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Archive | pregnancy

Higher Prepregnancy BMI Linked to Higher Rates of Maternal Morbidity

  In the United States, about half of all pregnant women are overweight or obese. A recent study indicates that higher prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) is associated with a higher risk of maternal morbidity.  In this study carried out in Washington State, 743,630 women were included. Prepregnancy BMI was distributed as follows: underweight, 3.2%; […]

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In Brief: Folate Supplements During Pregnancy Reduce Risk of Autism  

Mothers exposed to household or agricultural pesticides immediately before and during their pregnancies have a higher risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  However, a recent study from California indicates that taking high-dose folic acid cuts this risk in half, as compared to women who received lower doses of folic acid.  In […]

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ACOG Releases Revised Guidelines for Treatment of Opioid Use During Pregnancy

We have been writing over the last few years about the growing problem of opioid use and abuse in women of reproductive age.  Responding to a dramatic increase in the number of women abusing opiates during pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has released revised guidelines on the treatment of opioid use […]

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Is Psychiatric Illness a Risk Factor for Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

  While the majority of pregnant women experience nausea and/or vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy, a smaller subset of women — around 1% — experience more severe and intractable vomiting, or hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).  If left untreated, prolonged hyperemesis can lead to weight loss, dehydration, nutrient deficiencies and electrolyte disturbances.   We do […]

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In Brief: High Rates of Marijuana Use in Pregnant Teens

According to data from the 2002-2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the prevalence of marijuana use was 3.8% in pregnant women (n=14,400), compared to 7.5% in nonpregnant women (n=395,600).   The investigators observed that marijuana use was higher in the first trimester (6.4%) than in the second (3.3%) or third (1.8%) trimesters.  Marijuana use […]

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Lamotrigine and Pregnancy: Meta-Analysis Shows No Increase in Risk for Malformations

  Maintenance treatment with a mood stabilizer during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of relapse in women with bipolar disorder; however, many of the mood stabilizers commonly used in this setting, including lithium and valproic acid, carry some degree of teratogenic risk. In contrast, lamotrigine (Lamictal) appears to be a much safer option for […]

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Do DHA Supplements Make Babies Smarter? Yes, No, Maybe…

DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid which is essential for the growth and development of the brain in infants and is required for maintenance of normal brain function in adults. Based on the importance of this nutrient, most infant formulas now contain DHA.  While infants can make DHA from other (“essential”) fatty […]

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Stimulants In Pregnancy and Increased Risk of Gestational Hypertension

  Our group has noted that we are seeing an increase in the number of consultations for women treated with psychostimulants in combination with an antidepressant.  The reasons vary.  Some women have depression and comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Sometimes a psychostimulant is used to manage residual symptoms and side effects, such as fatigue and cognitive […]

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Synthetic Oxytocin and Its Effect on Postpartum Mood and Anxiety

Often referred to as the “hormone of love,” oxytocin plays an important role in childbirth, maternal behavior, lactation, social affiliation, and sexual pleasure.  Levels of oxytocin, a neuropeptide produced by the hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream via the pituitary gland, rise around the time of delivery.   These levels remain high after delivery, specifically increasing […]

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Is It Safe During Pregnancy? There’s An App for That

  January was Birth Defects Prevention Month, and MotherToBaby launched a free app  designed to provide evidence-based information to pregnant and breastfeeding women. There is Information on a broad range of medications, some herbal remedies, maternal illness, infections and vaccines, alcohol and other substances, occupational exposures, and other exposures (including things like lead, hair dye). […]

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