Study: Aspirin May Help Certain Pregnancies

study aspirin pregnancy newsThere is promising news regarding lost pregnancies: low-dose aspirin usage may help women who have previously lost a pregnancy conceive and carry a pregnancy to a full term.

Where Does Aspirin Come Into Play?

Researchers were able to narrow down a subgroup of women who were experiencing high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a substance found in blood when inflammation is experienced. It is believed that Aspirin counteracts this protein and reduces the inflammation.

Background of the Study

Researchers at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Silver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development classified women into 3 groups:

• Low CRP (below .70 mg per liter of blood)
• Mid CRP (from .70 to 1.95)
• High CRP (at or above 1.95)

Women within each group received either daily low–dose aspirin or a placebo. In their findings, they found no significant differences in birth rates between those receiving aspirin and those receiving placebo in both the low CRP and mid CRP groups.

However, for the high CRP group, those taking the placebo had the lowest rate of live birth at 44 percent, while those taking daily aspirin had a live–birth rate of 59 percent — a 35–percent increase. Aspirin also appeared to reduce CRP levels in the high CRP group when measured during weeks 8, 20, and 36 of pregnancy.

Conclusion

Based on their results, the researchers are led to believe that Aspirin does in fact play a role in helping those who have lost a pregnancy to conceive & carry a pregnancy to birth. However, it was concluded that further research is necessary to confirm this hypothesis.

Is Tylenol Safe While Pregnant?

tylenol safe while pregnantDuring pregnancy, you are likely to experience regular cases of backache, fever, or headaches, which you can easily manage with over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen – also referred to as Tylenol.

Dr. Torbati, Tarzana OBGYN, warns against the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen, especially during late pregnancy, because they can interfere with fetal circulation and cause other adverse effects. However, there is evidence suggesting that taking Tylenol during pregnancy is also dangerous as the drug may increase the risk of the baby developing asthma or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

How dangerous is Tylenol for pregnant women?

According to most studies, the increased risk is small, and there is still no certainty that the drug itself is responsible for the resulting wheezing and asthma. But since an estimated 65 percent of pregnant women in the US use Tylenol at some point during their pregnancy, it is possible that a large number of children could have related problems

One mysterious thing about the use of acetaminophen as a pain killer is that no one knows for sure how it works, despite decades of use, yet it is known for its strange side effects.

Some experiments argue that the drug works by impeding the user’s ability to empathise. In other words, it undercuts the brain’s ability to perceive errors. When a user takes the drug after a vaccine, it is claimed to suppress the immune system.

How does Tylenol affect both asthma and ADHD rates?

Scientists speculate that the drug tweaks the immune system of pregnant women, or disrupts hormones, or alters growth factors in the developing brain, but there is no certainty.

Research suggests that the prevalence of asthma doubled from 1980 to 2000. During this period, there were concerns that children who took aspirin developed a rare condition called Reye’s syndrome, leading to a major shift to taking acetaminophen.

Based on this, rather weak, circumstantial evidence, scientists at King’s College London claimed that there was a connection between the rising use of acetaminophen and the asthma ‘epidemic’. The scientists argued that Tylenol caused a depletion of the body’s native antioxidant known as glutathione, causing inflammation of the lungs. This was back in 2000.

Years later, there is still no conclusive link between asthma and Tylenol. However, there is one 2016 study of Norwegian women and children that found that the prenatal use of acetaminophen led to a 13 percent increase in the risk of asthma for 7 year olds, and a 31 percent increase in the risk of hyperactivity. The authors later claimed that they may have missed some details, considering that they did not assess how often the drugs were taken, or why they were taken.

So, should pregnant women take Tylenol?

In 2015, the FDA reviewed evidence on Tylenol and developmental outcomes and claimed that it was “inconclusive”. No one proposes that pregnant women stop taking acetaminophen, since there is really no other alternative for fever. Additionally, untreated fever during pregnancy can have serious consequences, including premature birth.

So, experts recommend that women use the minimum amount possible, and seek alternative approaches to pain management for backaches, like acupuncture and meditation.

Breastfeeding After C-Section: What You Need to Know

breastfeeding after c sectionAn estimated 30 percent of women in the US deliver through Cesarean section (C-section), most of which are usually unexpected. Whichever way you deliver, you have a new, snuggly, and hungry human being who needs feeding and taking care of. That said, having an operative birth as compared to a vaginal one can affect the breastfeeding experience in a number of ways, according to Tarzana OBGYN, Dr Torbati.

