Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Taiwanese Animator's Take on Beyonce Baby Buzz [YouTube]

Melanie Brown Welcomes a Girl [People]

Where, Exactly, Is It Okay To Take Your Kid? [Jezebel]

Science Gives Birth to Odd Maternity Lawsuit [Courthouse News]

US Newborn Mortality Rate Higher Than 40 Countries [ABCNews]

Clinical trial uses cord blood to ease cerebral palsy symptoms [The Augusta Chron.]

World's Heaviest Mother Finally Goes on a Diet [The Stir]

Power Laboring Positions [FitPregnancy]

Beyonce's Pregnancy And The Debate Over Black Women [Jezebel]

MRSA: Protect your kid from a superbug [CNN]

The Dirt on Bacteria [FitPregnancy]

Attachment to Mother Guides Toddler Social Skills

A recent study lends credence to the philosophy of attachment parents. Researchers found that infants who developed a secure attachment to their mothers fared better socially as toddlers.

Scientists followed 84 infants from birth to the age of two and focused on the irritability of the infants. They measured irritability by studying the baby's reactions to a series of tests such as a bell ringing or being undressed. One third were rated as highly irritable and the rest were labeled as moderately irritable. At 12 months, the level of attachment to the mother was evaluated. Securely attached infants would turn towards their mother when distressed and insecurely attached babies would not. At 18-24 months of age, the sociability of the toddlers was studied. Researchers evaluated how the toddlers interacted with strangers and unfamiliar toys. In the highly irritable group, the toddlers who were securely attached to their mothers were better able to interact with unfamiliar factors, while the insecurely attached toddlers were the least likely to explore. The moderately irritable group experienced no difference in their sociability whether they were securely or insecurely attached to their mothers.

The study highlights the importance for parents to cultivate a secure attachment with their babies, particularly if they are highly irritable. Attachment parenting is based on the idea that secure attachment to the parent through baby-wearing, co-sleeping and other close bonding experiences will result in a confident, outgoing child. This study seems to bolster this theory.

Do you practice any attachment parenting techniques?

Mother's Love Can Help Babies With Difficult Temperaments [USNews]

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Alyssa Milano Gave Birth!

Actress Alyssa Milano (38) has welcomed her son to the world. She and husband David Bugliari (32) named their newest addition Milo Thomas. Milo was born on August 31st at 9:27am, weighing 7 lbs. and measuring 19 inches long.

Milano and Hollywood agent Bugliari were married in 2009. This is the first child for the couple.

Milo was making his mommy laugh in May. She said to People: "Every time I get an ultrasound, he's doing really funny things like sucking his thumb or elbowing me."

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Alyssa Milano Welcomes a Son [People]

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Beyonce's Pregnant VMA Performance [MTV]

BPA ban passes California state Senate [LATimes]

Having dad around can make kids smart [Montreal Gazette]

Nursing mothers defend babies with a vengeance [EurkAlert]

CJF Asks Expectant Mothers to Discuss Topamax Alternatives [SFGate]

Toddler's Dust Mite Sensitivity May Predict Later Asthma [USNews]

North Carolina Hospital Sees High Birth Rate During Hurricane Irene [Time]

Parents credit umbilical cord blood infusion with helping daughter [NewsOK]

Protecting Fathers Rights In Cohabiting Relationships [Dadsdivorce]

Breast-Feeding Does Not Prevent Eczema [NYTimes]

Robert Downey Jr. and Wife Expecting!

Actor Robert Downey Jr. (46) and his producer wife Susan (37) are expecting their first child together! The couple has been together for six years. His rep. told People: "Robert and Susan could not be more excited over this news. They can't wait to welcome this new baby into their wonderful family."

Robert is already father to 17-year-old Indio with his ex-wife, Deborah Falconer.

Robert said earlier this year: “I think we should probably try to have a girl because I don't want another male entity to have to compete. I don't want Indio to feel there's another boy in my life. But I don't know what we'd have to do [to have a girl]. Do we have to put it in a spoon and hang it upside-down?”

