Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Wrap-up: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Behind the Cover: Are You Mom Enough?[Time]

Christy Turlington Burns defends campaign to boycott Mother's Day [Today]

Bruce Willis Introduces Mabel Ray [People]

Simple blood test could show who's at risk for postnatal depression [DailyMail]

No more negotiating. I've learned to say NO to my children [DailyMail]

Whooping cough epidemic hits Washington State [NYDailyNews]

Pregnant And Puzzling Over How The 'Parts' Will Fit [NPR]

New Study Bolsters Importance of Choline during Pregnancy

When you're planning your meals, you're probably not thinking of your consumption of choline, an essential B-vitamin. Even though studies have shown that it's increasingly important for pregnant women - low choline has been linked to neural tube defects and is essential for organ development. A recent study supports these findings and suggests that increased choline intake during pregnancy could reduce the incidence of diabetes and high blood pressure in babies by lowering stress hormones in the body.

Researchers from Cornell University discovered that providing pregnant women with 930 milligrams of choline a day significantly lowered their baby's stress levels. Women who took part in the study were in their third trimester. There were two groups - one that were assigned 930 milligrams of choline daily and another assigned to take 450 milligrams a day. The babies of mothers who took the higher concentrations each day experienced a 33 percent decline in levels of cortisol - the stress hormone. Marie Caudill, associate professor of nutritional sciences, says of the findings:
"The study findings raise the exciting possibility that a higher maternal choline intake may counter some of the adverse effects of prenatal stress on behavioral, neuroendocrine and metabolic development in the offspring...A dampening of the baby's response to stress as a result of mom consuming extra choline during pregnancy would be expected to reduce the risk of stress-related diseases such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes throughout the life of the child."
Choline is an essential nutrient for proper cell function in the body. Women are urged to consume 425 milligrams a day even when they're not pregnant. The nutrient is most abundantly found in calf liver, beef, eggs, chicken, turkey, soy beans and some dark leafy greens.

Do you get enough choline in your diet?

Choline Consumption During Pregnancy May Lower Babies' Risk Of Diabetes: Study [HuffPo]
choline [WHFoods]

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anna Faris and Chris Pratt are Expecting!

Anna Faris (35) and Chris Pratt (32) are expecting their first child together! A rep for the actors announced the news to People. The couple were married in 2009 and have been open about their desires to start a family.

Faris can be seen in Sasha Baren Cohen's new film, The Dictator, and Pratt is a regular on the show Parks and Recreation.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Anna Faris and Chris Pratt Expecting First Child [People]

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Best of the Web: Parenting and Pregnancy News

Robert Downey Jr. Shows Off Baby Photos On 'The Tonight Show' [NBC]

Science Discovers That Sperm Aren't Swimmers, They're Crawlers [Jezebel]

7 Ways to Incorporate Kids Into a Wedding [lilsugar]

Infertile Woman Gives Birth 5 Hours After She's Declared Pregnant [theStir]

The Dos and Don'ts of What to Say to a Friend Who's Had a Miscarriage [lilsugar]

42 of the Best Baby Shower Themes [lilsugar]

30 Ultra-Flattering Maternity Swimsuits [iVillage]

Toxins in the Home - Pregnancy Precautions

Pregnancy is a confusing time for many women because there are so many precautions that are advised. It’s unfortunate that we are faced with an increasing list of chemicals to avoid that have infiltrated every part of our existence. A study in November 2009 found toxic chemicals from common household items in the bodies of women in their second trimester of pregnancy. Included were phthalates, Bisphenol A (BPA) and so-called “Teflon chemicals.” BPA has been linked to breast cancer, birth defects and reversed gender behaviors in toddlers. Many states in the United States have already banned its use in baby products.

 It would be so much easier if the companies responsible for creating these chemicals were required to test substances before putting them on the market, but the laws on chemicals are severely outdated. Here are some precautions you can take to avoid hazardous chemicals during your pregnancy:

On your person:
  • Eat all organic foods (eggs should be priority if you can’t afford it).
  • Avoid nail polish, fake nails, hair dye, and hair spray.
  • Take fish oil instead of eating more fish and only eat wild caught fish.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Find natural alternatives to your toiletries (shampoo, soap, deodorants, make-up), ones that don’t contain phthalates. Avoid anti-bacterial soaps that contain triclosan. (Use to check your products).
  • Avoid synthetic scents from perfumes, lotions, and body sprays.
  • Don’t get silver (mercury) fillings at the dentist.
  • Avoid microwave popcorn.
  • Avoid canned food or drinks that have plastic lining inside.
  • Avoid plastics #3 and #7.
  • Avoid bug spray with DEET.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke.
  • Eat lots of calcium and iron, which protect the body from lead.
In the home:
  • Keep the home well-ventilated.
  • Test for Radon.
  • If living in an older home, contact the local EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to test for the presence of lead in the water. Run for 30 seconds before using for anything and use the cold water pipe, not the hot.
  • Filter drinking water in your home and if possible filter the shower/bath water as well. (Chlorine can react to other chemicals in the water, making it hazardous on the skin.)
  • Drink and cook with tap water rather than bottled water.
  • Avoid storing, heating or cooling foods in plastic containers and don’t put plastic in the dishwasher.
  • Do not sand or paint during your pregnancy.
  • Have someone dust your home with a damp rag on a regular basis.
  • Use a Hepa-filter vacuum often.
  • Throw away vinyl blinds of unknown origin.
  • If your house was built before 1978, avoid gardening near its foundation.
  • Wet mop floors.
  • Avoid new carpeting, vinyl and furniture that can emit fumes.
  • Don’t use pesticides in your home or garden.
  • Use natural cleaning products (vinegar and baking soda work for almost everything).
  • Only use non-toxic dry cleaners.
  • Don’t cook with non-stick pans made with Teflon.
  • Don’t use stain repellents.
  • Find out which manufacturers are against using hazardous chemicals before purchasing new items (Sony, Samsung, Nokia, IKEA, Apple, LG, Phillips, Microsoft, Sharp and Toshiba are some good ones).
  • Some scented candles contain lead in the wicks that is released when lit – only use natural ones
  • Stick with watercolors and acrylics during pregnancy if you like to paint.
  • If there is anyone living in your home that works as a mechanic, painter, construction worker, smelter, welder, with ceramics or manufacturing batteries – they should arrange to wash up their body and clothes at work. At the very least, have them wash their clothes separately from the rest of the family’s wash.
  • Use the vents in your house to keep air indoors circulating, particularly while cooking or showering
  • Lead can accumulate in soil near roads, so wipe your shoes before entering your house. Removing shoes before entering the home is a good way to keep from tracking things in.
  • If you re-use plastic bags, keep the lettering on the outside.
  • Open flues when fireplaces are in use. 
In your car:
  • Don’t pump your own gas.
  • Keep your car well-ventilated and clean.
At work:
  • Investigate your workplace: make sure ventilation systems are working properly, restroom air fresheners are non-toxic, and keep an eye out for water damage.
  • Stay away from the workplace if new carpet is being installed, building construction or painting is going on, vents are being cleaned, or pesticides are being sprayed.
  • Make sure tobacco smoke or exhaust in certain places is not being channeled into your home or workplace
Resources you can use:

