by Denene Millner
And yet another study to remind moms-to-be that America’s maternity leave laws suck donkey booty and need a major overhaul for the sake of our children’s health and a new mom’s recovery and sanity: researchers say that working during your final month of pregnancy is as harmful as smoking.
The research, performed by the University of Essex, showed that just like lighting up, working late into pregnancy leads to newborns that are a half pound smaller than infants whose mothers quit work between their sixth and eighth months of pregnancy. The research, which sampled about 30,000 mothers across three different surveys, including one from the U.S., also showed even more pronounced results for women over age 24 and those with lower levels of education, who were most likely to do more physically demanding work. Read more…
by Denene Millner
By NICK CHILES
This is one that will surely stop new mothers in their tracks: Infants that live with a dog in the house are healthier than those who don’t. Why? Because of all the germs, silly!
That’s right. The germs that dogs track into the house—particularly dogs who spend as much as 18 hours a day outside—help newborns build up immunities that allow babies to more easily ward off illness, such as ear infections, the bane of every new mom and dad’s existence.
The findings were reported in the medical journal Pediatrics, which published the results of the study of 397 children who lived in rural and suburban Finland.
The dogs, and to a lesser extent cats, helped the babies ward off respiratory tract infections and ear infections during their first year of life.
“The children having dogs at home were healthier, they had less ear infections and they needed less antibiotics,” said Eija Bergroth, the study’s lead author and a pediatrician affiliated with Kuopio University Hospital in Kuopio, Finland. Read more…
By Denene Millner
I know. A dramatic headline. Made you look. But it’s not fiction. It turns out that the “Cry It Out” method of baby sleep training, where you ignore that your kid is screaming, crying and turning 40 shades of purple so that she can break herself out of the habit of being spoiled and cuddled to sleep, does more harm—way more—than good.
In her recent piece for Psychology Today, Darcia Narvaez, an associate professor of psychology at Notre Dame, writes that when babies are stressed, their bodies release cortisol into their systems—a toxic hormone that kills brain cells. Considering their brains are only 25 percent developed when they’re born full-term and grow rapidly in their first year, killing off baby brain cells is a huge no bueno. Narvaez notes that studies out of Harvard, Yale, Baylor and other prestigious institutions show that said killing off of baby brain cells can lead to the higher probability of ADHD, poor academic performance and anti-social tendencies, and that human babies are hardwired for hands-on comfort and care. Read more…
By KIA MORGAN SMITH
Last year it really ticked me off when my son’s teacher left him in a soiled diaper all day. It was obvious when I picked him up that he probably hadn’t been changed since breakfast. The circles on his bright red butt cheeks should have been brown, but they were chaffed and scaly and he was crying and agitated. And so was I. His skin is just as sensitive as his delicate digestive system which can only consume coconut milk. Needless to say that was his last day at that daycare and probably the first day I realized that there are actually babies who sit in wet, soiled diapers because their struggling parents stretch its use because their dollars are short. Read more…
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…