Human Development

22-23 Week Very Early Premature Babies, Video Show Humanity of Unborn Children

Video of 11-Week Baby Jumping Shows the Humanity of Preborn Children A beautiful video of a baby in utero is rapidly being shared across social media. The ultrasound shows the 11-week, 4-day-old preborn child bouncing around in the womb. [10 Aug 2015, http://liveactionnews.org/ultrasound-video-11-week-old-preborn-baby-fascinates-facebook/ ]   *** Born at 23 weeks, this micropreemie is sharing the truth about abortion Trevor Frolek came into the world at 23 weeks. At the time of his birth, he weighed in at 1 pound, 6 ounces, and like many of the babies born alive in “botched” abortions would do if given the chance, Trevor fought to stay alive. And stay alive he did. http://liveactionnews.org/born-23-weeks-micropremie-sharing-truth-abortion/ *** Born Premature at 22 Weeks, Identical Twins are Sharing the Truth about Abortion … a specialist diagnosed her with an incompetent cervix, something the other doctors had missed. Ellis’ cervix was already starting to change, as it should when the babies were ready to be delivered, but the boys were much too young to survive. “When I first went in,” Ellis said, “and they noticed that it wasn’t looking good, they offered me abortion and I just couldn’t do that.” … After the surgery, Ellis remained in the hospital for a couple of days. After being at home for just a day and a half, her water broke. Back at the hospital, Ellis wanted to keep the cerclage in and try to stop labor from starting, but doctors said there was nothing they could do. She had an infection and they had to remove the cerclage. Once they did, Ellis went into labor and had to deliver her boys,...

Time-Lapse Video Shows Miracle of Premature Baby’s Life

In April 2014, Walker Colt P. was born at 26-weeks and spent his first three months of life in a North Carolina neonatal intensive care unit. His parents, Erica and Jared P., were worried about Walker’s health because he only weighed a pound when he was born and was breathing with the help of a ventilator.   Click to Read Entire Article at LifeNews.com:...

Study Shows Premature Babies Can Survive at Earlier Ages, But Will Hospitals Let Them Die? (2015)

A study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrates widespread discriminatory denial of life-preserving medical treatment to premature infants based on fear that if assisted to live they might have disabilities – in defiance of protective federal law. It provided a startling snapshot into the treatment of very premature infants. The study looked at the survival and outcomes of almost 5,000 babies born before 27 weeks gestation at 24 hospitals from 2006 -2011. It found that 23% of infants are surviving at an astonishing 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks after fertilization) with treatment, but that many hospitals deliberately deny them life-saving medical treatment. In fact, the hospital attitude made the most significant difference in the probability of survival of these very premature babies. Writing about this first major look into hospital practices regarding premature babies, Marilynn Marchione, AP’s Chief Medical Writer, explains, “There was a wide range — some hospitals always gave active treatment to the youngest preemies as opposed to just comfort care, but others never did.” According to the AP article, “Parents need to know that ‘the hospital that you go to might determine what happens to your baby’, although many parents are not in a position to shop around when they find themselves in these emergency situations,” said one study leader, Dr. Edward Bell of the University of Iowa. “In the NEJM study, five hospitals always actively treated babies at 22 weeks, but four other hospitals never did. When a baby was actively treated at 22 weeks, he or she was 18% more likely to survive than if only comfort care had...

Time Magazine’s ‘Preemie Revolution’ Illustrates How These Babies are Surviving and Thriving (2014)

