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Thursday, May 31, 2007
Update: Mount Sinai NICU Closed

As reported this morning the NICU in Toronto was closed due to an infection outbreak. Not much information was available at that time about the particulars of the infection or how many babies were effected.

Here is what was reported this afternoon:

Four other infants have tested positive for serratia but are showing no signs of sickness. They have been isolated, are being closely watched and tests are under way to see if they all suffer from the same strain.

Until the babies are clear of the bacteria, the level 3 neonatal unit will try not to accept any infants, said Dr. Allison McGeer, Sinai's director of infection control.

"Four babies are colonized with it but they are not sick," she said.

While the level 3 neonatal unit remains closed, Sunnybrook's NICU — located in Women's College Hospital — and the Hospital for Sick Children will handle the patient overflow. Expectant moms who are experiencing high risk pregnancies may also be transferred to Kingston, Ottawa or Hamilton if space becomes a problem in Toronto.

Sick Kids can only accommodate babies and not birthing mothers. If none has the capacity, mothers could be sent to Buffalo for care.

It's been about four years since Sinai's nursery has seen a death due to serratia, McGeer said.

Serratia causes fever and a drop in blood pressure that causes a lack of blood flow to organs. "We don't know how the baby acquired the infection," said McGeer, who added that is now the subject of an investigation. However, the bacteria can be transferred by touch.

The 30-year-old unit has a problem with overcrowding, which makes infection control more of a challenge. There is about 60 square feet of space for each neonatal intensive care bed in the level 3 unit and by today's standard, that should be about 150 square feet.

Mount Sinai is currently set to begin construction of a new neonatal unit in June, part of a $150 million capital project.

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Mt. Sinai Neo-Natal Unit Closed

This will be the second time a NICU was closed in Toronto in 3 months. In March, Women's College had to close their unit due to vast spreadling infection.

According to 640 news part of the neo-natal unit at Toronto's Mt. Sinai Hospital has been closed after a baby died of a highly feared bacterial infection.

The premature infant died on the weekend of blood poisoning and another infant has contracted the harmful pathogen that causes severe infections.

But Dr. Allison McGreer says the second infant isn't seriously ill.

Still the area for Mt. Sinai's most fragile babies remains closed as a precaution and extra stiff hygenic measures are in place for other areas of the hospital.

Related Articles:

Women's College Hospital - NICU Closed

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Pregnant Moms Told To Skip Iron Supplements

Pregnant women are being warned that unless they are anaemic, say doctors, extra iron could cause her to develop high blood pressure, which in turn may lead to her baby being born smaller.

For more than 20 years, mothers-to-be have been advised to take iron supplements, although the Food Standards Agency now recommends they get the mineral from a balanced diet rather than tablets.

The study, by researchers at Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran and published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, examined 727 women who had normal levels of iron in their blood.

It found women taking iron supplements during pregnancy were more likely to develop high blood pressure and to have a baby that was small for its gestational age.

Professor Philip Steer, the journal's editor-in-chief, said: "Anaemia in women is often associated with low birth weight and pre-term births but that does not mean women should be popping iron pills, or any vitamin pills indiscriminately, to prevent poor pregnancy outcomes.

"Women should ensure that they receive proper advice on diet and nutrition from their doctors."

Robert Fraser, spokesman for the charity WellBeing of Women, who specialises in nutrition in pregnancy at Sheffield University, said: 'In many developing countries a substantial proportion of pregnant women are iron-deficient. But in countries like Britain most people are not anaemic.

"Routine supplementation was recommended 25 years ago, which is why mothers often ask their pregnant daughters why they're not taking iron tablets.

"But the majority of women don't need to unless they have been told there is a specific reason."

Pregnant women who are suffering stress 'transmit' the effect to their unborn child as early as 17 weeks, scientists have discovered.

They have matched the level of stress hormones found in the mother's blood to those in the amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus. It is the first time the link has been established at such an early stage in pregnancy.

Previous research already suggests stress hormones have an effect on foetal brain development and a child's future behaviour.

The research, led by Professor Vivette Glover at Imperial College London, and Dr Pampa Sarkar, of Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire, took samples of blood and amniotic fluid from 267 pregnant women.

In both samples, levels of the stress hormone cortisol were found, acording to the report, published today in the journal Clinical Endocrinology.

Previous research has already found babies exposed to high levels of the hormone in the womb had lower IQs at 18 months than other children of the same age.

It also doubles the risk of a child developing hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by the age of four.

I was warned against taking 'elemental' iron while I was pregnant by my homeopathic doctor. If you must take iron while pregnant he recommended liquid iron, which can be mixed into smoothies or juice, by floradix.

Please check with your doctor before taking anything while you are pregnant. He/she will be able to tell you if such substances will harm your baby.


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Shiloh's 1st Birthday

Miss Shiloh Jolie Pitt celebrated her 1st birthday on May 27th. Us magazine is celebrating her big day by putting her on the cover of next weeks magazine.

It should come as no surprise that the Jolie-Pitt clan went all out to celebrate Shiloh’s first birthday in Prague.

After all, making birthdays special is important to Angelina Jolie, whose late mother Marcheline Bertrand (who died of cancer in January) devoted boundless energy to celebrating her children’s big day. “[She] would spent weeks to plan the right birthday party, and write four drafts to get the right birthday card ready,” Jolie recently told Dateline NBC's Ann Curry.

At the family’s special rental in the Czech Republic capital, where Jolie, 32, is on location shooting the thriller Wanted, the clan gathered to celebrate Shiloh’s big day. Jolie had to work that morning, but was home by 2 p.m. to be with her daughter.

