“Your friends, your moms, your sisters, your cousins – they don’t get it,” said Briana Tortoso. “Unless they’ve been there, they don’t get it.”
More than 450,000 babies are born prematurely each year, and Tortoso, pictured at right with supermodel Niki Taylor, son JohnCarlo, and husband Matthew, is the mother of two of them. She gave birth twelve weeks early to twins JohnCarlo and Andrew almost two years ago, but sadly, Andrew passed away just days after birth.
Tortoso is now a proponent of the immense help of the resources provided to her by the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, during her time of need.
Last year, the March of Dimes nationwide annual fundraiser walk, March for Babies, raised over $100 million to fund research and advocacy projects for safer births.
March for Babies participants walk three miles with thousands of people all devoted to one goal. Interested in getting involved? Head to the March of Dimes website to join a preexisting team, or to start one of your own. There are 700 locations and walks to choose from nationwide, so finding one locally is as easy as typing in your zip code.
Once you’ve chosen a walk, click “register,” and complete a profile that includes standard participation details, plus your fundraising goal. Then, rally your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to sponsor your walk. All donations will help to improve the lives of premature babies and their families.
Premature birth qualifies as a national health crisis, affecting one out of every eight babies born in the United States. Be a part of eliminating that statistic, one step at a time.
Visit Shop Parents for prenatal health products.
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Just because Baby’s in the womb doesn’t mean you should hold off on your pediatrician search! The process may seem daunting, but these tips from Chief Medical Officer Dr. Todd Rosengart of Vitals—a website that offers patient reviews and background information about all types of docs—will ease the burden.
Top 5 Tips For Finding a Pediatrician You Love
You’re gong to be doing a lot of traveling back and forth to your pediatrician’s office, particularly during the first few months. Choose somewhere that’s easy to get to and has enough parking. A long drive and lack of empty parking spaces can be a headache, especially when you’re dealing with car seats and strollers.
One of the best ways to find a good pediatrician is to ask friends and family members who are like-minded and have a similar philosophy on health care and raising kids. If they recommend a pediatrician, there’s a good chance you will like him or her, too. Follow up with your own research at sites like Vitals.com and take into account what other people say about the doctor.
Make sure your pediatrician’s parenting philosophy aligns with yours. There’s no one right way to raise a baby, but it can be uncomfortable if your child’s doctor doesn’t agree with how you want to feed or educate your child. The best way to get to know a doctor: Schedule a prenatal visit before your child’s born. That way you can ask questions about his values and opinions and make sure they align with yours before you entrust him with your child’s care.
Your baby will need the most medical care when he’s little, but there are times it’s going to be inconvenient. You’ll want to be able to get your child in for an appointment should he need a last-minute visit–or at least be able to reach your doctor. See how your pediatrician handles a request for a pre-natal visit; that will be a good indicator of his or her availability. If he won’t take 15 minutes out of his day to talk to expecting parents, there’s a good chance he won’t take time out of his day for more pressing concerns.
5. Good Listener
When looking for a pediatrician, you want a doctor who takes the time to listen and not rush you through appointments or meetings. Of course, this goes for any doctor, but especially new parents who can’t explain symptoms themselves. You need a doctor who’s going to treat your child–and you–as important.
Not sure how you’ll be able to tell if Baby’s fever is serious? Watch below to find out which symptoms warrant a visit to the doc.
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By Chelsea P. Gladden, BreezyMama.com
Lately, it seems as though it’s getting harder to find a kid’s movie that isn’t too scary for my 5-year-old, yet can still keep her entertained. Frankly, I thought I’d be safe with another gem from the Disneynature series, and in general, this movie worked well for my daughter. However, Bears, like many quality wildlife shows, features the raw, often scary story of survival, which required this mama bear to be on high alert for scenes that might be too much for her litte cub.
Following a mother brown bear and her two newborn cubs for a year, Bears gives a glimpse into their lives: from waking up after hibernation in need of finding food, to avoiding avalanches, threatening rivals and other predators, such as a pesky wolf.
