Wednesday, July 30, 2014

S. African province forcibly sterilized female government scholarship winners

An African province temporarily sterilized twelve pharmaceutical and ultrasonography scholarship students before they headed off to study in India.

KwaZulu-Natal, a province of South Africa, injected the female students with Implanon which prevents pregnancy for up to three years, according to the provinces Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

The students did not consent to it, but perhaps it was a condition on their acceptance of the government-funded scholarship.

The impetus for the controversial decision is that last year, two students who got national scholarships to study in Turkey returned after one got pregnant and another was involved in a drunken brawl, according to News24.  

It looks like the government which consists of mainly indigenous and rural traditionalist inhabitants want to ensure their investments are able to complete their studies without a pregnancy interrupting the progress.

Drastic! What do you think? Should the government have forced the girls to get temporarily sterilized as a condition of receiving the scholarship. 

photo: gfmr
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jaime King opens up about suffering w/infertility and mulitple miscarriages

Apparently, our Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum Hart of Dixie actress Jaime King recently opened up to her followers on Instagram sharing her journey to give birth to her first and only child,  son James,  last October with husband Kyle Newman.

In a post that was accidentally deleted, according to the former model, she opened up about having had:
8 yrs of pain & undiagnosed PSOC & Endometriosis, 5 miscarriages, 5 rounds of IVF, 26 IUIs, most with no outcome, 4-1/2 years of trying to conceive, 26 hours of brutal labor, early delivery b/c of sudden preeclampsia, tearing and tearing after the stitches were in once I was home.
In a followup post, King used the hashtags, #youarenotalone #ihavetobebravetosupportothers #realtalkthatterrifiesus, to cap off her solidarity and empowerment message to many other women out there who may have or are suffering with infertility problems.

We definitely appreciate seeing celebrities open up about struggles that many women face so they are not disillusioned and discouraged  by the glossy mags and celeb interviews that project a rosy and easy journey to baby. It's not the easy for many. 

Kudos Jaime!

h/t She Knows
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Back to School: 5 tips for helping kids struggling with homework

Though some progressive schools around the country have taken steps to eliminate homework, it still remains a fixture in the lives of most students. Homework can also be the source of much household suffering, either due to a refusal to complete assignments that ultimately affects academic performance or a difficulty completing the work. Before you throw in the towel altogether, give these five suggestions a try in order to get the students in your family back on track.

  1. Nip Excuses in the Bud – Kids will come up with remarkably creative excuses to get out of doing their homework, especially if they’re having trouble with the work or are eager to pursue activities that they enjoy. Refusing to accept excuses and establishing a routine of completing homework on a set schedule can make a noticeable difference in homework struggles that are built around kids’ efforts to evade homework. When your child knows that his efforts to avoid his homework will not be effective, he’s more likely to direct his energy elsewhere.
  2. Verify Kids’ Claims – Two of the most popular ways of getting out of homework is to claim that it was completed during free time or that there was none assigned. While actively showing distrust for your kids’ claims can be detrimental to their self-esteem, it’s still a good idea to make sure that you establish a system of verifying their claims in regard to homework. Making it routine to go over assignment planners or to check homework together can help you ascertain just how much homework your child has without actively accusing him of being dishonest.
  3. Work on an Incentive Plan – For many kids, homework just doesn’t seem to serve much of a point. There’s no tangible payoff for the time invested in filling out those worksheets or writing assigned papers, so it can understandably seem like a waste of time to them. There’s a fine line between creating an incentive plan and bribing your child to do the things he’s supposed to do, but it is possible. When your child is able to connect his hard work and all the effort he’s putting into his homework with actual, tangible results, he may change his tune. Making sure that your child understands how his grades are connected to the effort he puts in and that there are rewards for doing his very best in school is important.
  4. Establish a Line of Communication with Teachers – Whether you’re looking for verification of assignments or looking for the best way to help a child that’s having trouble with his schoolwork, it’s important to make sure that you’ve established and are actively maintaining an open line of communication with your child’s teacher. Kids that want to do their best in school, but find it difficult to grasp the work, can easily become frustrated and lose their interest in academia altogether. Working with his teacher to find the best way of helping him overcome his difficulties is essential, especially if your child’s frustration is reaching a level that’s difficult to manage.
  5. Get to the Root of the Problem – The most effective way of helping your child overcome a homework struggle is to find the root of the problem and address it directly. If he’s having trouble focusing or grasping the material and is avoiding it because he feels that it’s above his skill level, work with him until he’s feeling more confident. It’s also important to swallow your pride and ask for help yourself if you need to. Not only have teaching methods changed since your own school days, but skills that you haven’t used in decades can become rusty. When you’re able to work with your child one on one to determine his individual learning style and needs, you’ll be able to tailor your approach to homework help accordingly.

