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Articles and content related to pregnancy.

Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure Unlikely to Harm Pregnant Women

Cellular phones, cordless phones, and Wi-Fi hubs all communicate using radiofrequency (RF) radiation in the 3 KHz to 300 GHz range. This type of radiation is much less powerful than the radiation found in gamma rays, x-rays, or even bright sunlight. Because these devices are so ubiquitous, it is important to consider whether the radiation has the potential for harm, especially in vulnerable populations like pregnant women and infants.

Poisonous Protein: Breastfeeding and Pregnancy with PKU

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inherited metabolic disorder in which an affected person is less able to process the amino acid phenylalanine. Abnormally high levels of phenylalanine in the blood and tissues can cause a variety of toxic effects, including brain damage. All infants born in hospitals in the United States, and much of the rest of the first world, are routinely tested for PKU. With proper dietary management, most PKU patients have good outcomes.1

Alcohol and Pregnancy

Many women choose to consume alcohol during their reproductive years. For most people, alcohol consumption in moderation is not harmful but for a fetus, alcohol exposure can be devastating. The office of the US Surgeon General recommends complete abstinence from alcohol for women who are planning to become pregnant and throughout all stages of their pregnancy.

Asthma Medications in Pregnancy

Asthma is a common chronic airway disorder characterized by periods of reversible airflow obstruction known as asthma attacks. One in 12 people (about 25 million, or 8% of the U.S. population) had asthma in 2009. It is estimated that the number of people with asthma will grow by more than 100 million by 2025.1 In 2008, asthma hospitalizations were 1.5 times higher among female than male patients.

Maternal Probiotic Use during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding May Reduce the Risk of Eczema

A recent study has suggested that use of probiotics in pregnancy and breastfeeding may reduce the risk of eczema in infants. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the term  broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions which include dryness and recurring skin rashes characterized by: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, bleeding and areas of temporary skin discoloration.

Potassium Iodide for Radiation Exposure

Potassium iodide was approved by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) in 1982 for thyroid protection from radioactive iodine accidents.  Of the many radioactive elements released by nuclear accidents, radioactive Iodine-131 is a major component and a huge risk factor for humans.

Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There has recently been a lot of discussion in the news about the potential hazards of taking antidepressants while pregnant. Some researchers are concerned that they increase the risk of birth defects. Proponents of antidepressants point out, correctly, that depression during pregnancy is also risky and can lead to premature delivery and other complications.

Bisphenol A Effects in Pregnancy

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical commonly found in mass-produced plastics. Recently, there is rising concern over whether or not BPA found in plastic may lead to untoward effects. Due to the prevalence of plastic in our daily lives, this issue is of major impact. As of right now, no one can say for sure. The National Toxicology Program has been studying the health effects of BPA extensively since 2008.

Myasthenia Gravis in Pregnancy

Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that can cause weakness and fatigability. It is caused by antibodies that block the acetylcholine receptors at the post-synaptic junction. Its treatment consists mostly of cholinesterase inhibitors and immunosuppresants. Along with other autoimmune diseases, myasthenia gravis occurs frequently in young women of childbearing age and is therefore a challenge to neurologists as well as obstetricians and neonatologists.
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