An assortment balloons were ordered in an array of colors, as well as cookies and a cake.

Shiloh is Brad and Angelina's only biological child. They have 3 adoptive children Maddox, 5, from Cambodia, Zahara, 2, from Ethiopia and most recently Pax, 3, from Vietnam. All of their children are cute, but Shiloh may be one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen (second only to my son). She was lucky enough to get every good gene available between her parents.

We hope she had a great birthday.

The new issue of usmagazine is on sale this Friday.

Related Articles:

SOURCE PHOTOCREDIT:(2nd photo - 1st half)Bauer-Griffin.Com; (2nd photo - 2nd half)Kaffee/Massie/SplashNews.com

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I found these neat connecting gears that are magnetic from architect Daniel Oakley. Your child can construct cars, spinning tops, or stick to the fridge and put the gears outside.

This crazy toy can go together many different ways, providing your child endless hours of design and play.

I found the gears at oliblock.com for $37 for 11 gears.


A Nice Day In The Park

Mariska Hargitay and son August, 11 months, spend some time together during the filming of Law and Order SVU in New Jersey.

SOURCE:People June 4, 2007

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Introducing Ireland's Most Famous Newborns Rocco and Jay

Thrilled parents Nicky Byrne and his wife Georgina Ahern hold their newborn twins Rocco and Jay, while her father, the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, beams with pride.

The twins have just recently been able join their parents at home after needing to spend some extra time in the NICU. Rocco and Jay arrived six weeks early, by caesarean on April 21st.

Shortly after their birth the ecstatic 28-year-old revealed he would love them to follow in his musical footsteps rather than politics like their grandfather. "When Georgina was pregnant I used to sing to her and now the boys are born I am still singing to them," said Nicky, who is clearly hoping his talent rubs off on the duo.

Rocco's middle name, Bertie, is in honour of the Irish prime minister, while Jay Nick was named after Nicky's dad. "I am sure Bertie will babysit his two grandchildren, he is well capable… there is no better man for caring for the two babies," says the boyband star, who enjoys a close relationship with his famous father-in-law.


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Is Your Bathseat Safe?

As infants get bigger and more independent many parents looks for a way to transition them from the baby tub to a sitting position in the tub.

There are any products out there that will assist your baby to sit and enjoy the water, but are they safe?

A drowning hazard is associated with the use of infant bath seats and bath rings. In Canada, since 1983, the use of these products has been linked to the drowning deaths of at least 12 babies. It has also been linked to at least 23 near-miss drownings.

Infant bath seats and bath rings are made to hold babies in a sitting position in the bathtub. The products usually have a plastic seat or ring to support the baby. Suction cups are often used to hold the seat or ring in place on the bottom of the bathtub. Some models use an arm that attaches the seat to the side of the bathtub.

Bath Seats and Bath Rings

These products are NOT SAFETY DEVICES, but they give caregivers a false sense of security. Babies seem well supported and safe in the products. This results in a caregiver leaving the baby alone in the bathtub for only seconds, or leaving the baby in the care of an older child. The reality is that it takes only seconds for a baby to drown, even in shallow water. A caregiver will not hear a baby struggle; babies drown silently.

Babies in infant bath seats or bath rings have drowned when:

  • the suction cups became loose and the seat tipped over;
  • the baby slipped through a leg opening of the seat; or
  • the baby tried to climb out of the seat.

No matter what model of infant bath seat or bath ring is used, a baby in the product must be carefully supervised and within arm's reach AT ALL TIMES.

What you can do

  • Carefully watch young children in the bath at all times. Always keep them in sight and within arm's reach.
  • When bathing a young child, if you have to leave the room for any reason, ALWAYS TAKE YOUR CHILD WITH YOU.
  • Never leave a young child in the bath under the care of an older child.
  • If you choose to use an infant bath seat or bath ring, know that THE PRODUCT WILL NEVER KEEP AN UNSUPERVISED BABY SAFE, even for a few seconds. Keep your baby in sight and within arm's reach AT ALL TIMES.
  • If you choose to use an infant bath seat or bath ring, know that these products should never be used with a baby that is unable to sit up on their own, and they should no longer be used once a baby can pull themselves up to a standing position.
  • An infant bath seat or bath ring should be checked before each use for signs of damage or wear. Do not use a damaged or worn product.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Consumer Product Safety, Health Canada

Tel.: 1-866-662-0666


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RECALL:Fisher-Price Rainforest Infant Swings Recalled Due to ENTRAPMENT Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of product: Rainforest Open Top Take-Along™ Swings

Units: About 112,000 (an additional 15,000 were sold worldwide)

Importer: Fisher-Price, of East Aurora, NY

Hazard: Infants can shift to one side of the swing and become caught between the frame and seat, posing an entrapment hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: Fisher-Price has received 60 reports of the infants becoming entrapped, resulting in cuts, bumps, bruises and red marks.

Description: This recall involves Portable Rainforest Take Along Swings with a palm tree mobile and two hanging plush toys. The swings are approximately 23-inches-high and have two carry handles on the left and right sides. Model numbers K7203, K7192 and K7195 are included in the recall. Model numbers are located under the right handle on the swing. No other collection of Rainforest swings or products are included in this recall.

Sold at: Discount department stores and toy stores nationwide from November 2006 to May 2007 for about $65.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the swing and contact Fisher-Price for instructions on how to return it to receive a voucher for a replacement product.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, call Fisher-Price toll-free at (888) 303-5631 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.service.mattel.com

Picture of Recalled Swing

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Coco Hits The Beach With Daddy And Auntie Jen

Jennifer Aniston, Cox-Arquette, David Arquette and Coco take a stroll on the beach in Malibu, CA on Memorial Day.

