While all eyes were on the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William throughout the royal pregnancy and the much anticipated birth, I had no idea the United Kingdom was in the throes of a baby boom.
According to official statistics, in the 12 months ending with June 2012, 813,200 babies were registered. This is the highest number of births in more than 40 years and actually raised the United Kingdom’s population by 0.7%. With the increase in population has come a nice surprise: An immediate boost in the U.K.’s economy.
According to experts, the biggest influence was revitalization in the housing market as parents purchased new homes to fit their growing family’s needs. Businesses that supply baby and children products from clothing to car seats are expected to also see sales go up, but there is a long-term benefit from the baby boom, too. With more babies being born, in the future the United Kingdom will have a larger workforce.
Makes sense, but I can’t help but think of the zero-children trend that seems to be picking up steam here in the U.S. Where will that leave us?
Vanessa Rossi, global economic adviser to Oxford Analytica suggests that “”With an increasing population and economy, the U.K. could actually become the largest economy in Western Europe in the next 20 years.”
Along with the baby boom giving the economy a healthy boost, the royal baby’s birth is also expected to boot the U.K.’s retail spending by about 0.5%. This is a conservative estimate because some experts think that the royal baby buying frenzy may displace other spending. Time will tell on this one.
The one thing we do know is that the United Kingdom is experiencing a growing population while other European countries have seen a decline in births since the economy tanked.
Photo credits: Neticola
What did you crave during pregnancy? It probably wasn’t broccoli, right? Well new research indicates that too much junk food during gestation may lead to drug addiction for your child later on in life.
Step away from the Twinkie.
A team of researchers, led by Dr. Nicole Avena, studied rats for three months. They found that the rats that ate diets high in sugar and fat ended up with rat babies that “responded strongly to addictive drugs”. In addition, the babies grew up and drank more alcohol.
Avena, who is a research neuroscientist at the University of Florida, stated:
“Our findings suggest that even while [rats are] still in the womb, exposure to high-fat and sugar-rich diets can, in addition to increasing body weight, lead to a predisposition to drink alcohol and a sensitivity to drugs.”
Considering the number of people that are on drugs and the amount of junk food most Americans eat, it makes sense. I don’t know if the knowledge would actually change anyone’s eating habits but is interesting to consider.
The current suggested diet for anyone is a mixture of fat, protein, and carbohydrates in a ratio of 25 percent fat, 50 percent carbohydrate and 25 percent protein. Obviously, the majority of carbs and fats need to come from healthy sources. I mean, you can’t eat a diet with 25 percent hydrogenated fats, 50 percent Ding Dongs, and 25 percent hot dogs, or something.
It is important to eat a varied and healthy diet during pregnancy but maybe it is just as important to back away from some of the junk food. You may be putting your baby at a disadvantage.
source: Medical News Today
Did you have postpartum depression? If so, the odds are that you lived in a large urban area according to a study coming out of Canada.
Of all of the women in the study, fifteen percent reported having symptoms of postpartum depression. Six percent lived in rural areas and nine percent lived in large, urban areas. The team conducting the study believes that part of the reason was that the urban women tended to be lower income, have less social support, and tended to be in poorer health.
Although these statistics explained some of the discrepancy, they can’t account for the entire risk.
It does seem odd, though, that depression after delivery would be so much more prevalent in the city.
I wonder if some of it isn’t just a lack of space. I am an introvert so my viewpoint on this *might* be skewed, but large urban areas are not the most peaceful. I know that if I don’t get some time to myself, and especially time outside, I get the blues.
I realize that postpartum depression is way more intense and complicated than that, but maybe that lack of sunshine and vitamin D adds to the problem as well.
My other thought is that it takes a totally different mindset to live in the more urban areas of the country. I couldn’t do it — I’d be depressed even without the hormonal fallout. I wonder if some of these women live in the city out of necessity rather than desire to do so. If that were the case, I’d think that the depression would be caused by frustration with her living conditions.
It’s interesting speculation, though. Why do you think women in urban areas are more prone to postpartum depression?
source: Live Science
Mom-to-be Lea-Ann Ellison made the news recently not just because she’s pregnant with baby number three, but because she posted a picture of herself performing an Olympic lifting maneuver two weeks before she was due to give birth. The photo generated more than 2,000 comments, mostly scolding her for potential risks to the baby.
