With resourcefulness that would put MacGyver to shame, a pregnant Tennessee woman used YouTube, an electric kettle, a pocketknife and shoelaces to deliver her own son in a foreign hotel room.
In a viral Twitter thread posted last week, Tia Freeman, 22, of La Vergne said she had already bought plane tickets to Germany for a March vacation before finding out she was six months pregnant. Thinking she had plenty of time before the baby's arrival, she decided to take the trip anyway.
>> Read the thread here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)
According to WTVF and Inside Edition, Freeman, a computer specialist for the U.S. Air Force, initially thought she had food poisoning when she started having cramps en route to Istanbul, where she had a layover, on March 7. The pain only got worse after she landed.
"I make it to my hotel & now I'm sure I'm in labor," she tweeted. "There is no way in the world I'm not in labor because I can barely standup at this point. So I'm in a foreign country, where no one speaks english, I don't know this country's emergency number, & I have no clue what to do."So she looked it up online.
"In true millennial form I decided to @Youtube it," she tweeted. "If no one else had my back the internet would!"
Freeman said she got into the bathtub and pushed five or six times before delivering a baby boy, Xavier Ata Freeman. After another Google search, she used an electric tea kettle to sanitize her pocketknife and shoelaces, then cut the umbilical cord.
"It's weird how focused a person becomes when [their] adrenaline starts going," she tweeted. "Because at no point ever did I freak out. Like I just did what I had to do."
The morning after Xavier's birth, Freeman brought him to the airport.
"Immediately, security knew something was up," she told WTVF. "They called in a doctor and nurse, and I called the U.S. consulate."
Freeman and Xavier, who quickly became viral sensations in Turkey, flew back to the U.S. two weeks later after the newborn received a birth certificate and emergency passport, WTVF reported.
"I still really don’t understand what’s so shocking about my delivery story," Freeman tweeted. "Lol maybe it’ll set in one day.”
Men can take hormone injections to prevent pregnancy in their partners with nearly the same success rate that women have with the pill, according to a newly released study. However, as with hormonal treatments for women, the side effects could pose problems.
The study was conducted from September 2008 to May 2012, although researchers said in a news release that they stopped enrolling people in 2011 because of the rate of reported adverse effects – specifically depression and other mood disorders. One person reported depression that was "probably related" to the contraceptive, according to the study, published online last week in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
The trial involved more than 300 men between the ages of 18 and 45 and their partners in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Chile, India, Indonesia and Italy.
Of the 274 couples who made it to the "efficacy stage" of the study, only four became pregnant, giving the shots a nearly 96 percent rate of success.
"More research is needed to advance this concept to the point that it can be made widely available to men as a method of contraception," said one of the study's authors, Mario Philip Reyes Festin, of the World Health Organization in Geneva. "Although the injections were effective in reducing the rate of pregnancy, the combination of hormones needs to be studied more to consider a good balance between efficacy and safety."
The study involved giving participating men a series of injections to lower their sperm counts and requiring them to use the injections as their primary form of contraception. To be approved for the study, couples had to have been monogamous for at least a year before joining.
According to The Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy group that focuses on reproductive issues, 40 percent of all pregnancies were unintended in 2012, the most recent year for which information is available.
The side effects, however, were too much for some participants, including 20 couples who dropped out because of their reactions.
According to researchers, many participants – nearly 46 percent – reported getting acne, and a majority of them said it was "probable" that their skin issues stemmed from the hormone injections. Thirty-eight percent of men said the injections gave them an increased libido. Seventeen percent of participants reported "emotional disorders" over the course of the study, although most considered their symptoms mild.
"Despite the adverse effects, more than 75 percent of participants reported being willing to use this method of contraception at the conclusion of the trial," researchers said.
Three women have given birth to children with Zika-related birth defects in the U.S. and three others have lost or terminated their pregnancies because of links to the virus, according to statistics released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Authorities did not specify in what states the babies were born, citing the involved families' privacy.
The numbers are the first concrete examples of the Zika virus' effect on pregnant women in the United States amid fears that the mosquito-borne illness is likely to spread across the country.
"Although these outcomes occurred in pregnancies with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection, we do not know whether they were caused by Zika virus infection or other factors," health officials said Thursday in a news release.
The question is one of many that scientists hope to answer through the CDC's U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry, including how likely it is for a mother to pass on Zika to her unborn child and whether the way a mother is infected – from a mosquito's bite or by sexual transmission – has any effect on a child's likelihood of getting the virus.
The registry is a data-gathering collaboration between the CDC and state, local, tribal and territorial health departments.
"We urgently need to understand the magnitude of the potential risk, and what factors might affect that risk such as when the infection occurs during pregnancy," said Dr. Margaret "Peggy" Honein, co-team lead of the CDC's 2016 Zika Virus Response Team.
Tests have found evidence of Zika virus in 235 pregnant women in the U.S. as of June 9, according to health officials. An additional 190 pregnant women appear to have the infection in U.S. territories.
The numbers were collected as part of the CDC's first report on the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry. CDC officials announced that they would release additional updates from the registry once a week for the foreseeable future.
"(The) CDC's top priority for the Zika response is to protect pregnant women and women of childbearing age because of the potential risks associated with Zika virus infection during pregnancy," the CDC said in a news release.
Zika can be transmitted from mother to child and cause microcephaly in newborns, a defect which causes a child to be born with an abnormally small head and which often leads to intellectual disabilities and speech problems. The virus has also been linked to eye defects, hearing loss and impaired growth.
The virus is predominantly spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes species, an insect which has been found throughout the southern half of the United States. It can also be spread through sexual contact.
The virus can cause fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes in adults, although the symptoms are rarely severe enough to require hospitalization.
The World Health Organization says women living in areas affected by the Zika outbreak should consider waiting to get pregnant.
This is a step beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that women talk about it with their partners and doctors.
And Pope Francis has even weighed in on the issue. He said using contraception to avoid spreading the virus could be considered morally acceptable.
The WHO's guidelines don't have a specific timeline for how long to wait before getting pregnant.
But the organization is expected to give an update Tuesday on the overall state of epidemic, along with an evaluation of its risks tied to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.
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Today Show host Savannah Guthrie shared exciting news Tuesday morning when she surprised her co-workers with news of her second pregnancy.
She called all her co-hosts around for a decoy segment called "The Fishbowl."
Savannah drew a question "at random" from the bowl, and on it was written "Are you pregnant?"
"Well, yeah!" she responded.
After getting hugs from her cast members, she announced she is due in December.
Her daughter, 21-month-old Val, didn't look too excited by the news, yelling "No!" when Guthrie asked if she wanted a new baby.
Guthrie said on Today that Val will soon be very excited by the news, and that she adores babies.
A Texas mother is helping other mothers commemorate their motherhood by creating jewelry made out of their breast milk.
Bridgette Boudreaux wanted to cherish the bond she had with her children.
“It’s so beautiful," Boudreaux told KTRK. "You know, such a peaceful time with just you and your baby."
She said when other mothers found out she could create keepsakes from the breast milk, the orders started coming in.
“I debuted it in a small Facebook group that I was in for mothers, and they responded very well, and the orders just started pouring in,” said Boudreaux. "I have milk from Indonesia, Canada, Britain, France, all over the world. I receive milk every day."
She makes the jewelry at her home by adding preservatives to the milk and storing it in a refrigerator. Within a week, the milk becomes solid, and Boudreaux molds it into various shapes. She also adds color and adds a top coat resin to harden and protect the milk.
Boudreaux said she has sold hundreds of the necklaces, which range from $50-$100.
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One of the many orders going home this weekSterling silver Breastmilk ringPosted by JoBri Milk Charms, Breastmilk Jewelry on Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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Your preciously preserved breastmilk is cradled in the solid sterling silver cala lily pendant Only 5 cala lily...Posted by JoBri Milk Charms, Breastmilk Jewelry on Sunday, January 31, 2016
Confirmed cases of the Zika virus, a mosquito-transmitted illness related to yellow fever and dengue and linked to microcephaly, have been growing rapidly.
The illness first rose to attention in Brazil in April 2015 after the discovery of an epidemic of a birth defect in which children were born with smaller than normal cerebrums. Since then, the virus has been been found in more than 20 countries in Latin America alone. In January 2016, the CDC released an extensive list of countries pregnant women should not travel to in order to prevent contracting the illness.
