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September 29, 2005

D'you think it will work with a dustbuster?

The hot new postpartum fat solution involves a vacuum and a wetsuit, according to british tabloid fodder. Actress Anna Friel used this contraption to get herself back to pre-pregnancy size (8). The machines work by increasing blood flow to the ab area (seems a bit questionable what with the whole blood already flowing out of the uterus situation, but what do we know.) Ms. Friel was loaned the machine to use in her home, which saved her the several thousand pounds (money) she would have had to spend to get similar results at a studio. That's size 8 British, in case you were wondering. No word on when we'll be seeing these money and fat sucking machines in this part of the world, but apparently, they're all the rage in the United Arab Emirates.

Posted by thenewmoms at 1:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2005

extrauterine pregnancy!

whoa. A baby was born after gestating for 8.5 months in the abdominal cavity, OUTSIDE of the uterus. Only 5 cases like this have ever been reported. They're already clucking about male gestation...

Posted by thenewmoms at 4:42 PM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2005

poor britney

Not a girl, not yet a woman, and now this. One step out of the frying pan of puberty, Britney finds herself in messy emotions of early motherhood and immediately gets pegged as depressed. Seems to us that she's basically just being a human being in the usual mind-numbing shock of the postpartum period, mourning the loss of her former life, and, apparently, her formerly perfect belly, now scarred by her elective C-section. (Too bad she wasn't famous for her pooter, since she chose to leave that unscathed.) Who knows, maybe she can turn that smile-scar into a smile...and start a new trend in the process: Exposed c-section scars may be the new exposed thong.

Posted by thenewmoms at 3:28 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2005

majoring in mommy, minoring in ...?

Has Perfect Madness made its way to the undergraduate level? This NYTimes article claims a trend among women at competitive colleges to see motherhood as an ultimate career goal rather than something to be integrated with other ambitions. Take this data, from Yale women:

"The interviews found that 85 of the students, or roughly 60 percent, said that when they had children, they planned to cut back on work or stop working entirely. About half of those women said they planned to work part time, and about half wanted to stop work for at least a few years."

It's hard to know what to think about this, or how these numbers compare to other ones. But this article points to a bigger picture. Our system is set up (role models, reality of care, economic pressures) with so little flexibility; moms are either "in the game" or "out" of it: raising kids is often described as "dropping out" of the race, or "opting out". Even "stay at home" has a passive ring to it. Raising a kid is very hard and very important work to be sure. But the fact that we treat our childcare workers like dirt (no security, benefits, or much respect) and dads rarely consider child-rearing for themselves... one has to wonder, do we really, as a culture, have respect for it? Since women are given virtually no cultural support for the other options, they may well find themselves with the "instinct" to stay home and do right by the kids.

"Two of the women interviewed said they expected their husbands to stay home with the children while they pursued their careers. Two others said either they or their husbands would stay home, depending on whose career was furthest along. "

That's four out of 138 women who entered college after the year 2000.

In the words of Peter Salovey, the dean of Yale College, "What does concern me...is that so few students seem to be able to think outside the box; so few students seem to be able to imagine a life for themselves that isn't constructed along traditional gender roles."

No shit. We are all for people doing what makes them happy. And we think caring for children is as lofty a goal as any. But we can't understand how these women can be so... resigned. So complacent about the status quo. These are our future leaders, after all. And that fact that some male students find the idea of a stay-at-home mom sexy? MILF meets domesticated woman fantasy? Or is it just the lack of ambition that turns them on?

What's sad to us is that mothers are still expected to bear the burden almost entirely. So rather than taking it on ourselves as a culture to make things easier for everyone, and better for our kids, we tell women that if they want to ensure a good future for their children, they have to do all the giving up. Plus, mothers are complicated people, and to imply that every one of them is best suited to being at home is to steamroll the individuality of a good chunk of the human race.

Maybe all these young, smart young college students can put their priorities to slightly more global use. Instead of accepting the status quo, they can aim for a culture where both parents can pursue personal, intellectual and/or breadwinning goals while being confident their children are being cared for appropriately—and there's lots of data to support the theory that children of working mothers are not at a disadvantage. They can help define a workforce with more flexibility and a world of options between "in" and "out". They can encourage this country to make it possible for women who have fewer advantages and assets to support their families and take care of their kids, both physically and emotionally. And they can make child-rearing a dignified line of work not just by doing it themselves, but by improving conditions for childcare workers and encouraging dads to participate.

And then, of course, when they have babies, they can quit if they want.

Posted by thenewmoms at 9:21 AM | Comments (1)

September 19, 2005

tainted milk

Is it just us, or do all those fables we read as hippie children about man destroying the earth seem to be coming to fruition a lot sooner than everyone expected? First, there's the fish problem. Then, this terrifying Greenpeace report. This workshop dedicated to analyzing the toxins in human milk offers a bit of good news...

According to The Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, moms should not be scared off by chemicals in breast milk:

"We strongly emphasize that the mere presence of an environmental chemical in human milk does not indicate that a health risk exists for breast-fed infants...All information gathered to date supports the positive health value of breast-feeding for infants."

Still, it seems like by the time our kids are reading The Lorax, It's going to feel less like a warning and more like the truth.

Posted by thenewmoms at 4:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2005

'massive' attack

Not that we haven't had a (chicken)bone to pick with B.Spears, but someone needs to tell these poisonous British teen magazines that 170 lbs is not MASSIVE for a pregnant woman. And that it's normal for skinny women to gain more weight during pregnancy. We can't all live on cottage cheese and tomatoes. We're guessing we'll be seeing plenty of that ol' familiar midriff sooner than we think. Lets just hope Britney doesn't get a uterine prolapse from whatever hideous workout awaits her on the other side.

Posted by thenewmoms at 1:48 PM | Comments (1)

September 8, 2005

moms helping moms

One of the organizations working to shelter and care for the people evacuated to Houston has set up an Amazon wishlist of badly needed baby items. This allows you to give what is needed directly to the people who need it. The Amazon site provides you with a link to the organization's website.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Wish List

For futher reference, here is a link from the Houston Chronicle listing organizations involved in the relief.

Posted by thenewmoms at 9:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 6, 2005

C is for Cavity

Babies born by C-section are more likely to have tooth trouble earlier than vaginally birthed babies, according to a Boston article. The problem is apparently a lack of benefiical bacteria, which the newborn normally encounters en route in a vaginal birth. Should we be swabbing C-born babies down with mom's bodily fluids, if they don't get any during egress? I'm guessing someone's tried that, but maybe not.

Posted by thenewmoms at 10:09 AM | Comments (1)