Category: Maternity

Diet During Pregnancy Can Alter Baby’s DNA

Posted on May 6, 2014 by 2 Comments

We all know that eating healthy during pregnancy is important, and that how we eat during those nine months can have an effect on our child’s long-term health. But now a report issued by scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine links what a mom is eating before she conceives and at the time of conception to altering a baby’s genes permanently.

The study was published in Nature Communications and is the first such study to connect environmental factors during the first few days of development and long-term changes in DNA. The research did not study how these genetic changes influence overall fetal development or the baby’s health later in life. Instead, research studied the umbilical cord tissue from 237 individuals and analyzed six genes and their interaction between prenatal environment.

The findings of this research, along with evidence gathered through other studies which have shown similar types of genetic changes, may be used in the future to determine a child’s risk for some diseases including autism, diabetes, and mental disorders.

I had actually seen a man talking on one of the morning talk shows about how we may be able to insert a gene to correct some of these issues in the future. I’m not really in favor of inserting foreign genes into a child…at least not at the moment. It smells too much like genetic engineering.

This study isn’t talking about doing that. It’s just looking at the building blocks of genes and whether they are turned on or off in the earliest stages of pregnancy. According to the findings of this study, how moms ate during these early stages made a difference in the micronutrients in the blood stream.

While the research teams couldn’t pinpoint which micronutrients were most important, they did find that when several of these nutrients, including vitamin B2 were lower, the six genes being looked at had less methylation.

Why is this important? DNA methylation is vital to healthy growth and development. It plays a role in genomic imprinting, carcinogenesis and the inhibition of repetitive elements. It also enables the expression of potentially dangerous sequences of DNA to be suppressed.

Now as a mom of a child who has learning challenges, it makes me wonder if I could have done something differently. But as soon as I thought it, I let it go. The past is the past, and I can’t change that. However, for all those out there thinking of getting pregnant, instead of thinking of eating for two, think about eating for the one who is developing! It may make a life-long difference.

Photo credits: Wikipedia

“Mix-up” Not a Word You Want to Hear When Pregnant

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 by 1 Comment

Another “mix-up” has occurred involving fertility treatments. I can’t imagine going through all those treatments involve, and then the roller coaster of emotions when you find out you’re finally expecting, only to be told the baby is someone else’s.

Right now there is a woman in Rome who is in the headlines for just such a mix-up. She is pregnant with twins but learned the embryos implanted in her are not those of her and her partner. The mistake is said to be the result of the fact that four couples received treatment that day.

The woman learned of the error when she was three months pregnant and told there was “genetic incompatibility” between the babies and the parents. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened.

In 2009 an Ohio woman implanted with the wrong embryos chose to carry the baby to term rather than to terminate the pregnancy. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy and handed him over to his biological parents. In another in-vitro mix up, a San Francisco woman pregnant with another couple’s embryos didn’t learn of the mix-up until 10 months after the baby was born. When the biological father learned he had a son, he sued for custody and was granted shared custody.

The first story I remember about such a mix-up was about a white Staten Island couple who gave birth to a black baby. At the time, the court ruled that the biological parents were granted full custody. That happened back in 1999. Mix-ups don’t seem happen often but when they do, the consequences are far reaching.

Everyone wishes they never happened and part of me wonders if they happen more than we know. But beyond that conjecture, I hope those doing this important procedure learn from such mistakes and put policies in place to makes sure whatever went wrong isn’t repeated.

Photo credits: Saravanan Lakshmanan

Chelsea Clinton Announces Baby on the Way

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 by No Comments

Chelsea Clinton grew up in the spotlight as the daughter of President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton. In fact, she’s the only child of the famous couple, and when she got married in 2010 to Marc Mezvinsky, she chose to keep the ceremony private.  Since then, she’s done a good job of staying active and yet keeping a low profile.

Chelsea’s mother, on the other hand, has remained in the spotlight as Secretary of State and is a potential presidential candidate in 2016. Plus Mom, Hillary Clinton, has made it clear that she looks forward to grandchildren. Now that wish is coming true.

Chelsea Clinton made the announcement that she and husband Marc are expecting their first child while sitting alongside her mother at a Clinton Foundation event in New York on April 17.

Chelsea didn’t mention a due date or even the month she’s due, but kept the announcement vague saying, “Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year.” She went on to say, “And I certainly feel all the better whether it’s girl or a boy that she or he will grow up in a world full of so many strong, young female leaders. So thank you for inspiring me and thank you for inspiring future generations.” She masterfully delivered the news she wanted to share and kept private what she wants to stay private.

