Health trends

Inducing labor at full term: What makes sense?

Toni Golen, MD


A large study of first-time mothers compared inducing labor with waiting for labor to begin. Under certain circumstances, it found inducing labor may be safer for some women. A pregnant woman considering induction should discuss the option with her doctors and providers.

A soaring maternal mortality rate: What does it mean for you?

Since 1990, the maternal mortality rate in the United States, while still relatively low, has risen by 50%. Meanwhile, many other women experience pregnancy-related conditions that cause serious injury, and thousands more struggle with illnesses and a lack of support.

The real link between breastfeeding and preventing obesity

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Research into the connection between breastfeeding and obesity in children found that babies who got milk directly from the mother’s breast for the first three months of life had the lowest risk of becoming obese, because they are less likely to overfeed.

Drip bar: Should you get an IV on demand?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Receiving IV fluids without a specific medical need or reason is a new trend, and while it’s possible that such a treatment might help you get some relief from jet lag or a hangover, it’s easier and much cheaper to simply drink whatever fluids you need.