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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Daddy's Bond Too, But In A Different Way



Friday, December 23, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Estimate Your Pregnancy Weight Gain

After one of the biggest "eating days" of the year, you may feel that you've eaten for more than two. Have you ever wondered how much weight you should gain during pregnancy? Here's a tool from to help figure it out:

Pregnancy weight gain estimator

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Some Realities and Complications of Pregnancy

We usually hear about all the wonderful parts of pregnancy. This video talks about real women and some of the realities and complications of pregnancy. Watch here:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Small Steps To Take Care Of Yourself

I think most women know that they have to take care of themselves if they want to take good care of everyone else. Here is an article that shows some small steps you can take now to take better care of yourself:

Women Strive To Take Care Of Everyone Except Themselves

"With today's busy schedules, women are the ringmasters in a never-ending family circus," stated Ms. Battaglino Cahill. "We hope that our new campaign can give women the simple lifestyle tips they need to tame their chaotic days in a healthy, holistic and positive way."

The online Wellness Center includes tips and advice in the following areas:
-- Diet & Nutrition ?

?- Small Step:? Don't pass the salt Did you know that too much sodium can raise your blood pressure and contribute to developing or worsening hypertension, the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease?

-- Fitness

?- Small Step: Get moving: The beauty of physical activity is that little bits add up to big benefits. Try adding activity into each day little by little. Unsure where to start? Keep it simple. For instance, carry your groceries into the house one bag at a time.

-- Emotional Wellbeing

?- Small Step: Laugh away stress: Laughter is a great stress reliever, but the benefits don't end there. Laughter can also strengthen the immune system, lessen food cravings and help you heal more quickly.

-- Beauty and Anti-Aging

?- Skip the sunscreen...sometimes: It may sound sacrilegious but skipping sunscreen for brief periods of time can be good for you. How? Sunshine stimulates your skin to synthesize vitamin D, which may help ward off osteoporosis and other diseases, including certain common cancers.

-- Alternative Medicine

?- Small Step: Throw your own tea party: Instead of drinking your morning caffe latte or other coffee concoction, indulge in an aromatic cup of tea. Tea, particularly green tea, is an excellent source of antioxidants called polyphenol, which may be why one Arizona study found that the more hot tea people drank (particularly tea with lemon) the less likely they were to develop squamous cell skin cancer

Monday, September 26, 2011

Excema In Babies and Children

One problem I never thought I would have is caring for my daughter's skin. She's had very sensitive skin since I brought her home from the hospital. As a matter of fact, she had already developed a spot on her bottom that was actually broken open. Fortunately, I found some zinc diaper cream and it healed right up, but now she has some patches of excema on her arms and legs. I've read a number of reasons why kids might develop this problem. We live in a very dry climate which can contribute to excema. Also, I noticed anytime I take her swimming, the chlorinated pool seems to make the problem worse. Even bathing her in a tub of warm water seems to irritate her skin.

Here is an article about how food allergies may contribute to excema and how probiotics can help:

Probiotics for Baby Eczema?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Babies May Need To "Cry It Out"...Sometimes

Although my daughter was an easy baby overall, she did go through a phase where she didn't want to go to bed and finally, because of my own need for sleep, I had to put her to bed and let her cry it out. I had heard of a system where you first let them cry for 10 min. then go in and check on them, then you increase it to 15 min. go in and check, then 20 min. and so on. I found that my daughter would finally go to sleep usually after the 15 min. check. Then about a week later, she would go to sleep right away. It was very hard to hear her cry, but eventually we both got some sleep! Read more:

What Does It Mean To Let Your Baby Cry It Out? (

From the article:

"What is ‘crying it out’?
This is a process recommended not only by some pediatricians and family doctors, but also by grandmothers the world over. “It worked in our day, it’ll work for you too,” they’ll cluck. Basically, it means to let your baby cry until she falls asleep. Sounds simple enough, but instinctively, no parent likes to hear their child cry, and especially when it becomes inconsolable, or reaches the point of actually vomiting.

Why do it?
Some parents are lucky enough to have The Dream Baby, the child who sleeps through the night from about three weeks of age. Others are frantic on a nightly basis, constantly up and tending to their excessively demanding little one who seems to need nothing but her parents’ constant attention. Diaper checked; hunger ruled out; thirst quenched; diaper checked again. The night-time routine wears everyone out … including the baby. Crying it out is often considered a last resort, but often, parents will wish they’d done it a whole lot sooner!

