Antibiotic use during pregnancy no longer cause for concern

The findings of the largest investigation of its type give the all-clear to macrolide antibiotic use during pregnancy. According to the investigation’s findings, macrolides do not negatively influence the unborn child’s development.

Antibiotic use during pregnancy has been much discussed. Could we finally have a definitive answer?

Thousands of pregnant women across America are prescribed antibiotics during their term; around 4 out of 10 expectant mothers will use them at some point during their pregnancy.

Along with penicillin, macrolide antibiotics are the most commonly used medications in the general population, including pregnant women.

Macrolides are a group of drugs, generally antibiotics, which include erythromycin, fidaxomicin, azithromycin and clarithromycin. They have a slightly wider antimicrobial spectrum than penicillin and can be used in cases where a penicillin allergy is present.

The current study was led by Anick Bérard, PhD, of the University of Montreal in Canda and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine Children’s Hospital, and Hedvig Nordeng, of the University of Oslo in Norway.

The team looked at macrolides and their potential adverse pregnancy outcomes, including birth defects. Bérard says:

“With penicillin, macrolides are amongst the most used medications in the general population and in pregnancy. However, debate remained on whether it is the infections or, in fact, the macrolides used to treat them that put women and their unborn child at greater risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including birth defects.”

Previous investigations into macrolide safety during pregnancy have produced contradictory results. Some studies have claimed an association between macrolides and cardiovascular malformations. Other studies have drawn links between the use of macrolides during pregnancy and an elevated chance of epilepsy and/or cerebral palsy.

These findings and others in the same vein have led to an avoidance of prescribing macrolides to pregnant women in several Scandinavian countries.

Click here to read all of the article from Medical News Today


It’s important to have folic acid in your system during early stages of pregnancy when your baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing

Folic acid is a pregnancy superhero!

Taking a prenatal vitamin with the recommended 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spinal cord. Take it every day and go ahead and have a bowl of fortified cereal, too.

What Is Folic Acid?

Folic acid, which is also called folate, is a B vitamin. The best food sources of folic acid are fortified cereals. Folic acid plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and helps your baby’s neural tube develop into her brain and spinal cord.

When Should I Start Taking Folic Acid?

Birth defects occur within the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy. So it’s important to have folic acid in your system during those early stages when your baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing.

If you talked to your doctor when you were trying to conceive, she probably told you to start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid. One study showed that women who took folic acid for at least a year before getting pregnant cut their chances of delivering early by 50% or more.

The CDC recommends that you start taking folic acid every day for at least a month before you become pregnant, and every day while you are pregnant. However, the CDC also recommends that all women of childbearing age take folic acid every day. So you’d be fine to start taking it even earlier.

If you picked out your own prenatal vitamin, take it to your OB once you’re pregnant to make sure it has the recommended amounts of everything you need, including folic acid. All prenatal vitamins are not the same and some may have less or more of the vitamins and minerals you need. For new parents go to best baby carriers, to find the best carrier that will help support the baby’s body.

Click here to read the rest of this article and to see how much folic acid you should take


Losing Your Personal Bubble When Pregnant

By Mary Murry, R.N., C.N.M.

There are some interesting things that happen to you when you’re pregnant. It seems to begin as soon as people know you are pregnant.

Personal boundaries seem to melt away. You have no more personal bubble. Your belly is fair game for everyone from your great aunt May to the greeter at Wal-Mart.

I myself never had a problem with any family member giving my tummy a rub or pat. It was when people outside of the family reached for it that I cringed. I have to admit that with 9 and 10 pound babies, my tummy made a tempting target. I got very good at noticing the telltale signs; rapidly approaching, hands outstretched, the words “Oh you don’t mind …” uttered with a smile after her hands were already patting my tummy.

I would try to get my hands on it first and block the planned assault. Rarely was I successful. The little old ladies were the fastest of them all I think.

Another amazing phenomenon is the loss of discretion or sensitivity for your feelings. This takes different forms and the results are not nice. It causes people, friends, family, neighbors and complete strangers to comment on how big you are or aren’t.

They ask if you are having twins because you are so big. This loosening of tongues and sensitivities causes some people to feel free to comment on the amount of weight they think you have gained. I won’t even repeat some of the comments I have heard.

The third part to this unique experience is the one that baffles me the most. This is where all the women you know (and some you don’t) tell you all the horrible experiences they or a friend of theirs had or a relative, near or distant, had. We are so vulnerable, especially with our first baby and yet these well-meaning women strike terror into our souls with tales of 92-hour labors, epidurals that paralyzed them for 2 days, forced natural childbirth, bottoms that were never the same after episiotomies or stitches.

Let me not forget a subset of this group, the women who tell you how painful, uncomfortable and time-consuming breastfeeding is.

I, of course, have recommendations. Look at the woman talking to you. Does she have only one child? Is she still breastfeeding her 9-month-old? Don’t believe everything you hear. Take everything with a grain of salt. My strongest recommendation to everyone is don’t become one of these people. If you feel the phenomena starting to suck you in, resist! We can break the cycle.

Please share your experiences