World Health Organization director general Dr. Margaret Chan referred to the spread of the virus as "explosive" and said Zika had gone "from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions." Some even compared it to the Ebola epidemic.
The number of reported cases in the U.S. began to grow by the end of January. At least 30 people were confirmed to have the virus in states like Texas, Massachusetts, Arkansas, New York, Hawaii and Virginia.
But here's why Americans don't need to be fearful that Zika will plague the U.S. just yet: Everyone that has been diagnosed with a Zika infection contracted it while traveling abroad. There have been no cases in which the virus has been transmitted locally.
And most people don't know that prior to the widespread news of Zika, the CDC diagnosed 14 returning American travelers with Zika between 2007 and 2014. None of those cases sparked Zika outbreaks in the U.S.
"We're expecting a lot of travel-associated cases," Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director for the CDC, said on Thursday.
Another thing to consider: The virus is spread by Aedes mosquitoes, which are mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions. In the countries where Zika is spreading rapidly, people can contract the virus in their homes, where the mosquitoes like to dwell. Many Latin American homes don't have air-conditioning; people leave their windows people for fresh air, an invitation for the insects. Plus, more trash in Latin American cities means more opportunities for standing water to collect, creating the perfect breeding grounds for the mosquitoes. In the U.S., most people have screens on windows and doors and air-conditioning.
"(The Aedes mosquitoes) is a bit of a homebody," infectious disease expert Daniel Lucey of Georgetown University told BuzzFeed News.
According to Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec, an assistant professor in the department of environmental sciences at Emory College in Atlanta, it's relatively difficult for individual travelers infected abroad to spread Zika in the U.S. The primary reason is because most people infected with the virus clear it from their blood in less than a week. Mosquitoes can only become infected with the virus if they bite someone during that small window of time. Many travelers have cleared the virus before they even return to the U.S., Vazquez-Prokopec reported.
What's more, the mosquito doesn’t travel far from where it’s born, a limiting factor in its ability to spread the Zika virus. Moreover, in the U.S., most swamps are drained, eliminating a popular place where the bug lays eggs.
At a press conference on Thursday, American officials insisted that a Zika outbreak in the U.S. is unlikely and reminded people that the country’s history of mosquito-control efforts have previously suppressed other mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue and chikungunya.
Tyra Banks is a new mom.
The legendary supermodel and former host of "America's Next Top Model" welcomed her baby boy into the world in late January and released a statement about her son on Instagram Thursday.
"The best present we worked and prayed so hard for is finally here," she wrote below a picture of a baby cap. "He's got my fingers and big eyes and his daddy Erik's mouth and chin."
Banks and her boyfriend, photographer Erik Asla, named the child York Banks Asla.
The 42-year-old talk-show host revealed in the message that the couple used a surrogate mother to carry and birth her son.
"As we thank the angel of a woman that carried our miracle baby boy for us, we pray for everyone who struggles to reach this joyous milestone," she wrote. "York Banks Asla, welcome to the world."
Banks, who openly struggled to conceive a child, shared some of her experiences with infertility with People magazine:
"I've had some not happy moments with that -- very traumatic moments. It's difficult as you get older. It's not something that can just happen."
Now, her dreams of starting a family of her own have come true.
"As I gaze into the beautiful eyes of my son, I think about all the people who struggle with fertility or carrying a child and continue to pray for them every day," she told People. "My hopes and dreams are filled with well wishes that they get to feel what my little treasure, York Banks Asla, feels like in my arms."
York may be the first of many children Banks hopes to have. Last year she told the magazine that she didn't want just one child -- she wanted a "litter."
"I want to be the kind of mom where my child can come to me for anything," she said last year.
Asla has three daughters who live with him in Los Angeles, according to his profile on Photo Artwork Agency.
The best present we worked and prayed so hard for is finally here. He's got my fingers and big eyes and his daddy Erik's mouth and chin. As we thank the angel of a woman that carried our miracle baby boy for us, we pray for everyone who struggles to reach this joyous milestone. York Banks Asla, welcome to the world. A photo posted by Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) on Jan 27, 2016 at 5:16pm PST
Everyone deserves to be loved like this. A photo posted by Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) on Dec 16, 2015 at 9:18am PST <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>
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