Skip to comments.Report Says 1 in 8 Babies Born Premature
Posted on 07/13/2006 7:55:39 PM PDT by Jenny Hatch
WASHINGTON -- More than half a million babies are born prematurely each year, and specialists are urging that doctors take new steps to battle one cause: infertility treatments that spur twins, triplets, and other multiple births.
But despite a booming business, infertility treatment explains only a fraction of the nation's huge and growing problem of prematurity. One in eight babies now is born at least three weeks early, many even earlier, a rate that has increased more than 30 percent in two decades.
Trying to help these fragile infants survive and thrive costs the nation at least $26 billion a year, and there's little likelihood of improvement soon, says a sobering report released Thursday by the Institute of Medicine.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...
Everyone in the medical profession is always scratching their heads wondering what is up with all these preemie babies....
They used to scream...Every woman needs prenatal care...then this problem will be solved. If only all women would come to us for help, this prematurity problem would simply disapear!
Know what? More women than ever get prenatal care in this country, according to the CDC in 2003, 84% of women in America received first trimester prenatal care, and only 3.5% of women received late or no care. And yet the number of babies being born early still continues to climb.
I was one of the women in 2002 who received little or no care. I saw my MD once in the 7th month of my pregnancy. For the rest of my "care" I provided myself with what I believed would give us the best outcome. This was mostly care in the form of eating the Brewer Diet PERFECTLY, and getting prenatal massage, which we paid for out of pocket.
My therapist would come to my home, set up her table in my bedroom and give me a 90 minute massage. She had been specially trained in prenatal massage and was supportive of our decision to birth alone and at home. It was a treat to work with her during my pregnancy. No shaming, no guilt, no fear, and no paranoia.
I did work with some exceptional doctors during my first three pregnancies, and they were kind people who were working hard to help babies thrive, but not once during my many prenatal visits was I EVER asked what I was eating.
The Medical Professionals have a vested interest in parents remaining ignorant about proper nutritional needs for pregnant women. If parents were truly educated on prenatal nutrition, the whole system would collapse and tens of thousands of people would be out of work.
If you are interested in this topic, please take a few minutes to peruse the blue ribbon baby web site that the late Dr. Tom Brewer put together before he died last year. For some interesting reads go here, here, and here.
"It is a fact that nobody knows why Karen developed MTLP; not a soul in her own hospital. They could only chide her: "Why Karen, you had one of the worst cases of pre-eclampsia we've seen in this hospital in months." And her baby ended up with RDS, a patient in her own neonatal intensive care unit!
What will it take to bring light into this darkness of USA obstetrics? The role of protein-calorie deficiency in etiology of MTLP was clearly recognized by Ross at Duke and Strauss at Harvard in 1935. Yet U.S.A. obstetrical and nutrition scientists rigidly reject this thesis in favor of the "NOTHING IS KNOWN' position. We must let the people know!"
Tom Brewer, M.D.
Every day of the week, you and your baby must have: One quart (4 cups) of milk. Any kind will do: whole milk, low fat, skim, powdered, or buttermilk. If you do not like milk, you can substitute one cup of yogurt for each cup of milk. Two eggs. One or two servings of fish, shellfish, chicken or turkey, lean beef, veal, lamb, pork, liver or kidney. Alternative combinations include: Rice with beans, cheese, sesame, milk Cornmeal with beans, cheese, tofu, milk. Beans with rice, bulgur, cornmeal, wheat noodles sesame seeds, milk. Peanuts with: sunflower seeds, milk. Whole wheat bread or noodles with: beans, cheese, peanut butter, milk, tofu.
For each serving of meat, you can substitute these quantities of cheese: Brick 4 oz. Longhorn 3 oz. Camembert 6 oz. Muenster 4 oz. Cheddar 3 oz. Monterey Jack 4 oz. Cottage 6 oz. Swiss 3 oz.
One or two servings of fresh, green, leafy vegetables: mustard, beet, collard, dandelion or turnip greens, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Swiss chard. Five servings of whole grain breads, rolls, cereals or pancakes: wheatena, 100% bran flakes, granola, shredded wheat, wheat germ, oatmeal, buckwheat or whole wheat pancakes, corn bread, corn tortillas, corn or bran or whole wheat muffins, waffles, brown rice. Two choices from: a whole potato (any style), large green pepper, grapefruit, lemon, lime, papaya, tomato (one piece of fruit, or one large glass of juice). Three pats of butter. Also include in your diet, in addition to the above (i.e., don't count one food in two categories): A yellow- or orange-colored vegetable or fruit five times a week. Liver once a week, if you like it. Table salt: SALT YOUR FOOD TO TASTE Water: Drink to thirst. It is not healthy for you and your unborn baby to go even 24 hours without good food!
