Today’s link round-up has healthy treats, coloring pages, a playroom mural how-to, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to give Entenmann’s chocolate covered mini donuts a healthy makeover.
About a Mom showed us where we can get Maleficent coloring pages.
Echoes of Laughter shared five tips for creating a beautiful outdoor space.
Create Craft Love showed us how to make Jello Play-doh.
Spot of Tea Designs showed us a cute transportation-themed baby boy shower.
My Life of Travels and Adventures shared a list of simple toddler meals.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kenarry
One of the things I enjoyed the most about being pregnant was feeling the baby kick and move in my ever expanding belly. From those first butterfly flutters to the wince-inducing body slams in the last few weeks, I was fascinated by the feeling. I always felt kind of sorry for dads because they didn’t get to experience it.
Well, soon maybe they can.
Huggies has had a belt created that, when strapped on to both the mother and the father, allows the father to feel all of those little wiggles and rolls.
It is made up of two different bands. The one worn by the mom has electronic sensors that record the baby’s movements. The signals for the movements are wirelessly transmitted to the band that the dad wears. He also has LED lights in his belt which create visual patterns and technology that allows the father to feel those kicks as they happen.
Huggies diapers had the belt created in Latin America in order to create a new video greeting card. It is obvious that the fathers experience the physical sensation as well as that sense of overwhelming awe and wave of emotion that hits you the first time you feel a kick.
Kimberly Clark, parent company of Huggies, had the belt made just for the video and does not plan on selling the belt but you never know, maybe someone will at some point.
I think that it is cool but, even more importantly, I think that it can help dads-to-be bond a little more easily to their baby before birth. Now that’s awesome!
When I heard that a rare set of twins were born holding hands and breathing on their own, I wondered if the hand-holding was the reason they were rare. That wasn’t it. That unusual gesture just made them all the more special.
What makes twin sisters, Jillian and Jenna Thistlethwaite’s birth unusual is that they shared the same amniotic sac and placenta. This condition is known as a monoamniotic or mono-mono birth and only happens about once in 10,000 pregnancies.
Monoamnionic babies run the risk of getting entangled in each other’s umbilical cords which can lead to a cut off of blood to one twin. This causes death in 10 to 70 percent of pregnancies. As a result, the at-risk pregnancy landed their 32-year-old mom, Sarah, in the Akron General Medical Center in Akron for monitoring for 56 days before the babies arrived.
The day the babies were born, she allowed news cameras into the delivery room. To everyone’s surprise, when the twins were lifted for the Mom and Dad to see, they were holding hands. Jillian was breathing on her own, and after a little help, Jenna was doing the same just in time for Mother’s Day.
Jenna weighed in at 4 pounds, 2 ounces and was 17 inches long. She is older than her sister by 48 seconds. Jillian weighed 3 pounds, 13 ounces and is 17.5 inches long.
Sarah Thistlethwaite told WEWS News Channel 15, “They’re already best friends.” The identical twins will join their 15-month-old brother when they go home. After almost two months in the hospital, Sarah admitted she couldn’t have had a better Mother’s Day present.
With all this attention and talk about how rare a mono mono birth is, would you believe there is another woman in the same hospital expecting mono-mono baby girls? That 24-year-old mom has been in the hospital for a month as she awaits the arrival of her daughters.
Photo credits: WEWS NewsChannel5
We all know that eating healthy during pregnancy is important, and that how we eat during those nine months can have an effect on our child’s long-term health. But now a report issued by scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine links what a mom is eating before she conceives and at the time of conception to altering a baby’s genes permanently.
The study was published in Nature Communications and is the first such study to connect environmental factors during the first few days of development and long-term changes in DNA. The research did not study how these genetic changes influence overall fetal development or the baby’s health later in life. Instead, research studied the umbilical cord tissue from 237 individuals and analyzed six genes and their interaction between prenatal environment.
The findings of this research, along with evidence gathered through other studies which have shown similar types of genetic changes, may be used in the future to determine a child’s risk for some diseases including autism, diabetes, and mental disorders.
