In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Monday, June 29, 2009

News of Interest to Moms June 29, 2009

News to know:

Banking ovaries may extend baby-making span

New research may give women a better chance to fight their biological clocks, doctors announced today.

Recent advances to preserve ovaries and surgically implant them could make the procedures more widely available. In the past, both the cost and the uncertainties involved limiting the procedures to women with serious diseases,such as cancer, who had few options.

15 percent of U.S. teens think they'll die young

More than one in seven youths think they'll die young, according to a study published in the July issue of Pediatrics. Researchers tracked 20,594 teens who were in 7th through 12th grade at the start of the three-year study.

Almost 15 percent of American teens believe they will die before age 35 -- a perspective strongly linked to risky behavior, including:
~attempting suicide
~using illegal drugs
~sustaining fight-related injuries requiring medical care
~engaging in unprotected sex
~being arrested by the police
~contracting HIV or AIDS

Race and wealth appeared to affect a teen's risk for belief he would die young. About 10 percent of white teens bore this pessimistic view, compared with 15 percent of Asian youth, 21 percent of Hispanic teens, 26 percent of African American teens and 29 percent of Native American teens.

Heavy kids at higher risk for asthma

Research reveals children who are overweight at age 6 to 7 years are at increased risk for having symptoms of asthma when they are 8 years old.

Children who were persistently heavy from a very young age and between age 6 to 7 years were 68 percent more likely to have breathing difficulties, according to a study involving 3,756 children. Researchers found the children were also 66 percent more likely to have twitchy airways at age 8 than children who were leaner in childhood.

However, children who were heavier at a very young age, but who developed a normal weight at age 6 to 7, did not have an increased risk of breathing difficulties.

Cheerleading still most dangerous sport

Cheerleading continues to cause more serious and deadly injuries by far than other sports.

The number of cheerleading injuries fell slightly in the 2007-08 academic year, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which released its 26th annual report on the topic.

Cheerleading accounted for 65.2 percent of high school and 70.5 percent of college catastrophic injuries among all female sports. The report defines catastrophic injuries as any severe or fatal injury incurred during participation in the sport.

There were 1,116 direct catastrophic injuries in high school (905) and college sports (211).

High school sports were associated with 152 fatalities, 379 non-fatal injuries and 374 serious injuries. College sports accounted for 22 fatalities, 63 non-fatal injuries and 126 serious injuries.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

News of Interest for Moms June 26, 2009

News to know:

Pertussis risk much higher among unvaccinated children
Research reveals that children whose parents refused the pertussis vaccine were 23 times likelier to contract the disease than were immunized children.

One in 10 pertussis cases, also know as whooping cough, was due to vaccine refusal, according to the study, which was published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

"These findings stress the need to further understand why parents refuse immunizations and to develop strategies for conveying the risks and benefits of immunizations to parents more effectively," researchers concluded.

Few sexually active teens in US get HIV test
Only 22 percent of sexually active high school students are tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The CDC also reported that nearly half the HIV-positive U.S. adolescents and young adults are unaware of their infection.

The CDC analyzed data from a 2007 survey of students in grades 9-12 (ages 14-18). While people aged 12 to 24 represented 4.4 percent of the estimated 1.1 million people in the UW infected with HIV, they represented 10 percent of the estimated 232,700 people living with the virus without knowing it.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

News of Interest for Moms, June 22, 2009

News to know:

Baby weight usually stays 3 to 6 months
Researchers are encouraging new moms to stop stressing about losing the baby weight.

Trying to lose the weight too quickly can make it harder to nurse a newborn, the German scientists reported. With breastfeeding, the extra pounds should disappear after within six months.

However, women who overeat and become overweight or more overweight during pregnancy have a higher chance of ongoing weight problems.

Family pets may harbor MRSA
Your dog or cat may be a carrier of the drug resistant bacteria known as MSRA, according to a review article in the July edition of the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. An infection often begins with small red bumps that can turn into painful abscesses requiring surgery to drain them.

As many as 30 different pathogens can be transmitted by animal bites or scratches, but MRSA can cycle back and forth between pets and owners, researchers said. If not detected and treated, bacteria can find their way into the body, causing infections in heart valves, lungs, joints, bones and the bloodstream.

Raw cookie dough: So tasty, so dangerous
It's still not certain that Nestle Toll House cookies are to blame for an outbreak of E. coli that sickened at least 66 people in 28 states. However, ABC News reported many of the people afflicted with E. coli had eaten raw Toll House cookie dough.

