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

adult-1850223_1280

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: Smoke While Pregnant and Your Kid May Become Schizophrenic

smoking-baby

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.”

continue reading

Leave These 12 Things out of Your Hospital Delivery Bag

Bellyitch Rewind
labor and delivery bagListen, you know all those baby prep books you’ve read that give you super long lists of stuff you need to pack to take with you for labor and delivery when it’s time to welcome your new baby? Okay, you’re not gonna need most of that stuff. Now, you may feel some comfort and security knowing that you have your 90s soft rock 3-disc CD to take your mind off of labor pains, but most likely, it won’t make it out of your suitcase. 

Besides all the useless and unnecessary things you’ll chorale to the hospital, you’ll have additional things, flowers, gifts, balloons and baby stuff to add to the pile and schlep back home. To save you the trouble and hassle, here is our old tried and true list of 12 things you can leave home and spare your poor partner the back pain.

  1. Newborn diapers– Hospitals provide all the diapers the baby needs during the stay and even send you home with extra starter packs
  2. Nursing cover -There is no need for modesty in your hospital room in your hospital bed. The nurses have seen plenty of boobs in their career. If guests visit while you’re nursing, you can ask them to wait outside until you’re done feeding the baby. Most people won’t get offended.
  3. Wipes– Most hospitals use a very thick napkin that they wet with water and wipes contain elements that aren’t good for a newborn’s skin.
  4. Diaper Cream -Most likely the baby won’t be born with a diaper rash and won’t develop one within the first2-3 days of his life while in the hospital. If he does, the hospital has sample cream to use. Those tubes and jars can add weight to an already stuffed take home bag
  5. Any childbirth class notes or guidelines and labor hints: Really now? Do you think in the midst of breathing through labor pains you’re gonna want to review your notes?
  6. Underwear– Many hospitals provide the most comfortable mesh disposable ones that you will love to use instead of messing up your own. The joke among my friends is that they are the special order Victoria Secret mesh panties for new moms.
  7. iPod or music player – with music selections to help with relaxation Besides being outdated and taking up too much space, piping Gregorian Chants or Enya in the room may be a distraction for the hospital staff, interrupt with monitoring equipment and/or disturb a neighboring laboring moms. If you have a smartphone that has the capability of accommodating music, download music on there and bring your headphones. It takes up less space than bringing your phone AND ipod.
  8. Receiving blankets- The hospital provides plenty that you can take home even afterwards. Save all the cute baby shower gifts for home.
  9. Two regular-sized bed pillows (in bright, distinctive, hard-to-lose pillowcases)- The Hospital or maternity center provide enough. If you are a germaphobe, think the hospital’s pillow cases may be too rough or want something familiar from home, just bring the pillowcases and replace the hospital’s cases. They take up less space.
  10. Baby’s “memory” book – for footprints or staff names and guest signatures Nice idea if you have someone who will remind guests to sign because you’ll be consumed with baby, nursing, caring for yourself, and will likely forget.
  11. Entertainment items (books, crayons, games) for children are to visit in hospital – A lot of hospitals don’t permit young children  in the maternity wards, but for those who do and if children come to visit they may not be staying THAT long to get bored and need entertainment. As for other people’s children, it’s not your job to tote extra crap to entertain your friends’ kids.
  12. Clothes for hospital baby photo AND clothes for baby to wear home  You only need one of these. Either or. The kid shouldn’t be a fashionista YET that she can’t be seen in the same outfit twice. You can simply put on the outfit before the photo and take it off afterward. If you can, schedule your photo the same day and around your discharge time.

The Extra Crap you don’t NEED but you CAN bring (eh hem, especially if you are a diva or fashionista):

  1. Make up– because you don’t want to end up on Facebook looking like you just went through a train wreck. If your goal is to look like Khloe Kardashian after she delivered Mason or at least attempt to, then you’re gonna want some make up.
  2. Towels- Because the hospital ones are usually washed a lot and can be itchy.
  3. Your own toilet paper – Hospital toilet paper can be thin. Your delicate bum may want something soft then
  4. Your Own Plush Robe – For accepting visitors, walks to the nursery to visit baby and /or walking off the gas for those who have c-sections.
  5. A spare bag – You can use it to store the extra stuff you’ll have to carry home.

Consider These 6 Things Before Deciding To Have a Baby

Deciding whether or not to start a family is a big decision for you and your partner. There are a lot of factors to consider and these days, not all couples need or should be having children. It’s a lifestyle decision that should be taken very seriously and not gone into haphazardly as it is so often.

