Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Everything about Jessica Simpson looks pregnant [Celebitchy]

Support for 'Bald Barbie' Swells on Facebook [ABCNews]

Tracy Anderson Is Pregnant [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Toddler Knows Physics And Chemistry [HuffPo]

French mothers don't have it all their own way [TelegraphUK]

Video baby monitors are tapping iOS and Android devices [LATimes]

How the smell of mother's milk puts babies on alert [MirrorUK]

Blogging Makes New Moms Happier [NYTimes]

Parents Want To Bring Breastfeeding Back To Sesame Street [gothamist]

Woman Gives Birth to Identical Quadruplets [NBCMiami]

It Happened to Me: Pregnancy Triggered My Eating Disorder [xojane]

Healthy Diet Could Help Kids with ADHD

A recent review of studies has led some researchers to conclude that a healthy diet with certain supplements could provide an alternative to drug therapy for children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The information comes at a time when there is a shortage of ADHD drugs available, providing parents with an option in cases where no drugs are available to them or their child has unfortunate reactions to medication.

Dr. J. Gordon Millichap and Michelle M. Yee reviewed over 60 studies of diet-based interventions for ADHD before concluding that a low-fat diet that includes whole grains, fish, fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy products could have comparable effects on the disorder as drug therapy. They also mention that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements seem to help as well. In the studies, typical western diets high in sugar and saturated fats were often associated with the development of ADHD. However, the researchers stipulate that it's possible that children with ADHD might naturally tend to gravitate towards junk food.

The researchers also dispelled certain dietary myths that many parents of children with ADHD subscribe to. They found that diets free of food coloring and salicylic acid (a food preservative) only helped the occasional child with the disorder. They also discovered that studies concluding that refined sugar exacerbated symptoms of ADHD were fundamentally flawed, and that no such connection could be made. Although one study they point to showed that children did not seem to get aggravated by sugar when it was preceded by a high-protein meal. Regardless of the lack of data, they note that the idea of sugar being bad for ADHD is so ingrained in society that it's unlikely it could even be dispelled at this point. In addition, the elimination diet, oligoantigenic diet (removing most allergens), and additive-free diets could not be correlated with any improvement in children and were described by the researchers as "complicated, disruptive to the household, and often impractical." Nevertheless, children with allergies in addition to ADHD did exhibit benefits to diets that restrict food coloring, preservatives and certain types of foods. Lastly, diets treating iron and zinc deficiencies were found to help a small number of children with confirmed deficiencies.

Despite the researchers' findings, they say that a healthy diet in addition to medication is the most effective way to treat children with ADHD. They mention that the data on omega-3 and omega-6 supplements promising, but there is no indication that they could effectively treat the disorder on their own. Nevertheless, children with unpleasant reactions or a lack of access to the drugs could find relief through diet-based intervention.

Do you have a child with ADHD?

'Healthy' Diet Best for ADHD Kids [ABCNews]
ADHD drug shortage [myFox]
ADHD: Diet might matter, but less than many parents think [USAToday]

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Should Pregnancy be Considered a Disability?

In a job that requires heavy lifting or being on your feet all day, pregnancy can not only make your job more painful, it could cause you to lose your job altogether. Although the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to treat pregnant women as they would other temporary disabled employees, pregnant workers have been fired across the country due to the physical limitations and requirements of their pregnancies. One employment discrimination expert has presented the case that pregnant women should be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to prevent such occurrences.

Currently, employers are not required by law to make accommodations to the work or environment so that a pregnant employee can continue working throughout her pregnancy even when it is possible to do. One pregnant woman was let go from her retail job because drinking water while on duty was against store policy. A pregnant police officer was let go because she could no longer complete the rigorous physical duties required of her, even though fellow officers injured on the job were afforded lighter work. 

Jennifer Cox, an associate law professor at the University of Dayton, believes that amendments made to the ADA in 2008 make it reasonable for the law to now include pregnant women. The ADA currently covers those with disabilities that have lifting restrictions and experience shortness of breath and fatigue while walking. People considered disabled under the Act have protection from jobs that require repetitive bending, reaching, prolonged siting or standing, extensive walking, driving, or working under high temperatures. High blood pressure and diabetes qualify as disabilities, but not pregnancy-related gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. Currently, if a pregnant woman cannot continue working, she may be forced to use the unpaid leave provided by the Family Medical Leave Act, cutting into the time she would use to recover from childbirth and care for her newborn. 

The courts have repeatedly pushed back on the proposal to consider pregnancy a disability because the symptoms that could make work impossible for some are a normal part of pregnancy. Cox argues: "This reluctance to associate pregnancy with disability, however, has resulted in a legal regime in which many pregnant workers currently have less legal standing to workplace accommodations than other persons with comparable physical limitations." If pregnancy were covered by ADA, employers would be required to provided "reasonable accommodations" that would allow a pregnant woman (even a potential hire) to work. 

Do you think pregnancy should be covered under ADA?