I had actually seen a man talking on one of the morning talk shows about how we may be able to insert a gene to correct some of these issues in the future. I’m not really in favor of inserting foreign genes into a child…at least not at the moment. It smells too much like genetic engineering.
This study isn’t talking about doing that. It’s just looking at the building blocks of genes and whether they are turned on or off in the earliest stages of pregnancy. According to the findings of this study, how moms ate during these early stages made a difference in the micronutrients in the blood stream.
While the research teams couldn’t pinpoint which micronutrients were most important, they did find that when several of these nutrients, including vitamin B2 were lower, the six genes being looked at had less methylation.
Why is this important? DNA methylation is vital to healthy growth and development. It plays a role in genomic imprinting, carcinogenesis and the inhibition of repetitive elements. It also enables the expression of potentially dangerous sequences of DNA to be suppressed.
Now as a mom of a child who has learning challenges, it makes me wonder if I could have done something differently. But as soon as I thought it, I let it go. The past is the past, and I can’t change that. However, for all those out there thinking of getting pregnant, instead of thinking of eating for two, think about eating for the one who is developing! It may make a life-long difference.
Photo credits: Wikipedia
Another “mix-up” has occurred involving fertility treatments. I can’t imagine going through all those treatments involve, and then the roller coaster of emotions when you find out you’re finally expecting, only to be told the baby is someone else’s.
Right now there is a woman in Rome who is in the headlines for just such a mix-up. She is pregnant with twins but learned the embryos implanted in her are not those of her and her partner. The mistake is said to be the result of the fact that four couples received treatment that day.
The woman learned of the error when she was three months pregnant and told there was “genetic incompatibility” between the babies and the parents. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened.
In 2009 an Ohio woman implanted with the wrong embryos chose to carry the baby to term rather than to terminate the pregnancy. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy and handed him over to his biological parents. In another in-vitro mix up, a San Francisco woman pregnant with another couple’s embryos didn’t learn of the mix-up until 10 months after the baby was born. When the biological father learned he had a son, he sued for custody and was granted shared custody.
The first story I remember about such a mix-up was about a white Staten Island couple who gave birth to a black baby. At the time, the court ruled that the biological parents were granted full custody. That happened back in 1999. Mix-ups don’t seem happen often but when they do, the consequences are far reaching.
Everyone wishes they never happened and part of me wonders if they happen more than we know. But beyond that conjecture, I hope those doing this important procedure learn from such mistakes and put policies in place to makes sure whatever went wrong isn’t repeated.
Photo credits: Saravanan Lakshmanan
Chelsea Clinton grew up in the spotlight as the daughter of President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton. In fact, she’s the only child of the famous couple, and when she got married in 2010 to Marc Mezvinsky, she chose to keep the ceremony private. Since then, she’s done a good job of staying active and yet keeping a low profile.
Chelsea’s mother, on the other hand, has remained in the spotlight as Secretary of State and is a potential presidential candidate in 2016. Plus Mom, Hillary Clinton, has made it clear that she looks forward to grandchildren. Now that wish is coming true.
Chelsea Clinton made the announcement that she and husband Marc are expecting their first child while sitting alongside her mother at a Clinton Foundation event in New York on April 17.
Chelsea didn’t mention a due date or even the month she’s due, but kept the announcement vague saying, “Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year.” She went on to say, “And I certainly feel all the better whether it’s girl or a boy that she or he will grow up in a world full of so many strong, young female leaders. So thank you for inspiring me and thank you for inspiring future generations.” She masterfully delivered the news she wanted to share and kept private what she wants to stay private.
Chelsea looked over at her mother and added, “I just hope I will be as good a mom to my child and hopefully children as my mom was to me.”
Hillary sat in the chair to Chelsea’s left wearing a big smile. She didn’t have to say a word to let the audience know the joy she’s feeling over the news. She went on to weave her good news into a statement about how it makes her work even more important. She talked about the fact that she’s seen progress in her lifetime, but wants to see “things keep moving.”
While people from different sides of the aisle can dispute what “progress” is, the one thing we can all agree on is that the baby due to arrive sometime this fall is exciting news.
