Toxo eccetera

The Surprising Perils of Gardening – Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster

Aspettate un bimbo?

Occhio al gatto!

Ma il dottore minimizza…

… When I got pregnant, I received a large number of emails (from my mother, my friend Nancy, etc.) with dire warnings about the cat: “Do not clean the litter box!” Sometimes with multiple exclamation points. My doctor was kind of dismissive about this concern. She told me that if I didn’t want the chore anymore, I could tell Jesse that it was dangerous, but in her view it was fine…

Il pericolo eventuale sarebbe la toxoplasmosi.

… if you have been exposed to toxoplasmosis before pregnancy, there is no cause for concern, but if you are exposed for the first time during pregnancy it can be dangerous for the baby, causing low IQ, vision problems, or death….

Da dove arriva?…

… Although uncooked meat is the primary source of toxoplasmosis, it is also possible to get it from cat faeces. If your cat has been eating uncooked meat, that is… Cats are infected by eating something (like raw meat) that gives them the parasite…

Ma attenzione all’immunità: chi l’ha già contratta è immune…

… Once they are exposed once, they typically acquire immunity and are not exposed again. This means you’re at risk if you’re exposed to a cat during their first exposure. If your cat is old, regardless of whether it lives outside, it probably has already had this…

I padroni di gatti adulti non sono più esposti degli altri…

… one study of pregnant women in Europe compared those with and without toxoplasmosis infection and looked to see what behaviours were more common among women who were infected.1 They found no evidence that cats matter: women with this infection were no more likely to have a cat at all, clean a litter box or have a cat who hunts outside…

Il gatto adulto molto probabilmente è immune.

Il problema sono i cuccioli, specie se cacciano…

… The one caveat to this is that you may want to be a little careful if you get a kitten for the first time while pregnant, especially if you feed it a lot of raw meat. In fact, one study in the United States did find that owning three or more kittens (although not owning one or two) was associated with higher toxoplasmosis rates…

Se la toxo preoccupa, si sappia che è molto più probabile contrarla curando le piante…

… Somewhat surprisingly: although cat litter seems to have little risk, there is significant toxoplasmosis risk from gardening. That study in Europe that was reassuring on cats did find a strong association between toxoplasmosis and working with soil…

***

E la tintura dei capelli?

Sui roditori non è del tutto innocua…

… The primary concern with hair dye is that toxic chemicals in the dye will affect the baby. In very high doses, some of the chemical components of hair dye can increase birth defects in rodents…

Ma sugli uomini l’effetto è nullo…

… Human studies have generally not shown any association with an increased risk of birth defects. A couple of small studies have suggested a link with childhood cancer later, although larger studies have not confirmed this…

Uno studio preoccupante sui parrucchieri svedesi…

… one study comparing Swedish hairdressers to the rest of the Swedish population showed a small but statistically significant increase in low-birth-weight babies among the hairdressers…

Ma la tintura non c’entra: stanno troppo in piedi

… In the end, this finding wasn’t supported by other studies and it seems likely that the result was driven by other aspects of the job (for example, the fact that hairdressers spend all of their time standing up)….

***

Esporsi ad alte temperature è dannoso per la salute del feto?…

… it has been suggested that raising your body temperature during the first months of pregnancy can lead to birth defects…

Lo studio che solleva preoccupazione testa un po’ troppi fattori per essere affidabile: uno a caso lo becca…

… Some evidence for this comes from a 2011 study.7 The authors identified about 11,000 babies with birth defects and 7,000 without. They compared their mothers’ behaviour during pregnancy and looked at whether the mothers of the babies with birth defects were more likely to have used hot tubs during early pregnancy. The authors considered seventeen birth defects. For two of them (an intestinal problem called gastroschisis and a neural tube defect called anencephaly) they found an association with hot tub use. On its own, it is a little hard to draw confident conclusions from this. Maybe these findings just showed up by chance because the authors were testing so many outcomes…

Meglio comunque non eccedere i 38 gradi

… It’s probably important to note that the real concern is about an increase in body temperature to above 38 degrees Celsius or so. Hot tubs are typically about 40–41 degrees Celsius, as is Bikram Yoga…

E il caldo estivo? A volte porta a parti anticipati

… One question you might be asking yourself: What about really hot days? Is that the same thing?… there is some evidence from Spain on the effect of heat on birth. The authors found that very hot days seemed to prompt women to go into labour earlier (by about five days)…

***

Il sesso in gravidanza è pericoloso?

No. Per rispondere non servono studi statistici, basta comprendere le dinamiche…

… Safe Sex? Many women wonder if it is safe to have sex during pregnancy. Is he hitting the baby? It turns out we don’t really need research here; understanding the mechanics is enough. While you’re pregnant the baby is inside a sac of fluid in the uterus, protected by the closed cervix. Having sex won’t affect it at all; if you feel in the mood, go right ahead. Two warnings, though. The cervix is a bit more sensitive during pregnancy and if your partner hits it during intercourse you might bleed a bit; this is normal and not something to worry about at all. Second, as you get into later pregnancy, the good old missionary position isn’t going to work as well. Creativity will be necessary!…

***

Viaggiare in aereo puo’ essere pericoloso?

Un certo pericolo viene dalle radiazioni cosmiche

… You are exposed to cosmic radiation all the time, but when you fly the levels of radiation are higher than they are on the ground because there is less atmosphere to protect you. In general, there is a recommended limit on radiation exposure over the course of your pregnancy (technically, it’s 1 mSv, but that probably has no more meaning for you than it does for me)…

 

Ma i livelli di allerta sono molto elevati…

… Unless you travel very frequently, you are unlikely to reach even the most conservative limit for radiation exposure. One three-hour flight would deliver about 1 percent of the limit. Long-haul international flights are worse: the longest available flight delivers about 15 percent of the limit. This might seem like a lot (if you take more than three round trips from London to Tokyo, you’re over the limit), but it is worth noting that this is less than 1 percent of the level at which there is any actual demonstrated risk of birth defects or miscarriage…

Forse solo la hostess deve fare quattro calcoli…

… If you fly a lot for work – say, a couple of flights a week – or you are a flight attendant, it is possible that you would reach the 1 mSv radiation limit. In Europe, flight attendants are restricted to more limited routes during pregnancy to avoid this; in the United States there are no legal restrictions, but it may be prudent to limit exposure to some extent. If you are worried about your particular flights, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) web site offers a way to calculate the radiation exposure from every flight, which you can use to calculate your total exposure….

E che dire del metal-detector? Effetto modesto ma evitate se potete. Per le donne gravide, del resto, sono disponibili altre procedure…

… What about the full-body scanners at the airport? Again, these work with X-rays and therefore entail some radiation exposure. These levels of exposure are quite small – maybe on the order of 0.01… percent of the 1 mSv limit – so they are probably not something to worry about. In practice, at least for the moment, most airports have normal metal detectors as well as the full-body scan and pregnant women are generally pointed towards the non-X-ray option. If you are worried, you can always opt for the pat-down. It’s not enjoyable, but it is radiation-free…

Riassuntino

… The Bottom Line • Changing the cat litter is fine (make sure you wash your hands after) . . . • . . . but gardening is associated with an increased risk of toxoplasmosis. It should be avoided. • Dye away! Concerns about hair dye are overblown. • Getting too hot during your first… trimester – be it from a fever, a hot tub or some type of superhot yoga – can lead to an increased risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida. • Some aeroplane travel is completely fine. If you work on an aeroplane, you might consider a modified schedule…

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