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Robert Downey Jr.'s Wife Is Pregnant [People]

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sex after Pregnancy

Your baby is here and you may or may not be eager to get back to a normal sex life. Unfortunately, hormonal changes, sleepless nights, breastfeeding or engorgement and healing from a c-section or episiotomy can all contribute to a lack of sexual desire. It's during this time that patience is very important - patience for the body to heal, for your partner's desires and patience for the "drought" to pass.

A study completed by the University of Wisconsin found that only 17% of the couples they interviewed had sex the month after the birth of their baby. Most doctors will advise waiting 4-6 weeks or until the postpartum bleeding stops before resuming intercourse. Any tears need time to heal and the cervix needs time to close. Most couples wait 7-8 weeks before resuming intercourse. If you have stitches, your doctor will most likely prefer to check on the stitches six weeks into recovery before giving the okay to have sex again.

Initiating the first time after having the baby can be different than what you remember, so keep your expectations at bay. Go slow and trust your feelings. Communicate with your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t. Use lubrication as necessary.

Breastfeeding can reduce the sex drive, decrease lubrication and leave the breasts off-limits for arousal. Breastfeeding women might experience leaking during orgasm, if this is a problem, you might want to consider pumping or feeding the baby before sex.

Although episiotomies heal in about six weeks, you could feel pain in the area during sex for up to a year. Lubrication and different positions can help make sex more enjoyable.

If you had a c-section, you will need to wait at least six weeks, or until the postpartum bleeding has stopped before resuming sex. The incision might be sore for quite some time. If it becomes sore during sex, you should wait a few days before attempting it again. If the incision splits open at all, you’ll need to make an appointment with your health care provider as soon as possible to avoid infection.  

Now that your baby is here, birth control is back in your life. Most birth control pills interfere with breast milk production. Consult your doctor about your options- a progesterone “mini-pill” is often administered. Condoms and spermicides are usually recommended during this period. Diaphragms often won’t work 2-3 months after giving birth because they can fall out.

The Emotional Side
Women might find that planning when to have sex, actually setting aside the time and then initiating puts sex on their terms and allows them to get in the mood.

Remember that sex is not the only way to be intimate. Don’t guilt yourself about it or try to rush it. Spend time alone together (without the baby) even if the time is brief. Short phone calls, little love notes or long love letters are a great way to say “I love you” throughout your busy day. Some women feel that if they partake in small gestures like kissing and hugging during the day that it’s giving their partner the green light for sex later, so they might be less inclined to partake. If that’s the case, then it’s a good idea to set the record straight and allow affection throughout the day with no strings or insinuations attached.

Complications Due to the Baby
Lest we forget, there is a baby in the picture, which can complicate sex in other ways. Feed your baby before intercourse to avoid interruption. Inevitably, interruptions are going to happen, try to keep a sense of humor about it.

Two New People
The roles have changed and things are more intense now. There is no reason why that intensity can’t be carried over into your sex life, in fact, some women report having better sex after having a baby. Couples often feel much closer after the birth of their child. Avoid getting hung up on the way things “used to be” and embrace the way things are.

Episiotomy [BabyCenter]
Sex After a C-Section [About]
Let's talk about sex: After the baby [BabyCenter]
Sex after pregnancy [SheKnows]
Menstruation, Sex, and Contraceptives After Pregnancy [About]
Babyproof Your Sex Life [Parenting]
Sex After the Baby [parenting]<="" div="" href="" target="_blank">

Monday, August 29, 2011

Coping with Emotions during Pregnancy

One of the most difficult pregnancy symptoms can be attributed to newly heightened hormones that can send your emotions off the charts. Joy becomes ecstasy and anger can send grown men running for the hills. Even the most laid-back woman will find her emotions charged with power. While it may seem like a huge inconvenience at work and during rough patches of relationships, channeling this new-found energy can actually be a great practice. This heightened awareness of emotions doesn't allow the normally introverted mom to hide her feelings when they should be expressed. If your partner makes you mad with some habit, you might find that telling him can have good effects in the long run. Plus, learning to cope with these incredibly strong emotions will inevitably help you as mother. Here are some constructive ways to cope:

Deal with the Physical
Are you extra emotional because you haven’t eaten or you need sleep? Examine any possible physical causes before trying to delve too deep into what you’re feeling.

