Thursday, July 24, 2014

Doctor who helped US Congresswoman through high risk pregnancy honored

A doctor who helped a Congresswoman go through a high risk pregnancy was honored yesterday on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dr. Jessica Bienstock, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies at Johns Hopkins University, helped representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, congresswoman's baby, Abigail Rose, now 1-year old, survive a rare condition in the womb. Abigail had Potter syndrome and didn't have kidneys.

The disease causes the babies to have under-developed lungs and nearly always they newborns cquickly suffocate. Dr. Bienstock  injected saline in the Congresswoman's uterus and the baby improved substantially.

"If she's a happy, healthy miracle, Dr. Bienstock is the miracle worker who helped give the gift of help and life to this family," Speaker of the House John Boehner said when he introduced Bienstock on the House floor.

Abigail was born two months premature without kidneys and spent her first five months in intensive care. She is on dialysis and will need a transplant.

It was a touching moment and the Speaker even got teary eyed a bit thanking Bienstock and all doctors and those in the medical fields who help deliver miracle babies each year. Check out the video:

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Mom's Guide to Health Reform and Maternity Coverage

This week, two different U.S. Court of Appeals issued conflicting rulings about how the federal government can subsidize those residents who have signed up for healthcare.

A DC Circuit Court said the federal government went too far offering subsidies and a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals hours in a similar case upheld the subsidies in their entirety.

It all reminded me to share this guide that will help your realize how your old policy may have changed whether it is new, newly covered or discontinued.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Confirmed: Zoe Saldana is three months pregnant

It is confirmed! After early speculation a few weeks ago, a publicist for Avatar actress Zoe Saldana confirmed the star is three months pregnant.

This will be the first child for the Guardians of the Galaxy actress and her new hubby of about a year  Marco Perego.

And how cool he shared the same name as a popular baby manufacturer who was listed in our 2013 Bellyitch 100! Peg Perego! ha!


photo: Starcast
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Moms: Try these 3 workout moves from Fitness Pro Tracey Mallet

Tracey Mallett Maker, creator of the BootyBarre was used to being super fit. The fitness professional has filmed over 25 fitness DVDs but when she got pregnant with her first child, she fell into the trap of believing that old "eating for two" adage and  gained 55 pounds. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended pregnancy weight gain of no more than 25–35 pounds if you start out at a normal body weight.

Mallet wised up and for her second pregnancy, channeled her new found determination to not gain too much weight the next round by penning a book, Super Fit Mama, targeting both pregnant and post-pregnant women alike. In addition to recipes, nutrition tips, and easy exercises for every trimester during pregnancy, all a mom-to-be need to complete many of the exercises are 2 sets of dumbbells (3,5 or 7lbs), a mat and supportive sneakers. 

No doubt, light to moderate exercise is an important part of feeling your best during pregnancy and bouncing back into shape afterward. Working out gives you energy and, according to the ACOG, may provide some relief from pregnancy symptoms such as backaches, constipation, and bloating and swelling as well as reduce your risk of gestational diabetes and help you sleep better.

Here are three moves from her Fit Pregnancy DVD to help you stay in shape before, during and after pregnancy:

1. Squat with Dumbbell Fly’s

The Move: hold on to the chair, bend at your knees, then open and close one arm, keeping your shoulder blade down and away from your ear. Pull abs in to protect lower back.

What It Does: Working mid-upper back, and posterior shoulders. 

2. Wag the Tail

The Move: Take your bottom, tilt the pelvis, and rotate or move your hips. Move from side, bend, tilt, other side, bend, tilt – creating a circular motion with your hips. You are circling your pelvis, and pushing it away from the floor.

What It Does: Works your pelvic muscles and abdominals.

3. Clams

The Move: Knees bent, hand on hip, and fan leg up and away from other leg, keeping one leg secured to ground, and then back down.

What It Does: Works deep into your core and glutes, making the pelvis more stable.

