Salute to Ultimate Soccer Mom Christie Rampone, a 2015 Women’s World Cup Champ

christie rampone usa

Tonight, we congratulate the “Ultimate Soccer Mom” Christie Rampone  on winning and becoming the 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion along with members of Team USA. We also salute the 16 year team vet on her final World Cup appearance.

Rampone, who recently turned 40-years old, is the last remaining Team USA member from the 1999 team which was the last US team to win the World Cup.  She just wrapped her 5th World Cup appearance.


Rampone is also a three-time gold medalist, having won championship titles at the 2004 Athens Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. She has finished no lower than third place in each of the World Cup or Olympic tournaments in which she has competed.

christie rampone mom

Although Rampone didn’t get a chance to play as much this tournament, she still represented moms well as she is one of a few mothers on the team. When she played against Nigeria earlier in the tournament, Rampone became the oldest woman to ever play in a World Cup.

Now, the married mom of two plans to retire and turn her focus solely on her daughters 9-year-old Riley and 5-year-old Reece and whatever sport they will pursue.

“They’ve spent a lot of their lives watching mom and traveling with mom because of what mom loves to do, so I want to be there to support them,” Rampone told ABC news “So when, you know, they start playing their games , like I want to be there for that.”

Nice. She was profiled last month by ABC News in this quick segment during Good Morning America.


ABC US News | World News

Happy Independence Day, America!

happy 4th of july

We wish all of our friends, followers, readers and supporters in the United States a very Happy 4th of July. Whether you are on the beach, cooking out, at the park, heading to the fireworks, have fun, but be alert and safe!

 


Enjoy!

 

Cuba is First Nation to Eliminate Mom-to-Baby HIV & Syphilis Transmission

cuba hiv

Great news!

The World Health Organization has announced that Cuba has become the first nation in the world to eliminate mother-to child HIV transmission.

The WHO said this advancement is proof that the end of the AIDS epidemic is indeed possible. The island nation, with whom the US has recently reconnected diplomatic ties, is also the first nation to eliminate mother-to-child syphilis transmission.

“Eliminating transmission of a virus is one of the greatest public health achievements possible,” Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO director-general, said in a Tuesday press release. “This is a major victory in our long fight against HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and an important step towards having an AIDS-free generation.”

To accomplish this feat, the communist nation worked with the WHO and the Pan American Health Organization in 2010 on a mission to eliminate both mother-to-child HIV and syphilis transmission. The nation provided HIV and syphilis testing for pregnant women and their partners, treatment for women who test positive and their babies then substituting vaginal deliveries for cesarean ones and bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding.

Annually, an estimated 1.4 million women with HIV become pregnant and, if not treated, there is a 15% to 45% chance they will transmit the virus during pregnancy, labor, delivery or through breastfeeding. However when antiretroviral medicines are given to moms and their babies, the risk drops to a little over 1%.

This is excellent news and great to see that a “developing” non “First World” nation accomplished this milestone as it gives hope to those countries without sufficient resources that they too can eliminate the transmission as well.

h/t CNN

The Ethical Problem with DNA-Manipulated Designer Babies

Guest Post

Baby playing with a DNA strand

Ethical warning bells went off in April when Chinese researchers reported they had experimented with 85 defective human embryos to try to alter genes in every cell without otherwise damaging the DNA.

They failed. In most cases the genes were not altered at all, and in the few cases where the scientists managed to alter the genes, there were problems.
Even though the researchers had no plans to produce a live baby, their work once again raised the issue of how soon science will be able to engineer designer babies and, just as importantly, whether doing so is ethical.


“Science is moving at such a rapid pace that society can’t put off much longer deciding what it thinks about the concept,” says Peter Schattner, a scientist and author of the book Sex, Love and DNA: What Molecular Biology Teaches Us About Being Human (www.peterschattner.com).

“Abortion has long been a challenging and controversial issue, but with our increased ability to use fetal DNA to glimpse into the potential child’s future, the moral issues have multiplied.”

As science progresses, parents may be able to choose a child based not just on the sex, but on such criteria as a child’s likelihood of excelling in sports or mathematics.

