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The evolution of the human brain is a relatively recent occurrence in the world. There are “reward circuits” in the brain, specifically dopaminergic pathways in the mesolimbic system, that provide positive reinforcement for a variety of activities that favor human survival. In modern society, people are free to pursue all kinds of fun things that have nothing to do with keeping them alive.
Caffeine is the most commonly consumed drug in the world. It occurs naturally in many plants and is chemically added to a wide variety of products. Most coffees, sodas, teas, and chocolates, as well as some medications, contain caffeine. Many women are in the habit of consuming caffeine before they become pregnant and want to know if it is safe for their baby before they continue.
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.
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.
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.1
With respect to milk supply in women taking methylergonovine, we have found that a single post-partum dose will suppress prolactin levels, but doesn't seem to have much of a noticeable effect on supply. Existing studies are conflicted regarding this drug's effect on milk supply if used for more than a single post-partum dose.
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.