Diapers, Baby Products In Short Supply As Births Boom
Fox News reports that a recent pandemic-related surge in births (against a background of declining birth rates) is complicating access to vital baby goods. Separately, a report says home births in Connecticut are rising as people seek alternative solutions to covid-hit hospitals.
Pandemic Baby Boom Causes Diaper And Baby Item Shortages
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby (eventually) in the baby carriage, thanks to COVID-19. Pregnant women who are looking forward to their dream nursery may be waiting a while, according to a recent New York Times report. Despite a declining birth rate in the United States, the report noted the COVID-19 pandemic has caused long frustrating delays for baby items like cribs, car seats, and strollers, and given there were more than 3.6 million births in this country in 2020, the delays are likely to continue. (Sudhakar, 1/3)
Home Births Rise In Connecticut As Pandemic Prompts Women To Seek Alternatives To Hospitals
Cameron English got comfortable on the cushioned green exam table as her 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter played nearby. Initially, as midwife Carolyn Greenfield swept a monitor over English’s pregnant belly, there was only an indistinct swoosh. But before long, the instrument found and amplified a distinctive, quick double thump. English was all smiles, hearing her baby’s heartbeat for the first time. After English’s first three children were born in a hospital, she had her fourth child at home in 2020, attended by Greenfield, a certified professional midwife. She wants the same experience for this baby due next March. While she says she had always been interested in giving birth at home, it was COVID-19 that sealed the deal for her. (Jones, 1/2)
California Twins, Born 15 Minutes Apart, Arrive In Different Years
Twins in California might have been born just 15 minutes apart, but they were born in different years. Alfredo Antonio Trujillo came at 11:45 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2021. He was followed by his twin sister, Aylin Yolanda Trujillo, who arrived at 12 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2022, making her the first baby to be born this year at Natividad Medical Center and in Monterey County, the hospital said in a statement. ... "What makes their birth so rare is that they were born on different days, months and years," the hospital said. The chance of twins' being born in different years is estimated to be 1 in 2 million, the statement said. (Fieldstadt, 1/3)
In other public health news —
Shoveling Snow Can Trigger Heart Attacks: At What Age Should You Stop?
Shoveling snow isn't for everyone. Thousands of people get injured and dozens die every year while taking care of the maligned winter chore. And for those of a certain age or health status, experts say it might be best to leave the shoveling for someone else. As much as it can seem like a mundane outdoor job, shoveling snow has resulted in thousands of injuries and can even bring on a fatal heart attack. A peer-reviewed study published in 2010 estimated that nearly 200,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for snow-shoveling-related incidents from 1990 to 2006, or an average of roughly 11,500 people a year. (Cannon, 1/3)
‘Then The Bill Came’: Year 4 Of KHN-NPR’s Bill Of The Month Is A Wrap
In 2021, more than 880 of you submitted ideas for KHN-NPR’s Bill of the Month investigative series, trusting us with two of the most personal topics in life: your health and your money. We are deeply grateful. Our trove of bills and stories — building steadily to nearly 5,000 since February 2018 — tells us that American health care’s financial toll is a burden for far too many people, and that our health system is often better at promoting its own financial interests than protecting the public. (12/25)
Laws Shield Hospitals From Families Who Believe Loved Ones Contracted Covid As Patients
After Amanda Wilson lost her son, Braden, 15, to covid-19 in early 2021, she tried to honor his memory. She put up a lending library box in his name. She plans to give the money she saved for his college education to other teens who love the arts and technology. But in one area, she hit a brick wall: attempting to force change at the California hospital where she believes her son contracted covid in December 2020. While seeking treatment for a bleeding cyst, Braden was surrounded for hours by coughing patients in the emergency room, Wilson said. Yet, she said, she has been unable to get the hospital to show her improvements it told her it made or get a lawyer to take her case. (Weber and Jewett, 12/24)