Are Most Pregnancy Related Symptoms Considered Pre-Existing Conditioned Under AHA Re-Write?


A number of news articles and social media posts claim that pregnancy, sexual assault and domestic violence could be considered “pre-existing conditions” that make it hard to keep insurance coverage under the Republican health care bill. Are those alarming claims really true?

The bill doesn’t specifically refer to any of these things, and some of the headlines suggesting that it does are misleading.

But the bill would allow insurers, in limited circumstances, to charge people more if they have a pre-existing condition — a health issue that existed before the patient’s coverage starts, if that person has had a lapse in insurance.

Under the current health care law — the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare — insurers are not allowed to charge more or deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. The GOP health plan the passed the House Thursday — called the American Health Care Act (AHCA) — would allow states to seek a waiver from that rule. It would fund a system of “high-risk pools” to offer assistance to patients instead, but many are concerned that won’t be enough.

Twitter is overflowing with lists of pre-existing conditions, patient testimonials and personal stories of health struggles with the hashtag #IAmAPreexistingCondition. People living with a host of medical conditions are worried about the future of their coverage if the Republican plan becomes law.

Concern has focused in particular on women’s health issues, and especially pregnancy. Claims that rape victims could lose their coverage have also stirred outrage. Here’s a fact check:

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5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health After Baby Comes Home


Today is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, a day established to raise awareness of the existent or mental health challenges among children and  we moms.

When an individual becomes a parent or caregiver, their occupations drastically change and it can be overwhelming,” says Theresa Carroll, OTD, OTR/L, Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois in Chicago and also a volunteer Babywearing Educator with Babywearing International. “Many find themselves having to sacrifice self-care, leisure activities, work, and even education to prioritize the new occupations involved in caring for a newborn.”

Occupational therapy practitioners are experts in activity (occupations) participation such as self-care, work, and play, and can help new parents and caregivers compensate and find balance by promoting healthy routines to preserve mental wellness.

In honor of today, the American  Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offers evidence-based tips for new caregivers to promote mental and physical health and well-being:

1. Increase skin-to-skin contact. Physical contact between caregiver and child promotes physical and mental development for baby, and elicits good feelings for the caregiver.
2. Wear baby when safe. Wearing a baby in a carrier or wrap promotes physical development including head control and understanding of the world around them. It also gives caregivers the opportunity to participate in occupations such as household chores, tending to older children, and leisure such as walks.
3. Connect with others. Join a parent group, playgroup, moms’ club, dads’ club, parenting support group, stroller exercise group, etc. for support. Many local libraries hold free weekly events for young children, which offer structured play for both parent and child, and informal networking for caregivers.
4. Set realistic expectations. Caregiving is not all giggles, hugs, and “I Love Yous” all the time. Some days, the dog is barking, the baby is crying, the toddler is having a meltdown, the sink is full of dishes, and the laundry seems never-ending. Sometimes, juggling work demands or little sleep and continuing to breastfeed can seem impossible.

5. Understanding that most parents feel this way and are going through these changes can help.
Accept help. Understand that accepting help with daily activities is not admitting defeat. Assistance from others can offer time to participate in self-care and health-promoting leisure routines. “Taking care of yourself as a caregiver translates to the mental wellness of the child,” says Carroll. “Allowing others to care for your child so you can take a shower, go for a run, or read a book can be beneficial to both caregiver and child.”

“Occupational therapists understand the benefits of engaging in meaningful occupations for mental health,” says Carroll. “Helping caregivers establish routines that facilitate the balance of caregiving, self-care, and leisure can promote mental wellness for both the caregiver and the child.”

AOTA is a supporter of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 4.

According to SAMHSA, more than 1,100 community-based mental health services and supports providers, community programs, schools, and collaborating organization affiliates from across the country are estimated to be celebrating this annual observance.

Which Athletic Brand Are You (TAKE THIS QUIZ!)

I’m a fan of the Converse brand and have blogged about it a lot in the past.

I love that it the All American brand and that the company is branching off into other styles and offerings. What you wear reflects your personality, so it’s a great idea to know what that says about you and what athletic brand you can relate to best.

Take this quick Personality Quiz to find out which Athletic Brand you are:

Your Teen and His Friends Are Playing With These ADHD Toys in Class


Trending… Kids in middle and high school are ordering and playing with toys that were created to help children with ADHD/ADD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder) cope with their condition in class. The toys keep their kids minds and fingers occupied so they can focus better in class.

However, they are popping up in the hands (and pockets ) of kids without the condition. While they are great tools for those who need them, because boys, I believe, have a tougher time focusing in class and are fidgety, even if they aren’t officially diagnosed. Nonetheless, I fear, it’s just a matter of time before they become a distraction in class and get banned from schools. Until then, here is a brief run down of the fidget toys most used:


Yomaxer sells a thing called a Tri-Spinner fidget toy which is a plastic toy for $9.99. It’s for adults and kids. They hold the spinner in one hand and use the other to spin it rapidly using small continuous strikes to keep it spinning indefinitely. They are pocket size and can be kept and spun discreetly in a pocket even during class.


