Category Archives: Miscellaneous
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but during the summer it can be more difficult than ever. High levels of the pregnancy hormone progesterone leads to higher metabolic and resting heart rates, and increased blood flow. All that leads to your body temperature being at its highest, then add in the hot summer sun and you could be in for a difficult few months.
Here are some tips for staying cool during your summer pregnancy:
Tip #1 – Avoid Direct Sunlight
You may have the urge to bronze your skin and get that summer tan you love. However, you should try to avoid direct sunlight as much as you can. Hormonal influences leave you more prone to overheating and sunburn. If you do spend time in the sun during your pregnancy, go early in the morning or later in the day when the sun isn’t as strong and apply lots of sunscreen.
Tip #2 – Drink Plenty of Fluids
The hot weather is going to make you sweat, so you need to avoid dehydration by drinking lots of fluids. You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water on a hot day. Juice, milk, and sports drinks are great options too because they will help replace the electrolytes you lost. Try to avoid diuretics such as soda, coffee, and tea.
Tip #3 – Eat Lighter Meals
Eating lighter meals more frequently can help keep your metabolism working steadily. Eating small, healthy portions will help keep you cool. Stay cool even more by having popsicles or frozen fruit juice.
Tip #4 – Cut Down the Swelling
Late pregnancy symptoms like swelling will only get worse in the summer. The hot summer sun will cause you to swell up more than you normally would. Cut back on excessively salty foods like chips or popcorn to help reduce the bloating from water retention. Keeping your feet elevated will help too because it will improve circulation.
Tip #5 – Go Swimming
Taking a dip in the pool will not only be cool and refreshing, it will help reduce summer pregnancy back pain and swelling. Don’t have access to a pool? Take a cool shower or bath.
Tip #6 – Wear Proper Clothing
You can avoid overheating by wearing natural, breathable fabrics like loose-fitting cotton or linen. Wear light colors as opposed to dark ones and wear open-toed sandals with straps for added support.
Pop culture is akin to driving. Some celebrities are worthy of admiration and lingering, while others’ antics should clearly be steered away from. A certain handful of stars, and this term is used very loosely these days, result in unintentional rubbernecking, and this is where the family from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo falls in.
Following a family of unabashed rednecks, Honey Boo Boo is an offshoot of Toddlers & Tiaras, but both feature beauty pageants in some capacity. For most of Honey Boo Boo’s first season, youngest child Alana was the pint-sized pageant queen. But according to recent news, her niece, Kaitlyn, may give her some competition.
Kaitlyn, the daughter of Alana’s older sister Anna “Chickadee,” just started entering baby beauty pageants, placing fifth at her first one. But, how do baby beauty pageants differ from ones for older children, or adults for that matter? Apparently, qualifications involved being well-behaved, smiling, and being able to sit still for long periods of time.
The impact of child beauty pageants has come under scrutiny in recent years. Psychology Today pointed out that involvement in such appearance-based activities results in body image and disordered eating years down the line. Children, instead, are recommended to have a more balanced life of multiple activities and school.
For families like the Thompsons, a Harvard article points out, beauty pageants are seen as a mode of social mobility, be it for a better life of marriage or education or even to handle competition better. On the other hand, the costumes and pageant fees have driven families out of their homes.
Pageants, the Harvard piece indicates, cut across class lines. More wealthy contestants even put funds toward coaching and styling.
While baby Kaitlyn is likely unaware of the contest she’s been entered into, pageants appear to have both negative and positive effects on children. Do you think children this young should be entered into beauty contests?
- Should Child Beauty Pageants Be Banned Altogether? (bellasugar.com)
- Honey Boo Boo’s Three-Thumbed Niece Enters Pageant – And Wins! (celebs.gather.com)
- Parents outraged over kid beauty pageant (wcnc.com)
How much do you think pictures of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s children have fetched? Or even Jessica Simpson’s baby? Photo values for celebrity children fluctuate like the stock market, going for millions one year and bottoming out into just five figures at another point in time. The recent Kardashian birth seems to significantly magnify this trend.
