I should be happy that the New York Times is highlighting the importance of breastfeeding. But this article on the difficulties faced by nursing mothers in lower-income jobs is disturbing in ways the author did not intend.

Poor women, and their children, suffer because their employers are not as sympathetic to their need to pump milk for their babies as are the employers of professional women. Thus they are less likely to breastfeed their children, and when they do it is not for as long a time, in yet another case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, September 1, 2006 at 8:56 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 1418 times | Comments (4)
Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Okay, the latest airport security problem is not in the least bit funny. But sometimes you have to see the humorous side to stay sane, especially when you have loved ones planning to fly in the next few days.

All liquids and gels are presently banned from carry-on luggage at U. S. Airports. Exceptions are being made for certain medications and for pre-mixed baby formula, which will be allowed after inspection. After getting the word, parents at the Orlando International Airport (and no doubt elsewere) were frantically preparing bottles of formula and hoping they wouldn't spoil on the trip, since they couldn't bring bottled water on board.

How nice to have your baby's food with you at all times, handy, pre-mixed, with no fear of spoilage, and in a form that can't be consigned to checked baggage.

It was nice of the Transportation Security Administration to reassure us on that last point, however (emphasis mine).

Exception: Baby formula, breast milk, or juice if a baby or small child is traveling; prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket; and insulin and essential other non-prescription medicines
I'm guessing they're referring to expressed breast milk in a bottle...but still...it makes one think....
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, August 10, 2006 at 12:08 pm | Edit
Permalink | Read 1647 times | Comments (5)
Category Travels: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Serendipity. Searching for one thing and finding another. And another. The Internet is a beachcomber's delight. While researching my Johari Window post, I found information on Duen Hsi Yen's commentary, which led me to his article on education, which in turn took me to another of his sites, which was chosen in May of 1999 as the Natural Child Project's Parenting Site of the Month. Investigating the Natural Child Project site led in turn to this month's honored parenting resource, Parents for Barefoot Children.

(This is beginning to sound like something from A Fly Went By: "The fly ran away in fear of the frog, who ran from the cat, who ran from the dog. The dog ran away in fear of the pig, who ran from the cow, she was so big!") (More)

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, August 7, 2006 at 2:45 pm | Edit
Permalink | Read 1807 times | Comments (3)
Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] RETHINK: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

Let me make clear up front that I'm glad our grandchildren are on schedule for most of the currently-recommended childhood vaccinations. I can be pleased with that because their parents have taken the time to research the issues, and decide which vaccines they think are worth the risk, and which are not, and are willing to pay the extra costs—in money and time—to spread the vaccinations out rather than subject their children to the assault on the immune system caused by receiving many vaccines on the same day. Moreover, the children are breastfed, which helps their immune systems deal with the vaccines.

Vaccines have prevented much suffering and death, and they do work; witness the frightening polio outbreaks in Africa when immunication efforts were hindered by Muslim clerics skeptical of both the vaccines and the good will of the vaccinators. But they are far from risk-free, and the government and the medical community are doing parents a disservice by pushing vaccinations as if they were entirely safe and absolutely essential for their children's health. (More)

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, August 3, 2006 at 7:35 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 4967 times | Comments (3)
Category Education: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Politics: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

I mentioned in the last post that I am cleaning the kitchen. (You can tell how easy this project is by how many blog posts I've written today. Writing is my favorite form of break.) So...I just threw out some spices with expiration dates in the early 1980's. Yes, I tasted them, and no, they weren't worth keeping. We hauled those spice jars from New York to Florida, from Florida to Massachusetts, from Massachusetts back to Florida again...but enough is enough!
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, August 2, 2006 at 4:11 pm | Edit
Permalink | Read 1277 times | Comments (0)
Category Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

I hear it's officially TV-Turnoff Week. Those who know me know I'm more likely to respond negatively to social pressure like that. Still, I'm not about to turn on the television just to be different.

But if TV is a regular part of your life, do yourself a huge favor and turn it off. Start with a week, but don't stop there. What would you give for an extra four hours in your day? More than 20 more hours in your week? Even if you are one of the very rare folks who watches only half an hour a day, think about what you could do in that time. With just half an hour each day you could learn to play a musical instrument, learn a foreign language, read many books, keep in touch with far away friends and family, create your own weblog, spend time in serious, concentrated prayer, get some much-needed sleep, learn to juggle, create a garden, get in shape...and accomplish at least one if not many of those things you say you'd love to do, "but I don't have time." Go for it! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Here are some more interesting links:

The TV-Turnoff Network

Excerpts from Marie Winn's The Plug-In Drug

Ruben Bolling's fabulous comic, Flowers for Trinitron.
Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, April 24, 2006 at 7:28 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 1568 times | Comments (3)
Category Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
A friend sent me a copy of Louise Story's New York Times article describing the new generation of bright, college-educated women who are chosing shortened, delayed, or part-time careers so they can give their best to their families. A quick Internet check tells me this story has already been blogged and overblogged, so I won't spend much time on it. (The article ran exactly one month agoŚmy friend is one of the rare breed who still cuts articles from the paper and mails them, and I am not as prompt as I should be at getting to my reading material.) Nonetheless, I can't resist a couple of comments. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, October 22, 2005 at 10:00 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 1442 times | Comments (0)
Category Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