How to do it
Discuss the process with your medical professional for greater reassurance, but in essence, it’s a matter of putting baby to bed with all the usual cuddles and kisses, turn down the lights and tuck her in. Chances are, she’ll be up and crying in minutes. Let … her … cry. It’s agonizing and heartbreaking hearing your child cry, yes, but if you persist and avoid going in to attend to her, eventually she will get the message that this is sleep time and that no more (unnecessary) attention will be forthcoming. You may have to endure this agony for hours on end the first night, and may have to repeat it for a second, third and even fourth night.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Casting Call Pregnant Mothers and Daughters

I received this request for any of my readers who might be pregnant the same time as their daughter. Please email below if you are interested:

A MAJOR CABLE NETWORK is now casting mothers and daughters that are pregnant at the same time. We are looking for mothers and daughters who are sharing the experience of pregnancy for a new show. If you are pregnant at the same time as your daughter or mother, then we want to hear your story!! Please email your contact info, a brief description of yourself, and a recent photo to:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Reviews Of Pregnancy Books

Best Books on Pregnancy Reviews

Here is a guest post on one person's reviews of pregnancy books. 
My site:

Guest Post By Donna L Thomas

Best Pregnancy Books

There are many pregnancy books on the market and below you will find some of my favorites along with links to access them for purchase.
As any pregnant mom will tell you these guides are designed to be there for reassurance that everything is ok and YOUR pregnancy is on track. If you are interested in understanding how your unborn child is developing each week or you want to know what is actually happening with the changes in YOUR own body than these books can be excellent resources along the way.
Read these reviews of the best pregnancy books around and choose a guide or two that will go with you on your journey from conception through labor and eventually the welcome birthing event!
What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
A perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today's 25 most influential books. It's read by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book. Featuring a new look, a fresh perspective, and a friendlier-than-ever voice. Filled with up-to-date information reflecting not only what's new in pregnancy, but what's relevant to pregnant women. Detailed week-by-week fetal development section in the monthly chapters, an expanded chapter on pre-conception, and a brand new one on carrying multiples. Overflowing with tips, helpful hints, and humor (a pregnant woman's best friend), this new edition is more accessible and easier to use than ever before.
New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
A pregnancy book that enables you to have the active birth you want. With this book, you can learn to develop all your body's resources to deal with the instinctive experience of childbirth. Fully updated and extended with new information - including Water Birth and Recovery After Birth. It offers prenatal and postnatal exercises with step by step photographs. It presents a detailed section covering every aspect of Active Birth at home and in the hospital.
Birth Stories by Katrina O'Brien
Share other women's birth stories with this pregnancy book that tells you like it is. From natural birth at home to unexpected birth in the outdoors to planned Caesareans, these touchingly personal and funny tales illustrate how the method of arrival is less important than the love the child finds when it finally arrives.
The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything In Between by Ann Douglas
The ultimate guide to conception, birth, and everything in between. Unlike all those other bossy, tell-you-what-to-do titles, this funny, entertaining guide presents parents with all the facts on such hot topics as pain relief during labor, episiotomy, and circumcision, and empowers them to make informed personal choices. It's packed with tools you won't find anywhere else, including:
Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke
This pregnancy bible gives you the low-down on pregnancy and birth. Lots of factual information about the babies growth, what to expect etc. Absolutely hilarious.
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by Mayo Clinic
Would-be mothers looking for precise, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this pregnancy guide from the celebrated Mayo Clinic. week by week accounts of the baby's development, entries on how pregnancy can be affected by dozens of previous health conditions (such as HIV and diabetes), self-care tips for side effects like nausea and back pain, sidebars that explain the difference between identical and fraternal twins, etc. charts that indicate how to handle "troublesome signs and symptoms" during each three-week period. Another stellar feature is the book's even-handed series of "decision guides," which help parents make those hard (and even guilt-inducing) choices about breastfeeding, circumcision and whether or not to go back to work.
Your Pregnancy Bible by Dr Anne Deans
This pregnancy book gives practical and reassuring advice during pregnancy. Written by a team of specialists, filled with everything parents need to know about the optimum environment for a developing baby and safeguarding the mother. The book contains special fold-out sections on each of the trimesters and the birth process, week-by-week images of the developing baby, sympathetically illustrated chapters dealing with all aspects of pre-natal care, labor preparation, delivery experiences and care of the newborn, as well as comprehensive reference sections on medical treatments and procedures in both pregnancy and the post-natal period.
Conception, Pregnancy and Birth by Dr Miriam Stoppard
A comprehensive pregnancy guide to everything from conception to birth. Widely accepted as the definitive guide to pregnancy and childbirth. Stunning photography and information covers the latest developments in pregnancy and birth, from up-to-date research on how your stress levels can affect your unborn baby to developments in delivering your baby. Miriam Stoppard, MD is one of today's most popular medical personalities and has published over 40 titles.
Feeding the Bump by Lisa Neal
A pregnancy book that clearly outlines pregnancy nutrition. Divided chronologically into pre-conception, first, second and third trimesters and postpartum/breast-feeding. Provides women with all the information they need about their own and their unborn child's nutritional requirements and the best way to fulfill them. Tried and true remedies for common complaints such as morning sickness and heartburn, along with more than 100 easy-to-follow and absolutely delicious recipes. This is a must-have resource for all women wanting to maximize their unborn child's health, and their own, through what they eat.
Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy
McCarthy applies her in-your-face manner and blue humor to the subject of pregnancy and childbirth in this little piece of fun. She recounts her journey to motherhood with utter abandon; discussing topics that those other books tend to treat too gently, such as enemas, pubic hair growth, and sex in the ninth month. Women who find these topics too embarrassing to bring up now have a place to read about them in a frank and open discussion. Like a gossipy girlfriend, McCarthy brings you in and makes you laugh; there's a certain comfort in knowing that even a sex symbol gets stretch marks and balloons to 200 pounds during pregnancy.
Bonding with Your Bump by Dr Miriam Stoppard
A guide-book about falling in love with your baby before birth. Presents advice and guidance on how to fall in love with your baby before birth. Building that special relationship with your baby starts before birth. Forming a close, early bond can make a real difference to your baby's wellbeing, your feelings as a parent and in creating a loving environment for when baby arrives. up-to-the-minute research with enlightened and compassionate wisdom explains why mother-baby bonding is so vital. Learn to understand and cherish your unborn baby. This book guides you through this extraordinary time: from hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time, to the first magical days post birth.
The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood Editors: Joanne Stone MD, Keith Eddleman MD
The Pregnancy Bible covers the complete sequence of fetal development in utero week by week. Full color photography with many life-size photos which are reproduced from state-of-the-art ultrasound images. Written in an easy-to-understand style that will especially appeal to first-time parents.With 300,000 copies sold, it is the most attractive and complete guide to this important event in parents' lives. Includes authoritative information about the latest developments affecting the well-being of an expectant mother and her baby. Specifically, these include:

  • New CDC recommendations about mercury and fish
  • Update on nuchal translucency screening
  • Update on screening for genetic disorders
  • Updated information about loss rates after amniocentesis
  • New information about 3D/4D ultrasound
  • Recent trends in cesarean delivery "on demand"
  • Update on Downs syndrome screening.

The Natural Way to a Better Pregnancy by Naish & Roberts
An easy-to-follow pregnancy guide to pre-conception health. Did you know that the food you eat, the environment you live in and the lifestyle you lead in the months before you conceive a child can have a profound effect on the wellbeing of your baby? Preconception health care, as outlined in this book, can prevent miscarriage, premature and stillbirths, congenital abnormalities and has a better than 80 per cent success rate in the treatment of infertility. Did you know that by following its simple principles, you can actively help ensure your baby will be content and alert, won't suffer from colic, feeding problems or other common ailments, and will be less likely to suffer from allergies, asthma or behavioral problems? Complete, easy-to-follow guide to preconception health for BOTH prospective parents. Written by a Naturopath, herbalist, hypnotherapist and bestselling author who runs Australia's only clinic dedicated to helping people conceive happy, healthy babies naturally.
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
One of the most celebrated British authors on the sociological and anthropological aspects of birth, breast feeding, and early parenthood. This book guides readers seeking a woman-centered birth experience through the newly researched alternatives now available. five major sections: Early Weeks, Physical and Emotional Changes, Anticipating the Birth, the Experience of Birth, and You and Your Newborn, Candid information about what mothers need to know, ranging from ways to navigate the technical landscape of hospital births to making the personal choices of a water home birth. Encourages readers to construct a birth plan, make their own space, and choose an effective birth companion. With revised appendices and 300 updated photographs, drawings, and diagrams, this guide is a valuable resource for all.
The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book by Marjorie Greenfield
Dr. Marjorie Greenfield draws from her experiences as an obstetrician and working mom and from more than a hundred interviews with mothers ranging from factory workers to high-powered attorneys, to create a unique resource for working women. This up-to-date guide addresses all the subjects you would expect to find in an authoritative book on pregnancy plus issues of special concern to the 60 to 80 percent of women who hold jobs during their pregnancies:

  • Is my workplace safe for my developing baby?
  • When should I tell my employer that I am expecting?
  • How can I handle the discomforts of pregnancy when I need to work?
  • What laws will protect me when I take medical leave?

