Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Healthy Habits: Pregnancy Myths

Celebrities dominate headlines about pregnancy and are often giving advice and tips to women – Kim Kardashian advocates eating your placenta and is having her placenta freeze-dried and made into pill form with hopes to avoid post-partum depression. Does placenta consumption really help with depression? Should this be done? 

I had a chance to interview Dr. James Betoni, high risk maternal fetal medicine doctor in Boise, ID, to dispel the current myths and trends that dominate pregnancy. You can learn more at Pregnancy Power or his book.

What are some of the current notable myths regarding pregnancy and childbirth? Notable now  in the "placenta eating" arena is not only taking placentas home to eat but companies are available to dehydrate them, pulverize them to powder then put them into capsules . Just last week during board rounds with the nurses on L/D they had to make sure that the delivery providers knew which rooms were sending their placentas to local companies 
Why does so much misinformation exist, and why is it so hard to separate out the valid advice from the other stuff? I think for one misinformation exists because in studying pregnancy you can't relay have well designed double randomized control studies and thus there is information that is assumed based on case studies and patient reports.  Many times reported outcomes that patient share cannot be supported by the medical literature. Unfortunately misinformation often comes from anecdotal stories of patient experiences which is compounded to the n-th degree by the internet where people share stories based on experience . Sometimes these experiences are great spring boards for research so in that way the social media connection is good . It’s bad when there is known obstetric literature that contradicts a writer's opinion and or publications/articles/ websites that do the same. Getting reputable information based on the literature and national guidelines  is the best way to prepare for pregnancy and post-partum events. Like I've said before on blogs and in my book, physicians today are being pushed to see more patients and are getting paid less and less with patients expecting more and more . The best advice I give is to empower the patient with information that is supported by the literature and major resources such as ACOG , the CDC and SMFM. 
What are some reputable sources of information for pregnant women? Patient information section on  , Medscape , for high risk pregnancies lists maternal fetal medicine specialists throughout the country ,geared toward the physician so not much laymen reading here.........and of course The Pregnancy Power APP ( which is scheduled for release March/April this year which is The Pregnancy Power Workbook information transformed into an APP for iOS initially
What tips do you have specifically for high-risk pregnancies?  High Risk pregnancies really fall into two major categories. Maternal complications (like pre-existing medical disorders such as hypertension ) and  fetal (such as anomalies noted on ultrasound or HOM( high order multiples) triplets, quadruplets etc for example.


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