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Centers for Disease Control

Bellyitch Rewind: Eric Benet’s Wife Manuela’s Tender Belly Dedication

Bellyitch Rewind

In a very brave and courageous promotion of breastfeeding, singer Eric Benet, shared a photo of his newborn daughter Lucia nursing on his wife Manuela Testolini via Instagram, a new innovative and popular iPhone app used for enhancing and sharing images with friends.

Lucia was born on December 21, 2012 E! News reports.

Ideally, people who see this image would be encouraged and understand how natural and beautiful the act of nourishing a child is. Sadly, breastfeeding isn’t always celebrated and appreciated, even though research says that breastfeeding is the best for newborns and babies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 26% of babies are never breastfed. Breastfeeding is healthy and is used to transfer critical antibodies and immunity to babies. The benefits of breastfeeding are endless.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics research, human milk feeding decreases the incidence and/or severity of a wide range of infectious diseases including bacterial meningitis, bacteremia, diarrhea, respiratory tract infection, necrotizing enterocolitis,otitis media,urinary tract infection, and late-onset sepsis in preterm infants.

In addition, postneonatal infant mortality rates in the United States are reduced by 21% in breastfed infants and research indicates that breastfed babies

The CDC also reports that African Americans are less likely to breastfeed their children. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies report that Blacks stop breastfeeding sooner than other races, setting up their children for higher incidences of illnesses and diseases that non-breastfed children succumb to at a higher rate than those who were nursed. The report links higher rates of infant mortality and low birth weight to lack of breastfeeding.

There is a taboo about it among the black community, perhaps, and those who nurse for too long are not encouraged and are sometimes egged on to stop breastfeeding after a few weeks or months. Shorter breastfeeding times are also linked to low income mothers who have to report to work earlier and have shorter maternity leave and/or work in settings where they do not have a private place to pump and store their milk for their babies.

Kim Durdin-James, national president of the African-American Breastfeeding Alliance (AABA), summed it up well in saying, “In the best of times, breastfeeding is the optimal feeding choice for young children because it provides babies with all vital nutrients for growth and development, but in times of disaster, breastfeeding can mean the difference between life and death.”

So Benet sharing this image may spark dialog and conversation about nursing. Unfortunately, some may see it as over-sharing and too private an image to be sharing with the world.

But if the purpose was to share with the world a piece of two of his most favorite girls (his mom and daughter India probably being other favorite females) doing a natural act that is his prerogative and he should be celebrated and applauded for doing so not discouraged and lambasted.

A few weeks before the birth, Benet tweeted this wonderful belly pic of Manuela:

It reads: Your heart beats because of our love Our love beats stronger because of you. Lovely!

How to Make CDC-Compliant Hand Sanitizer at Home {DIY Style}

hand sanitizer

hand sanitizer

The current coronavirus outbreak has caused a lot of people to make a run on hand sanitizers.  Sadly, the rush has led to a shortage and plenty of empty shelves.

My family traveled to several stores over the weekend looking to restock and could not find a bottle around. What to do? For crafty people, (and even for non-crafty folks) there is an option of making your own hand sanitizer.

The trick is to make sure you use sufficient alcohol to ensure the disinfectant impact remains. There are a lot of recipes out there and circulating in social media that call for a lot of fragrant oils to mask the alcohol scent and to counter the drying effect of alcohol.

The problem with that is that it dilutes the impact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the sanitizer has 60% alcohol content. 

Commercial hand sanitizers likely have a concentration of somewhere between 60% to 90% alcohol so you have to be careful about formulas out there. I found a recipe that is basic and does the trick and contains sufficient amount of hand sanitizers

You will need:

1/3 cup Aloe Vera Gel

2/3 cup Rubbing Alcohol  (Use 99% Isopropyl Alcohol)

Few drops of essential oil in the fragrance of your choice (optional)

A pump or squirt bottle



Add the gel to a bowl of alcohol and stir

Stir in an essential oil if using. 

Transfer to a squirt bottle or pump bottle using a funnel. 

You can roll a piece of thick construction paper into a cone

Do not pour it into a spray bottle as this is a gel-like mixture.

