Maybe Birthing At Home Isn’t A Good Idea After All

Katie Drummond Contributor

AOL News 

March 9) — Death after childbirth remains a rarity among American mothers, but new research suggests that the tragic occurrence is on the rise — and experts are at a loss to pinpoint the reason.

 Despite being a leader in medical research and facilities, the United States places 41st on the World Health Organization’s list of safest countries for childbirth. As for 2006, 13 women out of every 100,000 died during or shortly after giving birth, which is higher than rates in Canada, the United Kingdom and Poland, among others.

That’s around 550 deaths out of 4 million annual births across the country.

The federal government had set a goal to reduce maternal deaths by 2010, but the new numbers are four times higher than what they’d hoped to attain.

Health experts aren’t pointing the finger at a specific cause, but they do hypothesize that more obese mothers might be a critical factor. Many maternal fatalities are caused by undetected health issues, such as asthma or heart disease — problems that are more common among obese people.

Pregnancy can exacerbate pre-existing health conditions, leaving obese women — who now make up 20 percent of pregnancies — more susceptible to potentially fatal consequences.

“Obesity can lead to hypertensive disorders, diabetes and other medical conditions, and thus can directly and indirectly present significant health risks for pregnant women,” Janet Hardy, a perinatal epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts, said in a statement issued by the Joint Commission, a nonprofit health care accrediting agency.

Cesarean sections might be another important factor. The number of women scheduling cesarean births has increased by 50 percent, to 31 percent of all births, since 1996. And while the risks of C-sections are small, the procedure is still considered major surgery.

Those over 30 are at increased risk. So are black women: They face four times the risk of maternal death compared with whites.

And for every woman who dies in childbirth, another 50 suffer from dangerous health complications during or after delivery, the Joint Commission report states.

But once a woman reaches the delivery room, potentially fatal conditions are harder to control. That’s why most maternal fatalities aren’t considered “preventable” by studies, including a 2008 review in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, which concluded that “the majority” of maternal deaths in 124 hospitals couldn’t have been prevented in the delivery room.

Instead, advocates hope to see more preventive efforts earlier in pregnancies. That means improved awareness of complications among pregnant women and better screening efforts by doctors, along with thorough postnatal care.

Debate also persists over the safety of out-of-hospital births. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last week concluded that they’ve increased for the first time in two decades. The births still make up less than 1 percent of all births in the country, but home births in particular were up by 5 percent.

The pros and cons of home births have yet to receive much study, and they don’t have the backing of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The agency cites concerns over health of baby and mother in advising against the nonhospital route.

“Despite the rosy picture painted by home birth advocates,” the group’s statement reads, “a seemingly normal labor and delivery can quickly become life-threatening for both the mother and baby.”

Need to send a low priced new baby gift?  Visit–baby-girl-gifts.html

Maybe Baby Educational DVDs don’t really work

Color me surprised. Another study has come out saying that educational videos for infants are not helpful, and in fact might be harmful. This latest study is set to be published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in May — and says that educational DVDs aimed at infants are not likely to help boost their word power.

Yes, I too am shocked (shocked!) that sticking your 1-year-old in front of the DVD player for an hour a day will not, in fact, turn her into a prodigy.

But, the APAM study is not the first of its kind — a study done almost three years ago by researchers at the University of Washington found similar results. Add that to an offer for refunds for the Baby Einstein videos this fall which, The New York Times notes, came after Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood complained to the Federal Trade Commission about marketing the videos as educational.

// Get the new
PD toolbar!

The better question may be not whether infant educational videos are beneficial, but why parents keep buying them.

One possible reason is that they seem to work.

Here’s why: The videos are recommended for babies 12 to 24 months old, and 18 months is generally when a child’s vocabulary naturally picks up and he starts learning and using more words. At 18 months, a child’s grasp of language expands at a markedly faster clip — so much so that researchers from the University of Iowa who looked at language acquisition during that age termed it the period of “vocabulary explosion.” So, it’s likely parents do see their baby’s vocabulary beginning to build, even if it had nothing to do with the videos.