From the beginning, we learn that many cubs don’t survive their first year and immediately the tension is palpable. Fears that an overly hungry rival bear may try to eat them (and actually does go after them!) combined with the over-eager wolf ready to pounce the second the mom turns her back, lead to some anxiety-filled moments that had us on the edge of our seats.
To top it off, the mama bear’s conscious effort to search for food in less threatening environs nearly has her starving to death and you can actually start to see just how emaciated the nursing mother becomes.
Set in Alaska, the documentary is just as captivating a story as any animated cartoon; my daughter and I couldn’t help but root for our heroes every step of the way. Narrated by John C. Reilly, the script offers up humor and playful moments as well. Overall, it wasn’t too scary for my daughter, but the tense moments had her squirming.
At one point, the boy cub gets stuck in water as high tide comes in and my daughter reached for my hand as we hoped he wouldn’t drown. Another particular scene that my little cub found frightening was, “When the [male rival] bears fight.” Other than those moments, she seemed to handle the “scary” scenes well.
Since I saw Disneynature’s Chimpanzee (where the mother dies), I was concerned about whether the cubs would make it and they definitely tease throughout that they likely won’t! SPOILER ALERT: They do survive their first year and their mother fuels up on enough milk to feed them during hibernation to keep them alive for the next spring.
Taking a cue from my daughter’s reactions, however, Bears would be a little too intense for my 3-year-old twins, but any child over age 4 should be fine. Also, the pacing is on the slow side and toward the end, I was concerned it wasn’t going to hold my daughter’s attention for much longer as she started to get antsy in her seat. If your child has a short attention span for movies and television, this movie might not be a choice for her.
That being said, my daughter declared a few times afterward, “It was awesome!” She also added in the car ride home, “Mama, animals are great movie stars!”
Entertaining and informative, Bears demonstrates no matter what your species, a mother’s love for her family is a powerful thing — right down to the occasional bear hug.
Disneynature’s Bears opens in theaters everywhere 4/18/14
Grade on a scale of kid’s films: B
Rated G, Minor conflict among animals; Tense moments; 77 minutes
Watch a sneak peek here:
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Image: Courtesy of Disney
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Your baby will, ideally, spend a lot of time in the crib. That’s one of the reasons I’m always preaching to pregnant women to consider spending extra money on an organic or Greenguard-certified crib mattress. You want something non-toxic, that’s safe for baby to breath next to for hours at a time. I know the mattress isn’t as fun to buy as the sheets or the crib itself, but I’d argue it’s the more important purchase.
Probably the most hyper-natural mattress manufacturer I’ve ever encountered is Naturalmat. Watch this video of them making mattresses over in the UK, by hand! Surrounded by cute lambs! You can’t make this stuff up. They are organic down to the ingredients they use to make their mattresses hypoallergenic and fire-retardant.
Naturalmat is offering ONE lucky GoodyBlog reader the chance to win its Coco Mat organic crib mattress, which is $400 at retailers such as Amazon.com. The inside is made from coconut husks and lambswool…such a nice change from the days when we all thought we had to sleep on plastic-encased metal springs.
To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day April 23. Be sure to check back on April 24 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
And since this giveaway closes on my birthday, here’s the horoscope for Taurus Moms like me. Mommy-style horoscopes for all the signs are on our site!
Click here for official rules.
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Hollywood is going green!
On April 22, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day. From Gisele Bündchen to Jessica Alba, let’s take a look at three green celebrity moms who inspire others to protect Mother Nature.
Actress Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren are parents to two daughters: Honor, 5½ and Haven, 2½.
Shortly after her second daughter arrived, the Fantastic Four star partnered with Christopher Gavigan, dad-of-two and founder of Healthy Child Healthy World, to create The Honest Company, an online source to purchase eco-friendly baby/kid products.
