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Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Reiki and Your Unborn Child

Guest Post By Bronwen Stiene

We were living and teaching Reiki in Darjeeling, India, when we decided to try for a child. Straight after conception I placed my hands on Bronwen's sacral chakra, the area of the ovaries and a tremendous heat was channeled into the womb and it felt as of I was helping the seeds of life. This was the first contact that I had with my child because we soon realised that Bronwen was pregnant. After a 10 year relationship we had imagined that it would take a much longer period before she became pregnant, but we were now both sure that the Reiki energy was helping to speed things up.
I decided to do a daily Reiki session on our baby. It began to feel as if I was a part of the baby and of Bronwen, who had a deeper connection than I did with our new child. When I placed my hands on the womb I immediately sensed a beautiful energy streaming into our baby and I felt overwhelmed
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with emotions which I never knew I had.



I would love to promote Reiki as a means of helping couples to cope with pregnancy and as a way of supporting husbands to become more involved as this is a special time for sharing and communicating with each other, for all three of you.
Men are often overlooked as being important in the pregnancy - or at least many feel this way. If they were to practise Reiki they would have no excuse not to take part and already show their child love and support.
Hands can be placed on the Mother's uterus - on the baby - with the intention that energy moves freely to wherever the baby requires it at that moment in its life. The father can also do Reiki on the mother to offer his support for her. And lastly the father can also offer energy to himself. Everyone needs support and love and fathers are no different.
During childbirth I also used Reiki as a technique for releasing tension and stress (when Bronwen allowed me!). I placed my hands on her tailbone and gave energy, when I felt that I couldn't do much I sent her energy as well. It was wonderful to feel that even this process - the birth - was something that I could be involved and supportive in.
For me it felt like I was more a part of the pregnancy and birth. When our baby finally arrived and we touched each other's skin it was with recognition as we had already known each other's energies.
Reiki Masters Frans and Bronwen Stiene (pronounced stee-nuh) are authors of the internationally acclaimed The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, Reiki Techniques Card Deck and the A-Z of Reiki and are the founders of the International House of Reiki.
Their website is the which is full of lots of articles and research into Reiki.
With over 16 years of combined experience as practitioners, teachers and speakers in healing and spirituality they have worked with, taught and researched healing in the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and Japan. They are teachers whose passion is truth, education, support and spiritual development for all.Article Source:

Monday, August 13, 2018


Do you think you might be pregnant?  When I was trying to conceive, I would monitor my body like a hawk.  Sore breasts?  Nausea?  Cramps?  All of it could be a sign of pregnancy.  One thing I had with all my pregnancies (I had a number of miscarriages) was dark brown spotting.  I had this even with my successful pregnancy.  Implantation bleeding is quite common but it can be very scary when it's happening to you.  This is just one early sign of pregnancy.
For a complete list of early pregnancy symptoms, I have devoted a page on my site to the topic:

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Friday, August 10, 2018


Pregnancy Over 40, Motherhood Over 40 May Make You Healthier!

If you've undergone assisted reproduction, you may have heard or read about the possibility of fertility drugs increasing your risk of ovarian cancer.
 The last I've read is that there is no connection between the two, however, every time I turn around, I read some new risk associated with fertility drugs. Between my cycles of Clomid and my IVF's, my ovaries certainly got their workout.
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Well, there's some encouraging news if you do become pregnant later in life (and let's be optimistic that you will):

From the article:

The women who had babies later in life were much less likely to have had ovarian cancer, they found.

"We asked was it true for women who only had one baby, was it true for women who only had two babies," Pike said in a telephone interview. The 

number of children did not matter.



"We found it was pretty consistent."

Hormones may play key role
Earlier studies have shown that having children late in life also protects against cancer of the endometrium Ч the lining of the uterus, said Pike.

He believes that the surge in the hormone progesterone that is seen in pregnancy may be a factor in both cancers.

"This level of progestins might very well be fatal to early disease," Pike said.

In addition, the uterus is "cleaned out" with birth and the delivery of the placenta, perhaps taking away aging cells that are more likely to become cancerous, Pike said.