Breastfeeding After C-Section: What You Need to Know

● In some instances, a mother who has been eagerly waiting for the natural birth process may feel somewhat disappointed and dissatisfied because her expectations were not met. This can be problematic if the mother considers the C-section a “failure” at giving birth, causing her to feel like she may “fail” at breastfeeding as well. You should keep in mind that every mother is capable of nursing after birth, regardless of the process. In fact, breastfeeding can help to neutralize the c-section experience.

● There may be delays as to how soon you can breastfeed your newborn following the procedure, because you need a little time to recover before you can be able to hold and nurse your baby. Also, mothers who had general anesthesia generally take longer to regain their strength compared to those who had epidural, and may also not be able to nurse for long periods of time at first. But as soon as you’re well conscious and able to hold your baby, you can start nursing him/her.

● The benefits of breastfeeding as soon as possible after delivery apply to both mothers who have delivered vaginally and through c-section. Nursing promotes affection, stimulates the release of milk, provides the baby with early nourishment through colostrums, initiates the release of hormone oxytocin that helps with the contraction of your uterus, and allows you to experience the suction urge of your newborn at its peak, in the first 2-3 hours after birth.

● When you breastfeed before the anesthetic completely wears off, you may actually have an advantage over a mother who gave birth naturally since the experience will be pain-free and more comfortable.

● Babies born through Cesarean tend to be slightly lethargic and drowsy for a short-time after birth, especially if the mother received anesthetics for a longer duration during labor. So, you may need to encourage and stimulate the baby to breastfeed for the colostrums to flow.

● Also, you will be prescribed some medication and antibiotics following delivery to ease pain. While some of the medicine may pass into the milk, the amount is usually very small compared to the volume of milk produced during the first few days of giving birth, so your baby is perfectly safe.

Final Note
As a final note, you should discuss with your medical team about the best position to hold your baby during breastfeeding to reduce the pressure applied to the incision. Also, the antibiotics may make you susceptible to yeast infection that may also affect your baby, so ask your medical team for precautionary measures and how to spot early symptoms for prompt management.

Morning Sickness and Pregnancy – What You Need to Know

morning sickness pregnancy remediesAn estimated 60 percent of all pregnant women experience symptoms of morning sickness to some extent, especially in the first trimester, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Studies suggest that women who have nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and psychological effects such as anxiety and depression early in their pregnancy actually have a healthy pregnancy. In fact, a team of government researchers performing tests on a group of women who had previously had at least one miscarriage found that the women who got morning sickness were 50 – 75 percent less likely to have another miscarriage.

Connection Between Morning Sickness and Pregnancy

The researchers linked the nausea and other symptoms of morning sickness to levels of a hormone that ensures the embryo is firmly embedded in the uterus.

According to the study, women who had one or two prior miscarriages experienced symptoms of morning sickness very early in pregnancy, which resulted in reduced risk of pregnancy loss. By the second month of pregnancy, over 80 percent of the women in the study had morning sickness.

About 25 percent of the women in the study had miscarriages at seven weeks, yet the researchers did not find any indicator of anything that could lead to a miscarriage, or that could cause morning sickness, outside of hormone levels and pregnancy.

However, the researchers were able to conclusively establish that women under 25 years were more likely to experience nausea and vomiting than older women.

Morning Sickness Remedies
Here are a few tips to cope with the nausea and vomiting:

● Don’t take any drugs unless prescribed specifically for you with consideration of the pregnancy
● Eat a few plain sweet biscuits or crackers before getting out of bed in the morning
● Avoid foods that make you more nauseous
● Avoid an empty stomach as it triggers nausea
● Avoid preparing or cooking foods
● Eat small meals regularly
● Take vitamin B6 supplements as recommended
● Avoid clothes that constrict your abdomen – wear loose clothes

What About Severe Morning Sickness?
Also known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), severe morning sickness affects around one in 1,000 pregnant women. The symptoms include repeated vomiting, dehydration, and weight loss.

The condition can be treated by hospitalization for the administration of IV fluids and nutrition. If untreated, HG can lead to complications such as:

● Electrolyte imbalances
● Malnourishment of the fetus
● Extreme depression and anxiety
● Excessive strain on vital organs – heart, liver, kidneys, brain

If you believe that you are experiencing severe morning sickness, because you feel anxious or depressed, or due to sudden weight loss, it is important seek medical advice. Besides hospitalization, you can receive drugs that will not harm your developing baby.

