Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Paul , Annie Murphy (2010-09-28), Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, Free Press, Retrieved on 2011-02-08
Folksonomies: pregnancy fetal obstetrics

Memes

08 FEB 2011

 Pregnant Celebrities are News

"In this world, pregnancy is considered news, and it is a nine-month news cycle," the editor-in-chief of Star magazine has said. Issues featuring pregnant celebrities are often among the magazines' best sellers. The mother of all celebrity pregnancies, of course, was that of actress Demi Moore, who appeared naked and seven months pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair> in 1991. Back then, the image still had the power to shock: on its first day on the stands, the issue sold out during the mo...
Folksonomies: celebrity pregnancy
Folksonomies: celebrity pregnancy
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The focus of gossip magazines on pregnant celebrities mirrors a more general interest the average person has in the pregnant woman as a curiosity.

08 JUN 2011

 Eating Fish During Pregnancy

I dive deep into the research, its strong currents pushing me first one way—fish is good!—and then the other—mercury is bad!—and finally surface with a seemingly obvious conclusion: eat fish, lots of it, just not the mercury-laden kind. This is harder than it sounds. Fish, to me, has meant a pink slab of tuna steak or a creamy slice of swordfish (or that coveted tuna-salad sandwich). Now I set about getting acquainted with the ocean’s other inhabitants: small fish at the bottom of ...
  1  notes

Healthy for the baby, but complicated due to mercury.

08 JUN 2011

 Phytochemical Exposure Prevents Cancer in Mice

Williams’s experiments have shown that the offspring of mice who ingest a phytochemical derived from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts during pregnancy were much less likely to get cancer, even when exposed to a known carcinogen. The same is true of the offspring of mice who were given green tea during pregnancy. After they were weaned, the offspring in William’s experiments never encountered these protective chemicals again, yet their exposure during pre...
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Even when exposed to known carcinogens.

08 JUN 2011

 Make Your Plate Colorful

“Make your plate colorful,” she had advised, and the late-summer bounty makes that easy: into the cart go red tomatoes (full of beneficial carotenoids), orange yams (rich in vitamin A), and green spinach (lots of calcium and iron). Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables of different colors, Michels had explained, ensures that you’re getting a full complement of micronutrients. Now I add a couple of avocados, full of B vitamins, plus potassium; a few bunches of broccoli, rich in ribof...
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A good survey of healthy foods to buy when pregnant.

08 JUN 2011

 The Placenta and Toxicity

“During most of pregnancy, the placenta separating mother and fetus is only one cell thick,” Koren tells me. “But it has an array of mechanisms to help it do its job of protecting the fetus.” These subcellular tools, he explains, include tiny pumps that expel toxins before they can do any damage, immune agents that guard the placenta’s perimeter, and placental enzymes that chemically break down intruding molecules. This armamentarium does an impressive job of blocking bacteria from...
  1  notes

The placenta uses chemical and electrical criteria for filtering out molecules, meaning small fat-soluble molecules, even harmful ones, will pass through.

08 JUN 2011

 The Discover of Bisphenol A's Deleterious Effects on Embryos

In fact, an early clue to the potential risks posed by plastic was discovered entirely by accident. In August of 1998, Washington State University geneticist Patricia Hunt found herself baffled by an unexpected development in her lab. Hunt was using experiments on lab mice to explore why the eggs of older women are more likely to produce children with chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome. The research was coming along well when suddenly the eggs of her control animals—the normal,...
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The story of how Patricia Hunt accidentally made this discovery.

08 JUN 2011

 Mnemonic Device for Avoiding BPA

anything labeled with the recycling code three, six, or seven goes into the trash. (In my research on BPA, I encountered a mnemonic device with the lilt of a nursery rhyme: “Four, five, one, and two/All the rest are bad for you.”)
  1  notes

“Four, five, one, and two/All the rest are bad for you.”

08 JUN 2011

 Seeing the Baby on the Ultrasound

There’s no doubt that seeing one’s future child on an ultrasound monitor is a powerful experience, the first visual evidence of the fetus in a culture in which seeing is believing. The encounter can be so compelling, in fact, that some medical providers are using it not just as a diagnostic tool, but as a treatment in itself. Zack Boukydis, a professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, has been working with doctors for almost a decade to expand routine screenings into...
  1  notes

As the first touchpoint, experience as a parent.

