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Fergie and Josh Duhamel Welcome Their Baby Boy

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie gave birth to a baby boy on Thursday, Aug. 29 in Los Angeles.

The new mom, 37, and her husband, actor Josh Duhamel, 40, named their 7-pound, 10-ounce son Axl Jack. Here’s more from US Weekly:

Married since 2009, the couple have been eagerly anticipating their little bundle of joy’s birth for weeks. At the Hollywood premiere of Duhamel’s new movie, Scenic Route, on Tuesday, Aug. 20, the 40-year-old actor said they were packed and ready to go to the hospital at a moment’s notice.

“We do have a bag ready but just not here,” he told Us. “So he’s going to have to wait. He’s going to have to wait until next week.”

The star also spoke recently about how well his wife had been handling her first pregnancy. “I’m mostly impressed with how gracefully…I mean she’s just been awesome throughout this whole thing,” he gushed on Aug. 15. “She’s taken really good care of herself, she’s happy, she’s in great spirits, she looks beautiful and I’m just really proud of her more than anything. And I’m really excited to meet this little dude. I can’t wait.”


Image: Josh Duhamel and Fergie, via Helga Esteb /

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Just How Pregnant Are You? New Home Test Offers An Answer

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

It’s a major moment in a woman’s life: Those minutes that she sits in the bathroom with a test stick, waiting to find out if she’s pregnant. A newly available home pregnancy test provides even more information, estimating how far along she is in her pregnancy, reports.

The Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator measures a woman’s levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced early in pregnancy. If a woman is pregnant, the test will tell her, based on her hCG levels, if she is 1–2 weeks, 2–3 weeks, or 3+ weeks along.

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The test is already available for women in Europe, where Clearblue launched it in 2008. The Food and Drug Administration approved the kit for market in December 2012, and starting September 1, the test will have widespread availablity to American women in all major retailers. Clearblue’s clinical trials included 2,000 women and 5,000 tested urine samples and determined that hCG measurement was effective and accurate for estimating the time since a woman’s last ovulation. The company says the test is 99% accurate at detecting pregnancy from the day of a woman’s expected period, and about 93% accurate in estimating the number of weeks.

Obstetricians say the new test may be particularly helpful for women with irregular periods, but there’s some disagreement about the accuracy of using hCG to date pregnancy. The doctors also stress that a pregnancy test is no substitute for ultrasound, the best way to determine just how far along a woman is.

Image: Pregnancy test, via Clearblue

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Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Cutter Dykstra Welcome Baby Boy

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, former star of “The Sopranos” and “Guys With Kids,” and her fiancé, major league baseball player Cutter Dykstra, have welcomed a son. Baby Beau was born on August 28, reports. More from PEOPLE:

After announcing their engagement in January, the couple surprised fans with even more exciting news only two weeks later: they were expecting! While confirming they would welcome a son, Sigler admitted she was even shocked by the timing of it all.

“We definitely thought it was going to be a slow relationship process and possibly an engagement — I felt like it was coming — so the baby definitely threw us for a loop,” the actress said in April.

Despite denouncing heels for the remainder of her pregnancy, Sigler sported a pair for her June baby shower, where she told PEOPLE she and Dykstra were having trouble deciding on their son’s name.

“We have a couple of [baby] names we’re toying with. We’ll call him one name one week and one name another week. I think we have our favorite, but you never know. We could change our minds when we meet him,” she said at the time.


Image: Cutter Dykstra, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, via Shutterstock/Helga Esteb


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Good News: Our Schools May Be Getting A Little Healthier, CDC Says

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that schools are making some strides in helping kids make healthy choices. The report revealed a jump in the number of schools phasing out junk foods, and found more elementary schools offering gym classes. More from The Washington Post:

[A]fter years of efforts to phase out junk food like candy and chips, the percentage of school districts that prohibited such food in vending machines increased from 29.8 percent in 2006 to 43.4 percent in 2012, according to the CDC’s 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study. Also, slightly more than half of school districts – up from about 35 percent in 2000 — made information available to families on the nutrition and caloric content of foods available to students.

“Schools play a critical role in the health and well-being of our youth,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, in the news release. “Good news for students and parents — more students have access to healthy food, better physical fitness activities through initiatives such as ‘Let’s Move,’ and campuses that are completely tobacco free.”

Since 2000, the number of school districts that require elementary schools to teach physical education increased. In addition, the number of districts entering into agreements with local YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs or local parks and recreation departments went up, according to the study.

Meanwhile, the percentage of districts with policies that prohibited all tobacco use during any school-related activity increased from 46.7 percent in 2000 to 67.5 percent in 2012.

The CDC study is a periodic, national survey that examines key components of school health at the state, district, school, and classroom level, including health education; physical education and activity; health services; mental health and social services; nutrition services; healthy and safe school environment; faculty and staff health promotion; and family and community involvement.

Image: Student in cafeteria, via Shutterstock



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Study: Premature Birth Has Long-Lasting Effects

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

A review of research on preterm babies reveals that super-early preemies (those born between the 22 and 25 weeks gestation) face significant health risks years later. Compared with full-term babies, these preemies had increased risk of neurological problems at 4 to 8 years of age. Care of premature infants continues to improve, but this review points to the importance of trying to keep babies in the womb as long as possible, reports.

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It’s not the first hint that preemies are at higher risk of health issues for being born before their development was completed. Some recent studies showed, for example, that babies who were born earlier had poorer test scores in reading and math compared with those born full term. A study published in 2011 that analyzed the long-term effects of premature birth on cognitive abilities such as memory and attention span in early adulthood revealed that people who were born extremely premature performed worse on executive function tests and took longer to complete higher-order intellectual tasks. As adults, these individuals also scored an average of 8.4 points lower on IQ assessments compared with people who were born at full term.

The fact that the effects of premature birth last into adulthood is concerning, since they are not only at a disadvantage in some cognitive functions, they even have a reportedly higher risk of death in early adulthood as well. Advancements in care of premature babies have undoubtedly improved, but lessening their health risks is still a task at hand. In 2012, a team of researchers from the University College London Institute for Women’s Health reported that death rates and health problems among extremely preterm babies has remained unchanged for decades.

While the parents of preemies may find this news less-than-reassuring, this research can help children by giving “parents and clinicians a heads-up for what to look out for during development,” says.

Image: Premature baby’s foot, via Shutterstock

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