As an independent health-driven nonprofit, MedShadow’s mission is to ensure that all people have information on the risks and benefits of medicines and treatments, so they can make the best health care choices for themselves and their families. Separate from any personal, political or religious beliefs, the ruling from the Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 overturning Roe v. Wade has far-reaching health implications.   MedShadow considers pregnancy and abortion solely from the perspective of health care. Pregnancy is not a benign process. It changes every system in the body from circulatory (the amount of blood in your body increases by…

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A new study out today on Vitamin D and pregnancy plus two more studies on how drugs and supplements given to pregnant women affect the fetus and the offspring for years to come.  Be well. Bone Density Taking higher doses of Vitamin D during pregnancy showed a correlation with higher bone density in those children six years later. The higher Vitamin D supplementation was 2800 IU/d (high-dose) vs 400 IU/d (standard-dose) from pregnancy week 24 until 1 week after birth. Of course, speak with your obstetrician before taking high doses of supplements during pregnancy or at any time.  Effect…

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Concerns that labeling changes on anesthesia might discourage pregnant women from getting medical procedures are unwarranted. Flash advice from the FDA! Avoid putting your infant under sedation for 3 hours or more. But if medically necessary, go right ahead. Question: Who is going to put a child younger than 3 years old under a lengthy surgical procedure without medical necessity? Answer: Doctors everyone should avoid. The FDA is alerting parents and doctors that more than 3 hours of anesthesia can “cause widespread loss of nerve cells in the developing brain; and studies in young animals suggested these changes resulted in…

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The evening that my mother sat me down and told me the facts of life, as they were so quaintly and euphemistically called, we talked about the mechanics of puberty without covering sex. I learned about menstruation, sanitary napkins (anyone remember them?), a bit about the birth process and the womb. The womb, my mother told me, was a safe place for the baby where the food it needed flowed, predigested, down the umbilical cord through a filter that cleansed it of any impurities before it got to the unborn baby. I recall she used the term "placental barrier" but…

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 Is the holy grail of morning sickness finally available? Several months ago, the Duchess previously known as Kate Middleton was hospitalized for severe morning sickness. A week or so later she was recovered, and made the medical term for severe morning sickness, “hyperemesis gravidarum,” (HG) temporarily famous. The FDA has approved the drug Diclegis for pregnant women who experience nausea and vomiting (not HG). As has been widely reported, this drug was available and then withdrawn from the market 30 years ago because of numerous lawsuits claiming birth defects caused by the drug sold under the brand name, Benedectin. The drug…

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As a DES daughter(my mother was given a drug in pregnancy that crossed the placental barrier and caused lots of problems for lots of DES daughters like me), I am very, very uncomfortable with a pregnant woman receiving any kind of drugs. Most times, "just say no" is the best policy for over-the-counter and prescription drugs during pregnancy, as most doctors would council. But to every rule, there are exceptions and, perhaps, the annual flu shot is just such an exception. A study reported by the New York Times on March 21, 2013 reviewed the records of 55,570 pregnant, Canadian…

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Pregnancy is a time when most people are aware that women need to cut out smoking and drinking. They need to "eat for two," not in terms of quantity but for quality. But what are a young woman’s choices when she needs to take a prescription drug? Many young women take prescription medicine daily for ever-more common issues such as ADHD, diabetes, mood stabilizers, epilepsy and more. Many of them will consult with their doctors about what to do when they want to become pregnant. However, doctors too often don’t have the answer. Many drugs have never been tested for…

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Pregnant women, or women planning on becoming pregnant, who use SSRIs before or during pregnancy, have worried that the drugs could affect the fetus’ or baby’s health. The NYTimes reported today on an observational study of 1.6 million births in Nordic countries. The conclusion is that SSRIs don’t lead to a higher death rate for infants under one month. The stillbirth rate or death under the age of one is higher among those whose mothers took SSRIs, but there are reasons to believe it is not the SSRI, but the psychiatric illness itself. The study was released in The Journal of…

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It’s been widely reported that Kate and William are expecting their first child. The news included the information that Kate is experiencing an extreme form of morning sickness diagnosed as hyperemesis gravidarum, known as HG. Kate has been hospitalized as the risks are immediate and severe. What is less reported are the long-term risks to the child and mother. Few are conducting research on HG, but one doc who specializes in HG refers to a paper that found children of women who had extreme nausea/vomiting during pregnancy had “more attention problems and difficulty in task persistence at ages five and…

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