A holistic approach to pediatric care in Frisco and Plano, Texas

Award winning, top rated Pediatrician serving Frisco, Plano, Allen and North Dallas

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Listeriosis and Toxoplasmosis are foodborne illnesses that are more likely to affect pregnant women.

Keep food safe to eat by following these general guidelines to avoid food borne illness.

CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often.
SEPARATE: Don’t cross-contaminate. For example, after cutting meat, wash the knife before using it to cut vegetables.
COOK: Cook to proper temperature using a food thermometer.
CHILL: Refrigerate promptly.


· Pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant should not drink Alcohol. Alcohol can cross the placenta into the baby’s bloodstream. It causes damage to an unborn baby at all stages of pregnancy. Risks involves

• miscarriage

• the way your baby develops in the womb – in particular, the way your baby’s brain develops

• the way your baby grows in the womb, by causing the placenta not to work as well as it should – this is known as foetal growth restriction

• increased risk of a stillbirth

• increased risk of premature labor

• your baby being more prone to illness in infancy, childhood and as an adult

• learning and behavioral disorders


· These are potentially just as dangerous as Alcohol, if not more. SO avoid.


· You should limit caffeine during pregnancy – avoid having more than 200mg of caffeine a day. High levels of caffeine can cause babies to have a low birth weight. Too much caffeine can also cause a miscarriage. Caffeine is found naturally in some foods and is added to some soft drinks. So avoid Sodas.


· Virtually no medicinal herb has been established as safe in pregnancy or breast-feeding, and even herbs that might seem safe because of their wide use in cooking could cause problems when they are taken in the form of highly concentrated extracts.

· Some herbs are definitely known to be toxic in pregnancy, such as blue cohosh and pennyroyal .

· Other herbs that are traditionally regarded with caution during pregnancy include andrographis , boldo , catnip , essential oils , feverfew , juniper , licorice , nettle , red clover , rosemary , shepherd’s purse, and yarrow , along with many others.

· the herb chasteberry has shown a theoretical potential for inhibiting milk supply.

· Some supplements like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) appears to reduce the fat content of breast milk, with potentially harmful effects on the nursing infant.

· herbs with estrogen-like properties make scientists worry about possible effects on the fetus; these include soy , isoflavones , red clover , flaxseed , lignans , and hops .

· Some un-regulated Chinese herbal medicines and Aryurvedic herbal remedies have been found on occasion to contain toxic heavy metals, poisonous herbs, or unlabelled prescription drugs.


· Wash your hands with soap and water after touching soil, sand, raw meat, or unwashed vegetables.

· Cats can spread parasite causing Toxoplasmosis. Have someone else change the litter box if possible. If you have to change it, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.

· Wear gloves when gardening or handling sand from a sandbox. Cats may use gardens or sandboxes as litter boxes. Wash hands afterward.

· Avoid drinking untreated water, particularly when traveling in less developed countries.

Sources: EBSCO, NHS, Choosemyplate.org

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Just over 4 million babies are born in the United States each year. Most births take place in September more than any other month. The most popular day for babies to make their entrance is Tuesday, followed by Monday. Sunday is the slowest day, with 35.1 fewer births than average. California, Texas, and New York (in descending order) had the greatest number of births. Utah had the highest birth rate, with 88 births per 1,000 women age 15 to 44. Vermont had the fewest births, followed by Wyoming, North Dakota, and District of Columbia.

WalletHub analyzed the best and worst states to have a baby by looking not only at budget considerations but also health care conditions and the baby-friendliness of the state.

Texas ranked number 24 ahead of California, NY and Florida but not anywhere close as North East and North.

Families in the United States pay the highest birthing costs in the world, according to a report from the International Federation of Health Plans.

The average cost of a conventional delivery at an American hospital is $9,775. For a C-Section, it’s $15,041.

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All along parents have been eager to blame vaccines for Autism.

In further confirmation, a third study this week from California specifically links autism spectrum disorders to pesticide exposure. In the new study, about a third of mothers had living within a mile of fields treated with pesticides, most commonly organophosphates, were 60 percent more likely to have an autism spectrum disorders than children of non-exposed mothers, per Environmental Health Perspectives. For some pesticides, exposure seemed to be most important just before conception and in the third trimester, but for others it didn’t seem to matter when during pregnancy women were exposed.

Organophosphate (OP) compounds are a diverse group of chemicals used in both domestic and industrial settings. Examples of organophosphates include insecticides (malathion, parathion, diazinon, fenthion, dichlorvos, chlorpyrifos, ethion), nerve gases (soman, sarin, tabun, VX), ophthalmic agents (echothiophate, isoflurophate), and antihelmintics (trichlorfon). Herbicides (tribufos [DEF], merphos) are tricresyl phosphate–containing industrial chemicals.


Don’t spray for cockroaches every month. Instead use integrated pest management – i.e. seal up cracks and crevices in the home, clean up food residue, try non-toxic options and use chemical pesticides the last resort. Also stop using organophosphates and pyrethroids inside the home.

