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A New Smart Bangle Is Designed to Prevent Pregnant Women From Dying in Rural South Asia

A bangle that reminds pregnant women of when and what to eat, and tells them when it’s time to see the doctor may help prevent maternal deaths in developing countries, Quartz India reports. The decorative bracelets also will monitor carbon monoxide levels. The downside is they can’t be individualized for different women’s needs.

Identifying and meeting the needs of anyone in developing countries is always a challenge. It’s well-known that nutrition, water and sanitation play a huge part in how well a pregnant woman in these countries will do. But did you know that the U.S. — where nutrition, water and sanitation are a given — is one of only 13 countries with maternal mortality rates that worsened over the past 25 years?

In fact, the U.S. maternal mortality rate is twice that of its neighbor, Canada. And, embarrassing as it sounds, U.S. infant mortality rates are higher than those in 33 other nations. So what’s happening here? Why does the U.S. rank behind countries like Bosnia, Slovenia, Romania and Belarus?

In looking at the numbers, researchers found that the rising epidemic of obesity in the U.S. is partly to blame. Obesity fuels cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke in new mothers as well as the general population. With infant mortality, birth defects, low birth weight and preterm babies were the biggest reasons for deaths in the U.S.

If you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming, there are steps you can take to optimize your health and the health of your baby, beginning with making sure that you have adequate levels of vitamin D. When you’re pregnant, you need a vitamin D level above 50 ng/ml to protect yourself and your baby from serious complications, such as premature delivery and preeclampsia. Protect Our Children NOW! is a public health campaign aimed at raising global awareness about the health risks of vitamin D deficiency and provide information a woman can use to optimize her vitamin D status.
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