Photo Credit: Getty ImagesYou may have already read the news, but I feel compelled to spread it far and wide.
Pregnant women who like to feast on chocolate could be helping their baby-growing bods avoid preclampsia, a frightening, life-threatening condition that affects about 10 percent of pregnancies.
A study by researchers at Yale University showed women who ate five or more servings or chocolate per week had a decreased risk of preclampsia compared with women consuming under one serving of chocolate per week.
Here's how it went down:
A chemical called theobromine calms smooth muscle in the heart and causes blood vessels to dilate. Doctors use it to treat patients with heart disease so researchers wanted to see if it would help with preclampsia, which shares some characteristics of heart disease.
So researchers tracked 2291 pregnant women and their chocolate consumption in their first and last trimesters. They also tested the baby's umbilical cord for a theorbromine. Turns out the mamas who showed more
Blog Posts by Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Wed, Apr 30, 2008 7:31 AM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesYou may have already read the news, but I feel compelled to spread it far and wide.Read More »from Pregnancy and Preclampsia: Chocolate makes it better (and there's scientific data to prove it)
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesOn World Autism Day, I posted about Yahoo! Health's Dr. Robert Needlman and his strong position that parents should vaccinate their kids. He has a new post up over at that addresses comments readers posed here at Shine and over at Yahoo! Health.Read More »from Vaccines: Facts and fears addressed
If you want to learn more, check out Vaccines and Autism: Facts and Fears.
Related links on Shine:
Thanks, Fluffy!: Pets may help prevent asthma and allergies for kids
Karent Neuberger socksSo I'm a little torn about writing about these super cute infant socks by sleepwear fashionista Karen Neuberger. My mother in law introduced me to the women's line of lounge socks and I was hooked. I live in them, but I always get them as gifts. I'd never plunk down 15 bucks for a pair of socks.Read More »from Sweet Feet: Baby socks by Karen Neuberger
The infant socks? So, so cute. And their super softness will last wash after wash. I'd make a comment about how babies are always loosing socks, but these terry-cloth numbers seem like they'll stay put. They don't slide off. Now if your little bambino likes to pull of her socks, that's another story altogether.
But here's my dilemma. Even with all the KB baby sock goodness, they cost US$16 for two pairs. That's pricey, even if you want your baby to have cuddly-soft toes.
I'd file these under adorable baby gifts but a questionable splurge for your own kid. And you can find them at the Karen Neuberger site.
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesParents have had too many scares this year with recalls for lead in paint on toys and BPA in baby bottles.Read More »from Toxic Toys? Find out if your child is safe
Companies that manufacture meal-time items for kids are starting to tout their BPA-free products. But toy manufacturers? A little slow on the "promote toxic-free kid stuff" bandwagon, thought I'm not sure why because it's a good bandwagon to be on.
You need to be in the know on one very cool, useful site: HealthyToys.org. It includes data on more than 1,200 toys and children's products, which have been tested for levels of lead, mercury, cadium, chlorine and arsenic. You can get info by searching for product name, brand or type (plastic, wood, fabric). When click on a specific product and see if the overall levels are low, medium or high and you also get a breakdown of each particular chemical.
You should definitely take a gander at the whole site but here are some sections that could of particular interest:
Backpacks (Hannah Montana is having more than photoshoot issues.)
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesIn the April issue of Working Mother magazine, writer Katherine Lee has an article dishing the dirt on what new moms really need to know. Only the dirt? An old dish...
- "You are going to be up multiple times a night, so sleep when your baby naps during the day."
- "Having a baby can be a particularly stressful time for couples."
- "It is difficult to take care of your new baby if you are not taking care of you."
All important, accurate and helpful information, no question. But I think you can offer up some juicier and useful nuggets of information. Like don't put your 6-month-old baby in the middle of a king-size hotel bed so you can set up his Pak n' Play 'cuz you'll found out the hard way that he can crawl. Or that you should invest in a really good pair of ear plugs/hearing protectors because at some point, you will need a break from a crying baby who is not hungry, gassy, wanting to be held. Let your spouse/partner handle it...and toss in the earplugs.
