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.

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.

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.

New Report Finds Eating Light Meal During Labor is Beneficial

eating light meal during laborIt had traditionally been believed that fasting was necessary while a woman was in labor. The reason being to avoid aspiration that could lead to pneumonia. However, a new report has found that this actually may not be the case. The report, presented during the Anesthesiology 2015 annual meeting found that eating a light meal is beneficial for the labor process.

What The Researchers Found…

Researchers visited hundreds of cases on women who have had birth in a hospital. They found that the energy demands of a woman undergoing labor is similar to a marathon runner, whose body will use fat as an energy source if it cannot be found elsewhere (i.e. through adequate nutrition).

For laboring women, this phenomenon would lead to reduced uterine contractions, leading to longer, more strenuous labor and lower health scores for newborns.

Aspiration is a Very Rare Phenomenon

To re-emphasize, the main concern eating during labor was because of aspiration troubles.

Advancements in anesthesia have made the pain involved during labor a lot more manageable and safer, which reduces risks related to eating. Aside from this, the researchers also noted that aspiration is very rare citing only one case that had occurred between 2005 and 2013 of a woman suffering from obesity and pre-clampsia.

Benefits of a Light Meal During Labor

Provided you are in good health standing, which is to be determined by your doctor, a light meal during labor could provide benefits. Researchers note that light meals would “give expectant mothers more choices in their birthing experience and prevent them from being calorie deficient, helping to provide energy during labor”.

Always Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

Regardless of the findings, you should always follow the advice of your obstetrician or doctor. They will direct any laboring women as to whether a light meal would benefit them or not.

Dr. Torbati is a board-certified OB/GYN in Tarzana. He specializes in obstetrics, family planning, and other related services. He has been practicing for over 20 years, having delivered several newborns to happy Mothers. For more information, please contact our office @ (818) 575-6021.

Incorporating Omega-3 Fatty Acids Into Your Diet

omega 3 fatty acids benefitsPeople have known about the benefits of eating fish for ages. Scientists have also known for decades about the positive health effects of fish oils. Studies conducted in the 1970s revealed that the Inuit, as well as people who maintained a Mediterranean diet, had significantly lower incidence of cardiovascular disease compared to most Europeans. Studies have also shown that the Japanese have one of the highest life expectations.

One thing that the diets of these regions have in common (with the exception of Europe) is their considerably high omega-3 fatty acids content – abundant in most fish. Numerous scientific studies have shown that a diet rich in Omega-3s impact reduces the risk of heart attacks, and also helps to counter depression, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Also, there is strong evidence showing that omega-3s reduces Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammations.

So, What are Omegas?

The Omegas are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are regarded as “essential” to the human body because you need them, but the body cannot manufacture them. So, you can only get them from your diet.

The omegas include omega-3s, -6s, and -9s. Studies show that the modern Western diet is largely unbalanced because it mostly comprises the omega-6 fatty acids found in grains, but not enough omega-3s. The omega-9s are found in fats like olive oil, and are considered to be neutral. This means that they are neither good nor bad, but are better compared to unhealthy saturated fats.

Sources of Omega-3

The term omega-3 refers to a range of fatty acids, three of which are very important for your health: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), elcosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – only found in oily fish – and alpha-linolenic-acid (ALA) – obtained from plants (nuts and vegetable oils).

Animal-based sources of omega-3 fats include:

  • Salmon – the American Heart Association recommends 2 servings of wild salmon per week.
  • Fish oil – a great source of omega-3 fats, though it is weak in antioxidants
  • Krill oil – a fantastic source of omega-3s and antioxidants.

Vegetable-based sources of omega-3 fats include:

  • Walnuts – major source of ALA
  • Organic flaxseed oil – rich in omega-3s, protein, and fiber
  • Kidney beans and legumes
  • Seaweed – plant sources for DHA and EPA
  • Berries – great source for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3s

How Much Omega-3 Do You Need?

Omega-3s constitute part of the membrane around every cell in your body, and help to control what substances pass in/out the cells, as well as how the cells communicate with each other. Nutritionists and scientists recommend that you consume at least two 75-gram servings of fish every week, which translates to about 500mg of EPA and DHA per day. That said, studies suggest that you cannot possibly get too much omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for fetal neurodevelopment and may be important for the timing of gestation and birth weight as well. This is why Dr. Torbati recommends all pregnant women incorporate omega-3 into their diets.

