Study: Overly Clean Babies More Likely to Develop Asthma

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Well, here’s some good news for people who find cleanliness freaks absurd. Scientists have recently discovered that over-obsession with hygiene could be putting beneficial bacteria in your gut onto the ‘endangered species’ list.

One of the facts scientists have pointed out is that although providing clean drinking water to everyone on the planet has been a critical health goal globally for decades now, it also has increased the risk of asthma.


Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston, Dr Brett Finlay suggested the obsession with hygiene could even be turning some beneficial bacteria found in the human gut into “endangered species”.

In a study in Canada, the researchers had found the presence of four types of bacteria in the gut of babies less than 100 days old seemed to prevent them from developing asthma in later life.

They then decided to see if the same was true for children elsewhere in the world and settled on Ecuador, where about 10 percent of children have asthma, for their next study.

They found the same protective effect of the four bugs, but also two unexpected factors that increased the risk of the condition: a particular type of yeast in the gut and access to a clean water supply.

Dr Finley, of British Columbia University, said: “Ironically the kids with clean water had a higher risk of asthma. “I guess it makes sense [because of the lower levels of bacteria], but I must admit we were surprised to see that. You’d think clean water is good for the world.”

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Viral: We love This Parapalegic’s Crude but Cute Pregnancy Announcement

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Ok this might be considered a bit on the crude side but hey, it’s creative.

Todd Krieg and his new fiancé Amanda Dieson just found out they are expecting a baby in August!


It is a blessing because Todd was involved in a tragic motocross accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Docs told him that not only would he never walk again but that he would never be able to have children.

To celebrate defying the odds, Todd and Amanda solicited the help of photographer Kayla Duffin to capture the great news with a photo shoot.

This photo above went viral after their friend shared it on Reddit.

nice! Congrats!

 

QUIZ: Which Movie and Real Life President are You?

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Happy Presidents Day!

We could share a quiz on how well do you know the US Presidents of the past but that could be a disaster so instead, we’re offering you a quiz on which Movie President and then which actual President are you based on your answers to this quiz:


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People Have Been Adopting Leftover Frozen In Vitro Embryos; and Bringing Them to Life

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There are now well over one million embryos frozen in storage in the United States, many left over by people who have completed their families through IVF. Rather than discarding the frozen embryos or donating them to science, many families are now choosing to put their embryos up for adoption to give them a chance at life.

Embryo adoption is the newest nationwide trend in adoption and is gaining a lot of popularity.  In fact, the 500th baby was born last month to a loving and adoptive family as part of the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program. This program allows couple to adopt embryos, some of which have been frozen for more than a decade, to become healthy, happy babies and children!


Couples who have used donated embryos to achieve pregnancy have learned that genetics really don’t matter at all, says Kimberly Tyson, director of the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program.  What matters is they experienced what it was like to be pregnant and give birth to their child, the child they adopted just nine months earlier than ‘normal’.

The babies born this unique and special way to their adoptive parents are known as “Snowflake Babies“.  The Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program is celebrating its 20th anniversary since being first established in 1997 as the first program of its kind in the world.

Since that time, more than 1,400 babies have been born to families following an embryo adoption model. Working with fertility clinics, the program allows couples to place their remaining embryos from their in vitro fertilization treatment with a family of their choice, just like with traditional adoption of a live child.

The difference is actually a bonus: the woman who gives birth to this non-genetic child is declared the legal mother of the child on the birth certificate and the man to whom she is married is declared the father.  No court finalizations are necessary to affirm parentage, as with adoption.

There is a higher cost than  simple frozen embryo transfer at a clinic.

“That’s because the adoption agency is providing both families with security of the placement,” Tyson declares.  “The agency is encouraging an open relationship between two families who are both parenting full genetic siblings. The agency is helping the right two families connect with one another.  No secrecy.”

Many embryo adoption organizations have embryos waiting for families to adopt them, she adds.  “Families placing their embryos for adoption are attracted to the fact they can have some control regarding who receives their embryo gift.”

If you are interested in learning more about embryo adoption visit www.embryoadoption.org or www.snowflakes.org.

Editor’s note: In vitro fertilization, surrogacy and other artificial means of impregnating a woman who eventually gives birth to a human child are excellent ways for couples struggling to have a baby achieve their dream.

However, these processes are also controversial for Catholics, pro-lifers, like myself, and others who struggle over the fact that fertilized eggs that would otherwise develop into a human child, but are leftover or unwanted are destroyed every year.

Embryo adoption provides some comfort in knowing that the leftover eggs are saved and donated to other couples who cannot conceive on their own; or women who want a baby but are without a partner. Bravo!

Study: Daily Asprin Intake Increases Chance of Getting Pregnant


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For some women who are trying to get pregnant, taking a low dose of aspirin daily may boost their chances of having a baby, according to a new analysis.

