Friday, September 29, 2006

The Brits are pissed.

It's never too long before the latest craze to sweep America makes its way to the UK, but most would wish this one really hadn't.

Celebrity wigs designed for babies up to nine months old and are set to hit the market, to the outrage of children's charities.

There's a Bob Marley style dreadlock wig, a Samuel L Jackson afro as seen in movie Pulp Fiction and a Donald Trump comb-over - perhaps for that mature look.

For the girls, there's flowing pink locks based on singer Lil' Kim.

But Michelle Elliott of Kidscape said as well as unnecessary, the wigs could be dangerous.

"This is ridiculous. Any parent who buys one of these wigs for their child needs their head examined."

Wigs are incredibly uncomfortable for a start. Babies are wonderful but dirty little things and the last thing they need is a wig."

The wigs are manufactured by California-based firm BabyToupee and cost $24.99.

The firm's website says its aim is to "show that while parenting can be a great responsibility, it can also be a source of endless amusement."

Founder Graham Farrar said: "Having a baby doesn't mean you have to stop having fun or do everything by the book. We don' take ourselves or our products too seriously."

From The Daily Mail

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Q & A with Dr. Stotland

Putting on a few extra pounds during pregnancy has been thought to be a normal and healthy part of the gestational process. But what happens when a woman gains too much weight, or too little? According to data published this month in Obstetrics & Gynecology, babies of women who gain more than the upper limit of Institute of Medicine (IOM)-recommended guidelines during their pregnancy may be subject to a myriad of adverse conditions immediately following birth.

Translated, this means that a woman at a normal weight based on body mass index (BMI) standards has a cutoff of gaining up to 35 pounds, or she can be at risk for adverse neonatal outcomes. Normal-weight women who gain less than 15 pounds are also found to be at risk.

Lead author Naomi Stotland, MD, assistant adjunct professor in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, took a moment to comment on the findings.

Q. We know that excessive weight gain has been shown to have adverse effects for mothers. How is this study different?

A. We focused on specific outcomes or illnesses of the infant immediately after birth, while many of the previous studies looked primarily at birthweight. We looked at some of the conditions that occur and at the relationship between occurrence and weight gained during pregnancy.

Among the conditions that we charted were birth trauma, neonatal infection such as neonatal sepsis or pneumonia, low blood oxygen, five-minute Apgar score less than 7, seizures, hypoglycemia, polycythemia, meconium respiratory distress, jaundice, anemia, aspiration syndrome and size of infant for gestational age. In circumstances where low weight gain occurred, we also ascertained what, if any, of these same conditions appeared.

Q. What were some of the conclusions, as they relate to specific outcomes?

A. For women who had high weight gain, there were higher rates of babies with a five-minute Apgar score less than 7. This is a test that tells how well the newborn adapts to the environment outside the womb; an 8 to 10 score in this test indicates a healthy baby. We also saw higher rates of need for assisted ventilation, larger-sized infants, neonatal infections, hypoglycemia, seizure, and special care nursery admission and longer hospital stays.

Except for lower birthweights, we didn’t see increased risks associated with overall weight gain below the IOM guidelines. But when we looked at women with very low gain — less than 15 pounds — rates of these complications were increased, as well.

Q. What about obese women who gain excessive weight while pregnant?

A. In previous research, we had found that women classified as overweight or obese, according to their pre-pregnancy BMI, were more likely to gain above the IOM guidelines. In fact, women who gained above the IOM guidelines were also more likely to undergo cesarean delivery and have infants with higher birthweights. Since we were looking at fairly uncommon complications of the newborn, we didn’t have enough subjects to look for differences between obese women and normal-weight women with regard to the findings of our study.

Our cohort was very large: The study consisted of reviewing data from 20,465 births at UCSF between 1980 and 2001. Of these, over 43 percent gained an amount that was above the IOM-recommended guidelines. Even though 36.6 percent were within the IOM guidelines, over 20 percent were below. Of these figures, 29 percent of the 43 percent above the guidelines gained more than 40 pounds, and 4.8 percent gained less than seven pounds.

