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Thursday, August 31, 2006
French Study: An Increase In Maternal Deaths After C-Section

Just a couple of days after I posted the piece on Elective Cesearean Births there is a report out of London Stating that a caesarean delivery more than triples a woman's risk of dying in childbirth compared to a vaginal birth.

The risk is still quite small, but many developed countries have seen a dramatic rise in the number of Caesareans performed each year as more women elect to avoid a vaginal delivery.

Researchers, led by Catherine Deneux-Tharaux of the Maternite Hopital Tenon in Paris, looked at 65 maternal deaths recorded in the French National Perinatal Survey from 1996 to 2000.

All of the deaths followed births of a single child and were not due to conditions existing prior to delivery. The women had also not been hospitalized during pregnancy.

The researchers found that the risk of death -- from blood clots, infection or complications from anesthesia -- was 3.6 times higher for women who had Caesareans.

The risk of death after childbirth was increased whether or not the Caesarean was performed before the onset of labor or during labor.

The study was published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Although rates of maternal death in most developed countries are relatively low -- U.S. women have a 1 in 3,500 chance of pregnancy-related death -- the incidence of maternal mortality has not significantly decreased in the last two decades, according to American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.



Dressed up Feet

There are some really cute socks out there for newborns!

www.shopintution.com in L.A. sells them for $10.00/pair. Great for special occasions!


Wednesday, August 30, 2006
End Of Summer Maternity BathingSuit Sale!

Bellablue maternity has a great selection of really cute bathingsuits that have been discounted. They are great for the downsouth vacation in November, December when you know cute styles won't be available.

The Pink Polka Dot Swimsuit $35.00


Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Gerber Jarred Baby Food Back In Canada?

Gerber's jarred baby food has not been on Canadian shelves for 8 years. Tonight while shopping at Walmart I noticed that 1/2 of the baby food on their shelves belonged to Gerber.

Years ago Heinz and Gerber had a price war. Gerber had it's jarred food priced lower in Canada than in the U.S. Heinz complained to the federal government that they were "dumping" baby food. Gerber sold for as little as 33 cents a jar in Canada, about 10 cents less than Heinz.

A federal tribunal sided with Heinz and ordered Gerber to raise its prices 60 percent. Gerber said it couldn't compete at the new prices and--after 49 years of selling baby food north of the border-- abandoned the Canadian market. As a consequence, prices skyrocketed.

The funny part is that Heinz was priced at 65 cents and Gerber was 64 cents. I guess old rivalries never die!

SOURCE:Reason Magazine


New Vaccine For Babies

An oral vaccine that protects babies against a nasty bug that causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea - and sends thousands of kids to hospital each year - will be available this fall in Canada.

RotaTeq, which protects against rotavirus gastroenteritis, is expected by doctors and pharmacists to be distributed in September.

The vaccine is coming to market here after an extensive trial that involved more than 70,000 infants in 11 countries.

The child will take 3 doses and it will give them "the same immunity as if they would have been exposed to the virus two, three times," the drug company's medical director, Dr. Ernest Pregent, said from Montreal.

"And if ever they meet again that virus, their symptoms will be quite milder and they won't be as sick as the kid who either has not been exposed or is not vaccinated."
The cost of the vaccine, $55 per dose, is not currently covered by provincial health plans.

The oral vaccine comes in a squeezable plastic tube with twist-off cap so the child can suck the liquid. The first dose should be given at six to 12 weeks of age, and four to 10 weeks should elapse before a subsequent dose is given.

"It's got nice taste, it's not sugar but it's got a taste that is pleasant," said Pregent. "And it's by mouth, because a lot of parents are saying, 'Not another needle!' "

The vaccine contains five rotavirus strains that are responsible for about 95 per cent of rotavirus disease in Canada, the drug maker said.

Side-effects of the vaccine can include mild fever and loose stools, said Pregent.

The symptoms of rotavirus can be mild to severe and generally last for three to nine days, with up to 20 episodes of diarrhea a day in some cases.

Children can become dehydrated, and sometimes require medical care. It is estimated to cause up to 7,000 hospitalizations, 27,000 emergency room visits and 56,000 doctor visits in Canada each year, Pregent said.

It's most prevalent from late March until May, when more than three-quarters of hospitalizations for gastroenteritis are linked to rotavirus, he said.

The highly contagious bug is mainly transmitted through fecal-oral contact, and can be spread both before and after a child becomes sick.

I am always looking for a way not to have to give another vaccine. Dr.Greene.com says that:

Rotavirus is extremely contagious. Day cares, preschools, and homes with young children are invisible forests of rotavirus. The living, spreading virusremains active on human hands for at least 4 hours, on hard dry surfaces for 10 days, and on wet areas for weeks! Want a good reason to carry a little bottle in your purse, glove compartment, or pocket? Do you dislike vomiting and feeling nauseated? Alcohol-based instant hand sanitizers kill rotavirus in seconds.



No Batteries Required

I look around our house and I see maybe 2 toys that don't need batteries. I wish that more companies could make toys that didn't need large quantities of batteries.

This Deluxe Mini Play Cube made by Haba has 5 different activities on it. Your kids can learn counting, cooperative play, alphabet, and eye-hand coordination. Plays on the floor or table top. Mini Rollercoaster Express, Pathfinder, Counting Abacus, Learn the Alphabet, and Fun Gears!

12 x 12 x 24 inch.$129.99 U.S. @Brain Station


Could Daycares Be A Haven for Germs?

A daycare in New Brunswick was closed last week while Public health officials determine how and where a four-year-old girl became infected with E. coli.

Dr. Cristin Muecke, the district medical health officer for Fredericton, said that a day-care centre the child attended in the city was closed for precautionary reasons.

Four other children who attended Bright Beginnings also had mild symtoms but did not need to be hospitalized.

The young girl, who is at a hospital in Halifax, is stable and her condition is said to be improving. She is expected to return home soon.

Symptoms of E. coli include diarrhea, cramps and a mild fever.

Young children, the elderly and chronically ill are particularly at risk from the bacteria.

Three years ago a coroner's jury recommended tougher standards for day cares, especially when it comes to food and food preparation, to prevent the kind of E. coli outbreak that killed a New Brunswick toddler.

So the question is...Do you trust sending your child to a daycare that prepares snacks and lunch for your children? I know some people have no choice because mom and dad both have to work in order for the bills to be paid.

Are you weary that the staff has not been trained in proper food preparation techniques? Serving meat that has not been cooked long enough? Not washing hands properly between handling different types of meat?

A packaged lunch that you prepared can be brought to the daycare daily. That may reduce the chances of illness.

“Handwashing is key. Diarrheal outbreaks could be cut in half by requiring staff to wash their hands and the child’s hands after changing diapers.” FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
We are know that young children are not very good at washing their hands. Showing them the proper way may go a long way.



Monday, August 28, 2006
The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga focuses on the mind, body and spirit. It is considered therapeutic and helps you become aware of your posture and alignment.

Practicing yoga while pregnant has many benefits for mom and baby. It improves posture, flexibility, circulation, balance, coordination, body image; strengthens abdominal core, low back, upper body (for carrying babies) and pelvic floor muscles; relieves muscle tension, breathlessness, backache, and stress. Yoga improves a new mother's overall health.

In Toronto, Baby & Me Fitness offers pre and postnatal yoga for moms who want to stay fit and also stay connected to their bodies. Skylar Hill-Jackson, Founder and Co-Director has been leading pre and postnatal fitness classes for 20 years.

Baby & Me Fitness offers a comfortable and supportive environment for new moms who may be experiencing feelings of isolation, feelings of being overwhelmed by the demands of a new baby, and on top of probably having body image issues. They believe in attachment parenting so the babies are close to their moms throughout the class.

Yoga babies is a class that the baby is able to participate in as well. It is for babies aged 4 weeks to crawling. The baby stays connected to mom throughout the class with constant touching and affection.

If you are able to enjoy the full year maternity leave, these classes are something that can provide some much needed socialization for mom and baby. Each class is followed by a 30 minute discussion on various parenting topics.


Breastfeeding Past Two…Too Much? Pt. 2


In the beginning, pumping was all I seemed to be doing with little results, so I had to finger feed formula to my baby. It was upsetting but I did what I had to do until my milk came in. Once it did come and we got the whole latch thing sorted out (took about a month) I discovered something wonderful.

I could feed her anytime, anywhere under any circumstances. I never had to worry about sanitizing bottles, warming up to the right temperature, or having to run to the store late at night cause I was running out of formula. It also seemed to work magic whenever she was upset. She never suffered from colic and hardly ever had any spit ups. She was a happy, healthy and very content baby. The other benefit is that it burns so many calories that even though I was eating a lot I kept losing weight to the point where I now weigh less than I did before I got pregnant. Woohoo!

From the beginning I planned to breastfeed until she was 12 to 18 months old. Well, something crazy happenned along the way, as it seemed she had a different plan in mind. Unfortunaltely she learned to fall asleep breastfeeding. So herein lies the problem, she is now almost 2 and a half years old and when she’s ready for naptime or bedtime she now asks for it by name and won’t fall asleep until I give in and breastfeed her.