Learn more at: http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/

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Women who are overweight or obese when they get pregnant may be at increased risk for miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. Even modest increases in the mother’s weight was linked to an increased risk of infant death. The danger is greatest for severely obese women, who appear to have about double or triple the risk of losing their baby. Overwhelming data also shows that being overweight or obese increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, high blood pressure and birth defects.

(Journal of the American Medical Association, Apr 2014)


overweight women need to get their weight down before conceiving.

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I see a lots of children with respiratory challenges in my clinic.

What if I tell you that 10% of those can be avoided?

9.3% of moms suffer from Anemia during pregnancy. (Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology)

Iron deficiency is one of the most common complications of pregnancy.

A recent study compared anemia rates with childhood asthma rates and found that anemia during pregnancy led to a 3 TIMES increase in early-onset wheezing.

It also leads to a 50% chance that a child develops asthma by age 6.

Iron deficiency is just a marker for other nutritional deficiency. Earlier studies have found that deficiencies of selenium, vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin E, and folic acid can contribute to respiratory development problems in babies.

Protecting your baby’s lungs during pregnancy starts with a healthy diet.

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I hear many parents still ask during pre-natal consult if it is ok to have just one beer occasionally during pregnancy.

I strongly recommend against it.

Everything you drink, your baby also drinks.

No type of alcohol is safe.

If you drink alcohol, you will hurt your baby’s growth.

Ever heard of fetal alcohol syndrome?

Children with fetal alcohol syndrome may have problems eating and sleeping, seeing and hearing, following directions and learning how to do simple things, paying attention and learning in school, have trouble getting along with others. They will need medical care all their lives.

In Short, DON’T.

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Women with the highest BPA levels were found to be 80 percent more likely to have a first trimester miscarriage than those in the group with the lowest BPA levels. BPA exposure increases the risk of both genetically normal and genetically abnormal miscarriages, which suggests that BPA may work in multiple ways to increase miscarriage risk.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is the primary component in polycarbonate plastic and is used in the resin lining of most food and beverage cans. It is an industrial chemical that mimics estrogen.


BPA is similar in structure to the hormone estrogen, so there is a thought that it may bind to estrogen receptors in the body and disrupt hormone signaling.

· Pre-cancerous changes in the mammary and prostate glands;

· Altered brain development causing behavioral abnormalities and earlier onset of puberty;

· Reproductive abnormalities such as lower sperm counts, hormonal changes, enlarged prostate glands, and abnormalities in the number of chromosomes in eggs;

· Obesity and with insulin resistance, a condition that commonly precedes the development of diabetes.

But here is the kicker, The federal Food and Drug Administration says BPA is safe.


BPA is used in the resin lining of all food and beverage cans.

It is the principal building block of polycarbonate plastic and is used in a wide range of products, including clear plastic baby bottles and sippy cups, clear plastic water bottles, and other kitchen plastics such as measuring cups, drinkware and storage containers.

BPA is also found in some dental sealants and fillings, medical devices, paints, epoxy adhesives and cash register receipts.

Most people have BPA in their urine, which suggests that the chemical leaches out of the packaging of foods or drinks and into the body.


  • The primary source of exposure to BPA for most people is through the diet.
  • Use alternatives. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers.
  • Avoid all sources of BPA – not just for pregnancy but for overall good health. Don’t use polycarbonate plastics (marked with a #7 PC) for storing food or beverages, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or the food or drink is for an infant or young child.
  • Avoid canned food. Choose frozen vegetables and soups and broth that come in glass jars or in aseptic "brick" cartons, as these containers are BPA-free.
  • Avoid any plastic that is NOT labeled BPA-free
  • Ask your dentist to provide BPA-free treatments.
  • avoid cooking or warming food in plastic because heat helps the chemical leak out.
  • Don’t leave water bottles in the sun

Where can I go for more information?

For more information on what other federal agencies are doing related to BPA, visit the following websites and search for “bisphenol A.”

· BPA-Related Journal Articles and Stories

· Consumer Product Safety Commission

· U.S. Food and Drug Administration

· U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Source: NRDC, News, NIH, FDA, others

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STUDY 1: Dr. Aviva Mimouni-Bloch, of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine found a clear link between rates of breastfeeding and the likelihood of developing ADHD. These results have been published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine.

DETAILS: Children who were bottle-fed at three months of age were found to be three times more likely to have ADHD than those who were breastfed during the same period. Taking all risk factors into account, researchers found that children with ADHD were far less likely to be breastfed in their first year of life than the children in the other groups. Researchers do not yet know why breastfeeding has an impact on the future development of ADHD; it could be due to the breast milk itself, or the special bond formed between mother and baby during breastfeeding.


STUDY 2: Breastfeeding is good for babies’ brains. Researchers from Brown University used a specialized, baby-friendly magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) found that by age 2, babies who had been breastfed exclusively for at least three months had enhanced development in key parts of the brain compared to children who were fed formula exclusively or who were fed a combination of formula and breast milk.

DETAILS: The extra growth was most pronounced in the parts of the brain associated with language, emotional function, and cognition. They are finding the difference is on the order of 20 to 30 percent, comparing the breastfed and the non-breastfed kids.


