In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! May you find many reasons to be thankful!!

The blog will resume next Monday after the holiday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

News of Interest to Late-in-Life Moms November 24, 2008

News to know:

Some unaware of risks of delaying motherhood

Many women may not be fully aware of the potential consequences of waiting until later in life to have a baby, according to a British study reported in the journal Fertility & Sterility.

Researchers analyzed questionnaire responses from 362 women getting prenatal care and 362 women seeking fertility counseling at a university medical center. The researchers found:
~85 percent of women with fertility problems and 76 percent of pregnant women were aware that fertility declines between the ages of 30 and 40
~fewer than half in each group knew that age increases the risk of pregnancy-related diabetes and the need for a cesarean section
~only 53 percent of women with fertility problems knew that the chances of conceiving via IVF decline between the ages of 30 and 40

Fertility treatments linked to certain birth defects
Infants born as a result of assisted reproductive technology (ART) -- such as in vitro fertilization and the use of donor eggs -- are two to four times more likely to be born with certain types of birth defects than infants conceived naturally, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The individual risk for birth defects remain low, according to the study's lead author.
Children conceived using ART were found to have twice the risk of septal heart defects -- a "hole" in the heart -- more than twice the risk of cleft lip with or without cleft palate, and four times the risk of two gastrointestinal defects.

Autumn babies face greater risk of asthma
Research suggests babies born four months before the peak cold and flu season have a 30 percent higher risk of developing asthma.
Scientists studied the medical records of 95,000 infants and their mothers in the state of Tennessee. The study found all babies were at increased risk if they had bronchiolitis, a lung infection usually caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), but autumn babies were at the highest risk.

Forward-facing strollers may harm babies emotionally

Due to the lack of face-to-face contact with parents, pushing babies in forward-facing strollers may harm them emotionally, according to a British study.
Children pushed in forward-facing strollers are less likely to laugh and otherwise interact with parents than children pushed in strollers that face parents, according to the study, which included almost 3,000 parents and babies.
Facing a parent while being pushed in a carriage gives an infant positive reassurance and reduces mental stress, researchers said.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Continuing the Tradition: Operation Christmas Child

Some of Christa's life is a repeat.

Not for her. For me.

And that's not always a bad thing.

My first three kiddos made Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes through the years--filling a plastic shoebox with items for children in desperate situations around the world. Now it's Christa's turn.

Somehow, in all the busy-ness of the past few weeks, I missed that the box was due at school today. That meant we ran out last night and went shopping. Her dad came along because he wanted to be part of the fun.

I left the wrapping up to him--and the packing of the box too. He has quite the engineer's knack at packing lots of stuff into a small shoebox. Toothbrush. Soap. Jump rope. Headbands. Hairbrush. Colored Markers. Crayons. Disney Princess Flashlight with extra batteries. Notebook.

At one point in the packing and wrapping, Christa selected one of her most favorite stuffed animals, Hedgey the Hedgehog, to put in the box. She shed a few tears as she tucked her "friend" into the Operation Christmas Child shoebox. Then she wrote the little girl who will receive the box this note:

My name is Christa. I hope you like Hedgey. I hope my stuff makes your life easier and happier. God bless you. Merry Christmas. from Christa.

I know that the Operation Christmas Child ministry has delivered 61 million shoeboxes to very needy children since 1993. I am thankful my children have been a small part of that. I am also thankful that my children have learned that, for some children, their only glimpse of Christmas and God's love will come inside a shoebox that was filled by a little girl or boy thousands of miles away.

Monday, November 17, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms November 17, 2008

News to know:

Nursing may help babies increase lung capacity
Breastfeeding appears to provide children with long-term respiratory benefits, according to findings published in the journal Thorax.
Researchers found that children who were breastfed for 4 months or longer had larger lung capacities than children who had been nursed for a shorter amount of time or not at all. Breastfed children were also able to expel air from their lungs more quickly.

Study: Cigarette smoking may worsen PMS
Smoking increases the risk of moderate to severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS), according to new research. Women 27 to 44 years old who smoke are twice as likely to develop PMS over the next two to four years, especially hormonally-related symptoms like backaches, bloating, breast tenderness, and acne.

U.S. gets "D" on premature birth report card
More than half a million U.S. babies -- one in every eight -- are born prematurely each year, a toll that's risen steadily for two decades.
A report by the March of Dimes said the odds of having a premature baby are lowest in Vermont and highest in Mississippi. The report urged states to address three factors affecting premature births: lack of insurance, smoking, and an increase of "late preemies"--babies born between 34 and 37 weeks. has an interactive state-by-state listing detailing obesity in the U.S.A. Go here to click on each state to see the percentage of obese and overweight adults in 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms November 12, 2008

News to know:

Young musicians get smarter, study says
Children who study a musical instrument for at least three years outperform children with no instrumental training on non-musical tests of vocabulary and non-verbal reasoning. The findings were detailed in the Oct. 29 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

Risk for obese kids: middle-aged arteries
Scientists using ultrasound imaging on obese children and teens detected fatty deposits more typical in middle-aged adults, putting them at risk for early heart attacks, stroke — and death. The findings underscore worries about accelerated risks of heart disease decades earlier than once thought possible.

