What is a Chromosomal Abnormality?


By Lisa Pecos

Chromosomes are structures that carry our genetic material, and more specifically, genes. They are located within every cell of our body, within a structure called the nucleus. When there is an abnormality in the structure or number of one or more chromosomes, this is called a chromosomal anomaly, or abnormality. These abnormalities can occur either at the time of fertilization or during pregnancy and cause negative effects on the growth and development of the baby.

A chromosomal abnormality differs from a single-gene genetic disorder in that an individual can have the normal number of chromosomes, 46, that are structurally sound and still have a genetic disorder. This is because there is a mutation of only one gene, located on a chromosome, that does not affect the structure or number of chromosomes.

Read More

Study Finds Induced Labor No Riskier to Mother and Baby than Natural Labor

Labor or Labor

By Jamell Andrews

Mothers-to-be generally hope to have a natural birth; giving birth when it’s time rather than having to be induced. From old wives tales to warnings about the risks of induced labor to mother and baby, the idea of an induced labor has been a cause of anxiety for expectant mothers. A recent Tel Aviv University study, has found that there is little justification for those fears because induced labor carries no more risk than spontaneous delivery.

The Study

Read More

Pregnancy Nutrition

Pregnancy Nutrition

by Alicia Kenny

Hello New Mom! It’s you and Baby now, so you’ll want to eat what’s best for both of you. Keep in mind that while you are eating for two, only one of you is a full grown adult so you will probably only need to take in an extra 200-300 calories per day while pregnant. The bottom line? Do eat for two, but don’t overeat.

In general, you should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, foods rich in vitamin C, iron and calcium plus plenty of water. While you don’t need to eliminate salt and fat from your diet, you should take care to eat salty foods and high-fat foods only sparingly.

Also, as an expectant mom, you’ll want to make sure to take the prenatal vitamins prescribed by your physician and pay attention to your intake of folic acid in particular. Folic acid is a member of the B vitamin family and occurs naturally in orange juice, green leafy vegetables, beans and lentils. The synthetic form of folic acid, which is more easily absorbed by your body, can be found in fortified breakfast cereals, enriched grain products and vitamins. Folic acid helps prevent and decrease the risk of several common birth defects and supports rapid growth of the placenta and fetus.

Read More

Causes of Infertility

worried couple with pregnancy test

Plus: Natural Ways to Boost Fertility

Increasing numbers of couples are experiencing infertility problems these days, finding that they are unable to conceive, or that the mother is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. Though estimates vary, most fertility experts say that 10 percent or more of all couples in the United States experience infertility problems.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources, about one-third of all cases of infertility involve only the woman, one-third of cases involve only the man, and the remainder of cases involve both partners or are of unknown cause.

Read More

Opioid Prescriptions and Birth Defects


Many U.S. Women of Child-Bearing Age Use Opioid Painkillers: CDC Warns about Birth Defects

A report released earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that close to one-third of all American women of reproductive age got an opioid painkiller prescription filled each year from 2008 to 2012. This is of concern to health authorities because these medicines are known to cause serious birth defects.

Read More

Benefits of Natural Third Stage in Labor


Natural (“Physiological”) Third Stage in Child Birth

You may have heard about the controversy regarding what the best time is, to clamp and cut the umbilical cord once an infant is born. And you may have also heard about delivering the placenta the natural way, by letting it detach and drop down all on its own, without anyone pulling on the cord.

Read More

Pros and Cons of Water Birth

Water Births

What Are the Pros and Cons of Water Birth?

Far too many mothers know firsthand the frequent pitfalls of giving birth in a regular hospital, on a bed. The pain can be excruciating, often prompting women to use hospital-administered drugs. The baby can take many hours to come. An episiotomy may be performed. The obstetrician may rupture the amniotic sac with a stick in an attempt to speed up a slow labor; but tearing the amniotic membrane can lead to other complications.

Read More

Fetal Exposure to Chemicals and I.Q.

Studio portrait of a young pregnant woman

Exposure to Common Chemicals Before Birth Linked to Lower I.Q., Says Study

Two chemicals commonly found in plastics have been linked to lower I.Q.’s in children when the mothers were exposed to higher amounts of the chemicals during pregnancy, according to a new study by researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

The two compounds are di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DIBP); they belong to a class of chemicals called phthalates which are used for varied purposes, including making plastics softer and less brittle, improving spreadability of products like household paints and nail polish, and extending shelf life of scents in grooming products, household cleaning liquids, detergents and air fresheners.

Read More