Then there is fidget dice. At $14.96, this 12-sided plastic dice designed for people who cannot keep their fingers still. The dice are also used to help cope with anxiety and depression.


For kids with Autism, ADHD and Anxiety, there is a flippy chain, an interlocking stainless chain of rings that lets them fidget in creative ways to fidget. They are cheaper at $5.99 to $7.99 per toy.


In my son’s school, the Fidget Blox cubes are the most popular. That company sell the set for $14.95 but recently, there has been quite a few knockoffs being sold on Amazon by fulfillment for as low as $8.95. 

Here is a list of other similar toys to consider:

TI-EDC Fidget Spinner Toy

Sensory Fidget Textured Unique Pens

Mountain View Mesh and Marble 

NobleSpin Ash Nebulous

The Gear Ring

Check out  FocusedFied which lists 33 such toys.

She Didn’t Know the Baby She Bought Illegally after Faking Her Pregnancy Would Be Half Black


Police arrested an Italian woman who faked her pregnancy, bought a baby and then returned the baby after discovering it was half black.

The 35-year old woman suffered two miscarriages after she previously got pregnant with her boyfriend, who is in prison, according to officials in a town south of Rome.

She told police she wore a fake latex belly bought online to trick her friends and family into thinking she was pregnant.

The woman, who has not been named, allegedly paid a little over $21,000 for the baby girl but gave her back three days later when the baby delivered was of mixed race.

She told police she would have no way of explaining the baby’s skin color to her man, her fam and friends so she gave her back.

Thing is–surrogacy is illegal in Italy and punishable by two years in prison and heafty fines.

Authorities got suspicious when someone called the birth registry office asking how to register a baby born home but that person  failed to show up for the scheduled appointment to register the baby.

Police found the baby in good health with her  biological father, a Mali man who works in Rome.

That African man apparently had a brief relationship with a 25-year old Romanian woman who is the baby’s biological mom, the supposed surrogate.

That mom and a Moroccan man who helped broker the sale of the baby were also arrested along with the fake mom.

The one-month-old baby girl is believed to have been placed in foster care.

h/t The Irish Sun

The Amazing ‘Bucket List’ Feat This Soon-To-Be Blind 6-Year Go To Do


Before 6-year Cailee Herrell goes blind from a rare genetic disease, she created a Bucket List of things she wanted to accomplish. One of them was to create her own fashion line.

With help from the folks at FabKids, Herrell, who was diagnosed with FEVR at age two,  got to experience each step in the process of designing and producing clothes from conceptualizing the designs, selecting the colors and releasing them to sale.

The result is a very adorable line of three t-shirts that shows Herrell’s optimistic and uplifting spirit. Herrell is already one step ahead of the inevitable outcome of her condition. She has already started learning braile and age 3, she started learning how to use a can with an orientation and mobility instructor. Brave and Tough Girl, she is!


And quite fitting of her personality, the empowering T-shirts have phrases like, “Girls are tough,” and “Brave” on them. Another has hand-stitched emoji patches – all of Cailee’s faves on it.


The cute shirts are just $14.95 each and net proceeds from all of Cailee’s Tees will go towards  a goFundMe account so she can accomplish the other things on her Sightseeing Bucket List. Very nice!  


Here are some of the items on her list, including those completed, and those yet to complete!
1. Sand Dunes (Completed)
2. Sea World (Completed)
3. Beach (Completed)
4. Disneyland (Completed)
5. Snow
6. Horseback riding
7. Camping
8. California Redwoods
9. New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Fesitival
10. New York Fashion Week
11. Nutcracker
12. Cooking classes
13. Crayola Factory
14. Hershey Chocolate Factory
15. Art Classes
16. Braille Camp

Very nice! Good luck, Cailee! She really is brave and inspiring!cailee-land-desktop-10-2


Study: Childhood Cancer Survivors Face Future Pregnancy Complications


Women who manage to conceive after surviving childhood cancer may encounter treatment-related pregnancy and labor complications if they got radiation for their malignancies, a recent study suggests.

Female cancer survivors who got abdominal radiation are more than three times more likely to develop diabetes during pregnancy as their peers who received different tumor treatments, the study found. After radiation, these cancer survivors are also more than twice as likely to develop anemia during pregnancy.

Survivors of Wilms tumors, a rare type of childhood kidney cancer, had more than three times the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy when their treatment included abdominal or pelvic radiation.

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You and Baby Will Get Better Sleep with This Inventive Tech Swaddle A Mom Invented


Innovation around products for moms and new babies never stop. The inventive and creative solutions that are released regularly are truly amazing.

