Study Finds Flu During Pregnancy May Increase Bipolar Risk for Baby
BBC Newsreports that a new study conducted by researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center has linked flu during pregnancy to a higher risk of the baby being bipolar. The study of 814 expectant women was published here in JAMA Psychiatry. It found that an influenza infection during pregnancy made it four times more likely a child would be bipolar. The study did not distinguish between mild and severe flu cases.
BBC News cites Professor Alan Brown as estimating that an influenza infection during pregnancy could lead to a 3-4% chance of bipolar disorder in children. Any increase in risk is disturbing because flu is a common illness that is difficult to avoid. Getting a flu shot can help.
The BBC story also says prior studies have shown a link between flu and schizophrenia.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals Launches Heart to Heart Video Contest
Ferring Pharmaceuticals has launched its 2013 Heart to Heart Video Contest. The contest carries a prize of $15,000 towards a child's education. Patients who have struggled with infertility are encouraged to share their story of becoming a parent. The videos will be accepted through May 31, 2013. The website for the contest is hearttoheartcontest.com.
Joy Lewin of Ferring Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement, "With the Heart to Heart Video Contest, we want to celebrate with our patients who have finally realized their dream of creating a family and offer motivation and support for those who continue to face challenges in becoming pregnant."
Sesame Street has launched the Potty With Elmo App for the iPhone and iPad. Elmo helps little Baby David learn to use the potty in the app. The app includes potty flushing sounds, potty songs, reward chart and puzzles. The app costs $2.99 and can be found here on iTunes. Take a look:
Mayo Clinic Releases New Guide Book for New Parents
The Mayo Clinic has released a new book for new parents, called Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby's First Year. The book covers the essentials of what parents should expect during their baby's first year of life. It includes full-color photographs and answers to every new parent's questions about common skin rashes, growth and development, immunizations, common illnesses and concerns, how to bond and comfort the baby, and other important topics.
The book costs $22.95 and can be purchased here on Amazon.com.
Teen birthrates are dropping according to a new study from the CDC. The image above shows the birth rate for women aged 15–19, by state using 2010 data.
The highest teen birthrates are in the southern states. The CDC says, "Teen birthrates are highest in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and New Mexico,. There are slightly lower concentrations in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona. New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the lowest rates of teen births."
You can see the complete CDC study here. You can find the data tables used in the study here.
4moms Origami Power-Folding Stroller Unveiled at CES
CNN's Katie Linendoll reveals a stroller that breaks down with a touch of a button. The 4moms Origami stroller can also expand with the touch of a button. 4moms says the stroller is also a "cell phone-charging, mileage-counting, LCD-sporting stroller, with generators in the rear wheels that charge it as you walk." The first clip is from CNN and the second clip is a promotional video from 4moms. Take a look:
Embrace Baby Warmer Could Save the Lives of Many Babies in Poor Countries
ABC Newsreports that four Stanford students have designed a low-cost device, the Embrace infant warmer, which could help save thousands of lives. The Embrace functions as a low tech incubator. Embrace resembles a miniature sleeping bag. It contains a compartment in the back where a plastic pouch filled with wax and water is kept. When this pouch is heated it can keep a baby comfortable and warm. You can read more about how Embrace works here. It is a very clever device.
The students plan to bring Embrace to India, which has the highest number of premature and LBW babies in the world. Take a look:
New Census Report Shows White Babies Now the Minority in U.S.
The demographics of the U.S. continue to change. A report from the U.S. Census Bureau says white babies are now the minority. New census figures show minority babies now outnumber white babies. There is much diversity on America's playgrounds. Take a look:
The Department of Agriculture has released its annual report, Expenditures on Children by Families. The report found that a middle-income family with a child born in 2010 can expect to spend about $226,920 ($286,860 if projected inflation costs are factored in) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise that child over the next 17 years. This is a 2% increase from 2009 according to the USDA.
The estimates do not include costs associated with pregnancy or the cost of a college education. Costs of college tuition have also been rising over the past several years.
The full report can be found here. The USDA also provides a Cost of Raising a Child Calculator, which is available here.
Little Molly thinks it is hysterical when Bennie the dog jumps and bites bubbles. The poster of the YouTube video writes:
On a lazy day I decided to try blowing bubbles for my daughter, Molly. At first, she didn't think they were "all that," but then Bennie, the dog, showed Molly how much fun bubbles can be. Molly thought Bennie's bubble popping was the funniest thing she has seen in her 9-1/2 months!
Smartphones can be a very helfpul tool, but experts say many parents have become dependent on the smartphones. Parents argue the smartphones make parenting and life easier. The smartphones and all the apps do save lots of time, but parents have to make sure they don't get so distracted that they aren't aware of what is going on around them. Take a look:
Hallmark and What to Expect.com have launched an online baby bump photo contest. You can find the contest here. New and expectant moms can submit photos of themselves during their pregnancy as well as photos from earlier pregnancies for a chance to win must-have itesm for new moms, such as new Personalized Baby Announcements from Hallmark.com.
Each week until November 24, people can visit the site and vote on weekly winners, whose photos will be posted on WhatToExpect.com. Visitors can then vote on their favorite weekly winner for the grand prize award winner to be announced on December 6. The grand prize winner will win a $1,000 gift certificate from Diapers.com, a $200 Hallmark.com gift card, and a signed copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting from Heidi Murkoff.