The truth is that I do believe it is time for me to stop, but doing that is going to take a couple of months of deep commitment and many sleepless nights to establish new routines. I do want to stress that it should be an individuals decision, and should not be influenced by society. I was recently made to feel like a terrible mother by an intern at my last physical. The real sad part was that she was a woman telling me that I shouldn’t still be breastfeeding and to stop right away. What are they teaching them at med school?

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) is recomending breastfeeding past the age of two.

It all comes down to you, and your child. I have chosen to work very hard to make sure I give my baby a great start in life. She is well adjusted, happy, healthy and quite cheeky! Therefore, I’m not going to simply quit breastfeeding her abruptly to appease society. I plan to do it gently and lovingly.

I worked really hard to establish breastfeeding and now I will have to work just as hard to discontinue breastfeeding. Overall, its been a wonderful experience full of ups and downs, but hey, that’s just life.

I urge everyone out there who is thinking of having a baby to take the time to research the benefits of breastfeeding. It’s all about making informed decisions. So is breastfeeding past two, too much? Not for a growing number of us. It’s a personal decision that each new mother will have to make.

Happy feeding everyone!


Sunday, August 27, 2006
Sexy Mama

Agent Provocateur has a sexy Bra and Brief set that is so cute!! Made for Maternity and Postnatal mommies who want to still look and feel sexy.

If you want to splurge on something for yourself that is totally adorable. We found it for you. This set comes in 4 different patterns. Blk/red(pictured), leopard, black, and fuschia. Bra is $108.00U.S. and Briefs are $81U.S.

Cupid Maternity and Postnatal bra/brief


Elective Cesarean Sections

Would you schedule a surgery to have your baby rather than push for a few minutes? Do you want to have complete control over where and when your baby arrives? If you said yes than you are not alone. C-Sections are up by 50% over the last 10 years and it's not because babies are becoming harder to deliver. More and more moms are "scheduling" the birth of their children.

Are we that wimpy to go through a few hours of labour? Contractions suck... I will give you that, but the pushing part is actually not that bad because by that point - you know the end is near. After all, if the pain is really bad they will offer you an epidural. I never had one but my friends tell me it's bliss.

Is it that stressful to think that you could be at the grocery store and then zap...the baby has decided to arrive. Life is unpredictable. Kids are unpredictable. Not everything can be controlled.

A Cesarean Section is major surgery. It has risks. The uterus or nearby pelvic organs such as the bladder or kidneys can become infected. Blood loss on the average is about twice as much with cesarean birth as with vaginal birth. However, blood transfusions are rarely needed during a cesarean. The bowel sometimes slows down for several days after surgery, resulting in distention, bloating and discomfort. All of this and not to mention the risks to the baby. If the due date was not accurately calculated, the baby could be delivered too early. Babies born by cesarean are more likely to develop breathing problems such as transient tachypnea (abnormally fast breathing during the first few days after birth).

Then there is the issue of recover time. After having my son, I was up and walking the next day. Many moms I know were out of commission after their c-section for at least a week. Not able to walk or go to the bathroom properly. I would rather not have the discomfort so that I can focus on experiencing the first days with my baby.



Saturday, August 26, 2006
Swapping Lives by Jane Green

Vicky Townsley is single, solvent, and seriously successful. Features director of the hugely successful Poise! magazine, she has an amazing flat, good friends, a fantastic wardrobe . . . in short, everything—except the life she wants: marriage, children, and a house in the country.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Amber Winslow has a stone mansion in Connecticut, two kids (and a full-time nanny), the requisite golden retriever, and a busy charitable commitment for the local women's league. But she hasn't quite found the fulfillment she had expected being a wife and mother. When she spots an intriguing contest in Poise!, Amber never expects to be picked...

This is a great by the pool, at the beach read.


Taking Antidepressants While Pregnant May Effect Baby

Canadian researchers have reported that babies born to women who took the newer type of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs during pregnancy appear to be at increased risk of having a low birth weight and to develop respiratory distress.
"our study was undertaken to distinguish the effects of maternal mental illness -- pregnancy-related depression -- from its treatment -- SSRIs -- on neonatal outcomes." Dr. Tim F. Oberlander to Reuters Health
Oberlander and colleagues at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver examined population health data for almost 120,000 live births between 1998 and 2001. Fourteen percent of mothers were diagnosed with depression. The researchers compared the outcomes of babies born to 1451 depressed mothers treated with SSRIs during pregnancy and of those born to 14,234 depressed mothers who were not treated with SSRIs.

There was a significantly greater incidence of respiratory distress (13.9% vs. 7.8%) and longer hospital stays for infants born to depressed mothers on SSRIs than those born to untreated depressed mothers, the team reports in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Birth weight and gestational age were also significantly less in SSRI-exposed infants and a significantly greater proportion was born before 37 weeks.

