Archive for the ‘ All About Babies ’ Category

Is ‘Mom Brain’ Legit?

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

mom brainThe other day, I turned to my son, opened my mouth to speak and plum forgot what I was going to say. It’s the third time I’ve done that this month. I’ve also picked up a fun habit where I walk into a room for a specific reason, then completely blank on it the moment my feet clear the entrance. And occasion, I’ve been known to accidentally call my child by the dog or cat’s name or, worse, sometimes both, roll-call style.

Yup, it’s official: I’m turning into my mother. Or at least my mind is, according to a new study.

As researchers at the University of British Columbia recently discovered, “mom brain” is really a thing. It’s among the awesome changes pregnancy and childbirth give us ladies—right alongside thinning hair, sagging boobs, stretch marks, bigger feet… oh, you get the point. In the past, we’ve chalked up the fogginess and forgetfulness to stress, diet, lack of sleep, and too much multitasking. But as this study found, our freewheeling pre- and postnatal hormones do in fact play a role. “Our most recent research shows that previous motherhood alters cognition and neuroplasticity in response to hormone therapy, demonstrating that motherhood permanently alters the brain,” said lead researcher Dr. Liisa Galea in a statement. (“Permanently alters the brain”? Yikes!)

To reach that scary-sounding conclusion, Dr. Galea and her team focused on the hippocampus, a section of the brain we rely on for memory and spatial relation. They then gave lab rats two types of estrogen hormones—estrone, which is found in older women, and estradiol, which is mostly in younger women—and set them on a water maze to test their memory and navigation skills. The group that received estradiol performed better in the maze than the ones who were given estrone. But more tellingly, the rats who were given estrone and had previously given birth were slower to learn and had less protein needed for neuroplasticity than their childless peers who were given the same hormone.

While these findings don’t offer much help for new moms, they could inform the type of hormone replacement therapy you receive in the future (should you choose to go that route when you hit menopause). Um, yay? In the meantime, I may end up following some moms‘ advice and playing Sudoku or stocking up on lots (and lots) of post-it notes. How about you? What tricks do you use to help with mom brain?

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

Pregnancy Symptoms: How To Cope With Pregnancy Brain
Pregnancy Symptoms: How To Cope With Pregnancy Brain
Pregnancy Symptoms: How To Cope With Pregnancy Brain

Image of forgetful mom courtesy of Shutterstock

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OMG! This Couple Has How Many Grandkids and Great-Grandkids?!

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

grandchildrenFinding out you’re going to have grandchildren is without a doubt a major bucket list moment (at least it was for my parents—and this guy’s). But one Illinois couple had extra reason to celebrate their family’s newest arrival. That’s because on April 8, baby Jaxton became Leo and Ruth Zanger’s—wait for it—100th grandchild.

Reaching the big 1-0-0 is no easy feat, but I suppose it helps if you start with a large family. To do the math (and be a bit more specific), the Zangers have 12 children ranging in age from 31 to 58; 53 grandchildren; 46 great-grandchildren (that’s where baby Jaxton fits in); one great-great grandchild — and more expected. And all this in time for their 59th wedding anniversary.

Phew!

But thankfully, more really is merrier for this tight-knit clan. Almost everyone lives near each other, and they regularly get together for holidays — though something tells me their celebrations are a little bigger than yours and mine.

Congratulations, Zanger family!

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter Pinterest andGoogle+.

Babyproofing Your Home: Grammy¿s House
Babyproofing Your Home: Grammy¿s House
Babyproofing Your Home: Grammy¿s House

Image of newborn courtesy of Shutterstock

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Could Living at a High Altitude Increase Your Baby’s Risk of SIDS?

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

sidsWhen deciding where to raise our babies, many of us look at the basics: the neighborhood, schools, amenities, and overall quality of life. But should the town’s elevation also be on the list?

According to a new study in Colorado, babies there who live above 8,000 feet are more susceptible to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than infants who live at an altitude of 6,000 feet or less. (It’s the difference between living in the far reaches of the Rocky Mountains versus a city like Denver.) One possible explanation? There’s less oxygen in mountain air, and some previous research has found a connection between SIDS and lower oxygen levels in babies.

