Mothers who test positive for GBS and receive antibiotics during labor have a 1 in 4000 chance of a baby with GBS disease. Mothers who test positive for GBS and don’t receive antibiotics during labor have a 1 in 200 chance of a baby with GBS disease.² 

  July is Group B Strep (GBS) Awareness month; a good time to shed a little light on what it is and how to reduce the risk of GBS affecting your newborn. 

1/700 babies are born with Down Syndrome in the United States.²

March 21st was World Down Syndrome Day; a special day marked to bring awareness to the joys and unique challenges of raising a child with Down Syndrome. The date of the 21st is chosen because the genetic disorder is characterized by an extra copy of chromosome 21; also called Trisomy 21.

I know, Mama, there is so much to think about concerning your baby’s health. Aside from his basic needs, you might be wondering how to know if something is seriously wrong and when to seek help. Here are some strategies for coping with the unexpected. Some birth defects are not visible on the outside of the body and this is the case with congenital heart defects (CHD). They are the most common type of birth defect, affecting the structure of the heart in minor to major ways.

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).¹   Mama, I know smoking tobacco is one of the hardest habits to quit. Many smokers who successfully kick the habit lament that quitting smoking is like saying goodbye to an old friend. It takes a lot of personal strength and willpower to quit, as well as the right support system. If you’re smoking and pregnant, we hope there’s information here that will give you the conviction to quit.

What Foods and Beverages Should You Avoid During Pregnancy?

It might be a little unnerving to know that your unborn baby can be affected by a food borne illness when you don’t become sick or show symptoms of infection. Tragically, some food borne illnesses can cause devastating and permanent effects to a baby, like neurological damage and developmental delays. Sometimes the damage from an infection is obvious at birth; sometimes it takes years to become apparent.

3% of infants in the U.S. are born with birth defects.¹ If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant or just found out that you’re pregnant, you may also be thinking about birth defects. January is Birth Defects Awareness Month so it’s a good time to discuss the basics and learn how they occur. Knowing the risk factors can help reduce your baby’s risk of developing a birth defect in the womb.

Mother-to-baby HIV transmission disproportionally affects black/African American people. In 2019, 61% of new mother-to-baby HIV diagnoses were black/African American.²

What is Mother-to-Baby HIV Transmission?

Hey Mama! December 1 is World Aids Day and a time to bring awareness to HIV transmission from mother to baby. There is so much to plan and prepare for when you are thinking about becoming pregnant for the first time or growing your family. No matter your circumstances, it’s always best practice to get tested for HIV (and other sexually transmitted infections) before you conceive.

40-65% of healthy infants regurgitate after feeding (reflux) and this usually goes away around 6-12 months.¹

Is Reflux Normal in Babies?

Hey Mama! Did you know that when babies regurgitate or “spit up” that it’s normal? This is called reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux (GER), which affects 40-65% of healthy infants. You may notice that your baby’s reflux peaks around 1-4 months and usually resolves by 6-12 months.¹

Skin-to-skin Kangaroo Care helps regulate your baby’s body temperature, breathing, heart rate, and blood sugar.²

What is Kangaroo Care and How Will It Benefit My Baby?

November 17 is World Prematurity Day with the March of Dimes, an organization that educates families about premature infants and how to care for them. For more information on preterm labor, check out Mommyato.  Kangaroo Care, also known as skin-to-skin, has been encouraged in mother/baby centers for decades and has the research to support its amazing benefits, especially for the little ones that are born too early.

High blood sugar around the time of conception and throughout pregnancy increases risks of:  birth defects, still birth, preterm birth, c-sections, and the baby developing obesity and diabetes later in life.¹

What is Gestational Diabetes?

November is American Diabetes Month and a great time to put a spotlight on diabetes during pregnancy, which is a rising trend in the United States. In the United States, gestational diabetes (diabetes developed during pregnancy) has increased by 56% from 2000-2010.¹

Around the world, 1 out of 700 babies are born with cleft lip and/or cleft palate.² July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month, a time to bring focus on the special challenges and treatment of babies born with orofacial malformations like cleft lip or palate. Around the world, 1 out of 700 babies are born with cleft.²

Birth defects affect babies all over the world.   A birth defect is a structural change to a baby’s body part, inside or outside the body. 

What Causes Birth Defects?

Birth defects happen as a result of: genetics, infection, exposure to an environmental toxin like radiation, or exposure to an internal toxin, like drugs, medication, alcohol, or smoking. They can also happen as a result of poor diet (low in folic acid) or uncontrolled blood sugar (Diabetes diagnosis or chronic high blood sugar).  

Every woman carries the risk of having a baby with a birth defect. This is called a background risk. The background risk for every woman is 3-5%. Yet, every woman can be proactive in reducing additional risk to her baby.