Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bellyitch Best of 2011: The Most Generous Pregnant Celebrities


Certainly, many celebrities, including pregnant ones, donated money to charity and volunteered to various good causes all year but as far as we know, only Sarah Drew and Rachel Zoe donated some or most of their baby shower gifts to charity.  Drew volunteered at an LA Mission around Christmas, as she does every year. Both ladies partnered up with Baby2Baby, a non profit that works to provide low income new parents and babies with what they need to start out right. Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum Nicole Richie has also donated her shower gifts to this charity and works with it year round.  Kudos to both of them, our Most Generous Pregnant Celebrities of 2011. 

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Bellyitch Best of 2011: Pregnant Celebrities Most Comfortable in their Skin


Emily Deschanel, Alicia Silverstone and Jennifer Garner each bucked the trend this year and proved that it's okay to just be you and not succumb to Hollywood pressure.  These three were the celebrites who were most comfortable in their pregnant skin.

Despite crticism and calls to change her vegan diet, Deschanel, who delivered her first baby, a son, this September, stuck with it and with consult from experts, succeeded in staying healthy all pregnancy long. In the cover story for Fit Pregnancy, Deschanel shared that the secret to a vegan pregnancy was the supplements and plenty of B vitamins.

While some pregnant celebrities, realizing the extra scrutiny and photog presence, tried to maintain a fashionable appearance during their pregnancies, Silverstone kept it cool and super relaxed.  She was photographed often in her sweats and make up less. She did glam it up while doing a guest host appearance on KTLA TV and again in a Vogue spread wearing environmentaly friendly designs. Silverstone delivered a son bearing one of the most unique celebrity names this year, Bear Blu, on May 5.

Jennifer Garner recently told In Style magazine that she wishes she could squeeze into skinny maternity jeans like some of the other pregnant super svelt starlets out there, but was going to keep it real and just watch what she ate to stave off the extra pounds.  She was spotted often taking her kids to school and to random outings looking very comfortable, yet still fashionable.  She wore the conservative pregnancy line Isabella Oliver often and looked like the average down to earth mom who just also happens to be a well paid A list Hollywood movie actress, never coming off as pretentious or self-involved. Garner and husband actor Ben Affleck are expecting their third child early next  year. The two have two daughters Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, who turns 3 next month and Violet Anne, who turned 5 earlier this month.
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Bellyitch Best of 2011: The Best Nude Pregnant Celebrity



This year, several celebrities followed in the footsteps of many celebrities before them, starting with Demi Moore to share a nude or semi nude photo of themselves on the cover or inside a magazine. The best may have been Nia Long, whose sensuous Ebony magazine cover was plastered all over the web way before the magazine even hit news stands. Tia Mowry shared her nude photo with People Magazine and Carey covered OK! magazine and Realhousewives of Atlanta Kim Zolciak covered Life & Style.

But only UK model Danielle Lloyd copied Moore's iconic Vanity Fair cover from 1991 verbatim.







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Bellyitch Best of 2011: The Spiciest Pregnant Celebrities

Former Spice Girls bandmates Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham and Melanie Brown were all pregnant
at the same time in 2011
For the first time, three of the 5 women who made up the 90s British pop sensation group "The Spice Girls" were pregnant at the same time.

Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton announced she was pregnant with her second child in November 2010 and expecting a sibling for her  and partner Jade Jones's then three-year-old son Beau. She delivered a second son, Tate Lee, on May 7.

In January, Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham and soccer star husband David Beckham, announced they were expecting their fourth child.  Posh delivered a baby girl, Harper Seven, baby sister to her baby brothers now 12-year old Brooklyn, 9-year old Romeo and 5-year old Cruz.

