Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Miracles in Japan: Four-Month-Old Baby, 70-Year-Old Woman Found Alive
A Japanese officer smiles as he holds a 4-month-old baby girl who was rescued in Ishinomaki, in Miyagi prefecture, on March 14, 2011
On March 14, soldiers from Japan's Self-Defense Forces went door to door in Ishinomaki, a coastal town northeast of Senda, pulling bodies from homes that had been flattened by the earthquake and tsunami. More accustomed to hearing the crunching of rubble and the sloshing of mud than sounds of life, they dismissed the baby's cry as a mistake. Until they heard it again.Amid the silent corpses a baby cried out—and Japan met its tiniest miracle.
(More on TIME.com: See seven ways to help the victims in Japan.)
They made their way to a pile of debris and carefully removed fragments of wood and slate, shattered glass and rock. And then they saw her: a 4-month-old baby girl in a pink woolen bear suit.
A tidal wave literally swept the baby from her parents' arms when it hit their home on March 11. Afterward, her parents — both of whom survived the disaster — took refuge in their wrecked house, worried that their little girl was dead. Soldiers managed to reunite the baby with her overjoyed father shortly after the rescue.
"Her discovery has put a new energy into the search," a civil defense official told a local news crew. "We will listen, look and dig with even more diligence after this." Ahead of the baby's rescue, officials reported finding at least 2,000 bodies washed up on the shoreline of Miyagi prefecture. How the child survived drowning — or being crushed by fallen trees and houses — remains a mystery.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
AAP UPDATES RECOMMENDATION ON CAR SEATS
Children should ride rear-facing to age 2, use a booster until at least age 8
Below is a policy appearing in the April issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
For Release: Monday, March 21 , 2011 12:01 am (ET)
New advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will change the way many parents buckle up their children for a drive.
In a new policy published in the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online March 21), the AAP advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. It also advises that most children will need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
The previous policy, from 2002, advised that it is safest for infants and toddlers to ride rear-facing up to the limits of the car seat, but it also cited age 12 months and 20 pounds as a minimum. As a result, many parents turned the seat to face the front of the car when their child celebrated his or her first birthday.
“Parents often look forward to transitioning from one stage to the next, but these transitions should generally be delayed until they’re necessary, when the child fully outgrows the limits for his or her current stage,” said Dennis Durbin, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and accompanying technical report.
“A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body,” Dr. Durbin said. “For larger children, a forward-facing seat with a harness is safer than a booster, and a belt-positioning booster seat provides better protection than a seat belt alone until the seat belt fits correctly.”
While the rate of deaths in motor vehicle crashes in children under age 16 has decreased substantially – dropping 45 percent between 1997 and 2009 – it is still the leading cause of death for children ages 4 and older. Counting children and teens up to age 21, there are more than 5,000 deaths each year. Fatalities are just the tip of the iceberg; for every fatality, roughly 18 children are hospitalized and more than 400 are injured seriously enough to require medical treatment.
New research has found children are safer in rear-facing car seats. A 2007 study in the journalInjury Prevention showed that children under age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear-facing.
“The ‘age 2’ recommendation is not a deadline, but rather a guideline to help parents decide when to make the transition,” Dr. Durbin said. “Smaller children will benefit from remaining rear-facing longer, while other children may reach the maximum height or weight before 2 years of age.”
Children should transition from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat with a harness, until they reach the maximum weight or height for that seat. Then a booster will make sure the vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder belt fit properly. The shoulder belt should lie across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not near the neck or face. The lap belt should fit low and snug on the hips and upper thighs, not across the belly. Most children will need a booster seat until they have reached 4 feet 9 inches tall and are between 8 and 12 years old.
Children should ride in the rear of a vehicle until they are 13 years old.
Although the Federal Aviation Administration permits children under age 2 to ride on an adult’s lap on an airplane, they are best protected by riding in an age- and size-appropriate restraint.
“Children should ride properly restrained on every trip in every type of transportation, on the road or in the air,” Dr. Durbin said.
A car seat guide for parents is available at www.healthychildren.org/carseatguide
Monday, March 28, 2011
Federal Health Reform and Nursing Mothers
President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590, on March 23 and the Reconciliation Act of 2010, H.R. 4872, on March 30, 2010. (See the combined full text of Public Laws 111-148 and 111-152 here.) Among many provisions, Section 4207 of the law amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 (29 U.S. Code 207) to require an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express milk. The employer is not required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time for any work time spent for such purpose. The employer must also provide a place, other than a bathroom, for the employee to express breast milk. If these requirements impose undue hardship, an employer that employs fewer than 50 employees is not subject to these requirements. The federal requirements shall not preempt a state law that provides greater protections to employees. For more information, see the U.S. Department of Labor's Fact Sheet on Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
ScienceDaily (Feb. 19, 2011) — Inducing labor without a medical reason is associated with negative outcomes for the mother, including increased rates of cesarean delivery, greater blood loss and an extended length of stay in the hospital, and does not provide any benefit for the newborn, according to a new study. As the number of scheduled deliveries continues to climb, it is important for physicians and mothers-to-be to understand the risks associated with elective induction.
