According to a report in The Lancet there is now a potential new test to check for genetic abnormalities like Down’s syndrome. Currently testing for these types of things involves using chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. This new test is non-invasive and analyzes DNA from the fetus taken from the mother’s blood samples. More trials and testing will need to be done with it before it will be approved for medical care.
In the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine there is a paper presenting evidence that women taking antidepressants, such as SSRI’s like Prozac and Zoloft, while pregnant doesn’t have an effect on the behavior of the child later on. Four year old children were observed and no statistically significant behavior differences were seen. However, the mother’s moods and stress levels seemed to have an effect on the kids behavior and development.
Drinking alcohol while pregnant – especially during the first two months when many women don’t know they are pregnant – can result in birth defects, can negatively effect normal development of the nervous system and cause fetal alcohol syndrome. In a study published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine over 800 women who drank often and didn’t use reliable birth control were placed randomly into either a group to get counseling or not. It was found that even 5 short sessions with a counselor were enough to reduce their drinking and get them to use birth control.
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