Here are 6 ways to tell, compliments of housekeeping.org, if you are ready to have a baby

  1. Consider Your Long-Term Goals – When you’re mulling over the idea of procreation, one of the first things you should consider are your long-term goals and how becoming a parent would affect them. If you’re dreaming of a trip to Machu Piccu or of backpacking through Europe, doing so with an infant in tow may be more of a challenge than you think. Carefully consider the impact that having a child would have on your career, if it’s pertinent, and the way that you’d like to live your life. When the biological urge to reproduce hits, it’s easy to lose sight of the future you’ve chosen. After the birth of your child, however, all of your priorities and dreams will shift to accommodate the new life you’ve created. Before you start trying to conceive, it’s wise to consider how parenthood would affect those goals and which, if any, you’re willing to sacrifice in order to have a child.
  2. Evaluate the Health of Your Relationship – It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a child will save a foundering relationship, but that’s almost never the case. If you’re looking to parenthood as a means of salvaging your connection with another person, you should stop that line of thinking in its tracks. It almost never works, and it’s far too large of a responsibility to place on the tiny shoulders of a child. Having a baby won’t fix a broken relationship; it’ll only bring another person into an already dysfunctional situation.
  3. Think About Your Living Situation -The trendy-but-tiny downtown loft you’re currently living in might be perfect for the lifestyle of a child-free couple, but may not be ideal when you bring a baby into it. Take your living situation into careful consideration before you start trying to have a child. If your current home is not conducive to raising a child and you lack the plans or means of moving into something more suitable in the reasonably near future, it may be best to wait a bit longer before having a baby.
  4. Finances, Finances! -There’s an old adage asserting that people who wait to have children until they can afford them never have kids, but there is some truth in the idea that you should wait to have a child until you’re reasonably secure in terms of your finances. The cost of prenatal care and childbirth alone can be financially d evastating for a couple without health insurance, not to mention the ongoing and exorbitant expense of diapers, formula and other necessities. If you’re living from paycheck to paycheck and eating nothing but instant noodles to make ends meet, you may not be in an ideal place in your life for parenthood.
  5. How Healthy Are You? – The physical health of both you and your partner is something that should be taken into consideration before you start talking about having children. The toll that pregnancy and delivery can have on a woman’s body is nothing to sneeze at, and both parents will need to be able-bodied and healthy in order to properly care for and meet the needs of a demanding infant. It’s not impossible for parents with health complications to raise children, but it is significantly more difficult in most cases.
  6. Why Do You Want to Have Children? – Before you start trying to have a baby, you should think about the reasons why you want to in the first place. If you’re looking for someone to love you unconditionally or are under the impression that kids are part of life’s natural progression, whether you want them or not, parenthood may not be the best choice for you. When it comes to unconditional love, parents almost always give more than they receive. Children are demanding, and they grow into teenagers who will almost invariably think that you’re an overbearing millstone around their neck. They’re also not a status symbol or a wish-fulfillment vehicle. The most important thing for prospective parents to consider before having a child is their motivation for doing so in the first place.
Good luck!

post signature

Here are 51 Ways to Save Money on Having a Baby

save to have a baby

Having children can be expensive. A recent study found that the average American will spend over $245,000 to raise a child from infancy to adult…and that’s not including the cost of psychotherapy bills when they mess them up.  That is a high enough price tag to deter some from starting a family altogether.  But it can be done if one does research, skip on the extra stuff and move wisely. A little while ago, TheBump.com compiled a list of 51 different things couples can do to save money before and after having their baby. We shared some on the blog with a link to check out the rest. Here it is again because the list if awesome and worth re-sharing!

1. Buy secondhand gear and clothes. – Consignment shops are often full of great maternity and baby clothes as well as gear and furniture.


2. Borrow a bassinet (or skip it altogether). – Most bassinets can only be used until baby starts rolling over, so try to find one that you can borrow for those few weeks.

3. Hold off.- If you aren’t sure which products will work best for baby (especially with bottles, pacifiers, even diapers), buy the minimum to start with, then stock up once you know baby’s preferences.

4. Limit the tests. -Not pregnant yet? Buy three (and no more than three) pregnancy tests to keep on hand. If you have a larger supply, you’re likely to wind up with a trash can full of them. (Believe us. We’ve been there.)

5. Go easy on the starter diapers. – Start with only one pack of newborn diapers. Baby may not even fit into them at the start, and he’ll grow fast.

6. Breastfeed as long as possible. -The cost of formula adds up. (And breast milk is great for baby!)

7. Pump.– Again, formula can get expensive.

8. Formula feeding? Ask for samples.– Be sure to head home from the hospital with samples (some now only give them upon request), and ask for samples at each visit to the pediatrician. Don’t be shy — it never hurts to ask.

