Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney Expecting Second Son [People]

10 Things Not To Say to Your Childless Friends [Parents]

A secret supplementer speaks out [Today]

Cord Blood Transplant Survivors: Where Are They Now [The Stem Cell Source]

The Evolution of Dad: From Breadwinner to Diaper Changer [FoxNews]

A Silicon Valley School That Doesn't Compute [NYTimes]

Lisa Irwin's Mom Makes Us Question Drinking While Parenting [The Stir]

Halloween Tips From Parents of Children With Diabetes [ASweetLife]

7 Tips On Raising Your Son To Be A Great Man [MadameNoire]

Parenting for Beginners [opensalon]

Tony Romo and Candice Crawford are Expecting

Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo (31) made an unusual announcement to an auditorium full of high school students this week. During the question/answer segment of his drug prevention speech at Cedar Hill High School in Texas, a student asked if he was a father, to which he replied: "no." Visibly excited, he then added, "I've actually got one on the way, my wife is pregnant." The video of his admission is receiving a bit of online commentary because his wife Candice (24) is not showing yet and her reaction appears less than thrilled that he unveiled the news. Hopefully, she wasn't too set on waiting to reveal it.

The couple is expecting their first child to arrive in March of next year. They began dating in the summer of 2009 and were married last May. Congratulations to the happy couple!

How long did you wait to reveal the news?

Tony and Candice Romo are Pregnant [MyFoxdfw]

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bruce Willis and Emma Hemming are Expecting!

Bruce Willis (56) and his wife Emma (35) are expecting their first child together! A statement from the couple's rep says they "are overjoyed with this news and they look forward to welcoming this newest addition into their family." The couple were married in March 2009 after dating for over a year.

Bruce has three daughters from his previous marriage to Demi Moore - Rumer (23), Scout (20) and Tallulah (17). This child will be the first for his Emma. 

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Bruce and Emma Heming-Willis Expecting a Baby [People]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

James Van Der Beek, Wife Expecting Second Child [People]

Diaper Credited With Saving Baby From Drowning [FoxNews]

Late pregnancy symptoms: Toughing it out [MayoClinic]

Possible study of anthrax vaccine in children stirs debate [WashPo]

Turkey's 2-Week-Old Earthquake Baby [Jezebel]

10 DIY Costume Tips From Etsy's Handmade Pros [lilsugar]

10 Biggest and Coolest Corn Mazes [Babble]

How We Become Sports Fans: The Tyranny Of Fathers [NPR]

Pumpkin Seeds: 5 Unique Ways to Use Them After the Carving [The Stir]

NYTimes Sends HuffPo Cease-And-Desist for Parenting Blog [BusinessInsider]

BPA during Pregnancy Linked to Aggressive Behavior in Girls

Add one more to the list of reasons to avoid bisphenol A (BPA) during pregnancy. New research suggests that baby girls born to women with high levels of BPA while pregnant are more likely to exhibit overly anxious, depressed behaviors and poor emotional control.

The study out of Harvard tested 244 women for BPA levels during their pregnancies and looked for a connection to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression in their subsequent children. The mothers completed surveys when their children reached the age of three that evaluated the children for behavioral and emotional problems. The women with the highest levels of BPA in their urine during pregnancy were more likely to have girls who were more anxious, depressed and lacking in emotional control and inhibition. Over 95 percent of the pregnant women had BPA detected in their urine. However, each ten-fold increase of BPA detected correlated with more behavioral problems in the young girls.

Boys did not appear to suffer the same effects from BPA in the womb as girls. The researchers believe it's because BPA acts as an endocrine disrupter, so it might be acting like estrogen or an anti-estrogen. Sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone are important components of fetal development.

The study adds to a growing body of evidence that implicates the commonly used chemical in plastics as the cause of a variety of changes in the brain during development in the womb. Although the researchers couldn't precisely show causation, they do say that avoiding canned foods is an easy way for pregnant women to lower their levels of BPA. BPA is commonly used in the linings of canned foods and in plastic containers used to store foods. Storing foods in glass or BPA-free plastics is another good way to avoid BPA during your pregnancy.

Have you made any efforts to avoid BPA?

BPA in pregnancy linked to behavior problems in baby girls [Today]
What You Need to Know About BPAs [BabyWeekly]

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Debut the Twins

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After many months of waiting, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have finally debuted their beautiful twin babies. Barbara Walters had the exclusive interview with the couple, who shared details on the birth, hopes for their children and the difficult road of fertility treatments.

The couple is very candid speaking with Walters. They talk about the miscarriage they suffered through before having the twins, after which Carey underwent different forms of therapy to help her relax, including acupuncture, before going on fertility treatments. "The main thing I did that um, was tough, was to go on Progesterone, like every month...then when I was pregnant I had stay with the Progesterone for ten weeks. It minimizes the risk of miscarriage by fifty percent." The treatment was successful and Carey became pregnant at the age of 40, although she was considered high risk. "It was good news but it was scary at the same time," says Canon. It's revealed that Carey underwent long bouts of bedrest and had several visits to the emergency room during her pregnancy. “I don’t think I understood the enormity or the magnitude of what it really does to your body,” she explained. “It’s not just, oh you don’t look pretty and you have a bump."

