In honor of National Diaper Need Awareness Week, which is this week, Giuliana Rancic has teamed up with Huggies Every Little Bottom and Baby2Baby to bring awareness to the incredible need Americans have for diapers. The facts are heartbreaking: One in 20 American moms struggling with diaper need, cleans out and reuses a soiled disposable diaper; others aren’t able to put their children in daycare—even if it’s free—because they require a full day’s supply of disposable diapers per child. Huggies launched the National Diaper Bank Network to help provide diapers to those in need.
Giuliana, an E! correspondent, Fashion Police co-host and mom to adorable son, Duke, took time out of her busy schedule to tell Parents why she got involved with this cause, as well as some fun facts about her as a mom, what she and hubby Bill get most competitive over, and her best time-savers for new moms.
Why was it important to you to get involved with Huggies Every Little Bottom and Baby2Baby to help fight diaper need?
A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics was consistent with a 2010 Huggies study that found more than 1 in 3 U.S. moms experience diaper need. The statistic shocked me and I had no idea so many moms struggled to provide clean and dry diapers for their babies. I joined Huggies Every Little Bottom and Baby2Baby last month to help raise awareness of the issue and hopefully increase the rate of diaper donation to our food and diaper banks. I hope readers will help spread the word and donate too by playing fun games at Huggies.com/Tester.
It was no secret that you really wanted to be a mom. You were very public about your struggle with infertility, and the fact that Duke was born via surrogate. So has motherhood met your expectations?
Motherhood has definitely exceeded my expectations. Before Duke was born, I researched how to be a good parent, asked for advice from my mother and read every parenting book that exists to prepare myself. All that preparation went out the window when Duke was born. I am a mother now and he is everything to me in a way I never knew I could love someone – that’s something you just cannot be prepared for. I want to do whatever it takes to provide for Duke and give him what’s best now and later.
How has motherhood changed you?
When you become a mom, your priorities shift and I think that’s the biggest factor that has changed for me. My husband and work have always been my top priorities, but now that we have Duke, my priorities have definitely shifted. I of course still make Bill a priority and my work is important but I have definitely experienced “mom guilt.” So, I just try to be 100 percent focused on what I’m doing—when at work, I focus on that so that when I am off work I can completely be focused on my family. Some days it works and some days it’s hard!
What is your biggest strength as a mom so far?
I think my biggest strength as a mom, and Bill as a father, is keeping our marriage at the front and center and showing Duke that the most important thing for him is to have a loving, healthy family. We really want to instill this in him and know that we will always be there for him.
And your biggest weakness?
I guess it’s that I am still learning! Duke is a year old now, but I of course still question some of the decisions we make. We’re living and learning all together every day and I think that’s all we can really ask for!
What’s your best mom skill?
Oh my gosh! Bill is a pro at bath time, but I think I take the cake at silencing a crying baby. I don’t know if it’s a mother’s intuition but I can usually figure out what Duke needs pretty quickly to make him a happy boy.
You and Bill are always playfully competitive. What part of parenting are you better at than Bill? Where does he have an edge over you?
I think I’m better at sharing Duke! I always say this, but Bill is such a baby hog, he is always stealing him from me! Every morning we have a race to get Duke out of bed first because he is just so cute and sweet when he wakes up, and Bill is always trying to beat me to it. Bill, I have to say, can make Duke smile like nobody else when they are playing. What can I say, Duke is going to be a man’s man just like Bill.
What’s the biggest time-saver you’ve learned so far as a mom?
I think the biggest time-saver is simple – planning. You’re going to a have spills, a crying baby, dirty diapers and a lunch time mess that will need a quick and easy fix. My advice is to keep it simple and plan on those things happening. I used to pack everything in Duke’s diaper bag, but now I know what I need—two bibs, a change of clothes, an extra teething toy and plenty of diapers and wipes!
Whether your kids have been in school for weeks or just started this past Tuesday, there’s no denying that summer is over. Though this time of year can be exciting for kids with their new notebooks, backpacks, and blue jeans, it can also be extremely stressful. In fact, a 2010 study by the American Psychological Association found that when parents are stressed (possibly from buying all those jeans, backpacks, and notebooks) tweens and teens are emotionally impacted. On top of that, the change from relaxed summer schedules to an activity filled fall may make it more difficult for kids to get enough sleep and feel stressed, both of which can affect their health.
Today, our health director Kara Corridan is teaming up with CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips for a Google + Hangout. Join them today at 12 p.m. E.T.to learn about how to keep your kids healthy as they get back to hitting the books this fall.
