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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.
For more information please visit
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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See Also: Foods For Pregnancy and Fertility (

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

Friday, July 13, 2018


Palmistry has always been fascinating to me!  Could the lines on your hands predict pregnancy or predict fertility problems?  This article explains more:

The Lines in Your Palm

Is it possible for a woman to know whether she gets pregnant? Welcome to the palmistry’s world and let’s find out the untold secrets behind each palm line as well as get yourself a chance to discover all your typical characteristics by means of the shapes, the color, and the texture of the palm and the fingers. Out of our four main lines including the heart line, head line, life line, and our fate line, the other minor lines play such an essential part in showing all our interests, hobbies, and congenital
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talents in the most accurate way.

Fertility Lines

As for the so-called children lines, they tend to go straight across the marriage lines and lie at the bottom of the thumb. These lines seem to lose their luster, so it’s usually hard to detect them at once. One thing should be kept in mind that most children lines can be accurately learned through the other lines crossing or staying nearby them. In other words, if the other lines have some changes in their shapes and positions, the children lines will undoubtedly have a few alternations. Here are some common signs showing us the possibility of getting children, check it out:
– By observing the number of lines from the bracelet to the life line in our palm, it never gets any easier for us to know how many children we may have in the near future.
– In case that the lines under the bracelet are all even in number, it’s not that hard to guess that a little girl will be born at first. If they’re all odd in number, we definitely have a pretty boy brought to life in advance.
– Remember that if these fertility lines are apparent in women’s palms, their children will surely grow up fast and be very healthy in the future.
– Note that any break in lines can imply a woman’s abortion, or represent the death of her child.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Paint and Male Factor Infertility

Sperm are very sensitive creatures, especially when exposed to environmental toxins.  I think most women know to watch out for substances like paint which may contain solvents.
See also: for more on environmental causes of infertility
However, I don't think most men know this applies to them too (especially men who paint for a living). Read More:

"A new study suggests that hubby might want to think carefully about when to paint the spare room in preparation for that new addition to the family. Research from the University of Alberta, Canada, shows that the babies of men who paint for a living are at a high risk of low birth weight and birth defects.
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The study assessed male construction workers from the Netherlands who had been exposed to concentrations of airborne organic solvents 3 months prior to their partners falling pregnant. All up, 398 painters regularly exposed to a chemical cocktail of paints, thinners and cleansers; and 302 carpenters with next to no exposure, were assessed.

Worryingly, the researchers discovered that males working as painters were six times more likely than the carpenters to have children born with serious birth defects. Equally disturbing was the finding that this group also had a 50 to 100 percent chance of producing low-weight babies"


Monday, July 09, 2018


Pregnancy Over 40, Do Couples Get More Fertile After Adoption?

Maybe there is something to the "old wives tale" that couples are more likely to conceive after they adopt.
The article below gives some real life stories of conception after adoption and the second article discusses a study done on whether or not there really is a correlation between adoption and conception.

From the article:
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A Phenomenon?

Couples that plan to adopt often find themselves pregnant, says JoAnne Solchany, Ph.D., a registered nurse, author and assistant professor of family and child nursing at the University of Washington in Seattle. "It happens a lot," says Solchany, who has studied the parent-child connection between both biological and adoptive children for over 30 years. "An aunt of mine adopted and then got pregnant right away. I think for those individuals and the ones that I've met, it's usually that they've let [their desire for biological children] go and made peace with it."

See Also: Pregnancy Over 40, Vision Boards Can Help (

Similarly, Andy and Mollie Coyne had always planned to pursue adoption, but decided to have a biological child first. Those plans changed after a few years of trying unsuccessfully. They decided to adopt a baby girl from Guatemala and were still on the waiting list for her when they found out they were pregnant.

"We found out that we were pregnant with Rory on July 4, 2001, several months before we knew that we would be adopting Maya," says Mollie Coyne. "We were still just on the waiting list for a baby girl in Guatemala, and Maya wouldn't even be born for two and a half more months. ... We found out at the end of September that our Maya had just been born and were thrilled that we would be having two kids – by very different means – in just a few months."

