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Monday, June 30, 2014


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Fertility Necklace with Moonstone, Rose Quartz

Friday, June 27, 2014


Snowballs for Sperm

If the man in your life has suboptimal fertility, you may want to look into ways to keep his testicles cool.   Our modern lifestyle isn't always good for sperm production.  The use of laptops, heated car seats, working out excessively and more can affect sperm production.  Men with fertility problems may actually have a higher testicular temperature than men without fertility problems.  There is a product called "Snowballs" (click here for more information).
There seems to be a debate as to whether boxers or briefs are better for fertility. Snowballs are a special kind of underwear that have freezable gel wedges that supply the cooling power to the organic cotton. 


Thursday, June 26, 2014


Pregnancy Over 40 and Pesticides

I previously published an article about how pesticide exposure in pregnancy can affect the child's IQ. I've also heard that if you examine the breast tissue of most women, you will find pesticides and other hormone disrupting chemicals.
 That's scary since most women don't live near areas where these chemicals are sprayed. We're just exposed to them in our day to day lives. Pregnant women are no exception.  The University of Granada found that there were fifteen different pesticide chemicals and substances found in pregnant women.  Substances called organochlorines could affect a baby's urogenital system development.
It's hard to avoid these substances because they can not only be in our food, but also our water, air and soil.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014


What is the best side to sleep on in pregnancy?

Being pregnant can be quite an uncomfortable experience, especially when lying in bed.  When I was pregnant, I had an old fashioned waterbed.  This was very nice when I had a big belly, because the bed had a lot of "give" when I was laying down.  I should mention, however, that I ALWAYS unplugged the heater when I was in it for fear that the EMF's (electromagnetic fields) would hurt my pregnancy.

So what is the best sleep position for pregnant women?


Most experts agree that sleeping on your left side is best.  It creates the best alignment and can increase the blood flow to you and your baby.  Sleeping on your left can also assist your body in eliminating fluids and waste which will help avoid swelling of the legs, feet and extremities. If you are not used to sleeping on your left side, start training yourself either before you get pregnant or early in your pregnancy.

Sleeping on your back is not recommended because it puts too much pressure on your spine and lower blood vessels and it can make breathing difficult.  It can also cause a decrease in blood pressure or, in some women, an increase in blood pressure.

Sleeping on your right side isn't necessarily bad, but the optimal position is on your left.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Pregnancy Over 40:  Fertile Times Of The Month May Change Behavior

Have you ever gotten those "bad vibes" from other women?
 Even when you don't even know them? The article below confirms what I have suspected for a long time, women tend to judge each other more harshly and this is especially true on their "fertile days". If nothing else, I found this article amusing! Read more:


When women are at their most fertile they seem to judge the attractiveness of other women more harshly, say researchers in a new study. This could be a strategy to get the best mate and devalue the competition, says the researcher in this study.

It seems that intrasexual rivalry in humans is not just limited to men. Recent studies indicate that females are just as competitive during their most fertile days in their menstrual cycle.

In this study, heterosexual females were shown photos of faces. Maryanne Fisher, psychologist at York University, Toronto, Canada, found that when women were at the most fertile time during their menstrual cycle they seemed more critical about other women's attractiveness.

She said that there seems to be a great deal of evidence that women are not the kind-hearted, cooperative people we are brought up to believe. They can be indirectly aggressive. 


Saturday, June 21, 2014


Pregnancy Over 40 and Severe Nausea and Vomiting

You've probably already heard of hyperemesis gravidarum, but if you haven't, that's a fancy way of saying severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
 I didn't have this condition, but I did have fairly severe nausea with some vomiting. I barely left the house my entire first trimester. Here is a site devoted to helping women with hyperemesis gravidarum:

From the article:


There are numerous theories regarding the etiology of hyperemesis gravidarum. Unfortunately, HG is not fully understood and conclusive research on its potential cause is rare. New theories and findings emerge every year, substantiating that it is a complex physiological disease likely caused by multiple factors.

Diagnosis is usually made by measuring weight loss, checking for ketones, and assessing the overall condition of the mother. If she meets the standard criteria and is having difficulty performing her daily activities, medications and/or other treatments are typically offered.