I was a certified Bradly Childbirth teacher for eight years and so I am biased towards this method of childbirth prep and I believe if a couple will take the time and the energy to learn this form of childbirth, read the books, practice the techniques, eat the Brewer Diet, and give birth at home, they will have an amazing experience welcoming a large healthy child, born at 40+ weeks and large enough to care for from day one without any professional help.
Many of the women I know who are into this lifestyle have the issue of those babies not wanting to be born at 40 weeks. They are so happy gestating, they don't want to leave the womb. My longest pregnancy was 45 weeks! Andy just wanted to stay put and cook a few weeks longer!
The bible has an interesting scripture on this topic. When Jacob was blessing his children before he died at the end of the book of Genesis, he gave Joseph a wonderful promise. He said in Genesis 49:25 "Even by the God of thy Father, who shall help thee; and by the almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings from Heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb."
I believe the greatest blessing from Heaven are blessings of the breast and of the womb.
Ben one week old, born at 42 week and 3 days after a six hour labor of love AT HOME!
Heavenly Father can give mighty miracles in regards to healing the sick, especially if complete faith in Jesus Christ is exercised, but Jesus Christ told us faith without works is dead, I believe if Mothers will take on the "work" of nourishing their bodies properly during pregnancy, they will experience the great blessing of building a healthy child and then having the reserves and resources to breastfeed that child.
Our Foster-Daughter was born at 24 weeks' gestation - 16 weeks premature. Weighed about a pound and a half.
She's now two and healthy as any other child. A bit on the small side, but no lung, heart, hearing, vision problems. She's truly a blessing from the Lord!
"Do we really have more premis or could it be that more babies are surviving that would have been miscarriages before? Has the rate of miscarriages vs live births changed?"
The article states that:
"One in eight babies now is born at least three weeks early, many even earlier, a rate that has increased more than 30 percent in two decades."
Interestingly enough, during those same twenty years millions of babies that were not wanted were aborted, so the old claim that prematurity and low birth weight were tied to mothers having babies that they really did not want is bogus.
No, most of these babies are born to parents who want them and who honestly are trying to do a good job, but the medical people have no vested interest in teaching them the facts about nutrition. Until the medical schools take on the task of teaching doctors about prenatal nutrition, things will continue to decline. The pharmaceutical companies run the medical schools, and so they will not change things.
Parents will just have to educate themselves.
"She's now two and healthy as any other child. A bit on the small side, but no lung, heart, hearing, vision problems. She's truly a blessing from the Lord!"
That is great!
That's when my son was born, although it's quite attributable to my wife falling down the stairs. He's at Officers Candidate School in Quantico at the moment, so it didn't seem to make him too physically weak on a permanent basis.
He is a bit short, though. Taller than his mom, so I can't read anything about prematurity into that.
Both things. I had three miscarriages before I had my kids. I had an easy thing to fix: my progresterone was too low. Anyway, I wouldn't have had kids in previous generations.
Now, on to preemie births. After my 1st child, I had twins. Mine came the natural way and are a gift from God. They are identical.
Anyway, I have friends who start taking fertility drugs and never think about the consequences of taking those drugs. They increase the risk for having multiples, and it is very dangerous to have multiples.
I was on complete bedrest for over 2 months so that I would have my twins early. My twins were considered full-term and were born at 36 1/2 weeks. At 6 weeks old, they still got a serious respiratory illness (RSV) and they almost died. One has brain damage because of complications during her illness. Of course, my daughters would not be alive if it weren't for medical advancements.
"I was on complete bedrest for over 2 months so that I would have my twins early. My twins were considered full-term and were born at 36 1/2 weeks. At 6 weeks old, they still got a serious respiratory illness (RSV) and they almost died. One has brain damage because of complications during her illness. Of course, my daughters would not be alive if it weren't for medical advancements."
I wonder how things would have been if someone had educated you during your pregnancy on how to keep those babies in for 40 weeks?
