ADD/ADHD – Genetic or Caused during Pregnancy?

So, after many years of researching ADD/ADHD researchers have discovered no clear cause for this disorder in what these children are eating or doing after birth. They are now looking into the DNA code to see if this is a genetic disorder. I have one question for the researchers……

Have you considered that we might be causing the disorder during pregnancy?

As a Bradley  instructor, there is a CNN report I show during class 3 as we talk about gestation and avoiding harmful substances and procedures. This report was released in the 1980’s so many will say that it’s “no longer valid” but the fact is that the information may be even worse now that we have 3D and 4D machines.

It’s important to know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating all medical equipment. It’s also important to know that neither the FDA nor the American College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists (ACOG) have ever approved the routine use of sonogram during pregnancy. Even with the number of years this technology has been used there are still concerns about the safety of sonogram.

The CNN report (Fetal Effects of Ultrasound) revealed that when cells are exposed to sonogram (a.k.a. ultrasound) radiation (and yes, it is a form of radiation – that is why the doctor performing and reading these scans is a radiologist) they change. How do they change? Cell growth and development is very orderly and organized. It functions very clearly. BUT once cells are exposed to ultrasound (a.k.a sonogram) they are no longer orderly and organized. Instead they are running into each other – they appear to be hyperactive.

As a matter of fact, in recent months, lots of moms have pointed out to me that there baby seems to be more active after having had a sonogram than prior to completing the procedure. These moms voice a concern that this baby is moving “too much” and want some assurance that the baby is okay. It’s not fair to put the childbirth educator on the spot like that — let’s educate these moms BEFORE the sonogram as to what “routine use in pregnancy” means.

In short, “routine use in  pregnancy” means that sonograms are given to every mother to “confirm due date” (which has actually resulted in highly inaccurate information in many cases), to “determine sex of the baby” (which has also been known to be wrong even with 4D technology), to “confirm a pregnancy” – as if urine and blood tests are so wrong we need to bill insurance companies for hundreds of dollars just to tell a woman that she’s expecting…..what did we do BEFORE this technology was here?

So is there a time when this technology may be useful? Absolutely! When a mom is expecting twins, this technology can absolutely help keep track of both babies (although we did exist for many years without the technology). I had a personal case where this technology helped us keep track of the baby during a “high-risk” pregnancy.

At 28-weeks gestation multiple blood clots where found in both of my lungs. Blood clots are a known risk of pregnancy but the fact that I was obese at conception did not help the situation – it actually increased my risks. Doctors were amazed that I was still alive and started to create a treatment. I had to switch from a midwife to an OB – thankfully I knew (and had worked with) the best OB in Wichita, KS so I switched my care to him and we planned for a hospital birth. I was placed on 15,000 IUs of heparin three times daily and told that I had to rush to a hospital if I knicked my leg while shaving. While I was told that heparin does not cross the placental barrier, it obviously effects things somehow because there is a know increase of Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) as well as still born when using it. These two things meant that I would have a sonogram every 2 weeks to check the baby’s growth. Up to this point, Christopher had experienced no sonograms.

Those sonograms helped to assure all of us that everything was going well with Christopher but that his growth had slowed down. He was born weighing a full pound less than my previous birth – didn’t have to worry about a tear! I also had the difficult task of hearing fetal heart tones that were dropping each week — he went from 160’s to 120’s in the last 4 weeks. Now, yes, those are still within normal ranges BUT remember there’s an increased risk of still born when using blood thinners during pregnancy. THAT was a good use for sonogram technology.

In an society where we talk to women about doing everything they can to stay healthy and low-risk we need to help them understand that being healthy and low-risk means there will be less need for the use of the technology that continues to have so many safety and health risks that neither the FDA nor ACOG will approve it’s routine use during pregnancy.

While this discussion is not an easy one to have with the couples who come through my class (and who have already experienced at least one sonogram), I will continue to educate them about the risks associated with sonogram and the many unanswered questions surrounding this technology that too many feel is ‘safe’.

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