Treating HG is very challenging and early intervention is critical. HG is a multifaceted disease that should be approached with a broad view of possible etiologies and complications. When treating mothers with HG, preventing and correcting nutritional deficiencies is a high priority to promote a healthy outcome for mother and child.

Most studies examining the risks and outcomes for a pregnant woman with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy find no detrimental effects long-term for milder cases. Those with more severe symptoms that lead to complications, severe weight loss, and/or prolonged nausea and vomiting are at greatest risk of adverse outcomes for both mother and child. The risk increases if medical intervention is inadequate or delayed.

The list of potential complications due to repeated vomiting or severe nausea is extensive, all of which may worsen symptoms. Common complications from nausea and vomiting include debilitating fatigue, gastric irritation, ketosis, and malnutrition. Aggressive care early in pregnancy is very important to prevent these and more life-threatening complications such as central pontine myolinolysis or Wernicke's encephalopathy. After pregnancy and in preparation of future ones, it is important to address any resulting physical and psychological complications.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum impacts societies, families and individuals. Recent, conservative estimations suggest HG costs nearly $200 million annually just for inpatient hospitalization. Considering many women are treated outside the hospital to save costs, the actual cost is likely many times greater. Beyond financial impact, many family relationships dissolve and future family plans are almost always limited. Women often lose their employment because of HG, and women are frequently undertreated and left feeling stigmatized by a disease erroneously presumed to be psychological.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Pregnancy Over 40, How To Deal With Heartburn

I guess I was fortunate that I only had one bout of heartburn when I was pregnant. I was surprised how painful it was and I finally understood why they call it heartburn because you feel a burning sensation high in your chest.
Here are some things to prevent heartburn:
  • Do not wear tight clothing, looser clothing will help prevent the squeezing of your abdomen and the resulting pressure and heartburn
  • Do not overeat in one sitting, a full stomach can make symptoms worse causing reflux and the sensation of heartburn
  • Do not eat close to bed time when you will be laying down.  This is especially true with greasy foods, spicy foods
  • Elevate your head when in bed or laying down. This will physically keep the acid from moving up.
  • Of course, do not smoke or drink and avoid caffeinated beverages


Thursday, June 19, 2014


Many articles have been written about some of the strange and unusual ways that women knew they were pregnant.  For me, the nausea started almost immediately along with "butterflies" in my stomach and I swear I felt something move in there.  Sore breasts were another sure way that I knew something new was happening.  I've even knew one woman who said she felt herself conceive. 
This article talks more about some interesting and not so common signs and symptoms of pregnancy:


Friday, June 13, 2014


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Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Aspartame and Artificial Sweeteners Could Be a Problem In Pregnancy

There have been many debates about the safety of artificial sweeteners.
 Some sources say you should avoid them at all costs and other sources (like the FDA) say sweeteners like Aspartame are safe. However, most agree that if you're pregnant, it's best to avoid most things in the "articifial" category. This article talks about how diet sodas should be avoided when pregnant. Read more:

Mothers-to-be who down cans of fizzy drink containing artificial sweeteners could be at greater risk of having a premature baby.

Research funded by the EU found a correlation between the amount of diet drink consumed and an early birth among the 60,000 women studied.

Many had switched from sugary drinks to those with artificial sweeteners believing they were a healthier option.

But this study suggests that drinks using sweeteners, such as aspartame, carried dangers for the unborn child.

Some British public health experts are now advising expectant mothers to avoid food and drink containing the chemical

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Snoring and children's health

I've written before about how snoring in pregnancy may be a sign of a more serious problem. We usually hear about the health dangers of snoring in adults who may actually stop breathing for short intervals while they sleep.   However, children can snore too and there could be long-term consequences. Here is an article that associates snoring in children with their intelligence:

"Researchers at the University of Virginia (UV) Health System say that children with sleep disorders face risks of intellectual impairment. Working with children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids, the researchers discovered that youngsters who snore nightly scored significantly lower on vocabulary tests than those who snore less often. "Vocabulary scores are known to be the best single predictor of a child's IQ and the strongest predictor of academic success," said UV's Paul M. Suratt.