The Coynes, an American family that currently lives abroad in Paris, France, now have three children: Maya, their adoptive daughter from Guatemala; Rory, a biological son; and a biological daughter, Savannah. Maya and Rory are just five months apart. But the Coynes don't feel that their adoption of Maya in any way caused their pregnancy.

"We were just downright shocked to find out that we were pregnant," says Mollie Coyne. "Everyone said, and continues to say, that we got pregnant because we were no longer stressed out about trying to conceive. But that wasn't it at all; we hadn't even tried to conceive for two and a half years, so we had not been stressed out about it in a long time."


Conception After Adoption (

Friday, July 06, 2018


I'm really not one for celebrity gossip, but this particular article caught my eye about Janet Jackson.  I had previously blogged about her baby at the age of 50, but according to this article, she may try for another.  I don't know the circumstances of how she conceived her first baby, but it's not impossible for women over 50 to get pregnant naturally (I have a page devoted to real stories of natural pregnancy over 50 on my site
Read more:
“She’s yearning to give Eissa (for whom she’s been going through a messy custody battle with her ex
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Wissam Al Mana) a sibling,” said the insider. “She’ll finish her tour (“State of the World”) in August, then focus on baby No. 2.”
So how will she go about this? “She’s fine doing this as a single mom,” claimed the source, “and she’s willing to get more help this time if needed, whether from a lab or a surrogate.”
She may even enlist the help of her rumored on-again beau Jermaine Dupri to see if he’d like to be the dad or she will opt for a donor. “She waited to be a mom, and now she wants to go for it!” added the insider.



Thursday, July 05, 2018


 Pregnancy Over 40 Can Be A Pain In The Rib!

 I recall having some rib pain and even some trouble breathing at times when my belly was getting large. 
My site for more on fertility, pregnancy over 40:
So, I thought I would publish article about what you can do.  Read more

Rib Pain During Pregnancy

By Orit Cox

Rib pain during pregnancy can be a persistent problem, especially during the third trimester. Your rib cage may feel mildly sore or extremely tender and bruised. You may have discomfort on either side, or both sides, though it is commonly worse on the right side of the ribs. Pain occurs in and under the ribs as your uterus grows. Later in pregnancy, your abdomen becomes stretched, and your uterus stretches upward as well as outward. Your pelvis and abdomen are becoming full, and your baby is beginning to press up under your ribs and chest. This upward pressure from your baby may also make you feel short of breath. This pressure on your ribs and diaphragm may also result in shoulder pain, because there are nerves in the diaphragm which can refer pain into the shoulders.
This pain can be very sharp! It may also result in indigestion or acid reflux as your baby puts the squeeze on your stomach.

See Also: Strange Early Pregnancy Symptoms ( 

 Additionally, as your breast become larger, they also place pressure on your ribs. During pregnancy, your breasts may increase by one full cup size or more. The extra weight pulls your shoulders forward and down, and places strain on the upper back, neck, and often results in pain around the rib cage. As your body prepares for the delivery of your baby, your hormones are hard at work loosening your muscles and ligaments. This loosening can allow your ribs to shift and move in ways that were not natural before, causing discomfort. Your ribcage is not only loosening, but expanding as well, not only to make room for your baby, but also to help increase your breathing and lung capacity. Even though you may be feeling short of breath, your body is taking in about forty percent more air than it did before you became pregnant.
Rib pain during pregnancy can cause the greatest discomfort when you are in a sitting position. Practicing good posture is especially important. Try to make sure that you sit up straight with your shoulders back. Slouching will compress your abdomen and result in more pain. Try to wear loose clothing so that you do not add any extra pressure to your belly. Try getting a new bra. It is especially important to have a supportive bra that is not too tight. Under wire bras may put too much extra pressure on your ribs. Now may be a good time to invest in a good nursing bra. They usually offer nice support without being too tight and will be useful once your baby is born. Holding your arms up over your head can take some pressure off and provide temporary relief from rib pain by lifting the ribs away from the uterus. Practicing doorway chest stretches can also be helpful because they, too, will help rotate the shoulders up and back, which can also help lift the ribs away from the uterus.
Stretching and prenatal yoga are great for keeping your body long and loose. The less compressed you are, the less your rib cage will hurt. Breathing and relaxation exercises may also be effective. There are a variety of hands on techniques that can help to gently stretch and lift your ribs away from the uterus. Applying these techniques to your breasts, chest and abdomen, can really relieve a lot of pain and pressure from your body, though you will need a friend or partner to help you. Scheduling a visit to your massage therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist, may also help provide relief from rib pain during pregnancy. If you are having rib and flank pain that goes through to your back, and or burning or pain with urination, you should contact your health care provider. This could be an indication of a urinary tract infection.
Orit Cox is a Holistic Health Practitioner and massage therapist in San Diego, CA and content writer for, an information resource for pregnancy and mothers. Orit is also the author of The Pregnancy Pain Guide, featured at, where you can discover easy-to-implement techniques to relieve pregnancy pain.
Article Source:
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Tuesday, July 03, 2018


