More than 1 in every 10 births in the United States now occur prematurely, and the number of these more dangerous deliveries jumped by 4% during 2021, a new report from the March of Dimes shows. The premature birth rate has now reached 10.5% of all births — the highest level since 2007, according to…  read on >  read on >

More pregnant women in the United States are choosing to deliver their babies at home rather than in hospitals, a trend that may have been influenced by the pandemic. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published Thursday showed that 52,000 women gave birth at home in 2021, an increase of 12% over…  read on >  read on >

Children’s health is jeopardized when they have a parent in prison, new research finds. In the United States, 5 million kids have an incarcerated parent. Those children have worse access to primary, dental and mental health care than their peers, the investigators found. And that puts the kids at risk of worse mental and physical…  read on >  read on >

Babies born via cesarean section may not mount as strong an immune response after some childhood vaccines compared to babies delivered vaginally, researchers suggest. Antibody levels can be checked in blood or saliva, and babies born vaginally had higher levels of antibodies in their saliva to pneumonia shots at one year and meningococcal shots at…  read on >  read on >

Uterine fibroids can cause uncontrolled bleeding and infertility in women, and now a new study finds an unexpected culprit: Toxic chemicals called phthalates that are present in everything from fast-food packaging to plastic water bottles. “We detected the phthalate DEHP and its breakdown products in much higher quantities in the urine of women who also…  read on >  read on >

Increasing numbers of young children are showing up in emergency rooms after accidentally ingesting the cough suppressant benzonatate, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday. Benzonatate is a non-narcotic cough suppressant first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1958 for children ages 10 and up. It works by reducing the cough reflex in the…  read on >  read on >

U.S. stillbirth rates still need to be tackled at the local, state and national levels because efforts to reduce the risk have stalled, new research claims. Racial disparities remain as well, with Black women more likely to experience stillbirth (the loss of a baby before or during delivery) than white women. “Over the last 40…  read on >  read on >