Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant (and even before getting pregnant) Affects Your Child’s Brain

Preg DrinkingIf you are a parent and you drank alcohol during your pregnancy, what’s done is done and no sense in beating yourself up at this point. However, I urge you to read on so you might do things differently if you are still in the child bearing age and might have another child.  There is always the debate of how much if any alcohol is OK during pregnancy.  This study (and many others) would suggest that it just isn’t worth taking the risk. If you are going to be pregnant or trying to get pregnant, do your future child a favor and just don’t drink alcohol or take any drugs (recreational or prescribed) unless they are prescriptions essential for your own health.  Those with prescriptions, ask your physician if the prescription is safe during pregnancy and whether or not there is a safer alternative.

The study (link below) has found that ethanol while pregnant, can affect cyclin-dependent kinase 5 and its activator p35 in the hippocampus. It is proposed that this is an important mechanism for synaptic plasticity which means how the brain adapts and learns and stores information.  The study found that ethanol exposed rats (exposed when they were in the womb) as adults took almost twice as long to learn new things as unexposed rats.

For most of us (non-research types) suffice it to say that the take home message is that alcohol is a terrible idea if you are pregnant or might become pregnant. Dad’s, if you want your wife or lady to go 9 months without drinking, guess what you need to do?  That’s right, go 9 months without drinking.  The job of being a parent definitely needs to be a team effort, and the job of eating right and not drinking is so much easier if the whole family is on the same program.  Eat organic food, drink filtered water and take your prenatal vitamins and extra vitamin D3, up to 5000 IU a day for adults. 

Don’t be fooled by research that might lead you to think an occasional drink is OK.  A little poison is not better than ZERO poison!

Read the Full Study Here…


  Dr. Paul


Thank You!

Thank yousThis Thanksgiving, Dr Paul and the entire staff at Integrative Pediatrics, Pediatric Urgent Care, Fair Start, and Natura Integrative Medicine want to thank you for trusting us and partnering with us in the health care for your family.  The health challenges we all face are becoming increasingly complex, the range of options for what to do seem endless.  We are grateful you are choosing to embrace a wellness approach to care that is patient-centered and that empowers you to be active in your health and wellness. 

It does mater what vaccines you give and when, and not just following the entire schedule blindly without consideration for the toxins in the vaccines and the need for them in your given child. Your choice to eat and drink healthy, avoiding pesticides and toxins like aspartame in diet drinks and certain foods, and focusing on real food (vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, meat, and fish) instead of fast food or processed foods in a bag or box will pay huge dividends in the future health of your children and family.  When things do go wrong, your willingness to look for the root cause of those health troubles, looking for food sensitivities or nutrient deficiencies has most often made all the difference. 

We are humbled by this experience of caring for you and learning together how best to navigate the health challenges that confront us all in this industrialized modern world.  

We wish you a very happy Thanksgiving and a year to come of new and rewarding opportunities and improved health and wellness for you.



Dr. Paul

Breastfeeding and Iron Deficiency

iron-deficiencyWhile there has historically been a slight association between breastfeeding and iron deficiency, and this study found an “association”, it failed to meet statistical significance. I have seen some of the most iron deficient babies over the years in the exclusively breast fed babies who were not getting any iron rich foods introduced by 4-6 months. Since iron deficiency puts babies at significant risk for anemia, developmental delays, and vulnerability to other toxins, this article should be a good reminder to supplement with iron or iron rich foods when breast feeding.

For iron from the diet, meats and fish are the traditional source with the greatest iron.  For vegetarian sources, look for green vegetables like spinach and beans.  The link below gives you an idea of some good vegetarian sources:

Good Iron Sources for Vegetarians

A bigger issue should be made of all the negative consequences of giving cow’s milk which is for calves, to human babies.  While formula is improved, a look at the list of ingredients with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and corn syrups for sweeteners, should be enough to prompt all mom’s who are able to do so to breastfeed at least the first year of life. 

Read the Study Here


Dr. Paul


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