Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bump Watch: Alicia Keys at Rock the Bells in NYC

Alicia Keys did a cameo and rocked the mic this weekend at VH1s Rock the Bells concert/show in New York City. I am not a fan of this romper and pony tail combo...but that's just me... ha!

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14 Hours & counting left of Christian Siriano's Fierce Mama Maternity sale

Oops! I'm such a bad blogger! I  forgot to share with you that Fierce Mama, which is designed by Project Runway winner Christian Siriano, is in the 2nd day of a 48-hour sale at Ideeli.com. The sale ends in under 14 hours as of this posting around 12:50pm!!! EEEK!!

Fierce Mama dresses A-list celebrity moms-to-be that include Christina Applegate,Becki Newton, and Ali Larter.

There will be trendy tops starting at $12 to stylish dresses beginning at $30. Moms-to-be can splurge on their bump without the guilt, saving up to 60% off retail price.

For BELLYITCH readers
to take advantage of the discount Go to HERE AT iDEELI and enter code  moodymamas.

Have fun shopping and hurry! The best stuff is selling out fast!

Get FIERCE, Mamas!
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Monday, August 30, 2010

The Best Cure for Infant Eczema

Two of my children, unfortunately, have eczema and have had it since they were babies. A marked effect of this condition is scaly patches of skin, especially at areas of the body where there are creases and folds.  In fairer skin babies, the patches are red.  Like most children experiencing this genetic condition, mine get outbreaks in the fold of their arms, the backs of their necks and legs pretty badly.

To counter the itchiness that accompanies this condition and help soothe the urge to scratch, we slather on Eucerin's Aquaphor on them and it immediately stops the itching. It is a petroleum-mineral oil-lanolin alcohol-ceresin based ointment  that is also non-comedogenic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.

After using several samples of other over the counter remedies, we've had to settle on the fact that the slightly pricey Aquaphor is the best. It's not too greasy, but is thick enough to coat the area and subside the itch!

A 14 ounce jar runs about $17 at Walgreens and other stores sell it at a reasonably price.  A 1.7ounce for the purse/diaper bag runs about $6.00 on Drugstore.com and other retailers. Wholesale stores like Costco and BJs usually have the best price and for much less.

I highly recommend it and can honestly say it is the best.

Please note that I was not contacted by the makers of Aquaphor nor any related product, brand or PR company to make this post! Just wanted to share that tidbit for any other parent there who has a baby suffering from a similar condition.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Rags are Claiming Halle is Pregnant again

...so SandraRose.com is reporting this recent photo of Halle Berry reveals a bump. Well, having taken a recent photo of myself that revealed what looks like a sizeable bump, I won't believe it until further proof. I empathize Halle.  Sometimes photos just set you up, girl!
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Research Says Breastfeeding Reduces Diabetes Onset in Moms

Researchers led by Dr. Eleanor Bimla Schwarz at University of Pittsburgh found that women who breastfeed are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as women who do not.  An article in TIME pointed out:
Despite the growing body of research establishing the health benefits of breastfeeding, moms in the U.S. remain resistant.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that new mothers breastfeed their infants for at least six months, yet only 14% of women do. For the 86% who don't, Schwarz says lifestyle interventions such as exercise and changes in the diet can go a long way toward lowering their diabetes risk — even if it doesn't replace the health dividends the babies would be receiving if they were breastfed.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Mom uses Kangaroo Care to revive premie son 2 hours after he's pronounced dead

Isn't this a phenomenal story that supports Kangeroo Care or what?

Australian mum Kate Ogg is seen cradling her son Jamie
A woman who gave birth to twins was able to revive her twin son two hours after doctors tried unsuccessfully for 20 minutes to revive the baby boy. After the baby was pronounced dead, Kate Ogg, a mum in Australia, removed her hospital gown, wrapped her son in it and began talking to, stroking him and holding him to her skin for 2 hours until miraculously he started to show signs of life! 

At first, it was just a gasp for air that was dismissed by doctors as a reflex action. Then Kate fed him breast milk on her finger and he started breathing normally.

'I thought, "Oh my God, what's going on",' Kate told the UK Daily Mail "'A short time later he opened his eyes. It was a miracle. Then he held out his hand and grabbed my finger. He opened his eyes and moved his head from side to side. The doctor kept shaking his head saying, "I don't believe it, I don't believe it".'