Do you make an effort to avoid hazardous chemicals?

Environmental risks and pregnancy [MarchofDimes]
Four Common but Toxic Chemicals to Avoid During Pregnancy, Pre-Pregnancy and Breastfeeding [SixWise]
The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality [EPA]

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Pacifiers May Not Adversely Effect Breastfeeding

The conventional wisdom among breastfeeding mothers has been to keep pacifiers away from newborns still learning how to breastfeed. Called "nipple confusion," many mothers will attest to the fact that providing their newborn with a bottle or pacifier in their first weeks of life has caused problems achieving a successful latch. Despite a long fight against hospital policy that enables a baby to be given a bottle or pacifier right after birth, a new study suggests something different - that pacifiers could actually help babies learn how to latch properly.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University discovered that breastfeeding rates actually fell when they stopped giving newborns pacifiers. Dr. Carrie Phillipi, a pediatrician at the hospital says, "Our observations suggest routinely removing pacifiers may negatively impact exclusive breastfeeding rates during the birth hospitalization." Data was collected from over 2,200 infants delivered at the hospital between 2010 and 2011. During that period, a policy was instituted that prevented the use of pacifiers with newborns. The percentage of babies who were exclusively breastfed during that period dropped from 80 percent to 68 percent.

Kim Novak-Jones, a registered nurse at the University of North Carolina's Women's and Children's Hospital was surprised by the findings because instituting Baby-Friendly policies, which includes halting the use of pacifiers, seemed to cause an increase in breastfeeding rates at UNC.

Phillipi explains that the effect of pacifier use early in life isn't well studied, "Taken together, the 10 steps [required to become a Baby-Friendly hospital] have been shown to improve breastfeeding rates. However, the individual contribution of removing pacifiers as one of the 10 steps hasn’t been as well studied."

Did you discover that giving your newborn a pacifier changed the breastfeeding relationship in any way?

Pacifiers And Breastfeeding: New Study Challenges Conventional Wisdom [HuffPo]

Monday, May 07, 2012

Carson Daly Expecting Second Child

The Voice host, Carson Daly (38), and his partner Siri Pinter (30) are expecting their second child together! Pinter revealed the news on her blog: "5 and a half months already! I am beyond thrilled and blessed. I have been eating a lot of cookies."

The newest addition will join three-year-old Jackson.

Daly recently opened up about his experiences as a father: "Any parent can probably understand it when I say, ‘I get it now.’ I sort of get life’s purpose now. It’s something you don’t really understand until you’ve created something with your life partner or someone that you love. So I look at my time with my son and it really put things in perspective. I thought I had things in perspective. With me, it’s my faith and my family and everything else falls somewhere in categories underneath all that. But when you have your child, it’s a game changer."

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Carson Daly & Siri Pinter Expecting Baby No. 2 [CelebrityBabyScoop]

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:
Conrad Miller was born in December, 2010. He is eight months old in this picture. He has two older sisters and mom says he is always happy. She also reveals that he just learned to crawl.

 Kegan is right around 12 months old in this picture.

Abbigail's grandfather sent us this adorable picture. She was born in February, 2011. Grandpa says, "She is special because she was born to my son and the daughter of my best friend in chiropractic school (31 years ago) and we have remained friends throughout all this time. Our children met and married while going to the same school, Life University in Georgia. This makes Abbi the third generation of chiropractors and hopefully, someday, she too will do the same as her parents."

Ella McKindley was born in September, 2011. Mom says, "This is my sweet baby girl who has been the best thing that ever happened to me. She brings joy to who ever meets her & the nurses kept telling me they had never seen a newborn baby smile as much as this little one did. She never cried at the Hospital and still today smiles more than ever."

Sydney Reese is 11-months-old here, she was born in December, 2010. Mom says, "Sydney is an energetic, polite and happy baby. Sydney always has a smile on her face. She loves her three furry friends (rescue cats) so much. She loves books, iPhones and our remote control. She brings such joy to our lives and we are so blessed to have her. She most recently learned to clap and is on the verge of walking."

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.