I had planned for a natural birth when I was pregnant with my first child. "Crunchy granola," my friends called it. My parents were alarmed (they pictured me laboring outdoors under a tree wearing beads and doused with patchouli, I think) but I was certain that my body already "knew" how to give birth-that's what it was designed to do, right?-and that all would be fine.
Still, I'm a pragmatic, don't-believe-everything-you-hear journalist who's always looking for the other side of the story, and so is my husband. And so we picked a birthing center that partnered with a well-equipped hospital right across the street. Just in case.
I practiced my breathing and attended the prenatal classes and wrote out my birthing plan and got ready for what I was sure would be a wonderful, albeit painful, life-affirming experience. I brushed off the uneasy feeling I got when the prenatal instructor chirped, "That rarely happens!" after I asked her about danger signs and complications. I'd soak in a
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Wed, Apr 20, 2011 9:47 PM EDT
I had planned for a natural birth when I was pregnant with my first child. "Crunchy granola," my friends called it. My parents were alarmed (they pictured me laboring outdoors under a tree wearing beads and doused with patchouli, I think) but I was certain that my body already "knew" how to give birth-that's what it was designed to do, right?-and that all would be fine.Read More »from Home birth vs. hospital birth: The debate rages on
Earning potential isn't the only thing you look at while searching for a job, so why should it be the main consideration when ranking what's already out there?Read More »from The best and worst jobs in 2011
For their 2011 Jobs Rated Report, CareerCast took into account the physical and emotional work environment, potential for stress, physical demands, and the hiring outlook as well as the mid-level (not average) incomes in order to rank 200 U.S. jobs from best to worst. And it makes for some interesting, unpredictable results.
Because of high stress levels and low earning potential, teaching jobs, which have been in the news so much this year, placed squarely in the middle of the pack, in 100th place. School principals fared better, in 41st place, ranking higher than judges (54th) because even though judges earn tens of thousands of dollars more, principals have a better chance of actually finding a job.
What other jobs did CareerCast evaluate? Dentists (75th), mechanical engineers (62nd), and members of the clergy (68th) all
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Mon, Apr 18, 2011 9:26 PM EDT
Thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign to end childhood obesity and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's push to revolutionize school lunches, schools these days are much more focused on healthy eating-so much so that some of them are taking a closer look at what parents pack in their kids' lunchboxes.Read More »from Why don't schools serve water to students during lunch?
But while the food choices seem much better than what they were when we were kids, the drink choices are pretty much still the same: white milk or chocolate milk, and maybe some sort of juice. What's still missing from the menu is water.
Part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed last year requires that clean water be easily available in schools. But the problem is that while water is available, there's often no way for kids to easily consume it during lunch.
Studies show that drinking water during the school day can help lower the risk of childhood obesity by as much as 30 percent. So what's preventing schools from offering it at lunch?
Money. Not only are disposable cups
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Fri, Apr 15, 2011 7:02 PM EDT
Sarah Palin holds her infant son, Trig, as she stands on stage with her husband, Todd, during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 3, 2008. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)With billionaire businessman Donald Trump eying the White House (and taking second place in a recent Public Polling Survey of possible republican candidates), his resurrection of the Obama birth certificate controversy is shining a light on something GOP contender Sarah Palin would prefer to keep private: whether 2-year-old Trig is her biological son-or her grandson.Read More »from Sarah Palin's birther problem resurfaces: Was her pregnancy with Trig a hoax?
It's an issue that first came up days after Arizona Senator John McCain emerged as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, and Palin was on the short list for the VP spot. In March 2008 Palin, then 44 and the governor of Alaska, announced to her shocked staff that, in spite of her barely-there belly and pre-pregnancy wardrobe, she was seven months pregnant with her fifth child. Trig was born, a month early, on April 18; McCain asked Palin to be his running mate in late August. The pregnancy-hoax rumor was squashed on September 1 by the McCain campaign's awkward announcement that Palin's teenage
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Wed, Apr 13, 2011 10:14 PM EDT
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with Vice President Joseph Biden and Dr. Jill Biden just after launching This week, the White House launched a new initiative to support military families.Read More »from White House launches "Joining Forces" to support military families
Spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden (a Blue Star mom herself), the goal of Joining Forces is to increase awareness of the role that military families are playing and to find ways to support military spouses, children, and veterans.