That’s it. Toss in your purse, diaper bag, and drop one in each kid’s back pack.

diy hand sanitizers

Why Are Black Mothers Dying During Childbirth More/Miscarrying At Work in America?

Charles Johnson , his wife Kyira Adele Dixon and their son Charles  in Cartagena Colombia August 23, 2015 Photo Credit: Courtesy Charles Johnson

For every 13 white women who die during pregnancy or within one year of giving birth, there are 44 black women. Most of these deaths are preventable.

Maternal death rates is rising in America and black women are dying most. According to the Centers for Disease Control, black women are three to four times more at risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes than any other race.

“The experience of being black in America is so fundamentally different from the experience of being white in America that it translates to health outcomes,” said Dr. William Callaghan, chief of the CDC’s Maternal and Infant Health Branch.

It is happening at every socioeconomic level. Tennis Champ Serena Williams complained of doctors not listening to her about her critical chronic condition after the birth of her first child.

Trending this week is the story of celebrity TV Judge, Judge Hatchett‘s daughter in law, Kyira Johnson, who was a 39-year-old and mom to a 19-month old son with her husband, Charles Johnson IV, Judge Hatchett’s son.

Kyria walked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for a scheduled C-section to deliver her second son Langton in 2016— and would never walk out.

Judge Hatchett, her son Charles Johnson and his childeren Langston and Charles at home in Atlanta, GA on 6/20/17. Photographer: Julian Dufort

“We were expecting this to be a walk in the park,” Charles, 36, an entrepreneur, told PEOPLE magazine in a feature last year. “We thought we’d go in, high five, spend a couple days in the hospital and come home with two little boys.”

Charles said he noticed blood in Kira’s catheter and that she was in pain, but “smiled through the pain”

“She never complained,”  he shared to that site. “She was so tough.” Kyria later died caused by a lacerated bladder that occurred during her C-section. Charles’ family sued but he didn’t stop there and has been working to create new laws and change policy, even testifying before congressional panels in Washington.

It’s not just the pre and post child birth experience either.

A new New York Times report indicates that women are also suffering miscarriages when they are denied requests for light duty at work when pregnant. The article told the story of few warehouse employees who lifted heavy boxes after work after begging their supervisors to work with lighter boxes but were repeatedly told no.

Editor’s note: As a black mother, I find this trend and the news coming out of several reports quite troubling.

This is a health crisis that should be addressed but I have no hope that it will get better before it gets worse if some things don’t change. Racism and discrimination, health disparity and negative attitudes towards certain groups won’t help either.

Could the solution be more doulas and midwifes and better laws and policies, and implementation? Perhaps! Let’s continue the conversation online at Bellyitch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Find me JayJay Ghatt on Twitter!


Tia Mowry Hardict Battles Back After Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis

Tia Mowry Hardrict recently revealed that she contracted gestational diabetes while pregnant with her second child, daughter Cairo Tiahna.

“After being diagnosed with #gestationaldiabetes, I was lost for words,” she captioned a video of herself and her trainer getting in some exercise. “Never ever did I think, THIS could happen to me. Most of the time, doctors say it will go away after birth, however, it does put you at a higher risk for diabetes later in life. Time to get back on track. Making healthy choices and moving :). ?? Follow my @igtvworld for more updates! Xx”

She is correct! About half of all women who develop gestational diabetes are likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life according to the Centers for Disease Control. Babies too whose mothers have gestational diabetes are at higher risk of being born early, having low blood sugar, and developing obesity later in life.

The key is to eat healthy, maintain a healthy diet, that includes leafy vegetables, fruits and wholesome food to stave them off. Good for Mowry Hardrict for being proactive!

For those not yet pregnant or still in the early stages of your pregnancy, compared to usual care, lifestyle interventions reduced the overall risk of developing gestational diabetes by 32%. Watch your sugar and caloric intake, get plenty of prenatal exercise in like walking and monitor your food portions and you should be okay!

Meanwhile, the 2nd-time new mom has been keeping her fans and followers updated with her post natal plans and showing off photos of her hubby and son with Cory Hardrict’s dead ringer, baby Cairo Tiahna Hardrict, who has the same monogram  (CTH) as big brother Cree Taylor Hardict, similar to how their cousins, Tamera Mowry-Housley‘s children have the same monogram (ATH): Aden Tanner Housley and Ariah Talea Housley.

