(click link above to read on npr.org)
Every day in the United States, millions of expectant mothers take a prenatal vitamin on the advice of their doctor.
The counsel typically comes with physical health in mind: folic acid to help avoid fetal spinal cord problems; iodine to spur healthy brain development; calcium to be bound like molecular Legos into diminutive baby bones.
But what about a child’s future mental health? Questions about whether ADHD might arise a few years down the road or whether schizophrenia could crop up in young adulthood tend to be overshadowed by more immediate parental anxieties. As a friend with a newborn daughter recently fretted over lunch, “I’m just trying not to drop her!”
Yet much as pediatricians administer childhood vaccines to guard against future infections, some psychiatrists now are thinking about how to shift their treatment-centric discipline toward one that also deals in early prevention.
In 2013, University of Colorado psychiatrist Robert Freedman and colleagues recruited 100 healthy, pregnant women from greater Denver to study whether giving the B vitamin choline during pregnancy would enhance brain growth in the developing fetus.
(click link at top to continue reading)
Moms Share How Counting to 10 During Pregnancy Saved Their Babies
**This purpose of this post is to educate & inform, not cause scare pregnant mamas!
If we could just save one baby, it would all be worth it.
That was our wish for the Count the Kicks campaign that started in Iowa in 2009.
We were five Iowa moms determined to make a difference. We met after we lost daughters within months of each other due to pregnancy complications or stillbirth. Through a series of conversations with doctors and each other, we realized one thing that could help save babies: Counting Kicks.
Our public health campaign, Count the Kicks, teaches expecting parents to track their baby’s movements daily during the third trimester of pregnancy. Scientific studies indicate that in addition to prenatal visits, keeping a daily record of baby’s movements (kicks, rolls, punches, jabs) during the third trimester is an easy, free and reliable way to monitor baby’s well-being and can reduce the rate of stillbirth, which occurs in one in every 160 pregnancies in the United States. (click link to read on Huffington Post)
Mother’s Exercise May Boost Baby’s Brain
If a woman is physically active during pregnancy, she may boost the development of her unborn child’s brain, according to a heart-tugging new study of expectant mothers and their newborns. The findings bolster a growing scientific consensus that the benefits of exercise can begin to accumulate even before someone is born. (click link above to read on nytimes.com)
Cutting the umbilical cord too early is putting babies’ health at risk, childbirth experts have warned.
Mounting evidence suggests that clamping the cord within seconds of the baby’s arrival deprives it of vital blood from the placenta – which can lead to iron deficiency and anaemia in later life.
Medical bodies, senior doctors and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) want maternity staff to instead leave the umbilical cord untouched for anything from 30 seconds to whenever it stops pulsating naturally – usually within two to five minutes. (click above to read entire article…)