Pike believes the findings could have implications for preventing ovarian cancer, which, while rare, is deadly. "If you could work this out you could possibly do some prevention," he said. 


Thursday, August 09, 2018


Conflicting Information On Ginseng In Pregnancy

I've heard and read so much about the health benefits of Gensing.
 It also is frequently recognized as something to take for morning sickness.  However, you may want to think twice about taking Gensing if you're pregnant or trying to conceive because of some studies done on animals. Read more:
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"Researchers from Hong Kong have warned that women should be cautious about using the herbal remedy ginseng in the early stages of pregnancy.

They have found evidence that ginsenoside Rb1 - one of the principal active components of ginseng - can cause abnormalities in rat embryos.

Their research is published in Europe's reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction.  
Dr Louis Chan and colleagues at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Prince of Wales Hospital, tested ginsenoside Rb1 in various concentrations on 9-day old rat embryos.

They found that embryos exposed to more than 30 micrograms per millilitre of ginsenoside Rb1 had significantly lower morphological scores. Morphological scores are a way of assessing the development of the important organs of embryos: the higher the score, the more normal is the development of the embryo.

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At 30 micrograms the total morphological scores were significantly lower than the scores of the control group, which had not been exposed to gensinoside - 35 as opposed to 45 - and they had lower scores for heart, limbs, eye development and flexion. At the highest dose of 50 micrograms the total score fell to 28 and the embryos were also significantly shorter in body length and had fewer somites (muscle pre-cursor cells).

"Our study has demonstrated that ginsenoside exerts a direct teratogenic effect on rat embryos: that is to say it is capable of causing malformations in rat embryos," said Dr Chan.

"Although there are numerous reports in the literature concerning the potential benefit of ginseng, much less is know about the potential toxicity and there are no data about its potential effect on the developing human foetus. Yet a survey published in 2001 showed that over 9% of pregnant women report using herbal supplements, and in Asia up to 10% have taken ginseng during pregnancy," he said."

from: (

Tuesday, August 07, 2018


Pregnancy Over 40 and Severe Nausea and Vomiting

You've probably already heard of hyperemesis gravidarum, but if you haven't, that's a fancy way of saying severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
 I didn't have this condition, but I did have fairly severe nausea with some vomiting. I barely left the house my entire first trimester. Here is a site devoted to helping women with hyperemesis
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From the article:


There are numerous theories regarding the etiology of hyperemesis gravidarum. Unfortunately, HG is not fully understood and conclusive research on its potential cause is rare. New theories and findings emerge every year, substantiating that it is a complex physiological disease likely caused by multiple factors.

Diagnosis is usually made by measuring weight loss, checking for ketones, and assessing the overall condition of the mother. If she meets the standard criteria and is having difficulty performing her daily activities, medications and/or other treatments are typically offered.

Treating HG is very challenging and early intervention is critical. HG is a multifaceted disease that should be approached with a broad view of possible etiologies and complications. When treating mothers with HG, preventing and correcting nutritional deficiencies is a high priority to promote a healthy outcome for mother and child.

Most studies examining the risks and outcomes for a pregnant woman with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy find no detrimental effects long-term for milder cases. Those with more severe symptoms that lead to complications, severe weight loss, and/or prolonged nausea and vomiting are at greatest risk of adverse outcomes for both mother and child. The risk increases if medical intervention is inadequate or delayed.

The list of potential complications due to repeated vomiting or severe nausea is extensive, all of which may worsen symptoms. Common complications from nausea and vomiting include debilitating fatigue, gastric irritation, ketosis, and malnutrition. Aggressive care early in pregnancy is very important to prevent these and more life-threatening complications such as central pontine myolinolysis or Wernicke's encephalopathy. After pregnancy and in preparation of future ones, it is important to address any resulting physical and psychological complications.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum impacts societies, families and individuals. Recent, conservative estimations suggest HG costs nearly $200 million annually just for inpatient hospitalization. Considering many women are treated outside the hospital to save costs, the actual cost is likely many times greater. Beyond financial impact, many family relationships dissolve and future family plans are almost always limited. Women often lose their employment because of HG, and women are frequently undertreated and left feeling stigmatized by a disease erroneously presumed to be psychological.

