Friday, April 24, 2009

Recession-friendly idea: throw an heirloom baby shower!

The heirloom shower is all about cherished childhood memories and passing down treasured items or advice instead of consumer goods. It is a sweet, coin-saving incentive to gather friends to celebrate baby instead of a party focused on presents. Guests are asked to bring an heirloom or lightly worn hand-me-down item in lieu of a fancy new gift to this recession-friendly bash, and should be encouraged to recycle and re-gift the many expensive baby items some of us only use for weeks — if ever. Source

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Study links morning sickness to brighter kids

Moms who spend part of their pregnancies vomiting and nauseated can take heart: Canadian research suggests they might actually have a smarter baby.

Researchers at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children's Motherisk Program have discovered that morning sickness appears to be linked to enhanced neurodevelopment of the fetus.

While previous studies have focused on how pregnancy queasiness affects the outcomes of pregnancies, this is the first study to look at the long-term effects of the nausea on the cognitive skills of the babies that result.

For the study, 121 pregnant women were recruited between 1998 and 2003 through a morning sickness hotline run by the Motherisk program. Participants were split into three groups: mothers who experienced morning sickness and were treated with diclectin (a drug used to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy); those who experienced morning sickness and did not take diclectin; and those who did not experience morning sickness.

The intelligence and behaviour of the children of those pregnancies were then assessed when the kids were three years old and seven years old. The kids were given age-appropriate psychological tests, including measures of intelligence and behaviour.

Other factors such as mother's IQ, number of cigarettes smoked per day, alcohol consumption and socioeconomic status were also taken into account.

The study found that all children across the three groups scored within the normal ranges for neurodevelopmental outcome. But the children of women with morning sickness scored higher on performance IQ, verbal fluency, phonological processing and numerical memory.

Remarkably, the more severe the morning sickness, the more likely the children were to earn higher scores, the researchers found. They noted that maternal IQ also played a role in the outcome.

The results appear in the online edition of The Journal of Pediatrics.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jennifer Garner's Juggling Act and Postpartum Body

In the cover story for the May issue of InStyle, mom-of-two Jennifer Garner offers a glimpse at what life is like behind closed doors for her famous family of four. The 37-year-old actress says it’s the “morning combo” of nursing 3-month-old Seraphina Rose Elizabeth and readying 3-year-old Violet Anne for preschool which proves to be the biggest challenge.

Needless to say sleep has been hard to come by since Sera, as they call her, arrived but the couple are savoring every moment with their latest addition. Jennifer seems particularly smitten. “I’m so sure of her sweetness as a person,” the Ghosts of Girlfriends Past star says. “We’ve only known her for a few months, but she’s taught me that there’s an innate goodness in people that’s real, and it’s there from birth.” Violet has also had a profound impact on her mom; Jennifer credits her older daughter with teaching her “to slow down and appreciate things.”

“Once, when she was 6-months-old, I was nursing her and kind of in a hurry. I was impatient, and she was really taking her time, just staring at the ceiling. So I looked up, and the way the light was playing on the ceiling was so beautiful. I wouldn’t have noticed that on my own.”

Jennifer and Ben hadn’t decided on a moniker when she entered the hospital to deliver, but Violet had already voiced her approval of the name ‘Sarah.’ “When the baby was born, she was so angelic,” Jennifer recalls. “Seraphina means angel, and it exists in several languages. It’s Hebrew, but it’s found in many cultures — which we liked.” Even though the girls peacefully co-exist, Jennifer says she still struggles to reconcile the demands of a newborn with the demands of a toddler.

“[Violet] has the normal 3-year-old meltdowns. When you’re breastfeeding one and the other is crying, you think, ‘Huh…I don’t know what to do.’”

One thing Jennifer says she won’t demand of herself is an unnatural, accelerated return to her pre-baby size. Six weeks after Sera’s birth, she needed to undergo a fitting for re-shoots of the film This Side of the Truth. The costumers who visited her home “were just tripping over baby stuff left and right,” Jennifer recalls. “There wasn’t a square foot of floor that didn’t have baby gear on it.” Jennifer weighed 20 pounds more than she did when the film — due out in September — was originally shot, but if she was nervous about the baby weight issue, she isn’t showing it.

“It is what it is. I would think I looked appropriate for someone who had a baby six weeks before. What am I going to do, not eat?”


Monday, April 20, 2009

Ellen Pompeo Is Expecting!

Ellen Pompeo and her husband, Chris Ivery, are expecting their first child.

"It's great news," says Pompeo's rep. "They're ecstatic."

The Grey's Anatomy star, 39, and Ivery, 41, a music producer, were married by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a private ceremony in November 2007. The couple met while grocery shopping in 2003 and began dating six months later.

Pompeo, who's recently been spotted shopping for baby gear, is not the only Seattle Grace doctor having a baby in real life. Her costar Chyler Leigh (who plays her sister) is expecting her third child, a girl, in May.

Congrats to the Pompeo-Ivery family!