Does Eating Liquorice During Pregnancy Raise the Risk of ADHD?

If you are pregnant or thinking about conceiving a baby, you know how important it is to eat healthily. Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to be aware of all the ingredients in certain products, at least, without a careful research. According to a recent study undertaken by specialists from the University of Helsinki in Finland, you might want to stay away from liquorice. The study revealed that the common snack is high in glycyrrhizin, a substance which can affect the developing baby and increase the risk of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Overview of the study

The researchers involved in the study demonstrated that eating liquorice during pregnancy can increase the risk for developmental problems, with both the intellect and memory of the child being affected. The study was undertaken on 378 children with an average age of 12 ½, born in 1998. The children came from mothers who consumed different quantities of liquorice during their pregnancy (and, thus, of glycyrrhizin).

The mothers of the children who took part in the study were asked to mention how often they consumed liquorice during their pregnancy, as well as specific the brand. Thus, they analyzed their pregnancy week by week; the quantity consumed varied between 500 mg (high) and 249 mg (low) per week. In Finland, the consumption of liquorice is higher, in comparison to other countries, as there are salty snacks (salmiakki) that contain such ingredients.

What did the study reveal?

The first thing that the study demonstrated was that the girls who came from mothers who consumed high quantities of liquorice during their pregnancies presented a higher risk for early puberty. It was also proven that eating such snacks during pregnancy can affect intelligence in children, increasing the risk for behavioral problems, such as ADHD. In fact, the high consumption of liquorice during pregnancy was associated with lower results on intelligence tests, for both boys and girls.

From the 378 children who participated in the study, it was revealed that 327 had been exposed to reduced quantities of liquorice during pregnancy. However, 51 children had been exposed to high quantities, as it was mentioned above. For the study, researchers analyzed the development of the children, as well as the present signs of puberty. Developmental factors, such as the body mass index, weight and height were measured. Children were administered specific tests for intelligence, learning, and memory, while parents were asked to complete a checklist for psychiatric and behavioral problems. The neuroendocrine function was also assessed by medical specialists.

The girls who came from mothers who consumed high amounts of liquorice during pregnancy were taller, heavier and also presented a higher body mass index. They were also at risk of early puberty. For boys, no associations have been identified, between the consumption of liquorice in pregnancy and developmental changes in childhood and adolescence. Interestingly enough, the high consumption was associated with lower scores on intelligence tests, as well as with higher risks of ADHD.

Glycyrrhizin, the active ingredient responsible for all the problems

Glycyrrhizin is a natural constituent of liquorice and one that we are clearly not aware of. As this study revealed, its consumption can have a negative impact on the baby developing in the womb, increasing, among other things, the risk for ADHD. For this reason, it is recommended that pregnant women should avoid liquorice in all of its forms. This is particularly valid for liquorice root, as this contains glycyrrhizin in high quantities.

It is also important to mention that this substance is also found in other food products, beverages, and even medication. The study in Finland concentrated only on liquorice as a snack and did not include other products. However, if you are pregnant, it is recommended to always check the ingredients in a product or, if these are not present, to request additional information from the manufacturers. Given the high risk of behavioral problems, associated with the consumption of liquorice during pregnancy, such ingredients should be listed on all products, including in the prospects of various drugs. Otherwise, you could expose yourself unknowingly to serious risks.

A quick note on ADHD

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders out there, being diagnosed in children and adolescents from various countries and cultures. The first symptoms become obvious at school age, leading to poor performance and difficult social interaction. The paradox of this condition is that these children manage to maintain a moderate degree of attention for the things they consider to be interesting.

Counseling remains the standard form of treatment for children who are diagnosed with ADHD, being accompanied by lifestyle changes in the majority of cases. The administration of medication is recommended only for the severe cases, and it rarely manages to provide the desired results.

Final word

When you are pregnant, you have to think not only about yourself but also about your developing baby. You have to pay attention to the things you eat, the products that you use and especially to the medication you are taking. You will often see that liquorice is recommended as a remedy for morning sickness, as well as for its rich content in iron. In such situations, it is important to understand that the risks outweigh the advantages offered. Seek out other remedies that will help you get the deal with pregnancy symptoms just as efficiently, always talking to your doctor first.

Author Bio:

Kathy Mitchell is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of Beauty, nutrition, and general wellness. She likes to go out with her friends, travel, swim and practice yoga. In her free time, you can find Kathy curled up reading her favorite novel, or writing in her journal. She is regular Contributor at Consumer Health Digest. To Know more about her follow her on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

Helpful Tips to Prepare Your Home For Your Baby’s Arrival

Here are some excellent baby-proofing strategies that every house or apartment can benefit from!

