Maternal Weight and Congenital Malformations

Expectant mothers who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for having infants with congenital malformations. The higher their weight, the greater the risk. Using data from Swedish health registries, researchers found overweight mothers (BMI 25-29.9) had a 5% greater risk. This risk increased incrementally to 37% for obese mothers with BMIs of 35-39.9.…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Prenatal Smoking Impacts Offspring in Teen Years

The short-term risks of smoking during pregnancy have long been recognized. Boston researchers found negative impacts last well into the child's future life. When the mother smoked as few as 10 cigarettes per day during pregnancy, the child suffered organizational, attention span, and time management skill deficits--along with a decreased ability to self-manage their behaviors as a teen.…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Traveler Warnings for Zika Virus

The U. S. Centers for Disease Control is warning pregnant women in any trimester and those who plan to become pregnant to avoid travel to 14 areas of the Caribbean and Central and South America. This comes because of a surge in microcephalic infant births believed to be caused by Zika virus infection. So far there is…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Researchers have found more than 2/3 of pregnant women in the U.S. gain too much weight or too little weight during their pregnancy. Only 32% of pregnant ladies experienced appropriate weight gain, while 48% were excessive, and 20% were inadequate. Those obese or overweight before pregnancy had the highest risk of excessive gain, and those underweight…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Marijuana Use in Pregnant Moms

A small study of mothers and their newborns found one quarter of those who tested positive for marijuana use also had evidence of other illegal drugs: 11.6% were positive for opioids, 10.6% for amphetamines and 6.5% for cocaine. Data was collected from 2006 to 2010 in an urban teaching hospital with 5000 births per year. About 10%…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Any Alcohol Exposure Places Baby At Risk

A recent clinical report in Pediatrics says, "There is no known absolutely safe quantity, frequency, type, or timing of alcohol consumption during pregnancy," Growing evidence indicates that alcohol-related birth defects and developmental disabilities are completely preventable. It is also likely there are effects from prenatal alcohol exposure that are more subtle than current methods can detect. PositiveTip: There…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Second Hand Smoke and Pregnancy

New research looking at 81,000 women confirms the risks of second hand smoke for pregnant women. The study's large size and comprehensive approach helped demonstrate that non-smoking women with the highest level of second hand smoke exposure (10+ years in childhood or 20+ years in adulthood) were at a risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or tubal ectopic…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Passive Smoking Matters to Mothers

Women exposed to second hand tobacco smoke are at significantly increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and ectopic pregnancy--almost as much as if they were active smokers. This data comes from the very large Women's Health Initiative. The added risk ranged from 17% to 61% and was highest with the largest exposures in childhood, adult life,…

Read MoreLong right arrow

To Eat or Not to Eat?

Pregnant mothers who consumed peanuts, peanut butter, and tree nuts gave birth to children who had fewer allergies. Offspring of mothers who ate 5 or more servings of nuts per month experienced 66% fewer nut allergies versus those whose mothers ate nuts less than once per month. It appears that early allergen exposure increases tolerance and…

Read MoreLong right arrow

Is It Really Safe for Mothers to Drink?

A series of articles by Danish researchers found that when 1600 children at age 5 were tested for intelligence, attention, and executive function, there were no significant differences between children whose mothers had ingested small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy and those who had not. However, the authors still recommended that women should not drink…

Read MoreLong right arrow