Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal Welcomes Baby No. 2: Libertad! [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Drea De Matteo, Shooter Jennings Welcome Waylon Albert! [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Peyton Manning Welcomes Twins: Marshall & Mosley! [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Sibling rivalry: Why the second born child is more likely to succeed [Daily Mail]

Oregon Senate votes to ban plastic additive BPA [OregonLive]

Learn to Read your Baby's Sleep Signals [Just the Facts]

Things You Should Never Say When She Tells You She’s Pregnant [PlaygroundDad]

Mariska Hargitay Welcomes Daughter Amaya Josephine [People]

2011 Infant Car Seats [Parents]

Parenting As a Team When You’re Living Apart [PsychCentral]

Tina Fey is Expecting!

Comedienne Tina Fey (39), of 30 Rock, is expecting her second child with husband Jeff Richmond. The funny mom revealed the news on Oprah while promoting her new book Bossy Pants, which is getting great reviews. Tina joins co-star Jane Krakowski who is also expecting. The new author is currently 5 months along and is already mother to 5-year-old Alice.

Tina recently wrote a funny article for the New Yorker about the touchy subject of working mothers. In it, her daughter brings home a book about a mom who is a witch called, “My Working Mom.” The book sends Tina into a hilarious spiral of deep thought and analysis:

“Does the writer want to have another baby? Or does she just want to turn back time and have her daughter be a baby again? That night, as she was putting the witch book in her daughter’s backpack to be returned to school, the writer asked her, “Did you pick this book because your mommy works? Did it make you feel better about it?” Her daughter looked at her matter-of-factly and said, “Mommy, I can’t read. I thought it was a Halloween book.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Tina Fey is Pregnant [People]
Confessions of a Juggler [The New Yorker]

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Free Online Infant Sleep Evaluation Provides Positive Results

Johnson and Johnson may have discovered a way to make up for all those recalls of over-the-counter medicines last year. The company's website provides a personalized baby sleep evaluation and tips for helping your baby sleep better.

On their website, Johnson and Johnson provides suggestions for helping babies to sleep like massage, bathing, and singing. Each method highlighted includes instructions; for example, the bathing segment comes with an instructional video on properly bathing a baby, while the infant massage method is accompanied by a printable PDF of the techniques. Parents suffering through sleepless nights will find the personalized sleep evaluator extremely useful. The questionnaire gives the parent a visual analysis of their child’s sleep habits, and provides several tips to help babies get better sleep based on the parent’s answers. The data for the evaluator was created using the sleep patterns of more than 5,000 babies.  

Many parents have found the tool to be helpful and a study by Saint Joseph’s University revealed positive outcomes for parents who used the tool. Of 264 mothers enrolled in the study, more than half were able to reduce the number and length of their baby’s night waking’s by following tips provided by the evaluation. Consequently, the mothers who were able to get more sleep also experienced less fatigue and depression.

Were the tools helpful for your family?

Sleep [JohnsonsBaby]
For Parents Whose Kids Won't Sleep, There's Help Online [Time]

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy Links

Mariah Carey Bares Her Baby Bump [CelebrityBabyScoop]

'Twin Babies Having a Conversation' Video Explained [LiveScience]

Is there no place like home? [The Economist]

UK Fathers win new paternity rights [Telegraph]

The secret to raising happy kids? Mom's the word [The Globe and Mail]

Tenth of Fathers Have Tasted Partner’s Breast Milk [PRLog]

Radiation In Milk: Should Parents Worry? [WFAA]

Recalls: Infant bedside sleepers and Pampers pacifiers [WashingtonPost]

Baby Goods Vending Machines [LilSugar]

Teen pregnancy way down, but not for everyone [CBS]

Study finds progesterone cuts rate of some premature births [Sun-Times]

Genetically Modified Cows Create Milk Akin to Human Milk

Formula companies may have cause for celebration and opponents of genetically modified foods will be dismayed to learn that scientists in China have created genetically modified cows that create milk similar to human milk.

Approximately 300 cows have been created that produce milk containing three components found in breast milk: lysozyme, which boosts immunity and protects against bacterial infection, and two other human proteins. Once the milk was expressed from the cows, it underwent a purification process where milk solids were added to mimic the taste of human milk. The ultimate goal of the researchers, employed by a biotechnology company, is to create more nutritious milk that could be a replacement for baby formula. However, they estimate that putting a product on the market is still at least 10 years away.

