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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Couple launch legal battle against Dorset County Hospital

Couple launch legal battle against Dorset County Hospital (From Dorset Echo)
A COUPLE whose daughter suffered severe disabilities at birth have launched a legal battle against Dorset County Hospital.

A traumatic birth left Honey Arnold-Jones, now four, fighting for her life and she now has severe cerebral palsy.

The family has recently launched a legal fight against the Dorchester hospital, attributing Honey’s disability to failings in her delivery.

Simon and Jane Arnold-Jones admit they feel incredibly lucky to have little Honey in their lives.

And the devoted parents from Creech, near Wareham, insist theirs’ is not a sad story.

Simon said: “We have a beautiful girl who survived. It just means life is different – but it is for anyone with children.

“Our problems are just technicalities.”

Honey is every inch the four-year-old, but her complex needs mean she is unlikely to ever walk, talk or see properly.

The family’s bid for damages has only been launched to ensure Honey is supported later in life.

It was only when Simon and Jane began asking questions about the birth that they realised errors may have been made.

Their claim states Jane, 44, at the time, was not induced as planned and Honey then became asphyxiated during the birth.

Jane was also lucky to survive post-birth, and both mother and daughter subsequently spent many weeks in hospital.

“I’ve always been a great believer in the NHS, but there has to be accountability,” says Simon.

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Veterans Seek Medical Marijuana for PTSD Patients in Colorado

Opposing Views: Veterans Seek Medical Marijuana for PTSD Patients in Colorado
DENVER --- Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 7, the medical marijuana advocacy group Sensible Colorado and local veterans will hold a press conference and rally to coincide with the official submission of a petition to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that would add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana recommendations in Colorado.

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Parents sue doctors after baby's death

Parents sue doctors after baby's death | Louisiana Record
Two Louisiana parents are accusing the doctors who delivered their baby of causing his death.

Ashley Robinchaux and Harris Irvin, individually and on behalf of their deceased son, filed suit against the state of Louisiana, through the Louisiana State University Medical Center, Health Sciences Center and the Medical Center of Louisiana at New-Orleans University Hospital Campus, the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund June 23 in Orleans Parish District Court.

Robinchaux and Irvin argue that a cesarean section delivery was needed but was not performed. They say the physicians who delivered the baby also failed to perform appropriate resuscitation techniques after the birth.

Two other LSU resident physicians are accused of not providing the newborn with adequate oxygenation via bag and mask ventilation during their prolonged intubation attempts. According to the suit, the baby was eventually intubated, by a respiratory technician, ten minutes after delivery.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Alive! Mental Health Fair

Kristin Brooks Hope Center - Hopeline
The Alive! Mental Health Fair is the Hope Center's newest program; it was created to provide an interesting educational program aimed at college students to help them learn how to prevent suicide.

Most people do not know that suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students.

The Hope Center created this program in partnership with Postsecret . There is an art therapy exhibit and a hands-on graffiti exhibit where each student is able to create their own art expression on a large canvas which is pre-populated with a theme customized for each campus. We screen A Reason To Live Documentary which depicts young suicidal adults grappling with life and death issues and how crisis interventionists help them. In addition, there is a PostSecret Exhibit, where blank Postsecret cards are sent to each campus in advance of the fair's arrival so that students can create their own PostSecrets which are then put on display at the fair. Lastly, there is a one hour training course in QPR, Question Persuade and Refer, on how to ask a friend or someone you are concerned about if they are suicidal, how to persuade them to get help, where to find that help and take them there. Counselors invited from the host college will be on hand to meet and speak to the students.

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Medical group pushes awareness of PTSD in veterans

Medical group pushes awareness of PTSD in veterans -
The Indiana State Medical Association is working to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder to ensure that returning soldiers receive the help they need.

The group recently distributed information about the disorder to 1,300 primary-care physicians across the state, who experts say are often the first line of defense for troubled veterans.