Those who aren’t pop culture junkies aren’t likely aware that Kourtney, the eldest Kardashian sister, gave birth to daughter Penelope Scotland Disick on Sunday. Their first child, Mason Dash, was born in 2009. However, in terms of selling the baby pictures, it’s estimated that this Kardashian will only pull in $20,000 to $30,000. While practically all things Kardashian continue to sell, including clothing and an upcoming makeup line, why, simply, do celebrity gossip readers just not care? One Huffington Post editor surmises:
“Kourtney’s second child isn’t such a big deal. If it were Kim’s baby, it might be different, but with the exception of hardcore fans no one is waiting to see what Penelope looks like.”
Along with this, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ divorce is at the top of the pop culture pyramid at the moment.
But, while Blue Ivy Carter could have brought in the millions (her worth was estimated at $2 million), most other celebrity spawn settle for something less in the present. Jessica Simpson’s baby girl, Maxwell, for instance, only saw $800,000 from People, and that amount was not recovered in magazine sales.
Nevertheless, as the Huffington Post points out, Simpson saw considerably less than other celebrities just a few years ago: Bradgelina, for instance, saw $11 million for their twins and $3.1 million for daughter Shiloh, while many other celebs on the A- and B-lists saw $1 million or more, including Jennifer Lopez, Anna Nicole Smith, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie, and Jamie Lynn Spears.
What’s your perspective on the celebrity baby phenomenon? Are gossip rag readers just over it?
It’s one of the most awaited celebrity births of the past year, if not decade: Beyonce Knowles delivered her and Jay-Z’s baby, Blue Ivy Carter, on Saturday. Yet, by Monday, reports of their seemingly extravagant demands surfaced in gossip rags. But, how much accuracy can you trust to an anonymous source in Us Weekly?
Us, like other magazines of its sort, described the extreme security around Beyonce’s birth at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. One witness, again anonymous, called their approach “insane,” but can you blame the couple and their families? Considering the cost of celebrity photos, the paparazzi would have been swarming the hospital if some security measures hadn’t been put into place. Supposedly, Jay-Z paid $1.3 million to reserve a full floor of the building, but a hospital spokesperson stated that such reports are exaggerated; rather, they only had reserved a sixth floor suite.
Nevertheless, one parent sharing the space said about the security: “They just used the hospital like it was their own and nobody else mattered. […] They locked us into the NICU and would say, ‘You can’t come out to the hallway for the next 20 minutes.’ When I finally was able to go back out, I went to the waiting room and they’d ushered my family downstairs!”
Most babies get birth announcements, sent out to friends and family. Blue Ivy, on the other hand, gets a statement from Beyonce and Jay-Z’s publicist and a song. Called “Glory,” the track is already released and features samples of the baby’s first cries. The couple’s publicist also put out the following statement:
Hello Hello Baby Blue!
We are happy to announce the arrival of our beautiful daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, born on Saturday, January 7, 2012. Her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful, we are in heaven. She was delivered naturally at a healthy 7 lbs and it was the best experience of both of our lives. We are thankful to everyone for all your prayers, well wishes, love and support. Beyoncé & JAY Z
The results of studies show claims by Your Baby Can Read and Baby Einstein programs and video are false, but does that mean that educational software for children is simply bogus and a waste of time? Not entirely. A recent study by the University of London Birkbeck, showed that some computer software can be helpful for getting babies to focus, which in turn allows them to better pick up skills and language.
The Telegraph describes 42 babies being placed into five groups and being shown cartoons or telling them to track a moving target on a computer screen. After being shown the cartoon or using the software, the babies were asked to focus on images or play with toys without getting distracted. Those who had used the computer program were able to focus more.