Carey took pleasure in the little things. She says of the couple's infamous nude photo shoot in Life&Style magazine: "We were just trying to have fun...for me to get at least my hair and makeup done during that time - I was so miserable - I hate to say it. I am blessed, I am so thankful." She reveals the pain of her pregnancy: "I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to walk again. It was a huge strain. I would sit and then someone would need to help me up. I couldn't go even to the loo by myself." However, even when things got difficult, she remained resolute to bring her babies to term, saying: "I'm going to keep taking this medicine to keep these babies in...but I made it to 35 weeks and then the doctor said it wasn't safe anymore." Mariah suffered from gestational diabetes and preeclampsia during her pregnancy.

Nevertheless, the cesarean birth of the twins went without a hitch. Nick acted as DJ for the event: "I said Doc, when you get them right here to pull them out make sure I can cue the music. I had the camera. The lighting was right." Mariah chimes in: "So, they came in to the world to a live version - and the only reason I wanted it to be a live version was so they could hear the applause entering the world - it's my song 'Fantasy.'"

Monroe and Morocco are affectionately referred to by their parents as "Rock and Roe." During the interview, we see Mariah singing a sweet ad-lib song to Morocco, who looks on with joy and wonderment. The parents are hopeful for the children's futures and both see a natural affinity for music in them, although Nick would like them to do something more helpful for society. "I want them to be able to sing as beautifully as their mother, I want them to be able to play instruments and everything, but I want them to like, go get a PhD."

The interview ends on a familiar note among parents. Nick says of his family-life: "it's just completion." Mariah echoes that sentiment with, "it's just love, it's a beautiful place to be." The couple has since set up a website,, which features gorgeous pictures of their family such as this one:
Mariah and Nick Debut 'Dem Babies' [ABC News]

Are you considered a high risk pregnancy?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Updated Sleep Guidelines for Babies from the AAP

The number of deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has decreased dramatically in the past decade, but a safe sleep environment is still missing for many babies in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently released updated safe sleep guidelines for babies.

Much of the advice remains the same: babies should sleep on their backs, extra pillows and bedding should be removed from the crib - but some new advice has been added as well. Among the new updates is a warning against the use of crib bumpers. The report, "SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment," recommends breastfeeding as a proven way of reducing the risk of SIDS. During pregnancy, women should receive regular prenatal testing and not smoke cigarettes. Smoking is discouraged in homes with babies. The sleep surface for babies should be firm and devoid of toys, extra bedding, pillows, wedges or positioners. The crib or bassinet should be near the parents but the baby should not sleep in the parent's bed. Parents can offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. Avoid covering the baby's head and overheating. Parents shouldn't use devices marketed to reduce SIDS. Lastly, infants should receive all the recommended immunizations and should engage in regular tummy time.

Do you follow all of these sleep guidelines? 

AAP updates guidelines on safe sleep for babies []

Less Invasive Down Syndrome Test Newly Available

Testing for Down syndrome during pregnancy has been plagued by low accuracy rates and invasive procedures for decades. Today, a San Diego-based biotech company releases a new way of testing that carries none of the risks of previous testing measures, better accuracy and can make the detection earlier in pregnancy.

The new blood test uses the mother's DNA as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy to reveal whether or not the fetus has three copies of chromosome 21, the genetic occurrence responsible for Down syndrome. MaterniT21 was able to detect 202 cases of Down syndrome out of 212 cases tested.

Current testing methods carry risks and can be inaccurate. Pregnant women are currently tested using an ultrasound test known as the nuchal translucency test in combination with a blood test. The nuchal translucency test is conducted using an ultrasound between 11 and 16 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor will measure a specific part of the fetus' neck. If there is an abnormal measurement, a blood test is used to detect abnormal levels of certain proteins and hormones that could indicate Down syndrome in the second trimester (between 15-20 weeks). These two tests provide a certain level of risk for Down syndrome but have a high margin of error. Later in pregnancy, women can undergo amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) - all of which carry a risk of miscarriage and still have a false positive rate of 5%. The new test carries no miscarriage risk and has a false positive rate of 0.2%.

The new test is a welcome improvement in prenatal testing, but it is not without controversy. An accurate result at 10 weeks could lead to more pregnancy terminations, even though there is still a small possibility for false positives. The rate of children born with Down syndrome has already dropped by 11 percent due to the fact that most women terminate if they receive a positive result for Down syndrome. Advocates feel that it's inaccurate and damaging to send the message that a life with Down syndrome is one that's not worth living, The current testing methods deter many women who would terminate because of the high risk of miscarriage.  Surveys reveal that 99% of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives and 76% of parents with children who have Down syndrome report that they have a more positive outlook on life because of it. There is also research currently underway that is looking into a possible cure for the condition.

Have you undergone any testing for a Down syndrome baby?

The Quandary Posed by a New Down Syndrome Test [NYTimes]
Down syndrome [MayoClinic]
Down Syndrome [BabyWeekly]
Safer Down Syndrome Test Hits Market Monday [ABCNews]