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Wednesday, March 30, 2016


New Technique May Help Baby Recover From Lack Of Oxygen

Many difficult deliveries or other pregnancy complications can result in conditions like cerebral palsy in the baby.
This interesting article talks about how if a baby is oxygen deprived, cooling their body could help prevent brain damage. Read more:


Three in 1,000 babies in Britain either die or become severely brain-damaged by lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain around the time of birth. Survivors often suffer devastating conditions such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Research teams at University College London and St Michael's Hospital, Bristol, have perfected different cooling techniques – a "coolcap", a cooling mattress or a body suit circulated with cold water – to reduce a baby's normal body temperature to 33.5C over three days, with the result that many newborns are saved from lifelong disabilities.

This is possible because brain cells that suffer lack of oxygen do not die straight away. They can survive for hours or even days after the "insult". Nerve cells that have not "decided" whether to survive or die can be rescued by low temperatures.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Pregnancy Over 40 and DHA

I keep hearing about all of the wonderful benefits of omega 3 fatty acids.   Most of us have heard about how DHA can help with brain development.  Apparently, DHA in pregnancy can help protect the health of your future baby.
 This study talks about how DHA taken in pregnancy by the mother can help protect babies from colds. Read more:

Usha Ramakrishnan, a child nutrition expert at Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues suspected DHA would also help babies fight colds. To test their theory, they recruited nearly 1,000 Mexican women who were about halfway through their pregnancies. Roughly half of them took two, 200-mg DHA pills each day, and the rest got dummy pills. The study volunteers took the pills until their babies were born. Neither the mothers nor their doctors knew who was taking DHA and who wasn’t.


When the researchers checked in on the babies one month later, 38% of the infants whose mothers took the DHA pills had experienced cold symptoms in the previous 15 days, compared with 45% of infants whose mothers got the placebo. The gap remained when the babies were 3 months old – 38% vs. 44%.

When 1-month-old babies in the DHA group had cold symptoms like cough, phlegm and wheezing, those symptoms cleared up about 25% faster than they did for babies in the placebo group. Those gaps closed in subsequent months, but when the babies were 6 months old, the ones in the DHA group got over fevers, runny noses and breathing problems more quickly than babies in the placebo group. 


Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Should you be consuming fluoride when pregnant, or at all?  This guest post gives some surprising information and research on fluoride:

Fluoride - A Toxin to Avoid

Guest Post By Dr Jenny Tylee

Fluoride is a substance that many people are exposed to daily. It is used in a highly controversial way to improve population dental health. The main controversy relates to the addition of fluoride to public water supplies, with some governments mandating the practice and some governments outlawing it. In my view fluoride is a dangerous toxin and is best avoided.
Fluoride was added into drinking water to reduce cavities. Whether or not it actually does this is still a matter for debate - especially since vested interest and biased studies have clouded the picture. It is interesting to note that fluoride was originally a by-product of the aluminium production process and many of the original funds for research into the 'benefits' of fluoride in drinking water came from aluminium companies!
The general public has been largely kept in the dark about the dangers of fluoride. Degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's have been linked to toxic build up in the brain - including the toxin fluoride. Cancer, behavioral problems, thyroid suppression, male infertility and impotence are also some examples of problems associated with the toxic accumulation of fluoride. Furthermore the combination of fluoride and aluminum is particularly toxic for the brain and is connected to the development of Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's diseases.
The time for most rapid brain growth and development occurs in the last three months of pregnancy and the first two years after birth. This means the brain is particularly prone to the damage caused by toxins, including fluoride, during that time. Fluoride can also accumulate in the brain and with every drink of fluoridated water the fluoride levels increase. The number of research studies showing the significant toxic damage caused by fluoride in the brain continues to grow. Some of the results of these studies include:
  • A Chinese study found children who drink fluoridated water have lower IQs than those who don't. Many villages and cities in China have natural fluoride levels that are high, and Chinese scientists have found a lower intelligence, measured at drop of10 IQ points, in fluoridated cities.
  • An article in the journal Epidemiology showed that children drinking water with EPA-approved fluoride levels had problems with reading and writing.
  • One study of rats found a significant reduction in the brain receptor for learning and memory - the same receptors reduced in early Alzheimer's disease. While drinking fluoridated water is not the cause of Alzheimer's, there appears to be a link.
  • Fluoride added to water in the presence of even small amounts of aluminum caused severe destruction of brain cells in the part of the brain controlling learning and memory.
  • Alzheimer's patients and children with Down's syndrome have dramatic increases in the absorption of aluminium. Fluoride increases by seven times the absorption of aluminium and significantly increased the aluminium in the brain. Aluminium is in foods, canned drinks, cookware, deodorants, vaccinations, pesticides and medications. Aluminium plays a major role in Alzheimer's disease and possibly Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's diseases. When aluminium is combined with fluoride - even in concentrations half those added to drinking water - it will lead to the destruction of critical brain cells.
  • Combining aluminum and fluoride may increase the risk of ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and other developmental brain disorders in children.
  • Fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland in the brain. The pineal gland is the source of melatonin (a hormone). Melatonin regulates the onset of puberty and sleep and it protects the brain against damage by free radicals.
  • A study compared the cancer death rates in the 10 largest fluoridated cities and 10 largest non-fluoridated cities. These cities had equal numbers of cancer death rates before the fluoridation was begun. Once the cities began including fluoride in drinking water the cancer death rates began to increase. After 13 to 17 years of fluoridation these cities experienced a 10% increase in cancer death rates compared with the non-fluoridated cities. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) repeated the study using a larger number of cities and found similar results. These percentages are seen as being low compared to similar studies that have been done in Canada (15%) and in Michigan by the Public health Service who found 22% increase in cancer deaths following fluoridation.
  • The increases in incidence of oral cancers, such as cancers of the tongue and gums, could be as high as 33% - 50%. This is with levels at 45ppm. Toothpaste can contain between 1,000 and 1,500 ppm fluoride and fluoride gels used in dental offices contain up to 15,000 ppm. Fluoride varnishes release a high concentration of fluoride continuously in the mouth.
  • Fluoride accumulates in bone tissue more than any other area except in the pineal gland. The fluoride concentrations found in bones can be greater than 2,000 ppm. Fluoride in the bones is linked to three conditions:


    • There is an increased incidence of up to 50% in osteosarcoma in communities with fluoridated water. Osteosarcoma is a cancer most commonly seen in young men in their late teens and twenties.
    • Fluoride is also associated with the development of overgrowths of calcium in the bones (bony spurs) which are potentially crippling especially if they develop in the spine.
    • When fluoride is present in the bones it is shown to weaken the cortical bone, that part that gives the bone strength - thus there is an increased risk of bone fractures.
  • One study found genetic damage to cells exposed to just 1 ppm of fluoride.
  • Other studies have shown that industrial exposure to airborne fluoride leads to a 35% increase in lung cancer. There is also significantly higher incidence of laryngeal cancer and bladder cancer.
  • Fluoride accumulates in the thyroid gland and can suppress its activity. This is made worse when the iodine levels are low.
  • Reduced sperm counts and infertility in men who work in cryolite (50% fluoride) and aluminum factories have been reported. Fluoride added to the drinking water of experimental animals causes significant reductions in sperm counts, lower testosterone levels and a dramatic increase in abnormal, mutated sperm.
This is just a brief summary of some of the evidence that demonstrates the damage that can be caused by fluoride and the fluoridation of drinking water. So what about the improvement to our teeth? The American Dental Association, among many others globally, promoted fluoridation by suggesting that fluoridated drinking water can reduce cavities by as much as 50%. Has this actually happened? There are some early studies that suggested an improvement in dental cavities. However, a study involving 39,000 schoolchildren (a very large study sample), found no overall reduction in cavities in communities with fluoride in their water. Another worldwide study showed that children who live in areas with no fluoride in the water had lower cavity rates. The fact is, cavity rates reflect diet quality, dental hygiene and general health, not fluoride water levels.Fluoride is clearly toxic for the body. It accumulates in tissues and causes damage. This damage can result in cancers, learning and memory difficulties, behavioural problems as well as many other conditions. There is, at best, limited evidence that it has any benefit for preventing tooth decay. Because the body has to deal with fluoride as a poison it is best to avoid it in drinking water, toothpaste, vaccinations, pesticides and herbicides, medications and Teflon coated cookware. If fluoride is added to your local drinking water supply then use a water filter to remove it, you'll find many additional benefits from doing so. If you have had exposure to fluoride you will benefit from the detoxification of the whole body.
Dr Jenny Tylee is an experienced health professional who is passionate about health and  wellbeing. She believes that health is not just absence of disease and seeks to actively promote  vitality and wellness through empowering others. She encourages people to improve their  health by quit smoking, cleansing their body, taking essential, non contaminated vitamin and mineral supplements (from and many other methods, including herbal remedies. She also owns Healthy Living blog.
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Monday, March 21, 2016


