Because words just aren’t enough, I thought I would post a light, fun, fluff video. I saw this yesterday, and laughed until I cried. Of course, I love Jimmy Fallon – so I’m biased.
I hope everyone enjoys their Friday.
It’s official. There is now a YouTube clip of me dancing very horribly. LOL!
I and my co-workers at MomsRising created the clip in celebration of National Women’s Health Week this week:
Among the activities we have planned is a BINGO card of activities to do. We have been posting images of our members on Tumblr and Facebook. Here’s one of me stretching before a run.
Please join us! You can download your BINGO card here. Thanks!
Here is a story that, on the face of it, doesn’t seem intuitive. But looking back on the supplemental formula I gave my babies until my milk came in — this was exactly my experience.
Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco found that giving newborn babies a little formula took pressure off of the mother while she waited for her milk to come in and increased the time that she breastfed.
The study enrolled 40 full-term newborns between 24-48 hours old who had lost more than 5 percent of their birth weight. The babies were randomly assigned either to receive early limited formula (ELF), which consisted of one-third of an ounce of infant formula by syringe following each breastfeeding, or to continue with their intention to breastfeed exclusively. So as not to interfere with breastfeeding 8 to 12 times a day, the ELF babies were only given small amounts of formula. The syringe was used to avoid the babies developing nipple confusion – when a baby develops a preference for a bottle nipple over the breast. The ELF babies stopped the formula when their mothers began producing mature milk, approximately two to five days after birth.
At the one week assessment, all the babies in both groups were still breastfeeding. However, only 10 percent of the ELF babies had received formula in the last 24 hours, compared with 47 percent of the control group.
After three months, 79 percent of the babies in the study who received early limited formula in the first days of life were still breastfeeding, compared with 42 percent of the babies who did not receive early limited formula. Additionally, 95 percent of the babies who received limited formula in the first few days were breastfeeding to some extent at three months, compared with 68 percent of the babies who did not receive early limited formula.
For those of you who breastfed, did your milk come in right away? Did you supplement with formula while you waited?
In other health news: I was very moved by actress Angelina Jolie’s Op-Ed in the New York Times on preventative breast cancer surgery. This is definitely worth a read!
Finally, one more New York Times story that is worth a read: “Poverty as a Childhood Disease”. I found this story disturbing in so many ways, especially the finding that, “after the first three, four, five years of life, if you have neglected that child’s brain development, you can’t go back.”
In the middle of the 20th century, our society made a decision to take care of the elderly, once the poorest demographic group in the United States. Now, with Medicare and Social Security, only 9 percent of older people live in poverty. Children are now our poorest group, with almost 25 percent of children under 5 living below the federal poverty level.
When Tony Blair became prime minister of Britain, amid growing socioeconomic disparities, he made it a national goal to cut child poverty in half in 10 years. It took a coalition of political support and a combination of measures that increased income, especially in families with young children (minimum wage, paid maternity and paternity leaves, tax credits), and better services — especially universal preschool programs. By 2010, reducing child poverty had become a goal across the British political spectrum, and child poverty had fallen to 10.6 percent of children below the absolute poverty line (similar to the measure used in the United States), down from 26.1 percent in 1999.
I hope we come to our senses as a country. As the article pointed out, there are so many links between poverty and diseases — like high blood pressure and mental illness — we can’t afford not to address poverty among our young.
What else is in the news? What’s up with you?
Here’s one of those health news items that clearly shows arming children with information is the best defense. Researchers at Penn State found that children whose parents talked to them about drinking before leaving for college were less likely to drink or drank less than those whose parents did not address it at all, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
And a popular list around these parts — baby names! MSN Living listed the top baby boy and girl names for 2012. Enjoy!
What else is in the news? What’s up with you?
To the smartest, funniest and most vivacious moms that I know, I dedicate to you — Mom Dance!
…Which was clearly inspired by the original “Evolution of Mom Dancing” with this fierce mom:
Last but not least, I want to thank each of you, MotherTalkers, for being great mommies to your children and children everywhere. Thank you for voting, for signing MomsRising.org petitions, for showing up to rallies and doing all that you can to help create a truly family-friendly country.
I want to give a shoutout to Ellen Bravo over at Family Values @ Work for this wonderful Mother’s Day essay, and for doing her fabulous work.
Happy Mother’s Day all!
I haven’t done this in a while, but the other day I purchased a magazine in the supermarket checkout counter for the cover: Mother Jones’s “Schizophrenic. Killer. My Cousin.”
Perhaps it’s because I recently finished reading Brain On Fire, a non-fiction book about a New York Post reporter who completely snaps when she contracts a disease in which her body attacks her brain; the Newtown shootings; the fact that mental illnesses do run in my family and I regularly come in contact with severely mentally disabled and homeless people here in Berkeley, I have been intrigued with this topic for a long time.
After reading the Mother Jones article — which I could not put down! — again, I felt more knowledgeable but equally helpless in the magnitude of the problem as well as the equally complicated solution(s).
It is estimated that one in four Americans has a mental illness — although this number is probably larger because of under diagnosis — and a disproportionate number of those in prison and those who commit mass murders like Newtown are mentally ill. YET, there’s been an ongoing trend since Ronald Reagan was governor in California to strip funding of hospitals and therapists, which in turn as meant fewer resources for the mentally ill. This has meant that individual families — like the Mother Jones writer’s extended family — have been left to care for severely ill and disabled family members on their own.
While Mother Jones writer Mac McClelland’s cousin, Houston, committed a heinous crime — he stabbed his father to death during an onset of schizophrenia — I was most intrigued by McClelland’s aunt Terri because she is a typical case of what I see in my own family and the homeless here in Berkeley.
Terri, who died at the age of 52, was too mentally ill to work and required someone to make sure she fed herself, took her medication and didn’t live in squalor. She’d also been in and out of hospitals in Ohio at a time when such facilities existed. In total, her treatments to taxpayers cost millions of dollars over her lifetime and this didn’t include her own family’s generosity in purchasing her a trailer home, checking up on her and giving her rides and helping her in other ways when she needed it.
It is this scenario that gives me pause during the current gun debate that “addressing mental illness” alone will be enough to stem gun violence. Implementing background checks, for example, is a much quicker and cheaper solution whereas addressing and treating mental illness is a much costlier and long-term solution.
I just wonder how many more homeless, how much more crowded do our prisons need to be, how much more heartbreak do families must withstand in order for us to begin tackling this issue? What do you think, MotherTalkers?
First a gratuitous cute baby pic. I gave Sailis her first bath in the baby tub! Here is her looking around — knowing something is about to happen:
She will be six weeks old this Wednesday! Considering I’m not the one waking up every hour or so in the middle of the night — I’m still in love.
I will be at a MomsRising retreat — right here in Berkeley — today and tomorrow. Here are a couple of other news items that piqued my interest:
Huffington Post columnist Lisa Belkin gave a great response to a crass Wall Street Journal article on “Mommy Business Trips”. As Belkin pointed out, the WSJ title alone was diminishing of women’s accomplishments. Blech.
Besides the NRA, we can add another mega corporation that has refused to meet with MomsRising members: Disney World in Florida. On Friday, a group of our moms went to Disney’s headquarters in Orlando with thousands of petition signatures requesting that it stop fighting paid sick days legislation for workers. Not only were the moms denied a meeting — but security was called on them! Here’s the Reuters story. Sigh.
What else is in the news? What’s up with you?