Australian X-Factor judge, Dancing with the Stars Alum and reality show star Melanie "Scary Spice" Brown,  announced in March this year that she and husband Stephen Belafonte were expecting their first child together.  Previously, Mel B had delivered a daughter Angel Iris for comedic actor Eddie Murphy who initially denied Angel was his until a paternity test proved he was the father.  Before Angel, Brown gave birth to a daughter Phoenix, who is now 13. Belafonte has a 7-year old daughter Giselle. Brown gave birth to her third daughter, Madison, in August this year.

There was a little bit of a hullaboo when Mel B, passive agressively chided Vickie B on Twitter for being the only one to NOT wish her contratulations on the announcement that she was pregnant, especially considering that Mel B told Vickie B how much she was happy for her news.  The beef eventually was squashed. 

Melanie "Sporty Spice" Chisholm has a daughter, with long-time boyfriend Thomas Starr, who she gave birth to in February 2008. On that date, she was the last of the Spice girls to have given birth. Geri "Ginger Spice"  Halliwell has a has a daughter, 5-year-old Bluebell Madonna, reportedly with journalist Sacha Gervasi, though Halliwell has never confirmed. post signature
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Bellytich Best of 2011: The "Most Watched/Stalked" Pregnant Celebrities


Beyonce, Natalie Portman and Victoria Beckham commanded the most media attention





The Top 3 Most Watched Celebrities

No celebrity commanded more media attention than Beyonce, hands down. Her MTV VMA Awards announcement of her pregnancy garnered the most tweets per second than any other event this year, including the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the death of Steve Jobs.  Since then, many news outlets, print, TV, radio and online, that do not ordinarily cover "bump watch" have spent a lot of time talking about various aspects of Bey's pregnancy. 

Natalie Portman's unexpected pregnancy following her stellar Academy Award-Best Actress winning performance in 2009's The Black Swan kept her and her bump on the screens of many news outlets as they poked around for news about her fiance, choreographer and Swan co-star Benjamin Milliepied. Portman became watched more after a Ballet Dancer Stand-in claimed that she danced the majority of the scenes without ample credit. Portman's film co-stars and producers had to jump to her defense.  

Folks were also just giddy over news that Victoria Beckham was pregnant with her and super hunk soccer star husband David's 4th child, a girl. After 3 boys, many were happy to see Beckham get the "mini-me" she always wanted. She delivered Harper Seven in July. 

Together, all three commanded the airwaves, copy space and online hit counters of many news, blogs and other information sources. Fan and public interest equaled more coverage.

Runner-Ups to the Most Watched and Most Stalked included France's first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy, a striking former model and third wife to that country's embattled president Nicolas Sarkozy. Though Bruni said she would limit exposure of her child to the media, after baby Giulia was born this November, the couple were seen in open areas.  Some say they used the baby to get some sympathy for Sarkozy who faces a challenge to his presidency. 

Selma Blair, Pink, and Kate Hudson were much watched throughout their pregnancy 
After denying being pregnant for months, P!nk revealed that she and hubby motorcross athlete Carey Hart were indeed pregnant, to the delight of many considering the couple had previously split and reconciled before finding themselves "with child."  


Papps found themselves following actress Kate Hudson and her Muse frontman boyfriend Matthew Bellamy  around. He proposed to Hudson mid pregnancy. 


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Friday, December 30, 2011

Bellyitch Best of 2011: The Biggest Baby Daddy Controversies

Lauryn Hill, January Jones and Fantasia Barrino all had controversy related to their baby dad's this year
Not all celebrity pregnancies are like fairy tales. Some are shrouded in controversy. That was the case for at least three celebrities this year. 


Perhaps,  because of the controversy over her child's father, Antuan Cook, who she allegedly had an affair with while he was still technically married and who she purportedly attempted suicide over, former American Idol champion Fantasia Barrino stayed out of the limelight.  Barrino delivered a son, Dallas Xavier Barrino, this month. 