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10 ways to teach your kids how to swim

Passing on our hard-earned knowledge to our children is one of the greatest parts of being a parent or a caregiver. For many, teaching the skill of swimming is one of the most challenging and rewarding of those tasks. One of the best ways to prevent drowning is to simply ensure that children have basic swimming skills and knowledge, though it’s certainly not the only water safety measure required.

Here are ten things to keep in mind when you’re teaching children to swim:
  1. Be Patient – One of the best ways to ensure that a child has an aversion to the water and never wants to swim again is to become frustrated at them during the teaching process. Swimming should be fun and exciting, not stressful.
  2. Don’t Push Scared Kids – Some kids are more comfortable in the water than others; those that aren’t big fans may take longer to learn than their more enthusiastic counterparts. Don’t push nervous little ones to learn faster or punish them for showing signs of fear.
  3. One Thing at a Time – Whether kids are toddlers or school-aged, it’s best to focus on one task at a time. Blow bubbles until that skill is mastered, then move on to kicking while holding on to something stationary. When they have one step down, then – and only then – it is time to move on to the next.
  4. Keep Lessons Short – During a day at the pool, try to break lessons down into one or two half-hour increments, while the rest of the time is devoted to play. Throwing too much instructional information at them can be overwhelming, and they may not retain anything.
  5. Make Sure That Lessons Are Age-Appropriate – A two-year-old might have more trouble mastering the back-float than a first-grader, so try to keep your child’s age and physical development level in mind when you’re teaching.
  6. Avoid Unrealistic Expectations – It’s quite unlikely that your little one is going to emerge from their first lesson as an Olympic medalist, so keep your expectations at a realistic level. Some kids may pick up quickly and others may need more time; it’s important to avoid shaming comparisons.
  7. Tailor Your Approach to Your Child’s Individual Needs – A kid with no fear of the water and a strong sense of athleticism and independence will require a very different teaching method than her timid, less-developed sibling. Tailoring your methods to each of their individual needs will work best for everyone.
  8. Floaties or No Floaties? – Some parents believe that inflatable “floaties” will help their child to become acclimated to the water, while others believe that they create a false sense of security and prevent kids from learning proper form. When making your decision, it’s also important to remember that a child who is accustomed to floaties will have to be weaned from them, similar to training wheels on a bicycle. Kids who never use them won’t have that dependency to break.
  9. Remember That Putting Your Face in the Water is Scary – Especially for very young children, submerging completely, or even putting their face into the water, can be downright terrifying at first. This aversion is usually overcome in a relatively short amount of time, but being prepared for it can help to stave off parental frustration.
  10. Start Acclimating Early – Even if you’re only playing games and swaying in the water, an infant who is used to being exposed to the water is likely to transition into swimming lessons much more easily than kids with no prior experience.
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Get Kelly Rowland's Marilyn Tee look

I had to stop by Target on the way home from a pretty busy day to pick up some bread and milk, and look I spotted a grey screen print T-shirt with Marilyn Monroe's picture of it on sale for $12.99!

It reminded me of the Tee, mom-to-be Kelly Rowland was seen rocking while lunching with her husband this weekend.

I spotted a similar custom cutoff altered tee to the one Kelly had on going for $39.99 on eBay but it was sold! Probably to Kelly's stylist! ha!

So I guess this $12.99 version would have to do!

I got mine! 

You get get it online at Target!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

50 Foods every pregnant woman must eat

Carolyn Friedman has published the  50 Foods Every Pregnant Woman Should Eat

Here is a summary:

1. Iron Supplements According to the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, normal, healthy pregnancy diets do not usually supply enough iron for the blood of both fetus and mother. Mayo Clinic recommends 27 milligrams a day for pregnant women.

