Archive for the ‘ Babies ’ Category

LOL: Breastfeeding Mom Cops to an “Epic Fail of Fails”

Friday, July 31st, 2015

baby colleyShow of hands: Who here is guilty of a parent fail? Yup, pretty much everybody, ever. A dad friend of mine once admitted to looking the other way when his 2-year-old bypassed the chicken on her plate and ate only ketchup for dinner. A mom I know told her child that people only have birthday parties every five years. And just the other day, I bribed my kid into going to camp by promising him a Starbucks cake pop.

But Gemma Colley may have us all beat. Earlier this week, the British mama got a spray tan, then went home to her two kiddos. A few hours later, her baby boy was hungry, so Colley began breastfeeding him. When the infant was done, he pulled back and revealed a Jon Hamm-esque five o’clock shadow.

Oops! Lucky for us, the good-natured Colley shared her self-described “epic fail of fails” on The Unmumsy Mum’s Facebook page, writing, “I had a spray tan, a few hours later I breastfed my little boy. Cue 5 o’clock shadow and a very guilty mummy. Lesson to you all. Don’t do this.” Naturally, the Internet has totally embraced the photo: As of this writing, it’s been shared over 43,000 times and liked by 161,560 people.

Of course, there’s no telling how many of those people may also have been a little freaked out at the sight of Baby Colley’s face smeared with a bunch of chemicals. Rest assured, it looks worse than it probably is. “There isn’t any research that we’re aware of about whether artificial tanning products affect infants, but since this is a one-time event with a limited amount of product, it probably isn’t harmful,” says Diana West, IBCLC, director of media relations for La Leche League International. “The most important takeaway is that the tanning product shows that this mother responded to her baby’s need to nurse, which is always a wonderful thing.”

I want to hear from you: What’s your worst parenting fail? Share it in the comments below!

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

Image: Gemma Colley via Facebook

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Fighting Words: Donald Trump Called a Breastfeeding Mom ‘Disgusting’

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

donald trumpFrom the Obama administration to the entire country of Mexico, Donald Trump seems to have plenty of insults to go around. But at least new moms are safe from his verbal Molotov cocktails, right?

Um, not quite. Reports are cropping up that back in 2011, The Donald had some choice words for a breastfeeding mom who asked for a break during a deposition to pump.

The mama, attorney Elizabeth Beck, was repping a group of people who lost money on one of Trump’s real estate developments, and was charged with deposing him. Beck and the blustery billionaire’s attorneys reportedly agreed to a lunch break beforehand, with the understanding that she would use that time to pump in a private room.

The appointed hour came and went, so Beck reminded the group about the break. (Side note: As any nursing mom knows, you can’t wait too long to drain milk-filled boobs. If the leaking doesn’t get you, the pain certainly will.)

According to Beck, her request sent Trump into a toddler-worthy meltdown. “He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there,” she told CNN on Wednesday.

The Trump camp doesn’t deny that he called her disgusting, but Trump’s attorney, Allen Garten, said it was because she was going to pump in front of the group at the deposition. He told the network that Beck was setting up the machine right there in the room and “started to move the breast pump toward her breast.”

The presidential hopeful has responded to Beck’s allegations in a style that’s true to his “no apologies” platform, taking to Twitter on Wednesday to point out in a trio of tweets that Beck “lost the case,”  ”was easy for me to beat,” and that she “did a terrible job against me.”

Setting aside the name-calling for a second, let’s consider what appears to have happened in that room: A nursing mom asks for a break, doesn’t get one, and as a result, fights for her right to pump. Even if she did set up the machine in front of her colleagues, what’s so disgusting about that? More troubling to me is that not only was Beck’s very basic request apparently ignored, she was made to feel bad for standing up for herself. That’s something no working mom should have to contend with, whether she’s behind a register or in a boardroom.

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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+.

Breast Pumping Made Easy
Breast Pumping Made Easy
Breast Pumping Made Easy

Photo of Donald Trump courtesy of Shutterstock

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Are You At Risk for PPD? Your Blood May Offer Clues

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

ppdDepression. Mood swings. Sleeplessness. Excessive crying. For the nearly 20 percent of new moms who are dealing with postpartum depression (PPD), those early weeks with baby are anything but idyllic. And it’s not just women who suffer—partners and babies also feel the effects.

To make matters worse, it’s not always so easy to figure out who’s at risk for developing PPD. Sure, there are some indicators, like lower levels of the hormone oxytocin and previous bouts of depression. However, for every woman who satisfies those requirements, there are many others who don’t. For some new mamas, the serious illness seemingly hits without much rhyme or reason.

But as a team of researchers from the U.S. and England have discovered, there are markers, or proteins, in the blood that may signify whether you’re at an increased risk of developing something more than just the “baby blues.” Specifically, those markers are found in the oxytocin receptor gene. Oxytocin helps during childbirth, bonding with baby, regulating moods, and lowering stress levels.