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Tiny Tot and Dadda 🙂

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Researchers Studying High US Maternal Death Rate Seek Survey Participants


Surprisingly, the United States has become the most dangerous industrialized nation in which to give birth, recent data supports.

Scary, huh?

In fact, American women are more than twice as likely to die of pregnancy-related causes as British women, three times as likely as Canadians and six times as likely as Norwegians and Poles, according to 2015 data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

While other wealthy nations reduced maternal deaths in recent years, the U.S. maternal mortality rate jumped more than 25 percent from 2000 to 2014, researchers reported last August.

For every expectant or new mom who dies in or shortly after child birth, there are as much as 100 moms who came close to dying and were left with crippling long-term physical, emotional and economic effects. Yikes!

Think hemorrhages, strokes, aneurysms, clots, sepsis infections, cardiac arrest, organ failure and other life-threatening complications of pregnancy and childbirth.


The Centers for Disease Control report that these problems have been on the rise, and now exceed 65,000 a year.

There are also frightening disparities also at play. African-American mothers are 3 to 4 times more likely to die or nearly die than whites.

What gives? ProPublica and NPR and Special Correspondent Renee Montagne have launched an investigative study to try to understand why so many American women die and nearly die because of pregnancy and childbirth—and how the health care system can be improved to protect more mothers from harm.

They’ve heard from 2,500 women since launching their study this past February but they are in search of more voices.

If you or someone you know passed away or  nearly did during pregnancy, childbirth, or within a year after delivery, they want to hear from you. Do your part to help researchers get to the bottom of this crisis. Pretty please!

Go to this link and fill? Please tell us your story.

You can also reach the study group by email at [email protected] or [email protected]. Thanks much!

CDC: Men, No Sex for 6 Months if You Travel to Zika-Effected Region


Today, we’ve learned that the star player for the NBA‘s Golden State Warrior basketball team, Steph Curry, has decided to skip Summer’s Rio Olympics in order to let his injured knee heel properly in between seasons, ESPN reports.

Speculators believe he is also fearful of contracting Zika, a disease which results in flu-like symptoms to adult carriers but is sexually transmitted and can result in birth defects to an incubating fetus.

Curry and his wife Ayesha Curry have a wonderful franchise of their own in their adorable daughters Riley and Ryan Curry. If they were to accidentally build on #TeamCurry, they’d be risking the next member being negatively effected by Zika.

Also…here is another reason that married and/or sexually active speculators need to consider: the Centers for Disease Control recommends that men who travel to Zika-effected regions to abstain from sex or use condoms for six months after leaving the region if they start exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

SIX MONTHS?!?!?!?!?!? Whoa baby!

That’s right, the unknown nature of this virus has caused the agency to go even further given that symptoms may not show up immediately.  It is recommended that men abstain altogether whether or not they have a positive test.

Well…there’s some motivation right there to keep some married men with wives of child-bearing age away, huh? (wink)

Of the 273 confirmed Zika cases on the U.S. mainland, 9 involve pregnant women. Six of those cases were transmitted sexually, the CDC said.


Influential Celeb Moms help Promote Breastfeeding among Black Women

black celeb moms promoting breastfeeding

I was stalking the Instagrammed wedding photos from our Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum Yandy Smith, the music manager and e-magazine publisher who stars in the VH1 show Love and Hip Hop. I stopped at a glorious photo of the beautiful new mom breastfeeding her infant daughter Skylar right before the ceremony.

She captioned the photo: “OMG @timefrozen you captured my life in a nutshell in this pic. Baby Skylar started crying right before I walked. I had to walk down the isle a little late because I had to feed her. I love this picture. Thank you for capturing this without me even knowing. Lol. #smithharriswedding2015 #moderndomesticegl”

Marvelous! I love Smith’s IG because in all of her photos she comes off genuinely happy and full of life. She seems nurturing, in love with her new husband and children and she embraces her beautiful and curvy new mom body and is confident in her skin even as she amps up her work out routine in recent weeks to gradually get back to her pre-baby size. She’s a great IG follow.

