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Friday, April 29, 2011

Pregnancy Smoking May Cause Antisocial Behavior

Of course you already know not to smoke if you're planning to get pregnant or already pregnant. Well...here's another reason. Smoking may be associated with antisocial behavior in the children whose mothers smoked when pregnant. Read more:

Researchers Investigate Prenatal Smoking Link With Antisocial Behavior In Children www.sciencedaily.com

The study is the first study of its kind in the world to allow these effects to be separated. In the published paper, the researchers looked at effects of mother's smoking in pregnancy on the child's birth weight and the child's behaviour, paying particular attention to mothers not genetically related to their unborn baby.

Professor Anita Thapar, clinical child psychiatrist and Principal Investigator on the study said: "What we have been able to confirm is that cigarette smoke in pregnancy does lower birth weight regardless of whether the mother and child are genetically related or not, but the link with children's behaviour is different. It is now clear that offspring anti-social behaviour is more dependent on inherited factors passed from mother to child, as our group of children with mothers who smoked during pregnancy with no direct genetic link showed no increased signs of anti-social behaviour. This suggests that other influencing factors such as the mother's personality traits and other inherited characteristics are at play during the development of a baby."

Professor Thapar, who is based in the School of Medicine's Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurosciences and Mental Health Interdisciplinary Research Group worked with Dr Frances Rice (first author) and Professor Gordon Harold along with other researchers from the School of Psychology. She believes this unique approach opens the way to tease apart the effect of genes and environment on a variety of other conditions in the future and has significant policy implications. She said: "This type of research is able to tell us what sorts of interventions in pregnancy are the right ones to focus on in order to improve the physical and mental health of children."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Early Menopause For Twin Sisters?

I guess it's normal to assume that twins would enter menopause at about the same time...especially identical twins. However, the study mentioned in the article below shows that this isn't always true. Read more:

daytondailynews.com

Twin sisters face triple the odds of entering menopause prematurely compared to women who don't have a twin, researchers report.
"It's a three-to-five-fold increase in risk of having menopause before the age of 40," said study lead author Roger Gosden, director of reproductive biology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City...

...We do believe that the problem starts when the woman was actually a fetus, when the eggs were formed," he continued. "We believe that the infertile sister doesn't form a normal number of eggs, so she runs out of eggs earlier."
"The ovary works like an hour glass with a fixed number of eggs," Gosden explained.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Pregnancy Stress Can Cause Eating Disorders

I was surprised when I read the following article about how stress in pregnancy can cause eating disorders. The following article talks about some of the cuases of stress and how this can lead to complications in the baby. Read more:

Pregnancy stress causing eating disorders
By Rebecca Smith (www.telegraph.co.uk)


From the article:

One in 50 women develops an eating disorder while pregnant because of the stress of carrying a child, a survey has discovered.

With more than 600,000 babies born annually in the UK it could mean there are about 12,000 women who develop anorexia or bulimia while pregnant.

The findings are worrying as research has shown that eating disorders are associated with low birthweight and premature birth, which are major causes of infant death and childhood illness.

The survey was carried out by the baby charity Tommy's and found that nine in 10 women felt stressed during their pregnancy.

Doctors warned that continued stress put women at risk of miscarriage.

Stress hormones can pass into the baby's bloodstream as early as 17 weeks into the pregnancy and depression is linked to premature birth.

The survey of 1,104 pregnant women found that:

Almost two per cent of women developed an eating disorder.
One in five worried that they might not love their baby.
Almost a third were concerned about developing post-natal depression.
More than a quarter said that changes to their body was the biggest cause of stress.
Seventeen per cent were stressed due to pressure in the workplace.
Forty-one per cent were worried about money.
Nearly one third felt stressed about eating the right amount and types of food.
Philip Baker, a professor of maternal and foetal health from Manchester, said: "Current research at Tommy's Manchester Unit indicates that significant levels of stress can limit the growth of babies within the womb.

"The Tommy's study also suggests that stress increases the risk of pre-term labour, with this effect having most impact when stress is experienced around the time of conception and in early pregnancy."

Andrew Shennan, the professor of obstetrics for Tommy's, added the survey's findings were "shocking".

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

PMS and Your Nervous System

People joke about PMS and all the consequences for the women going though it and the people around them. However, now whenever anyone says it's all in our heads, we can say it's all in our nervous system. Read more:

Bad PMS May Mean A Depressed Nervous System
ScienceDaily (Dec. 20, 2007)


From the article:

"Our findings indicate that the occurrence of premenstrual symptomatology could be attributable to an altered functioning of the autonomic nervous system in the symptomatic late luteal phase," says Matsumoto. For women with PMDD, findings indicate that sympathovagal activity was altered even in the follicular phase. Matsumoto asks: "Does this imply that women with lower autonomic function regardless of the menstrual cycle are vulnerable to more severe premenstrual disorders? At the moment, the underlying biomechanisms of PMS remain enigmatic."

PMS comprises myriad non-specific physical, emotional, behavioural, and cognitive symptoms that occur in the days prior to menstruation and is nearly omnipresent in women of reproductive age from all cultures and socio-economic levels. The most prevalent symptoms include: irritability, mood lability, depression, anxiety, impulsivity, feelings of "loss of control," fatigue, decreased concentration, abdominal bloating, fluid retention, breast swelling, and general aches.

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