9. Buy a convertible crib. – A crib that converts into a toddler bed will definitely save you some cash over the years.

10. Do your homework! – Research is essential to make sure you know which products give you the most bang for your buck.

11. Get mom (or aunt, or MIL…) to babysit. – Family can quickly turn into your most valuable childcare resource.

12. Buy in bulk. -You know you’ll need lots of some things (like diapers and formula). If you have the storage space, stock up to save cash.

13. Make your own baby food. – When baby starts to eat solids, toss cooked veggies into the blender with a bit of liquid, and save the meals in ice trays — the money you’ll save makes it worth the extra effort.

14. Forget the comforter. – Since baby won’t actually USE it, it isn’t really necessary.

15. Get crafty. – DIY projects take time, but they save cash (and add fun personal touches).

16. Forget the fancy toys. Baby will be content with smaller price tags (or spoons, pans, and cardboard boxes, for that matter).

17. Go without a changing table. – Instead, top the dresser with a changing pad and add a few wall shelves for storage.

18. Cook. – Eating out, ordering in, and frozen meals can eat up a lot of cash.
Read the rest at The Bump.com

The 7 Superfoods That Every Pregnant Woman Should Eat

smoothie-1425495_1280

When you are expecting, you get tons of advice from everyone, including doctors, books, friends and well-meaning strangers. At times, it will appear that everyone will have something to say about what you put in your mouth and may give you unsolicited advice on what you should be eating.

Here is one more piece of advice about what you should be eating. Definitely eat 5 to 6 small meals per day to stay satiated and keep your energy level up. And when possible, try to pack in as many “superfoods” as you can because these foods provide a boost of extra nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you and your baby need at this time.


The folks at Superfoodsliving.com put together an informative Infographic that breaks down simply and visually, the 7 superfoods that you should try to eat when you’re pregnant. Check it out:

7-superfoods

Here’s How to Boost Your Baby’s Brain with A Healthy Prenatal Lifestyle

Pregnant woman exercising at home

Pregnant woman exercising at home

Prenatal care is incredibly important to establish, when you are expecting– certain measures can either harm or help the development of your baby. Studies have shown that prenatal exercise is healthy for both you and the baby, as it boosts the fetal brain development. There are certain exercises and diets you should implement into your lifestyle, while pregnant, so you can enhance your child’s cognitive potential. Here is some information about fetal brain development and tips on how you can establish a healthy lifestyle that’s beneficial for your baby:

Brain Development Process

Fetal brain development is incremental over the nine months of pregnancy. Synapses activity begins and nerve cells form within the first trimester — healthy development of the brain could be impeded if the mother is exposed to chemicals like alcohol, tobacco, mercury, dioxin, pesticides and lead. Sensory organs and nerve development occurs in the second trimester, which requires a high intake of healthy fats from natural sources. Basic cognitive development comes into play in the third trimester.

Exercise

Exercise seems difficult when you’re carrying the extra weight, feel achy and are constantly tired. However, safe physical activity will help you gain more energy, improve your mood, reduce muscle pain and strengthen all parts of your body. The change in blood flow, stimulated by exercise, will have a positive effect on your child’s growth. The best exercises for expectant mothers are yoga and swimming, as they are low impact but still target important muscles and will increase the heart rate. For more information about exercise guidelines for pregnant and postpartum women, visit 24 Hour Fitness’ exercise guidelines on their website. About 30 minutes of moderate exercise is recommended for most pregnant women. But, make sure you have a conversation with your doctor before you implement any new exercise routines.

What To Eat


Nutrients are very important for a healthy pregnancy — you should have ample sources of vitamins and minerals that will support the growth of your baby. Choose natural food sources, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and non-hormonal, grass-fed meat. Make sure you include into your daily diet 27 milligrams of iron rich food, .4 mg of folic acid, 1200 mg of calcium rich food, 70 mg of Vitamin C, 250 micrograms of iodine and a healthy dose of Vitamin A. Foods that will provide you with these super-nutrients include avocados, citrus fruits, broccoli, figs, tomatoes, kiwis, beans, grapes, yams and carrots. You should also drink at least 12 glasses of water each day, as it is a major carrier between the nutrients you eat and the baby. Water also sustains the amniotic sack.

What Not To Eat

Stay away from processed foods, as many pre-packaged foods will contain difficult to interpret ingredients. You may accidentally ingest chemicals that are harmful for the baby through processed foods. Also make sure you steer clear of foods are likely to be contaminated, like tuna that could have been exposed to mercury and produce that has been treated with pesticides. It is best that you shop organic, so you know that your foods haven’t been chemically treated — make sure everything you purchase has a USDA Organic certification label, as many producers will label their items as organic, when they’re not.

Pregnant American Women Are Smoking Weed to Cure Morning Sickness

flowers-1845902_960_720

U.S. women are increasingly using marijuana during pregnancy, sometimes to treat morning sickness, new reports suggest. Though the actual numbers are small, the trend raises concerns because of evidence linking the drug with low birth weights and other problems.