Sunday, August 05, 2018


Meconium Explained

Meconium was always a big mystery to me. Whenever I heard about meconium it was usually a bad thing at the time of delivery if the baby inhaled it.
See also for more on pregnancy over 40 or any age
Here is a question/answer article from about what meconium is and when it can be a problem:

We might think of amniotic fluid as pristine, clear water, but your growing baby was already making a mess. Old skin cells and hairs (which would become dust in the outside world) began to build up in the fluid. Unlike later in life, your daughter cleaned up her own mess. As soon as she began swallowing, she removed the debris from the fluid. This sludge began to accumulate in her intestines.
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Called meconium, this dark-green tarry substance is a mixture of hair, cells, enzymes, blood, mucus, and other secretions. By the time of your daughter's birth, the meconium had filled most of her intestines. Meconium is sterile -- very unlike the bacteria-filled stools that will follow...

...If a baby passes a meconium stool before birth, the amniotic fluid is stained and the baby is covered with meconium (reminiscent of the mess dads can make changing diapers). The baby is also likely to swallow the meconium, which sounds disgusting but doesn't present a problem. The sterile meconium does not predispose to urinary tract infections, but meconium can cause significant problems if it is inhaled into the lungs.

In only about 2% to 5% of babies born in meconium-stained amniotic fluid will some of the thick, tarry meconium be inhaled, plug the small airways, and thus cause respiratory distress (Manual of Pediatric Practice, WB Saunders, 1998 and Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, WB Saunders, 2000). Speedy delivery of distressed babies and suctioning the mouth and nose when the head has been delivered (before the expanding lungs take their first breath) can help prevent this meconium aspiration. Sometimes, more vigorous suctioning or even infusing extra amniotic fluid into the uterus before birth is needed.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018


Over the years, I have read numerous articles about how the season of conception and the subsequent season of birth can affect pregnancy and birth outcomes. This article gives some possible explanations:

From the article:
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Other researchers have suggested other reasons for season-of-birth differences. Maybe vitamin D was playing a role, for example, because children born in the winter were getting less sunshine in early life. Or maybe being put in the same school year with children who are mostly younger makes children born in the winter less socially mature. A study published in the medical journal Acta Pædriatica in April found that children born in the winter have higher birth-defect rates and suggested it was due to a higher concentration of pesticides in surface water in the spring and summer, when the children were conceived.

There may be validity to all of that research. But if there was any truth to the pattern that Ms. Buckles and Mr. Hungerman discovered, it would question the weightiness of other factors from past research. If winter babies were more likely to come from less-privileged families, it would be natural to expect them to do more poorly in life.

The two economists examined birth-certificate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 52 million children born between 1989 and 2001, which represents virtually all of the births in the U.S. during those years. The same pattern kept turning up: The percentage of children born to unwed mothers, teenage mothers and mothers who hadn't completed high school kept peaking in January every year. Over the 13-year period, for example, 13.2% of January births were to teen mothers, compared with 12% in May -- a small but statistically significant difference, they say.

from: (

Monday, July 30, 2018


Aspartame and Artificial Sweeteners Could Be a Problem In Pregnancy

There have been many debates about the safety of artificial sweeteners.
 Some sources say you should avoid them at all costs and other sources (like the FDA) say sweeteners like Aspartame are safe. However, most agree that if you're pregnant, it's best to avoid most things in the "articifial" category. This article talks about how diet sodas should be avoided when pregnant. Read more:
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Mothers-to-be who down cans of fizzy drink containing artificial sweeteners could be at greater risk of having a premature baby.

Research funded by the EU found a correlation between the amount of diet drink consumed and an early birth among the 60,000 women studied.

Many had switched from sugary drinks to those with artificial sweeteners believing they were a healthier option.

But this study suggests that drinks using sweeteners, such as aspartame, carried dangers for the unborn child.

Some British public health experts are now advising expectant mothers to avoid food and drink containing the chemical

Thursday, July 26, 2018


Ringing Ears During Pregnancy - An Annoying Problem, Or Something Else to Worry About?