Concentration comes from the frontal part of the brain, which is not fully developed in babies; as a result, they are easily distracted but get better with age. At the same time, learning some new skills, such as language, is easier at a young age. To the Telegraph, Researcher Sam Wass, from Birkbeck’s Centre for Brain and Cognitive Sciences, said:
“We know the brain is more plastic early on, so an impact at this stage could potentially make a big difference to a child’s abilities later on. We already know that the early years of school are very important; what we have shown for the first time is that it is possible that difference can be made at an even younger age.”
While Baby Einstein’s and Your Baby Can Read’s approaches have been shown to not increase a child’s vocabulary, rely too much on visual recognition, or do not appropriately communicate to a baby, getting a child in the mindset to learn through focusing may be one step toward truly expanding his or her ability to learn language quicker.
So, in addition to interacting with your baby or young child to help with language skills, you think that using Baby Einstein – or My Baby Can Read, or a similar DVD series – that claims to enhance your child’s language skills simply by watching. But, does this actually help? Although we’ve seen studies disproving this notion, a recent article published in Time Magazine details why such language-enhancing DVDs don’t actually do anything. While many educational toys for infants – even those red, black, and white ones – are designed to enhance physical skills, the issue with language DVDs is overstimulation – even to the point of paralysis.
Like past studied to determine the value of Baby Einstein videos, University of California at Riverside took another look at this subject recently, as mentioned in Time. They used the Baby Wordsworth DVD from the series and tested children between 12 and 24 months old. They were to watch it each day for six weeks and then the children were tested for their language skills at the end of the period. Predictably, none of the children’s language skills improved during that period.
Instead, this study – and similar ones before it – found that the best way for a child to develop language skills is through a live speaker, particularly one who is repetitive with certain words. Although why a live speaker is better than an video hasn’t fully been studied, some claim that the parent-ese – or baby talk used – is easier for a child to understand and respond to. As a result, the best way for a child to acquire new words is through interaction. Whether going outside, playing together, or reading, you and your child can learn new words, particularly is certain ones are repeated over and over. Over time, this interaction and repetitive approach will cause your child to pick up on language skills.
While plenty of articles discuss women’s fertility in relation to the ideal age to have children, being at the most fertile – early 20s, according to the linked article from the Washington Post — doesn’t correlate with being emotionally and financially secure enough to have children. As the 20s are now considered an extension of the teenage years in terms of finding one’s self and becoming settled with a career, the 30s are a period with more emotionally stability. As a result, more career women and their husbands end up having children in their early 30s because of this stability. Why bring a child into the world at 22 when you can barely support yourself a few months out of college?
A survey recently done by The Bump and Forbes.com tried to find the ideal age for having a baby. Their study, however, didn’t entirely some up with an exact answer and, instead, perspective makes up the bulk of the results. Some of the findings include:
• Mothers between 30 and 34 wish they had their first child younger, from 25 to 29 instead.
• Older women above 39 wish they had their first child between 30 and 34.
• Those who had children between 25 and 29 were somewhat content with this period.
• A significant percentage – nearly two-thirds – thought that having a child negatively impacts their careers. This was found to be an assumption for both working and stay-at-home mothers. Mothers who went back to work, however, often had negative feelings, particularly guilt and not caring, upon returning to their jobs.
So, based upon these results, is there any time in which both emotional and financial security and fertility meet? Probably within the 25 to 29 years of age period. But, nevertheless, the “right” time is all about perspective. If you’re not emotionally or financially ready, even at 30, having a child then might not be the ideal time.
Although the news has been a-buzz with stories of American missionaries taking Haitian children and celebrities ranging from Anderson Cooper to Tila Tequila planning, supposedly, to adopt babies from Haiti, the most significant and pending effort concerning children in Haiti isn’t adopting them to American parents but helping those in the country. Most children won’t be adopted or enter the United States by immigration, and those parents with children in Haiti need adequate supplies to help their children. As adults don’t have enough food and water or adequate shelter, how will they be able to protect any young children and babies they need to take care of until Haiti rebuilds itself?
