What do Adam Levine, Justin Timberlake, and Michael Phelps have in common? They all have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
What else might they have in common? It's possible their moms took acetaminophen while pregnant. Around 65% of expectant moms do, because they're (rightly) steered away from ibuprofen and aspirin.
But a new study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found a strong association between fetal exposure to acetaminophen and a "significantly increased risk of childhood ADHD and ASD (autism spectrum disorder)."
This means the more acetaminophen a mom-to-be takes, the greater risk of harm to her developing fetus.
Scientists analyzed umbilical cord samples from 996 mothers in the Boston Birth Cohort who delivered single live births from October 1, 1998 to around a decade later. They identified those in which cord plasma acetaminophen metabolites were present, and then examined data on the offspring at age 9.8.
An astounding 25.8% (that's 257 children) had been diagnosed with ADHD; 6.6% (66) had ASD; and 30.5% (304 kids) had other developmental disabilities.
So remember, moms-to-be, any medication/drug/supplement may adversely affect your growing fetus and your future child's health.
As we recommend in our book "YOU: Having a Baby," before you take anything, talk to your OB/GYN about your medications, as well as chemicals you might be exposed to at work. And avoid the chemicals in manicures, pedicures, and hair dyes.
As an alternative, aromatherapy reduces pain and nausea in pregnancy and has not been associated with maternal or childhood problems.