No one even knew R&B songstress and multi-Grammy award winner Lauryn Hill was pregnant until her 8th month when she announced it during a concert and shortly after a photo of her backstage in a maternity top was circulated on the net.  Controversy too surrounded Hill's pregnancy after news broke that the dad of her 5 children, Rohan Marley (Bob Marley's son) was not the dad of her 6th child. Hill had to set the story straight via Twitter after Marley denied knowing who the dad was and rumors circulated that he was cheating on Hill. Marley had been living in New Jersey with his model girlfriend during the birth of Hill's 6th baby in July this year.


January Jones has never revealed who the father of her baby is.  After Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher decided to divorce, several sites speculated that Kutcher was the father of Jones' child, Xander, born in September.


Stay Tune for more Bellyitch Best of 2011 posts
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Bellyitch Best of 2011: The Most "High Heeled" Pregnant Celebrities

Rachel Zoe, Beyonce and Jessica Simpson lived in high heel shoes despite being pregnant

This year was the year of celebrities who love their sky high heels deciding they would NOT abandon them just because they are pregnant. They were spotted by papps flaunting around in stillettos and high heeled shoes, much to the ire and criticism of bump watchers and the public who worried these ladies were putting their babies in danger by wearing these heels.  Interesting enough, the biggest offenders, Rachel Zoe, Beyonce and Jessica Simpson were all spotted wearing 6 inch leopard print booties.  Zoe rocked Brian Atwood "Didier" Leopard Print Ankle Boots and Knowles and Simpson paraded around in Christian Louboutin booties. Grrrr! Tigresses!  

Stay tuned for more Bellyitch Best of 2011  posts ....coming soon.
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Bellyitch Best of 2011: The Most Socially Engaged Pregnant Celebrities

Tori Spelling, Lily Allen & Alyssa Milano stayed connected to fans whille pregnant the most in 2011

Dealing with your personal life and career is tough enough to balance while pregnant, but of all the pregnant celebrities in 2011, these three ladies found a way to stay actively engage with their blog and Twitter followers all pregnancy long.  Alyssa Milano even ventured over to Google plus, a new social media platform, and was one of the few early celebrities to open an account there. All three, Lily Allen, Tori Spelling and Alyssa Milano have very active followers and are loved among their fans for their accessiblity and willingness to share news and information about their lives and even the most intimate details of their personal lives.

MORE BELLYITCH BEST OF 2011 categories to come.... Stay tuned!


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Bellyitch's Best of 2011: The Best Styled Pregnant Celebrity


This year, Hollywood experienced a true baby boom! There were over 50 celebrities who were on bump watch this year, and by that I mean, they were stalked by paparazzi, and featured prominently on the cover and the insides of many online and print news magazines. 

Of these dozens of women, a few stood out for rocking the pregginista look the best. The pregginista is that mom-to-be who refuses to say goodbye to and sacrifice her sense of style just because she is pregnant.



Who made the Top 4 to 6?


Based our independent review and our study of the various outfits these women were photographed in out and about and in the street, we determined which were best able to put together their looks stylishly and effortlessly. We opted NOT to  take into consideration the red carpet looks because that would mean they were most likely styled by someone else and those looks would not necessarily reflect that mama-to-be's ability to keep it chic and stylish on her own whilst pregnant. 



It may come as a surprise that the three women pregnant this year who have fashion lines and are notable for being stylish did NOT come in the top three in our view. 

Celebrity stylist, designer and reality star Rachel Zoe kept it fab and was usually seen rocking the latest and best designs. She mixed it up very well all pregnancy. and was daring, not afraid to take risks with her style. Her vests were to die for and who could forget how much her 6 inch leopard skin booties made news?

Beyonce went out there and wore some daring styles. Most notably was the limited edition signature Chanel  Love Potion No 9 sweater she was spotted rocking and those uniquely designed Alain Quilcici skate boots.

Similarly, Victoria Beckham was often photographed wearing shades and other pieces from her own fashion line. She kept to a streamlined and linear look, which is very hard to do when you have an expanding tummy. Somehow Ms. Beckham managed to pull it off.

