Pregnant women

Mother’s Prenatal Stress Affects Infant’s Gut Bacteria

A number of studies have linked stress during pregnancy to premature birth and low birth weight, eczema, asthma, skin condition, and general illness as well as anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and impaired cognitive and psychomotor development.1 The reasons for these associations is not completely understood. Some researchers believe that gut microbes play a role. Intestinal microbes affect the development…

Antibacterial Compounds Pose Risk During Pregnancy—How to Avoid Them

We are a germ-fearing society. From antibacterial soaps, wipes, cleaners, and ointments to hand sanitizer and antimicrobial bedding, we are trying—literally—to wipe ourselves free of all the germs. What could all this sanitization be doing to our health, some researchers have asked? As it turns out, a lot. One compound in particular—triclosan—is found in many everyday items such as soaps,…

Obesity During Pregnancy Affects Gut Microbes in Offspring

Obesity during pregnancy has a number of detrimental effects. Not only does it negatively affect the mother by increasing the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, infections, sleep apnea, and even infertility in the first place, but it also has harmful effects on the baby, including problems with labor and the increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes later in…

4 Ways to Avoid Environmental Toxin Risk During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most important times in a woman’s life, a time when her health focus shifts to include the well-being of her developing baby. It is also a critical and vulnerable time during infant development. While most doctors will talk to expectant moms about making important dietary and lifestyle changes, a new study published in the Public…

Human Placenta Contains a Community of Microbes

The human microbiome is vast, accounting for 90 percent of our cells. Microbial composition varies from site to site across a range of niches in and on the body. Some niches—such as the colon—are colonized by a very high number of microbes. Other niches—such as the stomach—are colonized by lower amount of microbes. There are yet other areas of the…

Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Linked to Autism

There are many factors that contribute to autism. While some experts will lead you to believe that genetics are to blame, many other experts are hard at working identifying a number of environmental contributors to the disorder. I discussed many of these in my book, The Road to Perfect Health. The truth is more likely somewhere in the middle. Both…

Fish Consumption During Pregnancy—To Do or Not To Do?

You may have heard that eating fish during pregnancy is good for you. Conversely, you may have also heard that you should limit your fish intake during pregnancy. What’s a soon-to-be mama to do with all the conflicting advice? I’d like to help clear up the confusion on this important topic. Currently, the FDA recommends that women who might become…

Probiotics Reduce Bowel Disease in Premature Babies

Premature infants given a daily dose of a probiotic blend were protected against the more severe forms of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a potentially deadly inflammatory disease, according to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics. NEC is the most common gastrointestinal emergency in premature infants. It involves damage to the intestinal lining that ranges from surface damage all the…