"The family doctor is going to be more likely to be able to talk to them than anybody else," said Silouan Green, a former Marine who suffered PTSD after a stateside jet crash and now travels the U.S. helping others deal with the condition. "There's a natural fear and cynicism among soldiers' families of the VA."

Camille Pond, who led the Indiana effort to distribute PTSD information to doctors, says medical providers who don't have contact with the military might not have experience with PTSD.

"A whole host of things might bring a patient into the doctor's office, and they need to be able to connect the dots, that this is in response to stress," said Pond, whose husband, Dr. William Pond, is a colonel in the Indiana Air National Guard.

The awareness effort could benefit thousands. Indiana has about 27,000 National Guard members, and statistics estimate that 15 percent to 25 percent of returning soldiers suffer from PTSD.

Many of the symptoms commonly associated with the disorder, such as nightmares, flashbacks and fear of crowds, often pass with time. But those with PTSD may require multiple medications and therapy to help them cope with the condition.

People with the disorder are more likely to recover the sooner their condition is diagnosed and treatment is started, experts say. But diagnosing the disorder can be difficult.

William Pond, a Fort Wayne anesthesiologist, interviews returning Guard members to assess their physical and mental health. Some don't show signs of PTSD until weeks after their return.

"What we found was that we were doing a pretty good job of getting people initially, but after they leave, we felt that we needed to have a better ability to keep track of them," he said. "That's why we wanted to ... make this more of a communitywide approach."

The push could help people like Indiana Air National Guard Maj. David Cox, who spent months wrestling with PTSD symptoms before finally being diagnosed.

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Local veteran's suicide reflects troubling trend

Local News | Local veteran's suicide reflects troubling trend | Seattle Times Newspaper
High suicide rate

During nine years of war, suicide rates among active-duty soldiers, once far below the civilian population, have been on the rise. From January through June 10 of this year, 115 soldiers had taken their lives. The even higher rate of veterans taking their own lives after leaving the military also has raised major concerns.

More than 35,800 Washington state veterans have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan war era. If the national veteran suicide rates also are representative of the state level, then more than a dozen young Washington veterans kill themselves each year.

These veterans can turn to a network of hospitals, clinics and counseling centers that have benefited from increased federal funding. Washington state has developed a network of 37 counselors who offer free services to veterans, while King County voters approved a 2005 levy that expanded services to veterans.

These efforts have aided plenty of people.

But the failures are wrenching.

In the summer of 2008, for example, two 25-year-old Iraq veterans in Washington state killed themselves: Timothy Juneman, who was attending school in Spokane, hung himself in his apartment. Tim Nelson, who was working at a Bellingham veterans center, shot himself at his home.

"As I've often asked, mostly of myself, but also of others from time to time, why do we know so much about suicides but so little about how to prevent them?" said Eric Shinseki, a retired Army general who now heads the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Veteran suicides: Families haunted - Depression follows tragedy

Veteran suicides: Families haunted
Daniel V. Ryan, public affairs officer for the Canandaigua, N.Y.-based Department of Veterans Affairs, said while there are no official statistics on veteran suicides, there are on the number of telephone calls made to the VA’s National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Since the summer 2007, he said, 281,679 calls were received as of June 21. Of those callers, 9,192 were rescued.

“These were people with guns in their hand or ropes around their neck,” Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Lucey contends there are more veteran suicides than troops killed in action.

“Suicide is one of the major problems in the U.S, and the number of military suicides is increasing every year,” Mr. Lucey said. “And for every suicide, there are at least five attempted suicides.”

He said his son did not show overt signs of depression until Christmas Eve of 2003, when he did not want to join the annual family celebration at his nearby grandparent’s house, something out of character for him. At one point, Jeff flung his dog tags at his younger sister, with whom he shared some of his dark war memories. But on Christmas Day, Jeff seemed back to normal. However, as his March 18 birthday approached — which coincided with the anniversary of the Iraq invasion — Jeff began spiraling down. His father said he was not sleeping or eating well, drinking heavily, and isolating himself.

The family tried to get him to go to the Northampton VA hospital, but Jeff refused, fearing a mental health record would end his dream of becoming a state police trooper.