The mom spoke about the miracle and the importance of skin-to-skin care for sick babies for the first time yesterday.  In the US,  what Kate did to revive her baby is called  Kangaroo Care, named for the way Kangaroos carry their newborns. It is a method of caring for a baby that involves skin to skin care that is often used to promote the health and  development of premature and sick newborns. Read More about this story out it HERE at UK's Daily Mail 

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Eco Friday: Recreating Your Parents' Photos

This is a little different take on Eco Friday. In the vein of recycling and renewing the old, check out this project by artist Ze Frank who is asking for people to recreate old photos from their youth. He will assemble them in a future book. It's a trending craze on an existing photography project. I borrowed the following photos on Ze Frank's  Like Mom, Like Dad blog to share. Visit Like Mom, Like Dad's blog which is collecting photos and has more images and a growing list and ADD YOURS!! Too fun!!

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Mariah Carey in A Pea in the Pod Maternity Wear

Well, lookey here:

Mariah’s dress is available at ApeaInThePod.com... and her husband Nick Cannon told People.com regarding the the rumors that Mimi is preggers :

That’s something you want to keep near and dear and as close to you as you possibly can, until you’re 100% sure, in any situation. There’s a certain time limit you’re supposed to wait before you can actually officially say that you are and all that stuff. You don’t want to mislead anybody.

Congrats to the expectant mom are in order it looks like, wouldn't you say? I think they suffered some traumatic losses in the past and will not come out until it is painfully obvious. JLo and Jennifer Hudson never announced their pregnancy at all and I think J.Lo's delay had to do with having suffered some losses too

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

10 Tips for Planning a Unique Baby Shower

This weekend, I have to attend two back to back baby showers. Friends have thrown me a total of six baby showers, I have hosted nearly a dozen myself and have attended close to 100 showers in my lifetime. I thought I’d answer the call and share with Bellyitch readers the 10 most unique ideas I have seen in all of those occasions:

1.     1. Perfectly Matched:  At one shower I attended, the mom-to-be dressed in her shower’s color scheme including a diaper tower centerpiece that the host had created. It created a quite cohesive look.

2.      2. Dolls on the line: To save money on shower decorations, have a friend who has gently worn girl or boy clothes string a clothing line across the room and hang them on the line. Pick clothes with the same monochromatic theme to create a classic look.

3.     3. Pennies from Heaven: For a shower game that will also raise money to go into the baby’s first piggy bank, hold a pool to determine the exact date, weight and/or height of the baby. Each entry cost $25 into a small piggy bank and the winner gets bragging rights.

4.     4. Ribbons in the Sky: Though it is a little more expensive, custom made ribbons with the date of the shower and name of the mom (and/or dad to be if it is a coed shower) would add a wonderful memorable and personalized touch. The guests get to keep the ribbon as a memento of the occasion. My best friend made cute personalized buttons for me during a shower she hosted for me in New York where most of my husband’s family lived. You can also make other parts of the shower personalized like the card in the image above from Tiny Prints, an online stationary company that offers customized items like shower invitations.

5.      5. Food for Thought: Color coordinated food/drinks. When I hosted my sister’s shower, the color theme was pink and green in honor of her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Incorporated. I offered pink cosmopolitans and green apple martinis. We had water flavored with green cucumber slices and pink salmon and green string bean salad to eat. It all stood out visually and was yummy, if I do say so myself.

6.      6. Tell me Something Good: games have gotten more creative over the years. My all time favorite and most unique I’ve seen was a game where each person wrote down advice to the new mom on slits of paper. Afterwards, the mom read each piece of advice and had to guess which one of her shower guests offered the advice. If she correctly picked that guest, s/he would be eliminated from the competition. The names of those she did not guess are put into a hat and a prize winner is drawn from that pool.

7.    7. Imagine what could be: A very unique invitation I’ve gotten was a photo of a 3-D ultrasound of the mom-to-be’s baby on the cover. It was a delightful thing to see and it really brought to life for me the miracle of birth and what was to come. I was even more excited to attend the shower so I could do the rude thing and rub that belly!

8.      8. Thankful graces: I saw at a friend’s house a small framed photo of the newborn baby inside a card which doubled as a shower thank you card and birth announcement. It was a great way of saving money on thank you cards and birth announcements because most likely some of the same people who attended the shower would be sent a birth announcement anyway. It also saves time and postage. Who has time to address two sets of envelopes when you have barely gotten any sleep staying up with your newborn?

