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Study Suggests Moms Take Preemies Out of the Incubator

Is kangaroo care better for kids, or are parents who do it simply better parents?

(Newser) - The age-old practice of mothers holding their naked newborns to their skin and nursing them appears to benefit children—specifically those who were born premature or small—two decades later. Researchers at the Kangaroo Foundation in Bogota, Colombia, revisited a group of preemies who were studied in the mid-1990s and... More »

Gaining Weight Between Pregnancies May Harm Baby

A roughly 12-pound weight gain increases risk for all adverse outcomes in newborns

(Newser) - Not only the sins of the father, but the weight of the mother may well also be laid at the feet of the children. So report researchers out of Sweden in the journal PLoS Medicine in finding that women whose BMI increases by two or more units—amounting to a... More »

Mom's Voice Really Fires Up a Kid's Brain

Researchers use MRI scans to observe the impact a mother's voice has

(Newser) - Newborns can pick out their mother's voice in their first days of life, and while the stimulating sound of mom's voice has long been connected to the early emotional and social development of children, little is understood neurologically. Now researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy ... More »

No, Your Baby Isn't Imitating You

But you might be imitating her

(Newser) - Contradicting parenting websites and books—and probably a bunch of overly proud new parents—researchers have concluded that infants in the first weeks of life actually don't imitate facial expressions or hand gestures. In fact, the study suggests that it's the adults who are imitating the babies, reports... More »

San Francisco First US City to OK Paid Parental Leave

For 6 weeks, state will pay 55% of worker's paycheck, private companies 45%

(Newser) - What do the United States and Papua New Guinea have in common? Per the International Labor Organization , they're the only two countries out of 185 that don't have national paid parental leave, the New York Times reports. To make up for that absence, some states—including Rhode Island,... More »

Deliveries Not to Blame for Brain-Damaged Newborns

Study finds it's the hours after birth when things tend to go wrong

(Newser) - The majority of newborns with brain damage weren't born that way, meaning a medical mishap during their birth didn't cause the damage. Researchers at Loyola University Medical Center and Loyola University Chicago report in the Journal of Perinatology that of the 32 full-term infants whose records they examined... More »

Mom: Newborn Could Have Died From a Kiss

A hospital visitor with an unknown oral herpes outbreak kissed the infant

(Newser) - The mother of a newborn in the UK is taking to Facebook to warn how easy it is to expose babies to herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), which is the kind typically transmitted orally, and what caused her own infant to be put on a drip in the hospital as... More »

Boys and Girls Have Different Spines—From Birth

The difference allows the female spine to adapt during pregnancy

(Newser) - Boys and girls have subtly different spines, and the difference is present at birth, according to a new study out of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 35 full-term newborn girls and 35 full-term newborn boys, researchers report in the Journal of Pediatrics that vertebral... More »

This Is How a Newborn Sees You

Researchers reconstruct how newborns see the world

(Newser) - Researcher Svein Magnussen wondered 15 years ago whether newborns can make out people's facial expressions, but says he didn't yet have the tools to investigate. Now, thanks to modern simulation techniques, as well as a wealth of information from previous studies, the University of Oslo professor and other... More »

Great-Grandmothers Come to Blows as Twins Born

Shirley Irvin has been charged with assault and harassment, police say

(Newser) - Family gatherings aren't always harmonious, even those involving great-grandmothers in hospital maternity wards. In an Aug. 31 incident in Brighton Township, Pa., now coming to light, the grandmother (Shirley Irvin) of a father-to-be apparently overheard the great-grandmother (Carole Alberts) of the mother-to-be say something about hoping the twin babies... More »

Newborns' Brains Grow 1% a Day

Rate slows down after initial burst in early weeks

(Newser) - The first study of its kind shows that newborns' brains grow fast—figure a staggering 1% a day immediately after birth, though it slows to about half that rate by the end of three months. Using MRI scans of 87 newborns' brains, researchers discovered that the first weeks of life... More »

For Moms, Smell of Newborns Is Like a Drug

Study shows that mothers' brains light up with pleasure at the scent

(Newser) - The smell of a newborn isn't just a pleasant sensation for moms—it might be closer to an addiction, a new study suggests. Montreal researchers found that when women who had given birth recently smelled an infants' pajamas, their brains' reward circuits lit up, reports LiveScience . The dopamine surge... More »

Doctors Worry About All These Big Babies

Along with obesity, birthweight is on the rise

(Newser) - Like people, babies are getting bigger around the world—and experts say those cute, chubby newborns pose health risks to themselves and their moms, NBC News reports. Not only can they get stuck during birth, but they can face higher risks of cancer, obesity, and (if born from an overweight... More »

Baby 'Cured' of HIV Probably Never Really Had It

Today's drugs good at stopping transmission, but not eliminating infection

(Newser) - Don't get too excited by last week's news of a baby in Mississippi being "cured" of HIV , warns Mark Siedner in the Wall Street Journal —just because the baby had been exposed to HIV does not mean she was really infected with the virus. Most likely,... More »

UN Group Seeks Ban on 'Baby Boxes'

But advocates say they save lives

(Newser) - Mothers across Europe can abandon newborn babies in a so-called "baby box"—incubators located discreetly outside some hospitals. But one UN committee is lobbying to overturn the practice, saying the boxes ultimately hurt children and avoid dealing with the deeper causes of child abandonment, the AP reports. "... More »

New Link to Birth Defects: Dad's Job

Artists, physicists, hairdressers among jobs associated with increased risk

(Newser) - Yet another thing for pregnant women to worry about: Their partner's choice of profession in the months before conception could increase the risk of birth defects in their newborns, finds a new study. Researchers studied more than 14,000 dads who worked in one of 63 job categories from... More »

Stem Cell 'Spare Parts' May Await Newborns

Doctors awaiting FDA 'green light'

(Newser) - Babies with congenital defects may soon have stem cell treatments waiting for them the moment they're born, New Scientist reports. Pending FDA approval, researchers say they're ready to extract cells from a mother's amniotic fluid, grow needed "spare parts," and patch up the baby when... More »

Babies Cut Dads' Testosterone

That makes men better parents, researchers believe

(Newser) - Who knew newborns could have such a significant physical impact on their dads' bodies? Scientists have discovered that fathers experience a significant reduction in their body's testosterone with the birth of a son or daughter. They believe it's Mother Nature's way of making men less interested in... More »

Babies Aren't Just Inconvenient Accessories

They're not interfering with your real life, they are your real life: Essay

(Newser) - Get a babysitter and get away from your newborn—you need to keep your sanity. So goes the unsolicited advice to young parents. But since when did babies become just inconvenient accessories? "Had we had actually had a baby, I wondered, or simply gotten a goldfish?" asks Tracy Moore... More »

WTF Is Pregnancy Denial?

Condition may be factor in baby killings

(Newser) - It's a good question. Why, asks Bruce Crumley in TIME , are French women killing their babies ? It may have something to do with a little known, "quasi-schizophrenic" phenomenon called "pregnancy denial," he finds. Women with this condition "either don't realize or cannot accept that they... More »

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