What kept them off the top three list however, in our estimation, is that they stuck with a very dark color palette and often went with black.  Also, rarely did they  venture too far from safe. Clearly, none wanted to accentuate their new rounder figures and for that they missed out on an opportunity to experiment with different colors, silhouettes and to have fun with it!

Who did wow us fashion wise? Selma Blair, Jessica Alba (the most Bellyitch Bumpwatched celebrity in blog history) and my favorite, Hilary Duff. These three played around with color and length. They wore bright and long maxi dresses and short print baby doll frocks. They also experimented with different styles from Glam to Boho to Street chic to Trendy casual. 

It helps that all three live in sunny California versus Beckham, Beyonce, and Zoe who spent most of their pregnancies on the cold East Coast. Still there were options available as the maternity wear industry has exploded.  Also, there are many ways to accent a look that has nothing to do with maternity wear. 

Of the top three, who would you say was the most stylish pregnant celebrity of 2011? Check them out? (Click to Enlarge)

 Most Stylish Pregnant Celebrity Selma Blair


Most Stylish Pregnant Celebrity Jessica Alba




 Most Stylish Pregnant Celebrity of 2011 Hilary Duff


Stay tuned later today when we reveal other categories of the "Bellyitch's Best of 2011" including most socially friendly, most high heeled, most generous, most comfortable in her pregnant skin, most discreet, most spiciest, newest, most stalked/watched and best nude pregnant photo. ow!


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Clues you may no longer be as HIP as you used to be


Mishchiefmakers Blog Archive item

This is a true story. 


They say becoming a mom changes you for life. One way you may not have anticipated is how quickly your life become about nursery rhymes, mom clubs, trips to the park and you have less and less time to social network and keep up with the latest media trends -- at least in the very early stages of your new baby's life.  Below are media clues that you have been out of the loop since delivering your bab(ies) whether that was last year or 5 years ago:

MUSIC CLUES


You can't pick Justin Bieber out in a line up...neither anyone from Young Hollywood ...neither any of the Disney/Nickelodean actors turned pop star (Jonas/Selena Gomez/Miranda Cosgrove etc)


TV CLUES


You are in your hotel gym during a business trip. An MTV commercial comes on for The RealWorld Las Vegas and you say to yourself,  "hmmmm, so THAT show is still on?"



RADIO CLUES


You only listen to talk radio, NPR and the news and traffic channels.


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Clues you may be a name-brand obsessed parent



I admit to being a fan of brands but not necessarily because of the label solely. I appreciate quality construction in clothes and products.  Typically, brand name items carry a heftier price because they are made of higher quality materials and are better put together.  This means they will typically look more refined and last longer than a less expensive version.  Certainly, there are several lower priced items that are made very well and sold at general consumption stores like Target. I think of Isaac Mizrahi's Target brand (below).  There are parents out there who are brand name obsessed before they have children and continue to be after their kids come into this world. Not sure what qualifies as a brand obsessed parent and if you too are one?

You know the type that only shop Pottery Barn for their Kids. Who look down at plastic Toys R Us playground equipment because their children can only be seen swinging from natural oak equipment installed from the ground up.

Isaac Mizrahi's Fall 2009 collection
Their kids only wear Gap, Hanna Andersson, Gymboree clothes and won't be caught dead in a Walmart or Target originals, even if it is Carters for Walmart brand.


Their appliances are stainless steel from exclusive limited release companies in Japan or Scandinavia.


Their children go to the best schools in the region.


They avoid bulk discount stores like Costco, BJs and Sam's Club because the find the clientele too common.

Their cars come equipped with bike racks on the top. No Jeep Wranglers or American cars will do.

But a Land Rover, yes! Yes indeed!


Yup, those guys! LOL!


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Top Baby Names of the Future



As we near the end of the year 2011, and as many blogs and websites are analyzing which was the best celebrity baby name and which was the worst, Bellyitch thought it would be fun to buck the trend and present the baby names of the Future. Authors of the widely popular Freakonomics book, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, have analyzed popular names based on the US social security register of names and tracked which ones were popular and came in and out of fashion. Using that analysis, they predict that the following girl and boy names will be listed among the most popular in 2015!