That’s when the “should they” questions will become ever more pressing, Schattner says, and several scenarios could be raised that society must face. Among them:

  •  DNA testing is less expensive than it once was. As a result, more genetic conditions are being screened in newborn babies. In 1995, five conditions generally were included in those screens. A decade later, many states were testing for 24 or more. Before long, a whole-genome DNA screening will be less expensive than individual genetic tests. But what should be done with that data? Should parents know every potential health condition a child could face throughout his or her entire life? “You also need to think about the wishes of the children,” Schattner says. “As they grow into adulthood, are they going to want to know everything about their genetic makeup?”
  •  Prenatal DNA data already lets prospective parents know whether a child will be born with Down syndrome or Tay-Sachs disease. Some parents choose abortions in those cases. But as science’s understanding of DNA improves, those parents may soon be able to learn more than just whether a future child will face a devastating disease or condition. Medical professionals will be able to tell them whether their yet-to-be-born child will be affected by less severe disabilities, such as a hearing impairment or moderate intellectual disability. How will parents and society use that information?
  • An ultrasound examination usually can reveal the sex of a child by week 12 or 13 of the pregnancy. DNA-based sex determination soon will be able to reveal that information as early as week seven. But that’s not the end of the story for any parents who might want to select their child’s sex. By combining prenatal genetic testing with in vitro fertilization, it soon will be possible to select fetuses without requiring an abortion. “The temptation to play God and choose a child on the basis of a variety of nonmedical considerations may become too strong for some parents,” Schattner says. “The potential consequences are disturbing.”

Society as a whole needs to understand the implications, he says, because science won’t be able to provide all the answers.

designer babies

“Science can only address questions of what is,” Schattner says. “In contrast, questions about what should or shouldn’t be are moral or ethical questions, and science can never answer them.

“But by understanding more fully the scientific questions about how the world is, we are in a better position to make societal and personal decisions that are in line with the moral and ethical beliefs we hold.”

About the Author

Peter Schattner (www.peterschattner.com) is a scientist, educator and writer with 30 years of research experience in molecular biology, genetics, biomedical instrumentation and physics. He is a recipient of the Technical Innovation Award from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Schattner received his doctorate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg and has held research and teaching positions at the University of California, California State University and Stanford Research Institute. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and reviews, as well as the textbook “Genomes, Browsers and Databases.” His latest book, “Sex, Love and DNA: What Molecular Biology Teaches Us About Being Human” is his first book for non-scientists

These are the Top 10 Companies to Work for to get Generous Paternity Leave

dad-holding-baby

Unlike progressive nations like Sweden, the United States doesn’t have federally mandated paternity leave for employers. Only 12 percent of US companies offer it.

Given that Bellyitch is an online digital blog and eMagazine and a proud member of Team Internet, we were quite elated to see that 5 of the top 10 companies with generous paternal leave as identified by TakePart are tech companies:


Change.org tops the list at #1 with its 18 weeks paternity leave offering.

Coming in behind the online petitioning site at #2 is Reddit which offers 17 weeks for birth and adoptive dads.

Facebook is number 3 on the list and it extends its leave policy to contractors as well as employers. Sweet!

Number 5 on the list is Twitter which also has a support group for new and future dads. Imagine!

Finally, rounding up tech companies on the top 5 is Google, which at #7 on the list, offers 12 weeks if Dad is the primary caregiver and then throws in an additional 5 weeks for adoptive and surrogate parents.

Awesome!dad with baby

The other ten companies on the list are: Bank of America (#3), eco-friendly retailer Patagonia (#4),  international US-based law firm Arnold and Porter (#8), Swiss health firm Roche International‘s US offices (#9); and business management consultants Ernst & Young. (#10)

Read more details here: http://ow.ly/OHhiT

Chinese company builds Wi-Fi Router with Pregnancy Setting

Pregnant-Woman-and-Mobile-phones

Two Chinese tech firms have clashed over a new wireless router with a special setting for pregnant women.

Qihoo 360 unveiled the device, an upgrade to an existing product, which has three settings it describes on its website as wall penetration, balance and “pregnant women”.


The third setting reduces radiation emitted by the router by 70%, the firm claims.

However, tech giant Xiaomi has accused Qihoo of scaremongering.

“The so-called pregnancy mode is just a marketing tactic. Wi-fi usage is safe, so please rest assured when using it,” Xiaomi said in a post on social media site Weibo.

The two firms are fierce rivals, and Xiaomi has also recently launched a new router product, which offers six terabytes of storage and high-speed connections but does not include this setting.

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Michelle Obama hosts Surprise Baby shower for Expecting Military Families

While on a European Tour last week, First Lady Michelle Obama surprised pregnant military spouses and active duty servicewomen at a United States military base in Vicenza, Italy.

As part of the First Lady’s Joining Forces initiative for military families, Mrs. O partnered with Operation Shower, a non-profit organization that provides baby showers for military families and Glam4Good, a movement creating positive social change through style to throw the joint shower of a lifetime.