"These findings are contrary to an expectation that treating depressed mothers with SSRIs during pregnancy would be associated with lessening of the adverse neonatal consequences associated with maternal depression," Oberlander said.

Summing up, he noted that, "while our study may add another cautionary note to the use of SSRI medications during pregnancy, the use of antidepressants must be weighed against the risks of untreated or undertreated disease ... and thus the decision should be made by an informed patient with her physician on a case-by-case basis."


Sophia & Alina
Friday, August 25, 2006
Hugg-A-Planet: Earth

"Best 25 Toys of the Past 25 Years" Parents' Choice Fountation. This is a great toy to teach your son or daughter where everything is in the world. Over 600 places labeled on the Hugg-A-Planet, Earth. 12" in diameter. A real globe but soft. $19.95 U.S. Other Planets available as well at www.huggaplanet.com
Thumb or Pacifier?

If you had the choice which one would you prefer that your child use?

Realistically you would hope that they would be able to soothe themselves without any help from the thumb or pacifier. Looking around at the babies I see at the mall and the grocery store, this isn't happening.

In the NICU, we had no choice but to introduce our son to the pacifier at a young age. We were told by the nurses that he needed to be taught how to suck and the pacifier would prepare him for feeding. At 1 lb and 5 ounces he had the smallest little paci in his mouth that you would ever see. With a butterfly on top of it to boot!

Lucky for us he was a pacifier just to get me to sleep kinda guy. He gave it up for his thumb quite a few months ago. At first we thought we had been blessed. Everyone's met a 4 yr old that still waddles around with their soother in their mouth. The thumb was then quickly replaced with his index and middle fingers, that he sucks on together. Still a good thing - at least he can't loose his finger, and they're free. Well maybe not.

Even though the pacifier tends to look goofy always stuck in their mouths, it may be easier to break. You can, after all, just get rid of it! That thumb can always sneak its way back in.

Some kids have been know to secretly suck their thumbs before bed well into grade school causing the dentist many years of hard work.

Here are some tips to help break your little one of each habit!


  1. Be positive. Nagging and scolding will make the child feel guilty and likely encourage the habit to continue.
  2. Affirm that your child is growing up. Recognize the adult behaviors that your child has accomplished such as toilet training, dressing self and learning new skills. This will encourage your child to leave babyhood habits.
  3. Force doesn't work. Find ways for your child to be motivated.
  4. Offer incentives.

  1. Limit boredom. Many toddlers want their pacifiers when they're bored. You can reduce their daily sucking time by keeping the pacifier out of sight and keeping them actively involved in play or games.
  2. Keep her mouth busy. When she reaches for the pacifier, ask her a question, encourage her to sing a song, request a kiss.
  3. Deal with her other needs. Don't use the pacifier as a baby-sitter to keep your child quiet and calm. If she's whining or demanding, deal with the situation that's upsetting her without reaching for the pacifier.
  4. Don't translate communication garbled by the pacifier. With a pacifier in her mouth your child may speak words you can't understand or she may get in the habit of pointing and grunting at objects she wants. Explain that she'll have to remove the pacifier if she wants you to understand her. Less frequent use of the pacifier will encourage greater language development.
NOTE: If you are absolutely at your wits end with the thumbsucking, the Othodontist can fit your child's mouth with a "crib" that will stop their habit in one day. It has a cost of about $300.00 and will take a few appointments to make sure it fits properly, but it works. SOURCE:Thumbsucking
SOURCE: Pacifier


Thursday, August 24, 2006
Breastfeeding Past Two...Too Much? Pt. 1


If someone were to ask me in my early twenties if I planned on breastfeeding someday, the answer would have been simple. "Absolutely not"! Why go to all that trouble when I could simply bottle feed formula, after all it was just as good right?

Well, that was then and many years later and with a whole lot more information here is the now. When the time came for my husband and I to have a baby, everything changed. I started my research only to find what I instinctually knew all along, that truthfully breast is best. The list of benefits were so high that how could I not try to breastfeed my baby?

I did learn one very important piece of information along the way that many people don't even think about. The quality of breastmilk largely depends on the mother's diet and state of health. Therefore, in extreme cases (degenerative disease, high environmental toxicity, etc) some mothers may actually be better off bottle feeding formula. Consider that a breast is made up of tissue that is best described as modified sweat glands, so we are detoxifying through our breast milk to a high percentage. A healthy diet free of hormones, pesticides, alcohol, processed foods etc etc, is vital to the quality of breast milk. Not only is that healthy for the mother but same goes for the baby. Basically treat it like everything that goes into your mouth is going into the baby's mouth, so please be careful. Okay, I'm done with the scientific part of this article.