Researchers in the APAM study did note at least one correlation with vocabulary scores: Infants who watched DVDs scored lower on a vocabulary test as children. Next vocabulary word up: irony.

Need to send a new baby gift?  Visit–baby-girl-gifts.html

Easter Candy Gifts For Kids and College Students

Mar 06, 2010 – Easter is right around the corner and parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles will be clamoring to send Easter baskets to their kids, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Make sure the Easter bunny doesn’t forget any of your loved ones. Shop The Gift Basket Store carries a large selection of Easter gift baskets, Easter candy and cookie gifts for “kids” of all ages. Most of the baskets contain traditional Easter candy: chocolate bunnies, malted eggs and marshmallow peeps. Many are age appropriate and also include toys and activities for children, along with adorable plush bunnies. Others are mature and sophisticated, perfect for sending to in-laws or business clients.

Don’t forget that special college student who can not make it home for Easter. They may be dreaming of spring break in Cancun or Daytona Beach, but in their hearts they would love to be with family, eager to see what the Easter bunny brought them and hunting for Easter eggs. Shop The Gift Basket Store has Easter Baskets geared toward the college crowd. They are funny and upbeat and can help take the edge off of any homesickness they may have.

Many members of the military won’t be home this Easter holiday either, serving our country in different parts of the world . Once again, is offering half price ground shipping for Easter gifts that are being ordered by active military based in Iraq and Afghanistan being shipped to their families in the USA. Shipping charges will be adjusted after the order is placed. Does not apply to items being shipped TO military overseas.

Shop The Gift Basket Store is fast becoming America’s favorite gift basket store for gifts and gift baskets for all special occasions and holidays, including new baby gifts, get well gift baskets, gift baskets of books, cookie gifts, birthday gifts, gourmet gift baskets, corporate gift ideas, spa gift baskets, college care packages and more. All at Shop The Gift Basket Store! Just pick, click and ship! They are located at

Shop The Gift Basket Store carries over 1500 gifts and gift baskets for all special occasions and holidays, specializing in new baby gifts and college care packages. They offer old fashioned customer service, just like you remember from shops on Main Street USA.

Half Price Shipping for Active US Military This Easter Season

Easter Gift Baskets

Dozens of Easter Candy Gift Baskets is pleased to announce that they will offer half price ground shipping for active US military personnel who are stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan this Easter season, for  Easter gifts being delivered within the 48 contiguous states.

“We get many orders from active military personnel around the holidays. They send gift baskets to their children and other family members back home.  We would like to do something to help, and let them know that all of us here appreciate what they are doing for the United States,” explained Suzanne Salzmann, Sales Director of Shop The Gift Basket Store.

“We started our half price shipping program last  Christmas,” she continued. “We’d like to try and get the message out to them that will cut their ground shipping cost in half before their credit card is charged for any Easter gift basket going to family members back home in the lower 48 states.“

“It’s amazing how many Moms are over in Iraq or Afghanistan, and we have nothing but the utmost respect for them. In fact, every person serving over there is someone’s son or daughter, and we are eternally grateful to them, and we’d like to help them get an Easter present to their Mom or Dad, spouse or child. As far as ordering, all they have to do is drop us a line in the general comments area, and we will make the necessary adjustments to their shipping charge,” Salzmann instructed., a division of TBSS Enterprises, is based in Somerville, NJ and offers over 1500 gifts and gift baskets for all special occasions and holidays, including new baby gifts, gourmet food gift baskets, cookie and candy bouquets, and get well gift baskets.  This Easter holiday season, they are featuring dozens of Easter presents from Easter fortune cookies to Easter Cookie Bouquets and Easter Candy Baskets stuffed with the most tempting chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps, jelly beans, chocolate eggs and more…all at Shop  The Gift Basket Store.

Salzmann concludes:  ”We make gift giving easy. When you can’t get to the mall or make unnecessary shopping trips, just go online and pick, click and ship.”

# # #

Shop The Gift Basket Store has quickly become one of the leading online gift basket stores in the United States. They specialize in new baby gifts, get well gift baskets as well as custom cookie and candy bouquets.