Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 18th 2014 Contents C24
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Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, December 18, 2014
Unborn babies whose mothers get a pregnancy
condition called preeclampsia may face a higher
risk of having autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a
large new study suggests. The odds might also be
greater for a developmental delay (DD), when a
child doesn t hit milestones tied to language, motor
skills, and other key areas within expected time-
Results from the Northern California--based Child-
hood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environ-
ment (Charge) study show that the ASD risk was
two times as great and the DD risk five times as
great compared to children whose mothers didn t
have preeclampsia, a disease marked by high blood
pressure during the second half of a pregnancy.
"Since preeclampsia is more common in women
Pregnancy complication linked to autism
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and advice
who are obese or who have diabetes or
chronic hypertension, our findings provide
one more piece of evidence supporting
efforts to encourage women to maximise
their metabolic health through healthy diet
and exercise behaviours and medical care
prior to conception and throughout preg-
nancy," says researcher Cheryl Walker, MD,
of the University of California, Davis, Mind
Institute, in Sacramento.
"This is a tremendous public health
imperative, as over half of pregnant women
in the United States are overweight or obese,"
The study was published online December
8 in JAMA Pediatrics. The analysis included
1,061 children from singleton pregnancies,
including 517 with ASD, 194 with DD, and
350 typically developing children.
Among the children with ASD, 7.7 per
cent had been exposed to preeclampsia,
compared with 5.1 per cent of children with
DD and 3.7 per cent of typical children.
Most prior studies of preeclampsia as a
risk factor for autism have been small and
have yielded "varying results," Walker says.
The research overall, though, "supports
efforts to reduce preeclampsia," the
Max Wiznitzer, MD, says the new study s
data has drawbacks. He s an associate pro-
fessor of pediatrics and neurology at Case
Western Reserve University.
The numbers, he says, are "too small" to
clearly link preeclampsia with autism spec-
trum disorders or developmental delays.
"I would be careful in the interpretation
of any findings and their significance," he
Lose your baby weight
You're thrilled about your new little bundle of joy,
and ready to start shedding what's left of the baby
weight. These tips will help you get closer to
retiring those maternity clothes.
1. Grab your stroller.
No time to exercise? No problem. You can squeeze
fitness into your baby-and-me routine. Pushing that
baby stroller makes walking a workout. "Start slow
and build up gradually by adding more hills for more
intensity," says Lisa Druxman, certified fitness
professional, co-author of Lean Mommy, and founder
of Fit4Mom. She recommends doing stroller lunges to
help tone your lower body: Take long strides and
lower your body down until your front thigh is almost
parallel to the ground. Slowly squeeze your thighs and
glutes as you come up.
2. Sleep when baby sleeps.
"Sleep deprivation slows post-pregnancy weight
loss," says Elizabeth Ward, RD, author of Expect the
Best: Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and
After Pregnancy. "Exhaustion can drive you to overeat
comfort foods, such as sweets and chips, and make
you feel too tired to exercise." Pumping milk also lets
your partner handle those 2 a.m. feedings.
3. Strengthen your mommy muscles.
Your belly, back, and hips are the body parts most
affected by pregnancy and childbirth, exercise
physiologist Richard Weil says. He suggests three
moves to target these areas:
• Crunches for your abs.
• Superman lifts for your back: Lie on your belly and
lift your right arm and left leg. Lower them back down,
and then raise your left arm and right leg.
• Side leg raises for your hips: Lie on one side and
raise your top leg up and then back down. For extra
resistance, use an exercise band around your ankles
when you do this move.
4. Know the benefits of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding burns 300 or more calories per day.
It's great for your baby, both for the nutrition and for
mother-baby bonding, says Carolyn Brown, RD, a
nutritionist at Foodtrainers in New York. For extra
calcium, especially if you breastfeed for more than five
months, Ward recommends eating one or two
calcium-rich snacks a day. Cottage cheese and kale
chips are great sources of calcium.
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