9.      9. Themed shower:  Beyond brunches and backyard showers, I’ve co-hosted a shower that was also a pamper party. We hired a nail technician to give the guests pedicures. The co-hosts paid for the mom-to-be’s treatment. Another neat idea would be to have a massage therapist who could do back and shoulder massages or aesthetician to do in home facials. Even the guests appreciated attending this shower!

1   10. Guys and Dolls: Coed shower game – One of the most unique games I’ve seen at a coed shower was a diaper the baby contest where only the male guests could participate. The guys were split up into teams and they had a timed relay to remove one diaper off of a doll, wipe the baby’s bottom and replace it with a fresh diaper. To reduce waste, use cloth diapers that the parents-to-be can take home to use for their baby when s/he arrives or to cut up and re-use as a birth cloth. It’s a great way to get the guys involved during a coed shower.

Th  I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a Tiny Prints gift code worth $50, plus 25 FREE Tiny Prints greeting cards—a total gift value of $149.75! For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bellyitch Bump Day: The Beach Belly Bump

Source: Sara Heinrichs

 Since I am on vacation, I thought it would be great to dedicate today's Bump Day to a Beach belly. Check out photographer's Sara Heinrich's photoshoot with a friend, Rameka. Visit her stream and check out her other wonderful images by clicking her name above!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Speaking out on Out-of-Wedlock Births Among Black Women

Tomorrow at 11pm ET on my Blog Talk Radio show, Right of Black, my co-host and I will be chatting with author/blogger Christelyn Karazin of BeyondBlackWhite.com who has an initiative that counters the normalization of the "baby mama and daddyism" in the black community in America. 
Chrystelyn is launching a discussion this September 22 among a still growing list of over two dozen bloggers, writers, teachers, social workers, authors and celebrities.  They will use that date to initiate a collective online message communicating on a spectrum of ideas responding to what is now an epidemic. It is not a problem of just one segment of our population because it impacts the entire nation in one way or another.
From her page "NO WEDDING NO WOMB" Christelyn writes:

No Wedding No Womb is a declaration and acknowledgement that the out-of-wedlock situation in the black community has reached a critical mass. It is a call for both men and women to take into account the trauma that motherless or fatherless children experience when procreating is taken so cavalierly. The scars are long-term, and often for life.
The ideal for kids is to have a functional household where bothparents are committed to providing financial and emotional support to their kids.
But NWNW doesn’t NECESSARILY equate to marriage, per se, (but I’m not going to front, I believe that’s the ideal) but commitment–a lifelong partnership between mother and father. Both are “married” to the idea that a two parent household is better than a single, struggling one. Of course there are exceptions, but they do not make the rule.
No Wedding No Womb also fights against the normalization of baby momma and daddy-ism. Clearly as a whole, this mentality is NOT working for us as a community.
Listen in on Right of Black on Blog Talk Radio tomorrow at 11pm ET to participate in the chat or ask a question via chat or call in at 347-826-7128. You can also catch the replay after then if you can't stay up that late to listen in.
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$50 Hallmark Customized Baby Announcements Giveaway & 20% off code

Hallmark  just introduced a new option on its Hallmark.com website which  features quite professional and upscale designed personalized baby and birth announcement cards.  I perused the offerings on Hallmark.com/Baby  and found them all so classy and stylish.  They also offer shower invitations, plates and thank you cards that can be customized.  They start at $1.99 per card but get cheaper the more you order.

A few years back, when I was researching cards, I discovered to get the type of quality upscale looking and uniquely designed cards, you'd have to pay upwards to $250 or more. I didn't find the online versions that some other companies sold to have the same quality and some of them looked quite cheap actually. Believe me as I have seen more than my fair share and um, admittedly, have ordered a few myself.  Doh!

So, naturally, I had to take up the offer to try out the line using a $50 code and plan to use it to order Shower Invitation cards for my cousin who is expecting in January. The cards are photo ready. I looked through most and though some didn't fit my taste, so many others did. There is a very generous offering of many different designs and styles and all have a certain look and feel that you'd associate with professional quality prints and cards. You wouldn't think it was an online service at all! 

Hallmark.com makes it pretty easy to order too. Simply visit Hallmark.com/babypick your favorite design, and customize the announcement with the baby’s photo and her personal message. After ordering, you select the date for the announcement to be mailed to you and they are sent to your guests, add postage to each card without you having to go to the post office. Because you know after you have your baby, you may not be up to addressing all those cards yourself.

