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Friday, October 4th, 2013
Interview by Ilyssa Panitz
Hilaria Baldwin would have to agree with the old saying that good things happen in threes. She just released her new Fit Mommy-to-Be prenatal DVD; her husband, Emmy-winner Alec Baldwin, is set to become the host for a new talk show on MSNBC; and — last but not least in the trio of bliss — the couple’s baby girl, Carmen Gabriela, made her big New York debut on August 23. Parents.com caught up with the new working mom a second time to find out what motherhood is like in the fast lane. (Read a previous interview with Hilaria about pregnancy and fitness secrets.) Follow her on Twitter @hilariabaldwin.
If you had to sum up the birth of your child in one word, which one would you pick?
WOW. There isn’t one word that is strong enough to describe the feeling. Birth was absolutely incredible. My husband said it was a miracle, and I agree that it was pretty miraculous. I didn’t realize I could love something so deeply.
Some new moms write down when they feed the baby and change her, and how long she sleeps, so they can learn their child’s pattern. Have you done the same? What is Carmen’s schedule?
I was writing everything down at the beginning, especially before she gained back her birth weight. Now I am at the point where Carmen and I are in sync with each other, so I no longer have to write everything down. Carmen wakes up around 11 P.M. and then again around 2 A.M. and 5:30 A.M.
I read that baby Carmen has her days and nights confused. How are you coping with the situation?
We had some nights that were rough. She is up every two to three hours because she needs to eat, but she also likes to hang out and spend time with us.
What has been the biggest adjustment you had to make?
I am definitely sleeping differently, but I think my last trimester prepared me for the lack of sleep, because I was waking up all the time needing the bathroom! (Laughs) Aside from the sleep issue, I’ve also had to adjust to having another person in the house. My little person has needs, and because we love her so much, we want to cater to her every single need and make her as happy as possible. Another thing I have adjusted: priorities. I used to run to this meeting and that meeting, and now my life revolves around home, where we build everything around Carmen’s schedule.
What books or websites have you found useful?
When I was pregnant I read, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. If I have any other questions, I go right to the Internet or I ask my baby nurse or my mom.
What books do you like to read to Carmen?
Are You My Mother?, by P.D. Eastman. I even read it to her in Spanish because I want her to speak Spanish. When I read this book, Carmen just coos, shifts her head from side to side, and smiles.
Your husband has been down the baby road before, so has he given you any advice?
It was so long ago — it’s really apples and oranges. He feels that this is a brand-new experience. But you can tell he has done this before. He’s so at ease when he holds the baby. I honestly feel like we are both new parents who are taking this journey together.
Photo credit: Acacia/Arthur Cohen
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Friday, June 28th, 2013
“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!
More Related Features on Parents.com
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Monday, December 10th, 2012
Iron May Prevent Behavioral Issues in Small Babies
Iron supplements may help boost brain development and ward off behavioral problems in babies who are born a bit on the small side, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
Could Kids’ Salt Intake Affect Their Weight?
