Sunday, 6 March 2011

Why I am writing this blog and who I am.

This is my first blog entry, so I will get straight to it…. I want this blog to answer many of the ‘why’ questions women may have during pregnancy. For example, ‘Why am I advised not to drink alcohol during pregnancy?’ ‘Why are folate supplements important? My answers will not be ‘because it is bad/good for the baby’; rather, I will provide the science of why, in an easy to understand language. What happens to the alcohol that a mother drinks? How can it affect the baby? And finally, what has medical research shown can be the consequences of this for the short and long-term health of the baby. I will include definitions throughout my blogs to help explain the complex terms (that I can’t avoid) and I will use diagrams to help explain detailed pathways and processes.

I hope by now you are asking, who is this person? Well I’m nobody special really, but I have a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips and in my opinion it is not being appropriately shared to the people that matter, i.e., the women who are having the babies. I am a post-doctoral research scientist (with a PhD in Reproductive Physiology) in Melbourne, Australia, and my research is focused on understanding the consequences of a sub-optimal (less than perfect) pregnancy for the offspring (the babies). I am particularly interested in the placenta, and its role in the transfer of things to the fetus, from the mother.

I will take the time now to provide a disclaimer. I am not an obstetrician or neonatologist and so am not qualified to give medical advice to pregnant women, or babies, and this is not my intention with this blog. All of the information that I will provide in my blogs is my own interpretation of published scientific materials and I will always give due reference to any works I cite.

I thoroughly hope that you enjoy reading my blogs and more importantly I hope that I can help explain why recommendations given to women during pregnancy, such as to avoid alcohol, tobacco, stress etc., are so important for the long-term health of their babies.