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Celebrity Bump Watch Roundup: Scarlet, Vanessa and Kate

Here is what's going on lately in Celebrity pregnancy news:

Scarlett Johansson continues to not confirm being pregnant OK! spotted her recently with a pretty sizeable baby bump. (OK)

Vanessa Lachey picked up a comfy outfit to complement her new pregnant body and she shared her first bump pic. (Instagram)

With Prince George's first birthday fast approaching, betters have been speculating on when Kate Middleton will announce her second pregnancy. However, some bookies are suspending bets because they feel there is so many people betting they think someone knows something. (People)


10 bad eating habits parents teach their kids

Kids most often learn by example and I think we as parents tend to forget that fact as they get older. Once our kids are a little more self-reliant we usually go back to our habits as they were pre-children. As life picks up, moms go back to work when the kids start school, and everything gets busier, and it gets harder and harder to set a good example for our kids. Do you do any of the following bad habits in front of your kids?
  1. Salting your food before you taste it: This used to be a secret test that interviewers would use to size up a candidate for a job. Their reasoning? Salting your food before you taste it at a restaurant means that you have preconceived notions about how it will taste and this could trend over into other aspects of your personality. With children, using too much salt is a bad habit to get into because it’s not good for blood pressure and it makes your body retain water. Instead, try to use other spices to season your food, adding flavor without unnecessary sodium.
  2. Eating really fast: In our frenetic lives of running our children from activity to activity we often don’t have time to sit down as a family and enjoy our food. Eating too fast can lead to over eating because your body doesn’t realize that it’s full until after you’re done eating, and this can lead to weight gain. This is especially bad for our children because we are not teaching them to enjoy their food and listen to their body’s hunger cues. When they feel full they should stop eating.
  3. Skipping breakfast: We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why do so many adults still skip it? Scientific studies have shown that people who eat breakfast weigh less than those that skip breakfast so why do so many women still skip breakfast to save calories? Kids especially need breakfast to fuel their bodies and brains for a long day at school. Unlike adults, they can’t – and shouldn’t – get up and go to the vending machine when they are hungry.
  4. Midnight snacking: This late night habit of grabbing a snack is terrible for your system. Odds are that you are going to go to bed very soon after eating and those calories are not going to get burned off, which will also lead to weight gain. Kids who are active burn up calories a lot faster than adults and might need a healthy snack before they go to bed, but it should be at least a half an hour before bedtime and definitely not at midnight.
  5. Eating while driving: Again, in our hectic lives we’re constantly running from one activity to another, whether with the same child or a different child or our own personal activities. We grab a bite through the drive-thru and inhale it while going down the road, and we are inadvertently teaching our kids the same as they eat their nuggets and watch us in the back seat. What we should be showing them is to drive undistracted and that it’s important to focus on our food and enjoy what we are eating. Mindless eating is what also another cause of people being overweight.
  6. Skipping vegetables: We always think of children as not liking vegetables, but there are plenty of adults who don’t like vegetables either and it’s very hard to get your kids to eat vegetables if you don’t. Kids learn by example, and when you skip veggies they will skip them too.
  7. Eating out a lot: See a reoccurring theme here? When we are busy there’s no time for preparing a home cooked meal. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that restaurant food has a lot more sodium and calories than a home cooked meal. Look into other options, such as making meals ahead of time on the weekends so you can just take them from the freezer and heat them up, or get out your slow cooker and use it for hectic weeknights. What’s nice about a slow cooker is that if you take a few minutes in the morning to prepare it and turn it on you can forget it until you get home. Also, if you eat in shifts everyone can eat hot food when they are ready to eat.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rachel Bilson and Kelly Rowland shopped baby clothes this weekend

Moms-to-be actress Rachel Bilson and singer Kelly Rowland were both spotted, separately, shopping for their babies this weekend. 

Bilson was at the Bel Bambini store in West Hollywood, famous for being a celeb hotspot.  

Meanwhile, E!  reports that their spies spotted Rowland at the Juvenile Shop in Sherman Oaks, California over the weekend shopping from a registry full of things for a baby boy. —and we're told that her registry is entirely built for a baby boy!

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This mom's invention OmieBox takes on healthy lunch packing woes

They say necessity is the mother of inventions so are moms. 

One such mom, Nancy Yen, set out to find a solution for parents who make an average of  180 lunches per child per year and are always struggling to find wholesome solutions.  Most lunches are wasted and in fact, in most states food is the #1 source of school waste.

