Category: Health

Study Questions the Need for Cesarean Section when Having Twins

Posted on Jan 17, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today if you find out you’re expecting twins there’s a 3 in 4 chance you’ll be expected to schedule a date for a Cesarean section. However a recent study questions the need for C-sections, especially with the number of people expecting twins due to infertility treatments.

The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 2,800 pregnant women in 25 countries. All of the first twins to be delivered were in a “good position” which suggests a C-section may not be necessary. However, half of the moms-to-be were scheduled for the surgery early on.

Of the non-scheduled group, 40% also ended up having a C-section with only 10% of the babies being born vaginally. The study concludes that “the results do not indicate all sets of twins should be delivered vaginally,” however Dr. Michael Greene of Massachusetts General Hospital implies that C-sections should be less routine. Instead the procedure should be used as a reasonable choice when the doctor becomes aware of a potential complication.

Sounds like common sense to me and I’m happy to hear that more doctors are thinking hard about the need for C-sections for twin births. Each pregnancy is unique. Twins do have more risk for birth complications, and this is why some studies have suggested a C-section helps lower the risk, but if the babies are in a good position, should a C-section be automatic? I think not.

The study concluded that “in twin pregnancy between 32 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days of gestation, with the first twin in the cephalic presentation, planned cesarean delivery did not significantly decrease or increase the risk of fetal or neonatal death or serious neonatal morbidity, as compared with planned vaginal delivery.”

If you’re expecting twins, it’s worth talking with your doctor about all your options.

Photo credits: isafmedia

Tips to Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 by 1 Comment

Aside from a huge pile of money, I think sleep ranks pretty high on the wish list of most parents. But, most of us aren’t getting the sleep we need even after our children are past the newborn stage.

Experts say you need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. But, the Sleep in America Poll says 65% of adults have trouble sleeping every night and 44% have trouble sleeping at least once per week.

If you’re struggling with sleep issues, there are lots of things you can do at home to help. Sleep expert Dr. David Volpi, founder of Eos Sleep Center, recommends the following:

  • Avoid eating, watching TV or using electronics in bed. Your bed should be for sleep and sleep only.
  • Try to maintain a consistent schedule by going to bed and waking within 20 minutes of the same time every day. Don’t throw off your routine by sleeping in on the weekend!
  • Just as you create relaxing routines for your child, make your own bedtime routine by taking a hot bath, reading a magazine, or listening to soft music.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as both can affect your sleep habits.
  • Make sure your bedroom is cool and dark. If necessary, wear an eye mask to block out excess light.

In addition to the tips listed above, I’d suggest trying a low dose of melatonin and investing in an essential oil warmer to add a bit of lavender and/or chamomile essential oil to your room. Both of these tricks have helped greatly with my own sleep issues. Essential oils seem to work pretty well in my son’s room, too.

If you do try modifying your sleep habits and are still having trouble, consider discussing the issue with your physician. You might have a problem with sleep apnea or one of the prescription medications you take might be interfering with your sleep.

Do you suffer from insomnia? What have you done to try to get a good night’s sleep?

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Link Round-up: Snow Ice Cream, Recipes, Menus, and More

Posted on Jan 14, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has some delicious recipes (and most of them are healthy!) and printable menus.

An Extraordinary Day taught us how to make snow ice cream. 

I Should Be Mopping the Floor gave us some free printable menus to use when planning your week.

Keep It Simple Sweetie made a one-pot creamy tomato basil pasta.

Center Cut Cook made truffles featuring Samoas.

link ru chia seed pudding
A Beautiful Mess put together an easy chia seed pudding recipe that looks delicious.

A Pretty Life in the Suburbs shared a recipe for raspberry baked oatmeal.

Stockpiling Moms gave us a recipe for detox water that looks refreshing and delicious.

Photo credits: Eyesplash – Winter is coming along with Santa via Compfight cc and A Beautiful Mess

Link Round-up: Winter Wreath, Hand Warmers, Recipes, and More

Posted on Jan 2, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has a winter wreath, no-sew “turband” made from an old t-shirt, hand warmers, recipes, and more.

Mod Podge Rocks shared her solution to post-Christmastime wreath for winter.

See Kate Sew turned an old t-shirt into a no-sew “tuband.”

Seven Thirty-Three showed us how to make cute hand warmers.

link ru kitchen fun
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons shared the most popular fun food creations of 2013.

This Silly Girl’s Life made loaded potato pancakes with shredded hash browns. They look incredible.

Savvy Shopper Central gave us a recipe for chia pumpkin seed tea cookies.

Blogilates shared her top 10 workouts of 2013.

Photo credit: Mod Podge Rocks and Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

Link Round-up: Treats, Crafts, How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolution, and More

Posted on Dec 31, 2013 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has recipes, tips for reducing stress, and tips for achieving your New Year’s resolution.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for pistachio chocolate truffles.

Savvy Shopper Central shared a freezer cooking caramel apple “fried” pie recipe.

Blogilates gave us her tips on how to achieve your New Year’s resolutions.

Mod Podge Rocks shared the top 10 Mod Podge craft ideas of 2013.

Fitnessista taught us how to make smoky maple roasted almonds.

Mind Body Green gave us a scientifically proven way to reduce stress and improve your health.

Polka Dot Chair showed us how to make a bedside kid’s tote.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Mod Podge Rocks

Going Green in the Bedroom

Posted on Dec 30, 2013 by 1 Comment

If you’re on a mission to go green throughout your home, don’t forget to take into account the products you’re using in the bedroom. Astroglide Natural is a new all-natural botanical personal lubricant.

This product is water-based, water-soluble, and safe for use with latex condoms.

It contains:

  • Xylitol (plant derived)
  • Aloe Vera
  • Vitamins C & E
  • Pectin (from fruit)
  • Chamomile Flower Extract

Astroglide Natural is free of glycerin, alcohol, fragrance, flavorings, and hormones.

