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Posts Tagged ‘birth defects’

NOTEWORTHY WEDNESDAY!

I have never liked smoking from the time I was very young…many of my family members smoked and the smell just made me sick.

That was many years ago…smoking was everywhere, cars, trains, airplanes, restaurants. Seemingly, you could not go anywhere to get away from it.

I endured my early years of second hand smoke and welcomed  the bans on smoking.

There is so much evidence against smoking and here is a recent post from the March of Dimes.

If you do not smoke please do not start and if you do smoke please get help to quit…it is really not good for anyone.

Smoking causes serious birth defects

To dispel any uncertainty about the serious harm caused by smoking to babies and pregnant women, the first-ever comprehensive systematic review of all studies over the past 50 years has established clearly that maternal smoking causes a range of serious birth defects including heart defects, missing/deformed limbs, clubfoot, gastrointestinal disorders, and facial disorders (for example, of the eyes and cleft lip/palate).

Smoking during pregnancy is also a risk factor for premature birth, says Dr. Michael Katz, senior Vice President for Research and Global Programs of the March of Dimes. He says the March of Dimes urges all women planning a pregnancy or who are pregnant to quit smoking now to reduce their chance of having a baby born prematurely or with a serious birth defect. Babies who survive being born prematurely and at low birthweight are at risk of other serious health problems, Dr. Katz notes, including lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and learning problems. Smoking also can make it harder to get pregnant, and increases the risk of stillbirth.

Around the world, about 250 million women use tobacco every day and this number is increasing rapidly, according to data presented at the 2009 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Mumbai.

The new study, “Maternal smoking in pregnancy and birth defects: a systematic review based on 173,687 malformed cases and 11.7 million controls,” by a team led by Allan Hackshaw, Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre, University College London, was published online today in Human Reproduction Update from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

When women smoke during pregnancy, the unborn baby is exposed to dangerous chemicals like nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar, Dr. Katz says. These chemicals can deprive the baby of oxygen needed for healthy growth and development.

During pregnancy, smoking can cause problems for a woman’s own health, including: ectopic pregnancy; vaginal bleeding; placental abruption, in which the placenta peels away, partially or almost completely, from the uterine wall before delivery; placenta previa, a low-lying placenta that covers part or all of the opening of the uterus.

Smoking is also known to cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, gum disease and eye diseases that can lead to blindness.

Tags: birth defects, ectopic pregnancy, placenta abruption, placenta previa, Pregnancy, premature birth, smoking

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at 10:41 am and is filed under Hot Topics, Planning for Baby, Pregnancy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

via News Moms Need » Blog Archive » Smoking causes serious birth defects.

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News from the March of Dimes about pain killers. If you are trying to become pregnant it is a good idea to check with your doctor regarding any medications that you take.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Pain killers and birth defects

Babies born to women who take opioid pain killers such as codeine, oxycodone or hydrocodone just before or in early pregnancy are at increased but modest risk of birth defects, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found 2-3 percent of mothers interviewed were treated with prescription opioid pain killers, or analgesics, just before or during early pregnancy. (The study did not examine illicit use of these medications.)

The most commonly used opioid meds reported by women were codeine and hydrocodone. Treatment with these pain killers was linked to several types of congenital heart defects as well as spina bifida, hydrocephaly, congenital glaucoma and gastroschisis, an abdominal wall defect. (The findings with some congenital heart defects also appeared in previous studies.) This study found that women who took prescription opioid medications just before or during early pregnancy had about two times the risk for having a baby with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (one of the most critical heart defects) as women who were not treated with them.

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, affecting nearly 40,000 births in the United States each year. Many infants with congenital heart defects die in the first year of life, and infants who survive often require many surgeries, lengthy hospitalizations and a lifetime of treatment for related disabilities.

The studies lead author, Dr. Charyl S. Boussard, said , “It’s important to acknowledge that although there is an increased risk for some types of major birth defects from an exposure to opioid analgesics, that absolute risk for any individual woman is relatively modest. However, with very serious and life threatening birth defects like hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the prevention of even a small number of cases is very important.”

For more information on this study, click here.  Always talk with your health care provider if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy and you have taken or are considering taking any medication, whether prescription, over-the-counter or herbal.

Tags: birth defects, codeine, hydrocodone, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, opioids, oxycodone, pain killers, Pregnancy

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 at 9:37 am and is filed under Planning for Baby, Pregnancy. You can follow any responses to this entry t

via News Moms Need » Blog Archive » Pain killers and birth defects.

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Many, many questions about radiation exposure these days due to the earthquake in Japan.

The March of Dimes has made this information available to its followers.

It is specific to those who live on the West Coast of the U.S.

I hope it is helpful…I have learned more in two weeks than I ever thought I would know about nuclear accidents.

Radiation concerns

We have received several questions from people, especially pregnant women, along the west coast of the U.S. about possible negative effects that might result from any radiation coming from the disaster in Japan.  Our March of Dimes California Chapter has compiled links to great information, which we offer here.

If you are concerned about radiation exposures, you can find the latest information and resources at the links below, which are being updated regularly as the situation in Japan unfolds.

These websites are listed for information only and are not intended to be a comprehensive list of all resources on this issue.

California Teratogen Information Service

Toll free helpline: 1800 532 3749

Website: http://.ctispregnancy.org/

California Department of Public Health

Radiation exposure information line: (916) 341-3947

Website: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/

Radiation Frequently Asked Questions: http://cdph.ca.gov/Pages/RadiationFAQS2011.aspx

Centers for Disease Control / US Department of Health & Human Services:

http://www.hhs.gov/response/2011tsunami/index.html

Health Physics Society

Radiation exposure information (includes information on radiation exposure during pregnancy):

http://www.hps.org/fukushima/

Tags: Pregnancy, radiation, radiation exposure, teratogen

via News Moms Need » Blog Archive » Radiation concerns.

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“The Food and Drug Administration said new data shows expecting mothers taking the drug, sold generically and as Johnson & Johnson’s Topamax, are about 20 times more likely to have their infants develop cleft lips or cleft palate deformities than those who are not treated.

via FDA: migraine drug ups risk for oral birth defects | Reuters.”

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News Moms Need » Blog Archive » Birth defects prevention.

January 2011 is National Birth Defects Prevention Month.  This year’s theme is Medication Use Before, During, and After Pregnancy.

While most birth defects cannot be prevented because their causes are not known, women can take a number of steps before and during pregnancy to reduce their risk. These steps include taking a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily starting before pregnancy and in early pregnancy. This helps to prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, including spina bifida, and may also help prevent heart defects. Another step is getting a pre-pregnancy check up and making sure that the medications you are taking are safe to use during pregnancy.

Talk with your health care provider and pharmacist about your medications.  For the most current information about medications (prescription or over-the-counter), drugs, vaccines, chemical or environmental agents and their potential risks, we suggest that you contact a Teratology Information Service (TIS).  A teratogen is any agent or substance that can affect fetal development.  To answer questions properly, it is sometimes necessary to know how far along in her pregnancy a woman was when she came in contact with the substance, what medications she was taking at the time, some of her medical history, etc.  Trained professionals in the field of teratogens can answer your specific questions while maintaining your anonymity. They also can tell you if a medication is safe to use while breastfeeding. The national toll-free phone number to call is 866-626-6847.

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 7th, 2011 at 11:38 am and is filed under Planning for BabyUncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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