How Pregnancy Affects You and Your Baby’s Oral Health

oral care pregnancy gingivitisPregnancy affects just about every aspect of your life, including your oral health. There are many myths surrounding the increased risk of tooth loss because the baby draws calcium from the woman’s body, but they are not factual. That said, pregnant women are more prone to dental problems because of the surge in estrogen and progesterone hormones, which are claimed to exaggerate the response of gum tissue to plaque.

What dental problems are pregnant women prone to?

Without proper oral hygiene, including professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, pregnancy can cause gum disease, which is characterized by red, tender, swollen gums that bleed easily even with light brushing.

This condition is referred to as pregnancy gingivitis, and affects most pregnant women to some extent. The symptoms can start to show as early as the second month of pregnancy. It should be treated immediately to keep it from advancing to the more serious form known as periodontitis.

Besides gum disease, pregnant women are also prone to developing pregnancy tumors, which are non-cancerous inflammations that develop due to irritation of swollen gums. In most cases, the tumors shrink on their own after delivery; but if they feel uncomfortable and interfere with your eating habits, brushing, and other oral care procedures, you may ask your dentist to remove them.

Is your baby at risk?

There are studies that show a correlation between gingivitis and preterm, low-birthweight babies. This is because punctured gums can allow bacteria from your mouth to get into the bloodstream, from where they can travel to the uterus. In the womb, they can trigger the release of prostaglandins that are claimed to induce premature labor.

See related article: Can You Visit the Dentist While Pregnant?

How to Prevent These Problems

The best way to prevent gingivitis during pregnancy is by keeping your teeth and gums clean, with particular focus on the gum line. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. For some women, brushing triggers morning sickness. If this happens, rinse your mouth with fluoride and antiplaque mouthwashes.

It is also important to maintain a healthy diet that is high in vitamin C and B12, which strengthen your oral cavity and keep your mouth healthy. Regular professional cleanings can also help reduce the risk of gum disease, gum irritation, and pregnancy tumors.

In Case of an Emergency…

Non-emergency dental procedures can be performed at any point during the pregnancy. But in the event of a dental emergency that requires anesthesia or a prescription, you should consult your obstetrician first.

Hot Question: Should I Find Out My Baby’s Sex or Not?

should-i-find-out-my-babys-sexDuring pregnancy, it’s very common for soon to be mother & father to ask at some point: should we decide to find out our baby’s sex or wait until the baby is delivered (in order to be surprised)? In fact, it’s the second most common question asked in the pregnancy world. The first being, “when is your baby due?”

For one, it’s a very subjective question that both parties should sit down and discuss together what the pros and cons will be.

Some Advice for You on Waiting or Not

To help you decide on whether or not you should wait, let me offer you some advice on what to expect.

Most often, soon to be mothers will develop a bond with their child while the child is inside the womb and developing. Mothers generally form a bond that begins once the sex is determined. If you already have children, then knowing the sex gives you a topic of discussion to the siblings on how their new sister or brother will be welcomed into the family soon. Each small kick and movement becomes much more special when the sex is determined. Finding out that you’re having a boy or girl helps you begin forming a bond with your child before they are even born.

Mothers who choose not to know the sex often will not experience this bond. However, for first time pregnancies it may not make any difference.

Is It Worth the Wait?

Again, whether you decide to wait or not – the decision is entirely up to you. Most parents find the entire pregnancy 9-month process exciting whether they choose to wait or not. Once the baby is born, of course both parents will say it was “worth the wait”, however you may have slight regret by not finding out sooner, which tends to be the case in those who have had multiple pregnancies.

Those who decide to wait often find it very tough not giving in at any moment to determine the sex, however it makes it seem that much more special when the baby is finally delivered. Also, those who decide on waiting often have a lot of conversation with friends and family on the outcome of the sex. Some families will even place bets or have games as a result of waiting.

Final Note

Whether you wait or not, pregnancy is exciting either way and your decision will not be something you go back in time and wish you had done otherwise. Either choice will result in a lot of happiness for both sides and well, if you decide to wait for your first pregnancy, then you could choose not to wait on your 2nd pregnancy (if you decide on having a sibling for your child) and get the best of both worlds. And by the 3rd child, you’ll know exactly what you’ll want to do.

