Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Baby making coffee [YouTube]

Babies Are Stupid [Deadspin]

The Cutest Temporary Wallpaper For Kids Rooms [lilsugar]

Nicotine Patches Fail Most Pregnant Smokers [WebMD]

Anne Dudek Welcomes Baby No. 2: Saskia [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Randy Montana and Wife Welcome Baby No. 1: Sullivan Mae [CelebrityBabyScoop]

How men are using paternity leave time off to advance their careers [DailyMail]

Weaning And Depression Linked In Many Women [HuffPo]

Formula with Probiotics Boosts Immunity in Newborns

When you're talking about the benefits of vaginal birth as opposed to birth by c-section, or breast milk over formula, the key thing many studies cite for the differences is the beneficial bacteria transferred to the infant. Good bacteria flourishes in the gut, boosting the immune system and aiding digestion. Infants capture this good bacteria through vaginal delivery, breast milk or by ingesting probiotic rich food, such as yogurt. A recent study found that formula became much more efficient at boosting the immune system when probiotics were added.

Two studies from the University of Illinois found that prebiotics and probiotics could be added to formula and helped populate the guts of infants with beneficial bacteria, thereby boostng their immune systems. Kelly Tappenden, a professor of nutrition and gastrointestinal physiology explains: "The beneficial bacteria that live in a baby's intestine are all-important to an infant's health, growth, and ability to fight off infections. Breast-fed babies acquire this protection naturally. Formula-fed infants get sick more easily because the bacteria in their gut are always changing." Six-week-old infants fed formula with probiotics had "significantly enhanced immunity" compared to the infants fed formula without the probiotics.  Babies born by c-section also exhibited boosted immunity once provided with probiotics in their formula.

Infants are born with sterile intestines, making the growth of immune-boosting bacteria essential to warding off unwanted bacteria. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that aren't easily digested and provide the material necessary for the good bacteria to grow. In the second study, babies provided with prebiotics in their formula experienced a modest boost in beneficial bacteria and a decrease of illness-inducing bacteria.

The studies have uncovered simple ways to make formula better and more akin to breast milk. For babies that are born by c-section and fed formula, providing formula with probiotics could be an effective way to boost their immune system.

Does the formula you use have probiotics added?

New infant formula ingredients boost babies' immunity by feeding their gut bacteria [e!ScienceNews]
Photo credit: chelly cruz

Thursday, March 01, 2012

AAP Releases Updated Breastfeeding Policy

The American Academy of Pediatrics re-affirmed it's breastfeeding policy this week. Much of the policy remains exactly the same, but one notable difference is the detailing of the positive health effects breastfeeding provides for mothers.

The policy reads: "Both short- and long-term health benefits accrue to mothers who breast-feed..." Mothers who breastfeed experience less postpartum bleeding and their uterus shrinks back to size in less time. Breastfeeding also cuts down on the risk of developing postpartum depression, an Australian study revealed in 2003. In fact, mothers who weaned early were more likely to experience depression. Although no study has been able to prove the weight loss benefits sometimes attributed to nursing, women who breastfeed are more likely to weigh less overall.

There are many long-term benefits also detailed in the report, including the fact that women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy can cut their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with each year they breastfeed. Women who breastfeed for more than a year reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by 20 percent, and the risk is cut in half if they breastfeed for two years or more.

Breastfeeding is also good for the heart. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed cut their risk of developing hypertension by 11 percent. They cut the levels of fat in their blood by 19 percent and are 10 percent less likely to develop heart disease overall.

Women who breastfeed also cut their risk of developing certain types of cancer, reducing the risk more with each year they breastfeed. Breastfeeding for over a year has been correlated with a 28 percent reduced risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers.

Besides detailing the many benefits to mothers who choose to breastfeed, the AAP also reiterated their recommendations. They still advise exclusively breastfeeding babies for at least the first six months, starting solid foods but continuing to breastfeed for at least a year. There are certain situations where doctors recommend against nursing, such as, when a baby suffers from galactosemia or when the mother is HIV-positive, has herpes or is on certain medications.

Has breastfeeding worked out well for you and your baby?

