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October 24th, 2011
01:38 PM ET

Is it OK to take antidepressants while breast-feeding?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Mondays, it's pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu.

Asked by Eliza from Indiana

I recently had my first baby and just learned I have OCD. My doctor put me on a very low dose of antidepressant and my symptoms are much better. I am breast-feeding my son and don't want to use formula but am worried about side effects. What problems should I look for?

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Labeling tantrums a mental illness doesn't help
October 24th, 2011
08:17 AM ET

Labeling tantrums a mental illness doesn't help

Dr. Claudia M. Gold is a pediatrician and author of "Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World Through Your Child's Eyes."

In the winter of 2010, there was a lot of talk in the news (and I wrote an Op-Ed in The Boston Globe, "Warning label on new diagnosis") about a proposed new diagnosis for children, then called temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria, or  TDD. The committee that is assigned the task of creating the new DSM-V, the diagnostic manual for mental health, got a lot of flak, so now they have changed the name to disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, or DMDD.

Many thought that including the word "temper" would make temper tantrums, a normal and healthy part of development, a disorder. So is the new label an improvement? I think the whole discussion is misguided. It diverts our energies for addressing the real problem, namely that there is not enough help in this country, in the form of primary care, mental health care or community support, for struggling parents who are on the front lines raising the next generation.

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October 24th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Educating new parents cuts shaken baby syndrome

Head trauma from shaken baby syndrome is the most common cause of traumatic death for infants under the age of 1.

Shaken baby syndrome  occurs when a child is shaken so hard that it causes major head trauma and bleeding in the brain and or retina. When not fatal, it can lead to a host of issues such as brain damage, mental retardation, epilepsy, sight issues and learning disabilities.

But a new study in the journal Pediatrics finds that when a simple education program was implemented, hospitals in New York State’s Hudson Valley were able to reduce shaken baby syndrome cases in their hospitals by 75%.

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BPA in pregnant women may cause behavior problems in girls
October 24th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

BPA in pregnant women may cause behavior problems in girls

When pregnant women eat foods that are stored in cans or packing containing BPA, their unborn child's exposure to the chemical could lead to behavioral problems by age 3.

Scientists tested 244 pregnant women and their 3-year-old children for BPA exposure. They found when the mothers' BPA levels were high, the children were more likely to show signs of hyperactivity, anxiety and depression. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday, found these behavior problems  in girls – not in boys.

Researchers cannot explain why, but they have seen similar results in other studies. "Our study is consistent with some of the animal studies that say that BPA impacts brain development in monkeys and rodents," explains study author Joe Braun with the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Bisphenol A or BPA is an industrial chemical used to make hard plastic bottles and re-usable cups. It's also used in the lining of canned foods and beverages including some types of liquid baby formula. BPA also known to be an endocrine disrupter, which means it interferes with how hormones – chemical signals – work in the body. When these signals are blocked or changed, organs may not develop normally.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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