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  1. U.S. Ranks 131st in Preterm Births

    May 2, 2012 -- Preterm birth rates are higher in the United States than in 130 other countries, including many poorer nations, according to a new report from the March of Dimes Foundation, the World Health Organization, and other leading health agencies. The report, which provides the first-ever est

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  2. New Earlier, Noninvasive Paternity Test Developed

    May 2, 2012 -- Researchers say they've found a way to identify the father of a baby as early as the eighth week of pregnancy. The new method, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, uses fetal DNA isolated from the mother's blood. The test has already been used to prove an affair in a murde

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  3. Prenatal Pesticide Exposure May Harm Kids' Brains

    April 30, 2012 -- Prenatal exposure to a pesticide used on many crops may be linked with abnormal changes in a child's developing brain, scientists report. Compared to children with low prenatal exposure, those with high exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos had abnormalities in the cortex (the out

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  4. One Baby per Hour Born Drug Dependent

    April 30, 2012 -- The number of U.S. babies born dependent on drugs nearly tripled between 2000 and 2009, researchers reported today. Drug dependence occurs when a person develops a physical dependence on a drug, leading to withdrawal symptoms if the drug is abruptly stopped. Newborns can be drug de

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  5. Children Born to Unmarried Couples on the Rise

    April 12, 2012 -- Over the last decade, while many fertility trends have remained stable in the U.S., one definitely has not: the number of first births among unmarried couples who were living together. Among women ages 15 to 44, that figure has risen from 12% of first births in 2002 to 22% between

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  6. Women Have Longer Labors Now

    March 30, 2012 -- Women giving birth can expect to have longer labors than women did 50 years ago, according to a new analysis by National Institutes of Health researchers. For first-time mothers, the first stage of labor has increased by 2.6 hours, says Katherine Laughon, MD, a researcher at the Eu

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  7. Trying to Get Pregnant? Moderate Exercise May Help

    March 15, 2012 -- If you’re trying to get pregnant, adding a brisk walk to your daily routine may help -- but you may want to hold off training for that marathon. Moderate physical activity was found to benefit women of all body types in a new study examining the impact of exercise on fertility, whi

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  8. Are Repeat C-Sections Safer Than Natural Birth?

    March 13, 2012 -- Planned repeat cesarean section is linked to healthier outcomes among mothers and babies compared to vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC, in a new study from Australia. Death and serious health issues associated with either delivery method were rare. But women in the study who ha

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  9. Diabetes, High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Increase Middle-Age Heart Risk

    Feb. 21, 2012 -- When a woman has high blood pressure or high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, this may help predict her chances of developing heart disease perhaps as early as middle age, a new study suggests. British researchers were hoping to understand why women who have certain common pregn

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  10. Low Vitamin D in Pregnancy Linked to Language Problems in Children

    Feb. 13, 2012 -- Women who have low levels of vitamin D in their blood during pregnancy increase their odds of having a child with language problems. A new study from Australia suggests that white women who had the lowest stores of vitamin D during their second trimester were nearly twice as likely

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