Our partners at Child Health Guide recently launched their mobile app featuring children’s health videos sorted by topic. It includes videos, not simulations, of what children look like during different stages of illness. You can even see hundreds of recordings of healthy children, and use the app to follow your child’s development.
Before you pick up the phone to call your pediatrician about your baby’s cough, rash, or other ailment, take a look at the Symptoms Checker. This tool helps parents determine whether their child needs to see a doctor immediately, or to wait and see how the symptoms evolve. You can also read articles on common injuries and illnesses in children written by Harvard Medical School and Dartmouth Medical School physicians.
Click here to download the Child Health Guide app and prepare to be amazed!
Considering their lack of anonymity with paparazzi lurking at every street corner, we salute celebrity moms who breastfeed their babies while out and about!
Although it’s still considered taboo in some circles, there’s no shame in nursing your baby in public… or on the cover of a magazine for that matter! And we’re so glad that celebrity moms such as Gwen Stefani, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kourtney Kardashianand Miranda Kerrare on board. And not to mention Salma Hayek‘s experience with wet nursing a starving infant in Africa!
Take a look through our pictures and read about 10 celebrity moms who have breastfed in public.
After making taking a dip in the pool with her kids, Kourtney was later seen breastfeeding her 12-month-old baby girl.
Kourtney has been outspoken about her love for breastfeeding. When her sister, Kim Kardashian, was pregnant, Kim recalled a conversation she had with Kourtney about the possibility of wet nursing.
“She said to me, ‘One sister should babysit all the kids, so I can go out or vice-versa, and whichever sister is babysitting should just breastfeed all the kids that are there,’” Kim shared.
While Kim was “disgusted” by the idea, she went on to ask Kourtney, “Does that not freak you out?”
Kourtney responded with, “No, it doesn’t,” adding, ”That’s what they did back in the day.”
Rockstar mama Gwen Stefani shared a tender moment with her youngest son, then 3-month-old Zuma, on a park bench in Los Angeles, Calif. A few months later, the mom-of-two talked about how Zuma self-weaned during No Doubt’s reunion tour.
“I didn’t want him to [quit],” Gwen said. “It felt like a total rejection. It was really hormonal, and trying to stop in the middle of tour was insane.”
When her daughter Ramona was 7-months-old, Maggie Gyllenhaal was caught by the paparazzi breastfeeding in a New York City park. At the time, the internet was abuzz with controversy over the intimate shots. Some said the paparazzi were too intrusive, while others felt that Maggie didn’t seem fazed at all – regardless of who saw her – as she breastfed her baby in public.
The Academy Award-nominated actress has commented about the pressures of breastfeeding and raising a newborn.
“I’m not a leave-them-in-their-crib-to-cry kind of girl. Fundamentally, I didn’t find that worked. Everyone’s got their own thing, you know? You can’t tell another person when it’s right to stop breastfeeding, or how to put your kid to sleep. Every child is different.”
Modern Family star Julie Bowen made an appearance on Lopez Tonight in 2010, where she shared a picture and talked to George Lopez about nursing her then 1-year-old twin boys, John and Gus.
“It’s like two little liposuction machines on you,” she said. “They suck the fat out of you. They call it the ‘double football hold.’ You hold one here, and here [gesturing to her breasts], like two footballs… They’re doing God’s work right there, helping me return to my birth weight.”
Julie later commented on her feelings about the pressures of breastfeeding.
“I’m a big live and let live-r,” Julie said. “Seriously [do it], if it works for you, if it’s easy. If it wasn’t easy, I wouldn’t have done it. Some people can’t do it physically…so don’t do it.”
Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr and her handsome hubby Orlando Bloom welcomed their first child in January 2011. The model mom tweeted a gorgeous photo of her and baby Flynn, then 3 months. “Another day in the office,” the new mom wrote, sharing a photo of herself in full hair and make-up at a photo shoot breastfeeding her adorable babe.
Having returned to work just a couple of months after giving birth, Miranda said her quick post-baby weight loss is thanks in part to breastfeeding.
“I think if you really eating the right foods, putting the nutrition into your body and doing yoga and breastfeeding; those things have helped me get back into shape. I remember I was on the elliptical machine when I was pregnant with Flynn.”
The Australian beauty added,
“I intend to breastfeed for as long as I can,” she said. “My breast milk will give our little Flynn the nutrition he needs for his continued healthy development and to all mums out there I am sure you will make the right choice for you and your baby.”
Just hours after giving birth to Flynn, Miranda shared a precious picture breastfeeding her newborn. In response to the photo, she said,
“The photo was one of the first photos Orlando took. We both loved it and we wanted to share it. The pleasant surprise was that it also had the added benefit of promoting breastfeeding which to me is the most natural thing in the world and I love it.”
