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: wikipedia.org
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
Three of my friends and I were sharing our birthing stories a couple of evenings ago after one of the women told of how their daughter was under 5 pounds when she came home. Yes, she was a preemie. Her now teenage daughter walked over to us to remind her mother that she’s not so little any more.
The conversation went on to tell birth weights of our various children, and all of us thought our eight-pound-something kids were plenty big. The daughter asked what average was and it raised the question in all our minds. We all thought the seven pound range was average territory, but with so many extremely big babies being born these days is there a new normal?
According to Kids Health, “Most full-term babies (born between 37 and 40 weeks) weigh somewhere between 5 pounds 8 ounces (2,500 grams) and 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams).” So that means the average is about the same as what we thought weighing about 7.5 pounds.
So what’s making so many babies tip the scales at weights like 14, 15, and even 16 pounds? One of the things that plays a role is diet and weight before you get pregnant and while you’re pregnant. That means those of us who are overweight to start can expect to have a heavier baby. Does that mean the baby is born “overweight?”
At the other end of the spectrum, if we don’t take in enough nutrients, then our baby might be smaller. Other factors that can influence birth weight are lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking and health issued like diabetes.
Things we have no control over include genetics and our own birth weight and the sex of the baby (boys tend to weight more than girls). Firstborns usually weigh less than their siblings, too. All of this makes me wonder if the rise in obesity and overweight is being passed on to the next generation! All the more reason why we should try to get ourselves in shape before we get pregnant!
Photo credits: Coolins335
Christina Aguilera and her fiancé Matt Rutler welcomed their first child together on Aug. 16. According to an article in Us Weekly, the baby was delivered via Caesarian section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and, the 33 year old star announced via Twitter that the baby’s name is Summer Rain.
As with any baby name, people will be divided as to whether or not they like the name choice. I think this particular name is pretty. It doesn’t sound gimmicky, silly, or like a forced effort to be different. Instead it has a casual elegance to it.
Summer can be a girl or boy name and it means “summer season.” It actually was somewhat popular back in the late 90s. According to the Government Social Security Administration it ranked 188 in popularity last year which means it is still pretty popular.
Summer Rain is Aguilera’s second child and the first for her fiancé, who she met on the set of her 2010 film Burlesque where he worked as a set production assistant. She and ex-husband Jordan Bratman share custody of her six-year-old son, Max, who she also had by an elective scheduled C-section.
At the time she had told People magazine, “I didn’t want any surprises. Honestly, I didn’t want any [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section [anyway]. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early.”
According to one article I read, one third of celeb babies are born by C-section. That’s one decision I don’t think I’d make, but there are pros and cons for both sides of that issue. I’m happy all is well with the baby and mom, and wish the entire family all the best.
Photo credits: Splash News
For me the 9 months of pregnancy seemed much longer than the first 9 months of my children’s lives. They arrive these little helpless babies and within the first 9 months they’re not only sitting up and crawling, some even start to walk like my daughter.
And while all that is exciting, the milestones you can expect from 10-12 months reflect a time of rapid development when your child finds all kinds of new skills including verbal communication. With all the new skills they learn, it’s like they transform from baby to toddler during this brief time.
Milestones from 10 – 12 Months
While each baby is unique and will learn at their own pace, the milestones you can expect to see in most cases from 10 to 12 months include:
Every baby develops at their own pace. My daughter walked at 9 months and my son walked at 13 months, yet he could climb like crazy by 9 months. If you have questions about your child’s skills, talk with your pediatrician.
Photo credits: geirt.com
When my kids were in diapers, changing tables weren’t a prevalent convenience. That’s right they are a convenience, they are not required even today.
One mom recently was eating out and with her three kids when her four-month-old baby needed a diaper change. She went into the bathroom only to find there was no changing table. Now we’re talking about a stinky, dirty diaper. What would you do?
She returned to the table at Brothers Pizza Express in Spring, Texas, and instead of dragging her eight year old, four year old, and 4 month-old baby back to her mini van, she opted for changing the diaper at the table. In her view, going back out to the van was just too inconvenient.
However, messy diapers are rarely “convenient.” She placed her changing pad on the table and changed the baby right there with other diners watching and smelling the diaper change. Needless to say other patrons complained.
The restaurant brought the woman’s food to the table in to-go containers and asked her to leave. The request didn’t sit well with her, and now she has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
Changing a messy diaper on a table where her children would be eating was a poor choice. It’s not like breastfeeding in a restaurant. It is a sanitation issue as well as environmentally offensive.
The smelly whiff of dirty diaper wafting in the air for other paying customers to bear while they tried to enjoy their meal bred unhappy diners. I mean, would you want to eat at the table where you just changed a dirty diaper or have that smell filling the restaurant while you’re eating? Yuck!