Children who eat a lot of salty food also tend to down more sugary drinks — which, in turn, might be related to their risk of obesity, a new study suggests. (via US News and World Report)
School Lunches To Be Allowed Unlimited Meats, Grains, USDA Announces
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday that the department will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains. Several lawmakers wrote the department after the new rules went into effect in September saying kids aren’t getting enough to eat. (via Huffington Post)
ADHD Linked to Oxygen Deprivation Before Birth
Children who had in-utero exposure to ischemic-hypoxic conditions, situations during which the brain is deprived of oxygen, were significantly more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder later in life as compared to unexposed children, according to a recent study. The findings suggest that events in pregnancy may contribute to the occurrence of ADHD over and above well-known familial and genetic influences of the disorder. (via ScienceDaily)
Oxytocin Produces More Engaged Fathers and More Responsive Infants
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A large body of research has focused on the ability of oxytocin to facilitate social bonding in both marital and parenting relationships in human females. A new laboratory study has found that oxytocin administration to fathers increases their parental engagement, with parallel effects observed in their infants. (via ScienceDaily)
ADHD, Babies, behavioral problems, birth, fathers, iron, Noelia de la Cruz, oxygen deprivation, oxytocin, Parents Daily News Roundup, salt, school lunches, USDA | Categories:
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Why a Nightlight Could Cause Mild Depression
Constant exposure to light at night can cause depression, a new study on animals suggests. The findings suggest exposure to artificial light at night may have contributed to the rising rates of depression over the last 50 years. (via NBC News)
Parents, Docs May Clash on Quality of Kids’ Lives
About one in four parents of children with a serious and often fatal genetic condition say they feel judged by doctors when they want life-sustaining treatment for newborns, in a new study. (via Fox News)
Consumer Safety Panel Sues Magnetic Toy Maker
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is suing the maker of popular high-powered magnet “desk toys” to get them to stop selling their products. The magnets can pierce holes in the intestines, and some children have needed multiple surgeries and length hospitalizations. (via CNN)
To Boost Memory, Shut Your Eyes and Relax
New research suggests taking a brief break, relaxing, and closing your eyes for 10 minutes can help boost memory. The researchers ask participants to recall as many details as possible from two stories they were told. Those with some quick shuteye recalled more than those who were distracted with a new task. (via TIME)
Babies Born in Autumn May Live Longer
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In a recent study, researchers looked at data from more than 1,500 people who lived to be 100 or older. The majority of people who lived an extra-long life were born between September and November. (via Fox News)
Friday, October 28th, 2011
Unless you have a scheduled C-section or are induced, you have no say over when your new bundle makes its debut, right? Maybe not, suggests a new study at the Yale School of Public Health. After examining U.S. birth stats over an 11-year period, researchers found a 5.3% decrease in spontaneous births on Halloween and a 3.6% increase in spontaneous births on Valentine’s Day. The theory? Cultural connotations surrounding the holidays affect a woman’s desire to deliver and they’re able to will themselves to go—or not go—into labor if they’re due around those days. Now, before you read any further, it should be noted that I’m a person who believes in mind over matter. I’m convinced that I’ve successfully fended off a cold or the flu simply by repeating, “Now’s really not a good time for me.” Is this likely the reason I didn’t get sick? No. And even I’ll admit that I was skeptical when I heard about the study. But might I prefer to have my baby on a day associated with hearts and flowers or not have him on one characterized by witches and ghosts? Sure. And if you end up delivering or not delivering on those holidays, who does it hurt to believe you willed it to be so? In my experience of staving off sickness, it’s a bit of a confidence boost! So, in light of the fact that Halloween is on Monday, I’m willing to get swept up in the supernatural and say, “that’s some powerful thinking, expectant mamas! I’m impressed.”
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Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
In an ongoing effort to understand autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the Interactive Autism Network is launching another online survey (the Pregnancy and Birth Questionnaire) about the pregnancy and birth experiences of mothers raising children with autism. Researchers will analyze any “potential links between prenatal, pereinatal, or neonatal factors” and autism, such as specific medications, foods, fertility treatments, ultrasounds, pregnancy and birth complications (including illness or infection), and induced labor.
IAN is looking for mothers in the U.S. with children (between ages 0 to 17) who do and don’t have autism to participate in the survey. Mothers who do have kids with autism must have given birth directly to the child. Register for the online survey on the Interactive Autism Network’s website.