Check out the Hallmark.com/baby site and if you like what you see, Hallmark has been so generous to offer all Bellyitch readers 20% off any order from Hallmark.com's Personalized Baby Announcements Collection!! Woot!! Simply enter promo code BABY20 at check out and the discount will be applied! 

Even better news is that one Bellyitch Reader will receive a $50.00 code of his/her own to Hallmark.com for purchase of products in the Personalized Baby Announcements line!

Simply Fill in the order below. Enter as many time as you like. Get an extra entry for tweeting the contest and an extra 3 entries for doing a blog post about the contest!

Also, as a heads up, Hallmark has partnered with WhattoExpect.com for a Baby Bump Photo contest  in which expecting moms can submit a favorite photo of their baby bump to WhattoExpect.com for a chance to win some awesome prizes. This contest is a fun way for proud moms-to-be to share their joy with the world and view other bumps, so please check it out, vote and share, if you'd like at http://www.whattoexpect.com/hallmark.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

What Do We think About Pregnancy Kits in Vending machines?

The company that makes pregnancy kits Maybe Baby is selling pregnancy kits at some railway stations in Switzerland in vending machines. The kits are part of a month long trial, reports the Austrian Times. The company who is supplying the kits said they are to accommodate for those who are embarrassed to buy a test kit from the pharmacist.  
Um, that spells to me TEENS!! whoa!!
"We've had a few demands for refunds where people thought they were getting chocolate but they seem to be very popular," a rail worker told the Austrian Times.
The Daily Mail reported back in 2007 that a sex clinic in London offered pregnancy tests and infection tests in a vending machine to accommodate those who may be embarrassed to purchase them from a store and/or go to a doctor. 
The newspaper said that the clinic is the first one to install computers and let children access sex tests and advice without speaking to an adult.
Wow. Am I the only one who see all sorts of wrong with some of this?

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Spa Kit Giveaway Winner Announced!

Congratulations to 

LaRonda Famodu

for winning the 

$50 Mom and Me Spa Kit 

from our friends at 

who gave us the following tips on babies dental health as part of an education initiative.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Healthy Eating Habits for your Baby

Since the moment your baby was born, you have been attentive to all of his health and nutrition needs.  Now that he is moving beyond breast milk and formula alone, it’s time for you to make important decisions about the types of food you want to introduce.  Start your baby off right for a lifetime of proper nutrition by incorporating these strategies into your family’s daily routines:

Talk, Sing, Make Faces—Make Mealtimes Fun!
Talk to your baby about the foods on his plate.  Name each one as you cut, mash, and serve it up on a spoon.   This helps keeps your baby interested in meals and builds his vocabulary at the same time.  Make happy noises to show your child that healthy foods are part of a good life. 

Let Your Baby Make a Mess
That’s what baby bibs are for!  Have lots of fun ones on hand.  Mealtimes are synonymous with mess times for most babies, but touching, scattering, swirling and playing with food is all part of healthy learning, so let him go for it!

Involve Older Children in Selecting Healthy Foods
When your baby gets a little older, allow him to help you pick out colorful fruits and vegetables in the produce aisles.  Kids love making “grown-up” decisions and being involved in selecting healthy foods can spark interest in good nutrition.

Eat Together Whenever Possible
Studies show that children who regularly enjoy family mealtimes not only consume more healthy foods, but also do better academically and are less likely to engage in self-destructive behavior later in life.  Talk about an ounce of prevention!  Prioritizing family meal times is one of the most important things you can do for your baby’s overall physical and emotional health.

As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.”  Teaching your baby about proper nutrition and instilling healthy eating habits from an early age are some of the most important steps you can take to start your baby on a lifelong path of good health.

Signe Whitson is a Licensed Social Worker and has worked with children for 10+ years.  She provides her expertise to a baby clothes boutique to share with the parenting community.  She also has a blog about passive aggressive behavior in children and families. 

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Bump Watch Photos of Alicia, Kelly, Christina, Ali, Alanis, Samantha, Courtney

Mario Lopez's Girlfriend Courtney Laine Mazza after dinner in Beverly Hills this week. 

Everyone's abuzz about how Christina Applegate's bump has blososmed in a few weeks

Alicia Silverstone on the Set of Vamps 2

Alanis Morissete takes a walk with the doggies

Ali Larter out and about in a uber tight number showing off booty and a bump! Love it!

Kelly Preston, John Travolta and other guests at a Scientology gala last week

Samantha Cameron, wife of British prime minister David Cameron, is expecting a baby next month. The Huffington Post has a slideshow of her maternity looks. 
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