Worryingly, Suratt says that the vocabulary differences associated with nightly snoring are equivalent to the IQ dissimilarities attributed to lead exposure. "Studies show that, even at nontoxic levels, lead exposure can reduce a child's IQ by more than seven points. We've also found that obstructive sleep disordered breathing occurs more often in African American children and, therefore, places them at greater risk of cognitive impairment," he noted.

Sleep disorders can be intellectually and behaviorally detrimental to children because they interrupt the deep sleep patterns needed for healthy development. At night, children with sleep disorders can be observed snoring, snorting, gasping, tossing and turning. During the day, these children can be irritable, hyperactive and unable to concentrate."

from:  (

Monday, June 09, 2014


Feng Shui For Baby!  Preparing For Your Special Day - All Your Questions Answered!

Guest Post By Fay Chapple

Congratulations!  A new baby is truly a miracle and there is no better way to prepare a baby's room for your new miracle then incorporating Feng Shui!  Creating a space for your baby is a labour of love!
If you have the luxury of plenty of space and choices for the baby's new room then it would be very beneficial if you can avoid the following:
Any room over the garage in not a good choice - Baby needs to sleep over something solid, Any room over a storage area is not a good choice, Any room that is open to excessive noise is not a good choice.
So what would be an ideal location?
o    A quiet room
o    A room with a beautiful view
o    For boys a room in the north and east
o    For girls a room in the south, west or southwest
o    A good flow of energy (nothing blocking your path from the door to the crib!) a good healthy flow of chi will lead to a healthier and happier baby!


What's the most important thing to do first?
o    Quite simply, in Feng Shui the number one thing you can do to prepare a room is to clear the clutter.  Make sure that everything not pertaining to baby is out of the room. Make sure that you repair anything that is broken, replace anything that is missing.  The room should be in very good shape before baby comes home!  Ensure you clean the room with organic healthy toxic free cleaners.
o    When you move in the furniture don't store anything under the crib - again creating clutter!
o    Ensure your clear the space and rid it of any old energies - you are starting with a clean slate.  You can clear your space by burning incense, ring a bell, clapping your hand or opening the windows on a beautiful sunny day for a couple of hours!
What about furniture?
o    As with all Feng Shui the baby's crib should have a view of the door so they are not surprised when someone enters the room.  The bed head (or headboard) should be against a solid wall.
o    Do not place the crib against a wall attached to a bathroom if possible
o    Furniture with rounded edges is your best choice.  If your change table or dresser has sharp corners ensure that none of the corners are pointing directly at baby's head or body.
Are traditional Wall Colours Good?
o    Certainly traditional wall colours are good but if you want to paint the walls in accordance with Feng Shui principles you will need to consult the Feng Shui energy map!  Called the "Bagua"  when you direction which direction your baby's room falls into it will lead you to the colour that is ideal for the sector
o    Do you want to personalize it even further?  Then determine the baby's KUA number and paint it in one of the baby's auspicious colours!
o    Still not sure?  White is the principle colour for Children and Creativity.  You can use white on the walls or white as accents.
What about bright Primary Colours?
o    Bold, bright colours are considered to be to much Yang (aggressive) colours for babies.  Stick with soft, muted and pale Yang colours for optimum health and relaxation including soft yellow, soft greens, pale blues, turquoise and pink!
I was thinking of a jungle theme what do you think?
o    Too much stimulus is just as bad for baby as not enough.
o    It is better to stick to soothing nature scenes without actual animals in them
o    Water themes are popular but are deemed to cause health problems with babies according to Feng Shui principles
o    When decorating be guided by your own senses.  The baby's room is a place that should be relaxing, nurturing and soothing.  You will rock your baby in this room, you will bond with your baby in this room, you will play with the baby in this room, so when you close your eyes and imagine yourself rocking your baby to sleep what do you see?  Go with your instincts not what  someone else tells you is right.
o    Try to use as many natural fiber products as possible in bedding, drapes, pillow and rugs.
Do I need blinds - or should I let all the light I can in the room?
o    Babies are sensitive and they need a subtle combination of lighting - a perfect balance of yin and yang.  Warm soothing light in the morning, and quiet and restful lighting at night.  Blinds are a good option that would allow you to monitor the level of light that you let in.
o    Different sources of lighting should be available at different times of the day. Soft and night lights for the evening, Bright lights for dark rainy days, Good medium day time lighting
Do you have any other great tips?
o    Keep electrical appliances including telephones, baby monitors and alarm clocks away from the crib (at least 3 feet away from baby's head)
o    Essential oils in soft lavender, chamomile, rose or vanilla will soothe baby.
o    Soothing relaxing sounds are good for baby while sleeping whether it's a relaxing music cd, the soft ticking of a clock, a small soft fan or anything else that imparts calmness into the room.
o    In order to create good energy movement - place mobiles  or small soft wind chimes either near change table or by windows to encourage the flow of chi - never place the mobile above the baby's head as it is to stimulating.
The addition of a baby is truly a joy.  Take time and pleasure in designing your baby's new room  - after all not everyone is lucky to have such an miraculous opportunity!
© Copyright  2007 Fay Chapple
Fay Chapple is an International Feng Shui Expert and is Principal of the award winning Home & Life Design Firm Blue Avalon.
Blue Avalon specializes in Interior Decorating, Feng Shui and Abundant Living.  Blue Avalon is the publisher of The Blue Avalon Journal, a monthly e-zine packed with ideas, tips and insider secrets!  To subscribe log on to our site at and you'll receive a bonus book, The Number One Feng Shui Secret That Will Transform Your Life!
Blue Avalon - "Harmony for your home... Balance for your life!"
Article Source:!--Preparing-For-Your-Special-Day---All-Your-Questions-Answered!&id=964579

