The Blessing of Anastasha – Part 12

Bioethics, Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Little Anastasha, whose life we've been following for the last 12 weeks, is now about 214 days old, despite her terminal diagnosis of anencephaly. She continues to grow and prosper in her mom’s womb, and she continues to bless her parents, her siblings, her family, and all of who are able to follow her journey and pray for she and her family. And, she continues to bless her parents, her siblings, her family, and all of who are able to follow her journey and pray for she and her family. Her daddy, Dr. Craig DeLisi, has sent out a brief update this week. But, it’s a powerful one: This is a song that our kids have fallen in love with. For a kids' worship song, it is saturated with truth about God.…
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Stressed women may have reduced chance of becoming pregnant

Mental Health, Woman's Health
We've known for many years that stress and anxiety can affect a woman's pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Now, a new study is connecting stress and conception. USA Today reports that "a new study in the journal Fertility and Sterility lends credence to a link between stress and time to conception, and not just in couples dealing with infertility." The new "study involved 274 British women 18 to 40 years old" who "were followed for six menstrual cycles or until they got pregnant, whichever came first." The Time "Wellness" blog reported that the study found "no correlation between women's levels of cortisol, another more commonly measured stress hormone, and their chance of conception," however. But, "the researchers worry that, in a cruel twist, the inability to conceive may create a vicious…
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Women should try to conceive as early as possible after miscarriage

Parenting, Woman's Health
In the past, when I've had a family suffer a miscarriage, I've advised them to wait three to six months before trying to conceive again. There were a couple of reasons for this: (1) this gives the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) time to recover and refresh itself, and (2) this gives the family time to deal with the loss of their child emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. CNN recognizes this when it reports, "When women have a miscarriage, one of the first questions they often ask is how long they should wait before getting pregnant again." Now, research from Scotland may change the advice that I (and other doctors) give because it indicates that "the sooner they start trying, the better." In fact, those "who conceive within six months of a miscarriage…
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Low-fat or low-carbohydrate diets may produce similar weight loss

Nutritional Health, Obesity
My patients ask me all the time about the differences between the low-fat diets (i.e., South Beach) and the low-carb diets (i.e., Atkins). In the past, I've had little data on which to guide them, but my personal preference has leaned toward the South-Beach-type diets. Now we have some data to help me answer the questions. USA Today reports that low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets "produce similar weight loss and improvements in many health measures," according to a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. "To compare the two types of diet plans, researchers at three major medical centers tracked the weight loss of more than 300 obese people for two years. Half of participants followed a low-carb diet, consuming about 20 grams…
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