Category: Health

Jill Duggar and Hubby Ignite Drinking While Pregnant Debate

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 by No Comments

If you don’t watch the TV show “19 Kids and Counting” you’ve probably heard about the large family. One of the daughters, Jill, was married last year and is now expecting her first child with her husband Derick Dillard.

The two seem blissfully happy, and the media seems interested in everything from her Walmart baby shower to her midwives. To say this couple leads a “squeaky clean” lifestyle is an understatement, so to find them under fire for promoting drinking while pregnant was a bit of a shock for me.

It all started when Derick posted a photo on Instagram that captured the couple’s Valentine’s Day celebration. It included a tray on a bed. On the tray were chocolate, a picture of the happy couple, a bottle of sparkling cider, and two half-filled champagne glasses. Along with the tray was a pillow embroidered with the words Mr. & Mrs, and an opened Bible.

The problem is that many of the Instagram commenters assumed the cider was alcoholic. Comments included negative admonitions like “very inappropriate” and “You shouldn’t post pictures of you drinking alcohol while pregnant.” Others people were of the opinion that you can celebrate however you want.

What I’d like to point out is that this couple is not drinking alcohol. It’s another example of people jumping to conclusions and assuming things that aren’t true.

Jill is due in about a month and I’m sure she doesn’t need the stress. She and her husband enjoyed a sweet celebration of Valentine’s Day and the public turned it into something that ignited a firestorm. I have to wonder if they will hesitate to share photos in the future once the baby is born.

As for drinking while you’re pregnant. As much as we may think it is right or wrong, there are studies that support both views. One study even says a little alcohol might even be beneficial for the baby, but limited to a couple of drinks per week.

It is clear that overindulgence is out of the question. It is also clear that Jill and Derek chose not to consume alcohol as part of their Valentine celebration so for them it is not an issue.

Photo credits: Instagram

Baby Born With Amniotic Sac Perfectly Intact

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 by No Comments

During pregnancy, babies are surrounded and cushioned by a fluid-filled membranous sac called the amniotic sac. Sometime during labor it ruptures. Sometimes it’s a gush like turning on the tub faucet, and other times it is nothing but a trickle. This is commonly known as your water breaking.

When the time came for my first baby to be born, I knew it even though she was 11 days early, because my water broke. With my second child, the doctor “broke my water” and the delivery was quick.

With a Cesarean section, the amniotic fluid is normally suctioned out. But when Silas Philips entered the world at 26 weeks, via emergency Cesarean section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, he was still enclosed within his perfectly intact amniotic sac. It still held the placenta and umbilical cord.

The doctor says, “He was kind of in a fetal position and you could see like his arms and his legs curled up. It was actually really cool to see, and when I heard that was actually really rare, I was like, oh my gosh, you’re a special little baby.”

The facts support his uniqueness. Approximately only one in 80,000 births still have the sac covering part of the baby’s body, and when it does happen it is usually covering the head.

But a baby being born “en caul” with the entire body still wrapped inside the amniotic sac with the placenta providing oxygen, it is even more rare. Rare enough that most doctors will never witness it firsthand.

According to a Cedars-Sinai statement, when little Silas Philips was born the doctor “was in awe when the baby just popped out completely enclosed. They had just a short amount of time to get the baby out of the sac.”

Little Silas is now healthy and almost three month old. He is expected to go home around his due date in March.

Photo credits: Happening

Should You Color Your Hair When Pregnant?

Posted on Feb 25, 2015 by No Comments

Gray hair has been spotted. Oh my!

Poor Kate Middleton. The press just loves to dissect every tiny detail from her dark circles to fine lines to her growing baby bump. Now the cameras have picked up “visible” gray roots while she was out and about.

I confess, I spotted my first gray hair at 28, so it’s no surprise that the 33-year-old Duchess of Cambridge has a few gray hairs. And as health conscious as she is, she may be passing on dying her hair while she’s pregnant to avoid contact with the harsh chemicals.

Who knows, she might even be going au naturel just because that’s what she wants to do. But it does bring up the question of whether or not you should color your hair while pregnant. Can it be harmful to the unborn child?

Turns out there isn’t a definitive answer. The Mayo Clinic points to a 2005 study that “suggested an association between the use of hair dye during pregnancy and the development of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma” and that other studies have not reached the same conclusion.

According to the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), when it comes to coloring your hair and other treatments the amount of exposure, the timing during pregnancy, and the frequency of use are all important factors to consider.

If you just can’t stand the idea of letting your hair color grow out while pregnant, Reyad Fritas, artistic director of Fekkai 5th Avenue, suggests highlights as your best option because, “The dye doesn’t touch the skin, is ammonia-free, and there is less oxidation to breath in versus a [full] color.”