Pregnancy Over 40, You Can Reduce The Chance Of Complications and Pre-Eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a condition in pregnancy that can cause high blood pressure, swelling and edema, nausea and vomiting, lower back pain, abdominal pain and shoulder pain, protein in the urine, amon other symptoms.  If it is left untreated, it can lead to convulsion and death.  Many women have to be delivered prematurely due to these complications.  However, according to this article, a high fiber diet can reduce the risk of pre-eclapsia by up to 70%.
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From the article:

Women who consume a high amount of dietary fiber during early pregnancy have a reduced risk of subsequent preeclampsia compared with those who eat little, according to a new prospective study [1].

For those with the highest intake, there was a 70% reduction in preeclampsia compared with those who had the lowest fiber intake, Dr Chunfang Qiu (Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, Washington) and colleagues report online July 17, 2008 in the American Journal of Hypertension.


Their results also show that dietary fiber may attenuate pregnancy-associated dyslipidemia, an important clinical characteristic of preeclampsia. "To our knowledge, we are the first to examine the relationship between maternal plasma lipid concentrations and habitual fiber intake during pregnancy," they state. "These results suggest important health benefits of increased fiber consumption before and during early pregnancy."

Prior studies of fiber intake and preeclampsia inconsistent

Preeclampsia, a vascular disorder of pregnancy, is associated with potentially lethal complications, including placental abruption, disseminated intravascular coagulation, cerebral hemorrhage, hepatic failure, and acute renal failure, say Qiu et al. Established risk factors for preeclampsia include obesity, family history of type 2 diabetes and/or essential hypertension, and diets low in antioxidants, fruits, and vegetables—risk factors similar to those typically reported for cardiovascular disorders.

The researchers note that only three prior studies have directly evaluated preeclampsia risk in relation to maternal fiber intake and that the results from these have been inconsistent.

Using women participating in an ongoing prospective cohort study, Omega, they assessed maternal dietary fiber intake in early pregnancy and its association with subsequent preeclampsia risk. The 1538 pregnant women participating completed a 121-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).

The researchers also evaluated the influence of fiber on maternal plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations among the study population. This secondary objective was inspired by reports showing the benefits of dietary fiber on the plasma lipid profile in numerous studies of men and nonpregnant women, they note.

Fiber lowers triglycerides, boosts high-density lipoproteins

Fiber intake was associated with reduced preeclampsia risk. After adjustment, the relative risk of preeclampsia for women in the highest quartile (≥21.2-g fiber/day) vs the lowest quartile (
Associations of similar magnitude were seen when they looked at highest vs lowest quartiles of water-soluble fiber (relative risk [RR] 0.30) and insoluble fiber (RR 0.35), respectively.

And mean triglyceride concentrations were lower (–11.9 mg/dL, p=0.02) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations higher (+2.63 mg/dL, p=0.09) for women in the highest quartile vs those in the lowest quartile of fiber intake.

"This prospective study provides additional evidence of reduced preeclampsia risk associated with higher maternal dietary fiber intake in early pregnancy," Qiu et al state. "Fiber intake was also inversely related with maternal triglycerides and positively related with HDL concentrations (although to a lesser degree) during early pregnancy.

"Taken together with previously published literature, [and] if confirmed by other studies, our findings may motivate increased efforts aimed at exploring lifestyle approaches, particularly dietary approaches, to lower the risk of preeclampsia," they conclude.


