Articles on Birth

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The process of being born may affect how our brain develops and whether we’re susceptible to brain disorders. JoséMa Orsini

Giving birth to new insights into brain development and disease

Each one of us is the complex product of nature and nurture, genes and environment. They combine in a myriad of complex ways during embryonic and postnatal development to sculpt our brains and bodies…
Women who were randomised to receive midwife-led continuity models of care were less likely to experience preterm birth, the Cochrane review found. feministjulie

One-on-one midwife care linked to lower risk of premature birth

Women who have a midwife as their main carer throughout pregnancy and birth are around 23% less likely to have a premature…
Infants born by C-section had twofold higher odds of developing obesity. randomplaces/Flick

Are people born by caesarean section more likely to be obese?

A study recently published in the British Medical Journal (project Viva) has found that children born by caesarean section have a higher rate of obesity at age three than children born naturally. At first…
We might expect dramatic sex ratio fluctuations when a whole population experiences extreme food shortages. Teeejayy

Little China girls: how history’s worst famine shifted the sex ratio

People often ask me whether natural selection continues to operate on modern humans in industrialised societies, even though technology has liberated so many from hunger and early death. My answer is always…
Home births for high-risk pregnancies and where a registered midwife isn’t present are risky. Deannster

For some women, unassisted home births are worth the risks

We live in a world with many different perspectives on risk. Entire professions now exist to advise us on how to recognise, avoid and manage risk. And the maternity and obstetric professions are no different…
Many extremely premature babies will have lifelong physical and intellectual deficiencies. kqedquest

Balancing hope and fear for babies born at 24 weeks gestation

Imagine how frightening it must be for a woman to go into labour when she is just over halfway through her pregnancy and her baby has only had 23 or 24 weeks to grow. She and her family are overcome with…

Weight and age affect childbirth pain

First-time mothers, obese women and those who have longer labours experience greater pain in childbirth than other women…
Higher maternal diet quality in the year before pregnancy was associated with lower risk for neural tube defects, the study found. Flickr/Aldo Risolvo

Eating well before pregnancy linked to lower birth defect risk

Women who stick to a healthy diet in the year before falling pregnant may be less likely to have a baby with birth defects…

Flame retardants lower birthweight

Common household flame retardant chemicals have been linked to low infant birth weight. The researchers found that whenever…

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