Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

What to Expect When You're Expecting' Dudes Group Trailer [Yahoo]

Everything I Know About Parenting...I Learned From Waiting Tables [Jezebel]

Introducing... (pregnancy time-lapse) [YouTube]

Stress shown to have modest effect on pregnant women [UTSanDiego]

The toddler whose life was saved by lung surgery while in the womb [DailyMail]

Pregnant Women Hesitate to Report Morning Sickness: Study [ibtimes]

The Truth About French Parenting (and I Would Know) [theAtlantic]

Costume jewelry found to have high levels of toxins and carcinogens [CBSNews]

You are what your mother ate [GreatLakesAdvocate]

Yale: Cellphone use in pregnancy may be bad for babies' health [NYDailyNews]

Jeremy Sisto Welcomes a Son [People]

Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford are Expecting!

Brandon Routh (32) and Courtney Ford (33) are expecting their first child together! The pair of actors released the news to People this week. 

Routh, star of 2006's Superman Returns, reveals: "It’s been so hard keeping the news to ourselves. Everyone on set keeps asking, ‘Do you have kids?’ and I’ve had to say, ‘Well … not yet!’ It’s the truth. The baby hasn’t been born yet!" Ford also had trouble keeping the secret. During her most recent acting stint on the NBC hit-series Parenthood, she says: "It started getting difficult to hide what was happening. Flu and food poisoning excuses only work for so long, and by the last episode I could no longer button my pants! I just tried to joke that I had a big lunch!" 

The couple were married in 2007 after meeting in 2003 at Lucky Strike in Los Angeles. Routh was bartending at the time, while Ford was taking part in her brother's rehearsal dinner. 

Ford is best known for her appearances on True Blood, and as Christine on Dexter.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford Expecting First Child [People]

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Babies Socially Interact in Sophisticated Ways

Humans are social creatures by nature but it's long been believed that babies don't develop any sophisticated social skills until they start spending more time with their peers. A recent study reveals that babies are actually quite adept at making friends  at a young age and use a litany of social skills to do so.

Australian researchers strapped cameras to the heads of babies between six and 18 months old in daycare in an attempt to monitor how well they cope in the strange environment. They discovered that babies were making jokes with each other, taking care of each other, and managing group situations - all sophisticated social skills. Dr. Jennifer Sumsion, one of the researchers, said babies "interacted with each other through making eye contact, subtle gestures, reaching out, and even using humor." She recalls a specific instance of social tact among the infants: "...the footage also showed a new child about the same age starting childcare and others kept coming up and trying to touch her and reassure her, then realised that she was frightened as a result. And so the other children found a piece of material to cover and help shelter the new child - which worked well in comforting her."

The research reveals just a small slice of infant social interactions, but researchers felt that the findings should put parents of babies in daycare at ease - babies are surprisingly good at handling themselves. Although babies mostly engage in what's called "parallel play," in which they play next to each other rather than directly with each other, they are still being social by doing so and when faced with complex social situations they seem to have an ingrained skill set.

Has your infant surprised you by his/her social interactions?

Secret life of babies caught on camera shows they look out for mates [theTelegraph]
Photo Credit: P Pogo

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

A Very Pregnant Jessica Simpson [YouTube]

Adventures in Baby Pooping [Jezebel]

6 Strange, but Real Baby Products That Really Work [lilsugar]

Greg Vaughan and Wife Welcome Baby No. 3: Landan Reid [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Swaddling babies is causing hip problems: surgeon [TelegraphUK]

Baby in Womb [Planetsave]

Huggies Pulls Ads After Insulting Dads [HuffPo]

Wisconsin Bill Aims to Penalize Single Moms [Parents]

10 Words to Avoid in Front of Your Kids [lilsugar]

Scientists tap the genius of babies to make computers smarter [UCBerkeley]

James Van Der Beek Welcomes a Son

James and Kimberley Van Der Beek welcomed their second child to the world this week. The former star of Dawson's Creek tweeted on Tuesday, March 13th: "Had my first son this morning… well, actually, my wife had him. I just caught him. Wow. Heart expanding way faster than my brain." He later tweeted with the hashtag #fatherhood: "If you could bottle up and distribute this feeling, I swear there’d be no more war."

