Are Royal Babies Spaced too Close Together?

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 by No Comments

Now that the Royal family has confirmed that Kate Middleton is pregnant for the second time, amid the buzz about a second royal heir being on the way is talk about whether or not 13 months is two short a time between pregnancies.

That is the amount of space between my own children, and while it wasn’t what I had “planned” I rolled with it. But 13 months is shorter than the 18 months recommended by Mayo Clinic and other organizations including the March of Dimes.

However, there is also research that suggests too much time between babies is not good either.

One of the cited possible risks based on the limited research is that the baby is at risk of a lower birth weight and small gestational size.

In my case that didn’t happen. My son actually weighed over two pounds more than my daughter and was an inch and a half longer. I’m not saying that is proof that the research is wrong, just that for me it was absolutely not the case.

Other possible risks include the potential for the placenta to partially or completely detach from the inner wall of the uterus before the baby is delivered, or that the placenta may attach to the lower part of the uterine wall and cover the cervix partially or all together in women who had a Caesarian section with their first child.

Aside from these risks there may be an increased risk of autism in the second child and some experts point to how an unplanned pregnancy and closely spaced pregnancies can put women at a socio-economic disadvantage.

I can say this is not the case for William and Kate. First of all, they probably planned this pregnancy…that is my guess not a substantiated fact.

Secondly, finances are not a factor for them, and even the stress of having kids close together will be much different with the help of a nanny, the Royal Chef, and all the other support most people don’t have.

While pregnancy and breast feeding take a toll on the mom’s body and diminish the supply of nutrients available, women in good health, who take their prenatal vitamins and have access to good prenatal care should be okay with the 13-month spacing according to some experts.

So are the Royal babies spaced to close together? Not really.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Rejuvenate Your Skin with Dry Body Brushing

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 by No Comments

As moms, we often neglect taking time for ourselves, but I’m telling you to take time for yourself in the morning. Get up a little early and do something just for you – dry brushing.

If you haven’t heard of this, it’s something you might find on a pricey spa menu. While I admit it’s fun to go for a treatment where you feel pampered, when you can’t afford or don’t have time for such pleasantries, why not still reap the benefits in your own bathroom.

Go ahead, give yourself a treatment! All you need is a natural-bristle brush. One with a long handle is best for reaching your back.

How to Dry Brush

Dry brushing is what it sounds like. It’s brushing your skin while dry. Do it before you climb into the shower.

To dry brush correctly, make long sweeps with the brush and always move toward the heart. Lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart and you’ll want to move in that same direction except on your back. On the back move from the neck down.

Avoid back and forth or circular scrubbing motions. Just sweep the skin in one direction and start at your feet. Move up the legs. Then move to your arms always brush toward the chest.

When brushing your stomach, brush counterclockwise. Use a light touch, hard enough to stimulate the skin but not hard enough to make the skin turn red.

Benefits of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing offers a number of benefits. It increases circulation to the skin and is said to reduce the appearance of cellulite. That alone is a great reason for dry brushing, but there’s more!

Other benefits include:

  • Helps shed dead skin cells and encourage cell renewal
  • Helps eliminate ingrown hairs
  • Helps improve circulation and lymphatic drainage
  • Stimulates nerve endings in the skin
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Makes skin more receptive to nutrients by eliminating clogged pores

Once you brush, bathe or shower to wash away the loosened dead skin cells. All of this results in smoother, brighter skin. It really is a great way to start the day.

Photo credits: Amazon

First Baby Spa a Hit in Houston

Posted on Sep 11, 2014 by No Comments

There’s a new spa located in the heart of Houston’s Memorial Villages. It’s called Float Baby and it is exclusively for babies.

While Float Baby is the first baby spa in the U.S., it turns out baby spas aren’t actually new. For instance, there’s Baby Spa in Kensington, London, that also offers “hydo therapy” and baby massages.

Float Baby opened in Houston last February, and it services infants from age 2 weeks to 8 months. The hallmark spa treatment is the floating pool which is kept at a comfortable 95-98 degrees.

Babies are dressed in waterproof diapers and a small flotation device is placed around the their necks before they are placed into the pool where they are free to move their arms and legs while they gently drift.

According to Kristi Ison, the owner of the spa, this treatment improves physical and cognitive development “by as much as 50% ahead of non-water peers.” Plus the treatment is said to strengthen muscle and bone structure.

When the babies are taken out of the pool, they get a neonatal massage performed by their parents while they are coached by Ison who is a certified instructor in infant massage. A visit costs $65 and takes about an hour.

This leads to a couple of questions like what happens if the squirming baby slips from its flotation device? Turns out that the inflatable tubes are sized by the staff every visit.

My other concern relates to a bunch of babies in the same pool, even with waterproof diapers. How clean is that pool? Turns out the water is purified and the pool itself is washed out daily.

