In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What's in a name?

A recent news article reported that British parents spend up to 30 million hours a year picking the names of their newborn children.

Does this seem a bit excessive to you?

The survey stated that the average parent agonizes for up to 45 hours before naming a child--a combined 30 million hours annually. And 1 in 3 parents believe the right name gives a child confidenc--while up to 2 million thought it could help their child's career prospects.


I have to admit that when I named my children Joshua, Katie Beth, Amy, and Christa I was not thinking about their future careers. Which is not to say that there wasn't some agonizing going on while Rob and I decided what to name our children.

I'm thankful Josh was a boy. Rob ultimately selected the name Joshua Robert. When I think of what I was going to name him if he'd been a girl--all I can say is I am so, so relieved my first child was a son. At the time, I really, really liked the name Amaris Michal for a girl.

What was I thinking?

Rob and I were still debating Katie Beth's possible names (if she were a girl) when I mentioned to my mom that we were considering naming a daughter after her and Rob's mom--Kathleen Elizabeth.

The decision was made that day--what can I say? My mom was thrilled by the idea!! And I am so thankful Katie Beth was a girl, as were her grandmothers.

Amy was named Amy Lynn because, well, I always loved that name for a girl. That was simple, wasn't it?

And Christa? That was the most interesting name selection process of all because we had three older children weighing in on the possibilities. I remember Josh wanted to name the baby Phillip if it was a boy. And we had to convince Amy that "Bambi" was not a great name for her baby sister, even though it was in the baby name book.

Christa was named Christa because of her Christmas Eve birthday. And her middle name, Jean, is in honor of a very special aunt.

I don't think my total time selecting the names for all four of our children equals 45 hours. And I don't think their career choices have been limited by their names either.

**NOTE: Read my musings on my son's 2001 high school graduation at my Precious Moms blog. My article is called "Another Kind of Breakup." Josh is now married and almost 3 years post college! Where do the years go?**

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

5 Minutes for Mom Mother's Day Giveaway

I'm constantly amazed at all the activity going on over at 5 Minutes for Mom. It kind of feels like a mom's life: fast, furious and overflowing!

They're hosting a Mother's Day Giveaway: A Kodak ESP 3 All-in-One printer. That got my attention. A new printer? Woo hoo!

All the information about entering the Mother's Day Giveaway is here. Entries for all giveaways will be closed Friday, May 9th at 9pm Eastern and winners will be announced on Mother’s Day, May 11th, 2008. Make sure you check back at “5 Minutes for Mom” on May 11th to see if you won a prize.

5 Minutes for Moms started the Mother's Day Giveaway on April 25th with a photo contest--and your photo could be worth $1,000! Read more about that here. You only have a week to enter your photo that tells some sort of story of what motherhood means to you. It could be a shot of you with your kids, your kids, your own mother, whatever you want.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms April 28, 2008

News to know:

Diet determines baby's sex?
Mothers-to-be who skip breakfast and eat less are more likely to give birth to girls. Moms who consume more calories and a wider range of nutrients — including, specifically, those from breakfast cereal — are more likely to deliver sons.
That’s according to new research by British scientists that provides what they say is the first-ever evidence that a mother’s diet at conception may determine her baby’s sex.

Cuddling preemies bear pain
Research finds that cuddling up against mother's bare skin can help tiny premature babies recover more quickly from the pain of being stuck with needles and other procedures.

Heart test urged before kids get ADHD drugs
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommended that children be screened for heart problems with an electrocardiogram before getting drugs like Ritalin to treat hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder.

Virtual reality aids children with autism
A new generation of virtual reality games has been designed to teach basic safety and social skills to children diagnosed with autism. A particularly convincing virtual reality simulation can help an autistic child transfer new skills back to a real situation — a common difficulty among children with autism, who often focus more on details than on context.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Mother's Heart Knows Blog Tour

"A mother's heart knows how to laugh and to live."

~Margaret McSweeney,

A Mother's Heart Knows

The sweet little book, A Mother's Heart Knows, by author Margaret McSweeney, captures the essence of a mother's love in photographs and just the right words.

The book is a wonderful way to tell your mom how much you appreciate all the ways she's loved you through the years--by guiding you, praying for you, listening to you--and yes, loving you enough to let you go.

Margaret lives with her husband and two daughters in a Chicago suburb. Her book Go Back and Be Happy, which she co-authored, will be published by Lion Hudson in July 2008.

I'm excited to be part of a blog tour for A Mother's Heart Knows. All royalty proceeds from this book go to WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger) and a student missionary scholarship fund. WINGS is a non-profit organization that provides a domestic violence shelter for women and their children in addition to transitional housing and programs. Margaret has served on the board of directors of WINGS for the past five years.

Margaret is hosting a "My Favorite Mom" spa basket contest during the tour. In honor of Mother's Day she eager to hear your favorite story about your mother (or someone who is like a mother to you). To enter the contest go here and share your story to win one of TWO fabulously scrumptious spa baskets! Margaret will be posting your stories (with your permission of course) on her blog.

And if you leave a comment on this post, you'll be entered to win a signed copy of A Mother's Heart Knows for your very own!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday's List for Late-in-Life Moms

A Child's 10 Commandments to Parents (Part 1)

1. My hands are small; please don't expect perfection when I make a bed, draw a picture, or throw a ball. My legs are short; please slow down so that I can keep up with you.

2. My eyes have not seen the world as yours have; please let me explore safely. Don't restrict me unnecessarily.

3. Housework will always be there. I'm only little for such a short time--please take time to explain things to me about this wonderful world, and do so willingly.

4. My feelings are tender; please be sensitive to my needs. Don't nag me all day long. (You wouldn't want to be nagged for your inquisitiveness.) Treat me as you would like to be treated.

5. I am a special gift from God; please treasure me as God intended you to do, holding me accountable for my actions, giving me guidelines to live by, and disciplining me in a loving manner.

~By Dr. Kevin Leman,

Excerpted from Lists to Live By: For Everything That Really Matters by Alice Gray, Steve Stephens, and John Van Diest


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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Updated version of pregnancy advice book

I think every pregnant woman has a copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting on her bookshelf. She's either bought her own copy or borrowed a friend's well-worn edition. I read it when I was in my 20s and pregnant with baby #1. And I glanced through it again when I found out I was pregnant again at 41--once the shock and morning sickness abated.

Heidi Murkhoff's well-respected book has more than 14 million copies in print--and a brand new 4th edition that is a cover-to-cover revision of the book. There's a lot more information in the book:

  • a detailed week-by-week account of your baby's development
  • more pregnancy symptoms and even more practical solutions
  • a new section on pregnancy beauty - which treatments are safe and which aren't
  • An expanded section on working during pregnancy

Murkhoff also has a Web site that's been around for three years: the site, you can go to Ask Heidi and get answers to your pregnancy-related questions. Recent questions dealt with sleeping positions during pregnancy, anemia during pregnancy, and minimizing morning sickness.

Other areas allow members to create blogs, videos, or connect with other moms through message boards. Murkhoff has her own blog where you can keep on her activities surrounding the release of the newest edition of her book.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Baby Changes Everything Book Update

I received a fun letter from my publisher. It seems Dogan Egmont Publishing Company, an organization based in Turkey, has signed a contract for a Turkish-language edition of Baby Changes Everything!
Now how fun is that?!
It's even more fun for me because my family lived in Turkey for two years back when my first three kiddos were little--long before my caboose kiddo became a part of our family.
I could never have imagined all the interesting twists and turns for me along the writing road. Life as a mommy-come-lately continues to be filled with the unexpected!

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Fun Contest: Win A Trailer Bike!

I found out about this contest over at 5 Minutes for Mom, a great Web site filled to overflowing with lots of fun information and contests for moms of all ages.

The Caboose Trailer Bike is a stable, two wheel trailer bike that attaches to a regular bicycle. It is designed especially for children and adults who are not otherwise able to ride a bicycle.

5 Minutes for Mom is going to give away one Caboose Trailer Bike on Monday, May 5th. The winner will have the choice between the small or the large size.

For a chance to win, go here and post a comment.

For more detailed information about the Caboose Trailer Bike by Morgan Cycle, go here.

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News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms April 21, 2008

In the news:

Motherhood can leave pregnant pause in career
In Spain some are questioning whether Carme Chacon, Spain's first woman defense minister, should be able to take the state-mandated 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, given the importance of her job.
An MSNBC article examines how that kind of dilemma resonates for women anywhere who have jobs they need and value: What do you do when the timing of motherhood clashes with the upward trajectory of your career?

Breastfeeding while on seizure meds doesn't harm babies
A new study finds that mothers who breast-feed while on certain seizure medications do not appear to harm their children's cognitive development. Almost 200 2-year-old children whose mothers were taking the epilepsy drugs lamotrigine, carbamazepine, phenytoin or valproate were tested in the study. Of these children, 41 percent were breast-fed.

Traditional breast-feeding schedule best approach
Following a traditional breast-feeding schedule appears more beneficial for early infant weight gain and is more supportive of continued breast-feeding than a "baby-led" routine, researchers report.
The traditional recommendations-- breast-feeding using both breasts at each feeding for no more than 10 minutes per breast--have been largely replaced by "baby-led" breast-feeding. Proponents advise letting infants feed for an unlimited time from the first breast and that both breasts need not be used at each feeding.

U.S. questions plastic baby bottle safety
A chemical used to make baby bottles and other shatterproof plastic containers could be linked to a range of hormonal problems, according to a preliminary report.
The federal National Toxicology Program said experiments on rats found precancerous tumors, urinary tract problems and early puberty when the animals were fed or injected with low doses of the plastics chemical bisphenol A.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

The "Do Less" List for Friday

Usually my lists are all about how much I can get accomplished. Here's one about doing less!


And pay more attention to your heart.

and pay more attention to what you already have.

and pay more attention to giving.

and pay more attention to letting go.

and pay more attention to complimenting.

and pay more attention to forgiveness.

and pay more attention to stillness.

and pay more attention to silence.

~Lee J. Jampolsky

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Daffodils:The Transformation

Two pictures are worth 2 thousand words ...
Oh, to have the fortitude and beauty of daffodils.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Sign of Spring--and Love

My husband Rob and my caboose kiddo plant daffodils for me. Daffodils and tulips.
Yesterday, the first daffodil appeared in our front lawn.
This morning, two morning greeted me when I walked Christa to the front door as she left for school.
"Look! Two more!"
"I know! I know!"
"You and your dad bring spring to me," I told her as she walked to the car with Rob.
I heard her giggle--I think she liked that idea.
Daffodils are my favorite flower. They are so bright, so cheerful. And they are strong, hardy flowers. In Colorado, it often snows after daffodils make their appearance in the landscape. The wet "springtime in the Rockies" snow weighs down the yellow buds--and I think,"So much for my daffodils."
But I'm wrong.
Once the snow melts, the daffodils bounce back up and keep right on blooming. A little snow isn't going to stop them from doing what they were made to do.
I think there's a lesson in there somewhere.
That's another reason why I like daffodils.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I was on the phone a lot yesterday afternoon.

Consequently, Christa watched a bit too much television. Not the first time that happened. If the child has any emotional problems, it will probably be related to the amount of children's programming she's been exposed to.

I should start saving for that expense now, I guess.

Now, in my defense, the phone calls were important ones.


About two-thirds the way through the second phone call, Christa walked up to me, holding up a 3x5 index card. On it, she had written: I need time with my mom.

Okay, then.

Let the guilt begin.

I confess, I did not immediately get off the phone.

But, once I wrapped up my very important conversation, I gave Christa what she needed: time with me.

I am thankful Christa, like all my other children, is extremely forgiving of my mommy-mistakes. The minute I was available to her--she was ready to spend time with me. She didn't say, "Too late, Mom. You missed your chance!"

That's why I believe I've learned more about forgiveness and God's grace from my children than from anyone else.

May I be like a little child ...

And next time, I hope I don't need a hand-written sign to tell me what my child needs from me.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms April 14, 2008

News to know:

Postpartum depression common among U.S. women
As many as one in five women in the United States suffers from postpartum depressive symptoms, according to results of a new survey. The findings also indicate that certain groups of women, such as those with lower educational levels, are more prone to postpartum depressive symptoms.

Mumps vaccine good, not perfect
The 2006 eight-state U.S. mumps outbreak was the first ever caused by "two-dose vaccine failure," according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The vaccine is known to be 80% to 90% effective after two doses -- not 100% effective. That means that one or two out of 10 people exposed to the mumps virus will be infected, although they may have less severe disease than unvaccinated people who are infected.

Babies who sleep less at more risk for obesity
Babies who don't get enough sleep may gain too much weight, new research shows.
Babies and toddlers who sleep fewer than 12 hours daily are at greater risk for being overweight in preschool, according to a Harvard study. TV viewing heightened the effect. The children who slept the least and watched the most television had the greatest chance of becoming obese.

Candy can help fight cavities
Children in Venezuela who ate a special cavity-fighting candy had 62 percent fewer cavities than those who brushed their teeth regularly, researchers said.
Children in the study were testing the effectiveness of BasicMints, an experimental fluoride-free treatment designed to mimic a component in human saliva that neutralizes acids in the mouth that can erode tooth enamel.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday's List for Late-in-Life Moms

First, my apologies that the Friday's List thing is so haphazard.
Sometimes I just lose track of my good intentions.
That said, here's a great list. Read it and ponder!

Be Good To You
  1. Be yourself ... truthfully
  2. Accept yourself ... gratefully
  3. Value yourself ... joyfully
  4. Forgive yourself ... completely
  5. Treat yourself ... generously
  6. Balance yourself ... harmoniously
  7. Bless yourself ... abundantly
  8. Trust yourself ... confidently
  9. Love yourself ... wholeheartedly
  10. Empower yourself ... prayerfully
  11. Give yourself ... enthusiastically
  12. Express yourself ... radiantly

I like 'em all. But I think for this weekend, I'll try ... hhhmmm ... #12. That sounds kind of fun!

What about you? Pick a number and go have fun being good to yourself!!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Show Down

It was time for Christa to lose the tooth.

Past time.

Her baby tooth had been loose for weeks and weeks and weeks. I am not exaggerating here for the sake of story. It was hanging at an odd, snaggletooth angle front and center in her smile. And her other tooth was growing in. I could see it. She could see it. Christa had bumped her mouth a couple of times and cried, saying, "That hurt my tooth."

I knew how to fix that: Pull the tooth.

It's not like this was Christa's first loose tooth. She'd already survived losing 5 other teeth. But this one was not leaving her mouth.

We had several skirmishes about the tooth.

"It's time for the tooth to come out."

""Not yet, Mom. It'll hurt."

"Come on, Christa. I can get that tooth out in one little push."


"Will you let Daddy take the tooth out?"


It became more a battle of the wills between me and my caboose kiddo than any real angst about losing the tooth.

Last night, I decided--right or wrong--enough was enough. Christa showed me how she could push her baby tooth back and see the adult tooth encroaching on its territory. That didn't seem to hurt her.

It was time for a showdown.

I'll admit it: It wasn't pretty. I confess to trying to bribe her with offers of money. Is $3 too much for a tooth? There were tears--both hers and mine. I had to get my husband in on the process. He was the one who finally pulled the tooth out while I held Christa.

Afterwards, Christa snuggled in my arms.

"Are you mad at me?"

She nodded her head.

"Well, I'm sorry you are mad at me. I'm not sorry we got that tooth out. It really needed to come out. But I am sorry you are mad at me. Will you forgive me?"

She nodded her head again. And she stayed snuggled in my lap, which I figured was a good sign.

I'm still trying to decide if I was right or wrong to force the dental showdown.

Ah, motherhood. Who knew all the questions I'd face once I had children.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Womb Art II

I was a little less than thorough on my blog post yesterday--and I'm correcting that error today.

The Time article about belly casting referenced Eternal Maternal, a company founded by Karen DeSemple. Photos from DeSemple's gallery were featured in the Time article--and I just didn't make the connection.

DeSemple sent me a friendly e-mail pointing out my oversight. I hope you take a moment to visit her Web site, which also features a BELLYFACIAL. Now there's an intriguing thought!!

And just FYI: DeSemple is a repeater mommy-come-lately. Her third child was born when she was 4o! Welcome to the Mommy-Come-Lately Club, Karen!

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Womb Art

Women love to celebrate their pregnancies. Used to be, we'd just throw baby showers for one another. Nowadays, the first pictures in our babies' photo albums are from sonograms. I have a favorite photographer who has taken my family's pictures through the years. On her walls are a variety of elegant photos of pregnant women. I assume copies of these photographs hang somewhere in these women's homes--although I'm not certain where I'd put one. I can't see placing one over the mantle in my family room.

An article in Time details how moms-to-be are memorializing their pregnancy in a new way: making a plaster cast of their pregnant bellies. Companies sell "belly-casting kits for making plaster memories, which many women decorate, hang in nurseries and consider heirlooms," according to the article. I was intrigued by photographs of brightly painted belly-casts--a blue one with a white and red star, as well as a bright pink one covered with multicolored flowers.
I found a Web site for Proud Body Pregnancy Art , which had a variety of photos of belly-casts, as well as painted bellies and henna art. This was all new to me.

Belly casts with hands.
Asian themes.
Animals and insects. (???)
Writings and Sayings.

So, I'm curious: Anybody out there the proud momma-owner of a belly-cast? If so, I'd love to post a photo on my blog!!

**Book Giveaway this week! Visit InSeasonMom to learn more about the contest--a chance to win a copy of my book Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35.**

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Monday, April 07, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms April 7, 2008

**Book Giveaway this week! Visit InSeasonMom to learn more about the contest--a chance to win a copy of my book Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35.**

News to know:

Six Worst Kids Health Habits
Newsweek lists the six most common mistakes parents make when it comes to creating a healthy environment for their children.