This discovery came the day after I also spotted an equally wonderful breastfeeding support IG pic from rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges wife, Eudoxie Bridges, who is an independently accomplished woman in her own right, having recently received a Master’s degree and pursuing a Medical degree.

The photo featured stacks of breast milk the Gabonese new mom to daughter Candace had recently pumped so dad could feed baby while Eudoxie caught up on some sleep.

“Got the supply ready for daddy’s shift ?? #gotbreastmilk #liquidgoldastheycallit #bestdadever #heismrmom #takesnightshifts,” she captioned the photo.

I think both are serving as wonderful ambassadors to breastfeeding to their community of followers that include lots of black and African American women.

This demo stops breastfeeding earliest out of all other racial groups, partially because of culture stigma.

The Centers for Disease Control  reports that African Americans are less likely to breastfeed their children. “Black infants consistently had the lowest rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration across all study years,” the CDC statistics note.

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies reports that Blacks stop breastfeeding sooner than other races, setting up their children for higher incidences of illnesses and diseases that non-breastfed children succumb to at a higher rate than those who were nursed. The report also links higher rates of infant mortality and low birth weight to lack of breastfeeding.

There is a taboo about it among the black community, perhaps, and those who nurse for too long are not encouraged or supported and are sometimes egged on to stop breastfeeding after a few weeks or months.  Although to be fair, shorter breastfeeding times are also linked to working wage-earning mothers who have little to no maternity leave who all have to report to work earlier.  Also, moms who have shorter maternity leave and/or work in settings where they do not have a private place to pump and store their milk for their babies, also stop earlier.

Kim Durdin-James, national president of the African-American Breastfeeding Alliance (AABA), summed it up well in saying, “In the best of times, breastfeeding is the optimal feeding choice for young children because it provides babies with all vital nutrients for growth and development, but in times of disaster, breastfeeding can mean the difference between life and death.”

So it is great to see influential women sharing their experience breastfeeding which perhaps could encourage more to do the same, if they do not face any other impediment to breastfeeding like low supply, extreme discomfort or other problems.

Kudos Eudoxie and Yandy!

What Nick Cannon tells twins Roe and Roc about fighting the flu (VIDEO INTERVIEW)

“Don’t touch your face with your hands” is the lesson

celebrity dad Nick Cannon instills

in his twins, Monroe and Moroccan when they’re out and about, jet setting

across country and meeting many people along the way.
One day after his birthday, the actor, TV host and producer

shared with us some of his tried and true tips and suggestions for protecting

himself and his children from the flu.
Each year, close to 20% of the nation contract the flu and of

those 200,000 have to be hospitalized for flu-related complications each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Cannon said he feels it’s important to use his celebrity

status “to shine light on the things that really matter and it gives me

opportunity to do interesting partnerships like the one I have now with the

makers of Theraflu to spread

awareness this flu season to really get everyone ‘flu ready’.”
 That was the comedian

and TV producer’s reason for teaming up with the makers of Theraflu to promote

its Fluprint campaign.
“Health and wellness is on everyone’s mind and it is Flu

season and being a father of two young kids that travel a lot, and myself

always on the go, you want to make sure, just in my own personal house to make sure

everyone in my household stays healthy, and getting their vaccinations,” said Cannon,

who is married to our Bellyitch

alum Mariah Carey.
Clearly not one of those celebrity parents who is also an Anti-Vaxxer, Cannon says though he’s

not a medical expert, but knows “there’s a lot of misconception about

It’s not like the man who was diagnosed with lupus nephritis in 2012 can afford to

be too exposed.
It’s “an autoimmune condition so my immune system is extra

sensitive,“ the School Dance executive producer shared.