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autism, autism awareness month, autism speaks, autism spectrum disorder, Behavior, birth, child development, development, health, Health & Safety, interactive autism network, online survey, Pregnancy, pregnancy and birth, survey | Categories:
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Friday, March 11th, 2011
Under Pressure, Firm Shutters Line That Made Tainted Wipes
A Wisconsin medical supplier that made millions of recalled alcohol prep products now blamed for serious infections and at least one death is shutting down the line that produces the wipes — at least for now. But the parents of two children harmed by infections blamed on contaminated Triad products said the move is too little, too late, and raises more questions about why government regulators haven’t taken stronger action against the firm. [MSNBC]
Coffee May Reduce Stroke Risk
Women in the study who drank more than a cup of coffee a day had a 22% to 25% lower risk of stroke than those who drank less, according to findings reported Thursday in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the USA, behind heart disease and cancer. The findings add to the growing body of research showing coffee appears to have hidden health perks. A study done by Larsson in 2008 on men who drank coffee or tea had similar results. One of the most popular drinks in the world, coffee contains large amounts of antioxidants that improve health. Other research has suggested coffee can help prevent cognitive decline and can boost vision and heart health. It is also associated with a reduced risk of liver cancer. [USA Today]
Dog Kisses: Is It Safe to Smooch with a Pet?
According to an article in WebMd, not even doctors and veterinarians agree about kissing a dog on the lips or vice versa. Thinking that dog’s tongue is clean is off base, says veterinarian William Craig, but don’t stop there. “Dog spit isn’t chemically cleansing. It turns out that it’s the dog’s rough tongue that helps to physically remove contaminants from an open wound” and likely the reason why many wounds do not get infected,” he told Pawnation. Craig adds “people tend to brush their teeth regularly and rinse with mouthwash. Dogs tend to lick themselves and eat things off the ground.” “Humans and dogs have different bacteria in their mouths,” explains Nelle Wyatt, a veterinary technician at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center. “Not all of the bacteria are capable of causing disease in the other species.” [USA Today]
Boy Toddlers Need Extra Help Dealing With Negative Emotions, Experts Urge
The way you react to your two-year-old’s temper tantrums or clinginess may lead to anxiety, withdrawal and behavior problems down the road, and the effect is more pronounced if the child is a boy who often displays such negative emotions as anger and social fearfulness, reports a new University of Illinois study. [Science Daily]
Passive Smoking Increases Risk of Stillbirth and Birth Defects, Study Suggests
Pregnant non-smokers who breathe in the second-hand smoke of other people are at an increased risk of delivering stillborn babies or babies with defects, a study led by researchers at The University of Nottingham has found. [Science Daily]
Teacher Who Twice Threw a Chair at 7th-Grader Tries to Clear Her Name
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A longtime teacher at a Joliet junior high who last year “snapped” and twice threw a chair at a seventh-grade boy, striking him once in the head, is trying to clear her record so she can teach again. After Filak tried to get the boy to do his work, he instead told her to “leave me alone, fool,” witnesses said, according to a judge’s ruling that found the chair-throwing incident was child abuse. [Chicago Tribune]
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Friday, February 11th, 2011
Couples may be actively trying for an 11/11/11 due date, but the truth is that the coolest birth date of them all was taken, by none other than my own sweet new daughter Yael, born on New Year’s Day, 1/1/11.
Though she wasn’t due until 1/11/11, an awesome due date in and of itself, Stephanie had been having contractions on and off for a few days in late December. During a quiet New Year’s Eve dinner at home with our 4-year-old Adira and next-door-neighbor Claudia, Stephanie announced that this was It, the real thing, labor. As luck would have it, Claudia had previously agreed to stay with Adira when the time came, so we got our stuff together and headed out.
I’ll say this for a New Year’s Eve labor: the Labor & Delivery floor was quiet, and the nurses were in a festive mood (and wearing goofy New Year’s hats). They confirmed that Stephanie was, indeed, in labor. And things picked up for a while there. Contractions came quicker and were more intense. We were on our way.
Until it seemed like we weren’t. By morning on New Year’s Day, the contractions had all but stopped and we began to think we’d be having a Jan. 2 baby. By evening, we were dejected, exhausted, and wondering who would stay with Adira for that second night. Stephanie’s OB recommended a sedative so she could sleep for a few hours and regain her energy. He even suggested I go home to get some rest myself and sort out the childcare situation. “You have at least two hours, probably three or more,” he assured me. (more…)
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