Memorial Day rolled around and things were worse. Mr. Lucey got Jeff involuntarily committed to the hospital for three days, but said Jeff was not assessed for post-traumatic stress disorder during his stay, even though he had threatened to kill himself three times. Mr. Lucey said the family was told Jeff needed to be sober for a certain period of time before he could be assessed.

“The system itself is broken,” he said.

A week after his release, Jeff crashed his car between two trees, but was not seriously injured. Two days after that, he was taken to the VA hospital by his grandfather, but was not admitted. On June 15, Jeff’s mother, Joyce Lucey, called the VA and told whoever would listen that they were “watching our son die.” Three days later, Jeff was assessed at the hospital but not admitted. The family then took him to Camp Sunshine, a camp for terminally-ill children and their families in Maine, because Jeff had volunteered there previously, and enjoyed it.

They returned on Fathers Day. That night, an exhausted and emotionally drained Mr. Lucey yelled at his son, telling him how angry he was. They later made up.

On the evening of June 21, Jeff suddenly asked if he could sit in his father’s lap.

“I felt really awkward about it, but I had never given up,” Mr. Lucey said. “He was trying to say goodbye, but I did not know that.”

He soon found out. At 6:45 p.m. the next day, Mr. Lucey walked by his son’s room and saw the dog tags on his bed. Then, he noticed the cellar door was ajar and the lights were on. He got a glimpse of some sort of shrine made out of family photographs.

“I walked down the stairs, and then I saw the blood. And that was the last time I held my son in my lap,” Mr. Lucey said.

A year later, a letter arrived for Jeff. It was from the state police, informing him of his acceptance into its academy.

According to Michael M. Lawson, medical director of the VA Boston Healthcare System, 45 percent of returning troops are receiving health care from the VA, and mental health care is the most sought-after form of treatment. Furthermore, Mr. Lawson said, mild concussions and more serious traumatic brain injuries, very common in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, can produce the same symptoms as post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, repeated tours of duty in these conflicts increase the likelihood of post traumatic stress, he said. Mr. Lawson, a Vietnam combat veteran, said while new medications and increased mental health services can lessen the effects of stress, veterans need jobs.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Book looks at stress disorder

Book looks at stress disorder | TriCities

“The PTSD Workbook” by Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula, 2002, New Harbinger Publications, Inc., $21.95, softbound, 237 pages: Survivors of traumatic events often have a condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The idea behind this book is to help these survivors do the work of recovery themselves, rather than relying on professionals to help them all the time.
The authors tell us that there are three major kinds of factors which determine the development of PTSD: pre-event factors (including previous exposure to trauma or victimization, lack of social support and genetics); event factors (such as age, the length of the trauma and physical proximity to the event); and post-event factors (like being passive, developing acute stress disorder or being unable to glean meaning from the trauma).

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Opinion: G8 nations need to stem the vast tide of deaths in childbirth

Opinion: G8 nations need to stem the vast tide of deaths in childbirth - San Jose Mercury News
By Kate Grant

Special to the Mercury News
Posted: 07/03/2010 08:00:00 PM PDT

If you're a mother-to-be in the United States, one of your rites of passage on your way to a safe delivery is to attend a childbirth class. During the class I took, the discussion at times seemed fixated on the goal of "natural" childbirth, meaning, of course, drug-free labor. I did exercises like holding an ice cube while counting to 60 and being taught to breathe deeply.

I have to admit, little of that diligent training worked with me. After 10 hours of labor, and literally unbearable pain that felt nothing like holding an ice cube, I pleaded for drugs. My son was born healthy by cesarean section 12 hours later.

Had I been like the majority of women in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, I would have delivered at home, without a trained attendant and postpartum care for my son. Forget the painkilling meds. Forget the C-section, and likely forget giving birth to a healthy child. The result: more than 300,000 maternal deaths, and the deaths of 3.5 million newborns.

