Maternal Death In The United States

 My baby sister just lost a friend. She was a L+D nurse who died less than a week after having a CSection. In addition to being a new mommy, she was a newlywed. It's such a shame, and according to my sister her CSection was not medically necessary. Women are dying because of the method in which they have decided to give birth and its definitely being sweep under the proverbial rug. I have gotten into many heated argument with women who feel they is nothing wrong with having a CSection and that its better for their baby. I won't get on my soapbox and rant about my response to such ignorance, but I will offer you the cold, hard facts. Please check them out and make a more informed decision.

The Facts

  • The United States has a higher ratio of maternal deaths than at least 40  other countries, even though it spends more money per capita for  maternity care than any other.{Source} {Source}
  • The lack of a comprehensive, confidential system of ascertainment of  maternal death designed to record and analyze every maternal death  continues to subject U.S. women to unnecessary risk of preventable  mortality. Maternal deaths must be reviewed to make motherhood safer.  The United Kingdom’s Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health  is considered the “gold standard” of national professional  self-evaluation. {Source}  {Source}
  • Whenever a maternal death occurs in the UK, CEMACH is automatically notified, and a multidisciplinary team of individuals who do not work at the hospital where the death occurred is dispatched to review all of the woman’s records. In sharp contrast, when a maternal death takes place in the US, there is usually no review of the case external to the hospital in question, and all employees with knowledge of the death are warned to keep silent about it. {Source}
  • Gut colonization by microbes is delayed in C-sectioned babies, which may explain in part why these infants have a harder time fighting off infections. {Source}
  • Another vital point: We have a US Standard Certificate of Death. In 1979 and 1989, it was proposed that this certificate should include a question asking if the deceased had been pregnant in the year previous to death. Inclusion of this question has been shown to significantly increase the count of maternal deaths. Amazingly, this question was not adopted in the US Standard Certificate until 2003. However—and this is a big however—the federal government does not require that the states use the US Standard Certificate, and most still don’t! {Source}

 The list can go on and on. I completely understand the need for a CSection in an emergency situation. However, what I have witnessed is women being bullied into unnecessary interventions that lead to their baby's being in distress and ultimately CSections. 

 

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/06/02/babies-born-by-cesarean-section-may-not-gain-benefits-of-vaginal-microbiome.html

Racism + Black Women + PreTerm Labor

African-American women are significantly more likely to lose a baby in the first year of life than white women, in an enduring medical mystery. It exists at all income and education levels, but is widest among more affluent, highly educated women. A college-educated black woman in the United States is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with only a high school education. An African-American woman who starts prenatal care in her first trimester is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with late or no prenatal care. A black woman who does not smoke has worse birth outcomes than a white woman who smokes. Read more here.

 

 

 

I am currently in the ninth month (36 weeks) of my third pregnancy. At 33 weeks I experienced the biggest scare of my life when I began to show signs of preterm labor. On Sunday night, during one of my fifteen nightly trips to the bathroom, I noticed I was spotting. I told myself I would wait until the morning to see if the spotting continued. Sure enough I woke Monday morning, with heavier spotting, unusual pelvic pressure, and contractions. I immediately called my midwife and was given a 9:00 am office appointment. At the appointment I was placed on the tocodynamometer to monitor any contractions. After an hour of showing no signs of contractions, I was given a fetal fibronectin test (FFT). During this exam my midwife noticed the bleeding and said I was 2cm dilated. She gave me a speech about the data showing Black women have high rates of preterm labor, but Black baby girls in NICU fare better than any other race of babies. At the end of her disquisition she got on the phone with the hospital to tell them she was sending me with my FFT to get a sonogram, steriods, and blood tests.

In the end, I had a negative FFT, but was put on modified bed rest for three weeks (until week 35). This experience lead me to do more research on the disparity pre term births in African American women. Below are some of the facts I've found during my preliminary research.

 

What is preterm labor?!

Preterm labor is the birth of a baby at less than 37 weeks gestation. According to the CDC's website here,

"an estimated 15 million babies are born too early every year. In 2014, preterm birth affected about 1 of every 10 infants born in the United States... Preterm birth is the greatest contributor to infant death, with most preterm-related deaths occurring among babies who were born very preterm (before 32 weeks). Preterm birth is also a leading cause of long-term neurological disabilities in children. A developing baby goes through important growth during the final weeks and months of pregnancy. Many organ systems, including the brain, lungs, and liver need the final weeks of pregnancy to fully develop."

What are the consequences of preterm birth?!