2. Kidney Beans Mayo Clinic states that 1 cup of boiled kidney beans a day provides pregnant women with 5.2 out of the suggested 27 milligrams of iron. Dry, as opposed to canned or fresh, legumes typically nurture more efficient absorption – a tip which comes straight from the National Medical Library at the National Institute of Health.

3. Beef Pregnant women should veer towards leaner cuts of beef, which provides valuable proteins and iron necessary for fetal development and healthy blood – among other benefits, of course. Mayo Clinic recommends 3 ounces of beef tenderloin (or equivalent a day, as it provides 3 milligrams of iron per serving.

4. Cereal Cereals, most especially those with added iron and calcium, provide pregnant women with a plethora of important nutrients. Based on statistics compiled by the USDA and expressed by the Mayo Clinic, ¾ of a cup of fortified cereal provides a whopping 18 milligrams of iron a day out of the recommended 27. One cup of cereal with extra calcium offers between 100 to 1,000 milligrams of the suggested 1,000 a day (1,300 for teenage pregnancies. In addition, ¾ of a cup also contains 400 micrograms of folic acid, and Mayo Clinic experts believe that 800 micrograms a day prior to conception, and 1,000 a day following it is the healthiest habit.

5. Dark Meat Turkey Consuming 3.5 ounces of dark meat turkey provides 2.3 out of the recommended 27 milligrams of iron a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is also an excellent source of protein as well.

Check out the rest of the list HERE!

Kelly Rowland rocks belly-revealing look while out and about

Mom-to-be Kelly Rowland was all smiles to photographers while heading into have lunch with her husband Tim Witherspoon at Cecconi's in Beverly Hills, California this weekend. 

Cute. The newlywed couple are expecting their first child this year. 

Do you like the look?

Photo: Getty 

'We should teach our kids to be weird'

My kids think I’m weird.
I talk in weird voices. I come up with weird games. I listen to Phish.
I like when they call me weird.
Weird is good, I tell them. Normal is blah.
You don’t want to be blah. Blah is boring. Boring people are forgettable.
I like weirdos.
They are interesting. They have crazy ideas. They have passion.
Weirdos separate from the pack. Weirdos change the world. Weirdos lead. Weirdos make us think.
When did weird become so weird? Why does the Merriam-Webster dictionary define the word so negatively? (“a person who is extraordinarily strange or eccentric.”)
We should teach our kids to be weird. Weird like Gary Vaynerchuk.
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

What Prince George Wore and Where to Get it

Imagine at a mere one-year old, you can be a fashion icon, but alas, that cutie pie George is indeed a trailblazer in kid's fashion, already. Like his chic and stylish mom, clothes that George is spotted in sell out in a matter of days and hours. Moms and dads worldwide clamor to outfit their little tikes in similar clothing as the Prince of Cambridge whose mom is Duchess Catherine (nee Kate Middleton) and Prince William

Here is a review of some of the cherubic fashion plates outfits and where you can pick up  the exact same designer and brand or a similar look from online retailers. 

As the family boarded a plane heading to Londong on April 25 heading to Sydney, Australia, George was outfited in a white Neck and Neck Polo Shirt and Red Stripe Dungarees both sold out. You can still pick up his  Navy Blue Leather Pre-walker Shoes by Early Days 

During the trip, the fam headed to the Taronga Zoo and dressed Georgie in a  Moss Stitch Cardigan and Navy Blue Shorts both from Rachel Riley's Spring 2014 collection.

During an April 20th trip to the zoo, George was uber cute in a Striped Polo Jersey and French Blue Pocket Shorts both SS14 by Rachel Riley.

But earlier, as the Royal Family departed from Wellington Military Base in New Zealand en route to Sydney, Australia on Wednesday, April 16th 2014, George topped his Milo Bodysuit by Chelsea Clothing Co (UK), worn over a collared shirt and kept warm with a  hand-made Cream Cardigan with Guardsman embroidery.

Tres posh!