So with her design and engineer team of 2, Yen came up with OmieBox, an innovative bento box-like lunchbox:

It’s a lunchbox with a built-in vacuum insulated bowl, so parents can pack hot and cold food all in 1 box

It contains 3 leak-proof compartments that keep food separate and mess free

It includes special features that are so easy to use, kids never need to ask for help again

The OmieBox is also eco-friendly in that it is BPA-free and made of phthalate-free plastic. It is dishwasher safe, has an integrated utensil holder and comes in a variety of fun, eye-catching colors. 

She is doing pretty well with her Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to mass produce and sell the boxes. It has far exceeded its $42,000 goal and has raised over $72,000 in orders and sales and support. 

The campaign is still on and runs through August 20th. If you order a box through the campaign, you can get the box which retails for $49.50 for $10 off.  Get yours HERE!

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photos: OmieBox

Caught by Paparrazi: Bellyitch Alum Moms out and about

We usually don't share pics taken by paparazzi per a new policy. However, while going through the pics of our favorite Pheeder Sellebrity Rick, we couldn't help but to pick out a few of our Bellyitch Bumpwatch Babes looking fab while out and about, including Kim Kardashian back in May signing autographs after getting off a flight and landing at LAX, looking cute in all black.

And Hillary Duff looking tres buff after one of her intensive daily work outs.

And a surprised Nicole Richie shopping and still wearing her purple hair, we see.

And a rare shot of Jessica Alba emerging from a courthouse after someone got hitched!

And Saved by The Bell's Elizabeth Berkley giving her son comfort as he takes a pony ride.

And Rachel Zoe in June tending to her eldest son during an outing in an open air market.

And looking hawt is that Mrs Gwen Stefani baby wearing her son while shopping and stopping by for ice cream.

Lilit Avagyan, the new Mrs. Reggie Bush heading back to her car after a nail salon trip

And Hillary Duff again because she looks so svelte and saucy and is so cute! Love her!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: Sunne's Gift teaches all kids bullying & self-acceptance lessons

By the time I finally got around to read my friend  Huffington Post blogger and Securities attorney Ama Karikari Yawson's new book "Sunne's Gift: How Sunne Overcame Bullying to Reclaim God's Gift" to my 6-year old daughter, she had already read it several times with her big brother.

"It's a folk tale!"  she proudly told me. As we settled on the couch, she proceeded to give away most of the allegorical story which relays a message of self-love, empowerment, appreciation of all of our gifts; while also preaching against bullying. 


I was happy to contribute towards the Kickstarter campaign to bring the book to life in the first place. Yawson decided to pen it after she took her son to the barber shop for his first trim and was shocked to hear the barber tell her that her son's coarse African hair was not good and needed to be cut all the way down.
Author Ama Karikari Yawson

In Sunne's Gift, Yawson  introduces four characters Sunne,  Earthe, Watre and Windwe,  all with power to help a mythical world thrive and grow. Sunne needed sun-darkened bronze skin and spirally hair that grew towards the sun because Sunne was empowered to bring forth the sun.  

(Note: It's anthropologically accurate as scientists say Africans' skin and hair evolved that way so they could best survive in a hot climate with lots of sun)

The other elements had straight hair, but when one of them, Windwe, got jealous that Sunne's hair was different, Windwe opted to ridicule Sunne and got the others to join in. (Note: It is similar to how bullying happens in modern life among and adults.) 

The tormenting impacts Sunne so much that Sunne attempts to straighten the hair so it would be like the others. This part perhaps is a message about peer pressure and how media and society coaxes us all to alter our appearance to appear more uniform. 

Eventually, all of the pulling and prodding causes Sunne's hair to all fall out and, consequently without Sunne's hair there to summon the sun,  the planet goes black.

The world remained dark despite the elements efforts to fix it. That is until their female Mother Nature-like creator who gave each of them their gifts in the first place returns and restores order, after realizing the elements has learned their lesson. 

Another interesting note is that artwork by Rashad Malik Davis  is vibrant and expressive and matches well with the powerful story weaved within the 32-pages of this marvelous story book. The characters all have amorphous androgynous looks so they could be either female or male so any gender of child could relate to to any character.  Visually, they remind me of the characters from the movie Avatar a bit. 