The Sin City actress opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about how she encourages her girls to minimize their carbon footprint.
“First and foremost, we try to model and practice eco-friendly habits for the girls,” she shared. “Otherwise, we talk to them about being mindful and explain that things can be turned into something else one day. This can be as simple as teaching them about recyclables and showing how to sort bottles and cans from trash.”
She added: “We also do a lot of DIY crafts like using cardboard boxes to make airplanes and dollhouses—our creative playtime together similarly shows the girls about repurposing old items.”
The mom-of-two is all about living eco-friendly on a daily basis.
“Involving children in gardening and cooking is another great way to inspire eco-friendly living,” she said. “Caring for the plants in our herb wall garden helps Honor understand the steps to growing food (including patience!), how it ultimately lands on her plate, and about being a good steward of the planet.”
“Honor is also a great sous chef when we’re in the kitchen, so being a part of the dinner process encourages her to eat the foods she grows and develops her taste for fresh ingredients,” she continued. “Hopefully, this lays the foundation for children to prioritize their health and that of the planet.”
Alicia Silverstone is one outspoken green mama!
The actress caused quite a stir with a video that went viral. The Clueless star was seen feeding her then 11-month-old son Bear Blu mouth-to-mouth on her eco-friendly blog The Kind Life.
She wrote: “I just had a delicious breakfast of miso soup, collards and radish steamed and drizzled with flax oil, cast iron mochi with nori wrapped outside, and some grated daikon. Yum! I fed Bear the mochi and a tiny bit of veggies from the soup…from my mouth to his. It’s his favorite…and mine.”
Alicia and her husband Christopher Jarecki live in a Los Angeles home with solar panels and an organic vegetable garden. The actress is an advocate for animal rights and environmental issues and became a vegan in 1998. She shares her eco-friendly tips on her official website.
“The Kind Life is an interactive extension of my book, “The Kind Diet”, which is about living your healthiest and happiest life to the fullest, while taking care of mama Earth at the same time!,” Alicia writes on her blog. “The site is whatever you make of it; whether it’s joining the many others who are on this same journey or simply visiting to gather information and other tips. Whatever you need, you will find it here. I will be sharing all kinds of tasty morsels with you; from fashion and beauty tips, to simple ways that we can help the planet! By the time you’re done with your visit, your mouth will be watering and you will surely want to crash here forever. So come on in, kick off your shoes and check out all sorts of recipes, my favorite foods, nutritional information from doctors that are in the book, the very best restaurants, amazing travel discoveries, party planning tips, ways to make sure your house is as healthy and green as possible, great pet care tips, and so much more.”
Alicia is also vocal about elimination communication, the eco-friendly potty training technique coined by Ingrid Bauer, author of Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene.
“When Bear Blu was 5-months-old,” the proud mama tweeted, “[S]aturday bear blu went poo and pee on toilet 4x throughout the day…we were so proud! “Check out book Diaper Free..soo fun!” The actress added, “yesterday bear did 2 poops in toilet….so sweet! i’m saving so many diapers…even cloth ones….yahoooo! and it’s so fun!”
Supermodel mom Gisele Bündchen has long been an advocate of going green. The Brazilian beauty says that her children – Benjamin, 4, Vivian, 1, and 6-year-old stepson Jack – have made the importance of the message really hit home.
“I had my first munchkin, Jack (husband Tom Brady’s son with Bridget Moynahan), before I gave birth to Benjamin,” Gisele said. “After spending so much time with Jack I saw how he wanted to play with the stuff I was using instead of the toys we bought him. In terms of clothes, I bought Jack so many clothes and am now using them for Benjamin. Look, when I was growing up my sisters and I wore hand-me-downs and am now doing the same thing. This all goes back to my motto: Reduce, recycle and reuse. The more we buy the more we encourage the manufacturers to produce more stuff.”
Also a fan of elimination communication, Gisele said Benjamin was potty trained at 6 months old! How did she do it?
