Category Archives: newborns

The Best and Worst States to Have a Baby

Image by Uzuri Art.

I write about maternal health a lot on Social Good Moms and sometimes I don’t write enough about newborn health. I saw some interesting information this month about the best and worst states to have a baby and thought the data was interesting to share. The data was compiled by Wallet Hub.

They compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across four key dimensions:

  • Cost
  • Health Care
  • Baby-Friendliness and
  • Family-Friendliness

Additionally, across these four dimensions, they evaluated 30 additional metrics including infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, Cesarean deliveries, preterm birth and low-birth weight infants.

The best and worst states are listed in the table below. One of the most important things for all parents to check for is their newborn health screenings. You can find yours based on your state at Baby’s First Test. And in North Carolina, mothers can sign up for an additional two free tests ( fragile X syndrome and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA))at EarlyCheck.org. The tests are led by RTI International.

BESTWORST
1 Vermont 42 West Virginia
2
Massachusetts
43
Florida
3 North Dakota 44 Nevada
4 Rhode Island 45 Arkansas
5 Minnesota 46
Georgia
6 New Hampshire 47 Oklahoma
7 Washington 48 Louisiana
8 Colorado 49
South Carolina
9 Connecticut 50 Alabama
10 Utah 51 Mississippi

Best vs. Worst

  • Mississippi has the lowest average annual cost for early child care, $3,192, which is 4.9 times lower than in the District of Columbia, the highest at $15,515.
     
  • Alaska has the lowest share of childbirths with low birth weight, 6.19 percent, which is 1.9 times lower than in Mississippi, the highest at 11.60 percent.
     
  • The District of Columbia has the most obstetricians and gynecologists (per 100,000 residents), 25, which is 25 times more than in Oklahoma, the fewest at 1.
     
  • Massachusetts has the highest parental leave policy score, 160, while 9 states, such as Alabama, Michigan and South Dakota, tie for the lowest at 0.

To learn about the data visit WalletHub.com.

A Pregnancy Series You Can Really Binge on Facebook Watch

After recently receiving a press release about a pregnancy docuseries on Facebook Watch I have been hooked!  As a maternal health advocate, it takes a lot to stop me in my tracks, but 9 Months With Courteney Cox has really opened my eyes on the realities of pregnancy in America. After all, it has been twenty years since I had my last child, so things have definitely changed!

My proclivity these days is to focus on vulnerable communities when it comes to maternal health and mortality and yet there are so many women who have to deal with pregnancy complications and care, health issues, and disparities, as well as fertility options and disappointments when it comes to carrying a baby full-term. The most important thing for all of us to remember is that women the world over have personal struggles with pregnancy.  Those experiences are certainly different from one country to the next, and most certainly from one woman to the next. They all are valid for those who are carrying a baby or are desperately trying to.

9 Months With Courteney Cox has honestly shone a brilliant light on pregnancy in the United States in its docuseries from a mother who found out she was pregnant and had cancer at the same time, to a couple who have tried for years to get pregnant, only to miscarry time and time again, to a mother who couldn’t imagine ever delivering a ninth child to add to her already eight children. These are just a few of the couples’ experiences of the ten that are laid bare in this riveting Facebook Watch show.

Want to watch? Start on episode one and enjoy.   I will admit, I wish the episodes were longer because I really want to know what happens, but they are timed perfectly for busy people. Each episode is about 15 minutes.

 

 

How You Can Help Mothers and Babies in Syria’s Idlib Camps

War is suffocating every corner of Syria and has been for the past several years. In areas that are close to neighboring countries like Idlib province that borders Turkey, Syrians from all over the country are fleeing there for safety believing that those border regions won’t fall under severe air attack. Unfortunately, as we learned last week, that just is not the case.

Chemicals, including sarin gas, rained upon civilians in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province last week and while it definitely happened as we saw in newspapers and on the news leaders involved in the region are striking fingers at their enemies. The United States is blaming Russia and the Assad regime for the chemical attacks, the Assad regime is blaming the rebels, the rebels are blaming the Assad regime, and Putin is now saying that the United States is putting “false flag” attempts on Syria blaming them for the chemical attacks in order to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, men, women, and children continue to suffer daily. In the Idlib camps for internally displaced people, NGOs are providing as much aid as possible to the thousands of families who fled cities like Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs with intense hopes of crossing into Turkey where they instead found the border had been strictly closed.

Aid agencies provide food, water, and medical attention to those living in the camps, but they need as much help as they can get. Four Chicago mothers know this well and have started a fund to send baby supplies to 1500 babies in the Idlib camps with the help of Chicago-based Heroic Hearts Organization. Called a Parcel of Love campaign, you can donate as much as you’d like from bath essentials for $20 to feeding essentials for $80 to a fully equipped baby box for $240.

The Parcel of Love campaign has already raised $92,000, but there is a long way to go to help improve the beginnings for the children who have already come into this world with so little. 

To donate visit: http://hchearts.org/campaigns/parcel-of-love. And, also please spread the word to your networks to help this worthy cause.

Residents in Southern Haiti Receive New Access to Quality Health Care

Several vistors wait to be seen at new hospital (1)During my visit to Haiti two years ago I had the privilege of visiting two hospitals: L’Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley and L’Hôpital Sainte-Thérèse in Hinche, Haiti. Many of the patients at both hospitals, I learned, walked or took public transport over long distances for quality hospital care. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haitians need many more hospitals and health workers to care after their sick. There are currently only six health workers for every 10,000 Haitians according to USAID. And, Haiti has the highest rate of infant, child, and maternal mortality in the Western Hemisphere. Most Haitians live on less than $1 a day and their life expectancy is only 64 compared to 74 for its neighbor, the Dominican Republic.

Quality health care in Haiti continues to be one of the country’s greatest problems. In fact, Haiti only spends 6 percent of its expenditures on health care and relies heavily on international funding.

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Midwives and The Right of Women to Give Birth the Way They Want

Image 20170210 8651 ier8xz

Lydia Mwanzia, Moi University

Giving birth is a significant life event that should aim for a healthy baby and mother. There are growing calls for women to give birth in their preferred birth positions. But this requires midwives to be trained in a way that enables them to respect the choices that women make. The Conversation Africa’s health editor Joy Wanja Muraya asked Lydia Mwanzia to explain why women have the right to make choices, and the important role played by midwives.

Continue reading Midwives and The Right of Women to Give Birth the Way They Want