After reading the book again with my daughter, we went through the reading comprehension questions that addressed the story, the science, art and spiritual and cultural studies within. 

It's a worthwhile book for any child of any race to teach them appreciation for differences and to show them how bullying can have negative affects on all involved -- not just the person being bullied.

Pick up a copy of this powerful modern day fable at

And here is the pledge that Yawson invites kids to take after reading the book:

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Cameron Diaz reacts to outcry over her 'Esquire' comments about choosing to be Child Free

Cameron Diaz has reacted to public outcry over her comments in the August issue of  Equire  magazine highlighting the fact she has no desire to become a mother. 

It isn't the first time Diaz has revealed this tidbit about her personal life. She told Parade magazine essentially the same thing in 2009.  But this recent revelation in Esquire is new for a lot of people

The Sex Tape star told the magazine: 
To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for — I didn’t take that on. A baby, that’s all day, every day for 18 years,’ Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn’t make it an easy decision. I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother.
Diaz was shocked by all the outcry over her comments. In response to the heated opposition and debate over her personal decision to be childfree,  Diaz told an Australian news site, "people like to project.” 

She added, “I think (the reaction) comes from people wanting to feel good about their own decisions. Just because I don’t have children now, they might look at their life and think, ‘Oh, you have a choice? I didn’t have to do this yet?’

The Charlies' Angels  actress continued“I don’t really feel the pressure of it. I have never declared anything about whether I will or won’t have a family. Or whether I will or won’t get married. I am a very present person. I am very happy where I am at."

Top: Oprah Winfrey, Kim Cattrall, Cameron Diaz, George Clooney, Chelsea Handler, Bottom: Jay Leno, Ellen Degeneres, Renee Zelwegger, Margaret Cho and Janean Garofolo have all openly said they do not desire to be parents.

If she could re-do her career all over again, Diaz said she would have been firm about not sharing her personal life with the public. 

“ I would have just said to people, ‘You know what, that’s a very personal question. It’s really none of your business’.”

Nonetheless, Diaz hasn't completely ruled out the possibility of children.

“I don’t know the future but I am very open to anything that might happen. If I decide I want to bring a child into my life, then when that day comes I will do it. But it’s not one of those things that I concern myself with at the moment.”

I did a post back in 2010 about the struggles between those that are purposefully child-free and the challenges they face in a world that favors parenting and presupposes most people of child bearing years want to eventually become parents.  

Check it out if you can HERE.
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Summer Vacation: What to wear to the Resort

I'm heading to a much needed vacation in a few weeks and seeing my childhood friend CaShawn's fab vacation pics of herself at the Casino in New Orleans reminded me I need to start packing; and picking outfits for different events.

Ciara in a shirt dress while pregnant - Instagram
Pulling off the casino outfit  is always a challenge because I'm never quite sure what to wear.  Do I wear a large muu-muu with big pockets to fit all my winnings, or nah?! Ha!

Really, the first time I traveled to one while on vacation in the Caribbean, I was amazed to see people dressed up. Who knew you were supposed to call ahead and get the dress code? Too funny.

My sister and her beau often take trips to our Maryland casino and before then to Delaware and from the pics she shares in social media, she sticks with the super casual look. 

Alas, I'm not that brave yet as I am like most who prefer just taking a bag of pennies to a real casino while on vacay so I know what's going out.  But admittedly, it's a guilty pleasure. ha!

Most casinos will say that they want their guests in the evening to wear smart casual clothing. When needing to put together a smart casual look for the casino, there are many options. For instance, dresses can even be part of a smart casual look.

For me, that means two things:  shirt dresses and wrap dresses!! I love a sheath dress and the wrap dress at least gives you shape and form.

When choosing a wrap dress, solid color are best that you can pair with ballet flats or sandals for a great look to wear to the casino.

You may wish to accessorize with a necklace or perhaps a colorful scarf. Wedge shoes also look great with shirt dresses.

Another easy way to put together an outfit is to take an outfit you regularly wear to the office and modify one garment. This garment should be replaced with a casual piece. It might be wearing the top part of a suit and adding jeans or chinos to it. It could be removing the jacket and adding a pretty cashmere cardigan.

The options for what to wear are pretty limitless.

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