(This story filed on Dec 21 has been refiled to make corrections in paragraphs 8 and 10, updates figures to Three fourths of women (not Two thirds) and 1.15 of every 1,000 home births(not 1.5) By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – - When women have no major risk factors in pregnancy and give birth with a midwife, their risk of stillbirth, neonatal death or serious injury to the baby are the same whether delivering at home or in a hospital, a new Canadian study finds. Planned home births were tied to fewer interventions, like resuscitation of the baby or cesarean delivery, the researchers note. “When studies are well designed and carried out, the data consistently find that when women with midwives in a system of well integrated home and hospital birth care give birth at home, outcomes are similar,” said lead author Dr. Eileen K. Hutton of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. “The findings were not surprising but were very reassuring,” Hutton told Reuters Health. In the province of Ontario, 10 percent of births are attended by a midwife, and most happen in the hospital, according to the authors. In the U.S., about 8 percent of births were attended by a midwife in 2003, with most also happening in a hospital. The new study is one of the largest that’s ever been done to address this question outside of The Netherlands, Hutton said. The researchers compared about 11,000 planned home births with 11,000 hospital births in Ontario. More than half of the mothers had given birth before. These were low risk pregnancies, with no risk factors like maternal alcohol or drug dependency, chronic high blood pressure, type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, heart condition, hepatitis B, HIV, anemia unresponsive to therapy, antepartum bleeding, eclampsia, small for gestational age babies or other factors. The authors also excluded premature deliveries, multiple pregnancies and babies who presented as breech. These are risk factors a midwife would explain to an expectant mother during prenatal care, Hutton said. Three fourths of those who planned to give birth at home did so, and 97 percent of those who planned to be in a hospital were in a hospital, according to the report in the Canadian Medical Association journal CMAJ. Eight percent of the home-birth group needed emergency services compared to less than 2 percent in the planned hospital group, but those in the hospital group had more interventions like labor augmentation, assisted vaginal delivery or C-section. Stillbirth or newborn death happened in 1.15 of every 1,000 home births compared to 0.94 of every 1,000 hospital births. “Most pregnancies start out as seemingly 'low-risk,' but complications may occur or surface along the line as the months pass by,” said Ole Olsen, a senior researcher at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, who was not part of the new study. “The 'challenge' for a pregnant woman is to stay healthy all the way to term (i.e. 37 weeks), without running into any complications,” Olsen told Reuters Health by email. “My guess is that at least 50 percent will be that lucky.” A woman planning a home birth will need several health check-ups with her midwife to make sure that the pregnancy and her mental preparation is developing well, he said. “In case of any doubt about the status of the pregnancy as low-risk, the midwife will consult with an obstetrician to clarify any precautions related to the specific health concern,” he said. Most studies have found that home birth is less expensive than hospital birth, even in countries like Canada with universal healthcare, Olsen said. In England and the Netherlands, qualified midwives are recognized as one of the birth options, and transport and transition from home to hospital are laid out smoothly, Hutton said. “How that applies to the U.S. depends on jurisdiction, there are some areas where home birth is better integrated than others,” she said. One of the advantages of home birth is it eliminates the hospital to home transition postpartum – when you have your baby you’re already where you want to be, she said. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1ATHfzi CMAJ, online December 21, 2015.
- The Independent
Conservative youth activist Charlie Kirk promoted buses in now-deleted tweet two days before storming of Congress
- The Independent
‘Everything is made in China,’ said a business partner behind the six foot replica
- The Independent
John Brennan says ‘there are so few Republicans in Congress who value truth, honesty, and integrity’
- Business Insider
Biden hit with first Cabinet defeat as White House withdraws Neera Tanden nomination for budget chief
Neera Tanden, Biden's choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget, became known for social media attacks on the GOP- and those on the left.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday withdrew the nomination of Neera Tanden to be his budget director after she ran into stiff opposition over tweets that upset lawmakers, in the first Capitol Hill rebuff of one of his nominees. "I have accepted Neera Tanden’s request to withdraw her name from nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget," Biden said in a short statement on Tuesday. The decision to withdraw Tanden's nomination reflected the tenuous hold his Democrats have on the Senate.
- The Independent
5,000 National Guard troops remain in DC amid QAnon frenzy that Trump will be inaugurated again this week
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- Associated Press
Nearly a decade ago, the United States was touting Myanmar as an American success story. The collapse is not America’s fault, to be sure, but it follows inconsistent efforts to nudge the Southeast Asian nation further toward democracy, enthusiasm for which was diminished by a systematic campaign of repression against Muslim minorities in the country's north. After years of robust diplomacy with Myanmar under President Barack Obama focused mainly on then-opposition leader and now jailed State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi, the Trump administration adopted a largely hands-off policy.
China’s biggest annual political meetings—known collectively as the “Two Sessions”—will kick off in Beijing Thursday. The unveiling of a new Five-Year Plan means that the upcoming political meetings will be brimming with long-term goals
- Associated Press
A national panel of vaccine experts in Canada recommended Wednesday that provinces extend the interval between the two doses of a COVID-19 shot to four months to quickly inoculate more people amid a shortage of doses in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also expressed optimism that vaccination timelines could be sped up. The current protocol is an interval of three to four weeks between doses for the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.
- USA TODAY
Plus: People spend free money to better themselves, and thefts of French bulldogs are on the rise.
