Why should pregnant women sleep on the left side?[Every week, Shine finds an answer to one of life's little mysteries. If you've got a burning question you want answered, tweet it to @yahooshine #burningquestions or share it in the comments section.]
It's standard advice as you reach the later stages of pregnancy: Forget how you used to sleep before you were pregnant, and try to make sure that you're sleeping on your left side. But why, exactly?
It has to do with blood flow and the way our circulatory system works, says Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway, an ob-gyn and the author of "The Smart Mother's Guide to a Better Pregnancy." "Our organs and tissues require oxygen to function. Without it, they essentially die," she explains. Oxygen-depleted blood returns to the heart from the lower part of our body via a large blood vessel called the Inferior Vena Cava, or IVC, which is located near the spine. But as your baby grows, your uterus becomes enlarged, and it can press against the IVC, reducing the amount of blood that flows through it.
Blog Posts by Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Wed, Jun 13, 2012 2:00 PM EDT
Why should pregnant women sleep on the left side?[Every week, Shine finds an answer to one of life's little mysteries. If you've got a burning question you want answered, tweet it to @yahooshine #burningquestions or share it in the comments section.]Read More »from Burning Question: Why Should Pregnant Women Sleep on the Left Side?
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Mon, Jun 11, 2012 4:49 PM EDT
I learned to shoot a semiautomatic pistol like this one. Here's what it was like. As I walk to the rifle range, I find myself thinking, "I am way outside of my comfort zone. I am way outside of my comfort zone. I am waaaaay outside of my comfort zone." As I get closer and see the four weapons laid out on what look like short picnic tables, pointed toward far-away paper targets, the voice in my head changes: "I don't know if I want to do this. I don't know if I want to do this. Do I really want to do this?"Read More »from I'm Scared of Guns, so I Decided to Learn How to Shoot One. This is What it was Like
I'm in favor of gun control. I'm OK with hunting, though I have never wanted to try it myself. I have a hard time accepting the idea of keeping a handgun for personal protection. I'm afraid of guns, in fact. But I want to understand how they work, understand if my fear makes any sense, and so I sign myself up for "Women on Target," a day-long firearms safety and recreational shooting course run by the NRA.
When I told my friends that I was planning to spend an entire day learning how to shoot, their reactions ranged from dismay ("I can't believe you'd do that!")
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Mon, Jun 11, 2012 2:56 PM EDT
President Barack Obama giving the 2012 State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb)People are usually reluctant to admit their real feelings in surveys, but there's no doubt that our experiences and our prejudices play a part in the way we vote. In order to figure out whether racial bias affected Barack Obama's results in the 2008 presidential election, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a doctoral candidate in economics at Harvard University, passed over easy-to-manipulate surveys and looked at data from another source: online searches.Read More »from When it Comes to Politics, Are We More Racist Than We Think?
Related: My 3-year-old has race issues. Where did she learn to think that way?
When most people are searching for information online, they're likely to be alone and less likely to censor their thoughts, he explains. "You may have typed things into Google that you would hesitate to admit in polite company," he writes in a New York Times article. "I certainly have. The majority of Americans have as well: We Google the word 'porn' more often than the word 'weather'."
He chose a common racial insult that starts with "N" and looked for searches
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Wed, Jun 6, 2012 3:23 PM EDT
Can you really be OK if you have a brain tumor? Sheryl Crow tells fans she's fine. (Photo: Matt Sayles/AP)When news broke on Tuesday about her brain tumor, singer Cheryl Crow was quick to comfort her concerned fans.Read More »from Sheryl Crow and Meningioma: Can You Really Be OK If You Have a Brain Tumor?
"Hey everyone - please don't worry about my "brain tumor", it's a non-cancerous growth," Crow, 50, wrote on her Facebook page. "I know some folks can have problems with this kind of thing, but I want to assure everyone I'm OK. I'm feeling very healthy and happy, and having a great time on the road playing with my new band. I'm busy working on my next record too, which 'm very excited about... and I'll be on The Tony Awards this Sunday. Really appreciate everyone's love and concern, I feel so blessed to have the support of all my fans, but I'm good - really! Love, Sheryl"
Her fans obviously felt better -- the post has more than 14,730 "likes" and more than 1,600 comments, most of them positive and supportive -- but one has to wonder: Can you really lead a normal life while battling a brain tumor?
Crow is a breast cancer survivor, and the type of tumor she has now is called a
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Healthy Living – Wed, Jun 6, 2012 1:23 PM EDT
Contrary to what it says on the label, Plan B doesn't prevent implantation.It's one of the pillars of the pro-life argument: If life begins at conception and the morning-after pill prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's uterus -- as it says it does, right on the label -- then using emergency contraception like Plan B is tantamount to abortion.Read More »from Science Shows Morning After Pill Doesn't Prevent Implantation. Is the Battle Over Plan B Over?
But a closer look at a decade's worth of research shows that the morning-after pill doesn't actually work that way. Which means that one of biggest battles in the political war over women's reproductive health -- an idea that has sparked anti-abortion legislation around the country and outrage over President Obama's health care mandate -- is based entirely on outdated, incorrect data.