The analysis, which looked at women who’d had a prior pregnancy loss and taken part in an earlier study, found that women who benefited from the aspirin regimen had high blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation in the body. Among these women, those who took a daily aspirin were 31 percent more likely to become pregnant, and 35 percent more likely to carry a pregnancy to term, than those who took a placebo.


Prior to this report, researchers knew that inflammation in the body could contribute to reproductive problems. For example, women with pelvic inflammatory disease or polycystic ovary syndrome — two conditions that involve inflammation — are at increased risk for infertility. But few studies have examined whether lowering levels of inflammation in a woman’s body would affect her chances of successfully becoming pregnant and giving birth.

In the new analysis, the researchers analyzed information from more than 1,200 U.S. women ages 18 to 40 who had previously experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth. The women were randomly assigned to take either a low dose of daily aspirin (81 milligrams) — which is thought to counteract inflammation — or a placebo, for six menstrual cycles while they were trying to become pregnant. If the women became pregnant, they continued taking the pills until 36 weeks of pregnancy. (A full-term pregnancy is 39 to 40 weeks)

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National Pizza Day, Celebrating America’s Favorite Food, Especially Kids!

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Today is National Pizza Day, a seriously American holiday because only 2% of Americans do not like pizza, according to a NationalToday.com survey.

The poll of 1,000 Americans found that 1 in 3 Americans eat pizza at least once a week. I know that is true for my family, for sure!


Some more findings for you:

  TOP 5 MOST POPULAR PIZZA TOPPINGS

#1: Cheese (82%)

#2: Pepperoni (66%)

#3: Sausage (58%)

#4: Mushrooms (53%)

#5: Bacon (51%)

 
 TOP 5 FAVORITE PIZZA BRANDS
#1: Pizza Hut (31%)

#2: Papa John’s Pizza (22%)

#3: Domino’s Pizza (17%)

#4: Papa Murphy’s (10%)

#5: Little Caesar’s Pizza (8%)

Hot Homemade Pepperoni Pizza Ready to Eat

AMERICANS JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH PIZZA
With 57% of Americans claiming to love pizza, it comes as no surprise that 1 in 3 Americans eat it at least once a week, while 22% can eat an entire pizza by themselves.

SOME AMERICANS PREFER PIZZA OVER ROMANCE 
3% of Americans say they would rather eat a pizza than have a boyfriend or girlfriend. But who can blame them? Bread, cheese, and sauce will never break their hearts.

Okay, that is some serious pizza love! You can check out the full survey here:
http://nationaltoday.com/us/national-pizza-day/

Grab some pizza today! Find out where to score some free pizza pie HeRE!

A Pepperoni pizza on a white background

A Pepperoni pizza on a white background

This Telemedicine App Promises Free Birth Control amidst Obamacare Abolishing Threat

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Telemedicine startup Nurx has committed to keep the free birth control flowing after the Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump nix Obamacare, as they’ve been proposing for a while now.

“Donald Trump’s first executive order reaffirmed that he is intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act. We hope that in doing so he ensures that women would retain access to free birth control and other preventative services. Anything less would be reckless.” says co-founder and CEO of Nurx, Hans Gangeskar.


He also believes that repealing the Affordable Care Act would cause 24 million people to lose health coverage by 2021 and would have devastating consequences on women’s health.

To do its part to counter those effects, Nurx is offering free birth control to new users who use the promo code ‘AlternativeFacts.’

The  San Francisco, California-based company focuses on making birth control as well as Truvada for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) more accessible to everyone through their app. With the app, users can get a prescription from a doctor and have their medication delivered right to their door.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, roughly 55 million women now receive contraception and other preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs because of the Affordable Care Act.

In 2015, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that the ACA is saving oral contraceptive users an average of $255 a year and $248 for women with an IUD.

 

Its mission is to be a low cost option for woman and since December 2016, it has offered free pills to new users.

The Free Birth Control Promotion requires users to use the promo code ‘AlternativeFacts’ in order to get $45 of credit toward birth control through Nurx. To get the deal, users must visit Nurx.com, create a Nurx account, pick their brand of choice, and enter promo code ‘AlternativeFacts’ at checkout. The promotion ends February 28, 2017.

According to Nurx’s Medical Director, Dr. Jessica Knox, “Women should not have to jump through unnecessary hoops just to access birth control. The pill remains available by prescription only throughout the United States today, but with our app, we’re making birth control more accessible than ever.”

How the App Works for Birth Control:

● User Chooses Brand – The user selects their brand, answers a few questions, enters their insurance and shipping info.

● Doctor Reviews Submission – a Nurx partner physician reviews the request and writes a prescription.

● Delivered to Customer – The prescribed medication is delivered right to the user’s door.

“Women should be able to access health care on their own terms,” explains Dr. Edvard Engesaeth, a medical doctor and cofounder of Nurx. The app works for both new and existing birth control users and the service and shipping are often free to anyone with health care coverage. For uninsured patients, Nurx waives the consultation fee.

