In small, rural towns like Bluefield, West Virginia, economies are hurting, the opioid epidemic is growing, and together they are taking a toll on a surprising population: pregnant women and their babies.
The active involvement of both a mother and a father in the upbringing of a child has great social and psychological benefits. Yet, despite legal provisions allowing parents to take time off to look after children, such as parental leave, many men are still reluctant to take it.
Fathers' involvement in child care has considerable benefits for their children, mothers, employers, and themselves. Paternity and parental leave are important, but pay, flexibility, and eligibility remain significant barriers to uptake by fathers across Europe.
Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life. This provides health benefits to both mother and child and saves health care costs. Paid maternity leave can boost breastfeeding rates, but few U.S. firms offer it.
Whether fathers take parental leave depends on economic factors, but flexibility of timing and workplace culture also seem to make a difference. The link between fathers taking parental leave and improvements in child development makes it an important area for European policymakers to consider.
Scientists across universities, governments, and industry are doubling down to gain a better understanding of the Zika virus and develop the diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic tools needed to combat it. In the meantime, the public must be actively engaged.
For now, public health officials and their partners must do all they can to control Zika virus, using the tools at hand. That may include instituting a public health campaign to reduce mosquito-breeding sites and promoting prudent protection against mosquito bites.
Funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program was extended through fiscal year 2017, without policy changes. If Congress decides to make policy changes to MIECHV in the future, research on home visiting programs can inform recommendations.
One groundbreaking provision of the Affordable Care Act is its funding for home visiting programs that match the parents of young children with trained specialists who provide information, social support, parental skill instruction, and more.
The royal birth comes at a time when fertility in Britain is increasing after decades of decline. Today, the U.K.'s total fertility rate, a proxy for the average number of children per women in a given year, is the third highest in Europe behind only France and Ireland.