So, you know all the movies where the mom gives birth and right away attaches her baby to her breast and the baby starts to suck and all is well with the world..NOT!!!! It's so not like that. I had many challenges right from the beginning. From having no milk for the first week to trouble with latching, clogged ducts, breast infections and the list goes on. Luckily for me I had a very supportive husband who helped me get through every challenge as well as the lactation support team at my hospital where I gave birth. They taught me the art of "latching and positioning". My husband was also in school at the time studying to be a naturopathic doctor. He was able to use the wisdom of his teachers to help me deal with some of my issues. For example, taking the safe and inexpensive herb fenugreek along with a tea called Milchbildung (milk building) dramatically helped with milk production and the important "let-down". Using Homeopathics was also a God send. Not only did it help me have a great labour and delivery (15 mins active labour and no pain medications), but it also took care of my breast infection.

Dairy farmers are on to this because a dairy cow treated with antibiotics cannot contribute to the milk supply so they lose considerable amounts of money, but those on homeopathic medicines can. I could go on about all the benefits of homeopathy but that would be a different article.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006
RECALL: Spin Master Radio-Controlled Toy Airplanes

Spin Master Toys is recalling the Hogs RC Skywinder Radio-Controlled Airplane sold exclusively at Toys R Us. The rechargeable battery pack inside the toy airplane can overheat posing a burn hazard.

Spin Master has received 15 reports of the toy airplane's rechargeable battery pack overheating including two reports of minor skin burns.

The recalled radio-controlled toy airplane is lightweight, made of silver or black Styrofoam, and measures 19 inches from wingtip to wingtip. "Air Hogs Skywinder" is printed on the plane's wings. "�2003 Spin Master Ltd" is printed on the right propeller mount. The airplane comes with a controller unit and a charger. Rechargeable batteries are preinstalled in the plane's fuselage. A date code beginning with 06XXXXHM is located under the plane's propeller, on the outside of the controller unit and inside the controller's battery compartment, and on the charger unit's stand.

The airplanes were sold exclusively at: Toys R Us from April 2006 through June 2006 for about $40.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled radio-controlled toy airplanes and contact Spin Master to receive a free replacement product.

Consumer Contact: For more information, call Spin Master at (800) 622-8339 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at www.spinmaster.com.

The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).


Male or Female Doctor?

Canada.com has an article about the differences between Male and Female Doctors. They tend to specialize in different areas of medicine.

Female family doctors offer more obstetrics and mental health care services than their male counterparts across the country but fewer surgical services and intensive procedures, according to a report released Wednesday.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information did a study that spanned 10 years showing there's an evolving difference between what services female and male family physicians provide.

"They will have a different practice and intensity of their workload, so the average number of services will be different than male counterparts as well."

Francine Anne Roy, director of health resource information for the institute.

In the study done between the years of April 1994 to April 2003, it show that 35% of doctors are female and 65% are male.

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec all had a higher percentage of female doctors.

Your family doctor probably doesn't deliver babies. Around 6 months gestation they usually refer you to an Obstetrition. In 1994, 26 percent of male and 27 percent of female family physicians - delivered babies. By 2003 only 16% of female and 13% of males were in the delivery room.

More physicians are specializing now rather than having a practice that covers all areas. This is better for the patient because your family doctor may only see certain issues once or twice a month. The specialist usually has seen all variations of a problems, daily, and knows exactly what to do without repeated trips.

Last month I had a root canal done. My family dentist said it would take him 2 hours to do the procedure. The specialist I went to had everything done and I was walking out the door in 45 minutes. She was more expensive but I didn't have any post surgery complications. When I asked if everything was going to be okay her assistant told me they rarely have issues with her root canals because it's all she does all day. After all, it's her Specialty!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Baby Shower Favors

Good News if you are throwing a Baby Shower in the near future. There are many companies out there that are making your job easier. From lip balm, soap and bath salts to cookies, picture frames and mint tins.

All Items are from www.mybabyshowerfavors.com
Picture Frame 12-72 $3.75 - 72or more 2.45
Mint Tin 2.49 ea
Duck Soap 2.50 ea
Onesie lip Balm 3.00 ea
Cookies 3.25 ea


Warnings About ADHD Drugs

Several drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder must include new warning information about the risk of heart problems and psychotic behavior, U.S. health officials said Today.

These drugs include GlaxoSmithKline Plc's Dexedrine and Novartis AG's Ritalin. They now must include a warning about the possible risk of sudden death and serious heart problems, Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Susan Bro told Reuters.

It wasn't clear whether or not Johnson & Johnson's Concerta and Eli Lilly and Co.'s Strattera -- also were ordered to carry the warnings. Stattera already has a caution about suicidal thoughts and misuse of Adderal can cause heart problems. There are conflicting opinions on whether the warning warranted a "black box", the strongest warning possible.

