Category: Health

Link Round-up: Ice Cream, Christmas in July, a Stress Ball, and More

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has ice cream recipes, Christmas in July ornaments, how to make a stress ball out of clay, and more.

The Suburban Soapbox has toasted marshmallow ice cream and other cold treats.

Chicago Jogger taught us how to make Crockpot BBQ with apricots.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom taught us how to make an aromatherapy stress ball out of clay.

link ru melted crayon ornaments
Upstate Ramblings taught us how to make melted crayon Christmas ornaments for Christmas in July.

Domestic Mommyhood showed us how to make a squishy sensory bag.

Create Craft Love showed us how to make DIY clipboard art displays.

Peekaboo Pattern Shop shared a free button-up romper pattern.

Photo credit: The Suburban Soapbox and Upstate Ramblings

Giving Up Caffeine for Your Baby

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 by 1 Comment

Contradicting information surrounds caffeine and pregnancy. Do you have to give it up or not? Actually that’s between you and your doctor.

My doctor suggested limiting my intake. In the UK, the NHS recommends limiting caffeine intake to 200mg a day which is about the equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee or 2-3 cups of tea. However, a study of 1,000 women in their first trimester showed a doubling of miscarriage when drinking that amount of caffeine per day.

Another study in BMC Medicine linked caffeine to lower birth weights; babies who are at a higher risk of both short- and long-term health problems. So what’s a mom-to-be to do? After looking at all the conflicting information, I decided to play it safe and give it up.

When I decided to cut caffeine, no one warned me about the symptoms like the headache that was so bad it sent me to the bathroom vomiting. A friend told me to sip a half cup of coffee and the headache went away. Instead of quitting cold turkey, I cut back a little each day. I started with a half a cup in the morning. When I felt a hint of the headache, I had another half cup.

I gradually reduced my half cups to quarter cups and eventually quit drinking coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages all together. I also became aware of the caffeine in painkillers, ice cream, chocolate, and other products.

If you plan to breastfeed, I’d say you might as well wean yourself off caffeine totally before the baby is born because babies don’t excrete caffeine at the same rate as adults, and too much caffeine can make the baby cranky and keep it awake.

In my book, anything that lessens the chance of a fussy, sleepless baby is worth trying and once you’re done breastfeeding, you can always enjoy a cup of coffee again.

Photo credits: Joanna Bourne

Baby Girl Survives Miscarriage of Twin and Abortion Pills

Posted on Jul 16, 2014 by No Comments

Little Megan Hui is a miracle baby. She was born last February and is now a healthy 18-week-old little girl.

She’s a miracle, because her mother suffered a miscarriage six weeks into the pregnancy. Then following the miscarriage, she was given abortion drugs to help clear out her uterus and as a precautionary method to avoid infection. Then 10 days later she went back to the hospital to have a surgical procedure to clear remaining blot clots that could be life threatening.

According to Megan’s 31-year-old mom, Michelle, the doctor said, “You are not going to believe it, we’ve got a heartbeat.” Can you imagine the roller coaster of emotions to she went through from losing her baby, to finding out she was still pregnant?

It turns out the Megan was a twin. Her mom had lost a baby after six weeks of pregnancy, and didn’t know that she was actually carrying two babies. She even underwent 5 different scans that confirmed she had lost the baby, and yet for some reason, little Megan survived the abortion drugs. I count that a miracle!

Michelle Hui went in to have the surgical procedure to have the potentially dangerous blood clots in her uterus removed. It was at this time that a scan picked up a faint heartbeat.

The medical team decided that since the baby had survived so much already that Michelle should continue her pregnancy. They think that perhaps the blood clots caused shadows that hid the surviving fetus, but however it happened, the result is that a healthy baby girl who weighed six pounds at birth.

She joins her older sister Mya, who is four, and her brother, Noah, who is two.

It turns out that I’m not the only one who thinks Megan is a miracle. Her story is considered extraordinary enough to be written up in medical journals and the doctors said it was a “blessing.” I agree!

Photo credits: Twitter

Link Round-up: Birthday Badge, Puree, Summer Reading, DIY Sunscreen, and More

Posted on Jul 15, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s round-up has a first birthday badge, puree, a summer reading list, non-toxic sunscreen, and more.

It Happens in a Blink shared a tutorial for a first birthday badge.

It’s Always Ruetten shared her summer reading list.