Photos Courtesy of AND property of FLYNET(Thankyou!)

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Cute Pregnancy Top

This is a really cute top for expectant mommies. It has a comfortable crew neck, made of 100% cotton and fits nicely over your belly.

Slogans on pregnancy t-shirts have become popular because they announce to the world that you are, in fact, expecting a baby and not carrying extra weight.

This shirt is sold exclusively at babiesnbellies.com for $30.


Doctors Perform Unique Procedure On Preemie

Any neonatologist will tell you that keeping a micropreemie alive is more trial and error than science. There are many procedures that they follow when growing these tiny babies, but sometimes unusual situations call for creative medical care.

Doctors at Driscoll Children's Hospital are able to save the life of a preemie from Brownsville with a unique procedure. Originally doctors thought Pedro Hinojosa, Jr. would only live a few days. Now two months later, the baby is well on his way to recovery thanks to a unique procedure called peritoneal dialysis.

It's tough to tell that little Pedro was close to dying just a few weeks ago. Doctors gave the two and a half month old two days to live, if he didn't receive dialysis. Pedro suffered from renal failure after he was born four months premature at a Brownsville hospital. He weighed a little over a pound.

"When I first heard him (cries), when I first heard him crying, I knew that God had given him to me, and he wasn't going anywhere," said his mother Michelle Hinojosa.

His parents, Pedro and Michelle, brought him to Driscoll Children's Hospital last month, after hearing they were the closest facility around that provided the treatment Pedro needed, called peritoneal dialysis.

Doctors inserted a tube into Pedro's abdomen which contains the dialysis solution, which helped to filter his blood. It took three straight days of dialysis to treat Pedro. He's now able to produce urine, and doctors said he's doing well.

"He's here and he made it, he's been through a lot," She said.

Little Pedro is now big enough to fit into a preemie suit and tie. While he's still on a feeding tube, his Dr. Patricia Ramsey said he's going to be just fine.

His proud parents couldn't be more grateful.

"It's a miracle yes, it's a miracle...and we thank God."

I am so happy for this family. No one can understand how hard it is to watch your baby, inside a plastic box, struggling for their life. There are many babies who don't make it. It's nice to see the ones that do.


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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Ice Cream On A Sunny Day!

Heidi Klum treats her kids "Leni", 3 and Henry, 2 to some ice cream while on an outing in New York's Greenwich Village.

SOURCE: pacificcoastnews.com VIA USMAGAZINE

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Love/Hate Relationship With My Travel Stroller

We purchased our little travel stroller in February just before our cruise.

The cabins on a cruise boat are not big enough to accommodate our normal stroller, which is the Evenflo travel system, so we decided it was time to find something new.

I had a list of criteria that I needed my stroller to meet. It had to fold up nicely, have a cup holder (to hold the bubba), recline fully for our son to sleep in, have a good sized canopy to keep the sun off of his head and have a 5-point harness.

Let's just say that my list is impossible unless I am looking to spend $250 + up.

After many fights and lots of research, I bought the Combi/Strolee ST Stroller.

My husband loved the way it folded up so conveniently and had a strap to flip the whole thing over your shoulder - so we bought it.

I was obviously not thinking clearly because once the stroller was put together I realized that it barely had any of the features that I was looking for in a travel stroller.

There was no 5-point harness, no cup holder, it barely reclines, I kick the bottom of it when we are walking and there is no room to put anything underneath....In short, I hate this thing, but my husband loves it.

He loves how compact it is when you fold it up and they way that it is able to be carried conveniently on your back when you are going through the airport.

Every family should have a second stroller for travelling or just simply taking to the mall, but you should do your research first. Don't settle when you are trying to find the perfect stroller. We settled and I regret it. I am stuck with this darn thing now because it would be ridiculous for me to buy another stroller when we really don't need it.

If you are just looking for something that meets your child's basic needs, but is a step up from a $5 umbrella stroller than this is the model for you. It walks ok, my son is semi-comfortable when he rides in it, and it travel very well.

I guess what it comes down to is that I am not fond of it because it doesn't cater to my needs. There is no where to put my son's sippy cup so we have to carry it in our hands. There is no where to store our stuff so I have to lug it over my shoulder. If my son falls asleep in it, which he frequently does, he has to sleep sitting straight up and the canopy does cover his head, but not fully.

The combi stroller is available at most department stores. There are two models available named the DX and ST. The DX model has nicer fabric choices, and an added 5 point harness for $40 more. The ST model is the one I have and it is priced at $60 U.S.

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Your Baby Is Smarter Than You Think!

Researchers are finding our something that most moms already knew, your baby is a smart little monkey.

The word "infant" comes from the Latin, meaning "unable to speak," but babies are building the foundations for babbling and language before they are born, responding to muffled sounds that travel through amniotic fluid.

Soon after birth, infants are keen and sophisticated generalists, capable of seeing details in the world that are visible to some other animals but invisible to adults, older children and even slightly older infants.

