Friday, January 8, 2010

Chapter 2: Prenatal Development, Pregnancy, and Birth

1 comment:

  1. Threats to the developing baby:

    1) Updated discussion of alcohol's possible impact on fetal genetics. Fascinating longitudinal study surveying a whole cohort of babies in Sweden comparing learning problems at age 15 when the mom smoked with one child and not another suggesting no effects of smoking!) Another interesting finding in this section: a U.S study proved that that self reports of quitting during pregnancy are not trustworthy as many moms who said "I quit" showed cotine blood levels indicating continued tobacco use.

    2)MOST IMPORTANT: New head throughly discusses fetal programming research--surveying the literature on how major traumas during pregnancy,( floods, famines, etc) can produce low birth weight, and how low birth weight can predict later obesity and premature age related disease (I also explore related studies linking stress and deprivation in the womb to temperament and the timing of puberty in later chapters).

    3. Updated stats and a more thorough discussion of the various assisted reproductive techniques available today

    Birth updates/new findings:

    1) A more detailed discussion of low birth weight including advances in saving babies accompanied by a discussion of the ethics of intervening at the cusp of viability ( including polls of doctors).

    2) At the end of the chapter, I highlight an unfortuate U.S survey suggesting that high levels of stress and negative life events are common during pregnancy among both poor AND affluent mothers to be --and tie these results back to the fetal programming research.