Dr Manny's Notes

John Travolta, Kelly Preston Announce Pregnancy

When I read the news that John Travolta and Kelly Preston are expecting a child today, I was very happy for them. They are talented actors and loving parents who have been through a lot of pain and suffering over the past year of course with the sudden death of their beloved son, Jett, and just this week, with the unfortunate accident that claimed the lives of their dogs. I can't imagine the pain a of losing a child. And for me, Jett's story really hit home because as you all know, I too have an autistic son.

Many people have been asking me what risks are for a 47-year-old woman carrying a child. Well, for a healthy woman that age, the risks may be no more serious than those associated with any pregnancy. Clearly, I have never treated Kelly Preston, and I don't know her medical history, but she seems to be a healthy, vibrant woman who should be able to have a successful pregnancy.

However age does become a critical factor when planning a pregnancy. For women over the age of 45, I usually add some extra tests which include things like maternal EKG, early diabetic screening and a thyroid function test. The rationale behind these tests, is that you want to evaluate whether they can tolerate the pregnancy or not. In more specific cases, like patients with a history of chronic hypertension or asthma, I might also include liver and kidney function tests and pulmonary function tests since the kidneys, liver and lungs can have an added stress when a patient gets pregnant.

As always, nutrition is very important, so a well-balanced diet - especially in women over 45 - is key. I also recommend checking levels of vitamin D since this can have an overall impact on the bone structure of the mother. And you would like to see those vitamin D levels over 30.

So remember, one of the most important parts of a successful pregnancy is proper prenatal care. Now, some people have asked me if there is a unique way that scientology deals with prenatal care - and that, my friends, I cannot answer. I don't have any knowledge to make a fair and balanced comment. But what I have read about promoting a stress-free environment for the child to be born into is encouraging - in fact, I think such an environment is vital for the health of both mother and baby. And the rest - I'll leave to the experts.