Guest Post By Anthony Handley

A lot of women have experienced ringing ears during pregnancy. Some women shrug this off because they're used to this problem. Some new mothers, however, rush off to check with their doctors at the first sign of ringing ears during pregnancy, somehow thinking it means that there's something wrong. So why do women experience ringing ears during pregnancy?
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The ringing of the ears is also known as tinnitus. This usually happens when there is a shortage or interruption of blood flow to the brain and ears. When the auditory system does not get sufficient oxygen from the blood flow, some nerves can weaken and eventually die. Since these nerves are important to relaying sounds to the ear, instead of hearing just the sound that was made, you also hear after effects or a ringing echo in your head.


 While tinnitus can be annoying, it is not life threatening or something that you have to get treated by a doctor. A lot of pregnant women suffer from tinnitus, and most of them report that the ringing goes away eventually.
You might be wondering at this point what tinnitus has to do with pregnancy. Well, as mentioned, this symptom occurs when there is an interruption of blood flow. Ringing ears during the pregnancy may be caused by stress and a significant rise in blood pressure. As the blood pressure goes up, there are sometimes interruptions in the blood flow. Ringing ears during the pregnancy can also occur if you eat too much sodium, particularly junk food. The excess sodium in the body can make you feel sluggish, which will also slow down your blood pressure and cause the ears to ring during pregnancy. In short, high or low blood pressure is one of the leading causes of ringing ears in pregnancy.
Should you be bothered by the ringing in the ears during your pregnancy? The answer is no. Ringing in ears during pregnancy is considered normal. There are ways to alleviate it, such as distracting yourself by opening windows if you're in a room, or listening to music at a very low volume. You should only be worried about ringing ears during pregnancy if there is a pain in your ear or if you notice that the sound is getting louder. These may be signs that it's escalated into something serious. But if it's just a low level buzz, you can relax. This will not have a negative effect on the child that you are carrying.
Ultimately, ringing ears during pregnancy is something you can dismiss. Worrying about it may only aggravate the condition as stress can cause irregular blood pressure, which in turn can cause that ringing to become louder.
Anthony is a tinnitus expert and co-creator of the new tinnitus info based web-site: []. Get lots more info there on Ringing Ears During Pregnancy [] and also check out our Free 4-part Mini-eCourse, "Tinnitus Miracle", it might be all you'll ever need (and did I mention it was free!!)
Article Source:,-Or-Something-Else-to-Worry-About?&id=4147523

Monday, July 23, 2018


I frequently talk about feng shui for fertility and I have a page on my website devoted to ways you can increase your chances of getting pregnant (, but what if you are already pregnant?  What are the principles of feng shui design that can help your unborn baby?  It is important to balance your chakras as well...the sacral chakra and the heart chakra are particularly important in pregnancy.  If the sacral chakra is out of balance,  physical discomforts such as; lower back pain, urinary problems, sciatica, pelvic pain, and gynecological problems can present themselves.
This site has other suggestions on feng shui design for pregnant women:
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...proper positioning of furniture in the house will also work to boost prenatal health during pregnancy. The home should be free of excessive clutter and furniture, which is considered unstable, especially in and around the bed, for the pregnant woman.
Colours like shades of pink, red, green, indigo and light blue , which promote and encourage healthy pregnancy, are commonly recommended. The colour green, however, has a very special significance from the Feng Shui perspective. Green signifies growth, rebirth, and fertility and it was the colour of heaven in the Ming Dynasty. 

from:   times of india

Friday, July 20, 2018


The Sly Masquerader - Thyroid Disease During Pregnancy
By Dr. Michele Brown OBGYN

