Thanks to recent news reports, it has come to my attention Snooki is pregnant. I’d like to offer my congratulations. But let’s get one thing straight: It’s time to re-focus and have a nice, healthy baby. I'd like to offer my medical advice.
What I mean is, it has also come to my attention that Snooki may have not had the cleanest lifestyle on the planet. Smoking, alcohol, not eating right, and not sleeping enough are not my idea of a what a woman should be doing when she is preparing for pregnancy.
After all, in true Snooki form, she was quoted as saying "S**t, I've been drinking!" when asked about her reaction to finding out she was pregnant shortly after New Year's Eve in an US Weekly article.
But I always say there’s never a perfect time to get pregnant. However, whenever possible, I would like women to think about when they want a child so they can prepare. Sometimes they need to lose weight, sometimes they may want to eliminate risk factors like smoking, and it is always a good idea to get a pre-pregnancy physical so there are no surprises.
However, lifestyles can be very difficult to change. Alcohol exposure in the first trimester could lead to some developmental changes in a newborn, such as caudal regression syndrome, a significant neural tube defect, growth retardation and learning disabilities.
Smoking, including secondhand exposure, often leads to premature deliveries, small-sized infants and pulmonary complications in the newborn.
Excessive stress, lack of sleep and disruptive schedules leads pregnant women to have premature contractions and, many times, emotional highs and lows which complicates the bonding effects post-partum.
Now, I don’t know how many of these risk factors Snooki truly has since she has remained quite silent about her personal life outside of what the public has seen on Jersey Shore lately. I hope she can take the advice of her doctor seriously and focus on what’s important – not a cover in US Weekly, but rather, bringing a beautiful, healthy child into the world. Someone who’s going to look up to her and say, “I want to be just like you.”
I take my profession very seriously, and pregnancy is a very sacred gift to me. I see women every day who have struggled with losses, or who are cancer survivors and have a myriad of medical conditions making conception and pregnancy very challenging.
So Snooki, just know you're a very lucky woman. You're healthy, young and successful — in your own right. I sincerely hope you take advantage of all that you've been given and find your biggest success in being a mother.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.