pregnant women

Dignity Florida is backing bills aimed to change how pregnant incarcerated women are treated. The push comes after a woman gave birth alone in a jail cell. 

Jenna Neikirk was nearing the end of her first pregnancy when her blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels.

"I started feeling splotchy and hot, just kind of uncomfortable, so I took my blood pressure at work and it was 160 over 120," she says. Neikirk's a physical therapist in Atlanta and knew that level was alarmingly high.

She left work and walked over to her obstetrician's office, which was in the same medical complex.

Lawmakers in California will begin debate next month on a bill that would require doctors to screen new moms for mental health problems — once while they're pregnant and again, after they give birth.

But a lot of doctors don't like the idea. Many obstetricians and pediatricians say they are are afraid to screen new moms for depression and anxiety.

Zika is a scary virus because of the terrible birth defects it can cause. Now scientists have a clearer sense of the size of that risk.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 2,549 pregnant women with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories between Jan. 1, 2016 and April 25, 2017. The CDC found that 122 of these women — about 5 percent — gave birth to babies with birth defects such as small heads (known as microcephaly).

For many pregnant women, understanding what seafood is safe and healthy, and what should be avoided because of mercury concerns comes with a lot of hand-wringing. In part, that's because the federal government's advice on the matter, first issued in 2004, has long been criticized as unclear.

That guidance has included advice on how much seafood to eat, and which species pregnant and nursing women should avoid over concerns about mercury contamination.

WLRN Facebook Live video screenshot.

There's only one place in the continental U.S. where mosquitoes are known to be transmitting the Zika virus: Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. Pregnant women are arming themselves against mosquitoes.

A few years ago, almost every aspect of Rosanne Mottola's life was governed by the feeling in her gut. Literally.

"I experienced extreme urgency to have to use the bathroom. Pain. Bleeding," says Mottola, who has ulcerative colitis. "A lot of times I would go the whole day without eating," she says, so that she wouldn't have to rush to the bathroom so often.

As local cases of Zika virus continue to increase, this  week The Florida Roundup dedicated its full hour to an analysis of the political and economic dimensions of the outbreak of this virus in South Florida.

Albuminarium

The number of pregnant women in Florida with the Zika virus climbed from nine to 36 following new federal guidelines outlining how the cases will be counted.

Three pregnant Florida women have contracted the Zika virus, according to the Florida Department of Health. Researchers are studying possible links between Zika in pregnant women and birth defects in babies.

Pregnant women and new mothers need more attention when it comes to screening for depression, according to recommendations issued Tuesday by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

That came as part of the panel's recommendation that all adults should be screened, in a situation where they can be provided treatment or get a referral if they are clinically depressed.

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Florida is making it clear that anti-discrimination laws extend to pregnant women.

The Florida Legislature on Friday passed a bill that would add pregnant women to the state's existing civil rights law. The measure passed the Florida House by a 115-2 vote. The Senate passed the bill unanimously.

If Gov. Rick Scott signs the bill (SB 982) into law, hotels and restaurants could not discriminate against pregnant women. Employers also could not refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant.

The Associated Press

Florida’s Medicaid program says it is providing free flu shots to as many as 75,000 additional pregnant women this season.

The state did away with fees late last week for 65,000 to 75,000 adult women enrolled in the Medicaid program, Michelle Dahnke, spokeswoman for the Agency for Health Care Administration, told Health News Florida.

The Florida Department of Health says flu season is picking up, placing pregnant women at high risk for serious illness. This week, 24 Florida counties have reported an increase in influenza cases, particularly the H1N1 swine flu, a dominant strain this season, the Palm Beach Post reports. The H1N1 swine flu caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009.