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Birth rates tend to fall during pandemics, and history is repeating itself with the COVID-19 scourge, researchers say.

Fewer babies have been born in much of Europe and the United States. Earlier in the pandemic, U.S. births declined 7%, a new study finds.

In Europe, birth declines varied. In Italy they dropped 9%, in Spain 8% and Portugal 7%, while in Denmark, Finland, Germany and ...

COVID-19 is surging in U.S. states with low vaccination rates, and these places may also be seeing a higher-than-usual number of stillbirths linked to the virus.

While the number of stillbirths is still very low nationally, doctors in the Deep South have noticed increases in stillbirths, NBC News reported.

One of those states is Alabama. But the numbers are too low overal...

Babies born prematurely, even just a couple weeks early, may be at increased risk of autism, a large new study suggests.

It's long been known that autism, a developmental brain disorder, is more common among children who were born preterm -- before the 37th week of pregnancy.

Researchers said the new study, of more than 4 million people, gives a clearer breakdown of the risks associ...

Extremely premature babies have a much higher risk of cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions than full-term infants, a large Israeli study affirms.

Cerebral palsy -- the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and coordination -- is the most common cause of severe childhood physical disability and motor impairment. It can also affect sensation, perception, t...

Weight-loss surgery can be a double-edged sword for obese women who want to shed pounds before becoming pregnant: New research shows it lowers the risk of some complications, but it may increase the risk of others.

Investigators followed more than 20,000 women in California who became pregnant between 2007 and 2018. Of those, 9.3% had weight-loss (bariatric) surgery before their pregnanc...

When a baby is born, the mother's body provides a pathway into the world, but the journey also exposes them to beneficial bacteria that live in and on their mom. But that critical exchange doesn't happen during a cesarean section delivery.

Now, researchers report that swabbing babies delivered via C-section with gauze that has been seeded with their mother's vaginal fluids delivers the sa...

The pandemic not only cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, but it also appears to have triggered a deep drop in births, U.S. health officials reported Wednesday.

Until 2020, the birth rate had been declining about 2% a year, but that rate dropped to 4% with the start of the pandemic, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

"When you tak...

America, get ready for a baby boom.

That's the likelihood anyway, according to a new forecast that suggests a drop in pregnancy and birth rates seen during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic is about to be reversed.

"We expect a dramatic rebound soon," said study lead author Dr. Molly Stout. She is maternal fetal medicine director at Michigan Medicine Von Voigtlander Women's Ho...

Expectant mothers' high blood pressure heightens kids' risk of stroke later in life, a Swedish study finds.

"Our findings indicate that hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are associated with increased risks of stroke and potentially heart disease in offspring up to the age of 41 years," said study author Fen Yang, a doctoral student at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

The stu...

Rising temperatures caused by climate change could trigger a worldwide increase in stillbirths, researchers warn.

The team at the University of Queensland in Australia analyzed 12 studies on the subject. They found that exposure to extremely high temperatures throughout pregnancy appeared to increase risk of stillbirth, particularly late in pregnancy.

"Overall, risk of stillbirth ap...

It's known that genetics and lifestyle can affect your heart health. Now, researchers say, your birth order and family size may also have an impact.

A new Swedish study found that first-born children had a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes than their younger brothers and sisters. But having many siblings was associated with...

Boys who weigh less than 2 pounds at birth don't age as well as their normal-weight peers, a long-term study finds.

Canadian researchers have followed a group of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) babies and their normal-weight counterparts since 1977.

When participants were in their early 30s, researchers compared the genes of 45 who were ELBW babies with those of 47 whose birth w...

The baby "boom" that some expected during last year's pandemic lockdowns has turned into a baby "bust."

The U.S. birth rate continued to drop in 2020, marking the sixth consecutive year with fewer babies born in America and raising concerns about the economic effects of declining population levels.

There were about 3.6 million babies born in the United States last year, down 4% from...

Being born even slightly premature might still raise a child's risk of developmental problems, a new study finds.

Preemies often have developmental issues, but previous research has tended to focus on those born extremely preterm (22-26 weeks' gestation), so less is known about children born moderately and very preterm (27-34 weeks' gestation). Average full-term gestation time is 39-40 we...

In medieval Europe, when childbirth was highly perilous for both mother and child, women and those caring for them used various talismans to try to influence a safe delivery.

Not many of those relics have survived, but scientists have been studying one -- a parchment "birthing girdle" -- using non-invasive sampling and protein analysis.

"Although these birth girdles are thought to h...

Yes, you really are seeing double -- more twins are being born now than ever before.

There are a number of reasons why, according to a new study.

Since the 1980s, twin births rose by a third worldwide -- from 9 to 12 per 1,000 deliveries. About 1.6 million twins are born each year and one in every 42 babies is a twin.

A big reason for all those twins is an increase in medicall...

Researchers who recorded the most detailed images ever made of newborns' lungs as they took their first breaths say the breakthrough could improve treatment of breathing problems in babies.

"Respiratory problems are the most common reason we need to treat babies in intensive care," said researcher David Tingay of Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

"This n...

The growth patterns of kids born through fertility treatment differ initially from those conceived naturally, but those growth rates do catch up over time, a new study finds.

In-vitro fertilization and other forms of "assisted reproductive technology" (ART) has long been associated with lower birth weights in babies, but it wasn't clear how long differences in growth continue.

To fi...

Newborns don't have the brain circuitry to process emotions, a new study finds.

Brain scans of newborns found that the area of the brain that experiences emotions isn't connected in a mature way to areas that process visual or auditory stimuli, researchers say.

