Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Jenna Fischer Radiates The Red Carpet [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Matt Bellamy Explains Baby Bing's Name [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Food Makers Push Back on Ads for Children [NYTimes]

Spock at 65: Five Ideas That Changed American Parenting [Time]

Mother, baby leap from carjacked vehicle during police chase [MSNBC]

NYC Christian Clinics Don't Have to Post No-Doctor Notices [Courthouse News]

Calif. gives power to parents over substandard schools [WashPo]

Asthma link to premature births [BBC]

People with autistic brother or sister 'carry dormant form of disorder' [Daily Mail]

7 Incredibly Prolific Fathers []

Toddlers Learn to Learn Between 8-16 Months

If it seems like your 8-month-old child should be learning from past experience that stoves are hot or that usually a blue object goes in the blue hole, you might be expecting too much too soon. A recent study found that toddlers don't apply information from past experiences to new situations until they are closer to16-months-old.

Researchers at Ohio State University compared the learning abilities of nine-month-olds to 16-month-olds and found that only the 16-month-olds could apply knowledge from past experience to a new circumstance. “Sometime between 8 and 16 months, infants begin learning how to learn,” said psychology professor Julie Hupp. The researchers showed a sequence of images to the toddlers and subsequently introduced changes in the beginning and the end to see if the toddlers took notice. All of the children noticed the changes in the visual sequences, but only the 16-month-olds immediately knew to look for changes in an auditory sequence they were later introduced to.

The researchers did not learn exactly when toddlers are able to actually apply old knowledge to new experiences, except noting the eight month window where this development appears to be happening. If the findings are correct, it could change the way many people view early potty training and discipline.

Does your child show evidence of learning from past experiences yet?

How toddlers only learn from experience when they turn 16 months old [Daily Mail]

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Postpartum Contraception Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released new guidelines for women using contraception in the six weeks after giving birth. Women over the age of 34 are now advised to avoid estrogen-based birth control pills because they can increase the risks of blood clots.

The CDC encourages the use of contraception postpartum and they advise women to wait at least one full year before trying to conceive again after they’ve given birth to ensure optimal outcomes for the mother and baby. However, for women who rely on the pill for contraception, they are suggesting alternate forms of contraception six weeks after giving birth, when the risk of blood clots is higher than normal. Intra-uterine devices (IUD), implants or progestin injections are among the suggested forms of birth control. Condoms can also be used as an effective form of birth control, although the CDC did not cite their use as an alternative to the pill.

What kind of contraception will you use after giving birth?

New contraceptive guidelines for some new moms [ACSH]

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Looking cool and sexy when you're pregnant [Today]

15 Things That Are Only Acceptable at the End of Pregnancy [Babble]

Watermelon a Wonder for Male Fertility [babyzone]

All According to Plan: A Breech Homebirth Story [pathways to family wellness]

A New Study Details the Effects of Smoking in Pregnancy [Time]

What You Need to Know About Sunscreen In One Infographic [LifeHacker]

U.K. recommends exercise for babies; Canada to follow [The Gazette]

Couple Beats Odds to Have Two Sets of Identical Twin Girls [Fox]

16-Pound Baby Born In Texas [HuffPo]

Why States Should Think Twice About 'Caylee's Law' [Time]

Jewel and Ty Murray Welcome a Son!

Singer Jewel and her bull rider husband Ty Murray have welcomed their first child, People reports. Kase Townes arrived at 7pm CST weighing 7 lbs. 6 oz.

Jewel said of her newest addition: “Ty and I are so pleased to welcome our new baby boy into the world. We are overcome with happiness – it really is as great as everyone told us it would be – better even!”

Jewel said in interviews that she had trouble conceiving and experienced a scare when she was in a car accident at five months pregnant.

The couple currently resides in Texas, where the new mom has been working on an album of lullabies called The Merry Goes ‘Round, which is due to be released in August.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

What do you think of the name Kase?

Jewel and Ty Murray Welcome a Son [People]

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Victoria and David Beckham Welcome a Baby Girl

Former Spice Girl and fashion designer Victoria Beckham gave birth to a baby girl at 7:55am on Sunday, July 10th. Victoria and David named the girl Harper Seven. Harper weighed in at 7lbs. 10oz.

 Harper is an old English name that Victoria has always been fond of according to People. The number seven is a lucky spiritual number and was David's jersey number for Manchester United and the English national team. Since Harper was born in the seventh hour, of the seventh day of the week and in the seventh month - the number seemed like a natural fit for the new addition.

Victoria and David are already parents to 12-year-old Brooklyn, 8-year-old Romeo, and 6-year-old Cruz. This baby is the first girl for the couple.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Victoria and David Beckham Welcome a Daughter [People]
How Harper Seven Beckham Got Her Name [People]

Monday, July 11, 2011

Are Damaged Embryos Capable of Healing?

Common tests during pregnancy look for genetic abnormalities in the developing fetus, particularly among couples undergoing fertility treatments. In cases where a genetic abnormality is found, such as when a child is at risk for Down syndrome, many couples decide to abort and fertility doctors will recommend against implanting fetuses found carrying such abnormalities. Those practices could change now that scientists have discovered that embryos may be capable of fixing the genetic mistakes naturally.

It might sound too good to be true, but after two decades of speculating, scientists have found evidence of embryos correcting genetic abnormalities. A research team at the Shady Grove Center for Preimplantation Genetics in Rockville, Maryland used embryos found to be abnormal by fertility specialists. The embryos were donated by couples undergoing IVF at clinics. Currently, it is common practice for fertility doctors to observe the genetic development of an embryo for three days before implanting into the woman’s uterus. The study authors took advantage of this practice and looked at the growing embryos after they did not pass the three-day scrutiny. Only two days after the embryos would’ve been discarded, a few of the embryos began to appear normal, suggesting to scientists that the embryos actually fixed the abnormalities.  

The findings are understandably controversial. Some scientists are calling for fertility specialists to stop the three-day study of embryos altogether, since it has not been found to increase viable pregnancy rates. Other researchers are very skeptical of the results of the study, citing the fact that there was no control to the experiment. Many pregnant women can attest to the fact that their developing babies failed genetic testing, only to come out as perfectly normal children. If the findings are correct, it could change the way fertility clinics operate and bring an entirely new understanding of the way embryos develop.

Have you experienced any negative genetic test results? 

Embryos Right Genetic Wrongs? [TheScientist]

Depression Peak during Pregnancy Found

Mood swings and heightened emotions are common during pregnancy, but some women experience lingering depression too. Approximately 15 out of every 100 pregnant women will experience prenatal depression and a new study has pinpointed when it's most likely to peak.

Many women find pregnancy to be a rollercoaster of emotions, but for some mothers the emotions can be more severe than others. Mental instability is commonly heightened during pregnancy and changing medications can compound emotional issues. There are some factors that put certain women at a higher risk of experiencing mental health problems during pregnancy: a history of mental health illness, taking medication, stressful events, being unhappy about pregnancy and resurfacing memories.  

A recent study of depressed pregnant women found that their symptoms peaked at 32 weeks. For women struggling with depression during pregnancy, it can be helpful to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re feeling depressed for a long period of time or struggling with mental illness it would be 
worthwhile to talk to your doctor about possible treatments.

Have you experienced depression during your pregnancy?

Mental health: Pregnancy [BBC]