Qui C, Coughlin KB, Frederick IO, et al. Dietary fiber intake in early pregnancy and risk of subsequent preeclampsia. Am J Hypertens 2008; DOI:10.1038/ajh.2008.209. Available at:

Sunday, July 01, 2018


Yin and Yang Food - How Does it Affect You?

By Guest  Post By Stephanie M Ng

Did you know that Yin and Yang, the principle at the heart of Chinese philosophy, applies to Chinese food and cooking as well? In Chinese medicine, all food can be divided into four Qis: Hot, warm, cool and cold; or yang, mild yang, mild yin and yin respectively.
In general, yang food improves blood circulation and warms us up, but too much yang food (or eaten during the wrong season e.g. summer) will induce constant thirst, hot flashes, night sweats and constipation. In contrast, yin food quenches thirst, cleanses our systems and cools us down, but if eaten inappropriately it will lower our metabolism and weaken our bodies. In particular, according to traditional Chinese, pregnant women are traditionally advised not to eat yin food (e.g. crab, watermelon) as it may increase the chance of miscarriage.
So what are some examples of yin and yang food?


Grains and Beans

Meat and Dairy Product

  • Mild Yang (warm):beef, lamb (mutton), chicken, shrimp, lobster, mussels, goat milk

  • Mild Yin (cool): duck, abalone

  • Yin: duck egg, crab, clam, octopus, squid, escargots, raw food

  • Just Right: chicken egg and egg white, pork, scallop, fish, cow milk, yogurt
Fruits and Nuts

  • Mild Yang (warm): peach, almond, dates, lychee, long yan, lemon, papaya, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, cherry, mango

  • Mild Yin (cool):apple, pear, orange, strawberry, pipa

  • Yin (cold): Persimmon, pomelo, banana, starfruit, kiwi, water melon, sweet melon

  • Just Right: plum, pineapple, grapes, olive, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, peanut, hazelnut

  • Mild Yang (warm): spring onion, garlic, leeks, coriander / parsley, onion, pumpkin

  • Yang (hot): pepper

  • Mild Yin (cool): tomato, celery, egg plant, choy shum, spinach, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, tofu (including soy milk), gluten, lotus root, winter melon, cucumber, mushroom, needle mushroom

  • Yin (cold): bok choy, arrowhead, water spinach, watercress, bamboo shoots, seaweed, straw mushroom, bitter melon, water chestnut

  • Just Right: carrot, potato, taro, mushroom, turnip (very mild yin), black fungus (very mild yin)
Other Food and Ingredients

  • Mild Yang (warm): spices such as young ginger, clove, dill, rosemary, sage, turmeric, thyme, horseradish, cayenne, nutmeg, wild pepper, cumin, star anise; stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, black tea and other caffeinated drinks; red sugar, ginseng

  • Yang (hot): Cinnamon

  • Mild Yin (cool): green tea, honey, beer, chrysanthemum tea, mint

  • Yin (cold): Soy sauce, soy bean paste, salt
How Does This Apply To Us?
According to the Chinese, each of us are born yin, yang or somewhere in between. For example, if you always crave for spicy food you may have a "yin" body; and if you love watermelon anytime in the year you are likely a Yang.
Your health condition can also indicate the yin-yang balance of your body. Constant cold hands and feet? A Yin; Get soar throat easily and have a quick temper? A Yang. Seasonal and geographic variations will also affect our preference on yin and yang foods.
The Advice

  • When cooking yin food (applies to most veggies), add yang ingredients such as garlic, spring onion, ginger and coriander.

  • Eat seasonal food: let the nature guide us how to eat.

  • Balanced diet: if we eat a wide variety of food, the yin and yang will balance out.

Are you a Yin or a Yang? You are welcome to share your food experience in the comment section []. See you there!
Stephanie chats about her quick, authentic and home-style Chinese cooking in her food blog. A Hong Kong native, her craving for Chinese food began when she studied and worked in the United States. Upon returning to Hong Kong, she rediscovered the wok and the spatula and has been enjoying cooking ever since. You can get her Chinese recipes, glossary, cooking tips and fun facts on Chinese food at The Chinese Kitchen [].
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