A 26 year old, newly-pregnant woman sits on the exam table in her obstetrician's office. She is excited about her pregnancy and does not want to complain about her nausea, vomiting, weight loss, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue. The obstetrician can tell just by looking at her that she seems to be suffering the normal symptoms of pregnancy and is not overly worried. After all, nausea and vomiting occur in 50-80% of all pregnant women, especially between the 5th and 13th week. The doctor reassures the patient that this is normal, and encourages her to hydrate and rest. Sometimes the physician will suggest a medication, or a supplement, to reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
Is it possible that this woman is experiencing something more severe than the normal, early pregnancy symptoms?
One of the great masqueraders for pregnant women is thyroid disease. Many of the symptoms that women experience in the early stages of pregnancy are the exact symptoms that occur with thyroid problems. Women will commonly experience fatigue, weight gain, constipation, insomnia, and lethargy. Health care providers will often reassure patients that this is normal and these symptoms are due to the hormonal and physiological changes that one expects with the early stages of a healthy pregnancy. However, one must be on the alert that these same symptoms could be representative of a much more serious underlying problem; one that could have major, negative ramifications on the pregnancy and the newborn infant. Left undiagnosed and untreated, hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) could result in serious, high-risk conditions during the pregnancy. Prematurity, preeclampsia, placental separation (abruption), and/or serious consequences in the child such as congenital cretinism (mental retardation, deafness, muteness).



This weeks article will focus only on hy-PER-thyroidism (when you have too much thyroid hormone.)
Next week we will review hyp-O-thyroidism. (when you have too little thyroid hormone) and its effects on pregnancy.
Who should get screened for thyroid disease in pregnancy?
The current American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology guidelines state that thyroid functions should be checked only in women with a personal history of thyroid disease or symptoms of thyroid disease. It is NOT universally recommended to test all pregnant women even though there are cases of women who have disease that do not have symptoms (subclinical cases).
How does maternal thyroid hormone effect the fetus?
The fetal brain is completely dependent on maternal thyroid hormone until about 12 weeks gestation. At that time, the fetus is able to manufacture its own thyroid hormone in conjunction with the maternal hormone that crosses the placenta. Diminished levels of thyroid hormone in the mother impair fetal brain development. Elevated levels can also cross the placenta and cause excessive production in the fetus. (Graves disease.)
What is hyperthyroidism?
The thyroid is an endocrine gland located in the neck that controls metabolism. It receives a message (TSH) from an area in the brain called the pituitary which releases thyroid hormone (T4).
When the gland produces more hormone than it is supposed to, hyperthyroidism is diagnosed (elevated thyroid hormone T4 and low TSH.) This can occur in about.2% of all pregnancies. The most common form of the disease is Graves disease where certain antibodies are made by the body that stimulate thyroid hormone production. Other causes can be multinodular goiter, subacute thyroiditis, an extra thyroid source of hormone production (certain tumors of the ovary or pituitary), thyroid adenoma.
What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?
  • nervousness
  • tremors
  • tachycardia
  • frequent stool
  • excessive sweating
  • heat intolerance
  • weight loss
  • goiter
  • insomnia
  • palpitations
  • hypertension
  • eye changes-lagging of the eyelid and retraction of the eye lid
What are the risks to the mother and the fetus if hyperthyroidism is left untreated?
If left untreated, hyperthyroid can cause:
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  • preterm delivery
  • severe preeclampsia
  • heart failure
  • fetal loss
  • low birth weight infants
  • stillbirth
  • fetal hyperthyroidism
How do you treat hyperthyroidism in the mother?
A classification of drugs called thioamides are used to treat hyperthyroidism.
  • PTU
  • methimazole
These drugs prevent the manufacture of the thyroid hormone by preventing a needed substrate iodine from attaching to the thyroid molecule and it also blocks the the manufacture of of another active form of the hormone T3.
These drugs do cross the placenta and can effect the fetal thyroid, although it is generally transient. Generally, these drugs are safe to use in pregnancy but rare side effects of the drug can include fever, sore throat, hepatitis, rash, nausea, loss of taste and smell, loss of appetite and a very serious and rare side effect called agranulocytosis (less than 1%) which is an abnormal condition of the blood characterized by a severe reduction of white blood cells (fever, prostration and bleeding ulcers of rectum, mouth, and vagina.)
Infants must be observed carefully after birth with mothers on antithyroid medication since newborns have been known to have neonatal hypothyroidism and goiter in mothers who have been treated. Babies are ultrasounded during pregnancy looking for fetal goiter and growth problems which can present problems at delivery due to the hyperextension of the neck.
It is generally considered safe to breast feed on these medications.
Other drugs used to treat hyperthyroidism are beta-blockers (propranolol) which act to reduce the rapid heart rate that can occur. Side effects from this drug can include growth retardation in the fetus, fetal bradycardia (slowed heart rate) and hypoglycemia in the infant (low blood sugar).
Radioactive iodine is never used in pregnancy since it can ablate the fetal thyroid. A patient was treated with radioactive iodine prior to becoming pregnant, should avoid becoming pregnant for at least 4 months. If all medications fail, or allergy to the medications exist, thyroidectomy, or surgical excision of the thyroid is recommended.
What is subclinical hyperthyroidism?
In about 1.7% of women there are asymptomatic women with normal thyroid hormone but a low TSH. This condition generally has been found to have no effect on the pregnancy since it is the maternal T4 level that is critical for fetal brain development, regardless of what the TSH level is. However, these women should be observed for osteoporosis, cardiovascular morbidity and progression to overt disease or thyroid failure in the future.
What is thyroid storm?
Thyroid storm is an acute obstetrical emergency that occurs in about 10% of women with hyperthyroidism. Symptoms include a change in mental status, seizures, nausea, diarrhea, and cardiac arrythmias. Patients are placed in the intensive care unit for constant monitoring and observation since there is a high risk of maternal heart failure. Thyroid storm can be precipitated by an acute surgical emergency, infection, diabetes. anesthesia, and noncompliance with thyroid medications. In addition to the usual treatment of hyperthyroidism as described above, steroids are commonly given.
Can thyroid disease present itself right after delivery?
About 6 to 9% of women with no history of thyroid disease can present with disease after delivery, generally within the first year postpartum. This is common in women that have previously known thyroid antibodies that are not activated until after the delivery, or women with a strong family history of diabetes or other autoimmune disorders. Most women have transient hyperthyroidism which then converts to hypothyroidism requiring treatment. About 77% of women will completely recover but 30% will continue with thyroid disease permanently. Many women that recover will develop this disorder again with subsequent pregnancies.
Because of the close similarity of symptoms that occur with a normal early pregnancy, be sure to ask your health care providers if you should be screened for thyroid disease. Discovery and correction of this condition can have beneficial ramifications to ensure a happy, healthy mother and baby. As stated in many previous articles, pregnancy can be the crystal ball of future medical conditions and by being vigilant, pregnancy can help a woman avoid diseases and conditions from surfacing later in life.