The biggest threat to the lives of teenage girls and young women in the developing world is pregnancy and childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, a woman living in sub-Saharan Africa faces a lifetime risk of dying due to pregnancy of 1 in 16. And for every woman who dies, another 20 suffer from illness and disability, like obstetric fistula, that without surgery to repair it leaves its victims incontinent social outcasts.

The tragedy does not end there. The children of these mothers are much more likely to die, too.

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Thoughts on Birthrape

Thoughts on Birthrape « Birth a Miracle Services
Women, mothers, girls, please! Protect your bodies! Birth leaves you vulnerable, which is good, but you must choose your care provider with extreme caution! If you are hesitant about your doctor or midwife prior to birth, if you find yourself defending him or her but know deep down you can’t trust them, listen to your intuition! Respond to that voice inside you because pregnancy is the only chance you have to choose birth attendants who will protect you in your vulnerability. You can’t protect yourself while you’re giving birth. That’s how you end up with the fight or flight response causing your labor to not start or to stall or your baby’s precious heart to show signs of stress during labor – because you don’t feel safe! Please, listen to your birthing voice and obey it. It may not be easy to change care providers like this woman did (also see June Favorites), but you’ll thank yourself during and after your birth.

If you have experienced birth rape, felt manipulated or cheated, or forced to do something you didn’t want during your birth, please read this post, and talk to someone about it. You don’t have to protect your abuser, and it is good to stand up for yourself.

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Assistance available for postpartum issues

Assistance available for postpartum issues | | North South Brunswick Sentinel
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services wants residents to know that help is available for women who are suffering with postpartum mood issues.

Among the babies born in the United States every year, 35 percent are born from the beginning of June through the end of September. For every eight in 10 births, new mothers will experience at least a brief episode of the “baby blues” — feelings of sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or moodiness — within the first few days of giving birth.

After a few weeks these symptoms typically disappear. When symptoms persist or deepen in intensity, however, they may be a sign of postpartum depression (PPD) or another perinatal mood disorder (PMD).

PMDs include anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorders and postpartum depression. The depression may be mild, moderate or severe.

In New Jersey, women have numerous resources available to help them overcome the effects of PMD. The disorders can be serious, but they are highly treatable. Help is available, and it is important that a mother get the support and treatment needed to recover so that she can enjoy her baby. The first step is to ask for help.

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Study shows impact of brain injury on women's health

Health News - Study shows impact of brain injury on women's health
Appears to affect menstrual cycle, postpartum health

After a brain injury, women often ask how the injury will affect their fertility, pregnancy and postpartum health. Now a new U of T/Toronto Rehab study provides some much-needed answers.

Published in the June issue of the Journal of Women’s Health, the study is the most comprehensive investigation to date of women’s health issues after traumatic brain injury.

“Traumatic brain injury is a major public health problem, yet little is known about its long-term effect on women’s reproductive health,” said Professor Angela Colantonio of occupational science, a senior scientist at Toronto Rehab and principal author of the study. “Our findings provide important information for women who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, and for health professionals working with these women.”

The study, which examined the health outcomes of 104 premenopausal women five to12 years after moderate to severe brain injury, found that:

* women with traumatic brain injury (TBI) were more likely to experience menstrual disturbances, including irregular cycles and amenorrhea (not having a period)
* women with TBI did not appear to have significantly more problems with getting pregnant when compared to women without brain injury
* women with TBI had fewer children
* significantly more women with TBI experienced postpartum difficulties, compared to women without brain injuries
* women with TBI reported lower levels of perceived health, including mental health, physical function, perceived support, and income.

“These findings inform prognosis after TBI for women and provide evidence for long-term monitoring of health outcomes and increased support after childbirth,” the authors write.

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Birth injury girl gets £4million injury compensation for future care

Birth injury girl gets £4million injury compensation for future care | Injuries Direct
A girl who was left disabled for life after a traumatic birth has been awarded a £4million injury compensation package.

Six-year-old Holly Nixon from Kidderminster has cerebral palsy after she was starved of oxygen during her birth at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in 2003.

Doctors decided that Holly would need to be delivered by emergency caesarean, but this process was delayed to such an extent that her condition seriously deteriorated.