Popular gas-relief drops for infants recalled
12,000 units of Mylicon drops to relieve gas for infants were recalled Monday because some bottles could include pieces of metal.
The recalled drops were sold in 1-ounce plastic bottles that were distributed to stores and pharmacies after Oct. 5. They were sold over the counter.
The recalled bottles are from lots SMF007 and SMF008. These numbers are printed on the bottom of the box and on the lower-left side of the sticker on each bottle.

Treating acid reflux in kids helps with asthma
If a child has both asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), treating GERD can help the asthma, according to research.
While the connection between asthma and GERD remain unclear, researchers report that antireflux medications can sometimes help asthma symptoms.

Drinking milk may ease milk allergies in kids
Researchers found that giving milk-allergic children milk in increasingly higher doses over time eased their allergic reactions to milk and even helped some of the children completely overcome their milk allergy.
The researchers warn more study is needed and advise parents and caregivers not to try giving milk to children who are allergic to it without medical supervision.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

How Much Time is Left on Your Biological Clock?

Women experience late-in-life motherhood for a variety of reasons.

When I interviewed women for Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35, some women chose to wait to become moms until their mid-30s or 40s.

Others started having children in their 20s and continued right on through their 40s.

Still others had their mommy-dreams disrupted by infertility or divorce or found themselves waiting for Mr. Right.

Some chose to adopt and some, like me, were suprised by an over-35 pregnancy.

New research may help women who choose to delay motherhood by offering them a "roadmap" of their reproductive life.

In a 14 year study involving more than 600 women, the University of Michigan studied changes in hormones FSH and inhibin B, which stimulate eggs.

The study found hormones dropped significantly five years before menopause, meaning a woman was also at her least fertile.

The second study tested another 50 women each year for changes in the hormone AMH*, which is already used as a fertility predictor.

*AMH: Anti-Müllerian hormone is a marker for the number of remaining eggs a woman has.

AMH fell to a very low or non-measurable level five years prior to a woman's final menstual period.

Researchers said the information describes the reproductive ageing process, which could help women choosing to have later-in-life babies.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Financially Savvy Tips Highlighted on Hearts at Home Blog

My November newsletter offered 5 Tips for Becoming a Financially Savvy Mommy-Come-Lately®.

The Hearts at Home blog highlighted my tips today.
I head out to Minnesota this weekend for another regional Hearts at Home conference. I'll be sharing with moms about How to Help Your Sons Choose Purity instead of Pornography and also about Motherhood: Perfection Not Required.

I offer a tip sheet for moms about Purity versus Pornography on my Free Resources page.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Moms November 3, 2008

News to know:

Even a little caffeine may harm fetus, study finds

Pregnant women who consume as little as one cup of coffee a day are at a higher risk of giving birth to underweight babies, according to findings published in the British Medical Journal.

The study linked any source of caffeine, including that from tea, cola, chocolate and some prescription drugs, to relatively slower fetal growth. Underweight babies are more likely to develop a range of health conditions when they grow older, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems.

Number of medicated kids jumps, study finds

More U.S. children are being given drugs to fight chronic conditions such as asthma and hyperactivity, according to a study published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

From 2002 to 2005, prescriptions for medicines:

  • to treat asthma rose by more than 46 percent,
  • to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder increased by more than 40 percent
  • to treat type-2 diabetes doubled

Researchers said the increases could mean chronic conditions are on the rise.
But they said the trend might reflect other factors such as changes in the way doctors prescribe drugs and better screening that identifies more chronic conditions.

Intense care my be too intense for preemies

Some of the intense care given to the smallest premature infants may be a little too intense, according to two recent studies.

Researchers questioned both the use of light treatment for jaundice and the practice of giving insulin to premature newborns. One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that babies weighing less than 2 pounds were slightly more likely to die if they were given early light therapy for rising levels of bilirubin. Another study suggested that early insulin therapy offers little clinical benefit in very-low-birth-weight infants, putting them at risk of dangerous hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

Violent video games linked to child aggression

A new study suggests virtual violence in video games may make kids more aggressive in real life.

The study included three groups of kids: 181 Japanese students ages 12 to 15; 1,050 Japanese students aged 13 to 18; and 364 U.S. kids ages 9 to 12. In every group, children who were exposed to more video game violence became more aggressive over time than their peers who had less exposure. This was true even after the researchers took into account how aggressive the children were at the beginning of the study -- a strong predictor of future bad behavior.

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