One in seven babies born with low birthweight: study

More than 20 million newborns in 2015—one in seven—came into the world weighing too little, according to a global assessment of birthweight, published Thursday. Over 90 percent of babies tipping the scale at less than 2.5 kilos (5.5 pounds) when born were in low- and middle-income countries, researchers reported in The Lancet Global Health. Worldwide, just under 15 percent of […]

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Anesthesia sends neurons down the wrong path in unborn rat babies

While there has long been discussion whether exposure to anesthesia affects brain development, new Rush University Medical Center research published in the journal Cerebral Cortex describes how prenatal anesthesia in rats seems to disrupt the “precisely choreographed” and timed migration of neurons to the area of the developing brain where thinking, memory and language occur. The finding further fuels the […]

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Mothers of fussy babies at higher risk of depressive symptoms

It’s no secret that fussy newborns can be especially challenging for parents already facing physical and mental exhaustion from caring for a new baby. But now science backs up the impact on parents: The less soothable the infant, the more distressed the mother. Mothers of highly irritable infants experience greater depressive symptoms, according to new University of Michigan-led research. The […]

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Romania shuts hospital after babies diagnosed with superbug

Romanian health authorities on Friday temporarily closed a maternity hospital in the capital after 13 babies born there recently were diagnosed with a drug-resistant superbug. The Health Ministry said the Giulesti Maternity Hospital in Bucharest would stop admissions after the newborns were diagnosed with antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The hospital said it had canceled dozens of cesarean section operations planned for […]

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Babies born with broken hearts

More than 35,000 babies are born with life-threatening congenital heart defects every year in the United States. Fetal single ventricle defects can be identified with echocardiograms. In the first months of life, surgeries can correct these defects, but tragically, about 25 percent of babies do not make it through the first surgery. Researchers are exploring how irregular filling mechanics—the process […]

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Using the microbiome to help premature babies grow

About half of babies born prematurely struggle to grow, putting them at risk of health problems that can last a lifetime. Despite years of research, physicians lack a method that consistently helps these infants thrive. A study suggests that the gut microbiome – the trillions of tiny bacteria that live in the digestive tract – could help doctors personalize nutrients […]

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