Australian Birth Defects Society

A Society devoted to the study of birth defects


Does Lying on Your Back During Pregnancy Increase Stillbirth Risk?

LiveScience  November 21, 2016

In a study of 29 third-trimester women it was shown that fetuses entered a sleep-like state when women lay on the right side or on their backs. None of the women went on to have stillbirths.


Tylenol during pregnancy should be taken with care.  Dec 7, 2016

Upfront criticism of two recent studies linking acetaminophen and ADHD and autism noting fever in the treatment mothers (not controls) as well as increased likelihood of being smokers.


Are Vegan and Vegetarian Diets Safe During Pregnancy?

Medscape Dec 6, 2016

Focussing mainly on deficiencies in vitamin B12,  iron, zinc, and the long-chain omega-3 fats. In fact there are no randomised studies of these diets in pregnancies. The little data available suggests that except in cases of extreme deficiency eg.  vegan women with pernicious anemia, there were no clear associations with bad outcomes. Despite this the author still advised that if a woman’s diet is low in omega-3 fats and has a history, risk, or propensity toward mood disorders, then they should think about supplementation .


What To Expect From Your Skin-Care Routine When You're Expecting

Refinery29 Dec 6, 2016

Tries to be balanced but recommends long lists of ‘natural’ products. Recommends staying away from any antiperspiant that contains aluminum chloride hexahydrate, as this ingredient has been linked to birth defects.

Quick round-up of new related items that have appeared in newspapers and magazines.

Page updated 6 February 2017

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Safe Medications to Take While Pregnant. What's safe and what's not when you're expecting.


Yes, a website that states that it is safe to take OTC during pregnancy.  Article lists medications for treating common pregnancy-related symptoms.


Heartburn Drugs in Pregnancy Tied to Asthma in Babies

The New York Times Jan 10, 2017

This article reports a recent meta-analysis of largely retrospective cohort studies most of which were deemed to have a strong risk of bias assessment . Despite these caveats it risk of childhood asthma was reported to be  46% increased. The reason for the apparent association is unclear.


Pregnant Women Turn to Marijuana, Perhaps Harming Infants

The New York Times  Feb 2, 2017

As marijuana becomes legalised in more US states, a recent survey reveals that younger women are using marijuana (~4%).  Women use marijuana to quell morning sickness and there is anecdotal reports that cannabis is perceived as being safe.


The case for testing drugs on pregnant women.

World Economic Forum Jan 9, 2017

A re-printed article from 2015 but thought-provoking and well worth a read.