There is a higher risk of serious disability or death the earlier the baby is born. Some problems that a baby born too early may face include—

Preterm births also may cause emotional and economic burdens for families. Learn more about preterm birth.

What are the stats worldwide?!

Across 184 countries, the rate of preterm birth ranges from 5% to 18% of babies born (Source). In 2014, the premature birth rate in the United States was about 9.6%. The percentage of premature births in the United States has decreased 8% since 2007; however, large differences in risk of preterm birth remain for racial and ethnic groups. In 2014, black infants were about 50% more likely to be born preterm than white, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander infants. 

The infant mortality rate among black infants is 2.4 times higher than that of white infants, primarily due to preterm birth. In the United States, the risk of preterm birth for Non-Hispanic black women is approximately 1.5 times the rate seen in white women. 

The 10 countries with the greatest number of preterm births:

  • India: 3 519 100
  • China: 1 172 300
  • Nigeria: 773 600
  • Pakistan: 748 100
  • Indonesia: 675 700
  • The United States of America: 517 400
  • Bangladesh: 424 100
  • The Philippines: 348 900
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo: 341 400
  • Brazil: 279 300

The 10 countries with the highest rates of preterm birth per 100 live births:

  • Malawi: 18.1 per 100
  • Comoros: 16.7
  • Congo: 16.7
  • Zimbabwe: 16.6
  • Equatorial Guinea: 16.5
  • Mozambique: 16.4
  • Gabon: 16.3
  • Pakistan: 15.8
  • Indonesia: 15.5
  • Mauritania: 15.4

Why are African America women more prone to preterm labor?

"The more complex answer, some researchers say, has to do with stress - not only during pregnancy but during a lifetime of being black in America. Stress elevates certain hormones that are known to trigger labor; it may increase susceptibility to infections that are linked to premature delivery." {Source here}

As I do more research on the topic I will post interesting findings on the blog. Until then be well, stay healthy, and enjoy each day as if it were your last.

Is Annual Pap Necessary?!

This morning I read an article published on Slate.com titled, "Doctors are examining your genitals for no reason". Author, Amanda Hess, introduces new research presented in the Annals of Internal Medicine that states the following:

there is no established medical justification for the annual procedure. After scouring nearly 70 years of pelvic exam studies, conducted from 1946 to 2014, the researchers found no evidence that they lead to any reduction in “morbidity or mortality of any condition” among women. In light of the study, the American College of Physicians, a national organization of internists, has crafted a new set of guidelines warning doctors that exams conducted on otherwise symptomless women can “subject patients to unnecessary worry and follow-up” and can “cause anxiety, discomfort, pain, and embarrassment, especially in women whohave a history of sexual abuse.”

Now this excerpt had me think of all the poking and probing I have experienced since leaving the care of my pediatrician. "In 2010, doctors performed 62.8 million of these routine pelvic examinations on women across America. In total, gynecological screenings cost the U.S. $2.6 billion every year." As with most of the "interventions" proposed by this country's medical profession is this about women's preventative care or the all mighty dollar?!

Other article tidbits:

In 2012, the United States Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society released new recommendations suggesting that women should undergo routine pap smear tests every three years, not once a year.

 

And in 2009, the USPSTF changed its stance on routine mammograms, recommending that women begin undergoing mammograms at age 50, not 40, and that they do them every two years, not every year.

Please read full article here.

The Contracting Power of the Uterus

We think in pictures and we should be painting accurate pictures. The cervix nor the vagina bloom. The cervix is not a zip lock bag. The purpose of labor is NOT the creation of an opening or a hole... The purpose of labor contractions and retractions is to BUILD the fundus, which will, when it is ready, EJECT the baby, like a piston. Without a nice thick fundus there is no power to get baby out....the cervix does not dilate out....it dilates UP as a result of the effort to pull muscles up into the uterus to push muscles up to the fundus. The cervical dilation is secondary to that. The cervix is pulled up as a result of the building of the fundus. Assigning a number to cervical dilation is of little consequence and we make a huge mistake by interpreting progress or predicting time of birth to that number. Any experienced midwife or OB can tell you that the cervix can be manipulated and that a woman whose cervix is at 7 could have the baby in a few minutes or a few hours. 



If more providers and educators knew the truth about birth physiology, we could make a huge difference for mothers. What is important is to keep her well supported for the purpose of the appropriate chemistry, to keep her well hydrated and nourished for muscle strength, and to believe in her. We should be supporting her so that her physiology and that of her baby are unhindered, so they can finish what they started. 

We should not be measuring, poking, or interpreting her labor. THIS CHANGE in teaching about labor could make such a difference for women who are imagining what is happening in their bodies during labor. How much more strength might they have if they have an accurate picture?"