A baby’s arrival is a source of great joy for the soon-to-be-parents. But, as anyone who’s ever had to deal with a miniature human being surely knows, a regular home is no place for a baby. That’s why fresh-faced parents should always take the time to adequately prepare their homes for the arrival of a new family member. With that in mind, here are some excellent baby-proofing strategies that every house or apartment can benefit from!

Set up your baby’s room

If you’ve been expecting a baby for some time now, chances are you’ve already figured out where the baby room will be located. Now all that’s left is setting up the room itself. From installing a crib and a changing table to purchasing decorations, now’s the time to turn this average-looking room into a veritable baby wonderland, replete with everything you need to take care of your little one nearby.

Declutter the entire home

Aside from being difficult to navigate, clutter can also be quite damaging to your baby’s still-fragile body. Dust particles can pollute the air, while the messy atmosphere can negatively affect the behavior of your child as he or she grows up. Take the time to instill some order in your household, and you’ll be rewarded with a cleaner, safer environment that will also boost the home’s overall value.

Identify safety hazards

Babies are vulnerable to hazards that normal humans are generally not threatened by. Simple things like sharp corners or small toys can prove to be disastrous when it comes to your little ones. Baby-proofing will likely be an ongoing effort, so try to have a handy checklist nearby that you consult to make sure you’ve covered all the bases.

Buy breast and bottle-feeding essentials

Feeding your little one will be one of your foremost responsibilities as a parent, so take steps to ensure that you won’t be lacking in essential stuff like feeding equipment and formula. If you’re breastfeeding, you might want to purchase a breast pump and some bottles for those times when someone else will be feeding the baby. Lastly, a nipple cream will come in handy should your nipples feel a bit sore in the beginning.

Here are some excellent baby-proofing strategies that every house or apartment can benefit from!

Invest in a proper baby monitor

Baby monitors can make a world of difference in the early stages of infant-rearing when you’re still not used to how your baby will act. Make sure your purchase one from a reputable company and place it near your child so that you can hear his or her sounds clearly. If you want a little bit of extra security, invest in a baby monitor that also has motion detection capabilities and a video feed.

And so we’ve come to the end of our shortlist covering the most important things you can do to prepare your home for a baby’s arrival. Although you’ll likely experience quite a bit of stress as you try to get everything in order, remember to also take a step back and enjoy the miracle of life in all its glory. You’ll thank yourself later.

Disclosure: Life of a Southern Mom received a form of compensation for this publication. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Advanced Biobanking for New Moms

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According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention there are roughly 11,000 babies born every day. When you have a baby you are inundated with new information that comes out almost daily. Should you do cord blood banking, or not? Should you breastfeed or not? Should you circumcise or not? If you’re already a parent, think about all the things that have changed since the last time you had a baby. Chances are, even if you had a baby within the past year, there’s already been at least one change to at least one recommendation that you received since your baby was born. It’s no surprise that researchers and companies are working hard to keep us up-to-date on the latest information when it comes to the health of our babies. I think learning about new ways to keep our children happy and healthy is fascinating! Parents are doing multiple things to keep their children safe. Now parents are choosing a procedure that can save your child’s cord blood after birth.

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As a new first time mom, I remember very vividly being told about cord blood banking, and not really understanding what it was meant to do. My doctor seemed to just skip over the information, instead he opted to give me a hand out to read later and mentioned that if I was interested that it was an option. Since he didn’t flat-out recommend cord blood banking to us or really take the time to explain exactly what it was, I just thought it was something really costly that I would be spending my money on and never needing to use it. As it turns out, my doctor should really consider taking the time to explain cord banking to new parents if he already isn’t because cord banking is advancing practically by the day in the ways that it can be used to save our children from illness or disease.

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Cord blood banking gives new patients the option to save their child’s umbilical cord blood immediately following the birth while it still has all of the rich and healthy stem cells in it. The stem cells can morph into all sorts of blood cells.

Cord blood bank has the potential to save lives – they are researching as we speak on how to use it to save patients affected by leukemia, sickle cell anemia and many other types of metabolic disorders. With the understanding of how cord banking works as well as the consideration of the advancements in recent years and potential that cord banking has, cord banking for babies has become an easy choice as well as a necessity for any family.