The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy: The Surprising Unbiased Truth about Foods You Should be Eating During Pregnancy but Probably Aren't by Jonny Bowden PH.D. C.N.S., Allison Tannis MS
Eat the best foods for your baby's development! Nutrition is never more critical than during pregnancy. What you choose to put on your plate affects you and your baby's health not just in utero but for years to come. Backed up by the latest nutritional research, this guide debunks pregnancy food myths and uncovers a number of surprising food choices that are superfoods for expectant mothers. This one-of-a-kind nutrition reference guide is also packed with helpful quick-reference charts and sidebars, highlighting healthy (but no less delicious!) substitutes for commonly craved foods like ice cream and potato chips. You'll also discover the most up-to-date research regarding pregnancy dilemmas, such as how to get more omega-3s from fish in your diet while avoiding mercury. Its pregnancy nutrition made easy!
Babycare Before Birth by Zita West
A pregnancy book that shares the wisdom of a fertility expert and midwife. Bringing together fascinating new research that shows during pregnancy a woman can make a dramatic difference to her unborn baby's health, well-being, development, and all-round future potential by making small adjustments to her diet and lifestyle, this amazing book explains how to give your baby the best possible start in life.
What to Expect: Eating Well When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
Provides moms-to-be with a realistic approach to navigating healthily and deliciously through the nine months of pregnancy-at home, in the office, over the holidays, in restaurants. Thorough chapters are devoted to nutrition, weight gain, food safety, the postpartum diet, and how to eat when trying to conceive again. 150 contemporary, tasty, and healthy recipes that feed mom and baby well, take little time to prepare, and are gentle on queasy tummies. Comes with a light, reader-friendly tone while delivering the most up-to-date information.
What to Expect Before You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
In the same fresh, contemporary voice that has made the 4th edition of What to Expect When You're Expecting so successful, Murkoff explains the whys and wherefores of getting your body ready for pregnancy, including pregnancy prep for both moms and dads to be. Filled with information on exercise, diet, pinpointing ovulation, lifestyle, workplace, and insurance changes you'll want to consider, and how to keep your relationship strong when you're focused on baby making all the time. There are tips for older couples; when to look for help from a fertility specialist--including the latest on fertility drugs and procedures--plus a complete fertility planner.
Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook for Today's Mothers-to-Be by Catherine Jones, Rose Ann Hudson
A volume that combines both recipes and nutritional advice aimed specifically at the mother-to-be. Balancing optimum and unnecessary weight gain with the required dietary needs for a healthy lifestyle. Addresses the requirements of diabetic, vegetarian and vegan diets. A chapter is dedicated to the vegetarian diet. Each section contains recommended pantry items for the recipes. Makes full use of convenience and semi-prepared ingredients to provide simple yet flavorful dishes. Advice on vitamins, health hazards and goals. Each recipe is preceded with the nutritional goal for baby and mother-to-be and followed by tips for cooking, storage, health, special diets as well as complete meal ideas, variations and the approximate nutritional content.
The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition, & Other Holistic Choices by Aviva Jill Romm M.D.
Reading this book is like having your own personal herbalist and midwife at your side. One of the first books to explore botanical medicine and pregnancy. Follows the woman's journey from conception to birth, focusing on natural health. Describes herbs that can promote and maintain a healthy pregnancy (along with those you should avoid during your term) and the basics of a healthy diet, with an emphasis on natural foods. Complete guide for the woman who envisions a safe pregnancy without technological intervention, as nature intended.
Donna Thomas is a mother of 3 and grandmother of 2. She is a coordinator for a Early Elementary Literacy Program and has worked in the public schools over 20 years. Check out my blog at for more information on pregnancy books.

Article Source:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Negative Life Experiences Make Us More Gullible

I guess it's no secret that people who grow up in the "school of hard knocks" may see the world differently and may have a harder time in life. But this interesting study says that the majority of these people aren't "hard-nosed", they actually end up more gullible. One item of note, this article mentions miscarriage as one of the traumas of life that can contribute to a woman not trusting her own judgement. Read more:

From the article:

The study found that while some people may indeed become more 'hard-nosed' through adversity, the majority become less trusting of their own judgement.

Kim Drake, a doctoral student at the University of Leicester, conducted the research with Professor Ray Bull and Dr Julian Boon of the School of Psychology. Kim said: "People who have experienced an adverse childhood and adolescence are more likely to come to believe information that isn't true- in short they are more suggestible, and easily mislead which may in turn impact upon their future life choices; they might succumb to peer pressure more readily."

'Adverse life experiences' examined included major personal illnesses/injuries, miscarriage (from the male and female perspective), difficulties at work (being fired/laid off), bullying at school, being a victim of crime (robbery, sexual violence), parental divorce, death of family member and others.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Natural Remedies For common Pregnancy Complaints

One thing that got me through my first three months of pregnancy was peppermint candy and eggnog. No those are not healthy things, but when you're bedridden with morning sickness, you'll try anything that doesn't involve medication. Here is an article about other natural treatments for common pregnancy complaints:

Natural Treatments for Stretch Marks and Other Pregnancy Aches

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dadchelor Parties All The Rage For First Time Dads

MSNBC reported about a new trend for first time dads called "dadchelor parties" catchy name! It's sort of the last time ad guy can go out with his friends and "sew his wild oats" before helping with all of the responsibilities that go with fatherhood. Read more:

From the article:

The parties are also a “last hurrah” for expectant first-time dads who know their lives are about to change. In that way, said Iman Jalali, 28, they’re similar to a bachelor party. But Jalali, who’s been to two forefather parties in Chicago, thinks these celebrations are more significant than the pre-wedding variety.

“In most cases, when you’re getting married, you’re engaged, you’re living together, and your (wife-to-be) is such a part of your life that, after the wedding, your life doesn’t change that much,” he said. But having your first child? That’s life-altering, added Jalali, who is single – but remarkably astute about marriage and family.

