Friday, December 02, 2011

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Annie Murphy Paul: What we learn before we're born [TED]

Dad's view: Getting baby to kick the bottle takes fairy magic [Today]

The Pregnant Job-Seeker: What You Should and Shouldn't Do [Business Insider]

Pregnant Mindy McCready Willing To Risk Jail To "Protect" Son [CelebBabyScoop]

Separated twins get ready to leave hospital [DailyMail]

Extreme Holiday Lights [MSN]

Baby Moves: Normal Newborn Reflexes [lilsugar]

Celebrity Baby Names 2011 [FitPregnancy]

Mothers Leading the Way to End Pediatric AIDS [HuffPo]

Afghan children ready to walk down Sesame Street [reuters]

Tech Solutions for Gamer Dads [Kotaku]

Childbirth Simulator Could Accurately Predict Birth Outcomes

Undergoing a c-section after hours upon hours of laboring can feel a bit disappointing, especially when you find out there was some kind of circumstance that made the c-section inevitable. A group of doctors believe they may have a way of predicting just such circumstances.

A group of French researchers recently presented to the Radiological Society of Northern America a method of predicting childbirth outcomes using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer software. The software is called PREDIBIRTH and it was very successful in predicting the birth outcomes of 24 pregnant women. The researchers tested the women before giving birth and then reviewed the results given by PREDIBIRTH after the women had given birth. MRI images were used to project a 3D view of the pelvis and fetus and the software computed 72 possible trajectories of the baby's head through the birth canal to produce a score for each woman. The 13 women who went on to have normal birth outcomes all scored as highly favorable by the software. Three of the women who had emergency c-sections were previously determined to be at high risk for shoulder dystocia, a condition that prevents the baby from moving down the birth canal. However, the software did have a small margin of error. Two of the women that scored mildly favorable and favorable ended up having c-sections and three women who scored mildly favorable gave birth by vacuum extraction. 

Despite the small margin of error, the general accuracy of the software could change the way women deliver babies in the future if it's utilized. Dr. Olivier Ami said of the results: "With this virtual childbirth software, the majority of C-sections could be planned rather than emergency, and difficult instrumental extractions might disappear in the near future." 

Would you want to undergo this kind of testing before giving birth?

Virtual childbirth simulator improves safety of high-risk deliveries [EurekAlert]

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Cafe Espresso May Have More Caffeine Than Expected

A study of espresso at a variety of coffee shops found that the levels of caffeine varied considerably, posing a problem for expectant moms who are trying to regulate their caffeine intake. In general, researchers and medical professionals have found no clear answers on the question of safe caffeine intake during pregnancy and avoiding it as much as possible is usually recommended. However, pregnant women who continue to consume caffeine are advised to limit their intake to less than 200mg a day - the equivalent of approximately three espresso drinks or one cup of regular coffee. One espresso drink tested in the recent study had over 300mg of caffeine in just one cup.

Researchers at Glasgow University bought single-shot espresso drinks from 20 different vendors and found a wide range of caffeine content. Starbucks espresso was typical, with 51mg of caffeine per shot. The rest of the companies tested had shots with caffeine levels in excess of 50 mg. Costa Coffee's espresso contained three times the average amount, with 157mg per shot. One coffee shop, local to Glasglow, had espresso shots with 322mg of caffeine! The researchers attribute many factors to the varying levels of caffeine, including roasting, the type of bean and method of brewing.

The study goes out as a warning to pregnant women who continue drinking caffeine during pregnancy. Limiting intake can reduce the risk of miscarriage and preterm labor. Caffeine can also exacerbate common pregnancy symptoms such as heartburn and insomnia. If you do decide to continue drinking coffee during pregnancy, it appears that Starbucks has relatively stable caffeine levels, but don't forget that decaf coffee can help satisfy your cravings without the risk.

How much caffeine are you consuming during this pregnancy?

Caffeine [PregnancyWeekly]
Pregnant women coffee shop risk [WebMD]
Caffeine in pregnancy [MarchofDimes]

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Marley Shelton Expecting Second Child [People]

8 Tips for Birth Partners [FitPregnancy]

10 Things to Say When Your Kid Asks If Santa Is Real [TheStir]

Top 11 Most Unusual Birth Stories [HuffPo]

The Working Woman's Guide to Pregnancy [FitPregnancy]

Parents' guide to holiday 2011 video games [CNET]

Parents Outraged At New Co-Sleeping Campaign [hollybaby]

Hostility Meets Many Babies On A Plane [NPR]

What's in a Name? Ask Google [NYTimes]

Children of the Hyphens, the Next Generation [NYTimes]

Look out kids, here comes the 'Wolf Daddy' [MSNBC]

12 Super Amazing Playgrounds From Around the World [lilsugar]

Kourtney Kardashian is Pregnant!

Kourtney Kardashian (32) and Scott Disick (28) are expecting their second child together. The reality TV stars first learned of the pregnancy five weeks ago. Kardashian said to USWeekly: "Now I'm nine weeks along. You're supposed to wait 12 weeks to tell people, but I feel confident."  The baby was a bit of a surprise, Disick says: "It wasn't like we weren't trying. We kind of just said, 'If it's meant to be, it'll be.'"

The newest addition will join big brother Mason, who is nearly two years old. The couple has been together for four years.

Congratulations the happy couple!

Kourtney Kardashian: I'm Pregnant! [USWeekly]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How To Be A Smart Shopper

While shopping this holiday season there will be many things to consider such as costs, warranties, and more. Take a few minutes to review our tips for smart shopping before you hit the mall.
  • Determine how much your budget will allow you to spend, and stay within those limits.
  • Check Consumer Reports and other product-rating magazines for more information. Search the Internet or find hard copies at your local library.
  • Inspect products carefully before you buy them. Check for quality and durability. When in doubt, stick to reliable brand names.
  • Read warranties carefully. Make sure you understand the policy and what potential problems it covers. 
  • Don't forget to incorporate extra charges into your budget. Delivery and sales tax can significantly increase the amount you spend.
  • When in doubt, delay your purchase. Wait a week and reconsider your options. This will give you a fresh perspective before making any final decisions.
  • Avoid compulsive buying at all costs. Ask yourself if you really need it, and never buy something just because it's on sale!
Read more on ParentingWeekly.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Piers Morgan Welcomes a Baby Girl

Piers Morgan and his wife Celia Walden welcomed a baby girl to the world last week. The journalist and author tweeted on Friday, November 25th:

"It’s true. I’ve become a dad for the fourth time, to a baby girl called Elise. She’s absurdly beautiful, and utterly adorable."

Elise is the first child for Walden, who is a writer for the Telegraph UK. Morgan has three boys from a previous marriage: Spencer (18), Stanley (14), and Albert (11). The couple were wed in June 2010.

Congratulations to the smitten papa!

Piers Morgan Welcomes Daughter Elise [People]

Chris Bosh to Become a Father

NBA star Chris Bosh is becoming a father for the first time! The Miami Heat baller and his wife Adrienne are reported to be "over the moon" by friends. Adrienne and Lisa Pippen were spotted shopping for baby goods in Florida recently. The couple were married in July.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Heat's Bosh, wife expecting first child [Fox]