Army Wife to Suburban Life gave us 15 ideas of things to do when you’re alone.

link_ru_carrot_apple_mango_puree
It Bakes Me Happy shared a recipe for carrot apple mango puree.

Sand in My Toes taught us how to make a parking deck out of a cereal box and other items you have around the house.

A Mom’s Take shared her recipe for a moisturizing non-toxic sunscreen.

Carolyn’s Homework shared a guest post and taught us how to make peanut butter and jelly cookies.

Photo credit: It Happens in a Blink and It Bakes Me Happy

Easy Homemade Lotion Bars

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 by No Comments

Lotion bars look like decorative soaps at first glance, but they’re actually a unique solution for dry skin. When you rub them on your skin, your body heat melts the bar into a soothing lotion.

You can use the lotion bars all over your body, but they’re especially useful for dry hands and feet. I like to rub a little on my feet each night before putting on thick socks.

You can either store your lotion bar in decorative tin or keep it in a soap dish on your bathroom counter. If you keep it in a soap dish, make sure guests don’t mistake it for hand soap.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • Essential oils or fragrance oils, if desired

Instructions

  1. Melt the beeswax and coconut oil in your microwave or on a double boiler. I melt mine in a large glass bowl in my microwave. Microwave times vary, but I end up microwaving it for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring well, and then microwaving for about 30 seconds more.
  2. Add the olive oil and vitamin E oil.
  3. Add any desired fragrance. Experimenting with different fragrances is part of the fun of this project. I used about 10 drops of peppermint essential oil for the first batch of lotion bars I made. For the second batch, I added cucumber melon fragrance oil from Hobby Lobby. For the third batch, I tried a 1/2 tablespoon of cocoa powder.
  4. Pour into silicone baking molds. The number of lotion bars you’ll get depends on what type of mold you’re using, but this recipe usually gives me four to six bars.
  5. Let the mixture cool completely, then pop the bars out of the molds. If you accidentally break one of the bars when you pop it out, just melt the mixture and try pouring it again.
  6. Let them sit out overnight to dry, then wrap in clear plastic wrap for easy storage.

Photo credit: Dana Hinders

8.5 Months Pregnant Runner Completes 800-Meter Race

Posted on Jul 8, 2014 by No Comments

The crowd at the US Track and Field Championships gave Alysia Montano a standing ovation as she crossed the finish line in the 800-meter race. She came in just 35 seconds more than her personal best, but what made the crowd applaud her performance is the fact that Montano, 28, ran the race while being 8.5 months pregnant.

Montano is a five time national champion, and she had been running regularly throughout her pregnancy. She got the okay from her midwife and doctor to run in the race 800 meter race.

At 34 weeks pregnant, she knew she could run a decent time, but didn’t really have an exact time in mind. In fact, her goal was to be lapped and she accomplished that.

“More than anything, I wanted to be here and feeling that fire and desire to be on the track and to race.” – Alysia Montano

This is Montano’s first pregnancy, and she says her midwife and doctors were so encouraging that she knew as a professional runner that she could do this. And as she looked into whether or not she should run while pregnant, she learned that exercise during pregnancy is good for the mom and the baby.

When she finished the race, she didn’t even realize she was given a standing ovation, but she said that she felt so supported and even a little choked up about it.

It really had her fired up to be back at the Championships, though she admits, she wasn’t out there competing to make it to the next round. She had qualified to be there and looked at it more as a celebration. She was celebrating where she was at, that she had made it 34 weeks, and that this is what it looks like to be a professional woman athlete starting a family.

Photo credits: Letsrundotcom

Unexpected Benefit for Older Maternal Age at Birth

Posted on Jul 4, 2014 by No Comments

My father was born when my grandmother was 49. She lived to be 91 and got to see her youngest child go on to be a success, have a family of his own, and even got to meet his first two grandchildren.

He was her surprise baby. She thought she had gone through the change and so her periods had stopped, then she learned baby number 5 was on the way.

Today, it’s not unusual for women to have children in their 40s but doctors often discourage delaying childbirth. However, a new Long Life Family Study shows that there may be an unexpected benefit to having children when we are over 33 and even over 40.

The study, which was published in the journal Menopause, suggests that late motherhood may lead to a longer life expectancy.

The objective of this study was to investigate the “association between maternal age at birth of last child and likelihood of survival to advanced age.” Researchers at Boston University and Boston Medical Center looked at women who lived to the age of 95 or older and compared them with 151 women who had died at younger ages.