The latest addition joins big sister Olivia (17 months). The couple married in August of 2010. The new father will be appearing in a new TV series called Don't Trust the B, which premieres in April.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

James and Kimberly Van Der Beek Welcome a Son [People]
James Van Der Beek [Twitter]
Photo Credit: Bill William Compton

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to Bank Your Breast Milk for Babies in Need

If you've ever spent time agonizing over your constant need to express milk or trying to plot where in the world you are going to store that extra milk, then you might consider banking your breast milk. Banking with an accredited Human Milk Bank Association of North America (HMBANA) bank provides another child in need with the best food nature can provide and the most likely recipients are the ones who need it the most - preemies and sick infants. There are only 11 banks in the United States, making your choice fairly easy. The bank will pay for screening and shipping.

What are banks looking for?
There is a shortage of milk at the moment, so banks will be eager to take you up on your donation. However, they need to make sure that the milk you provide doesn't transfer illness or any detrimental substances to the infant who receives it. A blood test will often be required. They need breast milk that is free of many herbs and medications. Women who use illegal drugs are not eligible. Women are not eligible if they are infected with or at risk of contracting:
  • HIV 
  • Hepatitis B or C
  • syphilis
  • HTLV
You cannot donate if you:
  • have had an organ or tissue transplant in the past year
  • drink more than two ounces of alcohol a day
  • smoke or use tobacco products
  • have been to the UK for more than three months
  • lived in Europe for more than five years
  • were born in or traveled to Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Niger, or Nigeria

For a map of the HMBANA banks, click here.

If you decide to start banking, you'll want to begin storing your excess breast milk if you haven't already. Frozen breast milk can be used for up to 12 months after it was initially stored, although is best used before six months. Use bags meant specifically for freezing human milk or glass or hard plastic containers with well-fitting tops. If using plastic, make sure it is bisphenol A (BPA)-free. Containers should be properly washed with soap and hot water and fully dried before use. Leave a little room at the top of the container to allow for expansion once frozen. Fill each container with only as much milk needed for a single feeding (approx. 2-4 oz.). Label all containers with the date they were initially stored.

Do you have an oversupply of breast milk?

Do you want to donate your surplus milk to help a sick or fragile infant? [Human Milk Banking Association of the America]
What are the LLLI guidelines for storing my pumped milk? [LLLI]
Photo Credit: Azoreg

Monday, March 12, 2012

Featured Babies of the Week

Every week we feature the best baby photos sent to us through our Babies of the Week contest. We receive photos from parents from all over the world. Here are a few of our favorites:

Isabella Maria Sophia was born in November of last year. Mom says she's very sweet and only cries when she's hungry or needs her diaper changed. She's mommy's little angel.

Laura Alana was born on March 15th last year and looks less than thrilled about bath time. All the same, she is adorable.

 Kingston Scott is 22 weeks old and lights up any room he's in. Mom says: "He is a total crowd pleaser and a definite people person. He loves loves loves everyone he sees and puts a smile on everyone's face with his huge "Ham" smile. He is extremely photogenic and knows when the camera is in front of him. We wanted to share our happy little man with everyone else, to put a smile on your face too!"

Payton Marie is two months old and loves her mom. She likes to coo and laugh every time she sees her.

Thanks to all the parents who sent us their pictures. You can see the rest of the featured photos on the front page of BabyWeekly. 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 12 (Video)

Your baby weighs about 14 grams (0.5 ounce) and is just over 2 inches in length (crown to rump). His or her reflexes are functioning, and the digestive tract is active and secreting bile - all to prepare your baby for life outside of your body.
Stem cells, the "mother cells" that will become heart, brain, liver, bone, blood, nerve, and immune cells, continue to differentiate to form your baby's major organs.
And although your baby's brain continues to grow, the components now have the same structure they will have at birth. If your OB or midwife uses a fetal Doppler, you may be able to listen to your baby's heartbeat - perhaps the sweetest sound you've ever heard.