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Author Topic: Can a fetus kill a mother by taking nutrients?  (Read 3030 times)

Offline ConfusedHermit

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Can a fetus kill a mother by taking nutrients?
« on: 23/08/2012 04:24:48 »
I understand that the fetus depends on the mother's nutrients to develop via the placenta. But is it possible for a fetus (or multiple fetuses) to kill the mother by taking more nutrients than she has to sustain herself with?

Or is a mother's child only going to take a relative fraction from what she herself possesses?


 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Can a fetus kill a mother by taking nutrients?
« Reply #1 on: 24/08/2012 14:46:48 »
Unfortunately I think the foetus will spontaneously abort (miscarry) in the sort of situation you are envisaging.  The extra nutrients are not all that much - you definitely do not need to "eat for two" and the official advice has changed to that effect
 

Offline ConfusedHermit

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Re: Can a fetus kill a mother by taking nutrients?
« Reply #2 on: 24/08/2012 18:32:33 »
Okay, so a fetus doesn't require that much from the mother to develop.

Thank you for the answer :]
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can a fetus kill a mother by taking nutrients?
« Reply #3 on: 24/08/2012 20:03:47 »
Many young female athletes stop ovulating when their body is under stress.  I wonder if to some extent that would happen with a woman suffering from malnourishment. 

The growth of the infant would also likely be stunted if the mother did not receive adequate nutrition.

The fetus can also throw a mother's nutrition out of whack.  For example Gestational Diabetes is not uncommon, and often resolves after childbirth.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Can a fetus kill a mother by taking nutrients?
« Reply #4 on: 24/08/2012 20:51:32 »
It is a parasitical relationship ...
Quote
Maternal bone loss also may occur in the last months of pregnancy, a time when the fetal skeleton is rapidly mineralizing.
http://www4.sdstate.edu/eam/upload/2002-Kalkwarf-Specker_Bone-Mineral-Changes.pdf

If there were occasions where the parasite exploited the host sufficiently to kill it , those traits would not be passed on as the foetus would not survive, [ not a good idea for a parasite to kill its host whist dependent on it ]. 
« Last Edit: 25/08/2012 01:25:00 by RD »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Can a fetus kill a mother by taking nutrients?
« Reply #5 on: 24/08/2012 23:51:24 »
It is possible that in a famine, being pregnant may mean the difference between surviving or not.
However, there are a number of feedback control loops that would reduce the chance of dying, as mentioned above.

It also appears that there are impacts on the takeup of nutrients by the fetus. Studies of women who were in their second trimester during the Dutch famine of 1944 suggest that there are epigenetic changes which are carried by the child, and passed on to a daughter's children and perhaps even grandchildren.
 

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Re: Can a fetus kill a mother by taking nutrients?
« Reply #5 on: 24/08/2012 23:51:24 »

 

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