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Pregnancy | Warnings and Resources in Spokane, WA.

  • A warning for women of childbearing age.  The CDC states that teens and women ages 15-44 should avoid alcohol unless they are using birth control. Alcohol can harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant.  The CDC estimates more than 3 million women are at risk of exposing a developing fetus to alcohol. This warning is to reduce the cases of fetal alcohol syndrome.    (CBS Morning News, USA Today, February 3, 2016)

  • Abandoning Newborn Babies.  Under Washington State’s 2002 Newborn Safety Act, parents may abandon healthy babies less than 72 hours old (3 days) without being subject to prosecution when the baby is given to an employee or volunteer at a hospital or fire station. The amnesty does not apply when babies are left at churches or other houses of worship.

    SAFE HAVEN LAWS.  Safe Haven Laws prevent young mothers from abandoning newborns in places like dumpsters or bathrooms, where the babies are likely to die.  Washington's 2002 Newborn Safety Act law was designed to keep babies alive and to protect the mothers.  It allows all mothers to take their unwanted babies to a safe place, like a hospital or a fire department.  Many other states also have a Safe Haven Law.

    A newborn baby nearly died
    when she was left outside of a fire station in sub-freezing weather for at least an hour, because the infant's mother left her baby outside without notifying the firefighters that her baby was there.  Remember - fire stations are a safe place to leave your newborn baby; however, anyone surrendering a child is asked to alert firefighters and provide health details on the child and parent.  Without alerting the crew is dangerous - at least ring the doorbell, or knock on the door, or make a phone call to alert the crew.  ("Firefighter finds baby left in cold," Caitlin Wilson, KNDO, NBC News, December 31, 2015) 
  • Pregnancy rates in Spokane County were stable from 2009 to 2013. In 2013, the pregnancy rate for Spokane County (74 per 1,000 women 15-44 years) was significantly lower than Washington state (77 per 1,000), and women in their late 20s and early 30s, blacks, Native Americans/ Alaska Natives, and Asian/Pacific Islanders had the highest pregnancy rates.  (Spokane Counts 2015 report, Spokane Regional Health District)

  • 3,988,076 babies were born in the U.S. in 2014.  That is a 1% increase from 2013.  (National Center for Health Statistics) 

  • Pregnancy and Anti-depressants. Canadian research is raising concerns about a link between autism and antidepressants.  They found that women taking antidepressants during the second or third trimester of pregnancy (a time that is a critical period for fetal brain development) had almost double the risk of having a child who would be diagnosed with autism by age 7.  Mothers who had taken antidepressants during their pregnancies had an 87% increased risk of having a child diagnosed with autism compared to those who did not use the drugs, the researchers concluded.  While that number may sound alarming, experts point out that it's important to keep the numbers in perspective, as the actual risk of a child developing autism is still low.  "We have to keep in mind that this is a relative risk. The prevalence of autism in the population is 1 percent," said Anick Bérard, PhD, who specializes in the field of pharmaceutical safety during pregnancy. "So that means an 87 percent increase in risk makes it go from 1 percent to about 1.87 percent."

    About 13% of American women
    take antidepressants during pregnancy.  Women who are depressed need to plan their pregnancies and inform themselves of the possible risks of the medications they are taking. Untreated depression can also have dire consequences for both mother and baby, as the mother may be more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs or have an increased risk of suicide.  Therefore, the risks and benefits of antidepressant use during pregnancy need to be considered carefully and discussed with a health are provider.  The full results are published in JAMA Pediatrics.  ("Antidepressant use in pregnancy increases risk of autism:  study,” by Angela Mulholland, CTV, Canadian TV News, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, December 14, 2015; and "Study finds link between autism and mother's antidepressant use," CBS This Morning, December 15, 2015)

  • One in 6 couples are infertile (unable to conceive a child).
  • Unwed mothers give birth to 1˝ million babies every year.  37% of U.S. births in 2005 were to unmarried women.  (Pew Research Center survey)
  • Premature births.  In the United States, one in eight infants are born prematurely—at less than 38 weeks.  Research shows that some premature deliveries are deliberately induced.  New 2008 research cautions women to consider that premature deliveries risk learning disabilities, neurological problems, lung diseases and cerebral palsy. (see “Premature Birth Found To Have Long-term Effects,” by Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times)     
  • U.S. women are dying during childbirth at the highest rate in decades.  An alarming rate of 29% of all births are C-sections.  It is believed that some of the risk of death is due to increasing maternal obesity, the older age of mothers, and the numerous risks to C-sections such as excessive bleeding, blood vessel blockages, and infections.  (see the National Center for Health Statistics, 2004 death report) 
Local Organizations
Additional Resources

Agencies offering support for new mothers who need help with breastfeeding, daily care of babies, nutrition, etc.

Baskets for Babies
Providing bassinets, cribs, clothing and basic newborn supplies for parents who cannot afford to do so.
Catholic Charities CAPA
Free services for single pregnant women and parents with children, ages newborn through 3 years old. 
Classes, counseling, support groups.
(509) 455-4986
Deaconess Medical Center
Attendance:  small fee
Inland NW Baby
Diapers and basic children's needs for families experiencing h omelessness, poverty or temporary financial difficulties.
(509) 499-0670
La Leche League
Mother-to-mother breastfeeding support.
(to find a meetings in the Spokane area)
Mommy and Me Club
Valley Hospital Health and Education Center (Davis Room)
12606 E. Mission Ave.
Spokane Valley, WA
Attendance is FREE
Thursdays, 10 a.m. to Noon
(509) 473-5706
Mother-Baby Time        
Sacred Heart Medical Center
101 W. 8th Ave.
Spokane, WA
Attendance is FREE
Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
(509) 474-2400
Spokane WIC
Programs and services for eligible pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5.  Includes breastfeeding support.
(509) 326-9540

CHAS - Community Health Association of Spokane

Medical, Dental, Pharmacy, Behavioral Health, Education
24/7 Nurse Advice Hotline:  866-418-1002
(509) 444-8200

15812 E. Indiana Avenue
Spokane Valley, WA

3919 N. Maple St
Spokane, WA  99205

5921 N. Market St
Spokane, WA  99208

1001 W. 2nd Avenue
Spokane, WA   99201

817 S. Perry St
Spokane, WA  99202

12824 W. 12th Avenue
Airway Heights, WA  99001

401 S. Main St
Deer Park, WA  99006

Baby Cord Blood Banks.  The pros and cons, costs, and reasons behind saving your newborn's umbilical cord blood.  (source:  "Banking Your Baby's Cord Blood," by R. Morgan Griffin, 2005 WebMD Feature, Reviewed by Dr. Carlotte E. Grayson Mathis, MD)