As far as lubricants go, I think this is one of the better products I’ve tried. It doesn’t stain the sheets or leave a sticky residue and it’s very long lasting. I didn’t have any problems with stinging or irritation when I used it, which has been a major issue for me in the past.

It is super slippery though, so be sure to apply sparingly and make sure the bottle is closely properly before tossing it in your nightstand.

I really shouldn’t have to point this out, but Astroglide is not a spermicide or a contraceptive. So, if you’re not planning on adding more kiddos to your family, ask your doctor about a reliable birth control method.

If you can’t find Astroglide Natural in a store near you, I suggest ordering from They offer fast and free shipping with an order of $35 or more. You also earn 5% back on purchases with dollars, which is in addition to any more earned from programs like Ebates or Upromise.

If you want to compare Astroglide Natural to the other products the company offers, visit the Astroglide website.

Disclaimer: Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of preparing this review.

Photo credit:

Ballerina Dances Through Her Pregnancy

Posted on Dec 24, 2013 by No Comments

Exercise during pregnancy is good for you and for your baby. Often pregnancy means modifying our routine, but ballerina Mary Helen Bowers has danced throughout her pregnancy with her doctor’s blessing and documented her ever-changing body on Instagram.

Sometimes when I hear about women weightlifting, or running a marathon when pregnant, I just about can’t comprehend it. I was a walker and watched my diet and that was enough for me!

The rule of thumb is that if you are active before pregnancy, you can continue that activity in moderation. For Bowers, who danced 10 years with the New York City Ballet and now runs a company by the name of Ballet Beautiful, her pregnancy was naturally incorporated in her routine.

“I’ve really been amazed by how active I’ve been able to be and how much my body has been able to do. It’s a beautiful time. You feel connected to your body on a level like never before.” – Mary Helen Bowers via Today.

Her company is more than a dance studio, though. The 33-year-old offers ballet-inspired fitness training which features targeted exercises designed to sculpt and tone. Bowers has used these moves to maintain her strength and grace as a ballerina and she offers online classes and streaming Blast videos along with her live classes.

This is one form of “exercise” that strengthens the core, is not hard on the joints, and helps to sculpt muscles. I’ve always admired the willowing ballerina form, and while I don’t see myself looking quite like that, I think I may just look into her online classes to see if that can work for me. If you watch her video it is inspiring!

Photo credits: Pregnant Model 71

iPotty Named Worst Toy of the Year by CCFC

Posted on Dec 18, 2013 by No Comments

There’s been quite an uproar about the Fisher Price Apptivity iPad Seat for Infants and in a wave of similar dissatisfaction now the iPad iPotty has been named the worst toy of the year by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC).

I use technology every day, but when is it okay for our children to use it every day? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has offered a whole list of recommendations on how to manage time spent with various media, “by limiting screen time and offering educational media and non-electronic formats such as books, newspapers and board games, and watching television with their children, parents can help guide their children’s media experience.”

When it comes to potty training, the use of a tablet is a no-no. The AAP warns that children under two should avoid all screen time and that includes TV. That’s kind of a stunning announcement for those of us who grew up with Sesame Street.

However, media technology has really changed since then and researchers are just starting to look at the effects of the use of touchscreens on toddlers and there is concern that it can cause long-term damage.

The problem is we think we are educating the kids, but doctors and therapists are worried that it can hurt their developing bodies because they won’t be doing the activities that develop their various muscles.

Dr. Ari Brown, the lead author on the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement discouraging screen time for babies under 2 said, “The concern for risk is that some kids who watch a lot of media actually have poor language skills, so there’s a deficit in their language development. We also have concerns about other developmental issues because they’re basically missing out on other developmentally appropriate activities.”

We’ve survived up until now without the aid of a tablet during the potty training process. I’m thinking the use of a tablet or iPhone eliminates an opportunity for us to interact with our kids. It kind of reminds me of propping up a baby’s bottle during feeding instead of holding them.

A potty seat with a stand that holds an iPad for toddlers to play games and watch videos during the potty training process might just be training our kids in ways we aren’t realizing. And as for it being the worst toy of the year, that’s says a lot. A toilet is not supposed to be a toy.

Photo credits: Amazon

Researchers Looking at Personalizing Breast Milk for Preemies

Posted on Dec 15, 2013 by No Comments

Premature babies face an untold number of health struggles. According to American Family Physician website, preemies who are breastfed have “better developmental scores at 18 months of age than formula-fed infants.” Now researchers in Los Angeles are taking a look at whether “personalized” mother’s milk can further improve a premature baby’s growth rate.

When I read about this study, I wondered about messing with what is already working, but premature infants are often fed human milk fortifiers which are added to breast milk fed by bottle or tube as recommended by the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

For babies able to suckle, a supplemental nutritional system is available that provides fluids through a tube while the infant is breast feeding. This can be used to help ensure the baby is receiving enough calories during regular breast feeding. The Los Angeles researchers are studying whether personalizing a mother’s breast milk can improve a baby’s growth rate.

We all know proper nutrition is important for growth, and the doctors at Maxine Dunitz Children’s Health Center want to make sure preemies are getting the nutrition they need. In an effort to make sure this happens, they have analyzed breast milk.

On average, breast milk is thought to offer about 20 calories per ounce, but the study has tested more than 200 samples and found that caloric content varies from14 to 24 calories per ounce. Equipped with that information, Dr. Charles Simmons said, “We’re finding that 10 to 20 percent of the samples would fall low in a range where we would likely recommend supplementation.”

With all this focus on your preemie’s development, remember that every baby develops at their own speed. Just stay in close contact with your pediatrician and don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Photo credits: bradleyolin

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