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Office Depot donated 3.7M backpacks and sackpacks to kids this year

office depot bellyitchblog.com

This year, Office Depot and its foundation is giving away 3.7 million backpacks and sackpacks to nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies across the United States and internationally.

It’s part of the Office Depot Foundation‘s 15-year  National Backpack Program  which  provides children important tools they need to succeed in school – and in life- at the beginning of the new school year.

“For most children, the first day of school is an exciting time complete with new clothes and back-to-school gear,” says Office Depot Foundation President Mary Wong.  “But for kids in families where money is tight, the experience can be just the opposite.  We believe that every child should have the opportunity to go to school with dignity and hope.  The sackpacks and school supplies we donate help to level the playing field and give these wonderful children a reason to stand just a little bit taller.”

The specially designed, drawstring-style sackpacks come in seven bright and colorful designs that are new for 2015.  Each one includes a zippered pouch containing a pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, six-inch ruler and four crayons.  And there are no logos from the foundation or Office Depot or any other brand on the bags.

In July and August this year, the Foundation hosted launch events in Atlanta, San Francisco, New Orleans and Indiannapolis to distribute the backpacks.

The Foundation collaboration partners include the AARP Experience Corps, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, Feed the Children, Food For The Poor, the Kids In Need Foundation, the National Foundation for Women Legislators, Operation Homefront and Samaritan’s Feet International. For the seventh consecutive year, children of the Navajo Nation in Arizona will receive sackpacks.

Good stuff!

World Breastfeeding Week: #Nats Open MLB’s First Ever Breastfeeding Lounge

nats nursing

For World Breastfeeding Week, we will also like to recognize Bellyitch Blog‘s home Major League Baseball team The Washington Nationals for being the first team in the leauge to have a lounge area just for breastfeeding moms.

Alexandria, Virginia-based Lansinoh Laboratories Inc. sponsored the new lounge which is located near Section 223 at ‪#‎Nats‬ Park.

nats baby

The lounge is air-conditioned, and includes TVs, diaper changing stations, a play area for toddlers and many electrical outlets.

It also features comfortable chairs for breastfeeding mothers, diaper changing stations and a play area for toddlers.

“We are excited to unveil a dedicated and comfortable space for nursing mothers,” said Valerie Camillo, the Nationals’ chief revenue and marketing officer. “We truly value the fantastic feedback fans offered us, and are grateful for Lansinoh’s assistance in creating this space.”

The family lounge opened yesterday, Thursday, August 6.

Netflix rewards Employees with Unlimited Maternity & Paternity Leave

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Yesterday, Netflix announced that is will offer employees unlimited maternity and paternity leave.

Its Chief Talent Office, Tawni Cranz, explained it in a blog post:

At Netflix, we work hard to foster a “freedom and responsibility” culture that gives our employees context about our business and the freedom to make their own decisions along with the accompanying responsibility. With this in mind, today we’re introducing an unlimited leave policy for new moms and dads that allows them to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.

We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances. Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed. We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay. Each employee gets to figure out what’s best for them and their family, and then works with their managers for coverage during their absences.

Netflix’s continued success hinges on us competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field. Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home. This new policy, combined with our unlimited time off, allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated.

After baby, parents are invited to come back full or part time.  Wow!

It’s a good development, and is a one-upping of Vodafone‘s recent announcement about its 16 weeks program, and a lot of other tech companies, generally offering generous family leave.

It’s all about work-life balance. These days. Good thing, right? Inquiring minds want to know.

Donald Trump calls Lawyer ‘Disgusting’ after asking for Breastfeeding Break


US 2016 Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is catching some heat today for once calling a lawyer disgusting after she asked to excuse herself temporarily from a legal proceeding so she could pump breast milk for a baby at home.

A New York times report today discusses the recently  uncovered transcript from a 2011 Trump deposition over a failed Florida real estate project. When Elizabeth Beck, then a brand new mom who was also the attorney for the opposing side of the case, asked for a break to pump, she raised her breast bump bag to signal the genuineness and urgency of her request.

“You’re disgusting,” Trump told the woman before getting up himself to scurry from the room, the reports states.

Trump tweeted in response to the incident today claiming that Beck was attempting to nurse in front of him. He said he she lost and he loved beating her.

Also, without denying the allegations, Trump’s lawyer, Alan Garter, told the Times in a statement that Trump’s statement “was in no way a statement about her decision to breastfeed or pump. It was solely the fact that she was appearing to do it in the middle of a deposition,” and make an attempt to get extra time.

Um…this guy probably never in his life had super engorged breasts! News flash: It is uber painful and uncomfortable! The consequence of her not pumping would be for her milk to leak through her breastpads and clothing. How insensitive, aloof and unsympathetic can these guys be! Garter is one thing, but the Donald wants to be president! ugh!