First daughters Sasha and Malia were also on hand to help.

All of the 30 women who attended the event got baby essentials and some style goodies donated from Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, Liz Lang, Alexis Bittar, Dior, and Pangea Organics. They also got a mini shopping spree styled by Glam4Good founder Mary Alice Stephenson, handbag designer Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger and beauty expert Jessica Richards.

Very Nice Work!! <3 <3

h/t HuffPo Style

STUDY: Broadband Access linked to Teen Pregnancy Reduction

 

broadband

Broadband access is being credited for decreasing teen pregnancy, The Guardian reports


A recent study at the German Institute (IZA) concluded that “at least 13% of the total decline in the teen birth rate between 1999 and 2007 can be explained by increases in high speed internet access” in the United States.

Melanie Guldi from the University of Central Florida and Chris Herbst from Arizona State University conclude:

Broadband internet has the potential to shape in powerful ways the nature and intensity of individuals’ social connections as well as the quantity and quality of information received on relationships and sexual health … Americans are increasingly turning to the internet for a wide range of advice on romantic relationships, sex, and contraceptive methods.

Americans – including teens – are asking for guidance on everything from whether they should have sex with a certain individual and the most effective forms of contraception to how to deal with a cheating boyfriend. Teens, who now spend more time engaging with various forms of media – much of it on-line – than any other activity (aside from sleep), are particularly well-positioned to take advantage of new information and relationship landscape created by explosion in broadband internet.

Reducing teen pregnancies is just one of the many plus-sides of increased broadband access. Recent research shows that better internet connections can increase monthly household income by £200 ($314) in developed households, by improving access to learning and working from home.

Sounds simplistic, but the decline in teen pregnancies could also be that they’re too busy watching YouTube.

Childless Osprey couple Welcome Two Chicks via Surrogacy

Md. osprey welcome adopted chicks to nest WTOP

A couple of ospreys have settled into minding their new hatch lings which they got through a sort of surrogacy.

The two ospreys named Tom and Audrey live in a Maryland conservancy on Kent Island. The duo were expecting three hatchlings this Spring. Audrey sat on them for over 50 days, long past the incubation period for hatchlings, but nothing happened.


Biologists at the Chesapeake Conservancy who were monitoring and preparing for the eggs to hatch realized that they never would.

To save Audrey and Tom from the disappointment of not becoming parents, the conservancy found a substitute!

An endangered nest in Poplar Island  not far away was discovered to contain two abandoned eggs.  Biologists there rescued the eggs and incubated them along with other eggs until they hatched. After they hatched, scientists took the two chicks to where Audrey and Tom live so they could meet their new mom and dad.

The conservancy says the pair has readily accepted their hatchlings.

Osprey mate for life and return to the Chesapeake each year to nest. These birds are considered an indicator of the overall health of the bay because they eat almost entirely fish and are sensitive to environmental contaminants.

Watch the replacement of the dud eggs with the adopted chicks.

 

h/t WTOP

Woman charged with murder for taking abortion pills she bought online still faces charges

kelissa jones

Murder charges against a woman who took an online abortion pill to terminate her 5 1/2 month pregnancy have been dropped, but she still faces other charges

Kenlissa Jones broke up with her boyfriend and according to  her brother could not afford an abortion the traditional way.  She opted for purchasing the prescription drug Cyotec from a Canadian pharmaceutical company. The four pills Jones took induced labor and she delivered the baby in the back of a neighbor’s car on the way to the hospital


Hospital officials alerted authorities and police threw Jones in a Dougherty County jail and charged her with malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug.

An attorney for the National Advocates for Pregnant Women predicted the case would be thrown out. Lynn Paltrow, who is also the group’s executive director told The Guardian that Georgia case law explicitly prohibits prosecuting women for foeticide involving their own pregnancies.

Jones’ brother Ricco Riggens told the Washington Post that Jones gave birth to another child earlier who was taken away from her and given to another family member.

Riggens, who lives in Alabama,  gained custody of Jones’ first child, a  20-month old child she delivered almost two years ago.

He is described at sobbing over the still born death of his nephew.
“These past four days, I cried buckets of tears; I cried in that lady’s office for a long time,” Riggins told The Washington Post. “It was gut-wrenching..I hate it. I just really, really hate it.”

Jones still faces charges for misdemeanor possession of a dangerous drugs, Doughtery County District Attorney Greg Edwards told the Associated Press.

Riggens said he doesn’t think his sister is aware of the consequences of her actions and her mother Brenda Jones said her daughter is mentally unstable.