Ellison posted her response on the CrossFit Facebook page saying, “I have been CrossFitting for 2½ years…and … strongly believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body’s capabilities to kick ass.”
Exercise during pregnancy offers benefits like less weight gain, a lower risk of gestational diabetes, and it even improves general mood. So exercise is a plus, but what about the high-intensity CrossFit? Crossfit includes high-intensity heavy lifting at a fast pace. Critics aren’t sure it’s a good idea even when you’re not pregnant.
Ellison says her Crossfit workouts helped her stave off back pain along with other common pregnancy complaints. So is it safe during pregnancy? “Exercise intensity should not exceed pre-pregnancy levels,” according to John Higgins, MD, director of exercise physiology at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.
The fact is that Ellison had been doing cross fit for 2 ½ years and she moderated the amount of weight she lifted to accommodate her pregnancy, so I guess she is okay.
However, if you’re expecting, before you rush to join the Crossfit craze talk with your doctor. Pregnant women do face some extra risks like looser joints and a changing center of gravity as our bellies grow. Combined with weightlifting, even these small changes can lead to injuries like sprained ankles and knees.
Lea-Ann Ellison isn’t the only mom-to-be to stay faithful to Crossfit. I’ve watched Youtube videos of other pregnant women going back three years doing the same. If you plan to join them, find a knowledgeable instructor who know how to tailor workouts to accommodate pregnancy.
Stay fit but stay safe.
Photo credits: azchalm
Have you heard about the new startup that creates 3D baby models based on your ultrasound or baby photos? The fledgling company markets their product as a way to meet your baby before it’s born.
The founders of the company admitted they had a hard time remembering their children when they were first born…how small they really were and what the looked like. They came up with the idea for 3D Babies. The idea was to come up with a baby doll that looked like their children at that age.
Right now 3D Babies is in its fundraising phase. The company uses technology available through 3D printers to create lifelike baby dolls based on your actual 3D or 4D ultrasound or baby photos. According to their website, their “ultimate goal is to bring a smile to the faces of parents, grandparents, and other family members as they recall the day that they met their little one.”
You have to admit, it is a unique idea. Parents can select from a life size (eight-inch) or a mini (four-inch) doll with a choice of three skin tones: light, medium, dark. The baby doll’s face is modeled after the submitted photo, and the baby’s gender can be displayed or discreetly hidden. I think this has the potential to be even more embarrassing than those bathtub photos.
Right now the company hopes to launch and begin production of 3D Babies in December. Could make a really unique Christmas gift! At this time, the company is accepting $1.00 donations for those who want to be kept up-to-date on the project’s progress. A $25 military donation guarantees an active military family will receive a free 3D baby.
Some people might think this is kind of creepy, but really it’s just a different form of baby picture. I think it’s unique and better than a pair of bronzed baby booties. What do you think?
Photo credits: indigo.com
I have been anemic for most, if not all, of my post-pubescent life, so I am used to having unrelenting cravings for ice. In the past two years we have been able to get it under control to some extent and so my five pound bag a day habit has become a thing of the past.
When I was pregnant, I experienced an almost irresistible desire to eat Comet cleanser. I never did, thank God.
I loved the smell of it and would clean my sinks several times a day so that I could smell it. The aroma literally caused my mouth to water. I still like the smell but I no longer have to fight the urge to taste. The phenomenon, which occurred in each of my eight pregnancies, is called Pica and is a desire to eat inedible substances. It is actually pretty common in pregnancy.
Women all over the world experience this symptom with black women exhibiting it more often than white women. Among the nations, Denmark has the fewest instances of these unique cravings and Kenya has the most.
Some of the more common substances that women crave are:
Women with pica can also crave textures which may lead to them eating small stones or sand. Although no one really knows why this happens researchers believe that it may have something to do with low minerals or anemia. They do know that severe anemia causes ice chewing so this makes perfect sense to me.
If you have weird cravings for inedible substances during pregnancy you aren’t alone. Still, you need to talk to you doctor about it so that he can try to find a solution.
There is no doubt that yoga is a fantastic way to stay chill and fit whether you are pregnant or not, but did you know that it may also help your unborn baby stay healthier? It can also lower the risk for complications.