When she was finally delivered she was suffering from severe oxygen starvation, which caused permanent brain damage and left her quadriplegic. She is now unable to move independently, and has limited speech and vision.

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Pregnant and terrified: It's maternity's biggest taboo, but antenatal depression is very real

Pregnant and terrified: It's maternity's biggest taboo, but antenatal depression is very real | Mail Online
For as long as I can remember, I hoped I would have children. In my late teens and 20s, I imagined I'd have four. When I reached 30, I readjusted my expectations downwards to two or three.

By 35 and still single, I began quietly to panic as I tried to get my head around the possibility that it might never happen. Then, two-and-a-half months ago, at the age of 39 and after a miscarriage last November, I discovered I was pregnant.

I was momentarily elated, as was my partner. But for me the joy and excitement quickly and surprisingly disappeared. In its place was fear, often verging on terror.

I tried to reassure myself that part of it was normal - physical and hormonal. The constant nausea, the ever-present feeling of exhaustion and the complete loss of appetite are horrible.

As is having such a heightened sense of smell that I can no longer apply moisturiser or open my fridge without feeling sick.

I was also struck by an absolute terror of the birth. I reminded myself that I was not the first person in the world to get pregnant and that nearly 500,000 women worldwide give birth every single day.

This didn't, however, make me any less terrified. Nor did my well-intentioned friend who, in response to my plea for the honest truth, told me that on a scale of one to ten, if two is having your foot run over by a car and five is having your jaw reset without anaesthesia, then childbirth hovers between nine-and-a-half and ten.

But, she tried to assure me, you do forget how awful it is. And I know the birth is not the end of the story; it's only the beginning.

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Post-traumatic stress disorder? Logon for help

Post-traumatic stress disorder? Logon for help
( -- People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will have the chance to take part in a pilot study of an internet-based education program.

Participants will be able to log on to a secure website and complete the program at convenient times. There are six lessons over an eight-week period and those involved will have access to a clinical psychologist who will monitor their progress and be available for phone and email support.

The pilot, run by UNSW and St Vincent’s Hospital, follows other online programs that have proven just as effective as face-to-face therapies for a wide range of common mental disorders.

“In this program people will learn to recognise and challenge the symptoms of PTSD, and with practice, we hope they will gain control over those symptoms,” says Mr Jay Spence, a clinical psychologist who is developing the online treatment as part of his PhD at UNSW. “Recovering from PTSD is hard work, but good education is the cornerstone of learning to manage the symptoms.”

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Use Of Doulas Sparks Debate At Columbus-Area OB-GYN

Use Of Doulas Sparks Debate At Columbus-Area OB-GYN | NBC 4i


Catie Mehl is a certified birth doula. She says she helps women and their partners during the labor and birth process with emotional and physical support. "We suggest position changes, we offer suggestions on different comfort techniques, we help with breathing, we just help them to feel a little bit more comfortable during the birthing process," she said.

Mehl helped Margaret Murphy with the birth of Murphy's daughter three years ago. At the time, Murphy was a patient at Kingsdale Gynecologic Associates, which no longer uses doulas.

"Because I did have such a good experience, it disappoints me that other women that go through that practice will not have the option to have that experience again," Murphy said. "I would never birth a child without a doula, ever. So that affects me in the choice I make and in the practice that I select for my next child," she said.

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Did I Really Need to Have a C-Section? The problem with doctors, not moms, picking the birth method.

Did I really need to have a c-section?
In the homestretch of my first pregnancy, I imagined childbirth would involve some shouting, a fair amount of blood, and in the end a baby. As it turned out — not so much.

I had a C-section. I know women who’ve given birth surgically whose feelings fall somewhere on the spectrum between neutral and ecstatic. I am not one of those women. I am angry.

Labor was a nightmare — the kind where you know you’re having a bad dream but you can’t wake yourself up. It took a night and a day of five-minutes-apart contractions to get a labor room and an epidural (I was progressing, but painfully slowly). The pain eased, but then the nightmare closed in. I was tethered to my IV pole and fetal monitor. The lights were dim. I imagined babies being born in rooms around me in the rush and light and heat that I craved for myself.