Nestle recalled the refrigerated product and told people not to eat the dough raw or cooked until the source of the outbreak is discovered.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Hazards of Porn

Moms, ever wonder what's the big deal about pornography and your sons? Or pornography and your daughters? I'll get straight to the point: Pornography use has the potential to cause the following problems:

~Withdrawing from social activity
~Developing a secret life
~Lying and deceiving others
~Becoming self-centered
~Choosing porn over people

~Feeling irritable and defensive
~Feeling angry and depressed
~Experiencing mood swings
~Pervasive anxiety and fearfulness
~Feeling powerless in relation to porn

~Treating people as sexual objects
~Judging people primarily in terms of their sexual body parts
~Disrespecting other peoples' needs for privacy and safety
~Being insensitive about sexually harmful behavior

~Feeling disconnected from personal values, beliefs and goals
~Loss of personal integrity
~Damaged self-esteem
~Persistent feelings of guilt and shame
~Feeling controlled by porn

~Personal health (sleep deprivation, exhaustion, poor self-care)
~Family life (neglecting spouse, children and household responsibilities)
~Work and school pursuits (reduced focus, productivity and advancement)
~Spirituality (alienation from faith and spiritual practice)

~Craving porn intensely and persistently
~Difficulty controlling thoughts of, exposure to, and use of porn
~Inability to discontinue porn use despite negative consequences
~Requiring more extreme content or intense exposures to porn to get the same effect

What are you willing to do to help your children avoid these dangers?

Adapted from The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography/ (Poster #2)


Monday, June 15, 2009

News of Interest for Moms June 15, 2009

News to know:

Morning sickness drug safe for babies

Pregnant women who suffer morning sickness are not risking harm to their babies if they take metoclopramide, according to a study involving nearly 82,000 births in Israel. Researchers found no difference in birth defects or other problems in newborns of women whether or not they took the drug, sold as Reglan and in generic form.

Currently, no drugs are approved in the U.S. for morning sickness. When simple strategies such as eating crackers and frequent, small meals don't help,doctors sometimes use medicines approved for other types of nausea that are thought to be safe in pregnancy.

Acupuncture soothes heartburn in pregnant women

Acupuncture helps relieve heartburn in pregnant women, according to a small study from Brazil.

Seventy-five percent of the women in the acupuncture group said they had at least a 50 percent improvement in eating, and 70 percent had the same improvement in sleeping.

There were no side effects of the treatment, and no differences between the infants born to the women in the acupuncture and control groups. Because of possible concerns that needling could trigger contractions, the researchers caution against using acupuncture points in the lower back or lower abdomen in pregnant women.

Rear-facing car seats protect toddlers better

Children under 4 years of age fare better in motor vehicle accidents when they are riding in rear-facing instead of forward-facing car seats, according to an online report in the British Medical Journal.

Infants are typically switched from a rear- to a forward-facing seat when they reach about 20 pounds, which occurs at roughly 8 months of age for an average boy, researchers reported. Recent crash test results suggest that rear- rather than forward-facing seats provide better protection of the lower neck and chest.

Pediatricians target bullying, dating violence

Doctors should take an active role in preventing bullying in schools and violence among dating teenagers, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics.

In an updated policy being published in the July issue of its journal, Pediatrics, the academy suggests doctors:

~tell parents to talk to their children about bullying
~teach children how to resolve conflicts and promote respectful relationships in dating

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Friday, June 12, 2009

The Art of (Behind-the-Stage) Mothering

This week has been all about dance rehearsals.

Christa and I have spent each afternoon--except Tuesday--at the Pikes Peak Center, along with hundreds of other girls and the other "room moms". There's a lot of waiting involved. Waiting for your first number and a chance to perform on stage. Waiting again for your second number and another chance on stage. Waiting to practice the finale.

Then we pack up our blanket, books, portable DVD player, water bottles, and my editing assignments and we head home.

Today was dress rehearsal, which meant each girl was supposed to show up in costume and in makeup. It never happens that way. Inevitably, girls show up missing parts of their costume or without a trace of lipstick or eyeshadow. So I turn into a makeup artist and slather on foundation and blush and multiple layers of black, gray and purple eyeshadow. More is definitely better when it comes to performing on stage.

It's like a dancing rainbow backstage. From itty-bitty girls in blue and white tutus to more accomplished older girls who've danced for years wearing hip-hop outfits or leaotards and tap shoes, there's color, color and more color.

There's lots of chatter too. The girls talk nonstop until the ultimate mom-in-charge comes in and yells for "QUIET" and calls for the next group of girls to line up outside the stage doors.

I remind the girls to smile before they go onstage. I cheer for them out in the audience during practices. I tell them, "Good job!" when they come backstage. I hang out with the other room moms and figure out what the girls need: bobby pins, lipstick, hairspray.

This is my third year being a room mom during rehearsal week. Why do I do it? Well, the first year I felt like Christa was too young to just drop off and leave her with someone else during rehearsals. And then it became something we do together--me, her and all the craziness of practice and costumes and makeup and performance. It's a way to be involved with her life and say that what's she's doing is important to me--important enough for me to be part of it.

Sometimes mothering happens behind the scenes while your child is front and center stage--and that's the way it's supposed to be.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hearts at Home University

Motherhood is a valid profession.

It is that belief that inspired Jill Savage and a group of women to plan the first Hearts at Home conference 16 years ago. Today these conferences are a place where moms can go to find the encouragement and education they need to do this mothering thing right!

The problem is, not everyone can attend a Hearts at Home conference, so Hearts at Home University was created!