Though it won’t eliminate PPD, finding those markers in a blood test before you give birth can help you prepare for the swell of emotions that hit once baby arrives. “We can greatly improve the outcome of this disorder with the identification of markers, biological or otherwise, that can identify women who may be at risk for its development,” Jessica Connelly, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and senior author of the study, said in a press release. “We know that women who have experienced depression before pregnancy are at higher risk of developing depression in the postpartum period. However, women who have never experienced depression also develop postpartum depression. These markers we identified may help to identify them, in advance.”

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Frontiers in Genetics.

Though promising, these findings aren’t necessarily written in stone—yet. In this study, scientists analyzed samples from a U.K.-based longitudinal study. Researchers say they’ll need to reach a similar conclusion in other population-based samples before confirming. Still, if true, this news would arm women who are at risk of developing PPD with the knowledge they need.

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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+.

What Postpartum Depression Looks Like
What Postpartum Depression Looks Like
What Postpartum Depression Looks Like

Photo of new mom courtesy of Shutterstock

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See a Politician Mom Breastfeeding on the Job Like It’s NBD

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

breastfeeding momFeeling a little nervous about nursing in public? Let Victoria Donda Perez show you how it’s done. The new mom and Argentinian politician was recently photographed juggling policy making and breastfeeding her 8-month-old daughter.

Like the boss she is, Donda Perez is all smiles as she sweetly cuddles her nursing baby right there during a session of Parliament. There’s not a cover in sight, not a shadowy corner for her to disappear into—not that she needs either. Nope, judging by the wingtips in the background, her male co-workers are just behind her and journalists are very much nearby. And that seems to be perfectly fine with Donda Perez.

A photographer from the local news outlet Infobae snapped a shot of the nursing mom, which has since gone viral. Though some haters have chastised the politician for nursing so openly, many more have jumped to her defense. Donda Perez, meanwhile, hasn’t publicly commented yet on her newfound breastfeeding hero status.

Related: Real Lactation Rooms: Oh, the Places You’ve Pumped!

Personally, I’m all for breastfeeding moms feeling comfortable feeding their babies whenever, wherever the need strikes. And trust me, our kiddos have a funny way of asking for food in the oddest places and at the most inopportune times. Though I always tried to time my outings around mealtimes, I’ve ended up nursing my son in some pretty unusual spots: in a gas station parking lot, during my sister-in-law’s wedding reception, at a college graduation, in my pediatrician‘s office way more times than I can count, on top of Cadillac Mountain…you get the idea. Though I’m a fairly modest person by nature, even I have to admit that after a while, I became pretty darn comfortable popping out a boob when the need arose.

And that’s the funny thing I learned about breastfeeding. Do it enough and you sort of get used to flashing some skin — whether you’re in a restaurant, on top of a mountain or on the floor of Parliament.

Now it’s your turn: What’s the most unusual place you’ve nursed your baby? Tell us in the comments below!

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+.

Balancing Work & Breastfeeding
Balancing Work & Breastfeeding
Balancing Work & Breastfeeding

Photo of Victoria Donda Perez courtesy of Infobae via Twitter

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More Babies (of All Birth Weights!) are Being Admitted to the NICU

Monday, July 27th, 2015

nicuIf you feel like you’ve heard about more babies ending up in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) these days, you may be on to something. According to a new study published online today in JAMA Pediatrics, admission rates in the U.S. are up in this highly specialized unit.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the increase is evident among all birth weight categories, including normal-sized newborns who were born at term.

Researchers discovered that overall NICU admission rates shot up from 64.0 to 77.9 per 1,000 live births. Between 2007 and 2012, more and more newborns of higher birth weights were being admitted there; by 2012, babies of normal birth weight or born at 37 weeks gestation or older made up almost half of the admission. Or, put another way, for every 1,000 newborns of normal birth weight, 43 were admitted into the NICU, notes the study’s authors Wade Harrison, M.P.H., and David Goodman, M.D., M.S., of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine. Meanwhile, for every 1,000 newborns of very low birth weight, 844.1 were admitted to the NICU.

The findings are based on data from nearly 18 million live births between January 2007 and December 2012, in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

Does this rise mean doctors are sending some newborns to the neonatal intensive care unit unnecessarily? Are they overusing the pricey (and precious) resources there? Based on their evidence, Drs. Harrison and Goodman couldn’t say for sure, though they did suggest that “our findings raise questions about how this high-intensity resource is being used.”

It’s a topic worth considering, Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., M.S., of the Indiana University School of Medicine wrote in a related editorial—though not because of possible fraud or waste. Rather, it’s because taking care of an infant in this specialized unit is expensive and carries “potential harm,” he wrote. “If hospitals want to argue that NICUs are necessary, they will need to prove that the need exists, especially in light of the increasing share of infants admitted who are at or near full term. If hospitals are unable to demonstrate that NICUs are necessary, then it is very likely that, at some point in the near future, policies will force them to reduce those admissions, which will have major implications for NICU and hospital finances.”

And that’s something no parent should ever have to worry about.

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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+.

Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies
Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies
Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies

Image of baby in NICU courtesy of Shutterstock

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