Source: Carla Hartley

 


Is It Really Shaken Baby Syndrome?

On my quest to learn all I can about vaccinations and immunizations I arrived upon an article that links the diagnosis of Shaken Baby Syndrome and the DTaP vaccine. Check it out.

The connection between vaccines and Shaken Baby Syndrome from Health Wyze:

Shaken baby syndrome usually occurs when an infant has had lots of help from the medical establishment and he remains too weak to survive the toxic onslaught from vaccines.

Despite its known risks, the DTP vaccine was sold for use on infants and children for 48 years before the "safer" DTaP formulation was marketed. Wyeth (now Pfizer) blamed the F.D.A. for having an approval process that is too slow, but it was more likely due to the fact that they stalled the process themselves, because DTP is more profitable than DTaP. The newer DTaP vaccine still causes the same brain swelling reaction (encephalitis) that is blamed upon shaken baby syndrome. The biggest change is that it has become illegal to sue vaccine manufacturers, which is an unconstitutional privilege that is shared with no other industry.

"Human shaking may cause lethal brain stem and cervical spine injuries in a 0-to 2-year-old child, as the forces necessary for these injuries are well below the level needed for fatal brain injuries and are consistent with the forces that can be produced in shaking."

-- Chris Van Ee, Ph.D., Injury Biomechanics Researcher

There is strong evidence that it is impossible to induce the type of brain injury that is found in cases of shaken baby syndrome without first causing extreme neck and spinal injuries. However, spinal injuries are virtually never seen in these cases of alleged abuse.

An analysis of available shaken baby syndrome cases reveals two distinct patterns: 

      • The infant was usually delivered prematurely, or there were other complications during pregnancy, and the delivery supposedly required medical "help".
      • The symptoms almost always appear within 15 days of vaccinations, and the overwhelming majority of cases happened within 10 days of vaccinations. A surprisingly high percentage of shaken baby cases were within 2 days of vaccinations.

Real research into the causes of shaken baby syndrome is lacking, because there can be no controlled studies. Such studies would involve killing infants, or at least exposing them to a very high risk of harm. Nevertheless, lives and families are being destroyed on the basis of fraudulent scientific evidence. The parents of vaccinated children who suffer with encephalitis must be tried for murder; lest the doctors and hospitals be held accountable. The manufacturers have already been legally immune since 1986.

 

Source: Health Wyze.Org

  

4th Trimester Bodies Project

Check out the 4th Trimester Bodies Project: 

By showcasing moms, Jackson hopes to shine a light on cultural interpretations of female beauty and change women's expectations for themselves and those around them.

"[T]his project has been something that has felt a necessity in my mind for years now," she told HuffPost by email, adding that the impetus for the series was deeply personal. "After coming out the other side of a very traumatic pregnancy and birth experience myself and struggling with the strangeness of my new body, I felt like it was finally time to make this project a reality."

 


The Case of Money + the C-Section

I have heard countless women speak about their low-risk pregnancies leading to C-sections. From this I have concluded doctors must be getting some kind of monetary incentive for butchering women without medically sound reasons. In an article written for NPR, Shankar Vedantam, writes abou?t this very idea. His article titled, Money May Be Motivating Doctors To Do More C-Sections, recounts the research of health care economists Erin Johnsonand M. Marit Rehavi.

 "About 1 in 3 babies born today is delivered via C-section, compared to 1 in 5 babies delivered via the surgical procedure in 1996. During the same time period, the annual medical costs of childbirth in the U.S. have grown by $3 billion annually." 

ONE in THREE?! This is scary and has changed the very essence of how humans give birth. It's like how navigation has changed the way humans get around. You almost never hear someone ask for directions, soon its going to be the same with birth. A woman will just schedule her due date and keep it moving. 

"Pregnant doctors are less likely than other women to deliver their babies via C-section, recent research suggests. Economists say that may be because the physician patients feel more empowered to question the obstetrician."

Of course, this is just like executives of Monsanto peddling GMOs and only serving organic foods in their corporate cafeterias or Dr. Oz telling every parent to give their children vaccines when his children are vaccine free. Oh the hypocrisy. 

"They hypothesized that obstetricians would be less likely to be swayed by financial incentives when patients themselves had significant medical expertise and knowledge. By contrast, the researchers figured, such incentives might play a larger role in medical decision-making when patients knew very little."

Indeed knowledge is power.

To read the entire article click here.