Saturday, June 07, 2014


Resolve Pregnancy Constipation with these changes

Not only are greens a great source of fiber, but they are a great  source of nutrition and folic acid for pregnant women.  If you don't  have time to cook, many grocery stores now carry prewashed and  ready-to-eat kale.  
It's not very fun to talk about, but constipation is a big problem in pregnancy.  Here is an article that discusses the causes and what you can do about it.  Personally I found eating greens like collard greens and red chard worked wonders along with drinking lots of water. Read more:
A simple stool softener is safe to take in any trimester in pregnancy. But don't take any other type of laxative without first discussing it with your doctor.

Stool softeners (Colace, Surfak, others) add moisture to stool, which makes stool easier to pass. The active ingredients in these products aren't absorbed by the body, so they're unlikely to have an adverse effect on the fetus.

Constipation is common in pregnancy for several reasons, including:

Hormone changes. An increase in the hormone progesterone during pregnancy slows the digestive process.
Iron supplements. Often given to prevent anemia in pregnancy, iron supplements can make constipation worse.
Changes in digestion. Your colon absorbs more water during pregnancy, which makes less water available for stool, resulting in harder stool.
Some tips for managing constipation during pregnancy include the following:

Eat on a regular schedule. Small, frequent meals can help ward off constipation.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Aim for eight 8-ounces glasses a day.
Exercise every day. Simple activities, such as daily walks, can be effective.
Eat high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Try fiber supplements, such as psyllium powder, Metamucil or Citrucel.
If iron supplements are contributing to constipation, your doctor may adjust your dosage. 

from bluecross/blueshield

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


Pesticides and Autism Link

There seem to be many theories about why so many kids are being diagnosed with autism nowadays. Some say that there are more kids with autism just because they've widened the definition to include many disorders on the autism spectrum. However, every so often, I find articles like the one below which links autism to environmental toxins. Read more:

LOS ANGELES, July 30 (UPI) -- A study by California state health officials links farm fields sprayed with certain pesticides to an increase in the number of autistic children.

The study, which targets organochlorine pesticides, is to be published on Monday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The rate of autism among children who lived near the fields was very high, suggesting exposure in the womb could play a role. The study is the first to link pesticides to autism, which affects one in every 100 children, the Times reported.

The study suggests that the farther the women lived from the fields, the less likely they were to give birth to children with autism.