Researchers agree that prenatal yoga is safe for most pregnant women and endows them with numerous benefits.
For example, a few of the perks of stretching on your yoga mat are:
Classes focus on a variety of exercises that ultimately give you tools to ease and manage labor. Learning to breathe slowly and deeply through your nose and other breathing techniques can help you manage shortness of breath that is common in late pregnancy as well as help you manage pain during labor and delivery.
Stretches and postures help to develop your strength, flexibility, and balance. Balance will become more important as your baby grows and your center of gravity changes, so working on it is especially important. Classes usually end with some sort of relaxation techniques including meditations for helping you to manage negative emotions.
Getting out with a group of other pregnant women is definitely a pick-me-up. It allows you to talk about your aches and pains, find out that you aren’t having unusual symptoms, and it also helps you to share your thoughts and feelings with other who are in the same boat.
Do some research to see if there is a prenatal yoga class near you. It may be the one of the best things you do for you and your baby.
Today’s link round-up has tons of fall treats and crafts, plus a closer look at some pregnancy myths.
Baby Bump Bundle Blog busted a few pregnancy myths.
Eighteen25 shared a recipe for candy corn cookies.
Kiddie Foodies shared a felt necklace craft for toddlers.
The Crafty Blog Stalker showed us how to make beaded spiders for those of us who love Halloween decorations but can’t use anything too scary because of the kids.
Creative Khadija shared a fall-inspired twine decorated mirror craft.
Photo credit: Crafts Unleashed, Back for Seconds, and Kit4na
Sex is one of the best things about a committed relationship, but it can get clinical and routine when you are trying to conceive, especially if you are having difficulty in getting pregnant. By the time you have circled your most fertile days on the calendar, peed on a test strip, checked the viscosity of your mucous, and crossed your fingers, any ideas that you may have had that sex was romantic may have flown right out the window.
Add your SO’s perception of being on call 24/7 during ovulation having to live up to heavy expectations. After all, he not only has to produce an erection but also create magic within minutes of a hurried, “Meet me at home! I am fertile right now!”
No matter how many candles you light, it’s unlikely that sex under those circumstances is going to be emotionally satisfying. It won’t take long until both of you are feeling like it’s one more thing to mark off your to-do list.
Well, you don’t have to give up romance and you don’t have to give up trying to conceive, because they can cohabitate quite nicely if you’ll just make a little effort to introduce them to each other. Here are some ways to keep the passion burning when sex is in danger of becoming just another thing you do.
Check your calendar for your most fertile days and take a little mini vacation during that time. Head for a romantic bed and breakfast, a ski lodge, or a tent in the woods — whatever you think of as a relaxing vacation.
It’s natural to make love more when you are on vacation, at least when you don’t have kids. There’s something about the lack of responsibility, the endless time with nothing planned, and the new experiences that works as an aphrodisiac for most people.
Enjoy it while you can. Taking a family vacation rarely means more sex for mom and dad.
Surprise him with the time and place. With no kids, you have the entire house to yourself. Surprise him at the door wearing his favorite perfume, your favorite pair of heels, and nothing else. Trade off planning unique, sexual scenarios, make love in every room of the house, play Twister naked.
There is nothing wrong with having fun and not taking the process of conception so seriously. Lighten up.
Rather than calling him and telling him in a matter of fact voice to hightail it home, have him meet you at a nearby hotel room for an afternoon tryst. Keep it secretive, sultry, and just naughty enough to make it unique.
This seems like a big no-brainer, but I think many couples just stop being sexy over time. The get too comfortable. I have had male friends tell me that their SOs stopped wearing low cut tops or short skirts around the house when they moved in together. Women relate that their men start to wear sweats for days on end until the clothing lives up to the name.
Remember how you dressed for each other when you were dating and add some of that back into your relationship. Dress to be noticed!
Don’t focus on what you are trying to achieve. Look into each other’s eyes, talk about your hopes, dreams, fears (not just the ones that include the words baby, pregnant, or ovulating), and fantasies. Whether or not you have a child, your relationship as a couple has to come first. Intimacy is what leads to romance and romantic sex is much more likely to result in pregnancy that clinical sex.