And for covering that gray, he suggests a gentle semi-permanent, ammonia-free dye. He admits the coverage isn’t the same offered by a permanent dye, but it can “still create a natural look.”

This topic is one of those personal choice subjects. While there’s no hard proof that coloring your hair while pregnant can harm your baby, it isn’t recommended by doctors for the first three months to avoid contact with the ammonia.

If you have concerns about what you should do, talk with your health care provider.

Photo credits: Dean Wissing

Designer Babies Okayed by Parliament: Are We Playing God?

Posted on Feb 23, 2015 by No Comments

When I heard that the U.K.’s Parliament had okayed a controversial fertility procedure that uses the DNA of three different people, it brought to mind genetically engineered populations of Science Fiction.

With technological advances coming at us faster and faster, I often feel like I’m living within a Science Fiction-like reality and this time is no different.

The bill which passed authorizes an in-vitro fertilization technique that combines two parents’ genetic material with that of an additional female donor.

The procedure allows women who carry the genes for mitochondrial disease to carry their own biological children without passing on the risk. It’s the kind of thing they talk about in futuristic novels and movies, a way way to filter out genetic weaknesses.

The mitochondrion (plural mitochondria) is a membrane bound organelle found in most cells that make up plants, animals, humans and other forms of life.

Mitochondrial creates more than 90 percent of the energy needed to support life, and mitochondria diseases occur when the mitochondria fails. It results in less and less energy within the cell and can lead to cell death.

As this condition is repeated throughout the body, systems begin to fail and quality of life is compromised. Symptoms may include loss of motor control, gastro-intestinal disorders, muscle weakness and pain, poor growth, and more.

It’s a disease that primarily affects children, but it is becoming more common in adults, too.

To accomplish this feat, they’ll start with a donor egg which has been cleared of everything but its mitochondria. They’ll insert the maternal spindle (the nucleus of the mother’s egg). The resulting egg will then be fertilized with the father’s sperm.

The result is a child who is biologically the child of the parents but without the risk of mitochondria disease. It won’t affect the way they look, the color of their eyes, or any of those other characteristics passed from one generation to the next.

The procedure is being embraced by researchers, bioethicists, and government advisors around the world. They call it “an international demonstration of how good regulation helps medical science to advance in step with wider society.”

However, there are also those who question whether or not we’re playing God and even “walking in Hitler’s footsteps.”

What do you think? Is this a road we should follow?

Photo credits: wikipedia

Measles Parties Unconfirmed Rumors

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 by No Comments

Measles has been in the news since last fall. Back then they were talking about the disease making a comeback. By January, I was hearing about 51 cases being linked back to Disneyland in California.

Since then, the once-common childhood disease is in the news regularly and the debate over vaccines has reared to the forefront with the two sides butting heads over the hot button topic.

Along with the spread of measles are rumors of “measles parties” adding fuel to the disagreement. The thing is, that’s all they are at this point. Nothing confirmed, just rumors.

This type of virus-exposure party isn’t something new. They even had measles parties back in the 50s and 60s.

Back in 80s, I remember people throwing “chicken pox parties” so families could expose their kids to the virus in hopes they would get the chicken pox and retain their immunity through adulthood when the virus is more dangerous.

It’s a planned event in which parents who haven’t vaccinated their kids hope to intentionally expose their children to the measles (or chickenpox) virus thinking it will help them to develop a natural immunity.

Before the vaccine, measles was a pretty common thing, so many people think of it more like getting a cold, but the disease can have serious consequences.

California’s health officials have warned parents against intentionally exposing their kids to the measles. At this point, no actual measles parties have been confirmed, but they are still making the news.

It seems to have all started with a radio show in the Bay Area when a mother of two unvaccinated kids called the station to say a friend offered to help expose her kids to the virus. The mom said no thank you, but it sparked the rumors and the warnings issued by California Department of Health.

At this time, the current U.S. measles outbreak has infected at least 166 people in 18 states and the District of Columbia. The virus has a 90-percent transmission rate so if measles parties were to happen chances are great that a child exposed would come down with measles.

But why would you want to risk the possible side effects? One in 20 kids who get the measles will develop pneumonia. One in 20 are odds I wouldn’t want to take.

Even more serious, 1 in 1,000 measles patients experience brain swelling which can have long-term consequences like hearing loss, blindness, or mental impairment. There is even a risk of death.

When it comes to measles parties, I hope they stay nothing but rumors making headlines.