Recently, scientists have learned the following:

  • At a few days old, infants can pick out their native tongue from a foreign one.
  • At 4 or 5 months, infants can lip read, matching faces on silent videos to "ee" and "ah" sounds.
  • Infants can recognize the consonants and vowels of all languages on Earth, and they can hear the difference between foreign language sounds that elude most adults.
  • Infants in their first six months can tell the difference between two monkey faces that an older person would say are identical, and they can match calls that monkeys make with pictures of their faces.
  • Infants are rhythm experts, capable of differentiating between the beats of their culture and another.
  • An Infants that is just 4 months old can tell whether someone is speaking in their native tongue or not without any sound, just by watching a silent movie of their speech. This ability disappears by the age of 8 months, however, unless the child grows up in a bilingual environment and therefore needs to use the skill.
"We don't just see a rose," Hollich explained. "We feel the softness of its petals and we smell its perfume. Likewise, language isn't just hearing or seeing a word 'rose.' We immediately relate that word to a rose's sight, touch and smell, even the sight of a person saying that word. Ben Franklin noted that he could 'understand French better by the help of his spectacles.' This work shows that infants too can recognize some languages solely by looking on the face." Weikum's study adds to mounting evidence showing how infants move from being "universal perceivers," equally capable of learning any of the world's languages, to being specialists in the sounds, meanings and structure of their own native tongue over the first year of life, said Hollich, who studies infant language.



Personalized Backpacks

While at the airport over the weekend, I saw a mom with a set of twins who had these REALLY cute monogrammed backpacks.

They are perfect for your toddler to put all of their favorite toys, books and colouring materials in for a trip. The pack itself is small enough for your child to carry on their back, but big enough for them to store enough stuff to keep them busy for a few hours while in the car or on an airplane.

With a cotton twill exterior, polyester padding and nylon-lined interior, these ARE machine washable. They gather at the top with grommets and drawstring. Because of the drawstring, the manufacturer does not recommend these for children 4 and under. The flap secures with a magnetic snap. There is a small exterior zippered pocket on each style. The backpack straps are adjustable. There is a handle at the top for carrying in your hand. These are sized for younger children with dimensions approximately 11.5" tall x 9.5" wide x 4" deep.

Available at

palmgifts.com for $32. You can choose from 6 different fonts and 11 different backpack styles.


Monday, May 28, 2007
Another Set Of Mismatched Twins

Earlier this month I posted a story on a set of twins that were born a minute apart weighing 3.5 lbs and 1.2 lbs.

When Jake and Tom Armstrong were born it was hard to believe that they were twins, let alone identical.

Wombmates: Jake, left and Tom after the birth

Jake, who arrived first, weighed 5lb 2oz -four times heavier than the tiny 1lb 5oz boy who followed him.

The fact that Tom even survived until the birth was a miracle, as his placenta was not functioning properly and he was effectively starving.

The babies were delivered by emergency caesarean in December 2006.

Their mother Georgina Armstrong, 35, said: "Tom was such a tiny scrap, just lying in the doctor's hand. He was showing barely any signs of life, and the doctors weren't going to resuscitate him.

"But then he opened his tiny eyes, and that was a turning point. It showed that he was prepared to fight."

The couple, who live in Winchester, Hampshire, had been overjoyed when Mrs Armstrong became pregnant in May 2006.

But a scan at nine weeks revealed that one twin was a week behind in growth. They were sent to the foetal medicine unit at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton, where doctors discovered that Tom's placenta wasn't working efficiently.

This is different to the recent case of mismatched twins in Australia where the babies were suffering from twin-to-twin transfusion.

The Armstrongs refused the selective termination they were offered.

Jake and Tom

I am so proud of these parents. Doctors recommend selective reduction all of the time citing that the outcome may not be favourable for the smaller baby.

This is the second story that I have personally covered with a positive outcome. That is not to say that every baby that is not developing as fast as their twin will be okay, just that good things could happen. I would rather try to have both of my children survive than reduce and not know what could have been...

Related Articles:

Pregnant With Triplets...Would You Chose A Reduction?


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Lazy Mommy

When I saw this photo the first thing that I thought was safety. The good thing about pushing the stroller yourself is that you are able to react immediately when someone runs in front of you or you see something at the last minute you don't want to hit.

If you are pushing your baby with a Segway you are not able to stop on a dime or reverse on command.

This mom/caretaker should be ashamed of herself for turning something that should be pleasant into a duty that needs to be done quickly.

Strollers don't have motors because the purpose is to 'stroll' and enjoy.

She probably thinks that she is being innovative while the rest of the world thinks she is a lazy mom!

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Celebrity Playdates

Every child needs a group of friends to play with to help develop their social skills.

Celebrity babies aren't any different.

Us Magazine has a montage of which celebrity babies play together.

Related Articles:

Play Date Etiquette

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Mutsy's Cool Extras

Some of the high end stroller designers are getting creative with the ways that they are able to have an edge over the competition.

Clever designs paired with added parent convenience makes it easier for a parent to chose one manufacturer over another.

Mutsy is a trendy stroller that has some cool extras that will make you life easier.

The first accessory is the Babysitter Chassis $40

This chassis turns your Mutsy stroller seat into the perfect rocker and seat for baby at home or while travelling!

The Musty BabySitter Chassis allows you to snugly fit your Musty Stroller seat onto it to give your baby a place to hang out while at home - in the stroller seat your little one loves! Allows you to simplify and combine products and even travel easily with an entertainment seat for baby.

The Musty Funseat $69

The Musty Funseat can be added to any of the stylish Musty chassis (4 Rider Single Spoke, 4Rider Light, Urban Rider) for a fun ride your toddler will love. The Musty Funseat has a steering handle so kids can feel like they are driving around as you get your walk or errands in (but we know who is really in control, right?), plus it has a roomy mesh basket for everything you need on outings with a toddler.