The results of this experiment have fed an on-going debate over the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  Many cows died in the cloning process used to create the GM cows. It’s well-known among genetic researchers that a high volume of stillbirth is typical in cloning animals. The European Union has implemented a ban on almost all GM food unless it undergoes rigorous testing. In the United States, consumers have been fighting to have GM foods labeled in grocery stores. Unfortunately, most of the studies completed on the safety of GMOs were funded by corporate interests and predictably found no ill effects from the consumption of GMOs. The results of independent research have been able to show negative effects in animals fed GMOs, most recently infertility.  

Would you give your baby this new genetically modified cow’s milk instead of formula? 

Genetically modified cows produce 'human' milk [Telegraph]
Genetically Modified Foods [American Academy of Environmental Medicine]

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Vitamin D Deficiency Found in Pregnant Women with Diabetes

Recent research in Australia has uncovered a link between gestational diabetes and vitamin D. No conclusions have been made about the findings yet, but the information highlights the necessity for adequate vitamin D levels in pregnant women to ensure strong bones in their babies and perhaps even prevent gestational diabetes.

Over 40 percent of the pregnant attendees screened at the Westmead Hospital’s gestational diabetes clinic had low vitamin D levels.  A total of 147 women were screened, excluding those who exhibited pre-pregnancy glucose intolerance. Women with darker skin had the lowest levels but over 25 percent of women in all groups had deficient levels of vitamin D.

The findings are significant but not well understood without further study. However, vitamin D during pregnancy is essential for bone health in newborns and recent research has linked vitamin D deficiency to the development of preeclampsia. This most recent study’s findings further highlight the need for vitamin D during pregnancy.

Direct exposure to sunlight is the most readily available source of vitamin D; however, foods like fortified cereals, dairy products and fish such as salmon are great sources as well.  Pregnant and breastfeeding women are encouraged to get 600IU’s of vitamin D a day. It’s estimated that 5-30 minutes of direct skin exposure to sunlight twice a week fulfills a non-pregnant adult’s vitamin D needs. Cloud cover, certain types of window panes and sunscreen may limit the absorption of sunlight. Most prenatal supplements will provide most of the daily need for the essential vitamin.

Are you getting enough vitamin D?

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Diabetes In Pregnancy [MedicalNewsToday]
Gestational Diabetes [PregnancyWeekly]
What Is the Effect of Vitamin D Deficiency During Pregnancy? [Medscape]
Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D [National Institutes of Health]

Monday, April 04, 2011

Meet Midwife Artist Michele Fitzgerald

Michele Fitzgerald is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) practicing in Austin, Texas. Thirty-two years ago, while performing with her all-female punk band in a leopard print jumpsuit, she was pulled offstage to attend her first birth, and she's been working at her craft, her art, ever since.

Read more about Michele at

10 Ways to Relieve Postpartum Back Pain

The hormones from pregnancy can continue to cause joint paint postpartum and abdominal muscles stretched during pregnancy provide little core support. Your posture is probably different now and all that time lifting, holding, and bending for your newborn isn't doing your back any favors. Here are a few ways to get rid of that back pain.

1.       Strengthen the abdominals. Once you’ve got the okay from your doctor to work out again, try some simple exercises that you can do with your baby to get your core strengthened. Pelvic tilts are good for abdominals and great fun for your newborn to watch.

2.       Lift Correctly. When you need to lift things off the ground, bend at the knee, not at the waist. Lifting from the waist puts unnecessary stress on your lower back.

3.       Don’t Slouch. It’s easy to fall into the habit of slouching while feeding the baby. Be conscious of your posture and pull your shoulders back when you notice yourself slouching. Bad posture is the quickest path to all kinds of back pain. Using a pillow to bring the baby up closer to you can be helpful.

4.       Put your feet up. When you find moments to sit down, take advantage of them and put one or both feed up. This act relieves pressure on your lower back.

5.       Wear your baby. If done correctly, wearing your baby gives your arms and upper back a bit of a break and forces you to correct your posture. It can help strengthen the core muscles that you need.

6.       Change sides. Do you always carry your baby on one side? Try changing it up a bit. Using one side of the body more than the other can weaken the muscles on the lesser used side and stress the muscles on the overused other side. A perfect recipe for back pain.

7.       Get a massage. If a professional massage isn’t in the financial cards right now, at least get your partner to give you a rub down.  

8.       Heat it up. Placing a heating pad on your back while you feed the baby will do wonders.

9.       Don’t load up. How much does your diaper bag or purse weigh? It’s amazing how much stuff we try to cram into our bags. See if you can remove some items.

10.   Sit Level. When you do sit down, make sure you don’t have a wallet or anything bumpy in your back pocket. Sitting on an uneven surface like that will exacerbate back problems.

How did you get rid of your back pain?

10 Best Ways to Relieve Postpartum Backache [PMG]