Jalali and his friends usually opt for a shave and a haircut at an old-fashioned barbershop – “a very manly thing to do” – a brewery tour, and a nice, sit-down dinner before hitting the bars. “It’s bachelor party, 2.0,” he said.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Prenatal Music

I recall an image I saw on TV before I was pregnant. I saw a woman with a pair of headphones on her pregnant belly. She was playing classical music for her baby. I'm not sure about the headphones on the belly, but here is a site that explains more about prenatal music:

Center For Prenatal Music

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Down Syndrome - One Family's Story

Yesterday, I did a post on some new research which may help with some of the symptoms of Down Syndrome. I received an email from one of my readers who has a son with Down Syndrome and with her permission, I am posting it to give everyone a broader view and to remember that these kids are a wonderful addition to their families (I am reposting this from 2008). See also one of my previous posts:

Down Syndrome - the positive side

From "Kathy":

Hi -I just read your blog entry about "Down syndrome prevention". That
research truly is very exciting, and I hope that it is successful- but I
wanted to offer another viewpoint as well.

I was 44 when my son was born with Down syndrome. At first, I was
shocked/depressed/angry (if it was a negative name it, I had

But Daniel truly has been a blessing to our entire family. He is the
youngest of our 7 kids, and the favorite of all of his siblings. He loves
his life, and, since his successful heart surgery at 8 months, has been a
very healthy child. I guess that I just wanted to say that if a woman does
find out that her unborn baby has Ds, it doesn't mean that her child won't
be able to have a good life. I wish that I had known that before Danny was
born, because it sure would have saved me a lot of grief.

I have attached a picture of Danny. He is 10 yrs old now.


Listen to the Mustn'ts, child, listen to the Don'ts.

Listen to the Shouldn'ts, the Impossibles, the Won'ts.

Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.

Anything can happen, child, Anything can be. (Shel Silverstein)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Down's Symptom Prevention

Many women who are pregnant over the age of 40 worry about the increased risk of having a child with Down Syndrome (even though the risk is still somewhat small). Here is an interesting article from about how we may be able to treat the condition in the womb. Read more:

Down's symptoms may be treatable in the womb (

From the article:

Children with Down's have an extra copy of chromosome 21, while mice engineered to have a similar condition are given an extra copy of a segment of chromosome 16. In both species, the development of certain motor and sensory abilities is delayed. These "trisomic" individuals may also have learning difficulties and symptoms of Alzheimer's later in life.

Inhibiting the neurotransmitter GABA in trisomic mice can improve cognition and some have suggested this could be used in children. It would be even better, however, to treat Down's before a child is born and so improve cognitive potential.

Previous studies both of people with Down's and trisomic mice have also revealed malfunctions in glial cells - brain cells that regulate the development of neurons by releasing certain proteins. The aberrant cells produce less of these proteins than normal. And adding segments of some of these proteins - known as NAP and SAL - to cultured neurons from people with Down's, which would otherwise degenerate, seems to protect the neurons (Current Pharmaceutical Design, DOI: 10.2174/138161207780618957).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Taking Baby Home

After nine months of pregnancy and a hospital stay for delivery, you start to rely on the constant medical supervision. Then all of a sudden, you're handed your baby, and you're on your own. It can be scary, especially if you're a first time mom. Here's an article that may help with a smooth transition:

Bringing Home Your New Baby: Making the Transition a Smooth One (

From the article:

Babies don't need a lot of "things" to be comfortable, healthy, and happy. What they need most is lots of attention, time, patience and love. However, there are some basic items to have when your baby arrives home. If this is not your first baby, you probably already know about or even have some of the basics. However, even if this is not your first child, equipment safety standards and recommendations are constantly changing, so it is best keep up-to-date on current standards. Here are some of the essentials:

Car seat: You can't leave the hospital without one. Choose one that easily fits into your car. Get help installing it (contact your local AAA or fire department). If a car seat has been in an accident or does not meet current safety standards, do not use it at all.

Place to sleep:Use a crib or other sleeping arrangement. Make sure the crib slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart and that no lead paint was used on it. The mattress for the crib needs to fit snuggly into the crib so that the baby cannot slip in between the mattress and the crib side. Babies should not sleep with pillows or other heavy bedding.

Diapers and wipes: Make sure you have some newborn sizes and a few of the next size up - infants grow quickly the first few weeks.

Stroller: For newborns and small babies, it is best to either use the sturdier traditional or "single" stroller. Always use the belt strap. Umbrella strollers are okay for toddlers, but not for babies that can't sit up on their own.

Sling carrier: An infant sling is a way for you and your baby to bond. Babies need a lot of holding and touching to nurture their emotional and physical growth. A baby sling can help you to keep your baby close and be able to talk with your baby while moving about.

First aid/emergency supplies: Ask your pediatrician about any supplies and medications (thermometer, baby acetaminophen) you should keep at home.

Sanitation/Germs: It is important to make sure you or other people in contact with the baby wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling the baby, preparing food, and of course, diapering.

Taking Baby Out: Although newborns can certainly go out, it is advised not to expose your baby to crowds, such as in shopping malls or grocery stores, because they are still very vulnerable. Babies' immune systems are not fully developed and they need time, while going through required immunizations, for their bodies to grow and adjust. Try to wait until they are at least four or five months old before exposing them to world of germs and viruses.