During a recent interview on Good Morning America with host Robin Roberts, former First Lady Michelle Obama opened up about how she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, have open communications with their two young-adult daughters. “I always have wanted them to start practicing the power of their voices very early on,” Mrs. Obama shared of Sasha, 19, and Malia, 22.
- The Week
During the campaign for the two Georgia Senate races, Joe Biden repeatedly promised to pass $2,000 stimulus checks if the Democrats won. After they did, the administration argued that $2,000 really meant $1,400 in addition to the $600 that had already gone out in the December rescue package. Whether that is true or not, now Biden is inarguably breaking his promise. Under pressure from moderate Senate Democrats, he has reportedly agreed to cut down the formula under which the checks will be sent out. In the previous packages, the amount started phasing out at $75,000 in income for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers, and vanished entirely at $100,000 and $200,000 respectively (as of 2019). Now the phase-out will start start in the same place but end at $80,000 for singles and $160,000 for couples. The $1,400 promise clearly implied at least that the checks would go out according to the previous formula used under Trump. But now singles making between $80,000-100,000 and couples making between $160,000-200,000 will get nothing. The Washington Post's Jeff Stein reports that roughly 17 million people who previously got checks now will not. The supposed justification here is that moderates want the aid to be more "targeted." In fact this formula is horribly inaccurate, because the income data the IRS uses is from the year before the pandemic (unless people have already filed their taxes — and by the way, if your income decreased in 2020, you should do that immediately). This formula is therefore doubly wrong — there are no doubt millions of people who have lost jobs and should qualify but won't, and a smaller number that have gotten raises and shouldn't qualify but will. And this change will only save a pitiful $12 billion. The survival checks are one of the most popular government programs in American history. Polls have them at something like 4-1 approval. "Moderation," for Senate Democrats, apparently means breaking their party's promises in the service of unpopular, pointless actions that make their president seem less generous than Donald Trump. More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceInspector general found Elaine Chao used office to benefit her familyThe lost art of being reasonable
- The Telegraph
The Duchess of Sussex wore earrings given to her by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia three weeks after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, against advice from palace aides, The Telegraph understands. The Duchess, 39, had been given the Butani earrings as an official wedding present from the Saudi Royal Family. When she wore them to a formal dinner in Fiji in October 2018, during a royal tour, the media were told that they were “borrowed” but unusually, declined to offer further information or guidance. The dinner took place three weeks after Mr Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Duchess’s lawyers insisted that at the time of the dinner, she was unaware of speculation that the crown prince was involved in the murder of the journalist. However, a royal source claimed that palace staff had advised the Duchess not to wear the jewellery. “Members of Royal Household staff sometimes advise people on their options,” one said. “But what they choose to do with that advice is a very different matter.” The earrings were accepted as a wedding gift by the prince, known as MBS, in March 2018, when he had lunch with the Queen during a three-day visit to London. They were among a series of wedding gifts that were then transferred to Kensington Palace in June, the month after the wedding, which was when the Sussexes first knew of their existence. A source close to the Duchess said members of her staff were aware that the earrings had been chosen as part of the Duchess’s tour wardrobe. Saudi Arabia admitted on October 20, three days before the dinner in Fiji, that its officials were responsible for Khashoggi’s death. Staff in London were concerned when they saw the Duchess’s earrings in the media and alerted Kensington Palace, according to The Times. But it was claimed they decided not to take it up with the Sussexes while they were on tour “for fear for what their reaction would be." The following month, the Duchess wore them again to the Prince of Wales's 70th birthday party at Buckingham Palace and at that point, an aide is said to have confronted the Duke about the issue. He reportedly looked "shocked" when approached about the concerns. Lawyers for the Sussexes’ denied he was questioned about their provenance, which they said was well known.
Vanessa Bryant, on the latest cover of PEOPLE Magazine, says that her pain is still “unimaginable” after the loss of her husband Kobe Bryant and her daughter Gianna Bryant, but that they still “motivate her.” It’s been over a year since Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, tragically passed in a helicopter crash last Jan. 26. While the world publicly mourned the loss of an icon, Vanessa is opening up to the outlet about her terrible loss and how she has coped through the past year.
- Business Insider
Dr. Fauci has a stunningly simple way to explain how Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine differs from Pfizer's and Moderna's shots
All three of the COVID-19 shots authorized for use in the US train the body to recognize the coronavirus, but J&J's uses a cold virus instead of mRNA.
- NBC News
All federal government agencies have until noon Friday to download the latest software update to block the perpetrator.
- USA TODAY
Sen. Chuck Schumer said Democrats would be "on track" to pass the bill by March 14, when a federal boost to unemployment benefits expires.
- Business Insider
The Trumps are trying to sell a Florida home for $49 million after buying it from the former president's sister for $18 million in 2018
Eric Trump tweeted a listing for a home that the family is trying to sell through a limited liability company for more than twice its 2018 value.
- Business Insider
Biden cuts 16 million people off from stimulus checks after striking deal with moderate Senate Democrats, study says
Biden approved phasing out direct payments entirely for individuals making above $80,000 a year and married couples earning more than $160,000.
- LA Times
Paul George calls Clippers' first-half finale a "must-win" game before All-Star break, but will Kawhi Leonard be healthy enough to play?