A front cover photo for TIME magazine unintentionally sends as strong a pro-life message as we could ever want: “Saving Preemies: Emalyn was Due in June, She arrived in March.” … Written by Jeffrey Kluger, the home base for the story is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He writes a realistic but deeply optimistic profile of little David Joyce that explains the how and why of what TIME calls “A Preemie Revolution: Cutting-edge medicine and dedicated caregivers are helping the tiniest babies survive—and thrive.” At the risk of stating the abundantly obvious, the incongruity (to put it mildly) of aborting the same age baby that is tenderly, lovingly cared for by a “SWAT team” of devote specialists is hard to ignore—or understand. Babies whose lives everyone is desperately trying to save could have been—and are—aborted. Bear in mind these little ones are sensitive to pain. … and I want to share some of the amazing information embedded in [the] lengthy and powerful account. Here are four thoughts: #1 “Every decade since the 1960s, the age of viability has been reduced by a week,” Dr. Edward McCabe, medical director of the March of Dimes, tells Kluger. Kluger writes, “In 1960 the survival rate for infants under 1,500 g, or 3.3 lb., was 28%. In 2010 it was 78%, and a lot of that improvement has occurred just since the 1980s.” #2. Kluger writes objectively about the most difficult and challenging cases but adds (as he should), “Thanks to advances not available even a few years ago, the odds of surviving and...

Studies Cast Doubt on Reliability of Early Prenatal DNA Blood Tests (2015)

NBC Nightly News (5/21, story 8, 3:15, Holt) reported on “concerns” that a “new kind of genetic test given to pregnant women to check the health of their unborn” babies may “have been oversold and misunderstood.” Correspondent Kate Snow reported that “prenatal DNA tests given as early as ten weeks are marketed for their accuracy,” but “several recent medical studies and an investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting casts doubt on the reliability of prenatal DNA blood tests when they have a positive result for a disease.” A 2014 study revealed that “a positive result on one popular test…could be wrong more than half of the time.” For that reason, OB-GYN Dr. Michael F. Greene, of the Massachusetts General Hospital, said, “Before a woman makes an irrevocable decision” to terminate a pregnancy, “she shouldn’t make it based only on the screening test. It must be made on the diagnostic test result.” How Reliable Are Prenatal Genetic Tests? … The pre-natal DNA tests are marketed for their accuracy and manufacturers say they are more accurate than previously available tests. The maker of the test Stacie took says that for high risk women a positive result for Edward’s Syndrome (Trisomy 18) is right 97.6 percent of the time. But several recent medical studies and an investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, which appeared in the Boston Globe, cast doubt on the reliability of pre-natal DNA blood tests when they have a positive result for a disease. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year found that a positive result on one...

39-Week Initiative in Alabama to Delay Birth Date, 2009-2013

The 39-Week Initiative to discourage elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks gestation seems to be making progress in the state of Alabama. According to the report, Infant Mortality Alabama 2013 (page 13) produced by the Alabama Department of Public Health Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of births at 39 weeks has risen from 35.1% in 2009 to 42.7% in 2013. Births at full term, 40 weeks LMP, have increased slightly, from 15.9% in 2009 to 16.4% in 2013. Also, preterm births at 37 weeks have decreased from 12.5% in 2009 to 11.8% in 2013, and births at 38 weeks have decreased from 23.2% in 2009 to 16.6% in 2013. This is all good news for the babies in Alabama. Those extra weeks, and even extra days, provide added weight for the babies, and help the lungs and other body organs to naturally mature as they are meant to do, prior to delivery. Allowing the baby to naturally choose his or her birth date is “worth the weight”! Preterm Birth_ Percent of Births 37-40 Weeks Gestation_ Alabama...

A Mother’s Smoking During Pregnancy May Affect the Lifetime Reproductive Health of Her Daughters

Girls whose mothers smoked while pregnant entered puberty at a younger age in a new Australian study. Since early menstruation is linked to higher risk of uterine, endometrial and breast cancers later in life, the researchers say that maternal smoking could set up daughters for health problems even before they’re born. “The real take home message of this study is that we have probably just hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of understanding just how harmful smoking during pregnancy can be on the child,” said lead author Alison Behie, a biological anthropologist at Australian National University in Canberra. Behie notes that the potential effects of smoking during pregnancy have been known for a long time, and can show up at birth or later on in childhood and adolescence. Health risks children may face when mothers smoke during pregnancy include low birth weight, asthma, type 2 diabetes and obesity, according to Behie. But recent research is beginning to reveal how some effects may evolve over the very long term and have an impact well into adulthood. “This study not only highlights the risk of reproductive cancers for daughters of women who smoke in pregnancy but suggests why this might occur at a biological level,” she told Reuters Health in an email. “The behaviors and condition of mothers during pregnancy are extremely important for the health of their children long into the future.” For the new study, published in the journal Human Reproduction, the researchers evaluated data on almost 1,500 girls that included information about their mothers’ smoking history and followed the girls from birth until they were 12...