08 JUN 2011

 More Females are Born in Times of Stress

A stress-related decline in the sex ratio is no anomaly, but a biological mechanism that evolved to keep the species going, according to Ralph Catalano, professor of public health at the University of California, Berkeley. “From an evolutionary perspective, in stressful eras it’s a smarter bet to have a female child than a male child. A daughter is more apt to provide you with grandchildren,” Catalano tells me. In hard times, he explains, weak males are less likely to survive and to rep...
  1  notes

It makes sense evolutionarily to have females during times of stress as males are less likely to survive.

08 JUN 2011

 China and India Aborting Millions of Fetuses

Williamson’s wise advice went unheeded. In the years after her study was published in 1978, ultrasound became increasingly available in Singapore and other countries in South and East Asia. The introduction of this technology enabled a new and brutal form of sex selection: if the sonogram shows it’s a girl, abort. Researchers’ estimates of the number of female fetuses aborted over the past twenty years are mind-boggling: ten million in India, twenty million in China. Because of this pra...
  1  notes

Because they are girls and the numbers are mind-boggling.

08 JUN 2011

 Exercise is Good for the Fetus

May conducted a study of the effects of maternal exercise on the fetus. Comparing sedentary pregnant women to those who engage in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for at least thirty minutes three times a week, May found that fetuses show the same beneficial effects of cardiovascular training as do their physically active mothers: their heart rates are significantly lower, and their heart-rate variability is greater, than those of fetuses of mothers who don’t exercise. [...] Exercise m...
  1  notes

and may give it a larger brain.

08 JUN 2011

 Fish and Less Weight Gain are Good for the Baby

And: Eating a lot of fish during pregnancy seems to produce smarter kids. A study of 135 Project Viva mothers and their six-month-old babies, published in 2005 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that greater fish consumption during pregnancy was associated with better infant cognition. The highest scores on a test of visual recognition memory were found among the offspring of women who ate more than two servings of fish a week during pregnancy, but had relatively low leve...
  1  notes

Eating fish increases the child's cognitive abilities and gaining less weight during pregnancy results in children who are of appropriate weight.

08 JUN 2011

 France's Social Programs are Behind Their Better Health

The creation of public programs to improve the health of women and babies began in nineteenth-century Europe, where governments found themselves in need of robust young men to fight their wars and expand their empires. Following a crushing defeat in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War, for example, France set up a series of programs intended to care for pregnant women, promote breastfeeding, and improve infant welfare. (David Barker has suggested, half seriously, that this early attention to materna...
  1  notes

By improving the environment in which French fetuses develop, the French have improved their overall health.

08 JUN 2011

 Circumcision Increases an Infant's Sensitivity to Pain

Glover’s findings are supported by research on the effects of pain experienced by infants after birth. Anna Taddio, a pain specialist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, noticed more than a decade ago that the male infants she treated seemed more sensitive to pain than their female counterparts. This discrepancy, she reasoned, could be due to sex hormones, to anatomical differences—or to a painful event experienced in this part of the world by many boys and no girls: circumcisio...
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Compared to males who are uncircumcised.

08 JUN 2011

 Prenatal Influences as Information for the Fetus

The notion of prenatal influences may conjure up frivolous attempts to enrich the fetus, like playing Mozart through headphones placed on a pregnant belly. In reality, the nine-month-long process of shaping and molding that goes on in the womb is far more visceral and consequential than that. Much of what a pregnant woman encounters in her daily life—the air she breathes, the food and drink she consumes, the emotions she feels, the chemicals she’s exposed to—are shared in some fashion w...
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Diet and other environmental factors are data for the fetus about the conditions of the world outside the womb and influence its development to be best adapted to that environment.

08 JUN 2011

 A Flu Pandemic Reduces Quality of Life for Babies

Initially, Almond doubted that the intrauterine conditions provided by a pregnant woman, even one sick with a virulent strain of the flu, could exert any lasting influence on her offspring. “When I started looking at the influenza pandemic, I was skeptical of the fetal origins hypothesis. I didn’t think I’d find any long-term effects,” Almond says. “But the evidence was the opposite of what I expected.” Through an analysis of census data, Almond discovered that those individuals g...
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Children born during the flu pandemic grew up to have a poorer socioeconomic status than those born at other times.

08 JUN 2011

 Food Stamps Improves Quality of Life for Children

Seizing on yet another natural experiment, Almond examined the impact of the introduction of the food-stamp program in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The program was rolled out on a state-by-state basis, allowing Almond to compare birth outcomes for poor women who received food assistance during pregnancy to those who did not. His results, published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, found that women who were enrolled in the program three months before they gave birth delivered babie...
  1  notes

Babies born after the introduction of food stamps were healthier.