Dr. Michele Brown, OBGYN, and founder of Beaute de Maman - Beaute de Maman recognizes the importance of folate supplementation during pregnancy. Often women having severe nausea and vomiting in the first trimester of pregnancy can be at greater risk of folate deficiency. In addition to providing supplementation of folate through prenatal vitamins, controlling the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy with the Beaute de Maman's natural dietary herbal supplement can help prevent having a deficiency in this important vitamin. The Beaute de Maman Product contains ginger and Vitamin B6 as a first line natural remedy as per the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology guidelines.
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Article Source:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


DHA And Healthy Infants

When I was pregnant I ate DHA enriched eggs.  I had heard the it helped with brain development, but it can also help with the overall health of your baby.
 There are a number of other natural source and supplemental sources of DHA. This article talks about the benefits for developing babies. Read more:

"This is a large scale, robust study that underscores the importance of good nutrition during pregnancy," says Usha Ramakrishnan, PhD, associate professor, Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. "Our findings indicate that pregnant women taking 400 mg of DHA are more likely to deliver healthier infants."
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At one month of age, the infants in the DHA group experienced a reduced occurrence of cold symptoms by 25 percent, including a shorter duration of cough, phlegm and wheezing.

At age three months, the infants in the DHA group spent 14 percent less time ill.

At six months of age, infants in the DHA group experienced shorter duration of fever, nasal secretion, difficulty breathing and rash, though longer duration of vomiting. Ramakrishnan and her colleagues have previously reported findings that show offspring of women pregnant with their first child who received 400 mg DHA during pregnancy delivered babies who were 100 grams heavier at birth and 3/4 cm longer at 18 months of age. 

excerpted from 
DHA Taken During Pregnancy Has Protective Effect On Babies

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