Thursday, December 18, 2014

FDA cracks down on ultrasound parties, commercial 3D imaging centers & in-home dopplers


The US Federal Drug Administration released a new update to its policies warning against the purchase of over-the-counter sale fetal heartbeat monitors which rely on Doppler ultrasound technology to listen to a baby's heart.

Apparently, it has become trendy for parents-to-be to pay commercial companies to conduct 4D and 3D ultrasounds in their home at gender-reveal parties and to charge for the 3D images, but the FDA says these outfits are exploitative and ultrasounds should only be used by trained medical staff. 

The oversight agency also warns the excessive and repeated ultrasound imagery for non-medical reasons can be dangerous to the growing fetus and mom. 

This is interesting because while the trend perhaps is to get a better visualization of what the baby to look like, many women who purchased portable dopplers may like having the comfort of being able to monitor their baby's heartbeat anytime. We imagine women who have had repeated miscarriages and fetus loss too may use the in-home devices so if there is a drop in heart rate, they could act. Granted, all of this probably contribute to increased false positive anxious calls from moms. 

What are your thoughts?

Read more about the new policy in the Huffington Post. 
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Carrie Underwood wows at the American Country Countdown Awards

Carrie Underwood wowed us twice this Monday, December 14 at the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Love the cobalt blue Leanne Marshall silk-organza gown with undulating layers and black belt she wore while performing and the saucy one- sleeve gold eembellishedfigure-hugging white Xtreme dress she worked the red carpet in. That latter look was offset with a gold with black accented  Emm Kuo clutch and jewelry by  L’Dezen .

Underwood and her husband are Mike Fisher are expecting their first child. They announced the news this past September in the cutest way on Instagram by outfitting their two dogs in shirts declaring they will be a big sister and brother. 

photo: Getty

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Bellyitch/Beyond Baby Mama $1,000 Prize Pack Holiday Giveaway



Each year, Bellyitch has a holiday giveaway targeting its national audience. 

In 2013, and before that in 2010, it was Bellytich's Favorite Things and in 2012, we gave away 25 gifts for 25 days in December in the 25 Days of Christmas Giveaway. In 2011, we gave away $500 worth of goodies from our entire swag closet in a funny baby name competition. We've raffled off diamond push gifts and elegant celeb-fave designer maternity wardrobes and loads of other items generously donated and offered by sponsors.

This year, we wanted to do something a little different and focus on giving back to young moms close to our blog’s headquarters near Washington, DC. Many new moms starting out without an active partner in their parenthood journey struggle and don't have all they need. Some resort to using used items that may be outdated and unsafe.

That’s why Bellyitch has partnered up with writer, professor Stacia L. Brown, founder of the Washington-DC area-based blog dedicated to the support and upliftment of single mothers of color, Beyond Baby Mamas

The Grand prize this year, the Graco Modes Click 3 in 1 stroller travel system system we reviewed earlier today, valued at $500 (including delivery), is reserved exclusively for a deserving mom starting her family from the Beyond Baby Mamas outreach community. Others may benefit from other prizes as well. 

In addition to this awesome stroller, we are also offering up to anyone nationwide who wants to enter (not just DC area single moms) the following curated from previously featured brands and other items:
The value of all items up for grabs total $1,000, and we are still adding items up until the selection of the winners on Christmas day!

To enter, simply fill out the sweepstakes below. Enter for one prize or all.  However, if you want consideration for the stroller, you will have to (1)  live in the DC, Maryland, Virginia metropolitan area AND enter a comment stating who would use the stroller or who you will gift it to and why that person or family really need the stroller system.

The other prizes are available to anyone nationally!

The deadline is Sunday, December 21 at midnight. Beyond Baby Mama and Bellyitch will select three finalist and let readers vote for their fave finalist up until December 24 and select a winner on Christmas Day, December 25, 2014.  

We will accept entries for the other prizes, not the the top 3 until December 24.

The finalist getting the second highest votes will win the $100 Visa gift card and the third place winner will win the Diaper Bag.