Hearts at Home University is a new resource designed to encourage and equip you in your journey as a parent! These live web casts, affordably priced at $15 each, allow you to tap into continuing education as a mom on a regular basis right from the comfort of your own computer.

The topics that will be covered over the Spring and Summer Semester include:

“Is There Really Sex after Kids” with Jill Savage
“She’s Gonna Blow” with Julie Barnhill
“Redefining Romance” with Mark and Jill Savage
“Keeping Your Ducks in a Relative Row” with Karen Ehman

For information on dates and times, or to register go here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

News of Interest to Moms June 8, 2009

News to know:

Anorexia and pregnancy don't mix

Expectant mothers' fear of gaining weight is all too common, according to Dr. Robert Zurawin, an associate professor at the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Houston's Baylor College of Medicine.

Moms-to-be who don't eat because they are afraid of gaining weight need to think about their baby, Dr. Zurawin said. What a woman eats--or doesn't eat--affects how a baby grows, as well as the baby's overall health.

Kids, keep your lids on

It's summertime and neighborhoods are filled with kids riding bikes. Too many of those kids balk at wearing a helmet.

The #1 killer of children is unintentional injuries, or accidents, according to Safe Kids USA And almost every single one of them is preventable.

Keeping children safe at every age requires understanding their mental and physical development. Why do children up to at least age 13 have to ride in back seats? Because a front-seat airbag could severely injure them in a crash.

Safe Kids USA recommends parents establish safety rules early and stay firm about the rules as kids get older.

New guidelines on young athletes' concussions stir controversy

Any athlete 18 or younger who has sustained a concussion during a game or practice should never be allowed to return to the playing field the same day, according to the updated recommendations of an international panel of neurologists.

The group had previously said that athletes could return if cleared by a doctor or certified athletic trainer. However, they now believe that such determinations are too difficult and dangerous for same-day return to be considered safe.

The panel’s recommendation has no direct influence on rules governing United States youth sports, which are generally made at the state and local levels.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

News of Interest for Moms June 3, 2009

News to know for moms and moms-to-be:

Report: Women ignore pregnancy weight limits

Get to a healthy weight before you conceive-- so recommends the Institute of Medicine in the first national recommendations on pregnancy weight since 1990.

The new guidelines recommend that healthy women at their normal weight should gain 25-35 pounds while pregnant. Underweight women (with a Body Mass Index of less than 18.5) should gain more 28-40 pounds.

The guidelines established a new range for obese women (with a BMI greater than 30) should gain 15-25 pounds.

Women's weight at conception affect both mom and baby. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. women of childbearing age are overweight or obese. Excess weight gain during pregnancy increase the risk of:
~ retaining extra pounds after birth
~ needing a Caesarean section
~ preterm babies
~ larger than normal babies

Each of these consequences increases the chances for subsequent health problems: heart disease and diabetes in the case of extra weight, and impaired development in the case of premature birth. Adding too few pounds during pregnancy increases risks for stunted fetal growth and preterm delivery.

Too much media may be tough on kids' health

On average, American children and teens spend more than six hours a day with media TV, such as TV, computers, Internet, video games and VCR or DVD players, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Such easy access to a wide variety of media increases a child's risk for numerous health issues, such as obesity, eating disorders, drug use and early sexual activity.

Even background TV may delay infants' speech

Infants "zoning out" in front of the television means less time interacting with parents and possible lags in language development, according to new research.

Sometimes babies are left in front of the TV. Sometimes parents get caught up watching TV--and ignore their babies. Interaction is key to a baby's brain development--and too much TV--even in the background--can interfere with parent-child interaction.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Did you know:

• The average age of first exposure to Internet pornography is 11 years old.

• Ninety percent of most 8-16 year olds have viewed pornography online—most while doing homework.

So I'm browsing through a fashion magazine that my two oldest daughters like. It's all about makeup and clothes and bargains and--of course--celebrities. I flip to one page where various celebrities are asked, "What's your favorite Web site."

One actress mentions because her kids like it. One mentions a news site, another a clothing site. And the only guy interviewed?

He mentions a Web site where you can find free porn.

Excuse me?

His quote went something like, " (not the actual name, okay?) has the best free porn around. It's true! Is that a bad thing to say? If I'm tired of porn and I want to shop for a new lamp, (also not the actual site) is good."

I've blogged about how pervasive pornography is. I've spoken at several Hearts at Home conferences about how moms need to help their sons choose purity instead of pornography. I'm working on a book on the topic.

With all the research I've done, I shouldn't be surprised anymore.

But I am.

And I imagine I will be again.

I'm hear to remind you--and to remind myself--to stop being surprised by pornography. Stop thinking your son--or daughter--won't be affected by porn. Realize that's it's not a matter of if your son will be tempted by porn--it's a matter of when and how.

You don't get to decide how old your son is when he's first exposed to porn.

And if he gets hold of a supposedly innocent magazine that has a dangerous quote like this in--it may be sooner than you realize.


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