Q. Should pregnant women now be more conscientious when it comes to staying within certain weight ranges?

A. Many pregnant women gain too much weight. Looking at this from a population standpoint, women who gain within the ranges are more likely to have healthy, full-term babies. While there are risks associated with excessive weight gain, many women with high weight gain have healthy babies and do just fine. We don’t know if the relationship between high weight gain and infant complications is cause and effect, or related to some other unmeasured factor. However, we also know that women who gain too much weight are more likely to retain this weight postpartum, and that can lead to adverse health effects for mothers long term.

Q. What do we learn from this?

A. Pregnancy is a great time to work on healthy habits because there is an extra incentive — to have a healthy baby. Women should perhaps not fixate on the number of pounds, but concentrate on healthy lifestyle changes.

By Nancy Chan

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Diddy & Kim: Twin Girls!

He has two sons, and Sean "Diddy" Combs is about to find out what having daughters is like. "I'm having twin girls," Diddy, 36, tells Vibe in its November issue, the Associated Press reports. "People say, to a so-called ladies' man or whatever, that when you have girls it changes you," says Diddy, whose new album, Press Play, is due Oct. 17. "So I was like, 'What's God trying to tell me by giving me two girls?' When I pray every morning, I thank God for showing me what he showed me while I still have a chance to enjoy myself." The music mogul told People magazine this week that when he learned Porter was expecting twins he was utterly shocked. "To see it for someone else it's like, 'Okay, they are having twins, that's cool.' But to think you are having twins, I never would have thought that in a million years. It goes to show just how great God is." Diddy also tells Vibe he "would love to get married" – but not quite yet. "I didn't grow up around a married family, so it's taking me a bit longer," he says. "A lot of guys out there get married, and they still do their own thing. I don't want to get married and fail." Diddy announced Porter's pregnancy in August. Later, he revealed she was expecting twins in a video posted on his page, but didn't disclose the babies' sex. Porter is due in December. "After Tom and Kate, and Brad and Angelina, I had to find a way to top them all," Diddy said earlier this month. "This is truly a blessing and we're really happy about the news." Diddy and Porter have an 8-year-old son, Christian, and Diddy has a 12-year-old son, Justin, with fashion stylist Misa Hylton-Brim.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Guess who's having a "really big sale"?

I've always been a big fan of Gap - babyGap, GapKids, GapMaternity, you name it - so imagine my excitement when I went to this afternoon and read the news. For a limited time, the popular brand is offering significantly lower prices on hundreds of items both in stores and online. So maybe your feet have been swollen for seven months and you don't feel much like hitting the mall. Online shopping has been a godsend, but those ridiculous shipping costs really add up. All you have to do is find $100 worth of clothes on and you'll get the best of both worlds: shopping in the comfort of your own home and free shipping. Talk about more for your money. This little cotton number is only $24.99. I already bought one for myself. And these. Oh, and this! I may not be pregnant right now, but a smart mom knows a good sale when she sees one.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Smoking to lose pregnancy weight?

Weight-gain worries may help drive women who quit smoking during their pregnancy to start up again after delivery, new research shows.

U.S. researchers interviewed 119 pregnant women in their third trimester who had smoked at least eight cigarettes a day but quit when they became pregnant.

Of those women, 65 percent said they were highly motivated to avoid cigarettes after delivery, and 74 percent of expressed confidence that they'd be able to do so.

"Motivated women were more likely to say they could control their weight without smoking and less likely to say they used smoking to control their weight," study author Michele Levine, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said in a prepared statement.

The study also found that women who were motivated to remain cigarette-free after delivery were also more likely to say they planned to breast-feed their babies.

The findings dealt only with what the women said they intended to do after delivery, not what they actually did, noted Boston psychologist Elyse Park, who was not involved in the study.

"Most women who are smoking want to quit during pregnancy, but the reality is that very few of them are able to do so. Even in women who are successful, very few are able to maintain quitting," Park said in a prepared statement.