and emotional development of children from birth to age three, a key time of brain development. 

Ep Huj / Flickr

Massachusetts doctors have seen an increase in the number of pregnant women addicted to opiates. Dr. Rachana Singh from Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield has said the number of babies withdrawing from opioids in their NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) has tripled since 2012. 

Health officials in Illinois are trying to find the source of a measles infection, after five babies were diagnosed with the contagious respiratory disease in a Chicago suburb. Saying that more cases are likely, a health official warns, "The cat is out of the bag."

Because the Illinois patients are all under a year old, they can't be vaccinated. The new cluster of cases joins more than 100 other reports of measles in 14 states this year; most of them have been traced to an outbreak at Disneyland in California in December.

Paul Goyette / Creative Commons

There were 124 child fatalities in Connecticut between 2005 and 2014.  The state Department of Children and Families studied the cases and is now implementing a new strategy to identify and support at-risk families. 

DCF's study found that the most common cause of death was from Sudden Infant Death syndrome, or SIDS.

Susan Smith, DCF's Chief of Quality and Planning, said 34 percent of the child fatalities were attributed to SIDS when combined with unsafe sleep.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The recent discovery of a dead newborn in trash can in East Hartford has restarted a conversation about the state's Safe Haven law. It allows parents in distress who are unable to care for their infants to leave them at a hospital emergency room. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A state lawmaker is calling for renewed focus on a law that lets distressed parents of newborns leave them in the state's care. The new push comes after recent news that a baby was found dead in an East Hartford trash can. 

George Ruiz / Flickr

The city of Hartford and two hospitals jointly fund a program to check in on new mothers and their infants in their homes. The goal is to reduce infant mortality rates. But one of those hospitals has told the city it is pulling out. 

State Issues Alert on Infant Sleep-Related Risks

Apr 7, 2014
vivianejl / Creative Commons

An eight-week-old baby boy slips out of his sleeping grandmother’s arms and suffocates in the folds of a couch. A seven-week-old girl is found dead lying on her stomach in her mother’s bed, where she had been placed to sleep, as a nearby crib sat unused. These are two of 23 infants who died in Connecticut last year of “sudden infant death syndrome,” or undetermined causes. 

Of those cases, 18 were found to have risk factors associated with the sleep environment, including co-sleeping in an adult bed with parents, sleeping with a heavy blanket or pillows, or being placed on their stomachs.

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