Preventing Peanut Allergies

Have you ever noticed that so many kids are allergic to peanuts?  When I was pregnant, I had been told and I has read that eating peanut butter may predispose your kid to peanut allergies.  However, recently I've read that eating peanuts in pregnancy can actually lower your child's risk of being allergic to peanuts (assuming you are not already allergic to nuts).  It's confusing, but even though my daughter has a number of allergies, peanuts are not one of them.  Read more about why so many kids may be allergic to nuts:

Theories abound, though, and most involve an overactive immune system. "We have done such a good job of eliminating the threats that the immune system is supposed to manage, that it's looking for something to do," says Anne Muñoz-Furlong, CEO of the nonprofit Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. Parents feed their kids more handy snacks these days, she says, and many of those contain peanuts or their derivatives. "We're bombarding the immune system with these [food-based] allergens, so it's attacking those instead." Indeed, food allergies in general are on the rise.

But peanuts seem to trigger especially violent immune reactions. This might be because they contain several proteins not found in most other foods, posits Robert Wood, an allergy specialist at Johns Hopkins University, and the structure of these proteins stimulates a strong immune response. Research suggests that roasting peanuts, as American companies do, might alter the proteins' shape, making them an even bigger target. Allergy rates are lower in China, where it's customary to boil peanuts, which damages the proteins less. (It's worth noting, though, that China is also more polluted, so people's immune system might be concentrating on traditional threats.)

Typically, the immune system treats peanuts as safe, but some scientists believe that early and heavy exposure to peanut products might cause it to misidentify them as dangerous. This theory is strengthened by the fact that 8 out of 10 allergic kids have a reaction the first time they eat a peanut, indicating a previous indirect exposure, possibly even in the womb or through breast milk.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014


Pregnancy Heartbeat - Prenatal Music Stimulation and Your Unborn Child

Guest Post By Catherine L Pittman

Once upon a time a device called the "walkman" was invented, making music more portable. In today's world, iPods, MP3 players, cell phones and other small computing devices have made it even more easily accessible and portable than ever before. Expecting mommies can even find belly gear with built-in speakers specifically for baby's listening pleasure in utero!
The Science of Prenatal Music
Researchers now know that music affects us in many ways. The medical profession has found its use in patient rooms and intensive care helps premature babies and patients with serious illness. New studies are being conducted to research how it actually affects babies in the womb. While these studies are still in their infancy, studies performed all conclude that prenatal music stimulation of baby's auditory senses is very beneficial.The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby not only acts as a protective barrier, but conducts sound very well. Your unborn child is able to clearly hear your voice, music and other external sounds that surround your daily life, and will react to those sounds through an increased heart rate and movement. This has led many researchers to believe there is more to hearing than our ears.
Some believe the use of music stimuli while in the womb may well be the building blocks for intellectual development or musical abilities. There is currently no sound evidence to support claims that listening to music while in the womb will actually increase your child's intelligence, or make your child more musically inclined. However, the studies have found that babies serenaded to before birth respond to and remember the music played long after birth.
Benefits to You and Your Child

Your unborn child has an incredible ability to feel your emotions and know your state of mind, and will react according to your moods and emotions. Whether or not you believe prenatal music can make your child more intelligent or more prone to musical abilities, there are definitely benefits proven beneficial when used during pregnancy.
  • Reduces stress-levels for both baby and mother during pregnancy
  • Begins the bonding process, giving you the opportunity to make an early life-long connection with your child
  • Calming music relaxes even the most agitated baby, placing you and your child in a calm and tranquil state
  • Baby will benefit from the hormones mommy produces when she is relaxed and happy!
  • It provides the building blocks for later brain development
  • Prenatal music is baby's first memory skill
  • Facilitates and enhances baby's physical and emotional well-being
  • Singing lullabies nurtures early communication through the language of music
  • Music creates a bridge from baby's inner womb environment to the outer world
  • Studies and mothers alike have found singing lullabies to baby in utero facilitates sleeping habits after birth; baby remembers the feeling of warmth and comfort of the womb, as well as the song!