Non top 3 finalists will also be entered to win the other prizes up for grabs on a raffle basis. The winner of those prizes will also be announced next Thursday!

You can enter daily!


Share the word! Thanks for entering! Happy Ho! Ho! Holidays, friends. 

GOOD LUCK!
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

GRACO Modes Stroller Travel System Review & GIVEAWAY)


Baby and children's product manufacturer Graco sent Bellyitch to review one of its newest stroller systems, the Modes Click Connect 3 in 1 Stroller Travel System  (valued $482) which can accommodate a newborn to a toddler. It's versatile, grows with baby and literally can be the only stroller you’d ever need.  

First off, we start off with a pretty good base product.  Over 12 years ago, I got my first Graco infant car seat and it was wonderfully constructed, safe and durable and lasted me through several years. It truly is the industry standard for those seats.  It appears Graco has improved upon older models and taken the best part of stroller systems to come up with this latest product. Here is my review:

·        It took me about 5 minutes to take out all the parts in the box the stroller shipped in and within 15 minutes I had assembled all the parts myself with no tools whatsoever.  It was super easy! Most of the parts snapped in easily and the instructions were quite intuitive.

·      From the hospital, a baby will spend most of its time inside the infant seat. No need to disturb baby when you are going from car to the mall. Simply snap the stroller into the buggy part of the stroller and go. If it will be used as a buggy for a brisk walk out in the neighborhood, simply lay baby inside the carriage part and you’re off. As baby grows out of the infant seat, the back part easily adjusts and can be used as a toddler and pre-schooler stroller. The back reclines for those moments when a small kid falls asleep. No more toppling over or neck strains as with traditional umbrella strollers.

·         The stroller easily collapsed with a pull of a lever in the back and quickly snaps into place with one hand. It can be removed and added into the trunk with one arm. This is important for when out alone with baby and not spare hands to help you out. The front wheels easily swivel for taking tight corners which is good for maneuvering around crowded and cramped areas.

·      The canopy was made of pretty durable material, not flimsy at all so it looks like it could withstand the test of time. I liked the fact that my sample was a dark navy because it made it unisex and can be used or gifted to a mom expecting a baby or either gender.   

·         The height is perfect for me who is just 5 foot 3 and my husband who is 6 foot 3 to push and not have his shins hit up on the base.

·         The boot is very spacious and ample. I was able to stuff into it an entire diaper bag, a spare blanket, a jacket and had room to spare.

·         The wheels were sufficient though they could’ve been a bit more rugged so to withstand the test of time or being pushed through dirt, gravel, sidewalks with cracks in them and other gritty terrain, occasionally.

It’s a perfect gift for a soon to be or brand new mom because it would be all they’d need for baby for a very long time.

And this year, we're giving away our review edition to a deserving mom-to-be or new mom.

Check the blog tomorrow morning for details on the giveaway!
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Attitude of The New Social Media Era of Expecting Moms (INFOGRAPHIC)




Believe it or not, December launched conception season! 

It's the time of year that most babies are conceived given that 10 of the most common birthdays are in the month of September. 

In particular, December 17th thru 31st  are  the most common conception date with being December 24 being the most common. 

And we are in the era of the social media pregnancy as a recent survey by Wakefield research for Natera, a leader in non-invasive genetic screening, found that 83% of the 500 expecting moms surveyed planned to share all their baby moments with friends online. 

About 47% of them plan to post updates 2-3 times a week to keep their Facebook friends up-to-date on their baby-baking journey.

The survey also found that 3/4ths or 79% of those surveyed will find out in advance their baby's gender. 

And for older moms like the 40 plus celebrities who gave birth after 40 (above), genetic testing is even more important given the increased risks for birth defects in their babies. Knowing as far in advance as possible can be essential 

Companies like the new Panorama™ NIPT, which sponsored the survey, have created genetic screenings that can test for abnormaliites as early as 9 weeks via a routing blood draw and without all the invasive screenings like with amniocentesis which carries a miscarriage risk. 

There is a bonus in that this new test can screen for gender at an accuracy rate of >99%! That is super early in the pregnancy! Amazing! Would you do use the screening? 