Their findings showed that women who gave birth naturally (no IVF or other fertility assistance) were twice as likely to live to the age of 95, and women who had their last child after the age of 40 were four times more likely to live to the age of 100.

Lead researcher Thomas Perls, MD, says, “We believe the ability to have kids at an older age is a sign that a woman’s reproductive system is aging slowly, which is a marker that her entire body is aging slowly.”

He even pointed to Halle Berry as an example. She became pregnant at 46, without any fertility treatments, and looks young and healthy.

While all this may be true, part of me also thinks about how that could also lead to more people finding themselves raising kids and taking care of elderly parents at the same time. However, the longevity results, according to this study, extended to the children who were conceived later in life. They ran half the risk of diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer so they’ll be more likely to be healthy enough to handle it.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Easy Homemade Lip Balm

Posted on Jun 30, 2014 by No Comments

I love lip balm, but I’m terrible about keeping track of the lip balms I’ve purchased. Since I lose them so often, I decided to see if I could make a cheap homemade lip balm so I’d always have plenty of extras on hand.

This lip balm seems comparable in quality to most purchased lip balms that I’ve tried and I like that it is made from all natural ingredients.

However, I should caution you that it’s not a good idea to carry it around in your pocket. I normally carry a tube of lip balm in the front pocket of my pants. When I tried carrying a small tin of this lip balm in the same way, my body heat turned the mixture into a liquid.

If desired, you can leave out the cocoa powder and peppermint essential oil to make an unflavored lip balm or use different essential oils and flavorings. The peppermint chocolate is my favorite combo, but I also like this recipe with a pinch of cinnamon.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax
  • 2 drops vitamin E oil
  • Pinch of cocoa powder
  • 3 or 4 drop peppermint essential oil

Instructions

  1. Melt the beeswax and coconut oil in the microwave or on a double boiler. I melted mine in a large glass bowl in my microwave. Microwave times vary, but I ended up microwaving it for one minute, stirring well, and then microwaving for about 30 seconds more.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and essential oil. Mix well.
  3. Carefully pour your lip balm into the desired containers. I’ve used recycled candy tins, small Valentine’s Day treat containers, and plastic Easter eggs. Anything with a lid that closes well should work, although my son thinks the Easter eggs are especially fun because they wobble back and forth from the weight of the lip balm in the bottom. This recipe will make enough for about three or four small containers of lip balm.
  4. Wait until your lip balm cools completely before using.

Photo credit: Dana Hinders

Should Adults Be Drinking Breast Milk?

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 by 1 Comment

We all know that breast milk is the ideal choice for babies, but some adults say that the benefits reach into adulthood.

In a recent interview with New York Magazine men who consume breast milk talked about why they drink it. They reported significant health benefits like boosted energy levels and improved immune systems. One dad even said that breast milk eased his nausea during chemotherapy treatments.

It’s touted as “God-given” and “natural” and is bought and sold on sites like Only the Breast. Mainstream sale sites like eBay and Craigslist ban the sale of bodily fluids, but Only the Breast co-founder Glenn Snow says that his site concentrates on mothers but that they “do not mind men seeking milk for health or wellness needs.”

Part of me thinks about how calves drink milk when they are young, but then they outgrow it. They need the nutrition in milk to meet their growth and energy needs when young.

Isn’t it the same for human babies? Infants are delicate and susceptible to disease, and their bodies are not fully developed. Breast milk offers them specific nourishment that helps them resist disease and infection early in life.

It turns out that this isn’t anything new. According to the Telegraph, men in China have been drinking breast milk for its nutritional value. Before we let the creepy factor cloud our thinking, we have to ask if there is a nutritional value that should be considered.

Breast milk is a unique combination of nutrients essential to a child’s health, and it is natural.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, breast milk contains fats, proteins, carbohydrates and special immune-boosting cells, and scientists hope to take the beneficial qualities of breast milk and to create a treatment for adults who suffer from a wide range of illnesses including chronic conditions like Crohn’s disease.

In light of this, it makes me think of all the times supplements are created to mimic the real thing, but don’t quite match up to the full potential of that real thing. Could this be the case with breast milk? Might it be beneficial to those suffering from chronic conditions? Of course mainstream medical experts are skeptical, but so far the anecdotal evidence is mounting.

Photo credits: wikihow

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