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The news is not your doctor

We’ve all seen the crazy headlines when media outlets cover the latest health trend, or what you must do to have a healthy baby—or else! These stories sometimes seem a bit outlandish, and at other times may go against the advice your doctor has given you.

While the segments or articles may feature some expert commentary from a physician, it might leave you wondering: Am I doing something wrong? Who should I listen to?

For example, Consumer Reports recently released an article that said pregnant women should avoid all tuna. Like they should eat absolutely none, zilch, zero. Why the fear? They claim that mercury measurements can be incorrect and therefore pregnant women can unknowingly ingest too much of the substance (which we know in high doses can be harmful to a developing baby).

They also say this despite so many independent studies and verifications that support consuming seafood—especially during pregnancy—and that tuna, when eaten in proper amounts, can definitely be a safe, excellent source of brain-boosting DHA.

To confuse women further, this stance by Consumer Reports goes right against the Food and Drug Administration recommendations for fish consumption in pregnancy—recommendations that were recently updated to take out fear-based language, which studies have shown actually steers pregnant women away from fish.

As it stands now, 75 percent of pregnant women eat far too little fish, and we know this negatively affects the development of babies’ brains and eyes. How much worse will that number be if reports that scare women further keep coming out?

It can be hard to know who to believe when you catch a snippet here or there on the news or on a social media link. This is but one example of how such stories might leave you wondering who to listen to: your doctor, the news, or your friend who posted a link that seems credible.

Before you believe a story in the news, always be sure to check with those professionals you trust, whether it is your pediatrician, midwife, obstetrician, or even your favorite Bundoo expert at Ask Bundoo. You can rest assured that we don’t buy into media hype here, and only want to present well-researched articles that are fact-based and will leave you with more answers than questions.

Now go make a tuna fish sandwich.

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About Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, Bundoo OB/GYN

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln is a generalist obstetrician/gynecologist and attending physician at a tertiary-care hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania. She spends the majority of her time on labor and delivery, but manages to fit in some outpatient clinic and operating time.

Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more!

    Reply
  2. Well said! 🙂

    Reply

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