In adults, these connections enable us to feel fear when we watch a scary movie, or love when we see a spouse or family mem...

Newborns don't have the brain circuitry to process emotions, a new study finds.

Brain scans of newborns found that the area of the brain that experiences emotions isn't connected in a mature way to areas that process visual or auditory stimuli, researchers say.

In adults, these connections enable us to feel fear when we watch a scary movie, or love when we see a spouse or family mem...

Experts have long known about a quirky postscript to stressful events like earthquakes and terrorist attacks: The ratio of boys and girls born temporarily turns upside down.

Now, Canadian researchers are reporting the same change in Ontario's birthrates following Republican Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The percentage of boys born in Canada's...

In what doctors call a breakthrough, a cancer patient in France gave birth to the first baby conceived from an immature egg that was matured in the laboratory, frozen, then later thawed and fertilized.

"We were delighted that the patient became pregnant without any difficulty and successfully delivered a healthy baby at term," said team leader Michaël Grynberg, head of reproduct...

Being small at birth after a full-term pregnancy could leave you gasping for breath later on in life.

Swedish researchers report that babies with low birth weights are more likely to have poor heart-lung (cardiorespiratory) fitness when they reach adulthood.

Cardiorespiratory fitness -- the ability to supply oxygen to muscles during prolonged physical activity -- is key for ...

When a test showed a dangerous drop in the heart rate of Courtney Agnoli's unborn daughter, the doctor who urgently admitted her to the hospital said, "You aren't leaving here without a baby."

Doctors had already identified two critical congenital heart defects that would require surgery shortly after birth. The girl, named Tessa, was delivered by cesarean section and immediately tak...

Birthdays are a time of celebration. But, according to a new study, a spring or summer birth date could mean a higher risk of dying from heart disease.

The reasons aren't clear, but might include factors such as seasonal fluctuations in diet, air pollution levels, and the availability of sunlight before birth and in early life, the study authors said.

For the study, the rese...

No, you're not seeing double as often these days: After decades of rising, twin births are declining in the United States.

Twin birth rates had been on the rise for 30 years, but dropped 4% between 2014 and 2018, health officials said in a new U.S. government study. That's the lowest level in more than a decade. In 2018, there were 32.6 twins for every 1,000 U.S. births.

If moving is never easy, then moving while you are pregnant has got to be a grueling experience.

But could it actually harm your baby? Yes, a new investigation warns.

The researchers found that switching homes during the first three months of pregnancy was tied to an increased risk that a baby would be born prematurely or at a low birth weight.

"Moving has been on ...

Many studies have uncovered racial gaps in health care in the United States, but now a new review confirms that the disparity begins at birth.

The review, of 41 studies, found that infants born to minority women typically received poorer care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) compared with white newborns.

The finding was often related to lower-quality care in hospit...

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic announced that they've achieved a first in North America: delivering a baby from a uterus that had been transplanted from a deceased donor.

The healthy baby girl was delivered by C-section in June. This is only the second time such a delivery has happened worldwide, the first having occurred in Brazil in December.

"We couldn't have asked for a...

The longer a pregnancy continues past term, the higher the risk of stillbirth, according to a new study that analyzed 15 million pregnancies.

The highest risk of stillbirth occurred when pregnancies went beyond 41 weeks -- then the odds rose by 87%, the British researchers said.

They stressed, however, that women who are 41 weeks' pregnant should not be alarmed. That's b...

Breastfeeding moms with healthy eating habits have slimmer infants, who could then be protected from obesity later, researchers say.

Rapid weight gain and fat accumulation during an infant's first six months of life is a risk factor for obesity later on, they explained.

"A baby who is shooting up through the percentiles in weight-for-length during the first six months is two...

More than 20 million babies are born across the globe weighing far less than they should, and the problem isn't limited to low-income countries, new research shows.

In 2015, nearly three-quarters of infants with low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds) were born in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. But low birth weights persist in high-income countries in Europe, North America, Au...

Nearly half of infections among women who undergo an assisted vaginal birth could be prevented by giving them a dose of antibiotics soon after delivery, a new study contends.

The preventive use of antibiotics in these cases could prevent about 5,000 infections in new mothers every year in the United States alone, and many more worldwide, the researchers estimated.

"Pregnancy...

Cases in which a newborn's genitals make it unclear whether the child is a boy or girl may be more common than once believed, researchers say.

One example of what's known as ambiguous genitalia is a baby girl with an enlarged clitoris that looks more like a small penis, the study authors explained.

In some cases, infants have external sex organs that don't match their intern...

A newborn's first stool holds telltale clues about his risk for becoming an overweight 3-year-old, according to a European study.

The clues come from the population of bacteria (microbiome) in the baby's gut.

Finnish researchers used genetic sequencing to analyze the first stool produced by 212 newborns and another sample at age 1. Called meconium, a baby's first stool is c...

MONDAY, April 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For pregnant women, a C-section carries a higher risk of severe complications than a vaginal delivery, particularly after age 35, a new study finds.

The researchers said that cesarean deliveries appear to cause an overall 80% increased risk of severe maternal complications when compared with vaginal delivery.

For women 35 or old...

An add-on procedure sometimes used before in-vitro fertilization won't increase a couple's chances of having a baby, according to a new study.

The technique is called endometrial scratching. A thin plastic tube is inserted into the uterus through the cervix and a small sample of tissue is taken from the lining of the uterus (endometrium).

"It was thought that the action of...