The times, they are a-changin' when it comes to vaccinating your tot. Following recent news that an overwhelming majority of parents are not comfortable with the vaccinations their children receive, a new study finds that more moms and dads are using alternative vaccine schedules for their kids than ever before. According to the latest issue of Pediatrics, 13 percent of families are not following the calendar created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, choosing to use alternative schedules that delay or skip various vaccines. Among the most missed vaccines are those for the flu and chicken pox, while the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) is the most frequently delayed, despite findings denying the link between the vaccine and autism.
Not some tawdry tabloid story about rampant polygamy, the recent New York Times story, "One Sperm Donor, 150 Offspring" tells the story of 20-year-old Ryan — born using donor sperm — and his 150 biological half-siblings. It's no secret that donating sperm is — ahem — less complicated than harvesting a woman's egg, and with no definitive regulations in place to limit the number of offspring produced from one donor, the number of children conceived with sperm from one donor is essentially limitless.
Groups like the Donor Sibling Registry are exposing the truth about this traditionally secretive industry, and it's pretty scary. Fertility is clearly big business these days, but critics have raised concerns that if left unchecked . . . the record numbers of half siblings could potentially result in an increase of — yikes! — accidental incest.
If you used donor sperm, how much would you want to know — or share with your child — about his conception and biological siblings?
When I hear the word hypnosis, a man swinging a pendulum in front of a person squawking like a chicken is what comes to mind. Stage hypnosis, performed by entertainers, is vastly different than therapeutic hypnosis, which is used to improve a person's well-being. Over the last 10 years hypnosis has gained more recognition because more and more research shows hypnotherapy can effectively treat medical conditions. A number of studies have discovered that this type of treatment can help alleviate chronic pain, reduce stress and anxiety before surgery, and also lower health care costs since patients using hypnosis have shorter hospital stays.
The hypnotic state has been likened to meditation or daydreaming; when hypnotized, one has a heightened sense of inner focus and concentration. When under hypnosis, people tend to feel calm and relaxed and be capable of paying attention to one specific thought, memory, emotion, or sensation while blocking out any other distractions, making them extremely open to the power of suggestion, although they remain completely aware and in control of their actions. This is why hypnosis is used for weight loss, smoking cessation, pain control, childbirth, dental procedures, anxiety, and gastrointestinal problems such as IBS. It should be noted that one session won't instantly "cure" your ails, so don't expect to instantly despise cigarettes after your first appointment.
If your busy schedule doesn't allow for the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise, a large study from Taiwan should make you feel better. The 13-year study tracked 416,000 participants and found that just 15 minutes of moderate exercise increased their life expectancy by three years, compared to those who didn't exercise. Daily workouts lower the incidence of cancer, and therefore lower the risk of cancer-related deaths.
Now who wouldn't dedicate 15 minutes a day if they could live longer? If you need some ideas for 15-minute mini workouts, check out the list below:
- Walk your dog briskly around the neighborhood.
- Head to the track and walk a mile, going around four times at a pace of four miles per hour (15 minutes per mile).
- Run one and a half miles at a pace of 10 minutes per mile.
- Do a mini interval workout on the elliptical or treadmill. Start off walking for two minutes, jog for two minutes, sprint for one minute, jog two, sprint one, jog two, sprint one, jog two, and end with two minutes of walking.
Keep reading for more 15-minute workout ideas.
The recession may be taking a toll on the nation's birthrate, though one of today's most popular financial experts says it shouldn't be. A new BabyCenter.com study recently found that 2 out of 5 moms waited to start or expand their family until they felt financially stable, but the Today Show's Jean Chatzky says baby-dreaming couples don't need to wait until they think they can afford a baby to have one. By setting up the right savings accounts as soon as a couple learns they are pregnant, choosing proper investment vehicles, and keeping an eye on their retirement plans, couples can feel more comfortable their — and their families' — futures. We spoke with Jean Chatzky about where families' should prioritize and if there is an opportune time to expand their families. See what she had to say!
Maybe Jamie Oliver needs to invade our homes, not our schools. Between shuttling tots between activities, managing our careers, and running our households, moms are busier than ever before and it's showing in how we feed our kids.
A new study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association finds that more kids are eating foods prepared outside the home than ever before and this may be tied to the rise in tots' daily caloric intake. According to researchers, since 1994 parents have been feeding lil ones more store-prepared and fast foods than ever before, and they're not eating them in their own homes. In 1977, kids ate 23.4 percent of their calories outside their home, while in 2006 that number was closer to 34 percent.
Busy times call for meals that can be grabbed and consumed on the go. Tell the truth, how often does your family really eat a home-cooked meal at home?
If you live in Toms's canvas kicks all Summer long, there might be hope for you in the Winter. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen just debuted their collection for Toms shoes made out of cashmere and Italian wool — come on, you knew they were going to add a cool twist somewhere in the design process. "The giving is so immediate and transparent," said Mary-Kate Olsen. "Having the opportunity to be a part of something so meaningful has made the collaboration with Toms so special to everyone at The Row."
The Row for Toms shoes collection features three styles in heather gray, a dark-plaid print, and black. Prices are steeper than the usual pair of Toms, ranging from $140 to $150, because of the fancier fabrics, but you can feel good knowing every shoe purchased will be matched with a pair donated to a child in need.
Did your tot cram for her first exam? You might hope so! Immediately after birth most babies undergo the Apgar test with doctors and nurses observing the lil one's appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration. They're graded on a one-to-10 scale with babies landing in the eight and above range deemed healthy tots. But what happens to those tots that score below the healthy range?
While monitoring and light therapy may be used on infants in the hospital, a new study finds that the lower scores stick with kids later in life. According to a new Swedish study, kids who had Apgar scores of seven or below "had roughly double the odds of attending a special school because of cognitive deficits or other difficulties" later in life. The scientists behind the study think that the reasons for the low score could impact future brain activity. Do you put any weight behind the study?
A sure sign that Summer's in full swing is the smell of sunscreen in the air. Drop the tots off at camp and mama's likely to be bombarded with the wafts of the lotion carefully lathered on by mom. But if mama's in Maryland and her tot still comes home with a sunburn, don't be surprised! In what's being called the nation's strictest rules on the matter, the state is now regulating who may reapply sunscreen to campers throughout the day, and it's not who you think.
Starting this Summer, parents must sign a form granting their child permission to wear the skin-saving lotions and sprays. They must also indicate whether or not their tot can have assistance from camp counselors. And if a friend wants to help your lil one put on the lotion, think again. Campers are not allowed to aid each other in the process — ever. The state has issued the regulation in an attempt to prevent inappropriate touching at camp (and this current version is more lenient than the first one, which outlawed counselors from applying suncreen at all), but have they gone too far?