birth

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

South County Hospital may be the first in Rhode Island to bring back laughing gas for women in labor. It hasn’t been used in the U.S. for decades. We delve into what happened to nitrous oxide, and why it’s making a comeback.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Postpartum depression can be debilitating for moms and devastating for babies. It can rob them both of the ability to connect at a time when that’s crucial. Some data show that Hispanic women are at higher risk for postpartum depression. On this week’s The Pulse, we hear from a unique program in Providence where more Latina moms are seeking help.

First signs of postpartum depression
This is how Aliez Roman was feeling after the birth of her second child: “I couldn’t sleep at night. A lot of racing thoughts.

Memorial Hospital

Reactions continue to the potential shuttering of Memorial Hospital’s birthing center. Nurse midwives who work with the center say they’re concerned about narrowing options for pregnant women.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Hospital wants to deliver more babies. The hospital is seeking permission to open a new inpatient obstetrics unit.

The new unit would cost $20 million dollars, according a letter of intent filed with the state health department. In that letter, Rhode Island Hospital says it would be ready to take patients in a couple of years. 

The state’s health department says the number of babies born in Rhode Island to mothers dependent on opiates has nearly doubled in the past few years.

In 2012, it was 90 babies, more than double the number in 2005. So far, in the first quarter of this year, it’s 26 newborns.

This is the first time health department researchers have compiled statistics on babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, a collection of symptoms that afflict babies in withdrawal from the drugs they were exposed to in the womb. 

No pun intended. Well, OK, maybe a little bit intended.

But seriously, folks. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published its 2012 breastfeeding report card for all 50 states. And Rhode Island seems to be making progress in some areas. But not all. We’re lagging behind on a few key measures. For example, the report shows that about 34% of Rhode Island babies were fed breast milk, exclusively, through the age of three months. The national average is 36%.

First, here’s how the CDC describes what the report aims to tell us and how states play a role: