In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, June 30, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms, June 30, 2008

News to know:

Grandmother, 47, gives birth to naturally conceived triplets

Janelle Perry, a grandmother from Queensland, Australia, has given birth to naturally conceived triplet boys. Cooper, Kyle and Jordan were born at 34 weeks' gestation by caesarean section last week.
Doctors are "99.9 percent certain" the boys are identical. Perry now has eight children: four children in their 20s from a previous marriage, a daughter, Rebecca, 4, with her husband Robert, and two grandchildren.

U.S. panel gives OK to 2 new combo vaccines

A federal advisory panel endorsed two new combination vaccines designed to reduce the number of needle sticks young children must endure to get the recommended immunizations. The vaccines are:
  • a four-in-one shot made by GlaxoSmithKline, offering protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, which is given to preschoolers
  • Sanofi Pasteur's five-in-one shot for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and illness due to Haemophilus influenzae type b, or HiB. Children get four doses by age 2.

Cervical cancer shot not cleared for older women

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has not approved Merck's application to expand marketing of its cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil to women ages 27 through 45. The agency said there are issues which prevent approval at this time.

Jardine cribs recalled after 4 children trapped

About 320,000 Jardine cribs sold by Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores were recalled because four children became trapped.
The wooden slats and spindles on the crib frames can break, allowing children to get trapped in the remaining gap.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Get Smart and Late-in-Life Motherhood

"Your old ovaries give me hope."
~ Comment of a thirty-something unmarried friend

Guess who's talking about older moms?
Maxwell Smart and Agent 99.
Yep, you got that right.
My hubby and I went to see the new Get Smart movie because we were both fans of the original TV series. Yes, I'm showing my age--but hey, if you read my book you can figure out how old I am anyways!
Agent 99 confesses that her round of plastic surgery to protect her identity also makes her look younger than she really is. She is, she admits, closer to Max's age.
Without missing a beat, Max launches into the dangers of waiting to have a baby. He tells Agent 99 her eggs could dry up.
Later in the movie, Agent 99 hassles Max about hassling her about her "dusty uterus."
Yes, I was laughing.
At the same time, I was marveling that late-in-life motherhood is such a hot topic--such a trend--that is it showing up in a hit movie.
And sure, we need to have a sense of humor about being mommies-come-lately.
But I'm betting that women over 35 who are battling infertility probably aren't laughing. Fertility is a tough hurdle to face on the way to motherhood.
And sometimes it is an insurmountable one.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms June 22, 2008

News to know:

Not ready for baby? Protect your fertility.

A MSNBC Women's Health report asserts "there's plenty you can do to help keep your body in peak baby-making form," if you're thinking about becoming a mom some day. Tips include:
  • Watch your diet
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases regularly (STDs), which can scar reproductive organs
  • Don't smoke
  • Stay healthy--and get regular medical checkups

U.S. working to cut premature births

The government is trying to figure out why one in eight babies -- well over half a million a year -- are born prematurely, a toll that's risen steadily for two decades with no sign of stopping. Near-term babies, those born between 34 and 37 weeks, make up 70 percent of all premature births and they, not very early preemies, are fueling the two-decade rise, according to a recent study. Caesarean sections soared in that time frame, too, causing some researchers to suggest that the increase in late preemies may be due to unnecessary C-sections.

Pacifiers may increase child's risk for ear infections

Children who used pacifiers increased their risk of getting ear infections by 90 percent, according to a study published in The Journal of Family Practice. The five-year study involved almost 500 Dutch children under the age of 4.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rikki Lake versus the AMA and ACOG

Former talk show host Rikki Lake is squaring off against two powerful medical organizations: the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

ACOG recently issued a statement, which the AMA supports, that says the home is not the safest place to have a baby because "an apparently uncomplicated pregnancy or delivery can quickly become very complicated."

The ACOG statement reads:

“ ...the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers."

So why is Lake at the center of this controversy? Her film, "The Business of Being Born," a documentary of the maternity care care system, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, shows Lake giving birth to her second son, who is now 7, in the bathtub of her Manhattan apartment.

The AMA states that "much attention in the media by celebrities having home deliveries" -- and then the resolution specifically mentions Lake and her film.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms June 16, 2008

In the news:

Hospitals do poorly on breastfeeding support
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported most U.S. hospitals don't do well when it comes to promoting breast-feeding.
Practices unfriendly to breast-feeding were common throughout the country, the survey found. About a quarter of hospitals reported giving formula or some other supplement to more than half of their healthy, full-term newborns. The practice was common even when mothers were able and willing to breast-feed.