"This is about the responsibility that we each have to one another, as Americans," the First Lady said during Tuesday's launch of the program. "It's about the fact that... one percent of Americans may be fighting on our behalf, but 100 percent of Americans need to be supporting our troops and their families. This campaign is about renewing those bonds and those connections between those who serve and the rest of us who live free because of their service."
"This will help unify us as a country," Mrs. Obama said in an interview after the launch. "It's something we can all rally around, regardless of our political party or geographic area. It's an
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It's a speculum. And no, you can't get one at Walgreens. (Photo: Thinkstock)Not really, of course. But the folks at "Fox & Friends" seem to think so.Read More »from Pap smears at Walgreens?
On Saturday, while deriding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's defense of the services offered by Planned Parenthood, the male co-hosts let slip their cluelessness about-or perhaps their contempt for-women's health issues. Here's the exchange:
STEVE DOOCY: And the thing about it that was audacious was the fact that he [Reid] was talking about Planned Parenthood being this great provider where women can get blood pressure checks, and pap smears, and breast examinations...
BRIAN KILMEADE: Which you can get at Walgreens.
DOOCY: Exactly right.
The conservative confusion (should that be in quotes?) about what Planned Parenthood actually provides may have stemmed from a statement made last week by republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona.
"You don't have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked," Kyl said during the budget debate. "If you want an abortion, you go to Planned
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Vitality – Tue, Apr 12, 2011 4:32 AM EDT
Thea Singer, author of The secret to living to age 100 or older may be mostly in the genes, but there's another secret to longevity, and it has nothing to do with special diets, super surgeries, or where your ancestors are from. It has to do with managing stress-or, more specifically, knowing how to rebound from stressful situations.Read More »from The real secret to a longer life: Learn how to rebound from stress
There's a direct link between psychological stress and biological aging, says Thea Singer in her new book, "Stress Less: The New Science That Shows Women How to Rejuvenate the Body and the Mind." And that link goes all the way down to our cells.
In a groundbreaking study, 2009 Nobel Prize-winning cell biologist Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., and health psychologist Elissa S. Epel, Ph.D., both at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that that chronic stress "literally gnaws at our DNA-its tips, or telomeres, to be precise-speeding up the rate at which our cells age." In fact, Singer told me in an interview, "Women who perceived themselves as being under the
Wearing a niqab, Kenza Drider, the first woman arrested under France's new ban, addresses the media in front of Notre Dame Cathedral on April 11, 2011. (Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) A controversial ban on women wearing a traditional head-to-toe covering called a Burqa went into effect in France today, and French police say they have already arrested about 60 women for protesting or disregarding the ban.
Critics call the ban anti-Islamic but President Nicholas Sarkozy insists that the burqa is not a religious symbol. "It's a sign of enslavement," he told French lawmakers last year. "It will not be welcome in the French Republic."
The ban also includes the niqab, which usually covers all of the face except for the wearer's eyes (a burqa usually has a mesh section that covers the face, including the eyes). The Interior Ministry said in a statement that "The ban does not target the wearing of a headscarf, headgear, scarf or glasses, as long as the accessories do not prevent the person from being identified." The hijab, which covers only the hair and neck, and the chador, which covers the body but not the face, are apparently not banned.
Kenza Drider, 32, was theRead More »from Burqa ban goes into effect in France
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Shine Food – Fri, Apr 8, 2011 11:00 PM EDT
Photo: Amazon.comActress/lifestyle leader Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook, "My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness," officially hits the shelves later this month, but that hasn't stopped us from sneaking a peek via the fabulous Eater.com.
"The cookbook is many things: it is aspirational and sweet, it is seasonally-minded, it is unintentionally very funny, and it offers dinner party ideas and patronizing 'working-parent dinners,' " Raphael Brion writes at Eater.com. But while we appreciate the simple recipes and honest ingredients, much of what we've read so far just serves to remind us that the super-rich and super-thin are super-different than the rest of us. Take these lines, for example:
- "One year I was given a birthday present I'll never forget-a cooking lesson from Jamie Oliver."
- "Through this process my father and daughter had unwittingly taught me the importance of balance. Could I use some butter and cheese and eggs in my cooking without going down