Babies “Serenaded” in the Womb Have More Developed Language Centers

Babies played recordings of their mother’s voice while they were in the womb were born with a more developed auditory cortex – the brain’s language-processing center. What’s more fun than the latest example of how much the unborn child can learn? The latest news is courtesy of Ben Spencer, science reporter for The Daily Mail newspaper, based on an ingenious study by researchers at Harvard. It’s long been known, as Spencer put it, that “The sound of a mother’s voice is one of the first sensory experiences a tiny baby has as they develop in the womb” and that babies “are able to recognize certain elements of language from the moment of their birth.” What the new research (published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”) demonstrates is that the auditory cortex – the brain’s language center—is more developed in babies “serenaded” in the womb. How this was shown is truly clever. Study leader Dr. Amir Lahav and colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital carried their tests out on babies who were born extremely prematurely—between 25 and 32 weeks—who would ordinarily still be in the womb. They divided the 40 infants into two groups. Spencer reports One group was played three hours of audio recordings of their mother’s voice and heartbeat every day for a month – at which time they would still have been in the womb during a normal birth. The infants in the second group only heard routine background hospital noise. What did they find, scanning the brains of each baby after 30 days? In layman’s terms that the babies who listened to...

Fetal Pain: The Evidence at www.doctorsonfetalpain.org

The eleven points below summarize the substantial medical and scientific evidence that unborn children can feel pain by 20 weeks after fertilization. www.doctorsonfetalpain.org 1: Pain receptors (nociceptors) are present throughout the unborn child’s entire body by no later than 20 weeks after fertilization and nerves link these receptors to the brain’s thalamus and subcortical plate by no later than 20 weeks. 2: By 8 weeks after fertilization, the unborn child reacts to touch. After 20 weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adulthuman, for example by recoiling. 3: In the unborn child, application of such painful stimuli is associated with significant increases in stress hormones known as the stress response. 4: Subjection to such painful stimuli is associated with long-term harmful neurodevelopmental effects, such as altered pain sensitivity and, possibly, emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities later in life. 5: For the purposes of surgery on unborn children, fetal anesthesia is routinely administered and is associated with a decrease in stress hormones compared to their level when painful stimuli are applied without such anesthesia. 6: The position, asserted by some medical experts, that the unborn child is incapable of experiencing pain until a point later in pregnancy than 20 weeks after fertilization predominately rests on the assumption that the ability to experience pain depends on the cerebral cortex and requires nerve connections between the thalamus and the cortex. However, recent medical research and analysis, especially since 2007, provides strong evidence for the conclusion that a functioning cortex is not necessary to experience pain. 7: Substantial evidence indicates that children born...

A Scientific View of When Life Begins

The question of when human life begins has been answered in a variety of ways by different religious and philosophical traditions throughout the ages, leading many to conclude the question cannot be definitively answered. Yet what does science tell us about when life begins?[1] One of the basic insights of modern biology is that life is continuous, with living cells giving rise to new types of cells and, ultimately, to new individuals. Therefore, in considering the question of when a new human life begins, we must first address the more fundamental question of when a new cell, distinct from sperm and egg, comes into existence. The scientific basis for distinguishing one cell type from another rests on two criteria: differences in what something is made of (its molecular composition) and differences in how the cell behaves. These two criteria are universally agreed upon and employed throughout the scientific enterprise. They are not “religious” beliefs or matters of personal opinion. They are objective, verifiable scientific criteria that determine precisely when a new cell type is formed. Based on these criteria, the joining (or fusion) of sperm and egg clearly produces a new cell type, the zygote or one-cell embryo. Cell fusion is a well studied and very rapid event, occurring in less than a second. Because the zygote arises from the fusion of two different cells, it contains all the components of both sperm and egg, and therefore this new cell has a unique molecular composition that is distinct from either gamete. Thus the zygote that comes into existence at the moment of sperm-egg fusion meets the first scientific criterion...