Safety items: Having safe, current and properly working equipment, such as car seats and strollers, is a priority. Some other things you can have to make sure your baby is safe, especially when they start to move around around, include:
Cover plugs for electrical outlets
Cabinet locks
Toilet seat locks
Safety gates for stairways or rooms off limits
Cord shorteners for blinds or any other cords that could be pulled
Corner covers to place over sharp edges or corners on furniture

Clothes: Onesies, sleepers, outerwear appropriate for the season, a couple of crib blankets, crib sheets, and receiving blankets are basic clothing items for newborns.

Play items: Babies learn through touch and taste. To help them develop, having the following items can help stimulate and amuse them:
a mobile
musical toys or toys that make noise (rattle)
soft animals
soft baby book

Friday, June 10, 2011

Your Baby's Milestones

I'll Admit, I was a bit obsessive about whether or not my daughter was on track with each of her developmental milestones. If she wasn't exactly doing what my sources said she should be, I would go into a tailspin. She usually started doing whatever it was in the next week or two. One thing I've learned is that every child develops at their own pace. Some babies walk early, some talk early, but things usually level out as they get older. Here is a quick reference on the different developmental milestones by age.

Is Your Baby On Track

From the article:

Timeline of Childhood Milestones

2 Months Smiles at the sound of your voice
3 Months Raises head and chest when lying on stomach
Grasps objects
Smiles at other people
4 Months Babbles, laughs, and tries to imitate sounds
6 Months Rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back
Moves objects from hand to hand
7 Months Responds to own name
Finds partially hidden objects
9 Months Sits without support
12 Months Walks with or without support
Says at least one word
Enjoys imitating people
18 Months Walks independently
Drinks from a cup
Says at least 15 words
2 Years Runs
Speaks in two-word sentences
Follows simple instructions
Begins make-believe play
3 Years Climbs well
Speaks in multiword sentences
Sorts objects by shape and color
4 Years Gets along with people outside the family
Draws circles and squares
Rides a tricycle
5 Years Tells name and address
Jumps, hops, and skips
Gets dressed
Counts 10 or more objects

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Medications In Pregnancy

I tried to avoid taking anything when I was pregnant, but some women do need to take medications depending on their conditions. Here is a site which gives some good information about fetal development and medications. Click through on the link below to see which medications are considered safe in pregnancy, but ALWAYS check with your doctor and/or pharmacist first:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created the following rating system in 1979 to categorize the potential risk to the fetus for a given drug.

Category A: Controlled human studies have demonstrated no fetal risk
Category B: Animal studies indicate no fetal risk, but no human studies
OR adverse effects in animals , but not in well- controlled human studies
Category C: No adequate human or animal studies,
OR adverse fetal effects in animal studies, but no available human data.
Category D: Evidence of fetal risk, but benefits outweigh risks.
Category X: Evidence of fetal risk. Risks outweigh any benefits.

Unfortunately this system oversimplifies the issues relevant to prescribing a medication to a pregnant patient. For example, the FDA system does not adequately address the risk of not treating a disease versus the risks of the medication, and there is a tendency to assume that a category B drug is safer for human use than a category C drug when there may be no human studies available to support the assumption. In addition the system is not easy to apply to combination prescription drugs with many active ingredients and the potential for drug interactions. Despite its shortcomings the FDA rating system (and others like it) will most likely continue to be used as a rapid "first screen" on the the potential risk to the fetus for a given drug.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baby Names Influenced By Popular Culture

As a college instructor for the last 11 years, I have seen a wave of names come and go. I can almost predict the age of my students just from their registration information which does not include their date of birth. Here is a video about how baby names are influenced by popular culture.

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by

Friday, April 29, 2011

Pregnancy Smoking May Cause Antisocial Behavior

Of course you already know not to smoke if you're planning to get pregnant or already pregnant.'s another reason. Smoking may be associated with antisocial behavior in the children whose mothers smoked when pregnant. Read more:

Researchers Investigate Prenatal Smoking Link With Antisocial Behavior In Children

The study is the first study of its kind in the world to allow these effects to be separated. In the published paper, the researchers looked at effects of mother's smoking in pregnancy on the child's birth weight and the child's behaviour, paying particular attention to mothers not genetically related to their unborn baby.

Professor Anita Thapar, clinical child psychiatrist and Principal Investigator on the study said: "What we have been able to confirm is that cigarette smoke in pregnancy does lower birth weight regardless of whether the mother and child are genetically related or not, but the link with children's behaviour is different. It is now clear that offspring anti-social behaviour is more dependent on inherited factors passed from mother to child, as our group of children with mothers who smoked during pregnancy with no direct genetic link showed no increased signs of anti-social behaviour. This suggests that other influencing factors such as the mother's personality traits and other inherited characteristics are at play during the development of a baby."

Professor Thapar, who is based in the School of Medicine's Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurosciences and Mental Health Interdisciplinary Research Group worked with Dr Frances Rice (first author) and Professor Gordon Harold along with other researchers from the School of Psychology. She believes this unique approach opens the way to tease apart the effect of genes and environment on a variety of other conditions in the future and has significant policy implications. She said: "This type of research is able to tell us what sorts of interventions in pregnancy are the right ones to focus on in order to improve the physical and mental health of children."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Early Menopause For Twin Sisters?

