Among the stark changes for a woman during pregnancy is what she sees when she opens the medicine cabinet. The medications she wouldn’t have given a second thought to months earlier may now prompt worry and doubt. With any drug on the shelf, she may wonder: Is this medicine safe? Do I need to adjust the dose? Avoid it altogether? An expectant mom with just a cold or a headache will find drug labels suggesting she ask a health professional before use.
Turns out, those health professionals are in the same boat as their pregnant patients: There is very little, if any, information about whether many drugs are safe to give to expectant mothers. And that can lead to situations that put fear of harm to the fetus over the health of the mother.
Case in point: As a medical resident, bioethicist and obstetrician/gynecologist Anne Lyerly got a call from a friend and fellow resident... Read More
With the promise and pitfalls of umbilical cord blood samples in mind, how should parents decide whether to put their baby’s blood on ice, either for their own family’s future use or as a donation for the greater good? It’s a tricky calculation, one... Read More
Umbilical cords tie mother and baby together, if only for a brief spell. But the stuff inside these cords has the potential to be useful well after birth. Cells in umbilical cord blood are already being used to treat certain diseases, including... Read More
When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, you have to make a lot of decisions. Will coffee remain a part of your life? Where are you going to give birth? What are you going to name the baby? What values will you teach him? Do you really... Read More
As I’ve been reporting a story about the opioid epidemic, I’ve sorted through a lot of tragic numbers that make the astronomical spike in deaths and injuries related to the drugs feel more real.The rise in the abuse of opioids — powerfully addictive... Read More
When you’re pregnant, you spend a lot of time on scales. Every doctor appointment begins with hopping (or waddling) up for a weigh-in. Health care workers then plot those numbers into a (usually) ascending curve as the weeks go by.A morbid curiosity... Read More
Ultrasounds during pregnancy can be lots of fun, offering peeks at the baby-to-be. But ultrasounds aren’t just a way to get Facebook fodder. They are medical procedures that involve sound waves, technology that could, in theory, affect a growing... Read More