The latest on our radar is a swaddle blanket that takes the guess work out of swaddling a new born and adds technology of “touch” so baby can feel even more secure when sleep. It’s called The Zen Swaddle and it was created by a desperate mom who came up with an ingenious solution for some long sleepless nights.

They do say necessity is the mother of invention and as we’ve learned time and time again, mothers are great inventors! That’s the case here as well.

Back in 2010, Manansi Gangan had just given birth to her second born child  who would only sleep in her arms under the touch of her palm. One day, Gangan discovered that if she placed a beanie baby in the place of her hand, her son slept soundly! It was the perfect substitute to mimic her loving touch. It is said that touch is the way we intuitively connect to our loved ones that we care. Also, there’s plenty of research about the emotional connection babies that are touched often feel compared to those in orphanages with limited access to touch, and how touch impacts development.

In 2011, Gangan took her concept to the design stage and came up with the Zen Swaddle. She put it under rigorous tests, had pediatric pulmonologists review it and made it so it was constructed to 8 times the safety standards before taking it to market.



The Zen Swaddle® and Zen Sack mimic your touch with lightly weighted pads on the chest and sides.


As a result, your baby sleeps better feeling your reassuring touch. The company, Nested Bean, reports that moms who have used it say their babies sleep better in 1 to 3 nights.

The Zen Swaddle® is made for newborns thru 6 months. And for those that are too big for a swaddle, yet not quite prepared to quit it altogether, Nested Bean created the Zen Sack™. 


It is reversible and features a zipper making it super easy to place baby in and take him out.


And the design is award winning. The Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association awarded the Zen Swaddle with an innovation award for its ingenious design and The Zen Swaddle was chosen as one of the finalists in the competition for ” Swaddles”Snuggliest. Nice!!


The Zen Swaddle retails starting at $28.99 and the Zen Sack starts at $33.99 and has different designs. And the best thing is shipping in the US is absolutely  FREE! Yes! That’s a deal if you factor in the value of the sleep you and your baby will regain using this system and it works!

ICYMI: Our Best Parenting Posts, We Got You! (LINKS)


In case you’ve been busy or under a rock and missed some of our top quality parenting posts from the past few months, we’ve compiled the best of the best for our recent newsletter. And in case you missed that, here it is one more time for your reading pleasure and at your leisure! Enjoy!

Hey friends!!

It’s a new year and we’ve been busy cranking out top quality posts and many full of parenting tips, suggestions, hacks and other ideas to help your life run smoother.

Here is a list of our top parenting posts we’ve curated just for you to check out at your leisure:

  • Before you go out and buy new clothes, try mixing and matching what your kids already have in their closet with these 1o tips.
  • Getting baby to settle down at night can be a chore but these 10 techniques may save you some sleepless nights.
  • For the first time in history, that 24-count box of Crayola crayon retired a color. Learn More!
  • If you’re heading on a road trip for Spring Break or during the Summer Break, here are 6 tips to make the trip go smoother.
  • Want to know which are the best and worst states in America to raise a family according to one survey? Here are the results!
  • You don’t need a magic bullet or fancy gadget to make baby food and we’ve got tips on how to do it using a simple blender.
  • Before even planning to have a baby, there are things you need to consider. Here are 6 of them.
  • Helicoptering kids may be tempting but kids who already have anxiety could be damaged by all that micro-parenting. Read More!
  • You’ve hear of GPS trackers to help parents keep up with their kids when away. Learn more about how they work.
  • So there’s a study you might want to read about women who don’t take their husband’s last name after marriage. Yeah read up on that one.
  • Who knew?! It’s better to have a dirty baby if you want to lower their asthma risk, this study says.
  • Over the years, moms of color who have biracial babies have had to defend themselves and over 15 penned essays about it.
  • If you’ve ever thought of throwing your baby a carnival or circus-themed birthday party, you can start with these suggestions.
  • Help your kids grow to become a more creative thinker. This road map is your key!

Next time, we’ll share the top celebrity, news, fashion, pregnancy, red carpet stories and reviews you might have missed.

Thanks for Reading!

Until next time….

SEE YOU NEXT TIME! Have a great holiday!!!





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Viral: This Batman-Themed Pregnancy Announcement is All Sorts of Creative


A couple on Reddit has gone viral with their Batman and Bat girl pregnancy announcement.

In the set of pics, shared widely on the social bulletin board site, after getting her positive pregnancy test, Batwoman tells her news to her man by placing a tiny Robin size outfit on her belly.

img_4932My wife and I have a sidekick on the way,” the redditor, ocularis01, shared.

img_4933 img_4934

In a series of other pics, Batman reads the famous parenting book,”What to Expect When Expecting”, and downs cans of beer while Batgirl eats junk food.

So cute and quite creative!

photo: Reddit/ocularis01/imgur