Moms Gain Health Benefits From Breast-Feeding, Too [MyHealthNewsDaily]
Painting is Mary Cassatt's Maternite

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Tyrone Hayes + Penelope Jagessar Chaffer: The toxic baby? [TED]

'I pose naked to support my family': pregnant model shares her story [DailyMail]

Make a Leap Day Birthday Special [Parents]

Sweet photo of dad feeding baby turns controversial [Today]

Five-year-old girl with Down's Syndrome becomes child model [DailyMail]

Robert F. Kennedy's Son Takes On Maternity Nurses [Gawker]

Forever 21 Discontinues Maternity Line [Babble]

Elephants huddle round female to protect her while she gives birth [DailyMail]

Dwyane Wade Hosts Fatherhood Round Table With White House Staff [HuffPo]

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck Welcome a Boy!

Jennifer Garner (39) gave birth this week! She and Ben Affleck (39) welcomed their third child to the world. After staying mum on the baby's sex, it's a surprise to learn that they welcomed a boy and named him Samuel. Samuel joins big sisters Violet (6) and Seraphina (3).

The couple announced the pregnancy in August. Garner opened up to Leno about her girls trying to figure out the baby's sex through choosing baby names: "Our girls are working on names. At first they were definitely Disney, it was like Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse Affleck, and then they moved on. Then it was Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Smee and now they are just, they are over it and they're writing lists. They're coming up with lists and coming in and saying, 'let's have a baby naming contest,' 'let's have a baby naming poll.' They ask everyone because they just really want to know, but we're not telling."

Affleck confirmed the news on Facebook today: "We are happy to announce on February 27, Jennifer gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Samuel Garner Affleck."

Congratulations to the happy couple! 

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck Welcome Third Child [People]
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck Name Son Samuel [People]

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Uma Thurman is Pregnant!

Actress Uma Thurman (41) is expecting her third child! Her rep confirmed the news to People. This will be her first with long-time boyfriend Arpad Busson (49).

Thurman has two children with ex-husband Ethan Hawke: Maya (13) and Levon (10).

Thurman and Busson began dating in 2007, broke up in 2009 and were reunited in 2011.

The prolific actress is slated to appear in five upcoming episodes of the TV series Smash.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Uma Thurman Expecting Third Child [People]
Photo credit: Georges Biard

Monday, February 27, 2012

Featured Bellies and Babies of the Week

Every week we feature the best pregnancy and baby photos sent to us through our Bellies and Babies of the Week contests. We receive photos from parents and parents-to-be from all over the world. Here are a few of our favorites.

 Geovanna welcomed a baby boy in January.

Mariana's husband took this beautiful picture of her. She is expecting a baby boy this week!

 Natasha and Jay live with their two daughters, Sol (6) and Luna (4), on a sailboat. She is due any day and planning a water birth at home. This will be her third drug-free birth and her second home birth.

Christopher Johan was born on July 30th, 2011, an only child. Mom says he's very observant and loves his bottle. He's the first fifth generation baby in his family and has Cuban, Mexican, German, and American lineage.

 Charlotte is 11 weeks old in this picture, born July 5th, 2011. Mom says of this picture: "It’s funny that she has her mouth closed in this picture, because I swear her tongue is out 95% of the time! Her nickname is Lizard because of it. From the moment she was born, her tongue has been out… tasting the air."

Jan Bryce was born on June 17th, 2011 and is pictured here with his dad. Mom says he giggles when he hears his own name.

Thanks to all the parents and parents-to-be who sent us their pictures. You can see the rest of the featured photos on the front pages of PregnancyWeekly and BabyWeekly. You can submit your best belly photos here. To enter your baby picture for the Baby of the Week contest, please click here. Due to the high volume of submissions we receive, it may take many months before your baby's photo is featured.

Fetal Development - Week 10 (Video)

Your baby is somewhere between 1 and 1-1/2 inches in length and probably weighs about 4 grams (or as much as four paper clips). He or she has lips, toes, eyes that are usually open, ears that are completely formed, and the genitals are becoming more clearly defined.

The little pollywog you have inside has lost its "tail" and this week marks the end of the embryonic stage and the beginning of the fetal stage!