“I follow the same steps of the Flu print, those 5 easy steps, you know 1,

making sure I do have the vaccinations, and then from there preparing and being

proactive, hand sanitizers, and keeping myself in the most healthy environment

as possible and then if I do come down with something making sure I treat it

properly the best way I can with things like Theraflu.”
And with this campaign, anyone can help families without

health insurance and in impoverished areas get critical flu vaccines.
For every like on the Theraflu Facebook page, its

makers will donate $1 up to $100,000 to the national Families Fighting Flu

charity. It’s that simple and not a hoax; and an easy way to give back.
The comedian and writer is a frequent feature on the blog,

and was in the news lately over his large crucifix back tattoo.
After pointing out the new ink, we asked the Drumline alum, who grew up with a televangelist dad,

how he suggests parents protect themselves from viruses in houses of worship,

where often times hand shaking and drinking from one communion cups is  part of Sunday ritual.
“That’s a good question,” says Cannon, who recently signed

a deal to pen a children’s poetry
series. “It’s more about just being a

public in general, whatever your place of worship is,  wherever you go with your family, whether a church

or movie theater, where people feel like they’ll be fellowshipping and touching.
“I encourage my kids to refrain from touching their face

with their hands because that’s often times how you’re going to spread germs,” Cannon

advises. “You are going to shake people’s hands. You can’t avoid that. You are

going to touch things other people have touched. “
There you have it, folks! Stay clear of your face and make

sure your kids do too.

Get educated some more! Get your shot and Give back by checking

out and LIKING Theraflu’s Facebook page HERE

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REDDIT SURVEY: Late Summer and these 4 days see most US Births

This coming Thursday, September 25th and Friday, September 26th is among the 4 most common birthdays for babies born in the United States.

Dan Lin, a University of Virginia grad student analyzed Centers for Disease Control data from 1994 to 2003 and determined that the months of August and September are the most popular months for births.  He found that 9 months after days when there are major snow storms in many parts of America,  most babies are born on September 12, 18, 25 and 26.

Lin also discovered that holidays like New Year’s Day, the 4th of July and Christmas are among the least likely days Americans give birth.

The most common day babies are born is Tuesday, while Sunday is the least common day.

Interesting stuff!

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Youth Sports Safety Month: 6 Kids’ Sports Safety Tips

April is Youth Sports Safety Month. Sports can have a tremendously positive impact on kids’

lives.  A positive experience in sports

can benefit a child not only physically, but socially and emotionally.  Sadly our current youth sports system is

leading to a number of preventable injuries. 

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 3.5 million children under 14

receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.  When it comes to high school athletes, they

are clocking in 2 million injuries a year.
Keep your young athlete safe, healthy and happy with these top six youth sports safety tips tips from the experts at personal coaching company, CoachUp
1. Health, Sleep and Nutrition.  Set your child up for a long, healthy career

in sports by making sure they are eating a balanced diet and are sleeping

regularly.  Always have your child’s

annual physical up-to-date and be diligent with following up on their doctor’s

orders, especially for children with conditions like diabetes.  Never hesitate to bring your child to their

doctor if they are experience pain or feeling ill.
2. Concussion and TBI Awareness.  Make sure both you and your athlete are aware

of the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries, as well as, the long term impacts

of such an injury.  When in doubt, refer

to the guidelines outlined by the CDC and remember to bring your child to a

medical professional immediately if you suspect your child might have sustained

a TBI.
3. Hydration and Heat Related Illness Awareness. Your child

should always be properly hydrated before participating in any physical

activity. Especially if your child’s sport is rigorous or performed in elevated

temperatures, both you and your athlete should be aware of the symptoms of heat

related illnesses such heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
4. Strength, Conditioning and Flexibility Programs.  Particularly for middle to high school

athletes, a well-rounded training program is vital for preventing common

overuse injuries. Your athlete should be diligent about following the strength

and conditioning, and flexibility programs their coach prescribes. Your athlete

might need some extra support with regard accommodations for existing

conditions or injuries or just reviewing proper form, so consider enlisting the

help for a private to work more closely with your child.
5. Sports Performance Stress Management.  As your athlete begins to compete they will

become introduced to the stresses of sports performance.  You can help your athlete by making your home

a stress-free environment and offering your emotional support.  If you think your child is becoming unhealthy

stressed, address the problem with their coach to determine the next best steps

to reduce their anxiety.
6. Rest. Never underestimate the power of rest, whether

that  is a nap, a day off from practice

or a short term break from the sport. Burnout is a very common problem with

young athletes so it  is important to

foster a nurturing relationship with your athlete so they feel comfortable

approaching you if they need a break.

Following these tips will help ensure that your athlete will

have a long-lasting career and positive experience in sports for years to come.

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