W magazine’s November 2008 issue celebrated art — namely Brad Pitt’s photographs of his gorgeous family. His black-and-white shot of Angelina Jolie feeding one of their then 3-month-old twins [Knox or Vivienne] with the baby’s tiny fingers graced the cover of W. The serene, natural and relaxed shot only reaffirmed Angelina’s breathtaking beauty.
Angie opened up about breastfeeding during a very emotional time of her life.
“I had lost my mum, I’d had a baby and I’d been breastfeeding and I was in a very emotional place as a woman. I knew instinctually and talked to Brad about it, that if I could find something that would get me physical again it would be like therapy, because everything was making me cry.”
On a goodwill trip to Sierra Leone in 2009, Salma Hayek famously breastfed a week-old infant whose mother was too malnourished to produce milk herself. The actress recalled the wet nurse experience.
“The baby was perfectly healthy, but the mother didn’t have milk. He was very hungry. I was weaning Valentina [then 2-years-old], but I still had a lot of milk that I was pumping, so I breast-fed the baby,” she says, her voice dropping. “You should have seen his eyes. When he felt the nourishment, he immediately stopped crying.”
Salma says she was hoping to raise awareness that Sierra Leone has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. She went on to say, “I actually think my baby would be very proud to share her milk. And when she grows up I’m going to make sure she continues to be a generous, caring person.”
Years later, Salma continues to answer questions about acting as a wet nurse.
If you have milk, you have milk, and if they’re hungry, they’re hungry,” she said. “I think it’s a beautiful thing, because motherhood is a very strong place for women to connect and understand each other.”
Keely Shaye Smith
James Bond star Pierce Brosnan and his wife, former journalist Keely Shaye Smith, famously graced the December 1997 issue of REDBOOK with their then 11-month-old son Dylan. Then a fairy revolutionary cover, editor in chief Kate White explained that the magazine produced two covers – one being “more traditional” – for the first time in its history because they didn’t want “to force the image on anyone.”
Meanwhile, some convenience-store-chain owners said that if customers complained, they reserved the right to move the cover behind the counter along with risqué men’s magazines like Playboy and Penthouse.
Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless shared an intimate shot with her then 3-month-old son Judah to promote World Breastfeeding Week in 2002, which featured her quote, “Breastfeeding — My best role ever.”
Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, who also holds a PhD in neuroscience, shared an image breastfeeding her 3-year-old son Fred on a New York City subway last year. The attachment parenting advocate wrote a thoughtful piece to accompany the intimate shot.
I have written about my now 3-year-old son Fred, and his nursing rhythms before,” Mayim wrote. “To recap: Fred nursed for a solid 12 months with no supplements, no solid foods, and not even a sip of water. He got the hang of eating solids around 18 months, but continued to nurse all day (with bottles of pumped breastmilk when I was at work), and on demand all night. A typical night involved no less than four wake-ups and sometimes six (every 2 hours on the clock for 12 hours of bed time was not unusual). This went on for almost 3 years.”
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.
Barbara Walters announced earlier this week that Jenny McCarthy will begin co-hosting The View this fall, taking one of the chairs vacated by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar. Walters said in a statement that McCarthy “brings us intelligence as well as warmth” and “can be serious and outrageous.”
This decision has outraged many pediatricians and public health experts. For years, McCarthy has been one of the most public faces of the deadly anti-vaccine movement. The notion that vaccines cause autism has been discredited thoroughly. The British doctor who first proposed a link 15 years ago was found to engage in “callous disregard,” his article was retracted as erroneous by the journal that published it, and almost every author of the work has distanced themselves from it. However, the belief in a vaccine-autism link has survived with religious fervor ever since.
McCarthy isn’t the only Hollywood type to spout anti-vaccine nonsense (Chuck Norris and Rob Schneider have joined the bandwagon), but McCarthy even scorns reports of children dying of vaccine-preventable illnesses as a necessary price for her advocacy. “I do believe, sadly, it’s going to take some disease coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe,” she blithely told Jeffrey Kluger of Time in 2009. (Only a month earlier, 1-month-old Dana McCaffery had died of whooping cough in an area with low vaccination rates in Australia. Over the past few years, vaccine-preventable illnesses and deaths have been tracked by jennymccarthybodycount.com.)
As Discover magazine points out, McCarthy’s concern about vaccine-related danger to brain cells is ironic, given she has no problem with getting regular cosmetic injections with the most potent neurotoxin known to mankind.