I do understand the hassle of taking all three kids back out to the van to change a diaper, but that’s how things go sometimes with motherhood. In this particular mom’s case, I would recommend that she check with restaurants ahead to see if they have a changing table, or she should be ready to take the changing pad out to the van in the future. I know it’s not convenient but it is the courteous thing to do.
Photo credits: Amazon
One of my girlfriend’s once duct taped her mouth as a gag gift for her husband’s birthday. It was funny until she peeled the tape and skin from her lips. So when I saw the picture of a baby with a pacifier duct taped to her face, I thought, “Oh no! That tender skin!”
It turns out that an Ohio grandmother, Jackie Sheaks, was responsible for the pic and said she did it as a joke. The duct tape was applied to the pacifier and only on the baby long enough to take the snapshot.
When the grandmother posted the picture to Facebook, her intent was to share the photo of her granddaughter and a few laughs with friends, but instead she received tons of negative feedback.
“It started as just a joke; we put a little tape on the pacifier because we were being silly. We wanted to share it with friends because everybody that knows us, knows we play around like that.” Jackie Sheaks via 10tv
To her surprise, the sheriff and child services ended up making a visit because they were concerned for the baby’s welfare. What started out as a joke caused others to think the baby was in danger.
Sheaks also posted a picture of the baby in a roasting pan with some potatoes. They were just being silly looking for props that were different. But what she thought was playful turned out to be a nightmare with harassment starting almost as soon as the pictures were posted.
The baby’s grandfather, Tommy Sheaks says “It’s been a big toll on the family. We almost feel like we have to relocate.”
The baby’s mom has no problem with the pictures, but Jackie Sheaks has said she won’t be posting pictures of her granddaughter on social media ever again. The lesson she has learned is that what she and her family think is funny, isn’t viewed the same way by others.
Image credit: AP News
A new wearable baby monitor has been designed by the Sproutling Company with the mobile parent in mind.
This company was started by two young entrepreneurial parents in 2012. They’ve created a monitor that not only measures your baby’s vital signs, but also offers insights into your baby’s mood and sleeping patterns and of course alerts parents to any abnormalities.
This unique system offers a monitor worn by your child and comes in three parts:
The band fits on the baby’s ankle and the sensor collects data including your baby’s heart rate, skin temperature, motion and position. The wireless charging dish also measures room temperature and usual noises.
Other wearable monitors like the Mimo do record similar information, but it requires that the child wear a special onesie to which the device attaches. The Sproutling is actually worn on the ankle via a strap that can be changed frequently and washed.
The band is made of soft, hypoallergenic material that’s breathable yet water resistant and equipped with a smart sensor. Just be sure to remove the sensor before washing. The sensor itself can be cleaned using a baby wipe or damp cloth.
This monitor was designed with a growing baby in mind, too, and comes with three sizes. And while it isn’t to be worn while bathing your child, it will be fine if your baby ends up chewing on it.
While a properly placed monitor should remain secure, if it does happen to fall off the app alerts parents. The app works with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2, and iPod Touch 5G. An Android version is in the works and should be released in 2015.
Photo credits: Sproutling
Rush star Olivia Wilde posed for a Glamour magazine fashion shoot dressed in couture. The dress is a luxe Roberto Cavalli paired with strappy Prada wedges. She is seated in a restaurant booth next to the windows, and she is nursing her 3-month-old baby.
The photo is meant to turn feeding her baby into a style statement. I admit she looks great, and I am thrilled to know she has chosen to breastfeed. However, I can’t help but consider the contrasts between the photo and real life.
First of all, moms who are on this side of reality know that we won’t look like that when we sit feeding our babies. Instead, we’ll be thankful for a moment to sit down. Wilde is portrayed as a working mom on the go, and she is. But for most of us, we don’t have someone to fix our hair, put on our makeup, and dress us.
The other thing that really strikes me in the photo is that Wilde is nursing her baby in a restaurant because it is “lunch time.” Her dress is completely off the shoulder.
In society, breastfeeding has become a hot topic regarding whether or not it is okay to nurse in public. A recent example is the mom who was asked to leave Barnes and Noble when she breastfed her baby while browsing. It’s not unusual for moms to be told to cover up or even that they need to go into the bathroom to feed their babies.
The last thing I noticed is how good she looks considering her baby is 3 months old. I take my hat off to her for that accomplishment. She told the magazine, “Breast-feeding is the most natural thing. Being shot with Otis is so perfect because any portrait of me right now isn’t complete without my identity as a mother. Now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast.”
The photos featuring Olivia Wilde can be seen in Glamour magazine’s September issue.
Photo credits: CelebTV