In 2014, almost 4 percent of pregnant women said they’d recently used marijuana, up from 2.4 percent in 2002, according to an analysis of annual drug use surveys.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said the results raise concerns and urged doctors and other health care providers to avoid recommending the drug for pregnant women. Volkow commented in an editorial published online Monday with the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A separate study in the same journal found that almost 10 percent of adult marijuana users in the United States — 3 million people — have used it at least partly for medical reasons; 20 percent of these users live in states where medical marijuana isn’t legal.

continue reading

After Baby, this App helps Extended Families Schedule Casserole Delivery

broccoli-1804446_960_720

A relatively new desktop app is on the market for brand new moms who may need support from family and friends after having her baby. One of our blogger reviewers and blog friends just had her baby and she had a very difficult delivery.

A lot of people have generously offered to make her family meals while she spends an extended time in recovery. But, as you can imagine, that is a set up for more food than one can eat and a lot of spoilage and thrown out casseroles.


Enter Meal Train. Family, friends and colleagues can organize and schedule meals for a new mom, or anyone who is dealing with surgery recovery or an illness. It’s relatively simple to set up an account and sign up.

The company estimates that 2 million people from 40 different countries use the service each month. Plans start at free. There is a $10 plan for those that want to make arrangements for more than meals: childcare, housework, visitors, meals, lawncare, rides. Finally, there is an option for those organizing potlucks as well that is free!

meal-train-meal-calendar-for-new-parents-surgery-illness-and-more

Here is a NBC Nightly News report about the service:

Moms-to-be, Zika-Repellent Clothing is Now Available (REVIEW)

runner-405773_640

Texas is the second state in America to experience a Zika-infection based on a home-grown mosquito. Florida was the first though Miami has  recently been cleared of all Zika-carrying mosquitos.

Now although mosquito season has sunsetted for now, the scary outcome of local virus-carrying insects could mean that the rest of the US is susceptible for its mosquitoes to start carrying the dangerous virus which causes deformity in babies being incubated if their mom is bitten and become infected.


While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to study the epidemic, and issue warnings and advice based on its findings, everyday folks must remain vigilante and be sure to wear mosquito repellent. This precaution is especially necessary for pregnant women, including those that live in warmer climates where mosquitoes exist or are flying around.

In addition to repellent, some clothing manufacturers are beginning to produce clothes that have an added repellent effect. For example, Nobitech is a Los Angeles, California-based athletic apparel company that sells garments treated with Skintex MR III, which is the only apparel treatment approved by the Environment Protection Agency to repel mosquitoes using microencapsulated technology.

Some of the garments in apparel 2016 Rio Summer Games athletes wore had Skintex technology which repels ants, flies, chiggers and midges, and is touted as a supplement to repel mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile Virus, Zika and Lyme disease-carrying ticks.

As an avid runner, serial charity race participant and outdoor trainer and exerciser, I was quite excited to receive a complimentary  long sleeve pull over top with a zipper (retails: $32.85) and running pants (retails: $55.75) to review. They both are made 100% of  microfiber polyester pk maX and fit ultra comfortably while  looking quite stylish. You wouldn’t even know they had a dual purpose because they resemble any other athletic clothing on the market, complete with the inherent moisture wicking quality.

For running and biking in the late evenings, there is reflective tape in the front and back. I also think I looked super cute in it and had to take a selfie for the Gram. (smile)

jj-ghatt-jjghatt-%e2%80%a2-instagram-photos-and-videos

The clothing has a shorter shelf life than some because they are only effective for 25 washes. Afterwards, it loses its repellent effectiveness and that is because the durable carrier used to bind permethrin to the garment dilutes over time. Also, to maintain effectiveness, the clothing should be washed separate form other clothing or washables. After worn out, the makers suggest that the clothing not be re purposed but instead disposed of in the trash so it does not contaminate water, food, or feed for storage or disposal.

But there should be no fear over the treatment because it is that technology that makes it work. Chamber tests have shown a significantly lower number of bites through a shirt containing  microencapsulated permethrin versus one that has non-encapsulated permethrin.

The price point starting at just $19.95 is pretty decent and very competitive given that, when combined with wearing mosquito repellent on the skin, you’re getting extra protection from life-altering viruses when wearing Nobitech clothing.

There are no maternity sizes but they go up to XXL and the material has plenty of stretch to accommodate a growing tummy for those who are expecting and love exercising outdoors or who simply want the extra protection of mosquito repellent clothing when out and about.

It’s a good choice for those who may just want to stay holed up at home while expecting. This clothing should provide some extra level of comfort if anything because it’s just an additional step of precaution. Get yours on their website at Nobitech!