Psychotic behavior, stunted growth, seizures and vision problems also were included as non black box side effects in GlaxoSmithKline's letter.

Some doctors have expressed concern that new warnings could dampen use of the medicines, which the FDA has estimated see about 1 million prescriptions for adults and 2 million for children each month.

I'm Speechless. We trust the pharmaceutical companies to do extensive research on all drugs before they are released. I know that each person is different and that there can be abuse or overuse, but these companies are making quite a bit of money. Money that we pay them to ensure that the medicine we take is safe. They are responsible to the children that consume their product.

It scares me that a child that is taking Ritalin may have a heart attack or possibly die. I would rather look for alternative medicines (homeopathic) than take the chance that my family member could end up worse than they started!

SOURCE: Reuters


Monday, August 21, 2006
Shopping Cart Covers

Nothing is more challenging than going to the grocery store with kids! On top of that you have to put them in those grungy shopping carts. I don't care where you shop - they do not clean those carts! Because I am such a germ crazy lady, our friends bought our son a shopping cart cover. Brilliant! Who would ever think? You can just leave it in the car and bring it in with you when you go shopping.

It accomplishes 3 things:

1. It covers up the dirty cart.
2. They are padded so its more comfortable
3. They distract your kids from wanting everything they see in the store

There are a few companies that make these covers. Here are a few.

Homemade 4 Baby Cart Cover - 11 patterns to choose from, fits both grocery store and "warehouse" carts, folds into a tote bag, safety strap, front and side pockets with toy loops. $49.99 - 89.99 U.S. depending on the pattern you choose.

BABY a la cart -2 patterns to chose from with the option to provide your own material and have a custom one made. 1. A Velcro® closure pocket 2. Attached Safety belt for added protection. 3.Two Loops across the front to hold your baby's pacifier and toys.4. Thick, Fluffy Padding provides extra comfort for your baby. $47.00 - 59.95U.S. depending which size you chose, 40.00 - 45.00 custom (you supply the fabric)

Infantino Shop&Play® - Funny Farmer - Shop and Play comes in 3 different patterns. Pockets on the back, 5 removable toys thasqueakek and crinkle, and a headrest. Velcro's together, doubles as a playmat. $20.00 @Amazon.com

Daycare On Site Of Former Mercury Thermometer Factory

This is one of those stories that I can't handle. There is a daycare center in New Jersey that has been closed because it was discovered that the building sits on a former Mercury Thermometer Factory site. The mercury vapor levels were found to be at least 27 times the regulatory limit. Mercury, a naturally occurring element, is toxic if inhaled or ingested. Symptoms of mercury poisoning in children include insomnia, irritability, rashes and peeling of hands and skin. Mercury vapors are heavier than air and therefore more prevalent near the floor, where children nap and play.

Some of the children, as young as 8 months old, spend upwards of 10 hours a day at this facility while their parents are at work.

"I've had a lot of sleepless nights, and my wife cries on a daily basis," said Sean McCleery, whose two children, Autumn, 6, and Tristan, 3, tested above normal and must continue to be monitored. "You think you're doing the best you can to protect your children, and it ends up in a heartbreaking situation".

In 2001, Jim Sullivan, a local realtor, bought the property. At that time a 1996 report issued by the federal Environmental Protection Agency said the site did not belong on the Superfund list and was not eligible for a federal cleanup because it "does not present an immediate threat to human health or the environment".

Then in September 2003, a township construction official told the state environmental department that the owner wanted to convert the site to a day care center. "N.J.D.E.P. informed the construction official that it was not recommended to convert the site at that time", according to the department's timeline, because it had not been certified as cleaned and ready for development.

The township's Mayor, Dave Ferrucci, said his staff had no memory of any such phone conversation, and had erroneously relied on the federal report from 1996. Jim Sullivan leased the building in 2004 to Becky Baughman, who is currently pregnant. She was not told anything about the history of the site.

Then, in 2005, the property was removed from the state environmental agency's booklet of known contaminated sites along with about 1,800 other sites that were considered low priority because, as Commissioner Jackson said, it was believed to be empty.

On April 11 this year, while inspecting low-priority sites, the department discovered that the child care center was operating in the building.

Two weeks later, the state environmental department said it contacted Mr. Sullivan to see if the site had been decontaminated, and according to the timeline, he said the state had indicated there were no problems there. But he was again referring to the 1996 federal report.

On July 28, tests that the state environmental department required showed elevated levels of mercury vapor, and droplets of mercury were later found in the basement and between the floor joists.