As expected, Beck calls Trump’s camp response ridiculous saying she was only requesting a private place to pump, she told CNN this morning.

““[Trump] got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there,” Beck said, referrign to this his behavior as “an absolute meltdown.”

Outside of this incident, the only other indication Trump has given on his feelings of mothers and children since announcing his candidacy came during a speech in Iowa earlier this year.

After the event,  he proudly boasted that a crying baby was driving him “crazy” but he kept his cool because he “didn’t want to insult the parents for not taking the kid out of the room!”

Yay! You get a gold Star!

Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV star of The Apprentice is the dad to our Bellyitch Bumpwatch Alum, Ivanka Trump.


VIRAL: UK Orangutan Kisses pregnant Woman’s bump through Glass (VIDEO)

bellyitchblog.com orangutan kissing pregnant

An orangutan at a UK zoo named Rajang is my kindred spirit. I gravitate towards pregnant women and take notice of them immediately wherever I go, in all social and work settings.

So too does Rajang who kissed the pregnant belly of a 37 weeks expecting mom in a recent YouTube video that has gone viral and is making the media rounds.

The primate can be seen kissing the bump of mum-to-be Maisie Knight twice through the glass enclosure at the Colchester Zoo as Knight pressed her belly against the glass.

Knight’s beau Jay Clarke films the action before the couple uploaded it onto the popular video sharing social media network.

It’s the cutest thing!

Zookeepers say that’s Raj’s thing. He loves to interact with pregnant visitors. So sweet!

See the YouTube video below:

Exploitation of Poor Women, Gay Couple center Surrogacy Controversy

Attention has mounted the past few days over a recent surrogacy case in Thailand in which a surrogate mother refused to allow the American couple who hired her to take their child out of the country when she found out that they were homosexual, Reuters News reports.

Although the woman in the case, Patidta, is not the child’s biological mother, under Thai law the birth mother is recognized as being the mother of the child, and commissioning parents have no automatic legal rights over the newborn.

Apparently Patidta believed she would be giving the baby to a heterosexual couple, but only learned they were homosexual when the couple came to pick the child up. She then refused to let them take the baby.

Women from a poor areas in the world are playing a large role in the multibillion dollar pregnancy surrogacy industry, with many mothers being forced or coerced into carrying a child for someone else.

“Surrogacy depends in many cases on the exploitation of poor women, because it’s the poor who have to sell and the rich that can afford to buy,” Christopher White told CNA July 23.

Continue reading 

STUDY: Eldest child in Family has the highest IQ



New birth order research suggests that eldest kids have the highest IQ compared to their younger siblings. 

The massive study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, analyzed the traits of 377,000 high school students. 

In the end, researchers found that first-born children have a single-point advantage when it comes to IQ and that first-borns were more “extroverted, agreeable and conscientious” overall.

As a first born child, I approve this message!


Read a more thorough summary HERE! And access the study HERE!

Couples turn to GoFundMe to raise funds for IVF Treatment 


A Utah couple were able to become parents for the first time thanks to the kindness of strangers who contributed to her crowd source fund campaign. 

Last year Lori Linford launched a plea on the GoFundMe site for help in funding the cost of her IVF.

This past May, she welcomed her daughter after years of fertility struggles. 

Linford described her story this way:

One year ago my husband and I started our IVF journey. At the time my husband, Jason, was 42, and I was 37. Our ages, plus a dream I had had indicated that we could no longer delay having children. We had been saving money for years, but did not have the $25,000 needed to begin IVF, so we turned to GoFundMe. There, we were able to raise $5,000. It was what we needed to pay up front the cost of IVF. July 20, 2014 was the beginning for us. It is when I started medications to prepare my body for IVF. Then came shots, egg retrieval, sperm retrieval, and then on September 10, 2014, 2 embryos were implanted. 10 days later I got the phone call that I was pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. I took a pregnancy test (which I had done many times before) but this time it was positive. I immediately knelt down and thanked my Heavenly Father. October 9, 2014 is when we had our first ultra sound where it was confirmed that one embryo had attached. I was devastated that both hadn’t taken, but delighted that we had the one! Fast forward many months and doctor’s appointments later came May 12, 2015, the day our little Lloklan was born. She is absolutely beautiful.

 I am delighted for this opportunity to come back on to the show to raise awareness of infertility, the blessings of websites like GoFundMe where people can selflessly give to others in need, and to thank those who personally helped me get my little Lloklan. I am determined to pay it forward. I give a little money monthly to help others and sometimes a little extra when I see causes I feel prompted to help. I am not at this time able to give much since our savings is depleted, but even a little can go a long way.

