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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!
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Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Preschool For All Plan in Obama Budget May Skip Some States
President Barack Obama’s “Preschool for All” initiative in his 2014 budget proposal is billed as a way to make sure every American child can attend preschool for free. Helping kids in their early years can ease achievement gaps and help them enter the workforce later on, the administration said. “This would constitute the largest expansion of educational opportunity in the 21st century,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on a Wednesday call with reporters. (via Huffington Post)
Young Children Have Grammar and Chimpanzees Don’t
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that children as young as 2 understand basic grammar rules when they first learn to speak and are not simply imitating adults. The study also applied the same statistical analysis on data from one of the most famous animal language-acquisition experiments — Project Nim — and showed that Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who was taught sign language over the course of many years, never grasped rules like those in a 2-year-old’s grammar. (via Science Daily)
Study Finds No Fertility Drug, Ovarian Cancer Link
Despite lingering concerns that using fertility drugs might raise a woman’s chances for later developing ovarian cancer, new research suggests the drugs don’t contribute any added risk. “One important message is women who need to use fertility drugs to get pregnant should not worry about using these fertility drugs,” said Dr. Albert Asante, lead author of the study and a clinical fellow in the division of reproductive endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. (via Reuters)
How Childhood Hunger Can Change Adult Personality
The effects of going hungry in childhood may be more lasting than previously thought. Researchers studying people raised on Barbados who suffered severe starvation as infants found these adults were more anxious, less sociable, less interested in new experiences and more hostile than those who were well-nourished throughout childhood, according to a study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. (via TIME)
Car Exhaust Linked to Childhood Cancers, Study Finds
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Scientific experts have reams of data to show that the nation faces an epidemic of illnesses that are exacerbated by vehicle exhaust. These illnesses include cardiovascular disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer and diabetes. The latest study, presented on April 8, 2013 at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 2013 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., showed a possible link between exposure to traffic-related air pollution and several childhood cancers. (via Fox News)
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
CelebrityBabyScoop is taking a look at 10 celebrities who have used a surrogate mother to expand their families. From Elton John, to Nicole Kidman, to Giuliana Rancic, to Sarah Jessica Parker, hear how gestational carriers have helped change the lives of some high-profile families.
Sir Elton John and David Furnish welcomed their second son Elijah on January 11, 2013. The doting daddies used the same surrogate mother for their 2-year-old son Zachary.
“She is a wonderful, kind and loving woman,” Elton said of their surrogate, who thinks of her as “part of our family.”
The couple used the same egg donor for both boys and have chosen not to find out either of their son’s paternity.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban welcomed daughter Sunday on July 8, 2008. But after a “roller-coaster ride with fertility,” the couple used a gestational carrier for their second child, now 2-year-old daughter Faith.
“Having given birth and then being there to see my child born in that way, I felt so much love for our surrogate, gestational carrier,” Nicole said.
The Academy Award-winner went on to discuss why she uses the term “gestational carrier” as opposed to “surrogate” – something she was criticized for in the days following the announcement of Faith’s birth.
“We were trying to be accurate,” she shared. “The term ‘gestational carrier’ is used if it’s your biological child and if it isn’t, then you use ‘surrogate.’ I mean, who knows what it is. But she’s the most wonderful woman to do this for us.”
What to Expect When You’re Expecting actress Elizabeth Banks and husband Max Handelman have welcomed both sons – Felix, nearly 2, and Magnus, 3 months – via surrogate mother.
“Like Felix, Magnus was born via gestational surrogate,” she shared. “This experience has exceeded all expectations, taught us a great deal about generosity and gratitude, and established a relationship that will last a lifetime. I am also so very thankful to our family and friends for their support throughout this process, as well as the Center for Surrogate Parenting for helping make all this possible.”
“It was a womb issue for me. Embryos wouldn’t implant,” she said of her fertility issues. “It’s a big leap, inviting this person into your life to do this amazing, important thing for you. And it’s hard losing that kind of control. But our surrogate is so extraordinary, and she’s still in our lives. She’s like an auntie.”
