30 December 2009

Babies, breastfeeding and parenting gadgets

The recession getting you down? Well, we can all be thankful for one thing: economic hardship is a prime time for encouraging mothers to breastfeed. "You can save $1,000 to $3,000 a year just by breast-feeding," says Gina Cicatelli Ciagne, director of breast-feeding and consumer relations for Lansinoh, which sells breast-feeding accessories.

Speaking of breastfeeding, has anyone out there used one of those monitors that reminds you when you had your last feed? Well, I came across this new fangled device from Itzbeen called the 'Baby Care Timer' which is "a multi-purpose nursery tool that helps new parents remember the basic details of baby care. The ITZBEEN™ has four timers that count up with the touch of a button, and a host of other helpful features, all designed with the needs of a new parent in mind."

Sounds pretty impressive, eh?

But considering these hard economic times, is $24.95 money well spent on what appears to be a machine from the future?

Do you need all these bells and whistles and beeps to keep track of a baby? I mean it's a baby, not a bomb. The company claims it's made with the 'sleep-deprived' 'frazzled' parent in mind. Sure, it's rough to be awake for the first five years of your kid's life but again, parents get tired, because that's part of the deal. Besides, babies are pretty good at telling you what they need. Crying, after all, is one of the most strategic adaptive mechanisms that has told mothers and fathers since the beginning of time that a baby needs something.

What ever happened to good old fashioned parental instincts!?

24 December 2009

Hooray for homebirth

Well, hell has frozen over.

Just when I thought that the fight for homebirth in Victoria was stuck at the corner of 56th and Never Gonna Happen, Health Minister Daniel Andrews just announced that the State Government had allocated $400,000 for midwife-led home births through Casey Hospital in Berwick and Sunshine Hospital in Melbourne's west. A regional health service will also participate, but the Government has yet to decide which one.

For women who have relatively uncomplicated pregnancies, this is fantastic news and as long as the trial works over the next year, the project will be expanded throughout the public health system. While undeniably this is no good for women who may want to have a homebirth following previous caesareans (VBACs) or who are considered to be 'high risk' (e.g. obesity, 'older' mums), the fact that the State Government has actually listened to the enormous amount of feedback provided by homebirthing mums and midwives is astounding and shows real promise for a health system that can provide high quality care for women who don't want to birth in hospital.


23 December 2009

The charmed life isn't always so charmed

Lily Allen's angsty lyrics about heartbreak and deadbeat boyfriends may have made her an international success but in a candid interview, she talks for the first time about her widely publicised miscarriage:

"I couldn't even compute the emotions going through my head, but I was having to put out a press release about my miscarriage... I had this public sympathy for about five days and then everyone was on my case again and I didn't know what was happening to me… I just didn't deal with it at all. I didn't even start beginning to deal with it until the baby's due date. Then it just hit me like a house collapsing. I have therapy on and off but at that time it really helped me. Then I started to deal with it and move on. I still get sad. I still think. I don't mark (what would have been) my baby's birth but it's always there. […] I've had really bad, unbelievably awful times, but if I hadn't had them I wouldn't get the happiness I've got now. I'm very grateful because I could have turned down a very different path. It could have been awful. It really could."

Although I said in an earlier post that miscarriage isn't a news item (and it isn't), I think it's a great step forward for famous women to acknowledge that the a celebrity life is not always happy or easy or glamorous. On the same note, Sarah Jessica Parker spoke to Parade magazine and acknowledged that post-baby weight loss is very hard for 'real' women. "I hear a lot of actresses pretend they don't have help, and that can't be true," she says." It's really unfair to working women in America who read celebrity news and think, 'Why can't I lose weight when I've had a baby?' Well, everyone you're reading about has money for a trainer and a chef. That doesn't make it realistic. They don’t have the kind of help that I have if I need it," Parker tells PARADE. "I’m allowed to be a working mother because frankly, I can leave my child with someone I trust and love and a lot of mothers can’t do that."

21 December 2009

Wrapping up the post-baby bloat

Christmas may have come early for this (former) Girl Next Door but Kendra Wilkinson is dead set on dropping her baby weight in record time (surprise, surprise). In the latest edition of Ok!, she vows to lose the 55lbs she gained during her pregnancy. “I used to have some sexy abs, but I was like, ‘There they go,’ ” Kendra gushed to OK!.

Let's hope Kendra takes it easy. She had a caesar (again, surprise surprise) and we all know you need to wait about 6 weeks until getting back on the treadmill.

20 December 2009

Hi honey, I'm home.

Hello everyone! I bet you were wondering where in the blaze I've been. Well, after a long and crazy year of blogging, it came time for me to take a little break from the business for a while..

So I jetted off to South America to do some trekking in Patagonia for a few weeks, chilled out (literally) near some glaciers, hung out with penguins, and travelled to the southern most city in the world. Hopefully, I haven't lost too many of you in my absence but I'm revitalised and ready for another holiday season of blogging from the frontlines in Chicago for the next month.

So to kick off my first blog post back from holidays, I was surprised to read The Army general of U.S. forces in Northern Iraq has banned pregnancy among military personnel in his command, even among married couples. Basically, if you get knocked up on deployment you will be court martialied. Ouch.

In other news, Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen have named their new baby Benjamin.

Not to mention talk of placenta smoothies and placenta holiday revenge...

But if you are really stumped on what to get your childless friend for Chrissie this year, how about Yotaro, a Japanese baby simulator?

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a stuffed animal bear with a 'baby' face projected on it
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The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.