They aren’t the only would-be TTC couples using the popular fundraising site to gather funds. 

Folks like Stacy and Mike Musgrave (pictured above) have successfully raised enough money for their IVF treatment. The Musgraves got close to 100 people to donate almost $10,500 in 4 months for their fertility treatment. 

Good stuff! Congrats all!

How DO pregnancy tests work? (VIDEO)

How do pregnancy tests work    Tien Nguyen   YouTube

In the TED-Ed video lesson, “How do pregnancy tests work?Tien Nguyen explains how each modern pregnancy test is able to tell if you’re pregnant within minutes. The concept of the modern pregnancy test started in 1963 when a small study reproduced the ancient Egyptian pregnancy test, where women would urinate on wheat and barley seeds and wait to see if they sprouted. If wheat sprouted faster, they believed it was a girl, but if barley, a boy. The 1963 study was able to predict pregnancy with a 70 percent accuracy rate, although it can’t reliably tell the sex of the baby.

Although many home pregnancy tests claim to be accurate as early as the first day of a missed period or even before, says the Mayo Clinic, it’s best to wait until one week after a missed period. OTC pregnancy tests are all designed to do one thing, detect a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which is produced in the earliest stages of pregnancy and tells the body not to shed the inner lining of the uterus that month. The hormone enters the bloodstream and urine when it begins production in the placenta, and increases rapidly every two to three days.

The over-the-counter (OTC) pregnancy test begins when urine is applied to the exposed end of the strip as the fluid travels up the absorbent fibers that will cross three separate zones. The first zone, the reaction zone, is where the y-shaped proteins called antibodies — they contain a handy enzyme with the ability to turn on dye molecules — will latch onto any HCG.

The urine then picks up all the AB1 enzymes and carries them to the test zone, where the results show up. This type of test is known as the sandwich assay. If HCG is present, it gets sandwiched between the AB1 enzyme and AB2 and sticks to the test zone, allowing the attached dye-activating enzyme to create a visible pattern. If there’s no HCG, the wave of urine and enzymes just passes on by.

read more

See a video that Nguyen presented with his talk:


Bellyitch alum Rochelle Humes co-hosts AOL’s first British Web Video Series

being mum

British TV personality and girl band member Rochelle Humes, a Bellyitch alum, launched a 13-episode web series “Being Mum” with co-host TV presenter Tess Daly yesterday, July 13, as part  AOL’s first British web video series.

The Verizon-communications owned American digital media company, well-known for being an Internet and email pioneer, inked a deal with Nestle to exclusively sponsor the online only show.

The program tackles what it’s like to be a mother and features interviews with top British celebrities and personalities. Being Mum will discuss everything form being a working mom, pregnancy, the highs and lows of pregnancy and motherhood, and raising children.

During a special pre-launch episode last week, UK singer Alesha Dixon talked about hiding her pregnancy  for 6 months while taping the show Britain’s Got Talent and having to ignore the baby frantically kicking every time a bell would ring during production.

Another Bellyitch Alum, ex Spice Girl girl band member Emma Bunton was featured in that July 9 special last week.

Each Monday, for the next six months, a new episode will be made available on a dedicated website, via mobile devices, on the AOL On app and set top boxes.  Jade Jagger and Paralympian and London 7/7 bombing survivor Martine Wright are among other future guests.

Nestle will run baby milk, and SMA Nutrition ads around the content and will include an unskippable 30-second pre-roll ad before each episode.

tess dayly

TV presenter Tess Daly interviews singer Alyesha Dixon


“Mums are now more than ever turning to digital and social platforms to find useful, helpful content, supporting them as a mum,” Anne-Luce Guedj, consumer marketing manager at Nestlé Nutrition, said in a press release.”SMA Nutrition’s partnership with Being Mum allows us to integrate our messaging with relevant, original, quality content and deliver an audience at scale across a number of publishing platforms and devices.”

New research from UK YouTube mom community Channel Mum and UK media market research group Kantar Media indicates that young Briitsh moms are open to consuming video content, and millineal moms, especially, “often seek both entertainment and practical help from video content, suggesting there’s a market for brands who can help ‘reassure’ them,” Guedj said.

It will also show on all of the AOL On network sites including The Huffington Post UK, Telegraph Media Group, Trinity Mirror, Local World and TalkTalk. The exclusive sponsorship is for the entire six months.

AOL is also planning another UK series titled “30 Something” with Richard Bacon, which is currently in production.

The future is digital video content and it’s great to  see AOL jump on the opportunity to support content providers that bring messages to the evergreen market of pregnant, new and veteran moms.

*hint hint to anyone who wants to sponsor us for 6 months** lol.