But don’t rush out and list your mountain home just yet. Researchers stress that more studies are needed to confirm the possible connection. Also, SIDS—even in the higher elevations—is relatively rare, says Dr. David Katz, lead author of the study and a heart specialist at the University of Colorado. In the six years of birth and death certificates he and his team analyzed, only six high-altitude babies died from it. That’s 0.8 SIDS deaths per 1,000 births versus 0.4 per 1,000 in Colorado’s lower altitudes.

Regardless of where you live, there are things you can do to help reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS: Place baby to sleep on his back in a bare crib (that means no pillows, blankets or bumpers), avoid bed-sharing, and keep your child away from cigarette smoke.

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her onTwitter, Pinterest, andGoogle+.

Baby Sleep Safety: Reduce the Risk of SIDS
Baby Sleep Safety: Reduce the Risk of SIDS
Baby Sleep Safety: Reduce the Risk of SIDS

Image of baby sleeping courtesy of Shutterstock

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See Gorgeous Photos of Moms Breastfeeding Their Toddlers

Monday, May 25th, 2015

An Illinois photographer is shining a positive light on nursing through babyhood and beyond. In a series of photos titled “I Breastfeed My Toddler” (and in her forthcoming book, Breastfeeding Goddesses), Ivette Ivens beautifully captured the complicated, visceral side of breastfeeding, how it can make you feel powerful and nurturing and serene — often all at the same time. Moms and babies were shot in windswept, ethereal settings and bathed in warm, natural light, but perhaps what’s more striking is the look on their faces: tenderness, joy, love. It’s not what many of us think about when we consider nursing past the one- or two-year mark — which is exactly Ivens’ point.

In fact, the mom of two is a bit of an authority on the topic. She breastfed her son past his third birthday, and currently nurses her 10-month-old. “Children know when it’s time to wean off. Mothers do, too. Strangers don’t know, so they shouldn’t care,” Ivens said in an article on The Huffington Post. As her art shows, the nursing a toddler is anything but fringe. Check out a few of our favorites photos below:

extended breastfeeding

extended breastfeeding

extended breastfeeding

extended breastfeeding

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

How to Manage Breastfeeding
How to Manage Breastfeeding
How to Manage Breastfeeding

Photos courtesy of Ivette Ivens

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See the Breastfeeding Model on the Cover of Elle Australia!

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

breastfeeding modelThe #normalizebreastfeeding movement got a major boost this week when Elle Australia‘s June issue trickled into subscribers’ mailboxes. Right there on the cover, in a stunning head-on shot, is supermodel and new mom Nicole Trunfio breastfeeding her 4-month-old son, Zion.

Though it might look like pre-planned, the tender mother-son moment was anything but. Turns out, Baby Z got hungry during mom’s photo shoot, so Trunfio took a break to nurse him—and the photographer kept on shooting. Later, as she was flipping through the proofs, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Justine Cullen, was so struck by the beauty of the feeding photos that she made the bold move to put one on the cover.

Labeled a “special issue,” the nursing cover will only be seen by subscribers, a point of contention for some who complain that the image deserves a place on newsstands. Still, the supermodel and breastfeeding champion seems grateful for the platform and the opportunity to do her part in making public breastfeeding more acceptable. She posted the cover on Instagram and wrote: “The last thing I want to do is to be controversial, so please take this for what it is, let us #normalizebreastfeeding there is nothing worse than a mother that is judged for feeding her hungry child in public. #weareonlyhuman. I’m so proud of this cover and for what it’s [sic] stands for.”

While she admits that the photo doesn’t capture what she normally looks like when nursing—I mean, would you wear suede during a feeding sesh?—Trunfio wrote that she wants it to “stand for all women out there, whether you breastfeed or not, we gave birth, we are women, we are mothers.” And the public is responding in kind. As of this writing, the model’s post has 14,400 likes—and plenty of comments from grateful moms.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding

Cover of Elle Australia courtesy of Nicole Trunfio via Instagram

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