WhatRead More »from What do new parents really need to know?
Erin in Love + Sex sent me a link to this video this morning of a Korean toddler singing "Hey Jude" and it's absolutely one of the cutest vids ever and the perfect way to get rid of Monday blues. Must. watch. again.Read More »from Press Play: Korean toddler sings "Hey Jude"
Related links on Shine:
Press Play: Toddler channels U2's Bono
Press Play: Get past the song and adore the cuteness
I'm not sure I like jewerly that says I was pouring over every page and item in the new Sundance catalog checking all the earthy jewelry I'd love to wear, dog-earing pages in case my hubs needs any ideas for Mother's Day (y'all can admit you do this too). As I finally reach the back cover, I found myself smitten with a lovely silver necklace. Simple with a little sweet punkiness. Only one of the charms on the necklace reads "Mom."Read More »from Is "Mom" jewelry cute or a little too corny?
Here's the thing. I love being a mom. I'm just not that certain I really like "Mom" emblazoned on my bobbles. I want to, I really do. But there's this little piece of me that thinks it's flat-out corny.
My 6-year-old son grabbed the catalog and was flipping through it while eating a snack. He stopped on that back page, just like me.
"Mom," he said as he tossed the catalog on the counter. "One day I'm going to get you this necklace for Mother's Day."
Awww and argh!
Would I wear it if my sons bought it for me? You betcha. Just like my mom wore that "#1 Mom" gold charm I bought
I'm a little late to the game on this information but April is National Kite Month. (I know, what kind of person am I to miss this nugget of goodness?)Read More »from Kids and Kites: Get a pocket parafoil
It's okay, though. You still have a few days let in the month to take your kids out and show them your most excellent skills of not ripping your hair out while trying to send a piece of foil into the sky whilst pleading with your children to not get tangled in the string.
May I share one wee tip? Don't get a fancy kite. You know you want to because hello, the sight of big, bright ginormous kite against a strikingly blue sky is gorgeous. And it'll make you look like you rock. But we all know what happens when kids are around kits. Things get a little crazy.
My pick for simple, easy-to-use and inexpensive flying apparatus is a pocket parafoil kite. When it's packed up it easily fits into a backpack or even a big purse. But when it's in the air, it floats like a butterfly. Just don't get it wet and covered in sand. Trust me. Plus, you
I'm feeling a little sappy right now.Read More »from Baby clothes we can't part with
I was going through clothes that my boys have outgrown of and found this Cookie Monster t-shirt that they both wore. Instead of putting it in the "donate" pile, I hid it in my closet for keeps. 'Cuz sometimes this mama can't let go of a t-shirt that was sported by my little guys.
It's a mix of memories of them in said t-shirt and the fact that I still can't get a grip on this runaway train called "growing up."
Things my mom has saved and shown me from my baby-hood: my first satin booties, a white cardigan I wore when I was three, the long, curly locks from my first hair cut and pink and white t-shirt that I very vividly remember wearing all the time. I'm so glad she kept them. My boys love hearing me -- and my parents -- tell stories about all those things.
*End of sappy moment*
What baby clothes can you not part with? And is this just a mom thing or do dad's experience it too?
What did you miss while you were pregnant?
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesEver gone too long without a date night because you can't find a babysitter? It happens all too often and at some point you end up achey for a little one-on-one time with your love.
Sometimes you need to go to extreme measures. Like playing hookey in the middle of the week on a day when your kids are in school.
Stealing away from work always adds a little excitement to your date. It's clandestine. You're out and about while your kids are busy and everyone else drudging through the day. And the thing is that you don't have to go anywhere fancy. You can spend hours sippin' a latte and having a sweet breakfast at a cafe just enjoying the moment. Sappy, but you know I'm right.
Some tips for a parental day date involving playing hookey:
- Think ahead. Pick a day where your calendar's not full at work or you don't have a bunch of deadlines to meet.
- If you're taking a sick day, fully take it. For the love of Pete, stay offline.
- Don't plan what you're going to do that day. Do