The absolute best book on how to grow twins is Having Twins by Elizabeth Noble. She talks about a 150 gram protein diet being essential for gestating twins full term, but recent studies coming out of germany talk about 170 grams of protein a day to build healthy twins.
Here is a link to her book for anyone interested, it is the most comprehensive book on the market, and if followed, reduces the need for bed rest, c-section, and preemie care.
I'm glad your daughters made it and are alive. I would love to see more couples fully educated in the principles I talked about in this thread.
For me, though, I think it was more psychological than physiological. Much of the literature at the time (they're 12 now, so I don't know if things have changed) was all doom and gloom and complications. I was a hormonal mess to begin with, and so consumed with worry that I was convinced that it was near impossible to have a healthy set of twins.
My doctor DID have me do a "nutritional counseling" thing where I answered a questionaire and a recommendation for eating was sent to me. It was kind of a joke, though. I was so lactose intolerant that I spent the first few months "power puking" until I realized that it was milk that was making me feel sick. I mentioned this on my questionaire, and the recommendation came back to drink 6-8 glasses of milk a day. Really personalized!!
I wonder if it has to do with (OK, not politically correct) more moms working outside the home and not getting enough rest. Fatigue and dehydration can do a number on someone who's PG. I farm with my husband and milked cows until 9 months PG with two of the three kids, but all were born late. I had set my own schedule aside from chore times and was able to sit in the rocking chair or even take naps as needed.
Fewer women are smoking than ever before and yet we still have preemies. Because we all know that smoking causes premature birth.
On one of these Health shows last week they profiled a woman who had the largest baby born on record...almost 15 pounds and it was three weeks early!!! She was a normal size, as was her husband. She said the only thing she did that could explain it was drink 2 glasses of milk EVERY NIGHT.
What is the proportional distribution of preemies among first, second, third, et cetera pregnancies?
If a first baby is a preemie, are its subsequent siblings more likely than not to also be preemies?
What is the effect of an elective (surgical) abortion on the capability of the cervix? That is, if the first baby is aborted, does this result in a less than fully capable cervix, and if so does this contribute to the likelihood of less than full term deliveries?
I read that book, and I followed the advice. I ate great. You have to be very careful with a twin pregnancy to make sure you get enough protein and water. I did both of those things very well, plus I ate a good share of fruits and vegetables. I also was good about not eating much sugar. I just have a problem with premature contractions. It happened with my son also, but not as bad. I could control it with my son with just rest and drinking water, but not the twins.
One thing about the protein. My mom came to help out for a week when I first went on bedrest. She would cook dinner for us, and she would give me like a single piece of chicken breast or a single pork chop, a starch, and some vegetables. I would end up having to eat my husbands meal also because she didn't make enough food for me to eat. At lunch, I usually ate 2 sandwiches. If I didn't double the meat, I would just starve without it. My mom couldn't believe how much I ate, but I had to eat something like 3000-4000 calories a day. If you are eating healthy, that's a lot of food.
I personally think doctors should do more to help us with nutrition pregnant or not! (o; Congrats on your children! I've got 4 myself, and all but one were born little, and one was almost born at 32 weeks. I think you are "spot on" when it comes to nutrition. I was a young mother, and if I had to do it all over again, I would definitely pay a lot more attention to what I was eating... Thanks for your work to help people learn more about this. (o:
what the F***...we docs don't tell our women about diets?
I agree, poor nutrition is necessary...but you know, I've worked as a missionary, and you have to be pretty malnourished to have a premature baby...as for all that milk...I agree, but not if you work with non Europeans who can't digest milk.
We do discuss diet for high risk women. We screen for all sorts of stuff at the first prenatal visit, and often educated women get "pre pregnancy" counseling and advise them in diet, vitamins, no cigarettes no alcohol etc.
For those of us working with the poor, we make appointments with dieticians, and check weight. Of course, a lot of our women don't come in until far along in pregnancy.
There are a lot of reasons for prematurity.
Women with bacterial vaginosis have a high rate of prematurity. This is sometimes (but not always) an STD.
Drug use (especially alcohol, cocaine, and Meth) is associated with prematurity.
Violence is a cause of prematurity...I've had several women go into labour after their spouse/boyfriends beat them up.
The prematurity rate is higher in women who stand on their feet working all day...and in women who work with certain chemicals...for example, anesthesiologists.
Older women with high risk pregnancies have a higher rate of prematurity due to health problems such as Diabetes or high blood pressure.