After sifting through the science, some of it more than 10 years old, The New York Times has found that the federally approved labels and medical authorities aren't telling patients what the research really shows: That emergency contraception pills delay ovulation and thicken cervical mucus (making it harder for sperm to
No one is really against equal pay for equal work -- are they?On the surface, it seems like something on which both Democrats and Republicans could agree: There's a gender gap in the workforce, and it needs to be addressed. Women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn -- 64 cents for African American women and 56 cents for Latinas -- which adds up to a loss of about $431,000 over the course of their professional lives. No one, on either side of the aisle, wants women to be discriminated against in the workplace.Read More »from Why Did the Paycheck Fairness Act Get Voted Down?
Why women's pay growth slows at age 30 and peaks by 39
And yet, the Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the Senate on Tuesday. The procedural vote was along party lines, with 46 Republicans voting against it, 50 Democrats voting for it, two independent senators joining the Democrats, and Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois not voting at all, The Hill reported. The bill needed 60 votes in order to pass; Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada changed his vote to "no" in order to bring the bill up again later.
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Parenting – Tue, Jun 5, 2012 11:47 AM EDT
First lady Michelle Obama dances with Perry the Platypus from Disney's Phineas and Ferb. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)In an effort to combat the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States, entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday that it will stop accepting some junk-food advertisements on their children's TV programs, websites, and radio shows, Reuters reported.Read More »from Disney Vows to End Junk-Food Ads on Kids Shows by 2015
Related: Too harsh for TV? Anti-Childhood obesity ads anger parents
Under their new guidelines, ads for items like Capri Sun, Kraft Lunchables, candies, sodas, and sugary cereals would no longer be aired during programs aimed at kids younger than 12 on Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, Disney.com, and during ABC stations' stretches of Saturday-morning cartoons. (The Disney Channel currently accepts promotions and sponsorships rather than traditional advertisements.) Only ads for foods that meet certain "minimum nutrition standards" will be accepted, so ads for healthier versions of those and other foods may still be shown; because of long-term contracts with Disney's advertisers, the changes won't take effect until
- Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine | Work + Money – Tue, Jun 5, 2012 12:22 AM EDT
Imogen Lloyd Webber, author of The Twitter Diaries. (Photo: John Swannell)Can women embrace their serious side and also admit to wanting a little fun? "We all need some light in our lives," Imogen Lloyd Webber says. "It's OK to embrace both."Read More »from Imogen Lloyd Webber on Politics, Punditry, and Having Fun
Lloyd Webber's serious side is evidenced by her career: As a commentator for Fox News and MSNBC, she's focused on politics and news issues. But her latest endeavor -- "The Twitter Diaries," a quirky new novel that meshes friendship with social media -- is all fluff and fun. The book is inspired by her own real-life Twitter friendship with Georgia Thompson, a sports journalist who became her co-author on "The Twitter Diaries."
"I wrote the book between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. every morning when I was in the writing stage," she told
It's a quick, conversational read, she explains (you can skim excerpts of it at TheTwitterDiaries.com). The main characters, Tuesday Fields and Stella Cavill, meet at a New Year's Eve party and spend the next 12 months going back and forth on Twitter as their friendship blooms. The book is 12
Graphic from 4thestate.netMajor media outlets tend to turn to men for insight on major election-year issues, a new study shows -- even when the issues primarily concern women.Read More »from Why Aren't Women Weighing in on Women's Issues?
Related: Nobel Peace Prize winner Leyman Gbowee asks: Where are all the angry American women?
According to 4th Estate, a project that tracks media coverage of the 2012 election, when it came to news stories on abortion, 81 percent of the quotes published or broadcast by newspapers and news shows were from men, 12 percent were from women, and 7 percent were from organizations. When the stories were about birth control, 75 percent of the quotes were from men, 19 percent from women, and 6 percent from organizations.
"In our analysis of news stories and transcripts from the past 6 months, men are much more likely to be quoted on their subjective insight in newspapers and on television," 4th Estate, a project that tracks media coverage of the 2012 election, wrote in their analysis. "This pattern holds true across all major news outlets, as
Can you spell these commonly misspelled words?Forget about "saccharolytic," "admittatur," and "arrondissement." While 14-year-old Snigdha Nandipati had no problem with those advanced vocabulary words during the National Spelling Bee on Thursday (she won by spelling "guetapens," which means "ambush"), most adults have a hard time with words that are much easier.
Related: 5 ways to upgrade your vocabulary without sounding like a know-it-all
According to the experts at Oxford Dictionaries, YourDictionary.com, and Spellchecker.net -- as well as some longtime English teachers -- the words we misspell most often aren't archaic or obscure. In fact, the most commonly misspelled words are ones we use all the time (including, ironically, "misspell"). Here are 15 words you already know but probably don't always spell correctly, along with handy hints for getting them right every time.
- A lot. That's right, it's two words.
- A while. Again, two words.
- Believe. This one follows the old "I before E except after C" rule.