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How to create a toxin free nursery

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Mothers and fathers take pride in bringing their little one home to a cozy, beautiful and safe nursery. The flurry around creating the perfect nursery can overwhelm everything else. Babies are quite delicate and super sensitive to their new surroundings, so we want to try our very best to take every precaution to protect our treasured little bundle from harmful agents.

Outside the protection of the home, there is not much you can control. You can’t control how the air smells, or the exhaust from car that drives down the road, or the particular person nearby who is sick. You make every attempt to keep your baby away from hazards, but you take a chance each time baby is outside. At home however you can keep your baby’s nursery safe, sanitary and totally free from dangerous toxins.

Keeping your nursery clean is essential to providing a safe environment for your baby. 
Make sure you regularly clean your carpets using a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. The filter will help eliminate the majority of harmful pathogens, allergies, dust particles, pet dander and more. 

According to a 2002 U.S. Geological Survey, 80% of cleaning products leave behind a residue that may include antibiotics, synthetic hormones, pesticides, etc. That is a poor exchange for germ-free surfaces! These chemical substances can be very harmful if ingested or inhaled and can affect the development of your baby’s immune system. 

Go to the store and find cleaning products that are 'non-toxic.' They are just as effective as their toxic counterparts and smell significantly better. You can also try home remedy cleaning solutions that are tremendously less costly and totally free of poisonous residue. 

Crib Bedding
Your crib bedding is the last thing your baby sees before bedtime and the first thing your newborn sees when he/she wakes up. Your newborn will spend about two-thirds of their day in the crib, so selecting safe baby crib sets and taking appropriate care of it should be one of your top priorities. 

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Scarlett Johansson's 'Lucy' beats 'Hercules' to Box Office #1

Girl Power!

First-time mom-to-be Scarlett Johansson came up on top this weekend when movies with strong female characters  leads had a big opening at theaters nationwide. 

Her SciFi movie, Lucyabout a courier who accidentally gets exposed to a serum that unlocks all the potential of the human brain came in #1 at the box office. 

It beat out Dwayne Johnson's, Hercules  and from Forbes:
This is a huge win for Scarlett Johansson. Coming off her Black Widow roles in the Marvel universe and her acclaimed art house triumph in Under the Skin, this should be her first $100m domestic hit outside of the Marvel universe while trouncing her biggest non-Marvel opening (He’s Just Not That Into You, an ensemble film, with a $27m debut and $93m final gross). In the still somewhat small category of female-centric action films, this debut falls behind the Hunger Games films, the $54m debut of Divergent, the $50m debuts of Wanted and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and the $47m debut of the first Tomb Raider film. It’s ahead of the $35m debut of Salt. As you can see, there is a lot of Angelina Jolie in that list, which means Johansson’s Lucy filled a very specific hole in the marketplace. 
The film’s marketing highlights a wholly different movie, selling a sci-fi heavy character drama about a young woman unwillingly given a drug that basically unlocks her brain and transforms her into a higher form of human as a “Watch Scarlett Johansson use super powers to kick righteous butt!” action picture.  What action the film contains is mostly revealed in the trailer, so the fact that the film received a C+ from Cinemascore is actually surprising to me. Considering how different the movie is from the marketing, I was half-expecting an F. Universal’s campaign for Lucy, full of lies as it may be, is an undisputed triumph.

Well there are a lot of lies in the movie like scientists have already disputed the fact that the human brain uses way more than 10% of its capacity. But what truth was omitted was the fact that the real "Lucy" - the first human, for which the movie is named, was found in Ethiopia in Africa, ironically by a man with a similar last name as Scarlett, Donald Johanson and his partner.

Oh well. Johansson and her fiance Romain Dauriac are expecting their first child together.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Photographer discovers Motherhood Moments captured 50 years ago (PHOTOS)

Ken Heyman
Beautiful is one word to describe the collection of photographs that veteran photographer Ken Heyman took of mothers and their children nearly 50 years -- although the 83-year old acclaimed photographer only just recently discovered them. 

The series was shot for a book, co-written with anthropologist Margaret Mead, called "Family" that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 

The photos show that motherhood has never really ever changed. Here are my faves:

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

See more at HuffPo

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