Even Though Dads Are Stepping Up, Moms Still Parent More

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Many believe parenting has improved in recent years as roles, responsibilities and duties between the mother and father have changed. Experts say dads today are more involved in their kids’ lives and doing more parenting than ever but has the pressure lessened among mothers? Does equal parenting really exist?

Psychologist Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan explores the question on equal parenting in The Conversation. She did a research on families with moms and dads who are together and who both juggle jobs and parenting duties.


She acknowledged there is some progress as a dad’s role in the family has shifted based on a Pew Research analysis. It stated the number of stay-at-home fathers is increasing and dads today spend an average of seven hours on child-care compared to two and a half hours among dads in the ’60s.

Even with that promising data, however, the role of moms have not been reduced. In fact, mothers have also taken on the role as family providers like dads. Moms have also been doing more multitasking, managing and organizing than ever before as the children’s swirl of activities increase.

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STUDY: Smoke While Pregnant and Your Kid May Become Schizophrenic

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A study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), New York State Psychiatric Institute and colleagues in Finland reports an association between smoking during pregnancy and increased risk for schizophrenia in children.

Results show that a higher maternal nicotine level in the mother’s blood was associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia among their offspring.


Findings are published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

The paper evaluated nearly 1,000 cases of schizophrenia and matched controls among offspring born in Finland from 1983-1998 who were ascertained from the country’s national registry.

Heavy maternal nicotine exposure was associated with a 38-percent increased odds of schizophrenia.

The findings persisted after adjusting for factors, including maternal and parental psychiatric history, socioeconomic status, and maternal age.

“To our knowledge, this is the first biomarker-based study to show a relationship between fetal nicotine exposure and schizophrenia,” said Alan Brown, MD, MPH, senior author and Mailman School professor of Epidemiology and professor of Psychiatry at CUMC.

“We employed a nationwide sample with the highest number of schizophrenia cases to date in a study of this type.”

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Western Parenting Styles Influence the World, But ‘Tiger Mom’ Style Is Now Enticing

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Historically, Western societies’ methods of parenting have managed to influence the child-rearing habits of other parts of the world, in particular, Asia, but the tide is shifting as more parents in America and Europe begin to adopt the “Tiger Mom” structure.

So says University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Professor of Applied Psychology Dr Xinyin Chen who analyzed the parenting styles in the West which encourages individualism to the parenting styles in the East which emphasizes collectivism.


“In most Western societies, such as Europe and the US, individualism, independence and self-orientation are viewed as important,” Chen writes in an article published today in Child and Family Blog. “Parents encourage their children to develop skills that support these values, such as assertiveness, self-confidence, self-expression and autonomy. They want their children to develop a positive sense of self and personal worth.”

In the piece titled, “East and West May be Reshaping Each Other’s Parenting,” Chen compared more westernized parenting styles to those of Eastern world nations.

“In more collectivist cultures, such China and Korea, parents are expected to assume greater responsibilities in child development,” Chen wrote. “To fulfill that expectation, they tend to be highly involved in child rearing and child education, sometimes using ‘high power’ strategies.”

Where American parents may engage children more, Asian and Eastern parents do not as much.

“They may order their children to do certain things, providing little explanation or reasoning. They want their children to obey them, so they emphasize compliance and obedience.” Chen states.  “In a ‘high power’ approach, if children don’t listen, parents may use force or punishment. This approach reflects the parents’ goals: to develop children who listen and who learn qualities such as cooperation, compliance and self-control, which could be useful for adapting to the society.”

But each model has its own benefits, he argues.

“The US emphasizes individuality and self-confidence, which have been seen as cornerstones of economic success,” writes Chen. “But the message from Japan, China and Korea is that their traditional values—self-control, modesty and compliance—might lead to greater achievement.”

He credits globalization and industrialization for the infusion of Westernization of Asian, African and South American cultures with these societies growing “more individualistic, and parents are adapting their child-rearing styles and values.”

And as parents rely less on their children to care for them in their older years, Chen notices that “parents say they are raising children more for enjoyment. They want their children to develop independent skills and positive self-esteem.”

Likewise, teens in China are reporting that “over the past 15 years, parents have become less authoritarian and less power-assertive, as well as more sensitive to their feelings and needs, encouraging them to exercise greater independence and autonomy.”

But in the same vein, in the West, attention to “Tiger Moms” and because of immigration, and the growing multiculturalism of the West, parents in America and Europe are getting exposed to the child rearing habits of people from Asian, Africa and South America. Peer group interactions contribute to a melting pot of values where children learn from peers with different cultural values, and parents, too,  “also have increasing opportunities to learn about new values through their interactions with families of different backgrounds,” Chen notes.

“In the West, concerns about the importance of education have made parents ready for fresh thinking” he adds. “They’re open to the idea that pushing their children hard to achieve academically may have something more to offer than laissez-faire Western approaches that have failed some children.”

Read Chen’s blog article HERE