Neil Patrick Harris
How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka are dads to 2-year-old twins Harper and Gideon. The Doogie Houser alum opened up about welcoming the twins via surrogate mother.
“We really, really wanted kids,” NPH said. “We really had thought it through financially, emotionally, relationship-wise. We didn’t just accidentally get pregnant and decide that now we need to make this work. These kids come into our world with nothing but love.”
The handsome couple talked the science behind the birth of the fraternal twins, revealing each father fertilized one egg and the twins were carried and born via one surrogate.
Burtka explained that the twins were conceived by “two eggs, two embryos, one of mine, one of his.”
The couple knew the surrogate, whom Burtka described as “more like the oven.” And they found an anonymous egg donor through a donation bank where they were able to research her personal and medical history.
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breast cancer, celebrities, celebrity babies, celebrity baby scoop, celebs, cervical cancer, Chris Daughtry, conceive, Elizabeth Banks, Elton John, Fertility, gestational carrier, Giuliana Rancic, hysterectomy, Infertility, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Michelle Stafford, Neil Patrick Harris, Nicole Kidman, Ricky Martin, Sarah Jessica Parker, surrogacy | Categories:
Thursday, November 15th, 2012
Even Moderate Drinking in Pregnancy Can Affect a Child’s IQ
Relatively small levels of exposure to alcohol while in the womb can influence a child’s IQ, according to a new study. (via ScienceDaily)
Pediatricians May Lack Training in Concussion Care
Pediatricians and pediatric nurses often see young patients with concussions, but a new survey suggests they may lack the tools and training to diagnose and treat them. (via Reuters)
Pollutants Linked to Lower Fertility in Both Men and Women
Researchers say that pollutants such as perchlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), industrial compounds and pesticides that are no longer manufactured but remain in older products can still decrease couples’ ability to have children by up to 29%. (via Time)
Kids With Down Syndrome Twice as Likely to be Heavy
More than one in four children with Down syndrome in the Netherlands is overweight, a rate double that of Dutch youth without the developmental disability, according to a new study. (via Reuters)
Enrollment in Charter Schools is Increasing
Although charter schools engender fierce debate, the number of students enrolled increased close to 13% between 2010-11 and 2011-12. (via New York Times)
Early Puberty May Heighten Heart Risks For Women
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A new study finds menstruating before age 12 may contribute to a 23% greater risk of developing heart disease. (via Time)
alcohol, charter schools, concussions, Down syndrome, Fertility, heart disease, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, pediatricians, Pregnancy, puberty | Categories:
Friday, October 26th, 2012
Good Bacteria During Pregnancy May Ward Off Eczema
Babies were less likely to get an itchy skin rash when their mothers took probiotics during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, according to a new study. (via Reuters)
Parents Who Argue Over Money Connected to Overspending by Kids
In a new study, students who specifically responded that “my parents usually argued about finances” were twice as likely to have more than two credit cards than those who said their parents didn’t argue over money, and three times as likely to have a large amount of debt. (via Time)
Texas Schools Begin Tracking Students With Computer Chips in ID Cards
Two schools in San Antonio have begun tracking students using radio-enabled computer chips embedded in their ID cards, allowing administrators to know the precise whereabouts of their charges on campus. (via NBC News)
Why Fertile Women Are More Aloof
According to a new study, ladies who settled down with Mr. Stable over Mr. Steamy are less likely to be sexually attracted to their partner during their most fertile period than women who paired up with sexually-desirable men. (via Time)
Pregnant Mothers on Anti-Depressants Are Putting Babies At Risk, Warn Scientists
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Thousands of women who take anti-depressants during pregnancy are endangering their unborn babies, researchers have warned. (via Daily Mail)
anti-depressants, Babies, eczema, Fertility, money, money management, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, Pregnancy, schools, students | Categories:
Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Clinical Trial Is Favorable for a Prenatal Gene Test
A new method of prenatal testing that can detect more genetic problems in a fetus than ever before could be headed toward wider use after encouraging results from a clinical trial, researchers say. The new technique surpassed standard testing in detecting chromosomal abnormalities, the study found. (via NY Times)
Fertility Treatments May Put Women At Risk for PTSD Symptoms, Study Suggests