Learn more about the new new Panorama™ NIP from its Homepage: http://www.panoramatest.com; Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PanoramaPrenatalTest or follow on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PanoramaTest

And in the meantime, check out this great infographic:

*note: compensation was paid for sharing this post with you but my opinions on how awesome this option would be for new and expecting moms is the same.


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6 Fashion Blogger Must-Haves: My Blogger's Holiday Wish List (Pt2)



Here is part two to my Blogger's wishlist dedicated to the fashion blogger. 

Because Bellyitch is part celebrity, part fashion, part parenting blog, as the founder and editor-in-chief of this blog, I get to put on different hats on various posts.  

So from the perspectives of a fashion blogger, I know that it is hard for family and friends to figure out what I may like as they may be unsure of my taste and preference. For me and any other fashion blogger in your life, it's probably a good idea to go with accessories! 

Here are my top 6 suggestions of what would or could be on a fashion blogger's wish list or a good gift idea for them or any woman who enjoys visiting fashion blogs.

1. COSTUME JEWELRY



Personally, I enjoy wearing chunky bracelets, big bold statement necklaces and unique bright and eye-catching rings or mini-rings, and other eclectic pieces of jewelry. They are conversation items and can individualize any look. Having a gift of a new piece would be appreciated because additional pieces can be mixed and matched with jewelry already in the wardrobe. Also, costume jewelry is usually cheaper and also more likely to get lost, broken or dull quicker and thus need replacement more frequently than fine jewelry. This reason is also why it's always a welcome gift.


2. SCARVES
A girl can never have too many scarves! They come in all sorts of materials, patterns and styles and can accent any look. Worn like a pashmina, a scarf can dress up a casual dress. Wrapped around the neck in an infinity loop and it adds a splash of color to a mono-chromatic dress. Lighter-weight ones work in Spring and Summer and heavier ones can keep you warm in cooler weather or worn on the head or double as a blanket on an overnight flight. 



3. JOURNALS

I am a compulsive list-maker and have dozens of hard cover journals filled with notes, budget calculations, and lists. I don't throw mine away either as I love to be able to look back and see where I was before and what items I've been able to check off my lists. I love getting them with fun colors or sayings on the cover and in a portable size so I can carry them everywhere I go, refer to them when needed or use them to jot down ideas for blog posts while waiting for the kids to rehearse or while at the dentist waiting room, for example. I carry my journals everywhere with me! 


4. SCENTED CANDLES

I really enjoy fragrant aromas like eucalyptus, mint, lavender not just because they make your home, purse or body spell nice but because they have therapeutic effect as well. Depending on the scent, aromatherapy candles can lift the mood, energize or calm. I love burning scented candles burn during my blogging work day. 



5. SMART PHONE COVER
As a blogger, I am constantly with my smart phone in my hand, social media networking past posts, capturing images for future blog posts, sharing finds to my social media network, communicating with other writers or staff members and occasionally, fielding real telephone calls. It is an extension of me and therefore also a fashion accessory and conversation piece. Like this cassette tape iphone cover (above) always get people talking because many cannot remember the last time they saw a cassette tape and will ask me what I'm doing with one, not knowing it is just a cover. 



6. PERFUME
Like I said, aromas are my thing, and like journals, a girl can never have too many bottles of perfume either. When you find a scent that works and sticks, get it and use that as your staple, but I love to also mix it up. Jessica McClintock works very well with my body chemistry and I always get compliments on it when I wear it. People cannot help but stop and tell me how good I smell and ask about the scent. I prefer sweeter scents like Versace's Red Jeans and Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique are also part of my go-to scents. 

HAPPY SHOPPING!

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Bump Watch: Carrie Underwood dazzles the Grand Ole Opry stage


Carrie Underwood looked radiant right before taking the stage at the Grand Ole Opry Saturday, December 13, singing her hit song "Before He Cheats"  and her new single "Something in the Water."