I once read that a child should learn "at the rate determined by her own happy hunger." (I believe the quotation is from John Ciardi, but I haven’t been able to confirm that.) It is delightful to observe Jonathan’s voracious appetite. (More)

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 at 9:18 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 1529 times | Comments (4)
Category Education: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Everyday Life: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
Score one more for mothers. When you sang to your baby, rocking and bouncing him, or danced with him around the room, others may have said you were being silly. You may have thought you were just trying to keep your baby from crying. But what you were really doing was giving him his first music lessons. A Canadian study has shown that being moved to music helps babies learn rhythm. Just watching you dance is not good enough, by the way; the baby must dance, too.
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, June 3, 2005 at 9:00 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 1467 times | Comments (0)
Category Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
When Terri Schiavo dies, there's going to be cheering, and I don't understand why. I know there will be cries of exultation because of the commentary I've heard, and the rude jesting, even from as mainstream a production as National Public Radio's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. Perhaps people make light of tragedy in self-defense; I know my family was able to find humor even as our father lay dying. There was, however, an enormous difference: our humor was suffused with an undeniable love for the man and a determination to do all we could for him. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 at 8:21 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 1587 times | Comments (0)
Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Politics: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
News reports are trumpeting findings which, if true, show that our society has fallen even lower than I had thought. A study of almost 1000 Texan women found that they ranked watching television high on the list of activities that give pleasure, while taking care of children was low—almost as low as doing housework. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, December 3, 2004 at 9:12 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 1518 times | Comments (0)
Category Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
A study of German babies showed a higher risk of food allergies and diarrhea for those born by Caesarean section. The healthy, full-term babies were all exclusively breastfed for the first four months, during which time no such effect was seen. However, blood samples taken at 12 months showed that C-section babies were twice as likely as vaginally-delivered babies to have allergies to five common food allergens, including eggs, cow's milk, and soy protein. They were also 46% more likely to suffer from diarrhea during the first year.

These findings are consistent with previous research which demonstrated the importance of intestinal bacteria in the development of a healthy immune system. Babies who experience a normal delivery pick up vaginal, intestinal, and perianal microbes from their mothers. The risk to babies born by C-section includes not only deprivation of normal microbes, but also exposure to the unnatural microbial ecosystem peculiar to a hospital environment.
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, October 21, 2004 at 10:33 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 1740 times | Comments (0)
Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

...to make a man. Or at least it improves the odds significantly, according to a study by Dr. Karen Norberg, a clinical associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "When parents were living together before the birth of one child, that child was 14% more likely to be male than when the parents were not living together before the birth," she reported, according to an article in today's Guardian.

Charles Darwin noted similar findings in 1874, giving some credence to the article's statement that this "is certainly not an effect of any bias from parents against daughters." Otherwise one could easily imagine single mothers preferring to raise daughters; not everyone, but enough to skew the statistics. Sex-selective abortion is frowned upon, but that doesn't prevent it. And it can have a huge impact.

Just ask the Chinese.
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at 7:25 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 1493 times | Comments (0)
Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]

A study of premature infants suggests that delaying the clamping of the umbilical cord can reduce the need for blood transfusion in babies who are born too soon. A delay of only 30 seconds to two minutes was sufficient to provide significant benefit.

This news led me to search out a much more exhaustive discussion of umbilical cord issues, covering everything from conditions where immediate separation is necessary, to cord blood collection, to the "lotus birth," in which the placenta stays attached until the cord falls off the baby. Parents, midwives, and a few doctors speak out on issues that I had no idea were issues when I gave birth a quarter of a century ago. The concensus of this group is that delayed cord cutting is beneficial for full term babies (and their mothers) as well. Most of the debate seems to be between cutting the cord after the placenta stops pulsating, and waiting until the placenta is delivered.
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 7:35 pm | Edit
Permalink | Read 2190 times | Comments (2)
Category Health: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
When they put the sugar back into baby food, I should have known it was a bad sign.

Progress is often a tidal creek, not a river. Advancement is not inevitable. We gain in one era, or in one area, and lose in another.

The late 1970’s and early 80’s were good years for having babies in America. Women had rediscovered that childbirth is a good thing, a normal function, and were dragging their doctors along with them. Hospitals scrambled to keep up.

We were the rebels, the revolutionaries. The children of the 60’s grown up. Our parents had been cheated by medical and cultural “advancement,” giving birth under anesthesia, flat on their backs on a delivery table, their legs unnaturally elevated. Labor was often artificially induced, and the cesarean section rate was high. Once born, the babies were whisked away to nurseries, tended by professional nurses and fed commercial formula. As soon as possible their diets included solid food—commercial baby food, loaded with sugar and salt to suit the mother’s taste. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, September 19, 2003 at 9:03 am | Edit
Permalink | Read 6303 times | Comments (0)
Category Health: [next] [newest] Children & Family Issues: [first] [previous] [next] [newest] Random Musings: [first] [previous] [next] [newest]
Go to page:
«Previous   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18  Next»