Women who undergo fertility treatments may find the situation so distressing that they develop post-traumatic stress disorder, a new study says. In the study, close to 50 percent of participants met the official criteria for PTSD, meaning they could be diagnosed with the condition. (via MSNBC)
Diabetes and the Obesity Paradox
Type 2 diabetes, a condition widely thought of as a disease of the overweight and sedentary, also develops in people who aren’t overweight—and it may be more deadly. Scientists found those who were of normal weight around the time of their diagnoses were twice as likely to die within the same period. (via NY Times)
Boys Appear to Be More Vulnerable Than Girls to the Insecticide Chlorpyrifos
A new study found, at age 7, boys had greater difficulty working memory, a key component of IQ, than girls with similar prenatal exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos. Having nurturing parents improved working memory, especially in boys, though it didn’t lessen the negative effects of exposure. (via Science Daily)
Air Pollution Linked to Stillbirth Risk
Air pollution has been linked to a number of breathing problems, mainly in developing countries, and now a new preliminary study looking at pollution levels in New Jersey has found an increased risk of stillbirths among women exposed to certain pollutants. (via NBC News)
Stressed People Use Different Strategies and Brain Regions
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Researchers have found stressed and non-stressed people use different brain regions and different strategies when learning. Non-stressed individuals applied a deliberate learning strategy, while stressed subjects relied more on their gut feeling. (via Science Daily)
air pollution, boys, Brain Function, child obesity, diabetes, Fertility, fertility treatments, genetics, girls, memory, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, prenatal, stillbirth, stress | Categories:
Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Nearly Half of Newborns At Tennessee Hospital Need Prescription Drug Withdrawal Treatment
Out of the 58 babies in East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s NICU, 23 of them are going through withdrawal from prescription pills, including OxyContin, Vicodin, and methadone. (via ABC News)
Rare Genetic Mutation Protects Against Alzheimer’s
The mutation appears to slow the production of the beta-amyloid protein, long considered to be the cause of Alzheimer’s. Researchers say a genetic test for the mutation is unlikely because it’s so rare and the mutation could be exclusive to the Icelandic population. (via CNN)
Growing IVF Loan Business Helps Families Finance Their Fertility
Many families are turning to fertility finance companies to help fund their IVF cycles when they’re faced with limited funding and their insurance company won’t cover the costs. (via MSNBC)
485,000 High Chairs Recalled After Injury Reports
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More than 485,000 Chico Polly high chairs are being recalled after a design flaw led to children getting cuts and bruises. Importer Artsana USA Inc. knows of 21 children getting injured from falling against pegs on the back legs of the chairs, which are meant to store the tray. (via Associated Press)
alzheimer, Fertility, fertility finance, genetics, high chairs, in vitro fertilization, IVF, newborns, Parents Daily News Roundup, prescription drug abuse, prescription drugs, recalls | Categories:
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children
Children under 8 are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and an “app gap” is emerging between children in affluent and low-income households, a new study found.
President to Ease Student Loan Burden for Low-Income Graduates
An expansion of the income-based college-loan repayment program is expected on Wednesday, lowering monthly payments and allowing some loan consolidation.
Kids Behaving Badly? Blame It on Mom
All little kids can be aggressive, but those who remain explosive by the time they enter kindergarten have their mothers to blame, according to new research published Wednesday in the journal Child Development.
Soda-Drinking Teens More Violent
A study finds that teens who drank more than five cans of non-diet soda per day were significantly more likely to report behaving violently towards others, and more likely to report having carried a gun or knife in the past year, researchers said.
Older First-Time Moms Not at Higher Depression Risk
Women who have their first baby at an older age aren’t at greater risk of postpartum depression, according to a new report that contradicts earlier concerns.
Using Beads to Get Pregnant — or Prevent It
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A new study in the October issue of the Journal of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care finds that a fertility-awareness-based method of family planning developed by researchers from the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) actually works so well for those women who have a pretty regular menstrual cycle that they continued to use it successfully for years.