At dawn on day two, I’d reached 10 centimeters. I pushed for an hour but it was fruitless, dry and bloodless. The doctor offered a C-section, and I acquiesced. What I’d been through seemed to have no end. Surgery, though I didn’t want it, held out the promise of an end. An hour later, I had my son.

Though his unending needs didn’t at first leave me the brain space to indulge in shoulda-coulda-wouldas, I eventually came to regard my incision, as it hardened into a scar, as a badge of dishonor. The first moments of my son’s life remain at a frustrating remove. I remember the bright lights; the odd, painless tugging at my abdomen; the conversation between doctors and nurses. But I wasn’t really there.

I didn’t want it to happen again. When I got pregnant 16 months later, I discovered that VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) was no longer the default position. In fact, it was actively discouraged. Caesarean rates, which had dipped in the late 80s and 90s, were on a steep incline. The year I had my second son, 2004, 29.1% of all births in America were surgical — and it rose to over 30% just a year later, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. An increasing number of women request surgery for convenience or fear of labor. Many OBs, whether wary of malpractice or eager to maintain their schedules, seem more inclined take up a scalpel than to try to ease a troubled labor through to a natural conclusion.

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Postpartum Mental Illnesses - Postpartum depression and psychosis support! - A very quick, 3-question survey

A very quick, 3-question survey

Posted by: "tsnm278"

Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:03 pm (PDT)

Hello everyone!

As I posted before, I've recently started up a website called SOS: Sisterhood of Strength at It aims to empower women with mental illness (both permanent and temporary) to express themselves through art and writing. I publish art, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction that women who struggle with mental illness send me.

To better understand the needs of my target audience, I've come up with a survey. It's only 3 questions, and will take less than 5 minutes of your time to complete. By participating, you'll be helping not only me, but women everywhere. Please pass on this link to women you know. Remember, not everyone is forthcoming about their mental illness, and almost half of people in the U.S. have a mental illness of some sort!

To start, you can copy and paste the following link to your browser:

Thank you so, so, so much for your help and participation.


To members of Birth Trauma Association

Facebook | Messages - BTA - Birth Experience Survey - Please Help!
Julie Orford June 29 at 3:20pm Reply
Hi All
We are looking for mums to complete a very brief, literally a couple of minutes, survey about their birth experience. This can be both GOOD and BAD experiences.

If you have a spare minute, please can you fill in the survey to help us, we do have an optional prize draw on offer too for £50.00.

If you have had more than one child, please feel free to fill the survey in for each of your births.

Thank you!
Jules - BTA Chair

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Announces Innovative International Partnership Focused on Maternal Child Health

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Announces Innovative International Partnership Focused on Maternal Child Health -
Arlene Remick, MPH, released this exciting news about text4baby, a mobile health messaging program from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies which includes-- among other important health information for pregnant and new moms-- messaging related to maternal mental health and postpartum depression. This historic and groundbreaking program has become the centerpiece of a major international and innovative partnership.

Remick said, “Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a partnership between the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) and the Healthy Russia Foundation to launch text4baby internationally. The announcement was made in tandem with the Obama-Medvedev Presidential Summit in Washington, D.C. about our plans to share strategies for success in mobile health with our Russian counterparts.”

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Preterm Births Rarely Discussed With Doctors

Preterm Births Rarely Discussed With Doctors -
WEDNESDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Even though one in eight babies in the United States are born preterm each year, most new or expectant mothers and their doctors don't discuss preterm birth, a new survey shows.

Conducted by the March of Dimes and BabyCenter, the poll included more than 1,000 participants, including new or expectant mothers, mothers who've experienced preterm birth and their obstetricians/gynecologists.

Despite the fact that prior preterm birth is a major risk factor for delivering another baby prematurely, nearly 40 percent of women who had a previous preterm delivery were not informed of this by their doctors...

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