The gorgeous mom-to-be who is expecting her first child with husband Mike Fisher captioned the above photo from the the event, "So much talent tonight at the @Opry," she tweeted. "The ladies were bringing it! @KaceyMusgraves @KreeHarrison @ClaraHenningse."

The multi-platinum-selling and award-winning looked fab in a long sleeve black mini dress, with smokey eyes and loose ringlets.

The Grand Ole Opry Twitter account shared this cool pic of the star performing.


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8 Holiday Moctkails for Moms-to-Be


Moms-to-be don't have to miss out on all the fun this holiday season! Enjoy these mocktail recipes!



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Kourtney Kardashian welcomes third child, a son


Congratulations to Kourtney Kardashian  and her boyfriends Scott Disick on the birth of their third child, a son, on Sunday, December 14, US Weekly reported.

Ironically, the newest arrival came on the same day as the couple's first born child, Mason Disick's, birthday. He just turned 5. Sweet!

The couple also have a 2-year old daughter, Penelope. The couple announced the third pregnancy on their hit E! network television show this summer. 

Congrats and Happy Belated Birthday, Mason!


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2 US Babies were born 10:11 on 12/13/14


Two American babies were born at just the right minute: 10:11 on 12/13/14.

Seven-pound, 14-ounce (3.53-kg) Hazel Grace was born on Saturday morning to Leisha Campbell and Shawn Zimmerman at Cleveland’s Fairview Hospital. Her family already knew she’d be born on Saturday’s special date. They didn’t know she’d get the minute right, too.

“Everyone is telling us we should play the lottery,” Campbell said. “We feel this is a lucky day and are excited to get family photos with Santa.”

Hazel was getting a visit from her three older sisters, Aubree, Adalynn and Josalyn, on Sunday. The family lives in Cleveland.

In Billings, Montana, the time and date aligned for a baby girl, and the infant’s weight came close to making the event even more unique.

Quincy Kessler was born at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings at 10:11 a.m. on 12/13/14.

Even more remarkable, her birth weight, at 7.84 pounds (3.56 kilograms), almost aligned with the other numbers. A fraction of an ounce more, and she would have weighed 7.89 pounds.

Continue reading: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/12/15/world/offbeat-world/two-u-s-babies-born-at-1011-on-121314 

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Funny: Celebrity Baby Look-Alikes

Bruno Mars' baby doppelganger 

There are several trending posts around the net featuring babies that resemble celebrities. I've seen them filter in and out of my various social media streams a bunch these past few months.

I've picked out my fave below, but you can check out more featured at Explosion.com, Amazing Shared, TODAY, and MommyShorts.com.

Bill Maher


Jay Z
 

John Legend
 

Mario Lopez
 

Mark Wahlberg
 

Renee Zellwelger
 

Tiger Woods
 

Usher


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10 Must-See Viral Father-Daughter Dance-Off videos


Here is some light-hearted fun for your Sunday evening.

Who doesn't love seeing choreographed routines but how about cute choreographed father-daughter routines...especially when they involve little girls and their dads?

We rounded up about 10 such videos after seeing a slight surge in them going viral lately.

First up is Kenny Link and his 7-year old dauhter Liliana who he spotted dancing "Dubstep" dance and when he asked her where she learned it, she said from "watching you". So  cute. They taped a video which went viral



Next, check out this video mom took of dad and his daughter having a battle in the middle of Saturday morning house cleanup.



Dad and 4-year old daughter dance to Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off"



Another recent viral video features single dad, rapper Bryan and his 7-year old daughter Kimani doing the  "Baby Bop Slide"



A bit old, but Comedian Mike Hanley and his daughter Jessica at her birthday party and how smart are they for disabling comments to shield from all the negatively that seems to flow in viral videos.



London Johnson dances to Ariana Grande's "Problem" using moves choreographed by his 8-year old daughter.



This one is shorter but still cute:



And now a way bit older, but still worth sharing is Singer Liane V and her dad who release a series of cute Vines/IG videos weekly:
A video posted by LianeV.com (@lovelianev) on

A video posted by @dnimnwoym on




A video posted by @dnimnwoym on


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