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Shocking News: A Father’s Lifestyle Will Affect His Unborn Children—And Grandchildren Too

September 10, 2012 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/09/shocking-news-a-fathers-lifestyle-will-affect-the-success-of-his-children-and-grandchildren-too/

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By NICK CHILES

As the father of three well-rounded, academically and athletically successful children, I have always been aware that fathers played a crucial role in the development, confidence and achievements of their children. But reading a fascinating story in yesterday’s New York Times, I was shocked to discover the extent to which dads have a role in the people that their children become.

As noted in the Times story entitled “Why Fathers Really Matter,” it has long been the mother who has been harangued by modern society for her choices while pregnant—she can’t drink, smoke, undergo stress, exercise too much, gain too much weight, eat the wrong foods, because they all could damage her developing fetus. Poor mothers have always been subject to the great societal wrath of friends, neighbors, casual acquaintances if she violated any of the conventional wisdom about what a mother can and cannot do. But according to the Times, choices that fathers make even long before contributing sperm to the egg also have a huge impact on that child. Read more…

A Different Labor Day: Improving Maternity Health For Black Moms and Babies

September 3, 2012 1 comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/09/a-different-labor-day-improving-maternity-health-for-black-moms-and-babies/

by Denene@MyBrownBaby

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Labor Day holds a very special place in my heart for a very specific reason: I grew up in a household with parents who were blue collar workers—who toiled hard and struggled mightily on the assembly lines of factories for decades so that they could provide a good life for my brother and me. We were not rich, by any means. And while their work did not save lives—Mommy did quality control at Estee Lauder, and Daddy ran the cake line at Entenmann’s—their contribution did bring some measure of peace to the world. Make-up and cake make people happy. Mostly, on this day, I celebrate their hard work—their labor—for what it did for us: it kept our family fed, housed, educated. Sustained.

This year, though, I add to my Labor Day a different kind of reflection—that of the birth labor of American women in general, black women in particular. I do so because today, women across the country are joining together today for the first National Rally for Change, a gathering to bring attention to the need for more informed birth choices, evidence-based practice and humanity in American maternity care. Rallies are being held today between 10 a.m. and noon at or near hospitals in 110 cities in 45 states by advocates with a singular mission: to call attention to the fact that the U.S. maternal mortality rate has doubled in the past 25 years and, despite that the U.S. spends the most money across the globe in maternity care, our country lags behind a whopping 49 industrialized nations in maternal survival rates. Read more…

Usher Won Custody Of His Sons, But Do the Babies Lose Without Their Mother In Their Lives?

August 27, 2012 Leave a comment

 

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/08/usher-wins-child-custody-vs-tameka-raymond/

by Denene Millner

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It’s not that I’m anti-father. I have one. Married to one, too. I know firsthand the power a good black dad has in the life of children—how their presence and love and discipline and direction can change the course and work miracles for little human beings. I know, too, that though we are a society that deifies motherhood, not all black mothers are good moms—that pushing a child from your loins does not guarantee you’ll be fit and ready to properly raise a little one. Still, in my heart, I just feel like something is woefully wrong about the whole Usher Raymond vs. Tameka Raymond child custody case that, on Friday, saw the R&B superstar awarded primary custody of the ex-couple’s sons.

For the record, I don’t know Usher and Tameka beyond pictures of them as a happy couple under the stress of the ugly public glare and then an angry, divorcing couple fighting over their kids, Saks Fifth Avenue cards, nanny salaries and who loves their kids more. Though I’ve read plenty on the innanets about their bitter divorce case and public child custody tussling, I believe what I see only .01 percent of the time because, well, the internet is full of fans and liars—fans and liars who get it wrong and don’t care that their starry-eyed wrongness and desperate need to align with celebrity has a real impact on real lives. Particularly in this, the Raymond vs. Raymond case. Read more…

Little Black Girls With Natural Hair: Lessons On Touching, Rocking and Loving Kinks & Curls

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/08/little-black-girls-with-natural-hair-lessons-on-touching-rocking-and-loving-kinks-curls/


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By DENENE MILLNER

She was in her early 30s when she passed away from complications associated with diabetes and we were all in deep mourning as we sat in her mother’s living room, waiting for the limousine that would ride us to her farewell. Memories were exchanged. There were tears, of course. And then all attention fell on us. Specifically, my baby daughter, barely two years old, and her hair. Read more…

On My 47th Birthday, Thanking My Diabetes for Waking Me Up

August 8, 2012 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/08/on-my-47th-birthday-thanking-my-diabetes-for-waking-me-up/

 

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By NICK CHILES

It’s been exactly 20 months since I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It was a shocking night for me that feels like a blur in my memory because the diagnosis was so mind-numbing. I had always been an athlete, always felt like I was in control of my body—could even make it do some amazing things in my younger years. Though I had put on a few pounds, I was devastated that my body had so dramatically betrayed me.