Troubling rise in underweight babies in U.S.
The percentage of underweight babies born in the U.S. has increased to its highest rate in 40 years, according to a new report.
The overall increase in low-birthweight babies was due to a rise in multiple births as more older women use fertility treatments to conceive, according to one of the coordinators of the report. But the birth-weight problem also has been worsening for single-baby deliveries.
The findings were released in the annual Kids Count report on the health and well-being of America's youth.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Downsizing Maternity Leave

Employers are cutting back on post-childbirth pay for mothers and offering shorter leaves, on average, for both moms and dads, compared with a decade ago, according to an article on

Employers aren't deliberately targeting new mothers with pay cuts. Maternity leave is caught in the crossfire over rising disability costs, the article said. New mothers are being hit by a cost-cutting move among employers toward paying only a fraction of full pay to workers on short-term disability, rather than 100% as was common in the past, as an incentive for employees to return to work as soon as they're able.

A study by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute included these statistics:

  • Only 16% of employers offer full pay for childbirth leave, down from 27% in 1998, based on a nationally representative sample of 1,100 employers
  • The average maximum length of job-guaranteed leaves for new mothers shrank to 15.2 weeks from 16.1 weeks a decade ago; leave for dads fell to 12.6 weeks from 13.1.

Go to the Families and Work Institute Web site to view an ABC News World Tonight video clip "Work and Family," that includes a discussion about maternity leave benefits.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms June 9, 2008

News to know:

11 infants caught whooping cough from nurse
A health-care worker was identifed as the source of an outbreak of whooping cough, or pertussis, among newborns in Texas, according to public health officials investigating the 2004 occurrence.
The report, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, identified a 24-year-old nurse who had worked in the newborn nursery from early June until mid July. During that time she directly cared for 113 infants, including the 11 who came down with whooping cough. She had been fully immunized against whooping cough as a child.

FDA: Mercury dental fillings may be harmful to some
Silver-colored dental fillings containing mercury, called amalgams, may be harmful to pregnant women, children and fetuses, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said after settling a lawsuit with several consumer advocates.
The FDA agreed to alert consumers about the risks on its Web site and to issue a more specific rule for fillings that contain mercury by July 2009.

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Friday, June 06, 2008


What is it with kids and forts?

I don't mean forts with brick walls.
I mean forts that get constructed in the middle of the family room. Forts made of blankets and pillows and dining room chairs.

Even as I type, my caboose kiddo is sound asleep in the family room inside her oh-so-carefully constructed fort. She used 5 blankets, 4 pillows and 4 chairs and a stool. That's a rough estimate.

I remember this fort-fascination from my first go-round at motherhood with Christa's older siblings. They too loved to construct elaborate forts indoors, pulling their blankets and pillows off their beds and taking over my dining room or living room.

Ah, the simple joys of children. Blankets and chairs become a fort. A place to read books. A place that's as much fun when you're by yourself or with friends. You can pretend to be a princess or a pirate. And maybe, just maybe, mom will let you have a snack in your fort. Maybe she'll snuggle in next to you and read a book aloud.

You never know what might happen once you build a fort. And when the blankets get taken down, folded and put away and the chairs are back in place around the dining room table--well, you can always look forward to the next time you get to build a fort.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Keeping the Caboose Kiddo Busy

Call me crazy.
In an act of desperation, I started a blog for my caboose kiddo.
My thought was, "Help! What else can I do with her to keep her busy this summer?"
Start a blog.
I suggested the idea to Christa--and she was all for it.
And you know what? My act of desperation is turning out to be a lot of fun for both of us.
At first, I was Christa's faithful scribe, typing her dictated statements for each post, telling about her day. Then I remembered that she's learned some basic keyboarding already. So, I let her type some. Then I type some. We upload a photo.
And then she sits back and waits for her comments.
That is her favorite part of blogging: the comments from her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. On the day she got 7 comments, Christa threw back her head and proclaimed, "I love my life!"
I'm ve-ery careful with Christa's blog. I didn't post any personal information about Christa when I set up her blog. And I read all her comments. I send out an e-mail to family, letting them know when Christa's posted a new entry. It's a great way to keep in touch with all her long-distance relatives. And she's creating a fun summer journal too.
Sometimes acts of desperation can create something unexpected and worthwhile.
Who'd have thought it?

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Monday, June 02, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms June 2, 2008

News to know:

Congrats to celebrity Daddy-Come-Lately, actor Jack Black, 38, and his wife, Tanya, 37, a singer ans musician, whose second son was born "about a week ago."

Germs may play role in sudden baby deaths
Researchers say bacteria may be a contributing factor in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) one of the leading causes of death for children under 1.
According to a study published in the Lancet, researchers found potentially dangerous bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli in nearly half of all babies who died suddenly and without explanation over a decade at a London hospital.

For moms, more kids can mean fewer teeth
Women who gave birth to more children tended to lose more teeth during their lives, regardless of whether they were rich or poor, U.S researchers found

C-sections may be behind rise of preemie births
Premature births of U.S. babies have been climbing since the mid-1990s and the increase is being driven by Caesarean section deliveries, according to a new study. From 1996 to 2004, the rate of premature births rose by about 10 percent.

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