The model mom said that her son was on a schedule including breastfeeding in the morning and afternoon, promptly followed by a bowel movement, making it easy for her to put him on the toilet and eliminate the use of a diaper. Of the process she said,
“Give it about five minutes, and bang,” admitting with a laugh that she realizes the process is actually, “more complicated.”
Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrities are pregnant, or find eco-friendly toys at Shop Parents.
More celebrity & parenting news:
Raphael Sbarge: I Started Green Wish In Response To Becoming A Father
Beverley Mitchell Shares Details of Posh Nursery
Jen Kessy: “I Am Beyond Excited To Be Pregnant”
CelebrityBabyScoop.com is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on CelebrityBabyScoop.com.
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* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert
This is the seventh in a weekly series of special travel deals. For the first few months we’ll focus exclusively on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them.
Between the Intercoastal Waterway and Gulf of Mexico, this pink-hued resort with spa, rooftop pool, and three restaurants stands tall on a spacious beach — an idyllic locale for spectacular sunsets. Looking for a fun day trip? St. Pete’s Beach is a little over 30 minutes south and features a sweet zoo where you can feed rhinos and giraffes. Plus the entire area is famous for fresh seafood, cool museums and miles of sandy shoreline.
BOOK IT! From $259; you can check your travel dates online at ClearwaterBeach.Hyatt.com
HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! With the BABY14 package, enjoy a welcome amenity of sparkling cider and chocolates; full daily breakfast for two; guaranteed late checkout at 1 p.m.; and valet parking (resort fee included). Other restrictions, as well as specific book-by-and-stay-by dates, may apply; call 800-233-1234 for full details.
Before you leave, check out these tips on traveling while preggers!
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By Susan Yoo-Lee, Editor of Savings.com
If you’re a family that celebrates Easter, you know how the costs can add up quickly. The cute little outfits. The Easter baskets. The meal and decorations. These days families need a separate savings account just to celebrate the holidays. This week’s deals can help you out with all of that, though. With discounts on everything from egg decorating kits to the perfect Easter outfit to tasty Easter treats, we’ve got you covered.
- Lillian Vernon. 20% off orders $40 or more (Coupon code: 99JAO107). Expires 4/30/2014.
- Build-A-Bear Workshop. Free egg decorating kit on orders $25 or more (No code needed). Expires 4/20/2014.
- The Children’s Place. 20% off sitewide (Coupon code: w5hcust20). Expires 4/20/2014.
- Cheryl’s. 15% off all orders (Coupon code: TAKE15). Expires 4/21/2014.
- 1-800-Flowers.com. Save 20% on orders over $49.99 (Coupon code: ESTR49). Expires 4/20/2014.
This post contains affiliate links.
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Once my sister and I got older, it became a lot harder for my parents to entertain us on family trips. The one thing that did hold our attention in the car was watching movies. It was as big a deal to figure out what DVDs we were taking as it was to pack clothing. Here are two new releases you’ll want for this year’s summer travels:
* Fans of funny animal flicks will love the animated action-adventure The Nut Job, released on DVD today. It follows the thieving squirrel Surly as he attempts to pull off the greatest nut heist of his life.
* Seeing a new spin on a classic can also be rewarding, like with The Little Rascals Save The Day. Key members of the gang, including sweethearts Alfalfa and Darla, return to help Grandma’s bakery stay afloat. After some botched fundraising attempts, they set their heart on winning the local talent show to raise money, proving they’re all still the same bunch of good-hearted, silly kids today’s parents may remember watching from their own childhood.
To celebrate the release of both movies, Universal Studios is giving away the DVD/Blu-ray Combo Packs of both plus an iPad mini so your kids can take their entertainment on the go. FOUR lucky GoodyBlog readers will have the chance to win this prize package, which retails at $370!
To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day April 21. Be sure to check back on April 22 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see the four winners. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
For a fun outdoors activity, follow these steps to build a terrarium with your child!
Click here for official rules.
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