Parents and Kids

At my last two OB appointments (34 and 36 weeks along) I was told that I am measuring 1- to 2cm smaller for gestational age. 

"You're petite, so it's not surprising," reassured my doctor. "But let's do an ultrasound next week to look at baby's growth."

Next week? That feels like an eternity! As an expectant mother, waiting a week to confirm if everything is OK can certainly be anxiety-filled. So here's a bit of clarity on what it all means.

Gestational age — the age of the baby — is typically calculated from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period. Since the exact date of conception isn't always known, the most accurate gestational age and due date is calculated between the 8th and 18th weeks of pregnancy, using an ultrasound...

Just in case any parents out there were worried their precious offspring would cease being babes in the nest, they can rest assured as it would seem they have a few more years yet.   

A recent study conducted by researchers at San Diego State University and Bryn Mawr College, published in the journal Child Development, reveals data showing that kids are taking longer to grow up. In categories such as obtaining a paying job, driving, having sex, and drinking, this new generation of teens are less Fast Times at Ridgemont High and more Hogwarts.

The authors write that in modern U.S. culture, certain activities are rarely or never performed by children but are...

The American Academy of Pediatrics released its first-ever guidelines on tattoos and body piercings among teens.

Last week, I was indulging in a bag of Doritos when suddenly, a sharp potato chip became lodged in the roof of my mouth, close to my front teeth. The pain was so blunt, the gums surrounding my front teeth immediately bulged. I can't even explain the feeling. As the days went by, the swelling of my gums worsened. I had a hard time eating and even started speaking with a bit of a lisp. I finally went to the dentist, who examined my mouth and advised me that I also have pregnancy gingivitis, hence, why the swelling wasn't diminishing fast enough. 

Of all the dreadful pregnancy symptom I thought I would experience, I did not predict this one. Heartburn?? What heartburn? Backaches? Step aside....

For some time, we have been covering the investigation into the practices used to produce the homeopathic teething products that allegedly caused illnesses and deaths of infants. Most recently, we wrote about a warning letter sent from FDA to Raritan Pharmaceuticals - one of the companies that sold the products - that listed multiple violations found in their facility. 

A letter was also sent to Homeolab - the Canadian company that manufactures the powder blend mixtures that are used by Raritan for making the teething products. As a result of an inspection, significant violations were found at the site.  

The most important violations concerned...

Mothers have always been put upon culturally when it comes to how kids turn out. The physical costs of gestation are literally borne by mothers while fathers are basically done at conception, so moms have all of that on their shoulders. (1) And then there are the psychological aspects.

Given the importance of women in creating the next generation, everyone felt they had a say in telling expectant moms what to do. We once advised pregnant mothers not only to abstain from participating in sports but even abstain from watching sports. The excitement would be too much for the baby, women were told. Doctors also told women not to put their arms over their heads or the umbilical cord might get wrapped around the baby's neck. In the 1800's women bought...

During the course of pregnancy, one involuntarily agrees to myriad symptoms over the course of 40 (sometimes 42!) weeks: expanding belly and other body parts, nausea, heartburn, and backaches to name a few. Almost all of the symptoms a woman experiences during pregnancy are common and part of the deal, and a few can be concerning.

If you're like me, you hesitate to call your doctor with every single thing that throws a red flag. After all, you don't want to be that pregnant woman. But in some instances, you should be. Especially when those tricky symptoms can be either really normal, or really serious. And is there an in-between? Not really. Let's clarify the few symptoms of pregnancy that can go either way:

Swelling of feet, legs, and hands...

A story involving a toxic teething product is being reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But, this time it's not a part of the ongoing investigation by FDA into homeopathic teething tablets that contain high levels of belladonna.

No - this time, it's bracelets filled with lead.

Because lead can be extremely toxic - especially to babies - some areas of the country do routine blood tests in young children. Last fall, one of...

It seems like old news - that babies up until around one year old should be put to sleep on their backs - to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It seems that way because it is. The "Safe to Sleep" campaign that populated the phrase "Back to Sleep" was started in 1994 - the same time that the number of SIDS deaths dropped precipitously. 

That said, it doesn't really matter for how many years this message has been out there if not everyone is hearing it. What matters is how many people are following it - an issue at the heart of a...

As ACSH's Ana Dolaskie approaches the final weeks of pregnancy, she is making sure all her vaccinations are up-to-date. This includes the TDAP vaccine (Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis) and influenza shot. And she also wants to makes sure dads, partners, and others who are spending time with baby understand why getting vaccinated is key in protecting a newborn baby against potentially life-threatening illnesses, like pertussis (whooping cough).