Bump Watch: A Roundup of Celebrity Pregnancies (2015)

celebrity bump watch pregnancyPaparazzi are everywhere, and celebrities are tempted to either conceal private things or falsely advertise them. Fans across the nation are always eager to know the inside story on their favorite famous person. From film stars to pop sensations, here are some celebrities who have announced that they’re expecting babies.

Bump Watch – Celebrity Pregnancies Expected in 2015

1. Expectant Mother Bristol Palin

The 24 year old daughter of Sarah Palin recently shared a photo of her baby bump at six months via Instagram. This will be her second child, coming six years after the birth of her son, Tripp. Even though her wedding to Dakota Meyer was called off at the last minute, Briston Palin expressed her confidence in raising two kids, claiming that she has a steady job, a home, and has already managed to raise a beautiful son all on her own.

2. Expectant Mother Kim Kardashian

The 34 year old reality star stepped out with her sisters and mother for a family dinner in Los Angeles, Calif, sporting a high-waisted skirt and crop top, accessorized with a beautiful sheer robe and sky-high heels. Kim and her husband, Kanye West, are expecting their son in December, so make a family of four – plus their 2-year old daughter, North. The reality family stars were celebrating the upcoming release of their apps.

3. Expectant Mother Candice Accola

The 28 year old “Vampire Diaries’ star and her 35 year old husband, “The Fray” guitarist Joe King are expecting their first child together – she has two stepdaughters, Elise and Ava. The couple wed in October 2014 in New Orleans.

4. Expectant Mother Crystal Williams

Crystal, the fiancée to 35 year old R&B singer Ne-Yo announced via Twitter that they were expecting their first child. The Couple is engaged and hopes to get married next year. Ne-Yo has already fathered two children from his previous engagement to Shaw Monyetta, son Mason Evan 31/2 years, and daughter Madilyn Grace, 41/2 years.

5. New Mother Sandra Cho Durand – Wife to Kevin Durand

The 41 year old “Strain” star and his wife recently welcomed their first child – daughter Amelie Moon Durand. The two wed in October 2010, and received lots of congratulatory messages and well wishes from other celebrities and fans via social networks.

6. New Mother Lucy Liu

She recently shared a snapshot with Rockwell, her baby boy, via Instagram. The 46 year old “Charlie’s Angels” star and “Ally McBeal” alum brought into the world her “new little man” via gestational carrier. Both are happy and healthy.

dr. trobati gynecologist tarzanaDr. Kamran Torbati is a practicing gynecologist in Tarzana. He specializes in all services related to pregnancy including high risk pregnancy, premature birth, and family planning. He has personally delivered hundreds of children in the 20 years he has been practicing and loves every moment of it. His office can be reached @ (818) 575-6526.

How to Make Your Mother Feel Special on Mother’s Day!

mother's day ideas 2015Mother’s Day is a very special day that was created roughly 150 years ago to honor all Mothers for their dedication and hard work in raising children – because if you’ve ever done it you know just how tough it really is! With that said, it’s only right to give them thanks and praise on this special day.

After all, your Mother is the one who delivered you (with the help of an OB/GYN of course!), as well as raised you over the years – put up with your defiance, trouble, and everything else. ☺

A Few Gift Ideas to Consider

Most of us buy our gifts last second and that’s not a problem! It’s still the thought that counts, correct? Here are a few of my own personal recommendations from experience over the years.

Edible Arrangements

Similar to a bouquet of flowers, but can be eaten! Mothers love their chocolate, too. My personal favorite: Shari’s Berries. There are many other varieties of edible arrangements that Mom would love – a Google search will guide you in the right direction.

Spa Gift Cards

This one’s a winner. Moms love it – and it’s much better when you accompany them! It gives you an excuse to get away, as well as giving your Mother an excuse to take a much needed relaxing break.

Hiring a Maid

You may laugh at this one, but let me tell you: it’s a great idea. If you have a Mother who cleans house often, then hiring a maid service for even just a day will make her happy. That one day can be spent cleaning the entire house – saving her a week of time she can now spend doing what she would like to.

An Evening Dinner

Taking your Mom out to a nice evening dinner is another winning option. It means she doesn’t have to spend time cooking and worrying about whether or not her new dish will be a crowd favorite – which is very stressful to some. It doesn’t have to be fancy either.

There are plenty of other ideas not listed here, but above any gift you may get your Mother – nothing is better than simply spending time with her. It’s very thoughtful, while also being cost-effective. A win-win situation, really.

Happy Mother’s Day from the team at Dr. Torbati’s OB/GYN office!