While there is no research to support the claims made by the spa’s owner, parents using the spa have said their babies are sleeping better and are generally happier. Ison plans to expand her current facilities and hopes to open more franchises.

While I like the concept, I’m not sure about dishing out $65 for a baby spa treatment. What do you think?

Photo credits: HLN

Second Royal Baby on the Way

Posted on Sep 10, 2014 by No Comments

It’s official! Prince George is expecting a baby brother or sister.

The announcement made on Twitter says that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge “are very pleased to announce” they are expecting their second child. Both Prince William and Kate are now 32 and their first child turned one in July.

A statement from Buckingham Palace says “The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.” And guess what! Royal watchers are just as thrilled and so are the capitalists who profit from such news.

For instance, the online betting site Paddy Power is already featuring novelty bets on the gender, hair color, and name of the new baby.

Royal Tweet
At this time, no due date has been announced, but along with the information that has been released the palace said the pregnancy is still within the first trimester. Poor Kate is experiencing acute morning sickness again and has had to cancel some scheduled engagements.

So far, this time fighting the inconvenient side-effect of extreme nausea hasn’t sent her to the hospital. Instead the palace’s statement said, “The Duchess of Cambridge is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace,” which is where the couple lives.

Prime Minister David Cameron also shared his congratulations on Twitter, saying, “I’m delighted by the happy news that they’re expecting another baby.”

Along with the happy news comes speculation on what maternity fashion she’ll don this time around.

Will she wear some of her maternity clothes from her first pregnancy? Possibly, but we have to remember that Prince George was born in the summer, while this baby will be due in the spring. Different seasons call for different maternity clothes in my book, unless you’re into a one-size fits the whole pregnancy approach, which I can tell you the fashion conscious Kate will not be.

Photo credits: The Telegraph, Twitter

Bengals Devon Still Receives Blessing in Disguise

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 by No Comments

When you learn your child has cancer, everything else in your world dims in importance. Recently this happened to Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Devon Still.

The 25-year-old found out in June that his 4-year-old daughter had stage four pediatric cancer, and needless to say, his mind was not on the game. He admitted to ABC News that “It was like my whole world turned upside down.”

On Saturday, Still learned that the Bengals decided to let him go, and he admits that he can understand their decision because he wasn’t able to give them his all. But that’s not the end of the story.

The Bengals turned around and signed him to their practice squad. This gives him a $6,300 weekly paycheck, health insurance that helps cover his daughter’s care, and as an extra bonus, requires a lot less travel so he can spend more time with his sweet little girl.

When he got the news, he cried.

“They could have washed their hands with me and said they didn’t care about what I was going through off the field. It’s like a blessing in disguise for me.” – ABC News

The 25-year-old dad has shaved his head to match his daughter Leah’s and is thankful for the opportunity have more time at home with her as she completes her treatments. This is one thing they will tackle together. Leah had her fourth round of chemotherapy last week.

To say Still is grateful for what the Bengals have done for him is an understatement to say the least. He gets to stay with the game he loves and with the team that drafted him, but without all the traveling he gets to be closer to the daughter who means so much to him.

I take my hat off to the Bengals for caring and going the extra mile to do the right thing.

Photo credits: Instagram

Swing Technology to Rock Your Baby’s World

Posted on Sep 8, 2014 by No Comments

Technology surrounds us and as parents we have to figure out when it’s a good thing for our kids and when it isn’t.

Consumers pretty much let Fisher Price know their baby seat with a built-in iPad holder was not a good thing. Monitors are a good thing but even there you have to watch which one’s you choose. You don’t want someone to hack into your Wi-fi to see into your child’s bedroom.

Then there are those scannable PJs that read bedtime stories to our kids, not a favorite concept in my opinion. However, I do like the technology incorporated in the 4moms Rockaroo swing.

The Rockaroo swing offers cushy comfort for your baby that’s safe for an infant. It reminds me of those little bouncy chairs but on steroids. It gently suspends the baby above the floor and sways them back and forth. And while all movements are gentle, it does offer five-speed control.

Plus it has a speaker and an MP3 player plug-in! Sounds more like we’re talking about a car, but it really is a quality swing that provides motion from below with a pivot at the base rather than suspending the swing from above. It reminds me more of the motion of a rocking chair than a swing and makes a perfect choice for busy mom’s with a baby that’s fussing.

Another plus with the 4moms Rockaroo swing is that it is quiet! And the sensors respond to the motion of the seat and the baby giving it a less mechanical feel. In fact, because each movement is a little different it actually delivers an almost human quality to the rocking movement.

On the practical side of things, the swing features a machine washable seat fabric and removable toy balls. This high-tech swing starts at $160 and newborn inserts are available for $30.00.