Dr. Torbati is a obstetrician in Tarzana, serving nearby areas including Encino, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, and more with pregnancy and obstetrics for women. For more information, please visit our website or call us @ (818) 344-0300.

Pregnancy Fatigue is Real – How Can I Feel Less Tired?

pregnancy fatigue dr torbatiPregnant mothers who have already had children before know just how exhausting 9 moths of pregnancy could be. There are many issues that could arise during pregnancy, so it’s vital to keep in frequent contact with your gynecologist to make sure everything is as smooth as possible. Unfortunately, an issue most of us simply cannot dodge is the concept of “pregnancy fatigue”.

What is “Pregnancy Fatigue”?

This unofficial term is used to describe the tired feeling females experience as a direct result of pregnancy. You drag your feet all day; you plop into bed as soon as you arrive home from work or being out, or you have extreme difficulty taking your head off the pillow. It’s starting to affect you in more ways than one. This is essentially pregnancy fatigue in a nutshell.

It’s no surprise that pregnancy is hard work. It’s also no surprise that pregnancy would cause such a phenomenon. But to take a deeper look, the issue is often felt in the first trimester of pregnancy. And the reason this is the case is because a lot of our body’s energy is used to create the life support system for our soon-to-be-child. This takes a tremendous amount of resources from our body to maintain. By around week 9, it’s common for pregnant females to feel absolutely drained or “pooped”.

How to Improve Pregnancy Fatigue

Pregnancy fatigue is no fun. It takes away your drive to accomplish even the most simple of tasks during the day. As a result, it’s important to bounce back from this groggy, tired feeling. There are a few ways to tackle this issue.

Don’t keep pushing yourself.

Most of us will try and work through the fatigue and continue to push ourselves to our limit. When in reality all you’re really doing is further harming yourself and your child. During pregnancy, you should be resting as much as you can so don’t feel bad if you’re sleeping all of the time.

You need the right fuel.

Eating the right foods and drinks are vital to fueling your pregnancy. We encourage you to consume long-lasting energy boosters such as proteins and complex carbohydrates (i.e. whole grains, nuts, oats, etc.). Sugar and caffeine will only cause you to crash harder when their effects wear off. You should also keep your calorie intake high as opposed to low.

Light exercise.

Light exercise such as a walk around the park or a short jog could go a long way in keeping you prime during your pregnancy. It’s very difficult to perform any exercise when you feel so tired, but trust us – your body will appreciate it.

Should I See a Doctor?

If you feel your fatigue is more severe than what you believe it should be & you experience symptoms such as breathlessness or fainting spells, then you should follow up with your gynecologist. You may be suffering from a common condition during pregnancy known as iron-deficiency anemia, which is very treatable, or prenatal depression which could leave a lasting impact on your energy levels.

Swimming While Pregnant – Is It OK?

swimming while pregnantSwimming doesn’t only keep you fit when not pregnant, it is particularly good exercise during pregnancies. The reason for this is because water helps to support your extra weight. Swimming while pregnant can almost feel like a huge relief, especially during the third trimester.

The following are some of the many benefits of enjoying a bit of a splash this summer even if pregnant:

  • Improve circulation.
  • Boost heart and lung function.
  • Increase muscle tone and strength.
  • Build endurance.
  • Reduce swelling and fluid retention.
  • Burn calories, which helps to manage weight gain.
  • Promote good sleep.
  • Improve energy and decrease fatigue.
  • Ease aches and pains.

Is it OK to swim in a chlorinated pool when pregnant?

Even if you’ve never exercised before, swimming is safe to take up during pregnancy. Swimming in a chlorinated pool is not harmful to you or your baby. It’s usually safe for you to swim throughout your pregnancy, right up until your baby’s birth.

Are there any recommended exercises pregnant women should consider?

Whether or not you are a seasoned swimmer, you should start slowly and gradually work up to sessions of up to 30 minutes long. Make sure you warm up and cool down gradually, it is recommended to be gentle with your routines and avoid stress.

You should always come out of the pool feeling that you could do more.

Choose a stroke that you enjoy and feels comfortable. Alternating between swimming on your front, and floating on your back, while gently kicking your legs, will give you a good all-around workout. Take care not to arch your back. Swimming strokes other than breaststroke will help relieve problems with pain at the front of your pelvis, as it may make the pain worse. You may want to ask your doctor or midwife to refer you to a physiotherapist. Some women find they can swim breaststroke again following treatment.