One organization, the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Dickinson and New England has been preparing care packages or kits to send to Haiti for this purpose. This includes baby-specific kits, as well as those for schools and general cleanup. According to the linked article above, the kits for babies include six cloth diapers, two shirts, wash cloths, two sleepers, two diaper pins, a sweater or sweatshirt, and blankets. As 54 percent of the population in Haiti is children, such kits are needed for parents needing to take care of their children in the aftermath.
This group of churches has been donating such supplies to make these kits. If you don’t belong to the group of churches or live in the area, other relief efforts concerning children in Haiti can be found on national and international levels. UNICEF, for example, is trying to stop the proliferation of increase of selling and trafficking children in Haiti, while smaller organizations, even aid efforts through your local middle school may be raising funds specifically to aid children in Haiti.
Celebrity Baby Week: Kourtney Kardashian, Michelle Duggar, Giselle Bundchen, and Kendra Wilkinson Give Birth the Same Week
It appears to be a week for celebrity babies. While the “bump watch” for celebrities is a fairly recent addition to pop culture magazines and blogs, the celebrities, regardless if anyone notices, eventually have their children. This past week, Michelle Duggar, Kourtney Kardashian, Giselle Bundchen, and Kendra Wilkinson have all had children. All except for Bundchen have been reality TV stars at some point, but, regardless, they’ve all been on a celebrity baby watch for several months. All, except Duggar, had boys.
Reality TV stars Kourtney Kardashian, Kendra Wilkinson, and Michelle Duggar have all had their pregnancies watched by viewers, in addition to magazines and blogs. While actresses on television who have been pregnant have needed to cover up their condition, it’s far more acceptable on reality TV. In fact, it often seems better for the plot and viewership. But that doesn’t mean these women are free from criticism, however. Articles on such celebrity news sites often criticize the Duggars for having too many children (now 19 and counting) and the recent birth of Josie Brooklyn Duggar might prove to be more ammunition for those that think the reality TV family should stop reproducing.
Josie Brooklyn was born by C-section and is the Duggar’s nineteenth child. She was born with preeclampsia, a condition which affects five to eight percent of babies. As she’s the Duggar’s nineteenth child, such a percentage for this condition in their family makes sense mathematically.
Another issue with celebrity births are the names the parents give their new offspring. While few go down the “Apple,” “Rumer,” or “Moon Unit” route, a possibility for such a unique name exists. These celebrities didn’t go for anything particularly unique (Bundchen and Tom Brady haven’t even picked a name yet), with Kardashian naming her child “Dash” after the family’s boutique. Although Mason Dash doesn’t have his mother’s last name, the name itself isn’t anything extremely unusual.
One debate among parents is the issue between using strollers and carrying your baby. Strollers, on one hand, offer more convenience, as you don’t have to hold the baby with all of the other things you’re carrying. Holding the baby, although said to be somewhat developmentally better, often involves holding it with other items and getting tired from holding it all the time. One solution to this problem has been to use a baby sling, which allows the baby to be close to you, like holding, and allows your arms to be free. Slings, in addition, allow you to position the baby on your hip or back in more comfortable positions.
Aside from the physical aspect, the main reason for using a baby sling is the developmental reason. Some consider that using a stroller pushes the baby – both literally and figuratively – away from the parent and, as a result, the child can develop loss and loneliness during childhood and might not be as independent later in life. Using a baby sling, on the other hand, positions a child close to its mother and no pushing – or pushing away – motion is involved. While the closeness to the mother is said to develop a child’s independence sooner, a child supposedly cries less when carried often in a sling.
Where do you find a baby sling? Although many brick-and-mortar baby stores might not carry a sling, they can be found online. Organic baby products retailer Natural Baby Network, for example, carries their version of a baby sling made out of organic cotton, which is adjustable for various sized babies and toddlers up to 40 pounds. Similar versions are available from retailers that sell more than organic and natural baby products.