Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Mindy McCready Welcomes Son Zayne [People]

Mothers with S. aureus in 3rd trimester more likely to have colonized babies [PS]

Allergy Awareness T-Shirts: Kid-Friendly or Are You Kidding? [lilsugar]

Michael Weatherly Welcomes Daughter Olivia [People]

Altruism Observed In Infants As Young As 15 Months [HuffPo]

Income Consequences of Breastfeeding for Women [SagePub]

Research unlocks birth defect causes [MSN]

Pesticides May Be Linked to Slightly Smaller Babies [USNews]

Twice as Many Unmarried Couples Having Babies [MSNBC]

Amino Acid Helps Formula-Feeders Avoid Overeating

An infant's diet is widely believed to be the basis for their lifelong food habits. This concept has shed an unfavorable light on formula, because studies have found that formula fed babies are more likely to become obese, which some believe to be related to a formula fed infant's inability to know when to stop eating. The reasons for this lack of awareness are unknown, but one study seems to have uncovered the amino acid responsible for regulating an infant's appetite.

One amino acid called glutamate is prevalent in breast milk but tends to be lacking in cow's milk, so researchers set out to find what benefits it might carry. Their findings indicate that it may hold the key to appetite regulation. Infants less than four months old were bottle fed two consecutive formula meals in a laboratory setting. Three formulas were provided, the first was a typical cow's milk formula, the second was cow's milk formula with glutamate added and the third was hydrolyzed, which contains high levels of glutamate as well. Parents fed their babies at a normal pace and were not told which formulas they were given. Babies ate significantly less of the hyrdolyzed milk and the milk with glutamate added. In addition, babies who stopped eating sooner did not show signs of being hungrier later, which indicated that they were satiated with their meals just as much as when they consumed more of the regular cow's milk formula.

The research is one more finding that could lead to better formula that is more comparable to breast milk. Adding particular amino acids seems to be one of the biggest components in this endeavor.

Do you feed your baby formula?

Formula-fed babies don't always overeat: study [reuters]

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fewer Boys Born during Hard Times

A new study reveals that when populations are undergoing a period of famine, the number of boys born to families declines. Researchers looked at birth records from China during a period of extreme famine and discovered that the number of boys born during that time declined sharply as conditions worsened. The reasons for the decreased births are unclear but scientists have some theories.

The Great Leap Forward famine in China lasted between 1959 and 1961 and revealed to researchers a changing ratio of boys and girls born. Currently around the globe, 106 boys are born for every 100 girls. In April 1960 in China, 108.9 boys were born for every 100 girls. By 1963, 104.3 boys were born for every 100 girls.

Shige Song, who reported the results, points to an old theory on why, evolutionally speaking, this change occurs. He says, "Investment on male children is a high-risk, high-return game, so you want to do it only if you are in very good situation." The reason it's considered "high-risk" is because male children are statistically less likely to produce an heir, even though they are capable of impregnating many women. On the other hand, women are a "slow and steady bet," according to Song. They are more likely to reproduce even though they are less likely to birth a significant number of children.

What remains unclear, however, is what physically triggers this changing ratio. Is it a lack of nutrition? Increased stress? Song has a couple theories, suggesting that perhaps the sperm carrying the Y-chromosome is less able to fertilize eggs due to nutritional deficiency. In addition, previous research has found that male embryos tend to be more susceptible to miscarriage, another possible factor in these changes.

Overall, the research into natural sex selection has a long way to go, but Song's report certainly provides some clues. It would be interesting to see more research into what possible nutritional difficiencies could affect sperm carrying the Y-chromosome, considering previous studies that suggest girls or boys are more likely conceived based on certain diets consumed by the parents.

Do you know any parents who endured a period of famine?