Connect with LifebankUSA on Facebook and Twitter

Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

6 Things about Getting Pregnant You Didn’t Know

Dr. Dweck PhotoStarting a family and getting pregnant can be a serious undertaking for couples who are having a bit of trouble. TTC couples who take every precaution to baby-making may lack some simple yet very critical steps that can elevate pregnancy stress. ALYSSA DWECK, MD, OB/GYN at the Mount Kisco Medical Group in Westchester County, New York provides care to women of all ages and has delivered thousands of babies offers 6 tips to about getting pregnant TTC couple might not know.

  1. You can’t get pregnant on just any day of the month. Teenagers might worry a lot less about pregnancy with a little out of the classroom SEXed regarding the menstrual cycle and fertility. Education about ovulation, peak fertility and “safe times” during the menstrual cycle whether it be from an phone app, a friend or a healthcare provider is key. This of course is not so easy if your cycles are irregular and doesn’t take the place of contraception and/or condoms, but sure is handy info nonetheless.
  1. Women can learn a lot by charting their monthly cycles. It’s amazing what your menstrual cycle can tell you whether you are trying to conceive or prevent pregnancy. Predicting ovulation doesn’t have to be complicated if you are in tune with your body. By simply tracking basal body temperature and cervical mucus changes (with simple, new apps like Kindara), women can have valuable information to plan or prevent pregnancy.
  1. Ovulation doesn’t always happen on Day 14… Newsflash! conception usually happens before ovulation. It’s not uncommon to assume that conception occurs specifically at the moment of ovulation. In fact, sperm can live up to five days in a woman’s body. The best time for intercourse is actually a few days before ovulation and a day or so afterward.
  1. Some lubricants can have a negative effect on sperm motility. Many common lubricants contain sperm-toxic ingredients, have the wrong pH or have high salt levels, all of which have may have a negative effect when trying to conceive. Even saliva and water can kill sperm and should be avoided when trying to conceive. Fertility friendly lubricants like Pre-Seed mimic cervical mucus to optimize fertility. Pre-Seed’s isotonic and pH balanced formula supports sperm on their journey through the cervix to meet the egg.
  1. A surprising number of women will experience infertility, miscarriage or both. At least 1 in every 10 women will have significant trouble gettingpregnant, and 1 in 5 will experience miscarriage at least once. These are emotional rollercoasters to say the least. Good news, there are tests and treatments to help prevent and treat the many fertility problems that we face. Rest assured, if you are facing this challenge, you are not alone.
  1. Life is full of uncertainty, but the relationships you form will be your source of strength when things don’t go as planned. Coping with the anguish and emotion of miscarriage, no matter how early or infertility, is easier with support from your partner, friends, family, clergy and healthcare provider. Community is vital and all can serve as lifelines when we face adversity.

*This blog did not receive any compensation for this publication.*

 

10 Tips for Getting Pregnant


By Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D., author of “The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant” 

For many women, getting pregnant can be a frustrating and anxiety-filled experience. That’s just how I felt, which is why I wrote “The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant” offering tips for TTC women to feel more in control of their fertility.  Try the following 10 tips:

  1. Obviously, it’s time to throw away your once beloved birth control!  A good rule of thumb is to get off of the pill three months before trying to conceive if you have been on it for less than a year, and six months prior if you have been on it for over a year.
  2. Make friends with your ovulation cycle.  Between a third and two-thirds of women under age 35 who are aware of their fertile time are able to conceive in their first month of trying.
  3. Find your fertile time by using a fertility monitor, ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), charting, or (my personal favorite) all three. Sometimes this can be trickier than it sounds – for example, traditional “line” OPKs can be difficult to interpret. Consider a digital test with a clear “yes” or “no” like the First Response Digital Ovulation Test. Then you’ll know exactly when to get busy.
  4. If you’ve been having ovulation-focused sex for over three months and still haven’t conceived- don’t freak out! Keep calm and consider convincing your partner to get a quick and easy sperm analysis.  This “male factor” or sperm issue comprises nearly half of all fertility issues.
  5. Adjust your diet for optimal fertility.  Incorporate fertility-boosting foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, soy foods, and olive oil.  Avoid trans-fats and partially hydrogenated oil, found in frosting and some baked goods. These are so bad that the FDA just outlawed them! Food companies have 3 years to comply, so for now you have to police it yourself.
  6. Many studies show that taking prenatal vitamins, such as folate and vitamin B6 increases your chances of getting pregnant quickly.  Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) have been linked to better embryos in IVF and smarter babies overall.  There is also strong evidence that prenatal vitamins lower the chance of birth defects, so begin taking them immediately. FIRST RESPONSE™ Reproductive Health Multivitamin Gummies have a delicious, natural Berry Citrus flavor and are specially formulated to provide women with the essential nutrients they need when planning to get pregnant.