Some have questioned why the state did not close the day care center as soon as the environmental agency discovered that mercury was present, since officials knew that there was no letter certifying it clean and ready for development. But Elaine Makatura, a spokeswoman for the department, said that at that time it did not have test results to confirm that the building was unsafe.

"In hindsight, in April, we could have shut it down regardless of home rule, regardless of anything", Ms. Makatura said.

This is so frustrating. If one of those officials who realized that they facility had been turned into a daycare had a child there, Kiddie Kollege would have been shut down immediately.

I just posted an article about mercury in fish and how pregnant women should avoid certain fish while pregnant. Now we hear that some innocent children are being exposed to extremly high levels without anyone's knowledge. I feel awful for these parents. This wasn't anything that they could control. It's not like you check with the Environmental Protection Agency every time you enroll your children in something. Maybe it's time we started!



Sunday, August 20, 2006
Woo Hoo!!

We have a tooth! Okay, not a full tooth, but a part tooth for sure.

I had given up checking whether or not there were any teeth. Tonight when Brian, my husband, got home from work he was playing with our son and decided to check. At first I didn't believe him. Then I reached in and checked for myself - there it was!!!!

He is the last of his Preemie friends to cut a tooth. I was worried the darn things were never coming. I was just complaining about it the other day!

Way to go Monkey, you did great! We didn't even know they were coming.


Saturday, August 19, 2006
A Small Gift For Mom-to-be

While shopping the other day I came across this line of books that has really cute inspiration phrases. There is one that is for new moms that could be nice as a shower gift topper.

Hold on to your heart! There's a new mom to celebrate. And what better gift than a promise (complete with your phone number) to be there when she needs someone to share the wonder and the worries that come with her new little sweet pea? Of course, there's some gentle advice along the way. And above all, a bounty of affirmation just for her.



Friday, August 18, 2006

Here is what we covered this week Monday Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant? - Some doctors say it's alright to have the occasional drink while your pregnant, but is it? Safe Toys - Understanding some of the toxic stuff that goes into making your children's toys Tuesday Cute Mommy Wear - Clothes that let the world know what we are thinking Taggies - Cute toys with tags sewn all over for baby to chew Teething - My son just will not cut any teeth Women In Labour Crashes Car - Rushing to the hospital a huge contraction causes young girl to crash her car and deliver in the front seat Wednesday Garage Sale Finds - Help with safety info when your picking up garage sale finds for your baby ALEX Children's Cooking Sets Recalled Thursday Look But Don't Touch - My quest to stop strangers from touching my baby Beauty Without Bites - A great moisturizer/bug repellent that is great for all ages Cuddly Organic Lamb - Environmentally friendly and great to hug Friday Photo of the Week A Great E-mail - "A baby to god" Maternity Leave - We are lucky in Canada to get our 52 weeks, see how the rest of the world fares Friday Fun Read - Emily Giffin Baby Proof White Lies Good for Child Development - Could the tooth fairey stories be good for your kids development?
Dad & Son
A Great E-Mail

A Baby To God

"They tell me, you are sending me to Earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there, being so small and helpless". God said, "Your Angel will be waiting for you, and will

care for you". The baby further inquired, "But tell me, here in Heaven I don't have to do anything but Sing and Smile, to be happy". God said, "Your Angel will Sing for you and will also Smile for you and you will feel your Angel's love and be very happy".

Again the baby asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand, when people talk to me, if I don't know their language"? God said, "Your Angel will tell you the most Beautiful and Sweet words, you will learn and with much patience and care, your Angel will teach you to speak the words".

"And what am I going to do, when I want to talk to you"? God Said, "Your Angel will place your little hands together, and teach you how to pray". "Who will protect me"? God said," Your Angel will defend you, even if it means risking its life" But I will always be sad I will not see you anymore". God said,"Your Angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way to come back to me, even though I am always next to you".

At that moment, there was much Peace in Heaven, but voices from the Earth , could be heard. Hurriedly the child asks " God, if I am to leave now, Please tell me my Angel's name".

God said," Simply, call her "Mom".


Maternity Leave

Here in Canada we are lucky to get 52 weeks of Maternity Leave. Canada is up there with some of the best countries for time off for new mommies. We tied for second in the world with Australia only to be beaten out by Sweden with 92 weeks. Swedish moms have it made.

I thought that in this day in age, 52 weeks was standard for most countries until a friend of mine who lives in the U.S. told me different. She had just delivered 10 weeks prior to our visit and was only going to be off for 2 more weeks. I was shocked. How can a country the size of the U.S. expect to have children that are raised properly by only giving their new moms 12 weeks off? Not only do they only get 12 weeks but, they do not receive any compensation for that time off as well, unless their company chooses to pay them. Out of 168 nations in a Harvard University study last year, 163 had some form of paid maternity leave, leaving the United States in the company of Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Swaziland. A country that size, that is responsible for a good portion of the wealth in the world should have some infrastructure to allow new mothers at least 6 months off with their baby.