Both are available at letsgostrolling.com

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RECALL: 5,000 Cases of Premature Infant Formula

The Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories on Friday recalled about 5,000 cases of 2-ounce bottles of a highly specialized liquid ready-to-feed formula used only for premature infants because they don't contain as much iron as indicated on the label.

Similac Special Care 24 Cal / fl. oz. Ready-to-Feed Premature Infant Formula with Iron, primarily sold through pharmacies at the direction of a health care professional, is fed to premature infants after discharge from the hospital, Abbott said in a statement from its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

Premature infants fed this formula for more than a month after discharge could have an increased risk of developing anemia due to insufficient iron intake, the company said.

The recall was limited to three lots with stock code number 59582 and lot numbers 46815D5, 47847D5 or 52023D5 printed on the outside carton and case and the lot numbers 44427X8, 44427X81 or 50005X8 printed on the bottom of the bottles. No other liquid or powdered Similac infant formulas were affected.

The three lots of infant formula were distributed in the United States between November 2006 and May 2007.


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Sunday, May 27, 2007
The Offi Ovum Bassinet

Furniture company Offi, debuted their multifunctional bassinet at ICCF in New York this past weekend.

This bassinet is different from any others that I have ever seen and has the ability to be used in two positions.

The designer, Heidi Newell, wanted to communicate the care, joy and welcome that modern parents have for their newborns through the Ovum.

Ovum is a bassinet inspired by Shaker furniture tradition, modern design, and the needs of a new born baby and its parents. A baby never ceases to be the focus of the design, while parents are offered options for portability, and a rocking or standing base. The basket allows visibility of the baby from any angle in the room, fulfilling a need for parent's verification that a baby is sleeping well while they work about the house. This tasteful design works in any room, has great economy for small spaces and enables parents to keep a baby nearby without disturbing their sleep.

I like the look of this bassinet and I know that if you had one, it would definitly be a conversation piece. My only concern is the babies comfort. The basket would have to be a good 3 feet in diameter for the baby to be comfortable if they decided to squirm around while they were sleeping. Dimensions are not currently available, but if it was a generous size I would be a fan.

I love the round crib idea because it allows the baby more room in all directions, so if this bassinet was wide enough your baby would benefit from the same concept and be more comfortable.

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Gwen and Gavin Celebrate Kingston's 1st Birthday

Kingston James McGregor Rossdale, the son of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale celebrated a happy first birthday yesterday, May 26, 2007 in New York City by shopping with mom, pop, and grandparents in the historic SoHo district.

Gwen, 37, and Gavin, 41, bought Kingston a shirt that read “Good Life Begins At 1" from Trico Field.

Please visit Justjared for the rest of the photos of Kingston's shopping trip.

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Study Suggests That Closing Smaller NICUs Could Save More Preemie's Lives

Thousands of sickly newborns could be saved each year if some of the nation's smaller neonatal intensive care units were closed, according to a study that suggests larger hospitals can better treat them.

Extremely premature babies were up to twice as likely to survive when treated at a busy, advanced-care center. Even among the most advanced centers, those that handled the most babies had the best survival records, said Ciaran Phibbs, lead author of the study in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

"Size really matters," said Phibbs, a Stanford University health economist.

Earlier studies had found conflicting results when reviewing the relationship between neonatal deaths and number of infants treated by a hospital.

The study reviewed nearly 48,000 premature births and fetal deaths in California from 1991 through 2000, using birth and death certificates and hospital records.

California's top neonatal intensive care units, which offer the full range of neonatal care and surgery, had the best survival rates. Those that treated more than 100 premature babies each year had the lowest death rate, about 18 percent, compared with 20 percent in similar facilities that treated 50 to 100 infants annually.

The trend continued in less comprehensive neonatal units. The lower the level of care and the fewer the babies, the higher the death rate. The effect was seen across race and size differences in the infants studied, and in both genders.

Researchers estimated that consolidating ICUs could prevent 21 percent of deaths among especially smaller infants.

Why the difference? Hospitals with busy neonatal units also have advanced obstetrics care, including services to handle emergencies, Phibbs said. They also have more practice.

Debby Rogers, vice president of quality and emergency services for the California Hospital Association, said closing NICUs carries risk. Some rural areas have limited access to advanced medical services, and it's better for them to have limited NICU care than no such care at all, she said.

I'm on the fence on this one...We had the opportunity to experience both NICUs. One that was a level 3/4 and one that was advanced level 2.

The care our son received at the 3/4 NICU was outstanding and the ladies there were highly trained to look after the very small and sick babies.

The smaller, lower level NICU is needed as a transition step for parents who are preparing to bring their baby home. Those nurses have an high expertise in different issues.


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Mother Gives Birth In Two Minutes

If you laboured for more than 8 hours with any of your children you may want to pass this story...A mom in the UK achieved something that most pregnant moms dream of - she gave birth to her little girl only 2 minutes after her water broke.

The delivery was so quick Mrs Vyas, 30, had no pain relief and barely had time to return to her bed at West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth.

"Palak pooped to the loo and walking back her waters broke," proud father Shashi, 33, explained.

"The midwife rushed her into a room and on a bed. Palak pushed once and the baby popped out. It was incredible."

Mrs Vyas, who was two days overdue, gave birth to Vedika, a healthy baby girl weighing 7lb 2oz. She is the second baby for full-time mum Palak and IT worker Shashi from Brentford. Mrs Vyas gave birth to her first child, Kavish, in just over an hour.

"Kavish was born in just over an hour and we thought that was fast - but we were astonished by Vedika," Mr Vyas told The Sun.