Keep a Journal
Write down your struggles. Describe your emotions and the details of the situation you’re dealing with. Write down the things that you might even be embarrassed to admit to yourself.

Write Letters
Do you have some pent-up issues with a friend? Are your relationships changing? Write letters to the people you are thinking about and stow them away.

Paint or Draw
Painting or drawing is a great way to relieve stress. If you’ve never dabbled in the arts, don’t be intimidated. These creations are for your eyes only. If you’re experiencing any fears about your pregnancy, write a list of all of them. Pick the one that bothers you the most and paint it. Paint as many items on the list as you want to, then tear them up or burn them and visualize these fears disappearing from your mind.

Talk About it
A girlfriend who is also pregnant is the ideal venting partner, but you may find that other veteran moms can commiserate with you as well. If you are really struggling with issues, a therapist can be a great addition to your life.

Share the Experience With Your Partner
Unfortunately, partners tend to get the worst of the pregnancy mood swings. It helps if you can bring them into the fold a bit and explain what you’re going through. Obviously, they won’t completely understand and you shouldn’t expect them to, but by letting them know what is triggering anger and other strong emotions, they can help you navigate through it.

Make Plans
If there are fears or worries that are nagging you to no end, it might help to make contingency plans for them. If you are afraid of your water breaking at work, write down a clear cut plan for how to deal with the situation. Once you have a plan fleshed out for your worst case scenarios, you can stop worrying.

Sometimes, there’s nothing overt to be bothered about, but you’re still feeling pretty down. Here are some healthy ways to lift your spirits:

  • Get into nature. Plant something in the garden, such as sunflowers, to watch grow throughout your pregnancy. It will relieve stress, give you something to focus on and produce something beautiful to look at everyday.
  • Have a girl’s night. Just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you can’t go out drinking with the girls. Order yourself a non-alcoholic martini, sing karaoke, dance and have a laugh with the girls.
  • Cook and bake. Once you’re passed any morning sickness, cooking or baking can be relieving activities, plus the recipes that turn out well will stay with you.
  • Dance. Dancing is a great way to relieve stress and lift the spirits. Dance with your girlfriends at a local club, dance with your partner at a nice venue or just dance at home.
How do you cope with your heightened emotions?

Product Review: Amy Michelle Diaper Bag

The impracticality of your designer handbag never becomes clearer than when it is sitting next to your newborn who is ready to spit-up her last meal at any moment. You find yourself thinking about all kinds of features you wish your expensive purse had come with, such as anti-microbial fabric, a quick opening pocket with a changing pad and a color that can easily hide the little stains that have accrued since becoming a mom. Amy Michelle's handbags have all those features and more.

The Amy Michelle diaper bag looks and feels like your favorite designer handbag. It is sleek, chic and made with quality materials. The fabric is anti-microbial but if you need to spot-clean it, you can easily do it with some regular soap and water. Plus, the bag is equipped with little metal studs to keep it from picking up dirt if you have to put it on the ground.

There are more pockets than you may ever need but they are the perfect amount for any hyper-organized moms. Most of them securely close with a zipper, except for the pocket that contains the complimentary diaper pad, which closes with a magnet. That little fact might seem insignificant until you have your baby on one arm and try to set up a diapering station with the other. Two internal and external side pockets fit for bottles, a quick release pacifier holder and stroller-friendly clips place this bag on a level with the best diaper bags.

The bag is large enough to hold everything you need to take with you but not conspicuously so. In fact, the only thing that would let someone know that you’re carrying a diaper bag is the baby that you have with you. Even the most put-together business women in Manhattan would look natural carrying this bag.

Amy Michelle carries lots of wonderful bags, but we specifically are reviewing the Lotus, which retails for $99.95. Maternity and Style will be holding a giveaway of the Lotus bag on their Facebook page within the next couple weeks. Become a fan for a chance to enter! If you simply want to purchase an Amy Michelle bag, they are available on the company website and five percent of each purchase is donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Denver.

Do you have a favorite diaper bag?

Amy Michelle [website]