Pregnancy Pregnancy Health

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    Pregnant moms battling depression ... take a deep breath. According to a new Massachusetts General Hospital study, the increased autism risk associated with antidepressant use is likely due to the depression, not the drugs. Hopefully, that will give you a sigh of relief. 

    That said, the same study found that exposure to antidepressants in the womb is linked with much higher rates of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in kids. We're talking an 80 percent increased risk of ADHD if mom takes antidepressants while pregnant.

    Those findings are jarring, yes. Definitely worth filing it away in your mind. But don't panic just yet. 

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    A celeb mom debuted quite the accessory on the red carpet at the Emmys: Amanda Peet has another baby bump! At 42, Peet is expecting her third child with husband David Benioff. Her age is no big deal by Hollywood standards ... except she made it one a few years ago.

    Back in 2010, after the birth of her second child, Amanda publicly declared she was "too old" to have a third child. She was 38 years old at the time. Of course, her comment didn't sit well with some moms, but she held her own and seemed pretty sure of her decision. What a difference a few years make!

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    Zoe Saldana is catching some heat for her ALS ice bucket challenge video. Instead of doing it herself, she enlisted her husband ... and turned to the side to reveal the reason why: Zoe Saldana has a baby bump.

    The Guardians of the Galaxy actress finally acknowledged she's preggers after months of speculation. Great delivery using the ALS ice bucket challenge video to announce her big news, but her message may confuse some pregnant women.

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    Pregnant women have a TON to talk about on the phone, from spreading the big "guess what?" news to family and friends to running baby names by her hubs. Just one problem: Rumors have circulated that cellphones aren't safe for pregnant women. Apparently radiation may pose health risks to the developing fetus. According to a study at Yale, pregnent mice exposed to cellphone radiation had offspring plagued with behavior problems, like hyperactivity and memory loss. Yikes!

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    Do you think it’s possible to choose how you’re going to give birth before your water breaks? Pregnant celeb mom Ali Larter is convinced she will never realize her dream of having a natural childbirth because she has a low tolerance for pain.

    I applaud Ali for being realistic with herself and her limitations ... but she may wind up selling herself short. Despite the insane amount of time spent hypothesizing, analyzing, and planning childbirth, you have no idea what’s going to happen in the delivery room until you’re in the delivery room (or space you’re most comfortable ... for home birth moms). 

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    For many women (myself included), getting an epidural felt like a no-brainer: Why suffer the pains of labor if you don't have to? Michelle Babcock thought so too, which is why this 33-year-old in Los Angeles went through with the procedure in 2012 while giving birth to her son. Yet complications from her epidural have been haunting her ever since.

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    We've always been told to wash our hands rigorously, for 20 seconds at a time, while silently singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." It sounds easy enough, but now it turns out that pregnant women should add another layer of protection when they're scrubbing their hands. A group of scientists from the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute is now reporting that substances present in antibacterial soaps could harm pregnant women and their fetuses.

    According to the researchers, triclosan and triclocarban are two of the most commonly used germ-killers and are present in soaps, toothpastes, detergents, and paints, among other household items. And constant use results in shorter birth lengths for newborns and can lead to developmental and reproductive issues.

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    If you're a pro-vax mommy-to-be, you probably welcome any opportunity imaginable to protect yourself and your unborn baby against dangerous diseases. At the same time, you know it's counterintuitive to allow yourself to be injected with something that could potentially cause more harm than good in your body.

    Here's a reason to breath a little easier: a new study has revealed that it's perfectly safe for pregnant women in their third trimester to get the whooping cough, or pertussis, vaccination. Given the deadliness of this disease, which has been on the rise in recent years, it's excellent news for both moms and their newborns, who will be born protected.

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    Though it's one of the most joyful times for a woman, pregnancy may also cause uncomfortable symptoms -- from morning sickness to swollen ankles and all manner of annoyances in between. Making matters worse: You may want to avoid over-the-counter treatments, preferring instead to take the more natural route to feeling your best. 

    Thankfully, aromatherapy is an unsung hero that can offer various benefits for expectant moms, from pure stress relief to keeping issues like nausea or backaches at bay. But a word of warning: "When considering plant oils in pregnancy, one should approach them in the same way as any other medication," says reproductive endocrinologist Anate Aelion Brauer, M.D., OB/GYN with Greenwich Fertility & IVF Center in Connecticut. "Although essential oils are natural, it is important to use caution, as many effects in pregnancy are unknown."

    Here, the "dos and "don'ts" of using essential oils during pregnancy.

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    While most pregnant women have heard they shouldn’t drink tons of coffee, decaf isn’t so clear-cut. Decaf, after all, still has some caffeine, and certain studies (though not all) have linked this stimulant to higher miscarriage rates. Further complicating matters is the fact that the amount of caffeine varies widely in both decaf and regular. Still, that doesn’t mean pregnant women must abstain from this beverage completely.

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