Category Archives: Interesting Study

Don’t smoke while you’re pregnant…but NOT because of recent study!

babies react to smoking

There is a  recent study using 3 and 4 D ultrasound that urges pregnant women not to smoke because it causes the baby to grimace and touch his or her face more frequently.  Twenty babies were tested.  Only four babies had moms who smoked.  This study seems a bit shabby to me.  But the outcome isn’t.  Don’t smoke while your pregnant.

In my opinion, here is a better visual of why you should give up the habit while you are growing a baby.

The sonographer who captured the images of babies in The Wonder Within You (Jeanette Burlbaw at Prenatal imaging in Kansas City) gave me these images of two placentas.  The first is from a mother who didn’t smoke.  You can see the placenta at the top, above baby. It is healthy.

The second image is from a smoking mother.   The placenta is on the left.  Notice the white loops that permeate  the left side of the placenta.  Those indicate calcification caused by smoking.  The calcification can make the placenta less effective at delivering oxygen and nutrients to baby.

smoker placcenta

Here’s what tried and true research indicates:

*Smoking deprives baby of oxygen.

*Smoking causes more babies to be born before they are ready.

*Babies whose moms smoke have lower birth weights.

*The incidence of stillbirths is higher in mothers who smoke.

There’s plenty of solid research that shows that lighting up harms your baby.  So even though it’s often extremely difficult to stop, score one for you and  your sweet babe…and kick the habit.  You can do it  mama!!!

Vitamin D may Protect Your Unborn Baby from RSV

I remember lying awake night after night watching my 8-week old breathe. When her tiny chest rose and fell, her lungs rattled. She was diagnosed with a lung infection called RSV. As a first-time mom, it terrified me.

In the U.S., more than 100 thousand children are hospitalized with RSV every year. About 500 of them die. But a new study in the June edition of Pediatrics indicates that taking vitamin D during pregnancy could prevent some babies from ever getting RSV.

Dr. Kristen Wootton is a mother, OB/GYN and contributor to The Living Womb. In this interview, Dr. Wootton provides some insight into the new study.

Carey: How does vitamin D during pregnancy protect babies from getting RSV after they are born?

Dr. Wootton: Vitamin D appears to boost immunity and therefore improve your ability to fight off infections including RSV.

Carey: I know vitamin D builds up in your body when you are exposed to sunlight. Is that enough, should pregnant women try to get it naturally from food or should a pregnant woman take additional Vitamin D supplements?

Dr. Wootton: The recommended daily intake of vitamin D in pregnancy is 600 iu. Most prenatal vitamins have 400. The other 200 would come from milk, juice and of course sun exposure. If you are getting 600 iu, I don’t recommend additional dosage. (for more information about vitamin D click here:

Carey: Is too much vitamin D ever dangerous for the mother or baby?

Dr. Wootton: Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and can be toxic in high doses. Therefore, both pregnant women and newborns/infants receiving supplementation should be aware of their doses.

Carey: How successful is taking vitamin D in preventing RSV?

Dr. Wootton: We don’t know the success of vitamin D in preventing RSV as there are yet to be any randomized control trials. The study referenced is just a start. It has the flaw of having very low numbers (only 156 babies were tested) to prove cause and effect.. It does encourage further investigation.

Researchers are still trying to determine exactly why vitamin D levels effect the RSV rate. So the bottom line is: Take your prenatal vitamins. Check to see if they contain at least 400 iu’s of vitamin D. Get the rest natually.

If you have any concerns about your vitamin D levels, talk with your health care provider.

For more information on this study click here:

To see a story from an NBC affliliate click here: