Archive for the ‘ Must Read ’ Category

See the ‘Pride Baby’ Pictures That Are Melting Hearts Everywhere

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Most delivery room pictures (mine included!) look a little something like this: sacked-out mom holds swaddled-within-an-inch-of-his-life newborn and grins wearily for the camera. But a new series of pictures burning up the Internet may make parents-to-be want to rethink their first family photo.

Toronto couple Frank Nelson and BJ Barone welcomed their son, Milo, on June 27 the way most of us do: with overwhelming joy, lots of tears, and maybe even a little fear. Unlike most of us, though, the first-time dads were lucky to have professional photographer Lindsay Foster on hand to record the moment they first held the baby, before his umbilical cord was even cut. (She was shooting the birth as a gift for her friend, who was also the couple’s gestational surrogate.) They were also fortunate that the midwife gave them a heads-up to remove their shirts right before the birth for some important skin-to-skin time with the baby.

The photos are, simply put, extraordinary. Every time I look at them, I’m immediately back in the delivery room, cradling my brand-new son, and drinking in everything about him. And considering how quickly the pictures went viral, I bet I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Pride Baby Lindsay Foster Photography“She absolutely captured the most beautiful moment,” Nelson told Today. “I was completely overwhelmed. I was so scared of dropping the baby. Mostly, the feeling was of joy and love and amazement.”

Barone added, “I was so excited, so overjoyed, so overcome with emotion, it was an incredible moment I will never forget. The fact we have this photo, it’s a reminder of how much love we have for him.”

Surely making Milo’s birth that much more special was the fact that he was born during Toronto’s World Pride gay rights festival. “That picture, to us, represents what pride is all about and how far the LGBT community has come,” Nelson said. “Love is love, and that’s what pride is all about.”

Congratulations to the new family!

Tell us: Do you wish you would have hired a professional photographer to shoot your baby’s birth?

Birth Stories:
Birth Stories:
Birth Stories: "My Water Broke..."

Preparing for your baby’s birth? Get a crash course on what to expect during the first weeks. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

Photos of the new dads and Milo courtesy of Lindsay Foster Photography via Facebook

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Do You Live in One of the Worst States for Working Moms?

Friday, June 20th, 2014

working-familiesA new study has confirmed what every working parent already knows: our country doesn’t do nearly enough to support new moms and dads when baby arrives. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit National Partnership for Women & Families conducted a state-by-state analysis, grading each state and the District of Columbia on whether it passed laws that expanded federal leave and workplace protections for families.

The results are worse than you think.

Only California managed to eke out an A, with Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey and the District of Columbia coming in next with a B+. Sadly, 31 states earned a grade of D or lower; of those, more than half scored an F. The lowest-scoring states are scattered around the country–everywhere from Alabama to Delaware, Michigan to South Dakota. (To see how your state measured up, check out the full report.)

Despite growing public support for change, things aren’t much better on the federal level. The U.S. is one of the few countries that doesn’t guarantee paid leave for new moms or dads, and there are only three national laws designed to help families.

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. There have been some signs of progress since the nonprofit’s first study was published nine years ago. Some states now guarantee reasonable workplace conditions for women with pregnancy-related physical limitations, which means more moms-to-be can stay on the job while pregnant. Employers in Hawaii are now required by law to provide nursing mothers time to pump during the workday, and if possible, give them somewhere besides a toilet stall to do it. And thanks to temporary disability insurance, some 24 million workers are now guaranteed access to paid sick days, paid family leave and paid medical leave.

The study was released just ahead of next week’s White House Summit on Working Families, where the administration will unveil policies that will bring the U.S. more in line with other countries. My hope is that the proposals will prevent new parents from being penalized for deciding to have a family and help working moms make the already-tough transition back to the office that much smoother. Whether these concepts will be embraced by both sides of the aisle remains to be seen.

Tell us: Did you decide to go back to work after having your baby? What was the transition like for you?

Wondering whether you can afford to be a SAHM? You can use our Stay At Home Calculator to find out. And don’t forget to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!

Work-Life Balance in America
Work-Life Balance in America
Work-Life Balance in America

Image of woman with computer and bottle courtesy of Shutterstock

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Moms Rejoice: A Too-Clean House Is Bad for Baby!

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Put down the mops and step away from the sponges! It turns out that that old adage “A little dirt won’t hurt” is right—especially when it comes to allergies.

A new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that exposure to cat dander, a wide variety of bacteria and even rodent and roach detritus (ew!) when your baby’s under the age of one can help reduce the risk that she’ll develop allergies and asthma later on. (Kids who weren’t exposed to a wide variety of pathogens early on were three times more likely to develop wheezing and allergies as those who grew up in dirtier households.) But you’d better hurry and get her that kitten fast—if you start the exposure after age one, you’ll actually increase the likelihood that she’ll develop allergies. “It was the opposite of what we expected,” Dr. Robert Wood, chief of the division of allergy and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and co-author of the study, told NBC News. “We’re not promoting bringing rodents and cockroaches into the home, but this data does suggest that being too clean may not be good.”

The researchers theorize that the exposure to dirt gives the immune system something real to fight against, keeping your kid’s immune system from doing battle with harmless things like peanuts. It’s the exact opposite of what we’ve been told all along for allergies—my mom busted her butt keeping the house clean to deal with my issues with dust and pet dander.

So maybe you don’t want to start letting mice nibble in your pantry, but this is definitely a good excuse to hang up the mop and let your kiddo play on the (dirty) floor with you. And if your baby dips her binky in the dirt or sand before putting it back in her mouth, you probably shouldn’t worry too much!

Test your allergy knowledge with our quiz. And don’t forget to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Baby Care Basics: Allergies
Baby Care Basics: Allergies
Baby Care Basics: Allergies

Image: Mom cleaning by Martin Novak/

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U.S. Birth Rate (Finally!) on the Rise?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Consider this a sign that the U.S. economy may finally be on track—or maybe that a few of us older moms are hearing that biological clock ticking away: The Centers for Disease Control just reported that after five years of strong and steady declines in the U.S. birth rate, we’re finally seeing a “very, very, very slight” uptick in the number of babies being born. Last year, just over 4 million babies were born here in the U.S. Most experts believe that the big drop in birth rate over the past few years can be attributed to the big drop in the economy, as fewer couples felt financially stable enough to manage the expenses that come with a baby.

The other interesting part of the report showcased the age of these new moms—and it appears more people are putting off motherhood until their 30s. That’s been the norm where I live for a while, but it appears that more women nationwide are choosing to put off family building until after they’ve finished their education and established their careers. In fact, birth rates were still falling last year for every age group except the over-30 crowd. And teen births dropped yet another 10 percent, making this the lowest number of births to teens ever. (There were 675,000 teen moms during the peak year, in 1970, while last year, just 275,000 teens gave birth.)


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Celebrity Dads Support Breastfeeding: Does Your Mate?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

We loved Bruce Willis’ cheeky Instagram photo of his wife, Emma Heming-Willis, breastfeeding their brand new daughter, Evelyn. (He captioned it, “Breakfast of Champions!”)

But Bruce Willis isn’t the only A-list dad who cheered on his mate’s efforts to breastfeed their baby. Brad Pitt snapped a famous shot of Angelina Jolie nursing one of their twins—it ended up on the cover of W magazine. When Victoria Beckham slipped a disc in her back soon after she gave birth to baby Harper, David Beckham held the baby during their breastfeeding sessions so it wouldn’t hurt her. And Will Ferrell toted his wife’s breast pump on the red carpet at the Golden Globes, and made sure to call attention to his wife’s apparatus.

It’s great that so many new dads support their partners’ efforts to breastfeed—a 2013 CDC report confirms that new moms who have the support of their mate are often able to breastfeed more successfully than those whose partners don’t bolster their efforts.

So how can dads help? By taking on some of the other duties (diaper changing and dishes spring to mind), heaping on the praise for your efforts (hey, breastfeeding can be a very big challenge!), bringing over a snack or water while you’re on duty, and of course, a back rub won’t hurt!

Tell us: Was your mate supportive of your breastfeeding efforts? How’d he help you out?

Test your breastfeeding know-how with our quiz, and don’t forget to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby news!

How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch
How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch
How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch

Image: Emma Heming-Willis, courtesy of Instagram

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