I’m reminded of that diabetes diagnosis today by two pieces of information. The first is that today is my 47th birthday. The second, related piece of news is a study I came across today, saying that men who regularly exercise and lift weights can substantially reduce their chances of contracting diabetes—and those who already have the disease can significantly decrease their chances of dying from the disease with regular exercise and weight lifting. Read more…

As America Celebrates Team USA’s Gymnastics Gold, We Salute Gabby Douglas’ Mom

August 1, 2012 Leave a comment

 

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/08/as-america-celebrates-team-usas-gold-gymnastics-gold-we-salute-gabby-douglas-mom/

by Denene Millner

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As America celebrates the Olympic gold medal win of our women’s gymnastics team and my two pretty brown girls go absolutely ga-ga over African American gymnast phenom Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas, today I’m tossing up a MyBrownBaby salute to Natalie Hawkins, Gabby’s mom.

True, her daughter is the one who is out there leaving her blood, sweat, tears and heart on the mat, slaying routines that have earned her a place at the head of the 2012 U.S. Olympics team dubbed the “Fab Five.” But it is Gabby’s mother, a Virginia Beach, VA, single mom of four girls, who deserves praise for the courageous decision that made Glorious Gabby Gold possible: two years ago, when Gabby was just 14-years-old, Hawkins sent her daughter to Iowa to train with a new coach and live with a family full of strangers so that she’d have a better shot at making it to the Olympics. Read more…

Katherine Jackson & the Jackson Family Values: A Billion Dollars Worth Of Mess

July 26, 2012 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/07/katherine-jackson-the-jackson-family-values-a-billion-dollars-worth-of-mess/

by Denene Millner

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The fight over Michael Jackson’s children and estate has turned into a messy mess of an affair, with accusations of mama kidnapping, auntie slap boxing, brothers turning against sisters and cousins “rescuing” cousins, culminating with Katherine Jackson losing custody of Paris, Prince and Blanket, the children the King Of Pop willed her to take care of when he died.

Word is Katherine, no doubt shook by Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff’s order that Tito’s son, TJ Jackson, get temporary custody of Michael’s children, is back at her Calabasas estate after disappearing for an almost two week-long “visit” at daughter Rebbie’s Arizona home, where she’s been hanging with Janet, Jermaine and Randy—playing Uno and, according to her children, following her doctor’s orders to “rest.” Katherine is vowing through attorneys that she’ll fight to get the kids back into her care. Read more…

Wisconsin Senator Thinks Single Parenthood Is Child Abuse—And Proposes Bill To Make It So

March 1, 2012 1 comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/03/wisconsin-senator-thinks-single-parenthood-is-child-abuse-and-proposes-bill-to-make-it-so/

By Denene Millner

Post image for Wisconsin Senator Thinks Single Parenthood Is Child Abuse—And Proposes Bill To Make It SoA Wisconsin legislator recently authored a controversial bill that would force the state’s Health department  to claim in literature that children from single parent homes are probably victims of child abuse. The bill, proposed by Sen. Glenn Grothman , a Republican in Wisconsin’s state senate, would force the state Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to create campaigns that would “emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.” In a state where 32 percent of the populace is comprised of single parents. Grothman’s bill reads, in part:

 

Section 1. 48.982 (2) (g) 2. of the statutes is amended to read: Read more…

Using a Condom May Not Be As Easy as We Thought

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2012/02/using-a-condom-may-not-be-as-easy-as-we-thought/

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By NICK CHILES

After a number of years (or decades) as a grown-up, most of us probably assume we got the whole condom thing figured out. Don’t exactly need to be a doctor to understand how it works. But it turns out that using a condom is a lot more complicated than I realized—which makes appropriate sex education for young people even more important.

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University analyzed 50 studies from 14 countries over 16 years and found that when it comes to using condoms, adults are kinda clueless. Check out the following list of errors for using a condom (which are 98 percent effective—when used correctly) and ask yourself, being completely honest, whether you do it right, every time. Ask yourself if you even knew you were supposed to be doing all of these things, every time. Then ask yourself how much fun (Not!) it would be to go over each one of these steps with your adolescent son or daughter, as part of the “sex talk.”

From the study, here are the top condom errors: Read more…

Got (Breast) Milk? It Does Your Baby—And Your Body!—Good

July 8, 2011 Leave a comment

http://mybrownbaby.com/2011/06/got-breast-milk-it-does-your-baby%E2%80%94and-your-body%E2%80%94good/

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By ANGELA CARSTARPHEN WATFORD

Sometimes as a new mom I feel like a cow—literally—thanks to my new bootylicious bootée and my new bodacious boobs. Trust me, the description sounds better than it looks. Going from a size 2 to a size 6 in my jeans and from a cute 32C to a voluptuous 34D doesn’t make me feel Beyoncé-ish. It just makes me feel like a heifer. Pun intended. But I still feel empowered and thankful that it’s all for the health of my child. So what if I have curves—the majority of us do. But, guess what? We African American breast-feeding moms are still in the minority. Read more…

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