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Birth Control Archive

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Antidepressants and pregnancy: More research needed

Published May 19, 2016

A significant number of pregnant women suffer from depression. However, there are still many unanswered questions about how best to treat depression during pregnancy, especially regarding the use of a class of antidepressants called SSRIs. We’ve taken a look at some of the most salient research on the topic and listed tips for what to do if you’re pregnant (or planning a pregnancy) and think you may be depressed.

Should my daughter have her labor induced?

Updated May 10, 2016

Ask the doctors


Image: Thinglass/Thinkstock

Q. My daughter is 38 years old and pregnant with her first child. Her due date is in two weeks, and her doctor has recommended that she have labor induced a week early. Why can't she just allow nature to take its course?

A. Having a baby when you're "older" can have some advantages—women may feel more secure with them-selves, their relationships, or their careers. However, expectant moms 35 or older—and their babies—have some increased pregnancy-related risks.

Zika: Worse than we thought?

Published April 20, 2016

Just a few months ago, public health experts were confident that there would be minimal spread of Zika virus into the United States. But as they’ve continued to study Zika and catalog its effects on countries around the world, they’re discovering that it might be scarier than they initially thought. We’ve summarized the latest findings on Zika and included tips to help you ward it off.

Over 35 and expecting: Is it safer to give birth “early”?

Published April 11, 2016

For women having children over age 35, the decision to induce labor is usually based on an increased risk of stillbirth. The duration of labor also factors into the decision, as does the possibility that induction could increase the chance of a cesarean birth, though current medical evidence does not necessarily support this assertion.

An obstetrician (who is also a feminist) weighs in on the CDC’s “no birth control, no drinking” recommendation

Published March 10, 2016

The CDC recently advised all sexually active women of childbearing age, and who aren’t on birth control, to avoid alcohol completely because of potential harmful effects to an unborn child. The science behind the recommendation is sound, but the way it was delivered has raised quite a few eyebrows. In this piece, Dr. Ricciotti examines where the message fell short and describes how she emphasizes shared decision-making and autonomy when she counsels her patients.

New depression screening guidelines benefit pregnant women and new moms–and everyone

Published March 2, 2016

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recently updated their guidelines on depression screening to include pregnant and postpartum women, which will be a great help to the many new moms who experience mood changes that go beyond the “baby blues.” The updated guidelines offer other benefits, too, that help improve everyone’s access to mental health care — especially those who can’t currently afford it.

Ask the doctors: What determines whether a woman needs a cesarean section?

Updated February 19, 2016

Ask the doctors

Q: I'm expecting and want to have a vaginal delivery, but many of my friends have had cesarean sections lately. Is this a preference, or are there medical reasons to have a cesarean?

A: The health of the mother and baby, the family's personal preferences, and the hospital in which a woman delivers her baby play a role in determining whether she has a cesarean. Common medical reasons for cesareans include fetal malpresentation (when the baby is turned so that its feet or buttocks will come out first), pelvic disproportion (a birth canal that is unusually shaped or too small in relation to the size of the baby), and a past cesarean. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2015 suggests that such commonly cited medical issues may account only partly for high cesarean rates.

New depression screening guidelines outline very helpful, yet achievable goals

Published February 4, 2016

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently updated their guidelines on screening for depression. This time around, they recommended widespread screening through primary care practices, plus gave special attention to women who are pregnant or recently gave birth. These matter-of-fact, achievable guidelines and goals have the potential to reap enormous health benefits.

Lead poisoning: What everyone needs to know

Published February 2, 2016

Even though the use of lead has been regulated for many years, tragedies like the one currently ongoing in Flint, Michigan still occur. Exposure to lead in childhood can have health effects that can change a child’s life forever. We’ve listed steps you can take to keep your child — and everyone in your home — safe from lead poisoning.

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