This new mom believes that exercise helped her quick delivery. She walked everyday while pregnant and thinks that's why the baby's arrival was so smooth.


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The Ian Crib

This crib is incredibly elegant and warm looking. It has simple lines and a nice modern look. Designed by and manufactured by Bruce Marsh, the Ian Crib is made to order in Brooklyn.

The mattress base can be raised and lowered to three height settings for access to the child at different stages of development. The bottom shelf allows ample storage for linens or other lightweight items. Crib sides may be installed at two different fixed heights. May also be used as a toddler bed with mattress base in lowest position and one slatted side removed. Optional changing station available separately.

Handcrafted from solid American hardwoods (no veneers, particle board, or plywood). Accepts standard 52" x 28" crib mattress. Each headboard is 40"H x 32"W x 1.625" thick. Finish is a semi-gloss, FDA-approved, water-based polyurethane.

This crib is pricey at $1950, but you will always pay more for modern designer products that are constructed from higher grade materials.

Sold exclusively at moderntots.com

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Mariska Hargitay And Son August

Mariska looks like a natural mom as she enjoys an outdoor concert with her son on May 5th in NYC.

August, 11 months appears to be enjoying the entertainment and probably being held by his mom...What a cutie!


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Saturday, May 26, 2007
RECALL:“Soldier Bear” Toy Sets Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of product: Invincibles Transport Converters Toy Sets

Units: About 3,000

Importer/Retailer: AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) of Dallas, Texas

Manufacturer: Toy Century Industrial Ltd. of Hong Kong

Hazard: Surface paints on the toy action figures contain high levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves toy sets with multiple action figures and vehicles. The model number (88931), Universal Product Code (6 98567 88931 4) and Soldier Bear logo are printed on the product’s packaging. The back of the action figures are marked with letters “TC-ST.”

Sold at: AAFES stores worldwide from August 2006 through April 2007 for about $20.

Manufactured in: Hong Kong

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the toys away from children and return the product to the nearest AAFES store for full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, call AAFES at (800) 866-3605 anytime or visit the firm’s Web site at www.aafes.com

Picture of Recalled Soldier Bear Toy Set

Related Articles:

RECALL: Walmart Bibs Due To Lead Hazard
RECALL: More Kids Lead Hazard's
Lead Hazards

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RECALL:Children’s Toys Due to Choking Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of product: Ball Rattles, Wrist Rattles, Wind-Up Toys

Units: About 2,000

Importer: Tri-Star International Inc., of Newark, Calif.

Hazard: These toys contain small parts, posing a choking hazard to young children.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recall involves three different types of toys. The ball rattle is a multi-colored, 3-inch ball with oval openings and a small hexagon opening at each end. The wrist rattle toy is a white plastic wristband toy with six multi-colored balls with small bells inside. The wind-up toy is a 7.5-inch pink giraffe with yellow legs and a green wind-up knob below the tail of the giraffe.

Sold at: Dollar stores in California from January 2005 through May 2007 for about $1.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take these toys away from children and return them to the store where purchased for a refund.

Customer Contact: For additional information, contact Tri-Star at (510) 856-8785 anytime or CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

Picture of Recalled Children’s Toys

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Thursday, May 24, 2007
Overcoming Odds of 10,000-to-1, Pony Gives Birth To Twins

22-year-old New Forest Pony has shocked equine experts with the surprise birth of healthy twin foals because the chances of both surviving are so slim.

In nearly all cases, one or both foals die in a twin pregnancy because the mother's uterus cannot support two babies.


The chances of a mare giving birth to healthy twin foals are about 1 in 10,000, experts said today.

But little filly Bess, and colt Royal, have defied the odds by becoming the first twins to be born in the New Forest, Hampshire for many years.

And at just a few weeks old, the playful pair are lapping up all the attention they are attracting from horse lovers across the country.

Royal Beatrice gave birth to the pair at St Leonards Farm near Beaulieu after mating with a spotted Appaloosa Cockaroost Pazaz stallion.


The inquisitive foals survey their new home side-by-side

Bess and Royal can thank their father for their distinctive white markings and have been registered as First Cross New Forest/Appaloosa ponies.

Secretary of the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, Jane Murray, said: "It is extremely unusual for horses to give birth to twins like this.

"To get both foals surviving to full pregnancy is a very rare feet indeed and we only have a couple of examples in our stud book of it ever happening before.

"But it is even more rare when the mare is so old. At 22, I think it's fair to say that Royal Beatrice has done extremely well to have healthy twins.

"Her owners can be well and truly chuffed."

Owner Stacey Gulliver from Beaulieu added: "Although my dad did mention she looked a bit fatter than is usual, it was a total surprise that it was twins, especially as they are so rare."

How cute are they? I guess they don't do ultrasounds on horses...This couple msut feel like they won the lottery!


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60-Year-Old Woman Delivers Twin Boys

Another women over 60 has delivered a set of twins. In January I reported on a mom, 67 who gave birth to twins in Spain.

Frieda Birnbaum, 60, gave birth to twin boys Tuesday, becoming the oldest woman to give birth to twins in the United States.

The babies were delivered at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J., by caesarean section.

"Baby A" weighed 4 pounds, 11.4 ounces, and "Baby B" weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces.

Birnbaum said she felt great after delivering the two boys. "This is so wonderful, I feel so relaxed. It has been a great experience," she said.

Early Wednesday morning the boys were already breathing on their own and getting ready for a bottle feeding, doctors from the hospital said.

Mom rested well all night, and doctors described the morning as "a normal postpartum day one, without a hitch!"