And very young women have a higher rate of prematurity and pre eclampsia...and not always due to drugs or poor diet, since a lot of these are 'good girls" (the "bad girls" abort).
Women who had fertility treatment have a higher rate of prematurity.
Women with twins have a higher rate (and twins are often, but not always of course due to fertility treatment).
And the dirty little secret is that induced abortion is associated with prematurity...
Finally, in the good old days, these "premature" babies were considered miscarriages...and not reported as premies.
So it may be a fluke of statistics, since 30 years ago, a woman who miscarried her eighth baby at seven months at home was considered to have a miscarriage, and now we spend $250000 on NICU bills to keep it alive, since it might be the only baby that "elderly primip" will ever have...
When I saw the headlines, I wondered if the news stories would even mention this possibility. I haven't seen it yet. I'm reminded of the way they bewail child poverty and delinquency but avoid any mention of the correlation with illegitimacy and single parenting.
"what the F***...we docs don't tell our women about diets? "
I didn't say that mothers were not educated in some things. But Tom Brewer has been screaming about PROPER prenatal nutrition for fifty years, all of his research fully documented and backed up by volumns of research.
As a doctor, have you ever heard of the Brewer Diet?
Have you ever heard about the connection between low protein and toxemia?
Have you ever read his books?
Until the medical profession educates itself on these principles, actively teaches them to everyone, and moves away from crisis care to proactive wellness I will continue to regard them with sarcasm and disbelief.
I appreciate all of the issues you raised, but nutrition is the answer.
You don't have to eat animal foods to eat the Brewer Diet. I ate a completely Vegan Diet for my fourth pregnancy, getting all of my protein from soy, and gave birth to my largest child after a 45 week gestation. He weighed 11 pounds 12 ounces!!!
For those who are lactose intolerant soy foods work well. I also ate 80% raw that pregnancy and just lived on whole grains, fresh fruits, veges, and every day juiced up a quart of fresh vegatable juices that contained whole bunches of fresh greeds, kale, parsley, beet greens, etc.. It was an energetic pregnancy, as I chased my three older kids around and I was active and going to my prenatal aerobics class right up until the week he was born.
Here is a picture of me holding Andrew three weeks after he was born.
And here he is at two days old. He was my only child born with a double chin!
And here is a picture of me pregnant with him, about 42 weeks. I did not think to take pregnancy pictures with him, so this is one of the only ones I have. People just assumed I was having twins when they saw me because I was so huge.
It was during this pregnancy that I gained a true testimony of the power of the Brewer diet. I had been tandem nursing my toddlers when we conceived, and continued to nurse my two year old son through the pregnancy. I was convinced that if I just ate enough calories and protein my gestating baby would be just fine and my nursing toddler would not deprive him of any nutrients. When he weighed in at 11 pounds, I just marveled at the power of nutrition!
I tandem nursed those two hungry boys for seven months on demand, and while that was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, I was able to grow our baby without any formula supplementation, and he tripled his birth weight by a year old. Our pediatrician has confirmed that he is going to be a very tall man because of his bone structure, and he has passed up his older brother and sister in size and weight, even though he is nine years old.
I'm sharing this story because I believe we Americans are being sold a chemical mess of pottage in exchange for our birthright of empowered natural living, and our little children are being damaged and deprived of their genetic heritage in the crosshairs. Jenny
WOW! MAZEL TOV to you, my friend. And yes, nutrition is everything....in every area of health.
"I was a young mother, and if I had to do it all over again, I would definitely pay a lot more attention to what I was eating... "
It strikes me as just a tad crazy that we spend so much time in high school "health" classes talking about everything that is related to NOT being a parent, and when the time comes for momma to grow her babies, all of the resources are spent on "scare" prenatal care, fearbased, cover your butt medical care. It is absolutely nuts.
Want to cut health care costs? Require that anyone who gets one dime of government money for pregnancy care take a Bradley Childbirth class.
One of the most surprising things I learned doing my own prenatal care, and I have heard this from other moms, is that when you cut ties with the professionals, the level of proactive effort goes up markedly. It was almost like because I didn't have anyone but myself to pass the buck too, I knew I had to take personal responsibility to a higher level than I did with the three babies where I used allopathic prenatal care.
It was a very interesting and unexpected side effect of taking charge of my own health care.
Thanks for sharing,