Can I Have Sexual Intercourse During Pregnancy? – OB/GYN Responds

sex during pregnancyMany women and their partners are usually concerned for the well-being of their unborn baby/babies, thinking that sexual intercourse (sex) may cause injury in some way. However, this is not the case, and it is normally quite safe to continue making love while pregnant. In the womb, your baby floats in amniotic fluid, and the membrane that holds the fluid, your uterus muscles, and pelvis bone all work together to protect your baby. Many problems leading to miscarriage are usually associated with genetic problems, and not something you do such as sexual intercourse.

Not In The Mood?

Actually, women with a normal pregnancy can enjoy intercourse with their partner as often as they want, though pregnancy may change the desire for sex. Pregnancy often results in a mixture of emotions, so you may feel happy and excited at times, or depressed and unattractive at others. Your partner, on the other hand, may feel protective toward you and your baby, or jealous of the growing baby. Such feelings are normal, and can affect the desire for intercourse.

What is important is that you talk openly with your partner about your feelings. The amount of sex you have may change from month to month for the duration of the pregnancy, depending on your physical well-being, fatigue, changes in hormones, or general sexual interest. Whatever your feelings may be, simply talk to your partner. If they don’t understand, especially if you are not interested, talk to your doctor or nurse about it.

A Comfortable Position

Now that you know that sex is not harmful to your baby, you should consider the positions you use, since some may become uncomfortable later in pregnancy. Positions that require lying on your side or on your hands and knees are generally more comfortable, though you may need to research further or create your own to find what is most comfortable you. You should also avoid sexual activities that may lead to an infection.

When Having Sex During Pregnancy Can Be Dangerous…

It is not safe to continue sexual intercourse if:

  • your waters have broken
  • gone into premature labor
  • or have had some spotting or bleeding

When the water breaks, your child is no longer protected. This means that you should stop having intercourse until birth. Any spotting or contractions arising from stimulation during intercourse should be checked by a doctor or midwife before resuming intercourse again.

Orgasm cannot start labor, but prostaglandins in semen are known to trigger contractions when you are due. Some midwives even recommend intercourse to bring on labor.

Final Thoughts

While intercourse will not harm your baby in any way, you may find that your baby moves around a bit after orgasm. This should not worry you, as your baby is simply reacting to your increased heart rate. He/she is not aware of what is happening and will not even feel the slightest discomfort.

If you are ever worried about your situation, then never hesitate to get a hold of your OBGYN, doctor, or physician to discuss your concerns.

Dr. Torbati is an OB/GYN in Tarzana with his own private practice servicing nearby residents and surrounding cities including Reseda, Northridge, and Encino. Dr. Torbati performs family planning services, ultrasound with 3D imaging, childbirth, mammogram and cancer screening, and other obstetrics and gynecology practices.

OBGYN Tips on How To Prepare for Natural Baby Delivery

Natural baby delivery and labor fearsDr. Torbati has successfully delivered multiple newborn children from many different mothers over a span of 20 years. He seeks to share his wisdom for mother-to-be’s in anticipation of their newborn child. He offers his personal tips on how to prepare for natural baby delivery.

Anxiety is Normal

One thing present in every delivery is anxiety. Mothers (and the whole family) are generally excited and enthusiastic during childbirth. However, negative thoughts are common for the mother-to-be. It’s normal to feel as if your body is not strong enough to carry on through the final part of pregnancy. All women feel this. Yes, ALL.

Half of your battle will be centered on easing this anxious feeling.

Exercise Strengthens the Body

Exercise is a great idea because it conditions your body to better handle the labor involved in childbirth. The easiest exercise to perform is basic cardio to give you more endurance. Basic cardio involves light jogging around the block, bicycling, and

However, squats and stretching work best. Squats specifically target the muscles that are responsible for delivery in the labor process. There’s no need to overdo it, either. No weights necessary. Simply follow proper squat form and perform a set or two daily.

For stretching, try prenatal stretching exercises that trigger the muscles used during labor: chest, calf, back, and hips. There are plenty that can be found with a simple Google search of “prenatal stretching exercises”. They are not difficult to perform, either. By conditioning these muscles, it will help smooth out the process as well as alleviate a bit of anxiety knowing you’re well prepared.

Consider Taking a Class on Prenatal Childbirth

If you’re the type who is struggling to grasp how the situation will pan out and you’re searching for answers with no calming finds, then you may want to consider taking a class on preparing for childbirth.

If a class does not sound convenient to you for any reason, then you could also schedule a personal appointment with me, Dr. Torbati, in my OBGYN office located in Tarzana. I would be delighted to describe the process in more detail and help you curb your anxiety.