Chelsea looked over at her mother and added, “I just hope I will be as good a mom to my child and hopefully children as my mom was to me.”

Hillary sat in the chair to Chelsea’s left wearing a big smile. She didn’t have to say a word to let the audience know the joy she’s feeling over the news. She went on to weave her good news into a statement about how it makes her work even more important. She talked about the fact that she’s seen progress in her lifetime, but wants to see “things keep moving.”

While people from different sides of the aisle can dispute what “progress” is, the one thing we can all agree on is that the baby due to arrive sometime this fall is exciting news.

Photo credits: wikimedia

Having a Baby Costs About $21,000

Posted on Mar 24, 2014 by No Comments

One of the first things I thought about when I learned I was expecting was how on earth I was going to afford a baby. Then 13 months later I was pregnant again, despite using protection. Again, I thought about how I couldn’t afford another child, but he was born the following fall, and somehow we made due.

In this day and age where we are looking for affordable health care, a new study has taken a look at the increased medical expenses for maternal and infant care associated with IVF-assisted pregnancy. Women who turn to IVF to get pregnant run the risk of multiple pregnancies and according this study, expecting parents are faced with a cost of about $21,000 for having a single baby.

Those expecting twins can expect the bill to skyrocket to $105,000 and for those who have triplets or even more babies the cost is around $400,000. I was surprised by these numbers until I read that it included medical expenses for the mom for prenatal care and for follow up exams for the month following the birth.

It also includes expenses for the baby for the first year. Even with that, it certainly seems a daunting amount, doesn’t it?

When seeing the difference in costs for multiple births, and the higher rate of multiple births occurring due to IVF procedures, the researchers recommend looking for more strategies to minimize how many embryos are transferred during the procedure.

The authors of this study suggest that the increased use of Caesarean section combined with longer hospital stays for moms and babies related to multiple birth are directly related to the higher costs. According to their findings, 60% of medical expenses related to single births are tied to the mother’s care while 70 to 80% of costs are related to infant care with twins or multiple births.

With all that said, wouldn’t it be nice if the cost of having a baby was really affordable!

Photo credits: maessive

Just Enjoy Your Pregnancy

Posted on Mar 7, 2014 by 1 Comment

The natural thing to do when you get pregnant is to read everything you can get your hands on about how to have a healthy baby. You should stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and BPA. You should not use a hot tub, or strongly scented perfumes (they have chemicals that might be bad for baby), and you shouldn’t eat too much fish — especially tuna.

By the time you have gone through the laundry list of everything you should and should not do, you may be near hysteria and wishing that you’d never gotten pregnant at all. What were you thinking?

Forget it. Humans have birthed babies for numerous centuries and will continue to do so despite Monsanto, Margaritas, and gel nail manicures.

Having a healthy baby is important and you do have a responsibility to try to stay away from things that might have a negative effect on your baby’s health. You know, like crack or huffing insecticide, or something. You can’t protect your baby from everything that could possibly cause problems.

Guess what? Just because you manage to stay away from all of those things won’t guarantee that your baby doesn’t have some sort of health issue.

One of my kids has unilateral microtia, which is a fancy term for only having one ear. His other ear never developed and is really only a skin tag. I spent years kicking myself, trying to figure out what I could have done, and feeling guilty.

One day I decided to stop. You can’t control everything in life. Not everything can be safe for everyone. There is a risk to getting out of bed in the morning.

Pregnancy is a short season in your life. Rather than worrying about everything that could happen, concentrate on the magic that is happening. Believe it or not, you’ll miss this season when it’s gone.

photo credit: Daquella manera via photopin cc

Is a Baby on the Way for Newly Engaged Christina Aguilera?

Posted on Feb 26, 2014 by No Comments

Popular pop star and “Voice” mentor, Christina Aguilera announced her engagement to boyfriend Matt Rutler on Valentine’s Day via Twitter when she tweeted, “He asked and I said…” followed by a photo of the two them holding hands in a tropical setting and showcasing a hefty engagement ring. Since that cryptic announcement she has made it clear the two of them are planning to get married.

The couple started dating after Christina’s divorce from her first husband, Jordan Bratman, was finalized in 2011. While fans are excited for the couple’s upcoming nuptials, US Weekly raised another question. Is there a baby on the way?

In an interview with US Weekly, Matt Rutler’s mother said “I don’t know what their plans are, but when you have a baby you’re not planning on moving anywhere anytime soon!”

That sounds like a baby is on the way to me, but Christina is staying quiet on the matter, and I have to say I don’t blame her. When I was expecting, I didn’t really tell everyone about it until I was about 4 months along.