If you need to be on medications while pregnant, make sure you talk with your doctor ahead of time.
I also recommend talking with a pharmacist since they may actually be more up-to-date on which medications should be avoided in pregnancy. Here is an article that talks about some medications which can be harmful:


From the article:

The study also examined the use of prescription drugs that are known to be feto-toxic or increase in-utero problems or premature births. The researchers found that 11,400 prescriptions -- for dangerous medicines such as isotretinoin (for the treatment of acne and rosacea), anxiolytic benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety treatment) and antiepileptics (epileptic seizure treatment) -- were used by pregnant women. Other drugs that were harmful to fetuses -- for hypertension, anticoagulation and infection -- were also widely used.
from:   (

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


We all know that loud noises (especially prolonged loud environments) can lead to hearing loss in adults and children.  But what about an unborn baby in utero?  Well, it depends on a number of factors.
  • First, in fetal development, by about 24 weeks, the ears are developed, including the cochlea.  
  • Second, by about 27 weeks, the ears can respond to sounds
There is some cushion there, however, because between the baby and the outside world, you have the abdomen, the uterus, the placenta and the amniotic fluid acting as a barrier.

It is usually thought that any noise in the range of 90-155 decibels or higher can harm the baby's hearing especially if it is prolonged.  This would be the types of things where earplugs or some type of ear protection would be recommended for us on the outside.  However, your baby can't put these things on so avoid prolonged loud noisy environments.


Thursday, March 10, 2016


This is one of the most common questions women have whether they are trying to conceive or not.  What are the early symptoms of pregnancy?  Well, there are some obvious ones, like a missed period, sore breasts and the like.  However, what about some of the more uncommon ones?  I knew one women who said she actually felt herself conceive.  For me, I felt butterflies (and it really did feel like butterflies flying around in my belly) even before I took a pregnancy test which came out positive.  As the days went on, the butterflies turned into nausea and then vomiting..


Wednesday, March 09, 2016


Pregnancy Headaches Can Be Dealt With Naturally

I had a couple of migraine headaches while I was pregnant.
 I basically just waited for them to pass rather than taking anything. Here is an article with some suggestions on how to get through a headache when pregnant since many pain medications aren't safe to take. Read more:



To help relieve or prevent headaches during pregnancy without the use of drugs, consider these tips:

Use a compress. Apply a warm compress (such as a hot towel) to your face, eyes and temples to relieve sinus headaches. To relieve tension headaches, apply a cold compress to the back of your neck.
Avoid headache triggers. Learn to recognize the foods or stresses that trigger your headaches so that you can avoid them. Keeping a diary of your meals, activities and headaches for several days can help you pinpoint your triggers.
Rest. Lie down in a dark, quiet room with your eyes closed.
Exercise. Regular low-impact exercises in addition to relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing, yoga or visualization, can help keep headaches at bay.
Eat a healthy diet. Smaller, more frequent meals can help keep your blood sugar from getting too low, which may help prevent headaches. Avoid going for long periods without eating.
Keep a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day, even on weekends.
Maintain good posture. This is especially important at the end of your pregnancy when your back is straining under additional weight.
Try massage. Have your partner or a friend massage your shoulders and neck to relieve tension and reduce headache pain. Massaging your temples also may help. 

  ( )

Monday, March 07, 2016


As I have mentioned before, I have quite a few readers from all over the world with different and diverse religious beliefs.  However, there seems to be quite an interest in saints who women and couples can pray to for pregnancy, fertility and protection from miscarriage or protection from childbirth complications.  Although I don't claim to be a religious scholar by any stretch of the imagination, I have created a page on my site which is dedicated to saints for fertility, pregnancy and childbirth.



Friday, March 04, 2016


The Sly Masquerader - Thyroid Disease During Pregnancy

Guest Post 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:
  • 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.
For more information please visit
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Wednesday, March 02, 2016


Dreaming About Your Baby

Dreams can be quite vivid when you're pregnant. I had dreams about everything from having a miscarriage to delivering a 10 year old.
 This article breaks down the meaning of dreams by the stage of pregnancy. Read more:


Like most mothers-to-be, Leah had been wondering what the baby would be and what it would look like. Dreams offer the chance to check out one's child in imagination. Studies show that pregnant women see their babies in about 15 percent of their dreams. Other researchers have reported an even greater number of baby dreams during the third trimester. Sometimes an expectant mother depicts the appearance of her child with surprising accuracy. Other mothers-to-be worry in their dreams that their child might inherit an undesirable characteristic. Pregnant women can take comfort in the fact that nightmares are typical during this time and rarely contain prophetic material.

excerpted from:

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