Bilinigual Babies

SJ has definitely come to comprehend both English and Spanish. As we desperately search for a day care center for her September admittance we discussed a center in which Spanish was spoken or taught. On my Facebook feed today I read a NY Times article that highlighted questions I've had about teaching our girls to be bilingual from birth. Check out the highlights. The originial article is here.

Over the past decade, Ellen Bialystok, a distinguished research professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, has shown that bilingual children develop crucial skills in addition to their double vocabularies, learning different ways to solve logic problems or to handle multitasking, skills that are often considered part of the brain’s so-called executive function.

These higher-level cognitive abilities are localized to the frontal and prefrontal cortex in the brain. “Overwhelmingly, children who are bilingual from early on have precocious development of executive function,” Dr. Bialystok said.

Dr. Kuhl calls bilingual babies “more cognitively flexible” than monolingual infants.

SJ has chosen to speak primarly in English, considering she has been exposed to both English and Spanish equally, I often wonder if its because I speak English.

 

Check out this TED video presented by Patricia Kuhl titled, The linguistic genius of babies. 

 

Homeopathic Immunizations

To vax or not to vax . . .  This is the question I've been researching for the last year. I recently, last night, found a new element to this whole vaccination topic: Homeopathic Immunizations or Homeoprophylaxis (HP). Its been around for over 200 years and has been proven to be a safer alternative to traditional vaccination methods. So what exactly is it you ask? Well let me explain. All information below is from the wonderful resource Organic Life Love's site here.

 

Homeoprophylaxis is a highly dilute preparation from a disease product i.e. from the sputum of an individual with the disease, or in the case of influenzium (homeopathic version of the flu shot), the four viruses selected by the WHO for the annual flu vaccine. 

It works by naturally strengthening the resistance of the individual instead of targeting the pathogen, bacteria, or virus that causes the epidemic disease.  For this reason pathogens can never develop a resistance to the prophylactics.

Homeopathic immunization protects those that traditional vaccines are unsuitable (such as those who have had adverse reactions to other vaccines, the malnourished, the sick and deblitated, the immune-compromised, the pregnant, those allergic to vaccine materials, and those on steroids.)

It is also highly effective for travelers that need specific disease prevention going into a particular area.

Comparing the differences between vaccines and homeopathic immunization

Vaccination

  • Material dose; live, attenuated or killed virus, bacteria, toxin, in crude dose
  • Adjuvants to stimulate allergic repsonse and other additives with the possibility of other viruses, human fetus tissue, and DNA, animal byproducts etc.
  • Preservatives such as thiomersal, formaldehyde etc.
  • Germ/adjuvants injected directly into the blood stream bypassing peripheral immune system
  • Multiple diseases given at once
  • Specific antibody production expected in immune systems that are too immature to produce antibodies (infants til 1-2 years of age)

Homeoprophylaxis

  • Energetic dose; substances are potentized/diluted to reduce material dose but retain memory of disease/pathogen
  • Nosodes are sourced from pure germ/viral culture or human discharge response to the  germ
  • No adjuvants, preservatives or contaminants
  • Administered orally with sugar pellets
  • Single disease at a time
  • From birth on general immune system functions are fully active and therefore responsive to general stimulation

 

NEW JERSEY
1)  Many people recommend strongly:  Dr. Howard Schlachter  228 Roseland Ave  Essex Fells, NJ 07021  973-226-8393 
2)  Auletta Maria MD 23 South Main Street  # 25  Manville, NJ 08835-1801 (908) 243-0088   I live in cetnral NJ and this is my family doctor-almost 90% of her patients are family with vaccine free children.
3) Pediatric Associates in Neptune NJ. 
4) Dr. Fisch in Oradell NJ

5) South NJ area: Haddon Pediatric Group (Dr. Schlitt- not sure which one, there are three).  Accept Non vaccinated babies and children without problem.   They have offices in Mullica Hill and Haddon Heights. http://www.advocaredoctors.com

6) There is a really good doctor in Hillsborough NJ that accepts unvaccinated kids and respects being vaccine free her name is Dr Li Jiang and the clinic is Hills Pediatrics 908 725 0875

7) Oradell -Dr Rosen of the Whope Child Center

8) Hackettstown, Warren County.  Dr. Chi. 