Aaaaah!! We've got your future crystal ball right here and if you want to be ahead of the trend, and don't mind being ahead of the game, you can consider giving your soon-to-be-born baby one of these names. Ingenius, mom, Ingenius!


Girls’ / Boys’
Annika / Aidan

Ansley / Aldo

Ava / Anderson

Avery / Ansel

Aviva / Asher

Clementine / Beckett

Eleanor / Bennett

Ella / Carter

Emma / Cooper

Fiona / Finnegan

Flannery / Harper

Grace / Jackson

Isabel / Johan

Kate / Keyon

Lara / Liam

Linden / Maximilian

Maeve / McGregor

Marie-Claire / Oliver

Maya / Reagan

Philippa / Sander

Phoebe / Sumner

Quinn / Will

Sophie

Waverly



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Bump Watch: Hilary Duff stylish grocery trip


Look was grocery shopping looking ultra stylish! Hilary Duff of course! (with hubby Mike Comrie & sis Haylie Duff in accompaniment) Her pregnancy style reminds me of Jessica Alba who used to always look like just woke up and casually threw together pieces that work.  I love that not-so-overly styled. I love the effortlessly chic. You, drape a scarf, slip on flats, grab the floppy boho hat and bam! Fly! ha!
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

FDA visits plant that sold formula that killed one baby, sickens others



U.S. health inspectors this week visited an Enfamil baby formula factory run by Mead Johnson Nutrition Co as part of an investigation into the cause of bacterial infections that killed one infant and sickened another, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

The investigation, by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, involves testing samples of the baby formula, distilled water and the environment to which both babies -- Cornett and one in Illinois -- were exposed.

Before Cornett died on December 18, he was exposed to Enfamil formula purchased at a Wal-Mart store in Missouri.

The Illinois baby, who is recovering, was exposed to a variety of formula types apart from powdered Enfamil, as well as other over-the-counter products, according to the FDA.

"We do not have evidence showing that the two infections are related, and the two cases occurring in the last month may represent nothing more than a coincidence," CDC spokeswoman Kate Levinson said in an email.

A third baby, who is less than a month old and lives in Oklahoma, was also confirmed with a Cronobacter infection on Tuesday. That baby, who is recovering after treatment, was not exposed to Enfamil formula, according to state health officials.

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Bump Watch: Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson grab a bite


Jessica Simpson and fiance Eric Johnson were spotted getting a bite to eat in LA on Tuesday ( December 27). She looks so happy. Love the headband!
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Review: Kajeet no-contract parent-controlled phone for kids



These days kids at younger and younger ages are begging their parents to get them a mobile phone. It's a tough call for most parents who fear the phone could be abused. In step parental-controlled children phones manufacturers that are popping up in the market these days.

For a couple of months my 9-year old and I got a chance to check out and test  Kajeet, an award-winning easy-to-use mobile smart phone for kids. It's the only kid phone on the market that lets parents restrict what websites their kid can access.

The phone comes enhanced with FREE unlimited parental controls that help parents manage what applications their child can access, when their kid can use the phone and who they can send and receive calls from; and also track and locate their kid’s phone (and kid) using GPS. 

We received the LG Optimus S, a 3G touch Android phone, which came programmed with Android platform marketplace for downloading apps, a simple web address bar and  web browser, text and instant messaging, email functioning and an address book.

When I received the phone, it took me approximately 20 minutes max to navigate the welcome page and put in my parental controls. Easy Breezy!

There is an easy to activate time management tool. I set my son’s phone to be unusable during school hours and during bed time.  I was able to set the specific times and dates and ease restrictions on weekend.  For his winter break, I added a general exception to the time restrictions so he could use the phone all day.   I could enter exceptions for Spring break, camp and summer as well.

