Australian Senator Larissa Waters recently caught the world’s attention by doing something many new mothers do. She breastfed her newborn baby girl. Waters and her 11 and a half week old daughter made history by being the first mother and child to engage in breastfeeding in Australia's federal Parliament.
You have probably heard of food recalls from your local and national news. These announcements warn us not to buy and consume certain foods or products in grocery stores due to contamination with Listeria, a bacterial infection caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. This infection typically stems from eating contaminated food, resulting in an illness called listeriosis.
Parents have enough to worry about! Toxic metals shouldn’t be one of them. However, whether we like it or not, lead is all around us -- in drinking water, lipsticks, older paints, foods, soil, air and dust. Although it’s a naturally occurring heavy metal found in small amounts in the Earth’s crust, it can be toxic to your health and even more toxic to your little ones.
Products that promote “good bacteria” continue to be popular among health-seekers in supermarkets, with probiotic drinks like kombucha gaining notoriety. Even beyond digestion, the various microorganisms that live in your gut (called your “gut microbiota”) may affect things like your mood and how often you get sick. So it’s no surprise that scientists wanted to find out how gut bacteria in babies affected their likelihood for developing asthma and allergies.
Preterm birth refers to babies born before 37 weeks’ gestation. Babies who are born early may be at risk for breathing, heart, gastrointestinal and developmental problems. In the U.S., 11.4 percent of births are preterm (twice as high as several other developed nations, researchers say). But new research suggests up to a quarter of these preterm births may be preventable by addressing three simple risk factors that are within your control.
We hear a lot about healthy fats and how good they are for our bodies. In fact, they’re a mainstay of the praised Mediterranean diet, with staples like olive oil, whole grains and avocado. One of the reasons the Mediterranean diet is often recommended is due to the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 ratio, with more omega-3s in the diet than omega-6s. The typical Western diet gets plenty of omega-6s, but not enough omega-3s, and this can cause inflammation and disease.
My friend looked four months pregnant. "Congrat--" was all I could utter, before she interrupted me. "Fibroid." Instead of a baby, a fibroid, or leiomyoma, was stretching out her uterus in noticeable fashion. She had the most common pelvic tumor, one that's seen in 12-25 percent of reproductive-age women. Hers wasn't symptomatic, but many women who have fibroids notice lower abdominal pain, heavy and long menstrual bleeding, or problems getting pregnant.
When I was a medical student, “magging” was a popular activity in the obstetrics ward. “Magging” referred to injecting magnesium sulfate into the IVs of laboring women. Magnesium slows down contractions and reduces blood pressure in women suffering from pre-eclampsia, the old “toxemia of pregnancy,” also referred to as “pregnancy-induced hypertension.”
Did you know California has the highest rate of breastfeeding in the entire country? This is great news for us here in the Golden State, with 92.8 percent of babies having been breastfed in 2014. But why aren't all babies being breastfed? Science has shown there are so many benefits to breastfeeding (and downsides to formula) that breast is nearly always best.
For most people, cell phones are an integral part of daily life. And there’s an app for everything, from business productivity to video chatting and from laundry services to ride sharing. It’s easy to stay connected all the time and it seems that’s exactly what people are doing. As of April 2014, there were over 328 million cell phones in use in the U.S. (yes, more than one cell phone for every man, woman and child), and that number is expected to continue to increase. It seems everyone in the family but the dog has a phone or even two.
More and more women are having babies later in their reproductive years. Though many women are trying to make sure they are fully prepared to take on parenthood, waiting can sometimes lead to fertility issues. To help you make informed health decisions, here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about fertility, followed by some practical tips you can begin using right away.
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