The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA



Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

See also:

Subsections on this page:


Genetics Home Reference - Your Guide to Understanding Genetic Conditions from the NIH

How can I find a genetics professional in my area? from the NIH

The FDA has posted on its website more than 150 medications for which DNA screenings can help avert futile treatments or adverse reactions and determine optimal dosages.  I don't know why they don't mention the GMAF gene and the Individualized risk for statin-induced myopathy.

Table of Pharmacogenomic Biomarkers in Drug Labeling - Pharmacogenomics can play an important role in identifying responders and non-responders to medications, avoiding adverse events, and optimizing drug dose.

Getting Your Own DNA Tested

Wikipedia on Genetic Testing and Personal Genomics

I like the philosophy of 23AndMe, and I've heard positive feedback from those who've used it to do the DNA analysis from a saliva sample.

Once you have the DNA analysis results, you can download the raw data from 23AndMe.

Genetic Genie provides free Methylation and detox analysis from 23andMe results, and I recommend this for all pregnant women.

Promethease charges $5 to do a more comprehensive health and medical interpretation of the DNA analysis.  They have fun tools to help you look at specific genes or at all the genes related to specific conditions.  You get access to these tools for a limited time, around 45 days.  You can generate all sorts of reports for ongoing personal use.

 Genes Relevant to the Chibearing Cycle

MTHFR (Methyltetrahydrofolate Reductase) - Relevant because it's needed for metabolizing folic acid and some vitamins.

NIH page on MTHFR

Part 1 of 4: Dr Neil Rawlins - MTHFR - Sept 2011 - Great overview with recommendations for treatment.  This is the first of the genes identified by the Human Genome Project that has an FDA-reviewed treatment.

MTHFR and Pregnancy from mthfr.net.  This discusses ramifications for tongue tie, recurrent pregnancy loss and autism.

The Internet is a rich source of web pages on the subject of MTHFR, pregnancy and tongue tie.

Silly Genetics Research

This section is a little bit tongue-in-cheek, because, from time-to-time, I see a study that makes me think that genetics is no longer being taught in med. schools.  So I'm collecting relevant links here:

Due Dates - Genetic Heritage

US-born Indian women have small babies [Source: The Journal of Pediatrics 2006, pre-release 4/5/06] - Investigating whether the tendency of Indian immigrants to have small babies is mirrored in their daughters, despite their living in the USA.

"Asian-Indian women born in the USA deliver more low-birth-weight babies than their Mexican-American peers, despite having fewer risk factors, US researchers reveal. " . . .  "Attempting to explain their results, Madan and colleagues speculate that maternal birth weight, stress, attitudes toward pregnancy and family support may influence fetal growth."  Oh, gee, I don't know, what else could it be . . .?  Maybe the paternal birth weight is also a factor!  In fact, maybe the parental heights and parental weights and even the baby's length are factors!  Oh, gosh, you don't think it could be genetic, do you?  NO . . . medicine teaches us that NORMAL means "equal to the norm", right?  WRONG!

Sociocultural factors that affect pregnancy outcomes in two dissimilar immigrant groups in the United States.
Madan A, Palaniappan L, Urizar G, Wang Y, Fortmann SP, Gould JB.
J Pediatr. 2006 Mar;148(3):341-6.

CONCLUSIONS: Perinatal outcomes deteriorate in U.S.-born Mexican women. In contrast, the paradoxically increased incidence of LBW persists in U.S.-born Asian-Indian women. Further research is needed to identify the social and biologic determinants of perinatal outcome. [Ed: Maybe they should start with some really basic research, such as showing that newborn weights are directly affected by the size of their parents!  It's called genetics!] 

Future Research

I'm saving this spot for research that will surely come if the above trend continues.  It will be about something really, really silly, such as, "Caucasians continue to have lighter skin, even after moving to Africa," or, even worse, "Study shows that children of French parents are more likely to speak French."  Do you think that's too ridiculous?  Oh, ye of little faith . . .

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