The NHS is paying a 'shocking' price for the lack of mental health care services available to pregnant women and new mothers, a report says.Read the full story ›
More and more women are asking doctors if their unborn child is at risk from the amount they drank before discovering the pregnancy.Read the full story ›
Fathers are more likely to be in the delivery room for their child's birth today partly because of the increase in family planning in recent decades, according to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas).
"Comprehensive family planning services mean couples today are able to make decisions about the timing and size of their families, and become parents together through choice, not by accident," said Clare Murphy, director of external affairs at charity bpas.
"Far from feeling forced into the delivery suite, dads want to be there to share the experience and support their partner," she added.
One in five fathers avoids being in the delivery room when their baby is born, according to a new poll of around 500 parents.
However the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said the number of fathers who help their parters through labour had risen "dramatically" since the 1960s.
In 1960, only one in ten fathers was in the delivery room, compared to 95% today..
Blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin could hold the key to treating a faulty gene that triggers repeated miscarriages.
According to The Telegraph, one in four pregnancies ends in a woman miscarrying and doctors now believe the recurring problem may owe more to a genetic defect than to fertility complications.
The fault causes improper blood clotting and can be treated with blood thinners such as aspirin and heparin.
The gene, known as C4/M2, was present in 44% of Care Fertility patients, a private provider of IVF treatment, compared with just 15% of the general population.
A mother who conceived by accident said having children later in life was "definitely more common" than most people thought.
Cheryl Millar, 43, told Good Morning Britain of her shock when she fell pregnant with her daughter Grace eight months into the relationship with her partner.
"Because of my age I automatically thought, 'Oh everything will be OK. I probably won't get pregnant.'"
Some 23.6% of women over the age of 40 managed to conceive in the first month of trying for a baby, a fertility and pregnancy survey has found.
According to Netmums:
- A further 19% fell pregnant after three months of trying.
- Over half (53.9%) were with child after six months.
- Fertility experts have warned women fertility plunges after the age of 35, but of the 3,151 women quizzed by Netmums, 70% said they disagreed.
More women over the age of 40 are having unplanned pregnancy than teenagers, a poll from a parenting website has said.
The Netmums Getting Pregnant Report found one in five of the women over the age of 40 it spoke to said their pregnancy was a surprise.
However, of the 3,151 women quizzed by Netmums, only 8% said they had an unplanned baby as a teenager or in their 20s.
The parenting website pointed to the belief fertility "fell off a cliff" at 35, leading women to become less vigilant with contraception.
The needs of pregnant women and their unborn children are "still not being met" as midwifery care in under-developed, according to one author of a report into the over-medicalisation of childbirth.
Professor Mary Renfrew, a report author from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Dundee in Scotland, said:
Many of the needs of childbearing women, their babies, and families across the world are still not being met, despite long-standing recognition that women and their babies need access to health care which provides more than just emergency interventions for acute medical problems.
Although midwifery is already widely acknowledged as making a vital and cost-effective contribution to high-quality maternal and newborn care in many countries, its potential social, economic and health benefits are far from being realised on a global scale.
The health of expectant mothers across the globe is being put at increasing risk by the "over-medicalisation" of pregnancy and childbirth, according to experts
According to a series of articles published in medical journal The Lancet, the routine use of surgical interventions like C-sections and restrictions on movement during labour have lasting effects on both mother and baby.
Midwife-led units in or next to hospitals emerged as the better facilities for generating natural births, with lower levels of hormone treatment, assisted birth, Caesarean birth and vaginal cutting than conventional labour wards, evidence showed.
Each year an estimated 139 million births take place around the world, and almost 300,000 women die during pregnancy, say the experts.
They estimated that if midwifery coverage increased by just a quarter, the current rate of maternal deaths could be halved by 2030.