Thursday, July 31, 2014

STUDY: Pregnant Smoking Alters Baby's genes

A new study concludes that smoking while pregnant actually alters the genes of the baby. The wrote:

Smoking during pregnancy could cause epigenetic changes in the fetus, causing birth defects and health problems later in life, a new study has found.

According to the study, newborn children of mothers who smoked while pregnant are more likely to have experienced certain changes to their DNA than newborn children of non-smokers.

Children exposed to tobacco smoke in utero have a higher risk of birth defects and are more likely to suffer from some medical problems than the children of women who did not smoke while pregnant, the press release further added.

The study also added that the difference between the children of smokers and the children of non-smokers continues into adulthood.
Researchers are yet to explain what causes these problems, but earlier studies have suggested that exposure to toxins in tobacco smoke could cause changes to the DNA of the developing fetus.

Researchers studied blood samples from 889 newborns of which 287 had mothers who reported smoking in the first trimester of pregnancy. The study found a link between maternal smoking and altered methylation in 110 gene regions.
The study has been published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

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Alicia Keys is pregnant with her 2nd child

Singer and Pop R&B superstar Alicia Keys announced her second pregnancy with husband rapper and producer Swizz Beatz to her followers on Instagram in the cutest way.

She captioned the above photo:

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life @therealswizzz !! And to make it even sweeter we've been blessed with another angel on the way!!  You make me happier than I have ever known! Here's to many many more years of the best parts of life! 
So sweet! Congratulations! 

The couple married in August 2010 before the arrival of their son, Egypt, 3, later that year in October.

Keys looks to be about 4 to 6 months pregnant, which means if she is that  far along, she did a great job concealing the secret in a world of bump watch and speculation when the media know about your next baby before you do even sometimes. 

Good job!

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Travelers Trend: Topless landmark back photography

Here is another interesting photo trend, this time for your travelers out there. 

A trio of women students who love to travel have are the founders of a Facebook page, "The Topless Tour", now a movement inspiring travelers to take off their tops at tourist spots around the world and post the photos online.

The women, Olivia Edginton, Lydia Buckler, and Ingvild Marstein Olsen, are students and roommates at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London. 

And it has taken off with more and more tourists taking them up on the challenge and doing their own topless photos and posting them on the group page and elsewhere.
The page has nearly 20,000 likes and counting. The purpose, per the ladies is to unite the "people across the globe to feel the freedom and share their beauty with the world"....I guess one bra-less woman at a time! ha! 
Granada, Spain

Calvi, France





Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Celeb Maternity Styling: How to wear stripes while pregnant

Pulling off stripes while pregnant is not easy to do. But many celebs we've featured in the past have done it and looked fashionable, such as currently pregnant Vanessa Lachey when she was expecting her first child.

To make it work, go with thinner stripes to take away from the widening illusion of wide stripes. Also, break up the lines with a belt tied above the belly and below the breastbone. 

Another trick to distract from the girth is to carry a handbag across the chest like a messenger bag.

Accent the look with neutral sandals, wedges, shades and jewelry accessories and you've got a trendy summer look that will turn heads!

Using a style sheet from Prep101, here are some additional styling suggestions and inspiration in moderate price points:

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Summer Baby Shower: Out-of-Box Custom Decorations and Mocktail Recipes

Big Dot of Happiness on Pinterest

Summer baby showers are the best and can be the most fun because you have the option of also going outdoors, to the backyard or at a picnic spot and enjoying the fresh air.

They aren't necessarily less stressful to plan, however.  The decorating part doesn't have to be too burdensome. More and more companies are making it easier for party organizers to decorate events by selling some "out-of-the-box" packages of decorations. 
Big Dot of Happiness on Pinterest

For example,  Big Dot of Happiness ( offers variety of high-quality unique and customizable party themes and makes it simple to throw a decked-out event that’s sure to impress. You can search for themes, for custom boy or girl parties or build one from scratch, including shower game novelties and other cute cut outs and ideas. 

Check them out its Pinterest board for more baby shower, birthday party and wedding shower ideas.

Big Dot of Happiness on Pinterest

And for a refreshing alternative to alcoholic cocktails, serving mocktails with custom names unique to the parents or impending arrival is also a hit trend.

The folks over at  Soda Stream wanted us to share with you these fun recipes to try for those with their soda stream machines and products. If you don't have them, feel free to substitute in club soda or a similar drink.

And congratulations to Bellyitch Bumpwatch  mom-to-be Scarlett Johnasson for becoming Soda Stream's first global ambassador. Good for her. 

Enjoy these recipes:

Pink Grapefruit Preggatini

SodaStream Diet Pink Grapefruit
Pomegranate Syrup or grenadine
Splash of lime

 The Storkie
SodaStream Cranberry Grape
Orange Juice
Splash of Lime


SodaStream Club Soda
Tangerine Juice
Splash of Lime

Cucumber "Mama" Mojito
SodaStream Mojito
1 cucumber, sliced

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Alyssa Milano to cover Fit Pregnancy (VIDEO)

Look for Mistresses star Alyssa Milano to cover the August/September issue of Fit Pregnancy

Inside the upcoming issue, the former child star (Who's the Boss) reveals that she had a bit of morning sickness for the first three months of her pregnancy this round but not with her son, Milo.

That's how she knew " it was going to be a girl," Milano shared.with the mag.

The mom-to-be is pretty busy juggling life with a hit show, while also co-hosting Project Runway All Stars and being a mom to a toddler while being a wife to Hollywood agent David Bugliari.

“I’m mentally preparing to be working pretty much until the end of this pregnancy,” she said, while also revealing that she is also managing a renovation on the family home outside Los Angeles. Wow!

 "I  feel good, but I’m tired, and I don’t know if that’s the pregnancy or because I’ve been working so much."

As to whether she is one of those moms who love pregnancy or hates it, Milano revealed that she loves it.

"I don’t think it’s as romantic as we project it to be through the media, but I think what the body goes through is miraculous," she added. "It’s such a cool thing to experience. I feel blessed that I’m getting another chance to do it, especially at 41."

Check out a behind the scenes of the cover shoot

Alyssa Milano Interview on Pregnancy and Motherhood

photo: courtesy Fit Pregnancy
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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!
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