It made me realize that as Canadians we were very lucky to have a government that valued the relationship between parent and child. The first 15 weeks is maternity leave(just for mom) and the second 35 weeks is parental leave(can be shared by mom and dad). Having a full year off allows you to be there during the most important developmental stages. This may also be why Canadians have a higher breastfeeding percentage than Americans.

There are also many other countries who give their moms a good maternity leave. Denmark 50 weeks, Italy 47, Finland 44, Norway 42, United Kingdom 40 and Czech Republic 28. Norway leads the world in financial compensation for new moms at $18,750 per 6 months. Italy and Sweden follow with $15,000.

It has been rumoured that the goverment is considering a 2 year leave for Canadian moms. We all know that would be wishfull thinking. I can't imagine your company would be able to save your exact job for that long. You would need to be retrained when you come back and after being off for 2 years your company may not be in business.

Source Source

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin. Emily Giffin is the author of Something Borrowed and Something Blue. Both are really fun by the pool books. Her new book Baby Proof , has a new main character a successful editor at a Manhattan publishing house, Claudia Parr. She counts herself fortunate to meet and marry Ben, a man who claims to be a nonbreeding career-firster like she is. The couple's early married years go smoothly, but then Ben's biological clock starts to tick. A baby's a deal breaker for Claudia, so she moves out and bunks with her college roommate Jess (a 35-year-old blonde goddess stuck in a series of dead-end relationships) while the wheels of divorce crank into action. Even after the divorce is finalized and Claudia embarks on a steamy love affair with her colleague Richard, she begins to doubt her decision when she suspects Ben has found a smart, young and beautiful woman willing to bear his children. Sounds like a great light read. I am just waiting for a friend to finish her copy, then I will let you know how it is. I have complete faith in Emily Giffin, I read her last 2 books and loved them. There are always a few twists but I always like the outcome. Enjoy!

White Lies Good For Childs Development

The tooth fairy, how babies are born, Santa Claus and the night vision properties of carrots are the most popular white lies.

Parents are encouraged not to feel guilty for telling their children white lies- apparently they are good for their development by protecting their innocence and stimulating their imagination says Dr Aric Sigman, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Member of the Institute of Biology.

Dr. Sigman Believes that children need to be protected from harsh realities. Telling white lies to children does not encourage dishonesty because they instinctively know the difference a white lie and a proper lie. As they develop the distinction becomes greater and greater. There is never a need to sit them down a explain the difference, they just pick it up.

Photocredit:free clipart

SOURCE: Female First

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Look But Don't Touch

I am very fussy about germs. Our son was born 4 months premature and we are constantly washing our hands before we pick him up. I must wash my hands 100 times a day. This is why I don't understand why perfect strangers insist on touching my baby's hands. They walk up, say how cute he is and then grab his hands. The very hands that he is going to be putting in his mouth 1 millisecond after they have left.

It is well know that most germs are passed through hand contact. A couple years ago when SARS was an issue the news was always reporting how we must wash our hands better and more often in order to prevent it. Have people forgotten this?

Last year Mountaintimes.com reported that handwashing with soap can reduce the number of pneumonia-related infections in children under the age of five by more than 50 percent, according to a study published in The Lancet.

The study in The Lancet’s July 16 edition, also showed that handwashing with soap significantly reduced the number of diarrheal infections, the second leading cause of death in children under age 5.

I think it is acceptable to touch the baby's clothes, their little feet(if there are socks on) but definitely not the face or hands. This doesn't just apply to our child, it should apply to all children. Their immune systems are very fragile and they need all the help they can get to keep the germs away. Lord knows that they will try to put everything they can into their mouth. Sometimes you can't stop that. What you can stop is some random person and every once and a while a friend from giving their germs to your little bundle. Always insist that people wash their hands before handling your baby. We carry purel and baby wipes just incase of an unexpected visit.


Beauty Without Bites

Alfresco - Anti-Insect Moisturizer safe for babies & children

Alfresco is the only available moisturiser containing a natural insect repellant.

It contains botanical extracts (Geranium, Lavender, Melissa) to repel insects without repelling humans.

It is a natural insect repellent with a pleasant fragrance and is also a nourishing, effective moisturizer and skin conditioner

It's a little expensive and not available in Canada but this is a great product and completly natural. It can be used as a daily moisturizer, sunscreen is able to be applied ontop.

Shipped from the U.K. 20 Pounds/bottle www.Alfresco.uk.com