Photo credits: wikimedia
One of the first things I thought about when I learned I was expecting was how on earth I was going to afford a baby. Then 13 months later I was pregnant again, despite using protection. Again, I thought about how I couldn’t afford another child, but he was born the following fall, and somehow we made due.
In this day and age where we are looking for affordable health care, a new study has taken a look at the increased medical expenses for maternal and infant care associated with IVF-assisted pregnancy. Women who turn to IVF to get pregnant run the risk of multiple pregnancies and according this study, expecting parents are faced with a cost of about $21,000 for having a single baby.
Those expecting twins can expect the bill to skyrocket to $105,000 and for those who have triplets or even more babies the cost is around $400,000. I was surprised by these numbers until I read that it included medical expenses for the mom for prenatal care and for follow up exams for the month following the birth.
It also includes expenses for the baby for the first year. Even with that, it certainly seems a daunting amount, doesn’t it?
When seeing the difference in costs for multiple births, and the higher rate of multiple births occurring due to IVF procedures, the researchers recommend looking for more strategies to minimize how many embryos are transferred during the procedure.
The authors of this study suggest that the increased use of Caesarean section combined with longer hospital stays for moms and babies related to multiple birth are directly related to the higher costs. According to their findings, 60% of medical expenses related to single births are tied to the mother’s care while 70 to 80% of costs are related to infant care with twins or multiple births.
With all that said, wouldn’t it be nice if the cost of having a baby was really affordable!
Photo credits: maessive
The natural thing to do when you get pregnant is to read everything you can get your hands on about how to have a healthy baby. You should stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and BPA. You should not use a hot tub, or strongly scented perfumes (they have chemicals that might be bad for baby), and you shouldn’t eat too much fish — especially tuna.
By the time you have gone through the laundry list of everything you should and should not do, you may be near hysteria and wishing that you’d never gotten pregnant at all. What were you thinking?
Forget it. Humans have birthed babies for numerous centuries and will continue to do so despite Monsanto, Margaritas, and gel nail manicures.
Having a healthy baby is important and you do have a responsibility to try to stay away from things that might have a negative effect on your baby’s health. You know, like crack or huffing insecticide, or something. You can’t protect your baby from everything that could possibly cause problems.
Guess what? Just because you manage to stay away from all of those things won’t guarantee that your baby doesn’t have some sort of health issue.
One of my kids has unilateral microtia, which is a fancy term for only having one ear. His other ear never developed and is really only a skin tag. I spent years kicking myself, trying to figure out what I could have done, and feeling guilty.
One day I decided to stop. You can’t control everything in life. Not everything can be safe for everyone. There is a risk to getting out of bed in the morning.
Pregnancy is a short season in your life. Rather than worrying about everything that could happen, concentrate on the magic that is happening. Believe it or not, you’ll miss this season when it’s gone.
Popular pop star and “Voice” mentor, Christina Aguilera announced her engagement to boyfriend Matt Rutler on Valentine’s Day via Twitter when she tweeted, “He asked and I said…” followed by a photo of the two them holding hands in a tropical setting and showcasing a hefty engagement ring. Since that cryptic announcement she has made it clear the two of them are planning to get married.
The couple started dating after Christina’s divorce from her first husband, Jordan Bratman, was finalized in 2011. While fans are excited for the couple’s upcoming nuptials, US Weekly raised another question. Is there a baby on the way?
In an interview with US Weekly, Matt Rutler’s mother said “I don’t know what their plans are, but when you have a baby you’re not planning on moving anywhere anytime soon!”
That sounds like a baby is on the way to me, but Christina is staying quiet on the matter, and I have to say I don’t blame her. When I was expecting, I didn’t really tell everyone about it until I was about 4 months along.
Christina met Matt when he worked as a production assistant on the set of “Burlesque” in 2010. Christina filed for divorce in October of that year and endured a painful split with hubby Jordan Bratman. Once it was finalized she started seeing Matt.
Early on in the relationship, she said that the two of them had a strong friendship and that “He’s the kind of person you could spend hours on the phone talking to and all of a sudden it’s daylight.” I’d say that’s a good start to a relationship that show promise!
If the 33-year-old pop star is expecting, it will be her second child. She has a 6 year old son, Max, from her first marriage.
Photo credits: Twitter