More birth control choices for women over 40
Traditionally, women 40 and older are the least likely to use birth control. However, birth control options are growing for women 40 and older — a group that once viewed its choices as pretty much limited to tube-tying surgery and condoms. For these women, the pill is back. So is the IUD. The reason? Both are safer. There’s even a nonsurgical method of tube-tying.

The Curious Lives of Surrogates
Thousands of American women have given birth to other people's babies. Many are married to men in the military.

Seat Belts Protect Unborn Babies
A pregnant woman who wears a seat belt greatly reduces the risk that her baby will die or be seriously hurt in a vehicle crash, according to a study that debunks the notion that seat belts are harmful to the fetus.

Study Ties Bedroom TV to Unhealthy Habits in Teens
Teenagers with a bedroom television tend to have poorer diet and exercise habits and lower grades in school than those without one, according to researchers.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Book Giveaway Starting on Monday, April 7th

My friend and fellow mommy-come-lately, Cynthia, has a wonderful Web site for first-time moms over 35 called InSeason Mom.

Cynthia and I are joining together to sponsor a contest. Go on over and take a look around her Web site. You'll notice she's sponsoring a contest back over here at Mommy-Come-Lately! If you post a comment on my blog next week (April 7-11), you have a chance to win a copy of my book Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood After 35. I'm giving away two copies of my book. When you post a comment, make sure you mention you heard about the contest via InSeason Mom!
See you next week!

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Oprah's Interview with a Pregnant Man

A couple of days ago, I caught a partial radio clip about Oprah's upcoming interview with the first pregnant man.
I just finished reading the online interview. Everyone involved--the wife, the husband--who lived his first 24 years as a woman--the two grown daughters, the physician, the neighbors--want to make this sound all so normal. So nice. So natural.
But it isn't.
It's convoluted and confusing and anything but a normal pregnancy.
And that's why it's news.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

On Commission

My first three kiddos got allowances.
Christa is getting a commission.
This is a fairly new routine in the Vogt household, but so far we (Rob, me and Christa) all like the commission process.
Thank you, Dave Ramsey. Ramsey is a financial "guru" who keeps it simple: Get out of debt. I like his approach because he makes me laugh while he talks about things like money and credit cards and investments and college funds. On his Web site he has three words at the top: Life. Money. Hope.
Sounds good to me.
Anyways, back to the commission deal. The concept is simple: Christa has a list of responsibilites or jobs. Each week, she gets paid for the jobs she does. And she doesn't get paid for the jobs she doesn't do. Sounds like the real world, doesn't it? When you're an adult, you don't get an allowance. You get paid for the work you do. And if you don't work, you don't get paid.
Christa now has a commission chart on the refrigerator door. (Where did moms hang stuff before refrigerators?) Her jobs are pretty basic: Make her bed, brush her teeth--that sort of thing. She marks them off when she completes them each day.
Here's the flip side: Christa can also get "dinged." She can lose money for certain behaviors. If she has a bad attitude about turning off the t.v. or the computer--Ding! She loses 10 cents. If she is impatient--Ding! She loses 10 cents. Doesn't sound like a lot, but it does add up.
Christa also knows that some of her commision goes into a savings envelope. Some goes into a giving envelope. And some goes into a spending envelope.
Here's the cool thing: Christa thinks money management is fun! She likes her commission chart. She likes getting paid at the end of the week. And, yes, she absolutely hates getting "dinged!" So, she's learning to watch her attitude.
Works for her.
Works for me and Rob.
Who knows--it might work for you and your kiddos too.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Beads and Birth Control

Birth control can be a sensitive topic. Some women are all for it, some aren't. For those women who practice birth control, there are a number of options to choose from--some medical, some "natural."
Beads, anyone?
There's a new "natural family planning method" in which women use a set of beads to keep track of their fertile days. The method is effective and widely acceptable to women and their partners, according to a new study conducted at 14 sites in six countries.
Developed at the Georgetown University Institute for Reproductive Health in Washington, DC, the Standard Days Method (SDM), is for women with menstrual cycles between 26 to 32 days long. Women are instructed that they may become pregnant if they have sex on days 8 to 19 of their cycle. Women using the SDM can use a set of beads the Georgetown team designed, known as CycleBeads, to keep track of their fertile days, and may abstain from sex on those days if they don't want to get pregnant.
SDM has been tested by more than 1600 women. Ninety percent of both men and women in the study said they felt the SDM was easy to use, and that they would recommend it to others.
The "birds and the bees"--and beads.
That's a new one on me.

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