'Late Preterm' is STILL Premature — It's Worth the Weight to WAIT!

Give Your Baby the Best Chance for a Healthy Start 39 Week Initiative of Birth Outcomes Project — http://www.adph.org/owh/Default.asp?id=5848 Fetal Brain Development and Growth — Lower functions mature first; the cerebral cortex is last to develop — The brain at 35 weeks weighs only 2/3 what it will weigh at term — The immature control of the late preterm brain can be evidenced by problems with periodic breathing, apnea, decreased HR variability, REM sleep difficulties, and feeding difficulties — Volume of the cerebellum at 34 weeks is only 55% of that at term — Cerebellar function is related to: fine motor control, coordination, motor sequencing, cognition and language, social function, and learning — Volume of the white matter increases 5-fold from 35-41 weeks — Cerebral cortex volume at 34 weeks is only 53% of the term volume — Cerebral cortex is the seat of higher order functions: cognition, perception, reason, motor control — The brain organizes during the late preterm period; there is tremendous development of synapses, axon growth, dendrites, and neurotransmitters in these final weeks          "Late Preterm" is Premature — It's Worth the Weight to Wait!! … There is an association between Gestational Age at Delivery and Special Education Need — the earlier the delivery, the higher the need for Special Education … the later the delivery, the lower the need for Special Education [retrospective cohort study of 407,503 schoolchildren, 2010, United Kingdom] Morbidity (incidence of disease or rate of complications/adverse effects following a procedure): In Massachusetts, a 2008 study found that 22% of Late Preterm Infants suffered morbidity, versus only 3% of Term Infants… Morbidity...

Waiting to Deliver is WORTH THE WEIGHT!! AVOID Early Elective Delivery — Let Baby Pick the Date

Waiting to Deliver is WORTH THE WEIGHT!!   AVOID Early Elective Delivery — Let Your Baby Pick the Date! The steering committee for the State of Alabama Office of Women’s Health is thrilled to announce the 39 Week Initiative which the OWH is promoting! This Initiative is to encourage all pregnant women to avoid elective deliveries until after the 39th Week of Pregnancy – Timing is Everything!! The very cute brochure can be printed and distributed to pregnant women — (it takes a few moments to download this) https://www.adph.org/owh/assets/39WeeksBrochure.pdf … Please help get the word out, to protect the Little Ones!! Please distribute this brochure to your clients, and encourage them to let the baby decide the day s/he will be born!! Below is a list of potential consequences to a child delivered prematurely, including obesity and physical and mental difficulties. Cerebral Palsy is not directly mentioned but is a serious problem as well, as you will see in the APPENDIX. Please also help pregnant moms to understand that abortion is very closely linked to subsequent premature delivery/birth. If they want to avoid problems for their future children, they should AVOID ABORTION!! If they had a previous abortion, their doctor should be made aware that premature delivery may be an issue… Waiting to deliver is WORTH THE WEIGHT!!   AVOID EARLY ELECTIVE DELIVERY… The 39 Weeks Initiative is featured now on the ALABAMA DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH www.adph.org website: https://www.adph.org/owh/Default.asp?id=5848 <39 Weeks – Timing is Everything Excited and worried about your upcoming delivery? Thinking about having a c-section or getting induced? Have you thought about scheduling your delivery? Take a look...

