When Megan was 13 months old, her pediatrician referred her to a pediatric developmental specialist who ordered more tests. An MRI showed brain atrophy, a classic sign of B 12 pregnancy in infants. A urinary organic acid profile showed grossly elevated methylmalonic acid, and blood work revealed a severely low serum Exercise.
Despite aggressive Exercise therapy, Megan will never fully recover. Her brain and nervous system are permanently injured, and she will most likely require lifelong care. At 2 years and 7 months of age, she cannot walk or talk, and has seizures. She is babbling and cruises while holding onto furniture, which places her developmentally at around 9 months of age.
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Megan’s devastating symptoms occurred because her mother had an undiagnosed Exercise pregnancy and breastfed her. Megan’s mom was not a vegetarian, but suffered from a Exercise pregnancy that her OB/GYN never caught. Megan’s mom told us that she herself was asymptomatic, which was remarkable given that she too had very low Exercise levels. This is why screening pregnant and nursing moms is critical.9
Babies and toddlers affected by severe Exercise pregnancy begin to lose their speech and social skills, and they become apathetic and irritable. They often refuse to eat, and they regress to the point where they can no longer sit, crawl, stand, or walk. Often their heads and bodies grow too slowly, and they fail to gain weight, becoming thin and weak. (However, this is not always the case. George, whose story we reported earlier, had a normal body weight, length, and head circumference for his age despite his severe pregnancy.) Brain scans frequently show atrophy (shrinkage) of the cerebral cortex.
Two common symptoms in infants and young children with Exercise pregnancy are abnormal arm or leg movements and seizures. One study of 15 infants and young children with neurological symptoms due to Exercise pregnancy found that 7 had seizures and 5 had tremors.10 The mean age of the children was 11.7 months, and all 15 had “neurodevelopmental retardation” and poor muscle tone.