I guess it's normal to assume that twins would enter menopause at about the same time...especially identical twins. However, the study mentioned in the article below shows that this isn't always true. Read more:

Twin sisters face triple the odds of entering menopause prematurely compared to women who don't have a twin, researchers report.
"It's a three-to-five-fold increase in risk of having menopause before the age of 40," said study lead author Roger Gosden, director of reproductive biology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City...

...We do believe that the problem starts when the woman was actually a fetus, when the eggs were formed," he continued. "We believe that the infertile sister doesn't form a normal number of eggs, so she runs out of eggs earlier."
"The ovary works like an hour glass with a fixed number of eggs," Gosden explained.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Pregnancy Stress Can Cause Eating Disorders

I was surprised when I read the following article about how stress in pregnancy can cause eating disorders. The following article talks about some of the cuases of stress and how this can lead to complications in the baby. Read more:

Pregnancy stress causing eating disorders
By Rebecca Smith (

From the article:

One in 50 women develops an eating disorder while pregnant because of the stress of carrying a child, a survey has discovered.

With more than 600,000 babies born annually in the UK it could mean there are about 12,000 women who develop anorexia or bulimia while pregnant.

The findings are worrying as research has shown that eating disorders are associated with low birthweight and premature birth, which are major causes of infant death and childhood illness.

The survey was carried out by the baby charity Tommy's and found that nine in 10 women felt stressed during their pregnancy.

Doctors warned that continued stress put women at risk of miscarriage.

Stress hormones can pass into the baby's bloodstream as early as 17 weeks into the pregnancy and depression is linked to premature birth.

The survey of 1,104 pregnant women found that:

Almost two per cent of women developed an eating disorder.
One in five worried that they might not love their baby.
Almost a third were concerned about developing post-natal depression.
More than a quarter said that changes to their body was the biggest cause of stress.
Seventeen per cent were stressed due to pressure in the workplace.
Forty-one per cent were worried about money.
Nearly one third felt stressed about eating the right amount and types of food.
Philip Baker, a professor of maternal and foetal health from Manchester, said: "Current research at Tommy's Manchester Unit indicates that significant levels of stress can limit the growth of babies within the womb.

"The Tommy's study also suggests that stress increases the risk of pre-term labour, with this effect having most impact when stress is experienced around the time of conception and in early pregnancy."

Andrew Shennan, the professor of obstetrics for Tommy's, added the survey's findings were "shocking".

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

PMS and Your Nervous System

People joke about PMS and all the consequences for the women going though it and the people around them. However, now whenever anyone says it's all in our heads, we can say it's all in our nervous system. Read more:

Bad PMS May Mean A Depressed Nervous System
ScienceDaily (Dec. 20, 2007)

From the article:

"Our findings indicate that the occurrence of premenstrual symptomatology could be attributable to an altered functioning of the autonomic nervous system in the symptomatic late luteal phase," says Matsumoto. For women with PMDD, findings indicate that sympathovagal activity was altered even in the follicular phase. Matsumoto asks: "Does this imply that women with lower autonomic function regardless of the menstrual cycle are vulnerable to more severe premenstrual disorders? At the moment, the underlying biomechanisms of PMS remain enigmatic."

PMS comprises myriad non-specific physical, emotional, behavioural, and cognitive symptoms that occur in the days prior to menstruation and is nearly omnipresent in women of reproductive age from all cultures and socio-economic levels. The most prevalent symptoms include: irritability, mood lability, depression, anxiety, impulsivity, feelings of "loss of control," fatigue, decreased concentration, abdominal bloating, fluid retention, breast swelling, and general aches.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Maternity Air Mattresses

Pregnancy Over 40, Comfort With Air Mattress

Sleeping when you're pregnant can be very difficult. It's hard to find the right position and support that also allows for a larger belly.
My site:
 I had my old waterbed which I loved (I unplugged it when I was in it). However there are other alternatives. This article talks about the maternity air mattress. Read morE:

From the site:

If a maternity air bed can help a pregnant mom get a reasonably comfortable night sleep, I'm all for it. The maternity bed (one product is called the Gentle Air Maternity Bed) is a straightforward idea developed by an ob/gyn. It's an inflatable air bed with a pregnant tummy-sized hole in the middle of it. The hole apparently comes with an inflatable pillow so you can adjust the size and firmness of the tummy-opening.

Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?

However, the real question is, does this idea actually work? Does a maternity air bed help pregnant women sleep better? Understanding that no one solution will work for everyone, I would still love to know if this product is helpful.

I have looked online at pregnancy forums, listening to moms who have used a maternity air bed or the Gentle Air Maternity air bed.

* Most of the women had positive things to say about the maternity bed.
* Most who have used it reported less back and leg pain and better sleep overall, which is great news.
* There were some women who were not happy with the air bed, stating that it simply wasn't comfortable.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Pregnancy Over 40, Unusual Symptoms

Everyone is different and each pregnancy is different.  Many women experience symptoms that you may not necessarily associate with pregnancy itself.
See Also: for more on pregnancy over 40 and pregnancy after miscarriage
 People who have had a number of children will tell you that some pregnancies cause many unpleasant symptoms and others do not.