High-Resolution 4D Ultrasound Captures Babies Yawning in the Womb

High resolution video images of unborn babies are getting widespread exposure this week thanks to a new study that saw researchers studying whether unborn babies yawn in the womb. Watch video: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/high-res-4d-ultrasound-captures-babies-yawning-in-the-womb?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=06755600e6LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_11_21_2012&utm_medium=email The answer: yes, they do. In the study, 15 babes were scanned using a high tech 4D ultrasound machine at 24, 28, 32 and 36 weeks gestation. The researchers say they were able to distinguish between babies who were merely opening their mouths from those who were yawning, based upon the length of time the mouth was open. The study, which was published in the journal PLoS One, found that babies likely yawn several times an hour. So what does yawning in the womb mean? “I think it’s potentially a marker of healthy development,” says lead researcher Nadja Reissland. “Unlike us, foetuses do not yawn contagiously, nor do they yawn because they are sleepy,” she said. “Instead, the frequency of yawning in the womb may be linked to the maturing of the brain early in gestation.” But mostly, it’s just cute. And for pro-life activists, the more the world sees what the unborn baby looks like in the womb, the better. [22 Nov 12, John Jalsevac,...

Your Baby’s Development Month by Month

Your Baby’s Development Month by Month Editor’s note. This marvelous research appears on the webpage of Wisconsin Right to Life at www.wrtl.org/fetaldevelopment/monthbymonth.aspx Watch the video below to see the beginnings of life in the womb and the step-by-step process of fetal development. You can share this video with your group or in your classroom by ordering the DVD (http://www.nrlc.org/InfinitePossibilities.html). To see this video online — http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/10/your-babys-development-month-by-month/ An Amazing Journey! LIFE! At the miraculous moment of fertilization – when the egg of a woman and the sperm of a man unite, a new human life begins. From this moment on, it will take approximately nine months for the baby to develop and be ready to be born. Babies come into this world one of three ways – early (premature), on time (born at the expected time), or late (after the expected due date). All babies, regardless of when they arrive, must go through the same developmental stages – usually a nine-month cycle. Let’s examine what happens before birth. For the sake of clarity, please note that fertilization is placed at the beginning of Week 1. If you had intercourse multiple times since the end of your last menstrual period, it may be difficult to determine exactly the date of the baby’s conception and stage of fetal development. Month One Fertilization – the joining of the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg – this is when life begins. Fertilization can occur within minutes of intercourse or within two to three days afterwards. When fertilization occurs a new, unique human individual begins the journey of development. At the earliest stage, the new...

Conception to Birth: The Visual Guide to Your Pregnancy on iBook (11/2012)

“Pretty Spectacular” Images of Fetal Development Available as iBook: Introducing New Technology for the Pro-Life Movement Both NRLC Director of Education Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon and myself have written glowing reviews of a book that transformed the way we understand fetal development: “From Conception to Birth: a Life Unfolds.” The author is Alexander Tsiaras. His work is amazing, but it is hard to give a name to what Tsiaras does.   He describes himself a scientist, an artist, and a journalist, but what he has done is to develop scanning and visualization software that enables him to develop rich, 4-D animations of different human body parts, organs, and processes. Some of his most stunning work has been with fetal development.  He  catalogued his work in “Conception to Birth: a Life Unfolds” (published in 2002)  and then animated this in a series of 40 videos – one for each week –on his website. Just this morning I received an alert from VisualMD.com that they were was launching a new iBook from Tsiaras: “Conception to Birth: The Visual Guide to Your Pregnancy” now available in the Apple iTunes Bookstore — https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/conception-to-birth/id556720361?ls=1 Granted this is a promotional blurb, but the description of the original book happens to be true. “Ten years ago, with the publication of his book From Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds, Alexander Tsiaras changed forever the way we perceive life inside the womb. Remarkable innovations in medical imaging technology allowed us to see, in stunning detail, the awe-inspiring process of life unfolding. The book’s vivid images revealed the many miracles of development: the heart’s first beats at 21 days,...