STUDY 3: A new study has found that babies that are breastfed for longer than six months have significantly better mental health in childhood. Raine Study at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research study found that children who were breastfed for less than six months compared to six months or longer had a 52% increased risk of a mental health problem at 2 years of age, a 55% increased risk at age 6, at age 8 the increased risk was 61% while at age 10 the increased risk was 37%.


KEY TAKEAWAY: Experts concur that breastfeeding can have a protective effect against the development of the disorder, and can be counted as an additional biological advantage for breastfeeding. Breast feed as long as possible.

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Taking daily iron supplements during pregnancy can reduce the chances of having a small baby as well as anemia.


Studies of two million women found that taking even a tiny amount of iron cut the risk of anemia by 12% and low birth weight by 3%.

For every additional 10 mg of iron taken each day, up to a maximum of 66 mg per day, the risks of anemia and low birth weight decreased.

But researchers found no reduction in the risk of premature birth as a result of iron use.


The World Health Organization currently recommends a dose of 60 mg per day for pregnant women.

Women contemplating pregnancy should adjust their diet to include appropriate iron nutrients before becoming pregnant.

Add Lean meat, green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, nuts and many breakfast cereals to add natural iron.

Iron supplements may have unpleasant maternal side effects like constipation, indigestion and bloating. Add fibrous food to offset the constipation effect of iron.


Alcohol is not safe for pregnancy. Don’t imbibe even a glass or two.


Researchers at Oxford and Bristol Universities discovered that drinking one or two glasses of wine a week during pregnancy could have an impact on a child’s IQ.

Drinking too much while expecting a baby can lead to miscarriage, low birth weight, learning disabilities and hyperactivity.


· When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, the levels of alcohol in her baby’s blood rise as high as her own. Because the baby’s liver is immature, it can’t break down the alcohol as fast as an adult can. This means the baby is exposed to greater amounts of alcohol for longer than the mother. When an unborn baby is constantly exposed to alcohol, a particular group of problems can develop, known as fetal alcohol syndrome.


Mothers who were iodine deficient had children with a slightly lower IQ and worse reading scores in primary school.


Study showed that two in three women were not getting enough iodine during pregnancy. This was mostly mild deficiency.


· A balanced diet during pregnancy would contain enough iodine. Iodine is a building block of hormones made in the thyroid gland. These control the way the body uses energy and how it grows. It is particularly important when the brain is developing. In pregnancy you need 50% more of the chemical than normal.


Babies are learning when they’re still in the womb


A US and Sweden study discovered that in the last 10 weeks of pregnancy, fetuses are listening to their mothers communicate. And when they are born, they can show what they’ve heard.


Speak regularly to your baby. But don’t put loudspeakers in the tummy to disrupt the baby’s sleeping pattern.

· Baby developmental milestone:

· 4 months: Fetal hearing begins to develop; the nervous system starts functioning

· 6 months: Fetus responds to sounds by kicking, quickening pulse

· 7 months: Fetal hearing fully developed. Fetus responds to visual and audible stimulation

· 8 months: Brain continues to develop; fetus can see

Babies born to bilingual mothers have shown they can equally accommodate two or more languages – but that ability is acquired through natural exposure.

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NEWS FLASH: FDA warns pregnant women to not use certain migraine prevention medicines

FDA warns pregnant women to not use certain migraine prevention medicines

Valproate products can lower IQ scores in children of mothers who used them during pregnancy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting health care providers and patients that medications including and related to valproate sodium can cause decreased IQ scores in children whose mothers took the medication during pregnancy. Therefore, these drugs are being contraindicated for (should never be used by) pregnant women for the prevention of migraine headaches. Valproate products include valproate sodium (Depacon), divalproex sodium (Depakote, Depakote CP, and Depakote ER), valproic acid (Depakene and Stavzor), and their generics.

Valproate products have several FDA-approved uses including: prevention of migraine headaches; treatment of epilepsy (seizures); and treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder).

Medicines that contain valproate already have a boxed warning for fetal risk, including birth defects. The recently published Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) study found further evidence of the IQ risk, leading to today’s strengthened warnings.

Women who are pregnant, or who become pregnant while taking one of these medications, should talk to their health care professional immediately. Women shouldnot stop taking their medication without talking to their health care professional because stopping treatment suddenly can cause serious and life-threatening medical problems for the woman or the developing fetus. Women of childbearing age taking valproate products should use effective birth control.

It is not known if there is a certain time period during pregnancy when valproate exposure can result in decreased IQ. The women in the NEAD study were exposed to antiepileptic drugs throughout their pregnancies.

The FDA’s strengthened recommendations are based on the final results of the NEAD study, which showed that children exposed to valproate products in utero had decreased IQ at age 6 when compared to children who were exposed to other antiepileptic drugs. The difference in average IQ between the children who had been exposed to valproate and the children who had been exposed to other antiepileptic drugs varied between 8 and 11 points depending on the antiepileptic drug.

For additional information:

· FDA Valproate Information

· North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry

· FDA Patient Network