The new findings, published in the February issue of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, only apply to women having their first child, and may not pertain to women having their second or third child.
"The benefits of a procedure should always outweigh the risks. If there aren't any medical benefits to inducing labor, it is hard to justify doing it electively when we know it increases the risks for the mother and the baby," said Christopher Glantz, M.D., M.P.H., study author and professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
In the past decade, scheduled deliveries have become commonplace, with physicians making elective inductions part of their routine obstetric care. Study authors cite social reasons, such as convenience and patient requests to deliver with "their" physician, for the ongoing increase in purely elective inductions.
While physicians and patients alike may assume that inducing labor is harmless, it does not work as well as natural labor: Since you are essentially starting the birthing process from ground zero, more problems are likely to arise.
"As a working professional and a mother, I know how tempting it can be to schedule a delivery to try to get your life in order, but there is a reason that babies stay in the womb for the full term," said Loralei Thornburg, M.D., an assistant professor who specializes in maternal fetal medicine. "Why put you and your newborn at risk if you don't have to?"
Researchers found that approximately 34 percent of women who opted for elective induction of labor ultimately had a cesarean section, while only 20 percent of women who labored naturally underwent a cesarean delivery. Like elective induction, cesarean delivery naïvely may be seen as routine and risk-free, when in fact it is a major surgery and like all surgeries increases the risk of infection, respiratory complications, the need for additional surgeries, and results in longer recovery times.
Additionally, women who were induced had more bleeding -- even after taking cesarean deliveries into account -- and stayed in the hospital longer than women who delivered vaginally. Study authors calculate that for every 100 women who undergo elective induction, they spend an additional 88 days in the hospital compared to the same number of women who labor spontaneously. Although this may translate into only a matter of hours for some women, it represents increased costs for both the mother and the hospital when multiplied by large numbers of induced labors.
"Counseling women to steer clear of an elective induction can be challenging, but the bottom line is that medical reasons trump social reasons," said Eva Pressman, M.D., director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Medical Center. "If physicians are armed with information about the risks associated with elective induction they have a better chance of convincing their patients to avoid this route."
While scheduled deliveries present multiple risks for the mother, researchers also found that they did not improve the health of newborns either. When women were induced, their babies were more likely to need oxygen immediately following delivery. They were also more likely to require specialized attention from members of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
The study included 485 women who delivered their first child between January and December of 2007 at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The major strength of this study is that, unlike most prior studies, researchers reviewed each mother's and baby's medical chart, as opposed to relying on medical coding. Evaluating each chart allowed researchers to figure out exactly why women were induced and what the complications were, catching subtle details that may have otherwise been overlooked.
As opposed to women having their first baby, women who have already had a child may actually respond more favorably to induction. "If you've delivered once before, your body knows the drill and can do it again," said Glantz.
Though elective inductions are not outside the standard of care, physicians should be cognizant of the associated risks and communicate these risks to women considering the procedure. In an effort to better address this issue at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the department of Maternal Fetal Medicine is applying for a grant to help put procedures in place that will prevent elective induction of labor before 39 weeks.
"Past research has shown that inducing labor early without a legitimate medical reason is risky, and this study further validates these findings" said Thornburg.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Print found HERE by KatHannah
Sunday, March 20, 2011
A friend of mine Melinda Koen, has been doing photography in the Napa Valley for over eleven years and is truly amazing at maternity, newborn and family photography.
Just over a year ago, my entire family (mom, dad, 6 siblings, 4 spouses, 4 babies) were together over the holidays. There is no way we were all going to make it to a photo studio but we wanted some professional photographs. I contacted Melinda and she came to our home to do on-site photography of not only our entire family but also individual couples and families.
I have to say while Melinda's end results were gorgeous it was the process that I found so refreshing. It was ENJOYABLE ~ really, are family photo shoots ever enjoyable? Yes, this time they were... Melinda has a very pleasant, calming effect and was wonderful with the kids.
Did I mention that she is absolutely affordable? So many of us can't spend hundreds of dollars on a photo shoot, but we still want those on-site, unique, personal photographs. She charges a basic hourly rate and for a flat fee provides all photos from the session on a disc.
Take a look at Melinda's website.
Here are some of my favorites from our photo session with Melinda...
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011