Diet, Birth Defects & Pregnancy Complications

An Immune Disorder at the Root of Autism

In recent years, scientists have made extraordinary advances in understanding the causes of autism, now estimated to afflict 1 in 88 children. But remarkably little of this understanding has percolated into popular awareness, which often remains fixated on vaccines. So here’s the short of it: At least a subset of autism — perhaps one-third, and very likely more — looks like a type of inflammatory disease. And it begins in the womb. Read more about a recent study here...

Study: Vitamins don't prevent pre-eclampsia in pregnant women

A government-sponsored study of more than 10,000 women failed to find that large doses of vitamins C and E cut the risk of complications from Pre-eclampsia, pregnancy induced high blood pressure, scientists report today. Read more here...

Nutritional Supplements and Perinatal Complications

In this retrospective study, 178 consecutive women (Group I), took the daily supplement compared to 179 matched control patients who took no supplement (Group II). The test supplements consisted of commercially available fruit and vegetable powder. Group 1 women consumed 2 fruit capsules before breakfast and 2 vegetable capsules in the evening prior to the evening meal. Read more here...

Plasma total homocysteine, pregnancy complications, and adverse pregnancy outcomes

Randomized trials have shown that folic acid supplementation before pregnancy can reduce the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect. Further follow-up of the Hungarian randomized trial and reports from observational studies also suggested a role of vitamin supplementation in preventing other congenital malformations. Additionally, prenatal vitamin supplementation was linked to decreased risks of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and fetal death. Read more here...

Nutrition During Pregnancy – What I Would Do Differently

Studies show that proper nutrition in pregnant mothers significantly reduces the chance for complications such as miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, and pre-term birth. The best way to maximize the nutrition from your food is to eat plenty of protein, get a large (2 cups) serving of veggies (especially leafy greens which are rich in folic acid) with each meal, and get 2-3 servings of fruit and healthy fats everyday – all from food that came from the earth. I would choose organic, grass-fed meats and organic produce as often as possible to minimize my baby’s exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, and toxins. Read more here...

Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

Research has shown that women who do not eat nutritious foods while pregnant are more likely to have low birth-weight babies increasing their babies chances of having poor health which could continue on through childhood and even adult life. Read more here...

Research Shows Why Every Week of Pregnancy Counts

Those last weeks of pregnancy are more important than once thought for brain, lung and liver development. And there may be lasting consequences for babies born at 34 to 36 weeks, now called "late preterm." Read more here...

Healthy Diet May Cut Risk of Birth Defects

Women who ate a low-fat, fiber-rich diet in the year before becoming pregnant had a significantly lower risk of having children with certain serious birth defects, a new study found. The research, led by doctors at Stanford University School of Medicine, is believed to be the first large study to look at birth-defect risk and the overall quality of women's diets. The bulk of research on food and birth defects has studied one nutrient at a time. Read more here...

Apgar score

The Apgar score is a system of assessing the general physical condition of a newborn infant based on a rating of 0, 1, or 2 for five criteria: heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, skin color, and response to stimuli. The five scores are added together, with a perfect score being 10. Read more here...

Diet and Its Possible Role in Developmental Disorders

As early as 1922 dietary factors have been suspected of exacerbating, if not causing, cognitive and behavior problems among some individuals with developmental disorders. Although any such association has often been dismissed based on early studies of children with hyperactivity, the hypothesis continues to be discussed and retested. Read more here...

Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Pregnancy Reduces Risk of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, New Study Finds

Consumption of at least seven servings a day of fruits and vegetables moderately reduced the risk of developing an upper respiratory tract infection in pregnant women, a new study by researchers at BU's Slone Epidemiology Center shows. The study, led by Martha M. Werler, professor of epidemiology at BUSPH, appears online in the journal Public Health Nutrition. Read more here... and here...

Intrauterine Growth Restriction

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a term used to describe a condition in which the fetus is smaller than expected for the number of weeks of pregnancy. Another term for IUGR is fetal growth restriction. Newborn babies with IUGR are often described as small for gestational age (SGA). Read more here...

Mother's Gum Disease Linked to Infant's Death

Expectant mothers have long been warned that gum disease can cause a baby to be born prematurely or too small. But for the first time scientists have linked bacteria from a mother’s gums to an infection in a baby that was full-term but stillborn, according to the study which was published Thursday in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Read more here...

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