The contact manager enabled me to put in specific numbers of folks that could not contact my son.  Not that my kid has this problem yet, but I could see this being useful when a kid is on punishment and restricted from getting calls from that kid that always gets him in trouble.  I can also easily seeing dads using this function to block boys from calling their little tween girls.  I set my husband, mom’s and siblings number in the “always allow” category.  For his friends, I scheduled a setting that permitted them to call and text but only during allotted hours.
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Beyonce is in Labor, Admitted to the Hospital


Earlier this week, St. Luke's hospital in Manhattan denied that Beyonce had booked an entire wing of its labor and delivery suite to deliver. Today, sources said she was admitted to the hospital last night and is in labor right now, hello beautiful reports

Her entire family is in New York awaiting the birth of the baby!

Wow! How exciting! Good Luck Bey!
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Bump Watch: Jennifer Garner & Violet's ice cream run


Soon-to-deliver Jennifer Garner and daughter Violet were spotted getting ice cream in Santa Monica, California on Tuesday, December 27 and looking ultra stylish with the trendy leopard print scarf. Garner reveals in the January issue of InStyle magazine (on stands now) that she wishes she could be like those thin pregnant girls who could fit comfortably in skinny jeans, but is watching what she eats. Don't we all, mama, don't we all?
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How to use apps & online tools to grow super smart digital literate kids from birth



Would you consider investing in an iPad for your baby, toddler, pre-schooler or young child?   You should as it could be a tremendous asset to your kid and save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

Common Sense media reports that among 0 to 8-year olds, a quarter or 27% of their screen time is spent on digital devices such as video iPods, iPad-style tablet devices and phones.  It also reports that half (52%) of all children have access to one of the newer devices at home and more than a quarter (29%) of all parents have downloaded “apps” (applications used on mobile devices) for their children to use.

The benefits of apps are endless as there are thousands of excellent free to low cost educational applications that you can download and use to instruct your children.

Further, several apps and services sell the traditional and most popular story books at a steep fraction of the price as a hardback or soft cover book.  A typical board book costs $5.99 and a typical story book $9.99 but the same books can cost as low as $.99 cents.  You can amass a significant library for fraction of the costs.

During my visit to the OneEconomy Corporations Educational Expo last month, I discovered several digital tools that could benefit parents:
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rachel Uchitel reveals she is 5months pregnant




Rachel Uchitel, whose claim to fame was being a mistress to Tiger Woods, and other celebrities and her husband Matt Hahn are expecting their first child. Today, Uchitel tweeted the above photo with the news, "checking out my bump at 5-months pregnant."  Though she is pretty notorious, she like former video vixen turned author Karine Steffans (who may also be pregnant) are examples of  being able to turn a rocky life around, wouldn't you say?

I was reading some of the comments to various news sites' coverage of Uchitel's pregnancy and many are judging her the same way  as other celebrities who started new lives after highly publicized flings. Think Tori Spelling who cheated on her ex with her current husband and baby daddy Dylan McDermott; Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who say they fell in love with each other while shooting Mr. and Mrs. Smith whilst Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston; Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz who were dating while Swizz was technically still married to his ex-wife model Mashonda; and LeAnn Rimes who cheated on her husband of 6 years Dean Sheremet with actor and current partner Eddie Cibrian while filming a Lifetime channel movie together in 2008.
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Sign up to receive Wirless Amber Alerts to your mobile phone


This year has been marked with a lot of high-profile missing kids from Caylee Anthony to the recent Jacksonville, Florida murder of Jorelys Rivera

Everyone should consider signing up for Wireless Mobile Amber Alerts texts. You get the same alerts that the police will get when a child is reported missing. It increases the chances of a child being returned to safety before he or she can be harmed.  You get a second text when the alert is called off and the child is discovered.

The service is launched with support and cooperation with the US Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the national Amber Alert and the CTI, the Wireless Association. 
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