Although problems are unusual to rise for swimming when pregnant, discuss any changes or discomforts with your doctor.

Can You Visit the Dentist While Pregnant?

dentist while pregnantAs a result of the excitement and anticipation when preparing for a new baby, families and new parents tend to forget about their dental health. For a short period of time, their focus is exclusively on the moment such as decorating a nursery or making special arrangements for the big day. Although those are all important moments, remember to take extra time to take care of yourself also, especially your teeth. It is important to be thoroughly informed of all the possible changes in your body as well as your teeth while pregnant so there’s nothing that could potentially harm the baby.

What To Expect When Expecting

Keep in mind that just like the rest of your body, your mouth also changes. Therefore as a result of all the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy, many women run the risk of developing “pregnancy gingivitis.”

Your gums become swollen, red and tender, many times even bleed – Although this is something that’s uncomfortable especially while expecting, the good news is that with professional cleanings, along with careful attention to your regular brushing and flossing, can help keep pregnancy gingivitis under control.

Aside From “Pregnancy Gingivitis” What Else is Expected?

Along with the discomforts of pregnancy gingivitis, becoming pregnant also introduces your body to morning sickness. Which can affect your teeth as well, due to the vomiting and exposing your teeth to stomach acid. Stomach acid tends to dissolve tooth enamel – once your tooth enamel is damaged it is difficult in fact almost impossible to get it back.

You can’t fully control morning sickness and this isn’t something to stress about. After experiencing morning sickness, and once you’re feeling well enough to rinse your mouth with water and baking soda, do so. By rinsing your mouth with a water and baking soda solution, you will help neutralize the acid before you can brush your teeth. By doing this routine not only will you be protecting your teeth but this will help you feel better.

Can Bad Oral Health Impact the Baby?

You may be surprised how much impact your oral health has on your overall health. Which means that any issues that may arise with your oral health, your baby might be affected. Some studies have lined gum disease to pre-term and low birth weight babies.

Is it Safe To Visit A Dentist While Pregnant?

Yes of course, with all the hormonal changes happening when pregnant, remember that it could potentially affect your oral health. As mentioned above your gums are more likely to bleed and there is a greater chance for inflammation and infection. So try to make a regular and thorough teeth cleaning part of your daily routine.

For more information regarding your visits to the dentist while pregnant, contact us today!

Pregnancy News: Too Much Folate & B12 Increase Risk of Autism Disorders

pregnancy news folate autismRecent research to be shown by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found that too much folate may lead to an increased risk of children being born with an autism spectrum disorder.

Study Background

The study, which was performed by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found some interesting information.

High Levels of Folate:
The study found that mothers who possessed very high levels of folate in their blood flow shortly after giving birth were twice as likely to have a child with a developmental disorder such as autism than new mothers who had normal levels of this vitamin in their blood.

High Levels of Vitamin B12:
The study also found that new mothers with very high levels of vitamin B12 in their blood shortly after giving birth were three times more likely to have children with autism disorder compared to new mothers who had normal levels of this vitamin.

If both levels are high, then researchers say the risk increased to 17.6 times. That’s a significant difference and both findings will be presented to the International Meeting for Autism Research in Baltimore on May 13, 2016.

What is Folate?

Folate and folic acid are both nutrients that our bodies must receive as part of a daily, healthy diet. Pregnant mothers are told to receive an adequate amount of both folate and vitamin B12 to ensure a smooth pregnancy void from developmental risks. This has been a long-standing notion.

Folate is found naturally in many foods such as beans, spinach, avocado, lentils, asparagus, lettuce, broccoli, wheat bread, and other sources.

What the Study Means?

One of the study’s senior authors mentions:

“We have long known that a folate deficiency in pregnant mothers is detrimental to her child’s development. But what this tells us is that excessive amounts may also cause harm. We must aim for optimal levels of this important nutrient.”

Unfortunately, researchers do not exactly know how much is considered “too much”, but at least we now know the dangers of either too much or too little folate or vitamin B12 in pregnant mothers. This research helps pave the way to a better understanding of the causes of autism disorder, which aids in the discovery to find more effective ways to either cure the issue, treat the issue, or help prevent it.

Currently, one in 68 children in the U.S. are believed to have an autism disorder.