Christina met Matt when he worked as a production assistant on the set of “Burlesque” in 2010. Christina filed for divorce in October of that year and endured a painful split with hubby Jordan Bratman. Once it was finalized she started seeing Matt.

Early on in the relationship, she said that the two of them had a strong friendship and that “He’s the kind of person you could spend hours on the phone talking to and all of a sudden it’s daylight.” I’d say that’s a good start to a relationship that show promise!

If the 33-year-old pop star is expecting, it will be her second child. She has a 6 year old son, Max, from her first marriage.

Photo credits: Twitter

Simon Cowell’s Baby Boy Arrives on Valentine’s Day

Posted on Feb 18, 2014 by No Comments

Simon Cowell and girlfriend Lauren Silverman welcomed a 6 lb. 7 oz. son into the world on Valentine’s Day at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Cowell caught the first available flight from London to New York to be by Silverman’s side as she went into to labor. His first words with his new baby were an emotional “I’ve waited for you all my life.”

Two hours after the birth, the 54-year-old father took to Twitter to say “Very happy to say Eric was born at 17.45 pm. Healthy and handsome.” The baby is named after Simon’s father.

MailOnline reported “Lauren’s mother and sister were in the delivery room with them when she gave birth. Simon’s mother, Julie, is looking forward to meeting the baby in the UK.” Can you imagine going through your first child’s birth and jet lag at the same time! Reports say the new dad looked fatigued but happy as he left the hospital to head to his hotel for some sleep.

Cowell has kept fans updated since Eric’s birth through his Twitter feed. Shortly after he announced Eric’s arrival, he let everyone know “Lauren is in fine shape” and actually thanked people for their kind comments.

On February 16 he admitted “I never knew how much love and pride I would feel.” He’s posting pics and really showing a loving side some of us never suspected existed. I can’t help but think of what a curmudgeon he has always been as a judge, and now this baby comes along in his life and we see that there really is a sweet side to the music mogul. Just goes to show you how a new baby can melt a heart!

This is his first child and Silverman’s second.

Photo credits: Twitter

Link Round-up: Recipes, Olympics Bingo, Getting Pregnant, and More

Posted on Feb 13, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has a few recipes, Olympics bingo, tips for getting pregnant, and more.

Mod Podge Rocks showed us how to make an ombre wood beaded necklace.

I Heart Naptime shared her recipe for creamy tomato tortellini soup.

Prudent Baby showed us how to make cork drums for kids.

link ru gummy bears
A Beautiful Mess made cute gummy bear cookies the kids will love to help make (and eat).

Bexlife shared her tips for getting pregnant, whether it’s your first or fifth time.

Brit.co taught us how to make cute last-minute Valentine’s Day lollipops.

Thirty Handmade Days showed us a cute DIY Olympics bingo game and provided printables of the cards.

Photo credit: Mod Podge Rocks and A Beautiful Mess

Are You Wiring Your Child to Be Obese?

Posted on Jan 28, 2014 by 2 Comments

It’s easy to think we can eat as much as we want when we’re expecting a baby. The whole eating for two thing doesn’t really mean that, though. In fact, because the baby is so small the extra calories needed add up to about 350 per day. That’s equivalent to a moderate meal or seconds at dinner.

Recent research offers a whole new insight for why moms should concentrate on eating healthy — for the future health of their unborn child. Research published last week shows that eating a high fat diet while pregnant may be a factor in whether or not your child will struggle with obesity later in life.

The research shows that eating a high fat diet during lactation “predisposes the offspring for obesity” and “impaired glucose homeostasis in mice.” The research revealed a critical timing “when altered maternal metabolism disrupts metabolic homeostasis in the offspring […]” and shows that abnormal insulin signaling contributes to this effect.

This research was conducted on mice, but it does show we may be wiring our kids to be obese before they are even born.

Results suggest expectant moms should put forth all the more effort to eat healthy when expecting because if these results are right, a high fat diet may lay the groundwork for obesity by rewiring the part of the brain in our child that helps regulate appetite. This period of brain development coincides to the third trimester of pregnancy in humans and suggests that changing your diet even late in pregnancy may break the predestined cycle of obesity.

So if you’re pregnant, forget about eating what you want and how much you want to satisfy a craving, and think instead about your baby. Avoid setting the stage for obesity for your child and consider making healthy choices during your pregnancy. It can help your child in the future, and it can help you avoid putting on extra pounds you’d be left with after the baby is born.

Photo credits: Wikipedia

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