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At present there is enormous concern about the birth defects believed associated with infections for an old virus called Zika during pregnancy.
Information concerning the Zika Virus and its implication in microcephaly has been reported in many countries, including the USA.
During pregnancy there is an increased demand for certain vitamins and nutrients to ensure proper and adequate growth of the fetus. Prenatal vitamins generally contain higher levels of folic acid, iron, and calcium to meet this increased need. It is...
Breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the exclusive source of nutrition for feeding young infants for the first six months of life. Data suggest that not only are there psychological benefits from its use, but nutritional, gastrointestinal, and host defense benefits as well. Some...
Influenza is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. It is especially risky in pregnant women and increases the risk of premature delivery, abortion, and stillbirth. (1) Pregnant women are also at an increased risk of complications from the virus.
Sarah has had depression on and off throughout most of her adult life. She finally found an antidepressant that worked for her. But now she’s pregnant and she’s been hearing all the awful things about antidepressants during pregnancy. She’s talked with her doctor about it, and he has assured her that the risk of problems is very small. But he is willing to consider other approaches....
When faced with a health concern, the first place that many people go is the internet. Although having medical advice at your fingertips is convenient, your search bar may not be the best bet for obtaining accurate information.
Migraines affect up to 17% of women of childbearing age. These headaches are usually one sided and are likely to have a pulsatile or throbbing quality. Accompanying features may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Stress, weather, hunger, menstrual periods, sleep disturbances, light, birth control pills, and certain types of foods can be contributing factors.
Many women are concerned about using insect repellents during pregnancy, however, mosquito borne illnesses can be dangerous during pregnancy. Two examples of mosquito transmitted illnesses are malaria and the west nile virus. Both can be avoided by avoiding mosquito bites. Insect repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are the most effective and widely used.
Current studies indicate that approximately 4% of women in the USA use illicit drugs while pregnant. Seventy five percent of these cases report the use of marijuana. Despite the widespread use of this product, the public is not aware of the potential neurobehavioral effects of this drug on the fetus or the newborn infant.
A recent study estimated that 1 in 5 Americans are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in a handful of foods (e.g. fatty fish or cod liver oil). Vitamin D is also produced in the body after sun exposure and can be obtained from supplements and food additives.
About the InfantRisk Center Team
Thomas Hale, Ph.D., R.Ph., is a professor of pediatrics and associate dean of research at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and acting executive director of the InfantRisk Center.
Hale is considered one of the foremost expert in the field of perinatal pharmacology and the use of medications by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
The vision of the InfantRisk Center is to create a new body of drug information concerning the safety of medications and their use during pregnancy and lactation. Additionally, the center will expand, enhance and disseminate knowledge regarding the use of medications and other environmental chemicals by pregnant and breastfeeding women worldwide.
Dr. Baker graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern and completed her residency training at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, TX. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Dr. Baker has a combined private and academic OB/GYN practice with the University Physicians at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Amarillo. She is interested in teen pregnancy, postpartum depression, and promoting preventive medicine for the women of the Texas Panhandle, as well as Resident and Student education and serves as the Residency Director.