Introducing ‘Pretty Spectacular’ Technology for Viewing Prenatal Development

The iPad has come into the hands of many students across the country, and it has progressed as a helpful tool inside and outside of the classroom. While we certainly are impressed by its many practical uses, there is a new application out that is sure to win over tech saavy pro-lifers! Thanks to the hard work of Alexander Tsiaras, TheVisualMD.com has recently released “Conception to Birth: The Visual Guide to Your Pregnancy.” Through a series of 4D animations, this iBook displays the incredible details of each tiny feature of the human embryo. It depicts in stunning clarity the development of the child from conception to birth. The reader will certainly be amazed as even the most miniscule and complex parts of the human body are brought to life. Without a doubt, this vivid depiction of life is a great advance for the pro-life movement, and it has the potential to save lives. Show this new book to friends, family, and strangers. Use it as part of your tabling display on campus. Bring your iPad with you when you sidewalk counsel, and share these images with women and men who need to see “The magic that is existence- that is us.” Pro-lifers have long recognized the power of images to change the hearts and minds of those people promoting or considering abortions. As we continue to live in a country where abortion remains legal in all fifty states, now is the time to step up our game. Watch the video of Alexander Tsiaris as he presents this new product — Purchase and download the book — https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/conception-to-birth-by-thevisualmd.com/id556720361?mt=11 [October, 2012,...

Infant Mortality Rate in Alabama Falls to an All-Time Low in 2011

Infant Mortality Rate in Alabama Falls to an All-Time Low in 2011 The Alabama Department of Public Health announces that the infant mortality rate of 8.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 is the lowest ever recorded in the state. This represents 481 infants, the lowest number ever — which died before reaching 1 year of age. Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer, said, “Historically, Alabama’s infant mortality rate has been among the highest in the nation and we must continue to address this challenging public health issue. Positive trends we are seeing include fewer teenage pregnancies and less smoking among pregnant women, and we hope to sustain these improvements in the coming years.” "Lowering Alabama's infant mortality rate is a critical part of our efforts to improve public health in Alabama,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. "We are encouraged by news that our rate is the lowest it has ever been, and we will work to continue our progress.” Several other indicators of record progress are found in this year’s statistics, especially with regard to teen births. The percent of births to teenagers in 2011 was 11.3 (6,697), the lowest ever recorded. Another record low was the percent of births to young teens, defined as less than 18 years old, which fell to 3.5 percent of live births, (2,076 births). The percentage of teenage mothers who smoked (10.8) and the percent of older mothers who smoked (10.6) are the lowest in the past decade. Mothers who smoke have a 20 percent higher infant mortality rate than do nonsmoking mothers. Accompanying the decrease in teen births has been a...

Maternal Lifestyle Factors in ADHD Pregnancy Risk / NK Cells Needed for Successful Pregnancy (2012)

Maternal Lifestyle Factors in Pregnancy Risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Associated Behaviors: Review of the Current Evidence (2003)   Expression of Macrophage Inflammatory Protein-1β in Human Endometrium: Its Role in Endometrial Recruitment of NK Cells "…The optimal increase of these NK cells at the implantation period is thus essential for successful pregnancy…"  …         Maternal Lifestyle Factors in Pregnancy Risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Associated Behaviors: Review of the Current Evidence (2003)  Abstract OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this review was to examine the literature assessing the relationship between prenatal exposure to nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and psychosocial stress during pregnancy to the risk of developing behavioral problems related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood. METHOD: PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO were searched systematically. Studies using DSM diagnostic criteria and other validated diagnostic or screening instruments for ADHD and those examining ADHD symptoms were included. A narrative approach was used because the studies differed too much in methods and data sources to permit a quantitative meta-analysis. RESULTS: Twenty-four studies on nicotine (tobacco smoking), nine on alcohol, one on caffeine, and five on psychosocial stress were identified. All were published between 1973 and 2002. In spite of inconsistencies, the studies on nicotine indicated a greater risk of ADHD-related disorders among children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. Contradictory findings were reported in the alcohol studies, and no conclusion could be reached on the basis of the caffeine study. Results from studies on psychological stress during pregnancy were inconsistent but indicated a possible modest contribution to ADHD symptoms in the offspring. Many studies...