Photo credits: DNews

Link Round-up: DIY Projects, Being a Body-Positive Role Model, Bird Feeders, and More

Posted on Feb 5, 2015 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has tips for being a positive role model, DIY projects, and more.

Bitz n Giggles showed us how to make your own decongestant tablets.

Mind Body Green shared five ways to be a body-positive role model.

Creative Green Living taught us how to turn old blue jeans into a dress-up play crown.

link ru plastic storage makeover
Crafts by Amanda showed us how to give plastic storage drawers a makeover.

Happy Hooligans taught us how to make bird feeders with Cheerios.

Creating and Co. taught us how to make dotted monogram mugs.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a stamped bar leather bracelet.

Photo credit: Bitz n Giggles and Crafts by Amanda

Why Preemies Sleep Different than Full-Term Babies

Posted on Feb 4, 2015 by 1 Comment

If you’ve listened to the advice of well-meaning friends and family, they’ve probably told you that you can expect your newborn to sleep through the night after the first few months. However, this might not be the case if you have a premature baby.

According to Healthy Children, which is powered by the American Academy of Pediatrics, a preemie baby may not sleep through the night as quickly as his term counterparts.

When it comes to snoozing a full six to eight hours a night, a preemie baby may be as much as three to six months behind his full-term peers of the same age.

If you’re exhausted, continuing without sleep for six months might seem like an insurmountable task. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to encourage your preemie to sleep better.

Having days and nights mixed up is common for all babies, but preemies seem to stretch this phenomenon on for several months longer than term babies. Your baby’s brain is still developing, so it may take longer for her to start sleeping deeply.

To help your baby learn the difference between day and night, keep a steady routine that is the same each day. Feed your baby at the same time each day and bathe her at the same time.

Preemie parents often suggest that small babies who spent time in the neonatal care unit at the hospital may be so used to the noises and bustle of neo/nic that they can’t sleep if it is very quiet at home. Try adding white noise with a noise maker and see if that helps.

Use lighting to signal to your baby when it is time to sleep and time to wake. Dim the lights at bedtime and use only a nightlight or dim light when feeding in the middle of the night. This can help the baby learn your routine and start to associate the dimmer light with sleep time.

You can also try limiting the length of daytime naps and swaddling the baby. Remember to never put your baby on her stomach to sleep. Most pediatricians and organizations devoted to preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) associate stomach sleeping as one of the factors contributing to SIDS.

Most of all, be patient. Your preemie baby is still developing. When he is ready, he will start to sleep for six hour stretches or more and your nights of sleeplessness will fade to a dim memory.

Photo Credit: CBC

Napping Makes Your Baby Smarter

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 by 1 Comment

I always thought of naps as a break for moms. A time to regroup, a chance to catch up on things, or even a time to sit down and have a cup of coffee without someone tugging on my pant leg saying, “Mommy, mommy….”

Now a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that naps actually play an important role in the child’s development and ability to remember new skills!

While sleep is often linked to benefits in adults, until now it hasn’t been clear what, if any,  benefits it offers to babies. Findings conclude that napping actually helps preschoolers learn.

The research was based on two experiments that included a total of 216 babies who ranged in age from 6 months to 12 months old. The babies were taught how to take mittens off animal puppets. Then one group took a nap and the other did not. Babies were tested either four or 24 hours later to see if they remembered what they had learned.

They found the babies who had taken naps, after learning, remembered what they learned, especially after 24 hours. The evidence offered by these results suggests that an extended nap of 30 minutes or more, within 4 hour hours of learning, helps 6-12 month old babies to “retain their memories for new behaviors across a 4- and 24-hour delay.”

So next time you go to put your baby down for a nap and they fuss about it, remember it is for their own good. It’s more than a break for you, too. It’s helping them formulate long-term memories.

And if you think you might want to lie down for a nap for your own long-term memory, never mind. While naps do have a number of benefits for adults, we don’t need to nap in order to retain new things we’ve learned. But it will help you re-energize.

Photo credits: Jousha Blout

Link Round-up: Detox Water, Organization, DIY Projects, and More

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has detox water, linen closet organization hacks, DIYs, and more.

I Heart Naptime showed us how to make green enchilada soup in the slow cooker.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom shared a recipe for apple cinnamon detox water.

Glenrose Square taught us how to turn an old basket into a centerpiece.

link ru linen closet hacks
Seven Thirty Three shared some linen closet organization hacks.

Sunshine and Hurricanes shared the how-to behind a simple 15-minute Valentine’s Day wreath.

Design, Dining, and Diapers showed us how to create a mud room in the garage.

The Happy Housie shared five easy ways to warm up your space for winter.

Photo credit: I Heart Naptime and Seven Thirty Three