Photo credits: Amazon

Baby Sends Thumbs Up from the Womb

Posted on Sep 3, 2014 by No Comments

Ultrasounds offer a unique glimpse and a first baby pic before our children are born.

Seeing your baby for the first time is more special than words can tell, and for one couple, when they got a thumbs up from their baby, they thought it was really exceptional.

According to the baby’s father, Brandon Hopkins, his wife is actually expecting twins and is due in January. At this time they don’t know the sex of the babies. Even so, the twins or at least one of the twins is already famous for the thumbs up photo.

The proud dad-to-be posted the pic on his Facebook page, and then his brother posted the same sonogram pic to Reddit where the responses exploded. Some have even nicknamed the baby the “Fonzie fetus” after the iconic cool guy from Happy Days.

After the surprising response, the uncle of the babies called his brother to let him know, “Your babies are famous.” They even made the news on WCVB Channel 5 Boston.

It is really a cool shot. I mean I got excited to see thumb sucking! A thumbs up is like a positive message sent ahead. However, I can’t help but think about after the kids are born.

This is a story that will become part of their family lore passed from one generation to the next, but will the kids wonder which of them gave the thumbs up? You know what I’m talking about. The sibling rivalry thing boasting about who does something better. Which one will be able to say, “I was famous before we were born”?

Luckily because they don’t even know the sex of the babies at this time I don’t think that will happen. Instead, this now famous picture and bit of celebrity as a viral sensation will be something the entire family can cherish as a whole unit. It is special.

Photo credits: reddit

False Positive Mammogram Linked to Increase Risk for Breast Cancer

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 by No Comments

For decades we were told mammograms were useful for detecting breast cancer early. We started getting them at 40 and every year after that.

However, in recent times, the emphasis on the importance of getting mammograms has decreased with the advent of Obamacare. The recommendations for women without a family history of breast cancer are now every two years between the ages of 50 and 74, however, the American Cancer Society still recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40.

The jury is still out on whether this is a political way to cut medical costs or if they really aren’t helpful for younger women.

One recent study does not recommend routine screening for women age 40 to 49, and even links false positive mammogram results with a heightened risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer later in life. While they didn’t come up with a reason for these results, they took a closer look to find out how much it increased the risk and whether or not the cancer was actually missed when they received a false positive.

A false positive is a result that suggests possible breast cancer, but additional tests or biopsies don’t find confirmation of the disease. What they found is that mistakes made by doctors only accounted for a small percentage of the increased risk, and the lead author of the study, My von Euler-Chelpin, an epidermiologist from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, admits she couldn’t explain the increase risk.

The study looked at over 58,000 Danish women who had a mammogram between 1991 and 2005. Of these 4,743 women had “suspicious” findings that were later deemed negative. By 2008, almost 300 of these women had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Researchers studied the original mammograms and found that of the 295 women diagnosed with cancer later on, only 72 cases were shown to be cancer the doctor had missed. Even when this group is taken into account, the research discovered women with false positive readings were 27% more likely to have cancer later than those women who had received a negative reading.

With all this said, the women in this study were from Denmark, and their screening process differs from the U.S. so these results may not translate to women living in the U.S. However, others suggest women who receive a false positive mammogram reading should be watched more closely.

Photo credits:

Instead of Ice Bucket Dad Offers Challenge to Be a Dad

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 by No Comments

Anyone who spends anytime on the Internet has seen celebrities and others taking the ALS ice bucket challenge. It’s a good cause and has raised millions of dollars.

A man by the name of Kendell Smith was inspired by all the people accepting the challenge and is offering a challenge of his own to men. However, his challenge is of a different type and he’s not looking for donations either.

Kendell Smith is a North Carolina dad who doesn’t usually participate in Facebook dares. This time he has made an exception, but instead of taking up a dare he is issuing the challenge to all the dads out there. He created a video challenging them to be better fathers and posted it in early August. Since then it has received almost 24,000 likes and has been shared more than 138,000 times!

In the video, he talks about how he doesn’t do Facebook videos and things like that, but since everyone else seemed to be doing a challenge he was going to put one out there.

The North Carolina dad says, “This is my challenge for anybody that wants to accept. See if you can do this.” He gets up and makes a move like he might be picking up a bucket of ice water, but instead he picks up his son. He stands there holding that adorable child and challenges dads to “Be a father. Take care of your kids. Be there in their lives and mean something to him.” Then he kisses the baby.

I can’t help but think of the popularity of the ice bucket challenge has had and the money it has brought in to help that cause. Can you imagine the difference this challenge could make if men everywhere accepted it for real. The real difference is that the ice bucket challenge only has to be done once and it’s done. Picking up the real dad challenge is a daily test and one that needs to be accepted for the rest of life.

Photo credits: Facebook

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