The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual With a Disability [EEOC]
Disability law should cover pregnant workers [CNN]
Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination [EEOC]
Pregnancy Discrimination Information [PregnancyWeekly]
Is Pregnancy a Disability? [UDayton]

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Who's Your Favourite? [YouTube]

I Guess I Forgot to Wean My Baby [Jezebel]

10 Dads Who've Written Songs For Their New Babies [lilsugar]

Giving Birth like Beyonce at Maternity Spas [Yahoo]

Victor Cruz Welcomes Baby No. 1 [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Choosing a family cord blood bank [OCRegister]

Heinz baby step [NYPost]

My Worst Parenting Mistakes (So Far) [Jezebel]

TV's Greatest Dysfunctional Families [theAtlantic]

Gone (Postpartum) Style: Unitards for all! [Girl'sGoneChild]

Top 10 Mommyish Reads For Mothers During The Chilly Season [mommyish]

Lisa Loeb is Expecting!

Singer-songwriter and author Lisa Loeb (43) is expecting her second child with husband Roey Hershkovitz. Her rep confirmed that the baby is due in June. The newest addition will join big sister, Lyla Rose (2).  Loeb shared her joy with People: "I grew up with a big family, so I’m excited for Lyla to have a sibling!" The couple were married in 2009.

Loeb has been successfully creating her own line of frames for glasses and is currently on tour with her new children's song book, Lisa Loeb's Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs.

Congratulations to the happy family!

Have you heard any of Lisa Loeb's new children's songs?

Lisa Loeb Expecting Second Child [People]

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beyonce and Jay-Z Welcome a Baby Girl!

International pop stars, Beyonce (30) and Jay-Z (42), have welcomed their first child into the world. Blue Ivy was born on Saturday, January 7th, weighing in at 7lbs. The couple released a statement on Monday:

"We are happy to announce the arrival of our beautiful daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, born on Saturday, January 7, 2012. Her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful – we are in heaven. She was delivered naturally at a healthy 7 lbs. It was the best experience of both of our lives. We are thankful to everyone for all your prayers, well wishes, love and support."

Sources say the name Blue derives from the title of Jay-Z's albums: The Blueprint, The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse, and The Blueprint 3. Ivy reportedly stands for IV - the roman numeral for the number four. Four is a significant number for the couple, who were married on April 4th, 2008. In addition, both of their birthdays fall on the 4th - Beyonce's birthday is September 4th and Jay-Z's is December 4th..

Jay-Z released a song commemorating the journey to Blue Ivy's birth (listen on video above).

In it, the rapper alludes to previous miscarriages that the couple suffered and also reveals that Blue Ivy was conceived in Paris.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

What do you think of the name Blue Ivy?

Baby Blue Ivy: What's In a Name? [People]
Jay-Z's New Song 'Glory' Features His 'Greatest Creation' Blue Ivy [People]
Beyoncé & Jay-Z: 'We're In Heaven' with Baby Blue [People]

Monday, January 09, 2012

Researchers: Toddlers Can't Monitor Their Speech

A key part of learning language is monitoring your own speech and making changes based on the way it sounds. All adults have this ability, but apparently we aren't actually born with it. A study of toddlers has discovered that they don't seem to develop the ability to hear themselves talk and make changes until between the ages of two and four.

Researchers had four-year-olds, two-year-olds and adults say the word "bed" into a microphone that fed the sound to a pair of headphones the speaker was wearing. However, the word was manipulated to make it sound like "bad." The adults instantly tried to compensate and ended up saying the word "bid" instead, and the four-year-olds made an effort to compensate as well. The two-year-olds, however, kept saying the word "bed" even after hearing "bad" each time.

The researchers aren't exactly sure what the findings mean, but they suspect that toddlers are ignoring their own speech and don't fully develop the ability to monitor their own speech until the age of four. It's unclear how they develop language skills without monitoring for errors themselves, but researchers suspect it might be through corrections from the parents.

What words are you repeating for your toddler?

Toddlers Don't Monitor Their Own Speech [ScientificAmerican]

Healthcare Law Protects Right to Breastfeed at Work

Good news for working mothers: the controversial healthcare legislation ushered in by President Obama contained a law that took effect at the start of the new year and benefits breastfeeding mothers across the country. The Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in 2010, amends the Fair Labor Standards Act and created a federal mandate for employers to provide new mothers with breaks and a space to express milk. Although the final rules of the legislation haven't been completely ironed out yet, the Department of Labor has already begun cracking down on businesses that aren't adhering to the new policy. So far, 23 companies have been cited in 2012 including Dollar General, Starbucks and McDonald's.

Employees who believe their employer is breaking the new law are being asked to call 1-866-487-9243. Under the new law, employers are expected to provide a "reasonable break time" for a breastfeeding mother up to one year after the child's birth each time she needs to express milk. A bathroom is not an acceptable place for breastfeeding under the Act. A space needs to be set aside that is functional for nursing, or a place needs to made available as needed and free from intrusions. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not expected to comply if it is considered an undue hardship based on the cost, size, nature and structure of the business. Employers are not required to compensate breastfeeding mothers for the break time used to express milk unless other employees in the company are compensated for their break time as well.

Are you able to express milk at work without a problem?

Breast-feeding at work now protected by law [MSNBC]
Fact Sheet #73: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA [DOL]