Birnbaum, who is a psychologist, and her husband Ken, a Manhattan attorney, have three other children — a 6-year-old son, a 29-year-old daughter and a 33-year-old son.

The husband and wife of 38 years said they had not settled on the names, but were leaning toward Jake and Jared.

Before her noontime C-section, Birnbaum said she underwent in-vitro fertilization (IVF) last year in Cape Town, South Africa, so her youngest son, Ari, would have siblings closer to his age and because she wanted older women to be able to deliver children “without a stigma attached.”

Birnbaum made the decision to have more children, preferably twins, one stormy day on a cruise ship after reading a magazine article about women having older children.

She and her husband tried unsuccessfully to conceive again in New York and later made the decision to go to South Africa after researching medical centers that specialize in IVF for older women.

Birnbaum said she previously had some of her eggs frozen, but declined to say whether those eggs were used to conceive the twins.

The couple said they were overjoyed to learn they would be having twins. Birnbaum said she looks forward to dressing the boys in matching outfits.

My issue with this is that a mom of 60 can't possible have the energy to keep to to a set of twins. I am sure that she is going to be a fabulous mom and they will probably be able to provide many nice things for these babies, but it will be hard for them to keep up with their active lifestyles.


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Tom and Suri

More photos from the set of Katie Holmes new movie 'Mad Money'.

Some people aren't fond of Tom, but I think he's a good dad to his three kids.

Dad and baby look cute together!


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Introducing Sheryl Crow's New Adoptive Son Wyatt

In her first interview and photo shoot as a brand-new mom, the singer opens up about spending the past three weeks holed up in her Los Angeles mansion with her just-adopted newborn son, Wyatt.

"The day he came home (on April 30), I felt like the whole house had changed. The house felt fuller," Crow tells OK! magazine, on stands Friday. "You just feel like nesting and making sure he's acclimated to the world. It is all so fascinating."

The Missouri native, who went through a closed, out-of-state adoption and had Wyatt within 24 hours of his birth, says her parents and a "wonderful baby nurse" have been in the house to help out.

"My mom would hand him to me and say, 'Here's your mommy.' It was really poignant (and very startling) to hear my mom call me Mommy," Crow says. "It took me a while to get used to it."

Also lending motherly advice: friends, including "Earth Mother types" actress Laura Dern, who has two kids, ages 2 and 5, and volleyball star Gabby Reece, who has a 3-year-old. Crow says they "are really dialed in to how to raise a baby organically and holistically."

The singer outlines some fairly concrete plans on raising Wyatt. For one, his primary residence will be with Crow in her Nashville home — not L.A. — and he will go to school in Tennessee. She expects "a whole troop" of brothers and sisters to eventually join Wyatt.

A husband/father is a definite maybe. Crow, 45, says she doesn't "feel any pressure to get married." She confesses there is a "somebody" (who is not in the business) in her life, "but I'm not walking down the aisle."

When she does, Wyatt will be the "deciding factor."

Her next album is nearly finished, and she hopes to hit the road with a tour in February that will include Wyatt, a nanny and mutts Oscar and Lucy.

But for now, she's content as a housebound mom savoring the precious moments. Her favorite: "Waking up in the middle of the night and seeing him next to me and realizing, 'Oh, he's still here! How fantastic! It's not a dream.' "

Sheryl and Wyatt’s OK! cover story hits newsstands on Friday.


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Jaime Pressly Mastering Baby Gear

New mom, Jaime Pressly was seen out in L.A. mastering the folding and unfolding of her stroller, which I believe is my current favourite - The Orbit. Dezi just arrived over a week ago, but it seems Jaime is anxious to get him out for some fresh California air.

SOURCE:Bauer-Griffin.com via ENOLINE


Study Shows Dramatic Increase In Caesarean Sections

There has been a lot of attention given lately to the increase in Caesarean births. More women are choosing to schedule the day the baby is born over waiting for their water to break.

The word is out that labour isn't fun so some new moms are electing to undergo surgery rather than sit through hours of contractions.

The British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, found that the rise could not be explained by increases in clinical reasons for caesareans such as complications in pregnancy or labour/delivery and was more likely due to societal factors.

The research project looked at all births in Western Australia between 1984 and 2003 (more than 430,000 births) and analysed the mode of delivery. It excluded multiple and breech births.

Report author, Colleen O'Leary, from Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, said that even after adjusting for pregnancy and delivery complications and sociodemographic factors, the increases were significant. Women in 1999-03 were twice as likely to have a caesarean section, than women in 1984-88.

"The figures show that what we call elective or planned caesareans have risen from 6 per cent to 13 per cent over the 20 year period and during the same time, there has been a 70 per cent increase in the number of emergency caesareans," Ms O'Leary said.

"From the analysis it is clear that both maternal age and affluence are factors in the increasing rates of caesareans.

"When we included private medical insurance into the analysis, we found that women who had medical insurance were more than three times as likely to have an elective caesarean section, and 1.34 times more likely to have an emergency c-section than those who were uninsured, even though pregnancy complications and obstetric problems which may need a caesarean section are higher in uninsured women.

"The increase in caesarean rates also has a significant impact on health costs in both the public and private sectors."

Report co-author, obstetrician Craig Pennell from the School of Women's and Infants' Health at the University of Western Australia, said the changes over the 20 year period in both elective and emergency caesarean suggest that they are the result of common unmeasured factors acting throughout the whole community.

" The reasons are likely to be multifactorial and reflect a complex social process affected by clinical status, obstetric practice and training, family and social pressures, the legal system, availability of technology, women's requests and women's role models, such as celebrity elective caesarean delivery," Dr Pennell said.