Reproductive Health MultiVitamin Gummies

  • 400 mcg of Folic Acid
  • One serving is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, D & E
  • 100 mg of Calcium
  • 50 mg of Omega-3 DHA
  • Excellent source of Iodine per serving
  • Gluten free
  • No iron added, so they’re gentle on the stomach

Pre-Seed High Res Box

  1. Contrary to popular belief, having sex every day doesn’t lower sperm count, So feel free to have as much sex as you please, and enjoy it.  But, if you are dry, use Pre-Seed, a sperm safe lubricant developed specifically for couples who are trying to conceive.  Pre-Seed is properly pH balanced and isotonic to mimic a woman’s fertile fluids and optimize the journey for sperm. Mimicking natural fertile fluids, it allows swimming sperm to move freely and its pH balanced to match fertile cervical mucus and the pH of sperm.
  2. Cut the caffeine.  Non-smoking women who consume about 2-5 cups of coffee per day cut their fertility by 12 percent.  Consuming caffeine has an even worse effect on male fertility, where having 5 cups of coffee a day will cut his fertility in half.  An alternative to getting more energy?  Try getting a full eight hours of sleep- it will enhance your mood and your health.
  3. Soak up the sun! Sunlight causes your skin to generate Vitamin D, which has been linked to fertility.  Sit outside for 15-30 minutes without sunscreen a few times a week in the afternoon. This will also help you sleep.
  4. When you think you may be pregnant — the earlier you know, the better. Several scientific studies and a Consumer Reports study showed that the First Response™ Early Result Pregnancy Test detects the smallest amount of the pregnancy hormone – so it can tell you sooner than any other test.  The sooner you know you’re pregnant, the sooner you can begin making healthy pregnancy choices for yourself and your baby that include: diet, nutrition and limiting your exposure to hazards.

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If you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed about getting pregnant, more information lies within “The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant.”  Besides planning on incorporating these tips into your daily life, here are two things that you can do right now: take a supplement of 1,000 mg of fish oil a day and learn the relaxation technique of deep breathing and you will begin to feel better.  You’re about to start your trying to conceive (TTC) journey.  Enjoy the ride.

*Life of a Southern Mom did not receive any compensation for this publication. The information above was provided to me.*

 

Natural Pregnancy Helpers: Nutrition Tracking Options

*Guest Post* Natural Pregnancy Helpers: Nutrition Tracking Options

During pregnancy, it’s no longer enough to track calories or simply eat, take supplements and hope for the best. Whether you’re an amateur or experienced in selecting and preparing natural foods, you’ll have to worry about getting the right micronutrients, ensuring the proper amount of macronutrients and not losing your appetite in the process.

I was new to diet tracking at the start of my pregnancy, but I was also determined to give my baby a natural start in life with as few worries of health problems as possible. The first task given to me by the nutritionist was to create a food log for a week, so she could spot any potential problems and provide advice on beneficial changes. Even after the initial review, I found it helpful to continue tracking my diet. However, I wanted a faster and less expensive method of analyzing the diary without constantly making appointments.

Electronic Conversion

The simplest solution to the problem is to find a software or mobile application that allows you to enter conventional foods and customize recipes. Some of these products are the same ones used by chain restaurants and nutritionists alike. They generally provide information way beyond what the average woman will find useful, such as cost-per-serving calculation, the ability to print U.S. Nutrition Facts labels and support for tracking hundreds of diet plans at once.

The program you need depends on the desired quality of information and the amount of time you’re willing to spend on the diary. Mobile apps generally include a barcode scanner and access to a database of nutrient profiles for popular foods. It’s worth trying out several before making any purchases, of course. Some include the ability to track exercise, but I already had software for that with my heart rate monitor. An important thing to keep in mind is that no tracker placed value on probiotic foods or antioxidant ratings. 

Back to Basics

A pen-and-paper journal is still a great option provided you spend the time to make entries each day and dedicate a couple of hours each week to analyzing your nutrition profile. You won’t have to worry with excluded nutrients using this option. 

In the end, both methods will help you identify several favorite meals that are nutrient dense. You’ll find yourself getting just enough variety to provide the full range of micro-nutrients without going overboard.

As always, make sure to double-check with your doctor before making any drastic pregnancy changes. I was fortunate enough to have a doctor I could confide in and helped me with everything- from swaddling to cord blood banking. Being healthy and living naturally can enhance your pregnancy from start to baby, and even after birth!

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

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