Gender Prediction: Fewer Baby Boys Born In Hard Times, Study Shows [HuffPo]

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Miranda Kerr Gets a Special Gift [YouTube]

Gwyneth Paltrow's Maternity Must-Haves [Babble]

Obese moms may be more likely to have autistic child, study suggests [msnbc]

Single Moms on TV: Prostitutes and Drug Dealers? [HuffPo]

17 Fun (and Planet-Friendly!) Toys Your Kids Will Love [iVillage]

 Getting Toddlers to Stay in Bed at Night [happyhealthymom]

Jersey City woman's baby food line has led to success [nj]

Are these baby products totally absurd or amazing? [SFGate]

Mark Cavendish Welcomes Daughter: Delilah Grace [CelebrityBabyScoop]

Tony Romo and Candice Crawford Welcome a Son!

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (31) and his wife Candice Crawford (25) have welcomed their first child to the world. Hawkins Crawford Romo was born on Monday, April 9th, weighing 8 lbs, 8 oz. "All is well with mom." A rep told People.

The couple were married in May 2001 and announced their pregnancy in October.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

What do you think of the name Hawkins?

Tony Romo and Candice Crawford Welcome Son Hawkins [People]

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Women Labor Longer Than They Used To

A new report reveals that women are taking longer to give birth than previous generations. Researchers found that on average, women are spending 2 more hours laboring than women did 50 years ago. Medical professionals detail many reasons for this change.

Giving birth has changed significantly over a period of 50 years. Women who gave birth in the 1960s were less likely to undergo a c-section and also less likely to use pain relief during labor. In fact, only about 4% of women who gave birth in the early '60s were administered an epidural compared with more than 50% of mothers today - the epidural is a known cause for a longer birth. Medical professionals in the '60s were more likely to use forceps and episiotomies to assist in the birth of a child than they are today. In addition, women today are older and weigh more on average, making the birthing process more difficult overall. Women today are also more likely to be admitted to a hospital early, where they are put in a bed and hooked up to an IV, potentially slowing labor.

The study completed by a team of researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development included data from approximately 40,000 women who gave between 1959 and 1965. They compared it too data from approximately 100,000 women who gave birth between 2002 and 2008. First births that took place in the aughts were 2.6 hours longer than those that took place in the early 1960s and subsequent births were 2 hours longer.

Did your labor take longer than your mother's?

U.S. Women in Labor Longer Than They Were 50 Years Ago [HealthDay]

Monday, April 09, 2012

Fetal Development - Week 28 (Video)

Your baby weighs approximately 2.4 pounds and is a little under 15 inches from head to heel. He or she has been gaining weight steadily during the past 27 weeks as its stem cells develop into organs, blood and immune systems, and bones. However, from this point forward, your baby's weight gain will be due to increasing amounts of body fat.

Your baby would have a very good chance of surviving a premature delivery if born today, but preemies are relatively rare thanks to modern obstetrical care.


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:

Noah is five months old in this picture, born on July 19th, 2011. Mom says: "He has the most contagious smile and laugh. He will lift up his leg, fart and look over at you, then smile and giggle about it. He is already so much like his daddy! *haha* Everybody that meets him wants to take him home because he is just the sweetest baby in the world. He is constantly talking and blabbering. He can't sit still for anything. Now that he has figured out that he can sit up, he hates lying down. He has the cutest chunky cheeks in the world! Everyone says he looks like he has stashed milk in there to eat later!"

Brayden Quinn is four days old in the picture, he was born on December 5th, 2011. Mom says: "He is so special because I am a 41 year old momma that could not wait to have him. His daddy and I have both been married before and have 5 other children between us. Our love of our children brought us together and helped with our decision to have a baby of our own... Our children's ages range from 23 to newborn."

Madison Emma-Lee was born on February 2nd, 2011. Mom says: "She is the blessing and light of my life after suffering two miscarriages.  Even with her, I had a high-risk pregnancy and had to spend 5 months on bedrest.  I would have gone through so much more for her.  She has an amazing smiling and personality that touches everyone who meets her... Yes, I am a doting mother, but you would be too!"

  Hudson is eight months old in this picture, born April 8th, 2011. Mom says: "He is always in such a happy, playful mood.  He has never met a stranger, loves other babies and enjoys the vacuum cleaner!"

Ryan Jace was born on July 17th, 2011. Mom says: "He is special because he was a blessing to us. He loves to smile and look around at everyone. He is the only boy to my husband and I and we have so much love for him!"

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.