Every pregnancy is different and will have its own set of symptoms

I felt butterflies in my abdomen as early as a couple of days after a positive pregnancy test.  Even though I was told it was impossible, I felt my baby kick at 9 weeks (impossible or not, I know what I felt!)  I had horrible nausea with all of my pregnancies (even though I miscarried a number of times and "older" women aren't supposed to get as much nausea as younger women).  Even my successful pregnancy had nausea for the entire first trimester.  When I hit about 12 weeks, the nausea finally lifted.

Here are a number of other symptoms you may not have heard of:
Click Here To Read Full Article on early pregnancy symptoms and ways to know you are pregnant (

See our new line of pregnancy and fertility jewelry here  including the Bracelet with healing rose quartz and amethyst and elephant charm (used in feng shui), the Goddess protection necklace (baby caller) and the Goddess earrings to attract and protect a pregnancy

Friday, March 18, 2011

Raising Respectful Children

I was at the library with my daughter the other day and while she was at the "coloring" table, another little boy told her that she didn't color very good. His 6 year old brother immediately chimes in by saying, "she's doing a good job!"

I was very impressed by his thoughtfulness. Even a 6 year old can be respectful of other people's feelings. Here is an article about raising respectful children:

Helping Children Develop Character (

Here are some suggestions from the article:

How can teachers and caregivers apply these lessons from research on a daily basis? We can promote positive character traits in children by purposefully interacting with them in authoritative ways. Here are some suggestions:

* Listen to children. Really listen. Physically get down on the child's level. Establish eye contact. Ask questions. Remember what you've heard.

* Set high but reasonable standards. If standards are stated as rules, keep them short, specific, and positive. Example: Walk indoors; or wear a paint shirt at the easel.

* Explain why. Tell Jason why he cannot swing and slash the air with a wooden ruler. Example: I am worried that your friends might get hurt with the ruler. Please use it to measure.

* Negotiate a reasonable solution. Solutions should enable the child to fulfill his or her goals whenever possible. Example: Max wants to help Sam work a puzzle, but Sam wants to do it alone. Help Sam explain his point of view and ask if he would tell Max when he is finished using the puzzle.

* Ask. Never jump to conclusions about the motives behind a child's behavior. Give the child a chance to explain. We all deserve a hearing or chance to tell our side. Example: Kathy, why are you pulling the chair out from under Rachel?

* Offer real choices. Children should be able to select the centers and activities in which they wish to participate. They may be given choices about which story to have read, whether they want carrots or celery for snack, or which friend to sit beside during group meetings. Sometimes choices need to be limited to acceptable options only. Example: You may hammer at the workbench or you may work at another center. If you choose to hammer then you must wear goggles to be safe. Do you choose the workbench and goggles or do you choose another center?

* Value ideas and opinions. Ask, "What do you think of that?" Story times may offer many opportunities for children to express their thoughts as they discuss story characters and events. Children can also be asked their opinions about daily happenings in casual conversations.

* Encourage independence. Provide materials and supplies where children can get to them on their own. Encourage children to try to take care of their own self-help needs. Resist the temptation to do those small but important tasks for children. A child can button his or her own paint shirt, zip his or her own coat (after you get it started), put his or her art work in his or her own school bag, and write as much of his or her own name on paintings as possible.

* Use redirection. Redirection and diversion are particularly effective with the very young. Example: The caregiver might entice the child to become interested in a different activity or suggest trying the same activity with a variation. When using redirection and diversion the caregiver might spend a few minutes playing with the child to move play in a more positive direction.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Reading To Kids: They Take It Literally

I recall being told to start reading to my daughter back when she was only 6 months old. We read tons of baby and children's books, even though I knew she couldn't understand most of it. Many of these books don't include factual information because they're fun an whimsical. However according to the article below, kids may take the information they read (or that is read to them) and truly believe it.

Tots, don't believe everything you read (

From the above article:

Fifty-two children listened to stories over headphones while looking at illustrations. They were then asked a series of questions (such as, "what's another word for autumn? Is it spring or fall?"). In some cases, but not all, these questions pertained to information that had come up in the stories. The results showed that children answered these questions correctly most often when they had heard a true version of the story, less often when the story hadn't discussed the topic, and least often when it gave wrong information.

Older children volunteered wrong answers more often than younger kids did (13% versus 6%) when the questions were presented as fill-in-the-blank format. The littlest ones, meanwhile, chose false "facts" more often in multiple-choice questions (27% versus 21%). The authors say this is because older children have better memories — meaning they can recall more general knowledge when asked to pick from a list but that they also "lock in" the brand-new information they hear better than younger kids, even when that information isn't true.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy President's Weekend

I will be away Friday and Monday, but have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Good Resource For Mothers Over 40

Since becoming a mother later in life is becoming so common, I'm always finding, hearing or being notified about new sites and resources which address the unique joys and challenges associated with older motherhood. Here is a link to a site called "" It looks like a great resource and they're starting chapters all around the country. Read more:

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