Your unborn baby is surrounded by rich and diversified internal rhythmic sounds, which include your breathing, heart beat, physical movements and baby's own cardiovascular pulsations and movements. Because of these internal sounds, outside sounds must be slightly louder than the internal environment, but not so loud that it agitates baby.
Vibrations of the instruments can be felt directly by your body because sound waves travel through matter, which includes your womb aided by the sound conduction of the amniotic fluid. The choice of music as well as the frequency and pitch affects both you and your child. Whether you prefer The Beatles, New Age, Classical music or want to play and sing lullabies, keep it at a lower frequency---one that provides comfortable listening levels for you and baby.
Prenatal music stimulation should be used in moderation. Overstimulation can cause discomfort and agitation for both mother and child.
There is no doubt that your unborn child can respond to external sounds heard while in the comfort of the womb. The gentle strains of lullabies and soft music can act as a balm to nourish the soul. It truly encompasses all aspects of life, affecting us as well as healing our body, heart, mind and spirit.

(c) Copyright April 2010 Catherine L Pittman - All Rights Reserved
About the Author
Catherine currently resides in Oregon, and is the owner, songwriter and main vocalist for the music production company, Pitter Patter Productions. The company has been producing its own line of original award-winning music for children since 1992, specializing in lullabies and music for toddlers and preschoolers. MP3 downloads of our songs and albums are available at, CD Baby and iTunes. CD's are available at: http://www.pitterpatterproductions.comParents: Receive a FREE sampler album download when subscribing to our e-magazine, Parent Patter Magazine. The sampler album includes songs from all of our current and soon to be released albums. Subscribe at:
Article Source:

Monday, June 02, 2014


Can you eat during labor? Does it lead to complications?

I remember when my husband and I went through our prenatal classes.  Our instructor said that some women are allowed to eat (depending on the facility they are in) and other women are not.  The logic is that if a woman is allowed to eat, and complications should arise requiring a C-Section, food in the stomach could cause complications.
I wish I would have known about the study cited below before I went into labor. I was induced, so I was told I could not eat anything that day. It was really tough to be starving and then having to go through labor on an empty stomach causing very low energy. I've heard different hospitals have different policies - so check it out ahead of time. Read more:

The review, published by the respected Cochrane Library, found that there were no extra risks.

They recommend that women should be allowed to eat and drink as they want, especially if they are at a low risk of complications.

Previously doctors have been concerned that patients who ate during labour could develop Mendelson’s syndrome, which can cause potentially fatal damage to the lungs.

The rare complication happens if pieces of regurgitated food are inhaled when patients are under general anaesthetic, for example during a Caesarean section operation.

The review looked at five studies involving a total of 3,130 women, around half of whom were allowed to eat or drink and half who were not.

They found no benefit from limiting food or water, especially in the number of Caesareans needed, a key indicator of labour progression. 


Sunday, June 01, 2014


Pregnancy Over 40 and Morning Sickness

I can certainly vouch for the fact that curing morning sickness may be a wish but not a reality.  I've read many articles about natural remedies for morning sickness...everything from when to eat, what to eat, the amount to eat and other natural treatments like acupuncture, acupressure wrist bands and so on.  My morning sickness (which lasted all day) wasn't just in my felt like I had the flu.  I kept taking my temperature because I was sure I had a fever, but I didn't.
 I tried a number of different non-medical approaches and none of them worked very well. Probably the thing that worked the best for me was sucking on peppermint candy. But, as I mentioned before, morning sickness leads to healthy pregnancies.

From the article:

The review published by the respected Cochrane Library examined studies on commonly used treatments, including ginger, acupuncture, antihistamines and anti-vomiting drugs.

In six studies of acupressure – using fingers to apply pressure to various key points in the body – and two of acupuncture there were no significant differences in those using the techniques and those using shame ones.

One study of acustimulation – using a mild electric current on acupuncture points- did however, find some improvement over three weeks.

The reviewers said there was 'limited evidence' of an effect of ginger in relieving nausea, as there was for vitamin B6, antihistamines and anti-vomiting drugs including the antenatal drug Debendox.

Ginger caused heartburn in some people, they added and anti-vomiting drugs caused drowsiness in some.

 Lead researcher Dr Anne Matthews, of the School of Nursing at Dublin City University in Dublin, Ireland, said: "A number of the studies we looked at appeared to show benefits, but in general the results were inconsistent and it was difficult to draw firm conclusions about any one treatment in particular.

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