"The degree to which maternal request accounts for the increase in caesarean sections isn't known, but similar studies in the UK have shown that maternal request is now the fifth most common reason for performing a caesarean section."

Dr Pennell said that despite improvements in surgical and anaesthetic techniques, a number of studies show that caesarean sections are still associated with an increased risk of maternal and infant death and health complications.

"These data illustrate how a medical intervention that is effective when applied to an appropriately selected case can have significant adverse effects when applied to a low risk population.

"Caesareans are not without risk for mothers or babies, and should be based on solid medical reasons to ensure the best outcome."

In the most recent five year period, spontaneous vaginal births had dropped by 5 per cent, while forceps and vacuum assisted deliveries were down by 15 per cent.

Labour and delivery is not easy, but neither is motherhood.

Caesarean is a major surgery that is serious with recovery times between 1 -3 weeks as opposed to 1-2 days for a vaginal birth.

I would rather be in discomfort for 24 hours during labour than have to recover for a couple of weeks with scar tissue.


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The Min Chair

This chair looks like it could be used a million ways to keep your child busy. On it's side - a chair, on it's back - a rocker and upside down, well your child will think of something. the colours are bright and current, and the shape is unusual, but unique.

The MIN is a fun, engaging chair for children aged five to eight that also converts into a rocking chair. Made from a single piece of injection molded plastic, the design offers great manufacturing efficiencies and could be produced in a wide range of fun colors. With no legs and its single, rounded form, the MIN.CHAIR is ambiguous at first glance. But the cleverness of its dual function soon wins over all who see it.



Zoo Get's Creative When Flamingo Baby Chick Is Abandoned

The staff at The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire got creative when a baby flamingo was abandoned by its mother and father and needed surrogate parents.

Carlos and Fernando, the only gays in the bird sanctuary, were the automatic choice.

The pair have already brought up three chicks after snatching eggs from other (mixed) couples.

This time they were to have one of their own.

For flamingoes, as for humans, bonding with baby is vital. The parent birds need to hear cheeping from within the egg then see the chick hatch.

So staff at the trust placed the abandoned youngster in a broken egg, taped it up and placed it in Carlos and Fernando's nest. Soon afterwards it emerged good as new.

WWT spokeswoman Jane Waghorn said: "Fernando and Carlos are a same sex couple who have been known to steal other Flamingos' eggs by chasing them off their nest because they wanted to rear them themselves.

"They were rather good at sitting on eggs and hatching them so last week, when a nest was abandoned, it seemed like a good idea to make them surrogate parents.

Jane Waghorn added "They have really bonded with the chick and are very good at being protective parents - finally to one of their own,"

"Flamingoes raise their young in groups and the couple are acting just like the other proud parents by watching out for others' young as well as their own."

The pair, who have been together for six years, can feed their chick without any female help, by producing milk in their throat. It will be two years before its sex is known.

The chick, who is being brought up in a "creche" with 15 other newborns, has been welcomed into the flock, under the watchful eye of its new parents.

Flamingos, although monogamous during breeding periods, usually find a different partner each year, making the enduring love of Carlos and Fernando all the more remarkable.

"They only have eyes for each other," said Nigel Jarrett, a keeper at Slimbridge.

"They will probably stay together for the rest of their lives."

Alongside their heterosexual neighbours, Carlos and Fernando perform an elaborate courtship dance twice a year before settling down to build nests.

The mating ritual involves elaborate preening and strutting. The males are the most energetic, waving their heads vigorously from side to side with their necks at full stretch.

Mr Jarrett says that both Carlos and Fernando take on the male roles during the courtship dance, but because they cannot produce eggs of their own, they steal them from the 800 flamingos in their colony.



Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Kimberly and Dennis Quaid Expecting Twins Through A Surrogate

Dennis Quaid and his wife of nearly three years, Kimberly, are expecting twins later this year via a surrogate mother, his rep says.

The actor, 53, and Kimberly, 35, are the biological parents, Quaid's publicist, Lisa Kasteler, told the Associated Press Monday.

The couple married on the Fourth of July in 2004. Quaid's best man was his now 15-year-old son, Jack Henry Quaid, whose mother is the actor's ex-wife, Meg Ryan.

The former Kimberly Buffington was a Texas real-estate agent when a mutual friend introduced her to Quaid in March 2003 at a dinner in Austin.

I couldn't find any reason why Kimberly isn't carrying the babies...She is definitely young enough. Hard to say maybe there is a history of something in her family?


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The Coolest Multifuntional Piece Of Baby Furniture

This bassinet by YiAhn. From birth to 3 months it can be used as a bassinet, 4 months to 4 years a toy box and bookshelf and then after that a table and chair.

The materials are natural looking, yet modern and the furniture has clean lines.

Because it was just unveiled at the ICFF not a lot of information is given about the materials used or a price point.

It almost looks as though we are dealing with another piece of cardboard baby furniture, which seems to be very popular lately. I could be wrong, but I will update when more information is available.


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Bird House Toy Sorter

'Doug and Melissa', a great toy company that specializes in wooden products for children, have come out with this Bird House Shape Sorter.

This stuffed toy was designed to help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. It will also attract your child with it's bright colours and fun characters.

Each side of this peek-a-boo bird house features a window that houses a velvety bird that rattles, jingles, squeaks o crinkles, and can be sorted by shape or color.

Available at gummylump.com for $16.95 U.S.

All Melissa and Doug toys are on sale for 15% off through May 29th at gummy lump

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