A spokesperson for The View said McCarthy would be free to discuss her anti-vaccine views on air. But why does any of this matter? After all, what parent gets their medical advice from The View?
The truth is that, for better or worse, celebrities have the power to influence people. In 2000, after her husband died of colon cancer, Today show host Katie Couric underwent an on-air screening colonoscopy, and nationally for about a year, colonoscopy rates suddenly jumped by 50 percent. Pop singer Kylie Minogue’s diagnosis of breast cancer led to a 20 percent jump in mammograms in Australia. When storylines about genetic testing for breast cancer appeared in Grey’s Anatomy and ER in 2006, viewers’ knowledge increased. Like it or not, celebrities have powerful effects on people’s health behavior and beliefs.
Still, one might argue: What is the harm in having McCarthy discuss her vaccine beliefs on The View? After all, people can hear all sides of the so-called “controversy” and make up their own minds. But as social scientists point out, repeating a claim–even if one’s trying to debunk it–only increases its apparent truthfulness. In other words, even if someone says a claim is wrong, hearing it over and over again makes people think it’s true. (A similar example concerns the untrue rumor that President Barack Obama is Muslim. The more it’s denied, the more some people tend to believe it.) That is the danger of giving McCarthy a platform to repeat her anti-vaccine claims to 3 million television viewers. No matter what the other hosts may say, a sizeable number of viewers will question and refuse vaccination for their children as a result.
It’s too bad that among the many intelligent, sassy, and provocative women the ABC could have chosen, they hired someone whose work has the potential to endanger children’s health. So for now, I’ll just hope that McCarthy keeps her erroneous vaccine beliefs to herself.
New babies have a way of highlighting what we’ve been taking for granted all of our lives, like a nice shower, for example. When was the last time you’ve had a nice, long shower without the worry of a tiny cry coming from the other side of the door? Or a day at the beach in the summer time? Mama’s skin can take the heat, but we’ve all sacrificed plenty of perfect beach days for the sake of our little ones’ skin.
Luckily, this week’s giveaway will scratch one sacrifice off of the list. Leave a comment below, up to one a day below between now and the end of the day on Wednesday July 17th, and you can have the chance to win a Mustela Beach and Bath Essentials kit. The set includes a baby-safe mineral sunscreen and after-sun hydrating spray for baby, and hair and body wash to get that icky sand and salt water off afterward. And to make it extra fun, you’ll find a beach mat, bubble bath, and a rubber ducky too!
Only one lucky commentator will win, but the products are also available for purchase at Babies “R” Us and online at Mustela.com, so we’re all in luck.
Even though kids have more free time in the summer, they often exercise less—especially if it’s sweltering outside. This is the perfect time to check out Adventure to Fitness, an educational fitness DVD program. The 30-minute animated episodes have been a hit with more than 75,000 teachers, who use them with their students. Now they are available for families—and are sold either as individual DVDs or streaming video. Each episode—such as Chinese Challenge, Colonial Chaos, and Serengeti Stampede—takes kids on a journey around to globe or back in time to learn cool facts about history, animals, the environment, and nutrition. Kids can keep both their minds and bodies active while school’s out!
“Where do babies come from?” is a question that most parents may not feel equipped to answer on the spot. Thankfully, “What Makes a Baby” by Cory Silverberg recently came across my desk, and the picture book immediately grabbed my attention (and the attention of several colleagues) with its bright colors.
The book starts with the basics of conception by introducing an egg and a sperm and explaining how both are needed to create a baby. In a smart move, the story avoids elaborating on the physical ways babies are made (i.e. through sex, IVF, and surrogates) and focuses instead on the behind-the-scenes biological process. Short and breezy sentences explain the fertilization of the egg and sperm (“When an egg and a sperm meet, they swirl together in a special kind of dance. As they dance, they talk to each other.”), the baby’s gestation period in the uterus, and the baby’s eventual birth. While it may feel odd to read and say words like egg, sperm, uterus, and vagina out loud to your kids, the book presents these natural terms in a matter-of-fact way to temper any squeamishness and embarrassment.
Silverberg, a sex educator, started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book and to cover the cost of illustrations and the printing. Good thing he surpassed his goal since the drawings by Fiona Smyth really give the book an extra special zing. Even though there are drawings of a uterus and two birth scenes (vaginal and C-section) that may also seem jarring at first, the round cartoon shapes and the neon colors give the book a fun, happy, and modern feel. The book is appropriate for ages 4-8, and you can find it on Amazon.com and BN.com.
Now parents can have easy-going, straightforward, and (hopefully) painless discussions with kids about the miracle of birth!