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Study: Less restrictive reproductive rights reduce birth complications risk by 7%

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are 7% less likely have low birth weight babies than those living in states with more stringent laws, according to an analysis published Tuesday by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The risk was 8% lower for Black women living in less-restrictive states, the data showed.

“Our study provides evidence that reproductive rights policies play a critical role in advancing maternal and child health equity,” study co-author May Sudhinaraset, of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said in a statement.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, which effectively legalized abortion, states have had “substantial discretion” in creating policies governing whether Medicaid covers the costs of contraception or reproductive health care.

Some states have taken steps that effectively limit access to abortion services and other reproductive care, Sudhinaraset and her colleagues said.

Black women are more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than any other race group, experience more maternal health complications than White women and generally have lower quality maternity care, they said.

In addition, women of color are more likely to experience adverse birth outcomes.

Compared to infants of normal weight, low-birth-weight babies face many potential health complications, including infections early in life and long-term problems, such as delayed motor and social development or learning disabilities.

Sudhinaraset and her colleagues analyzed birth record data for the nearly 4 million births that occurred in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in 2016, comparing reproductive rights policies and adverse birth outcomes in each state.

They also evaluated if the associations were different for women of color and immigrants.

The findings indicate that expanding reproductive rights may reduce the risk of low-birth weight, particularly for U.S.-born Black women, the researchers said.

“Important policy levers can and should be implemented to improve women’s reproductive health overall, including increasing abortion access and mandatory sex education in schools,” Sudhinaraset said.

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Woman gives birth to twins after surviving coronavirus coma

A woman has welcomed twins after being placed into a coronavirus coma while pregnant with them. (SWNS)
Danielle Martin gave birth to twins after being placed into a coronavirus coma while pregnant. (SWNS)

A woman has given birth to twin girls after testing positive for coronavirus and being put into a 10 day coma while she was pregnant.

Danielle Martin, 32, had been rushed to hospital after struggling to breathe when she was nine weeks pregnant with what she believed to be one baby.

Having tested positive for COVID-19, she was placed into an induced coma after her condition deteriorated, leaving dad-to-be, Bryan Green, 32, fearing for the lives of both his partner and unborn child.

Martin woke from her coma after 10 days and rang Green with the incredible news that they were in fact expecting twins.

Read more: Parents share their relief as premature twins born with coronavirus are allowed home

Martin gave birth on 7 October, to Ava and Amelia, and the family are now happily recovering at their home in Shankill, Belfast.

“It’s feels like a miracle for us,” said Green. “They’re our wee princesses. 

“It’s amazing having them home, it’s obviously lifted the mood in the house. 

“Everyone is happy, Danielle is buzzing.”

Danielle was in an induced coma for 10 days while pregnant with the twins, pictured here face-timing her partner. (SWNS)
Danielle Martin was in an induced coma for 10 days while pregnant with the twins, pictured here face-timing her partner. (SWNS)

Mum-of-five, Martin, had felt like she was suffocating and had been rushed to the hospital on 30 March with suspected pneumonia.

“At first, I just had a sore throat, which led to a bad chest and I thought it must be a chest infection but I could barely breathe after six days,” she said.

“It felt like I was suffocating so Bryan decided to call an ambulance who came within five minutes and took me away – I was terrified.

After undergoing scans, Martin was diagnosed with severe pneumonia.

“I was put on a ventilator which helped and though I was struggling to breathe and talk I was managing,” she recalls.

Read more: Mum shocked as twins born two days apart

But everything changed when Martin tested positive for coronavirus and when her oxygen levels dropped, she was put into an induced coma.

Watch: Nurse who survived 40 day coronavirus coma given amazing send-off by colleagues

Green, a security guard, recalled being shocked at learning his wife had been put into a coma.

“I talked to her the night before on the phone and she was eating toast in bed,” he explained.

“She said she was going to try and get her head down and then the next morning I didn’t hear from her, which I thought was strange. 

“I rang the hospital to say I needed to get in touch with my partner and a consultant came on the phone to tell me they’d rushed her up to the theatre and put her in a coma.

“I hung the phone up and just broke down into tears. It was really scary.”

The family welcomed healthy twin girls this week. (SWNS)
The family welcomed healthy twin girls. (SWNS)

Doctors warned that it would be ‘highly

Nurses save mom and newborn after she gives birth while intubated for COVID-19

Jacklyn Rodriguez was 28 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Jacklyn Rodriguez was 28 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and intubated. While sedated, nurses helped her give birth to her son 10 weeks early in an effort to save both of their lives.

“When they woke me up, and they told me the baby was born, I remember touching my stomach to feel like, ‘Wait, am I understanding what they’re saying?’” Rodriguez told ABC News.

Rodriguez said that when her COVID-19 symptoms worsened, she was admitted to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where she was immediately transferred to the surgical intensive care unit and intubated.

“Even with forcing as much oxygen as we can into her, her oxygen levels are not staying high enough,” Angela Derochers, the nurse manager at Tufts Medical Center for OB-GYN, robotics and urology told ABC News. “And so we called the OB attending [physician] up, and he looked at me and he said, ‘We need to deliver this baby because they could both die.’”

“When they tell you that she’s really bad — ‘We got to do this now, if you don’t do this, she’s getting worse and both are going to be in danger’ — I couldn’t believe it, man. I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ I was nervous. I was really nervous,” said father and husband Raul Luzardo.

Derochers said: “I was just in shock. She was still intubated. … She literally had machines breathing for her and circulating her blood.”

Rodriguez was put on an ECMO machine to help pump blood through her body, so her heart and lungs could rest after the birth, according to Tufts hospital staff. Less than a day later, she woke up.

“I had no knowledge that he was being born. I was sedated,” she said. “It broke my heart a little bit, but it’s OK because I’m alive and he’s alive.”

Rodriguez, who was unable to meet her baby, named Julian, because she still tested positive for COVID-19, spent the next few weeks recovering.

“I was grateful to God to be alive. I was so grateful that he was OK. But not being able to hold him and be the first person to