 Source

 

More resources below

An Informed Decision

Vax Philosophical Exemptions: A Moral and Ethical Imperative

HP STATUS SHEET

NJ Coalition for Vaccination Choice

Top 10 Reasons NJ Needs the Conscientious Exemption to Mandatory Vaccinations Bill A1368

 

 

Happy Father's Day: Statistics of a Fatherless America {long}

Growing up my sisters and I were part of the minority of African American children with both parents in the household. My husband and father didn't have long-term relationships with their fathers, in spite of this they are excellent fathers. D has only had twenty-six months of experience, but he's made a vow to not continue the cycle as my father did over 33 years ago. For D, the first step to breaking the cycle of single-parenthood was to marry me. This vital step (1) ensured our family's stability, (2) broke the cycle of poverty often associated with single parent households, and  (3) gives our daughters a living, breathing example of a successful marriage. My parents were worried we would continue to shack up, but they didn't need to fret because marry was our ultimate goal. We purchased a house, lived together for five years before marriage so I can understand there concerns.

"Today, one-third of American children – a total of 15 million – are being raised without a father. The majority of black children nationwide – 54 percent – are being raised by single mothers. In all but eleven states, most black children do not live with both parents. In every state, 70 percent of white children do. In all but two states, most Hispanic children do." {source}

It's a sad state of affairs. And the problem just seems to get worse. Mentalities about marriage and family need to change, particularly for African American girls in this country. They need to see examples of successful African American marriages and not be bombarded with images of being a fly baby mama. Being a baby mama is never something to aspire to become, but they haven't received the memo.

Found this website wanted to share . . .

Sexual activity. In a study of 700 adolescents, researchers found that "compared to families with two natural parents living in the home, adolescents from single-parent families have been found to engage in greater and earlier sexual activity."

Source: Carol W. Metzler, et al. "The Social Context for Risky Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents," Journal of Behavioral Medicine17 (1994).

A myriad of maladies. Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, Survey on Child Health, Washington, DC, 1993.

Drinking problems. Teenagers living in single-parent households are more likely to abuse alcohol and at an earlier age compared to children reared in two-parent households

Source: Terry E. Duncan, Susan C. Duncan and Hyman Hops, "The Effects of Family Cohesiveness and Peer Encouragement on the Development of Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Cohort-Sequential Approach to the Analysis of Longitudinal Data,"Journal of Studies on Alcohol 55 (1994).

Drug Use: "...the absence of the father in the home affects significantly the behavior of adolescents and results in the greater use of alcohol and marijuana."

Source: Deane Scott Berman, "Risk Factors Leading to Adolescent Substance Abuse," Adolescence 30 (1995)

Sexual abuse. A study of 156 victims of child sexual abuse found that the majority of the children came from disrupted or single-parent homes; only 31 percent of the children lived with both biological parents. Although stepfamilies make up only about 10 percent of all families, 27 percent of the abused children lived with either a stepfather or the mother's boyfriend.

Source: Beverly Gomes-Schwartz, Jonathan Horowitz, and Albert P. Cardarelli, "Child Sexual Abuse Victims and Their Treatment," U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Child Abuse. Researchers in Michigan determined that "49 percent of all child abuse cases are committed by single mothers."

Source: Joan Ditson and Sharon Shay, "A Study of Child Abuse in Lansing, Michigan," Child Abuse and Neglect, 8 (1984).

Deadly predictions. A family structure index -- a composite index based on the annual rate of children involved in divorce and the percentage of families with children present that are female-headed -- is a strong predictor of suicide among young adult and adolescent white males.

Source: Patricia L. McCall and Kenneth C. Land, "Trends in White Male Adolescent, Young-Adult and Elderly Suicide: Are There Common Underlying Structural Factors?" Social Science Research 23, 1994.

High risk. Fatherless children are at dramatically greater risk of suicide.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, Survey on Child Health,Washington, DC, 1993.

Suicidal Tendencies. In a study of 146 adolescent friends of 26 adolescent suicide victims, teens living in single-parent families are not only more likely to commit suicide but also more likely to suffer from psychological disorders, when compared to teens living in intact families.

Source: David A. Brent, et al. "Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Peers of Adolescent Suicide Victims: Predisposing Factors and Phenomenology." Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 34, 1995.

Confused identities. Boys who grow up in father-absent homes are more likely that those in father-present homes to have trouble establishing appropriate sex roles and gender identity.

Source: P.L. Adams, J.R. Milner, and N.A. Schrepf, Fatherless Children, New York, Wiley Press, 1984.

Psychiatric Problems. In 1988, a study of preschool children admitted to New Orleans hospitals as psychiatric patients over a 34-month period found that nearly 80 percent came from fatherless homes.

Source: Jack Block, et al. "Parental Functioning and the Home Environment in Families of Divorce," Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27 (1988)

Emotional distress. Children living with a never-married mother are more likely to have been treated for emotional problems.

Source: L. Remez, "Children Who Don't Live with Both Parents Face Behavioral Problems," Family Planning Perspectives(January/February 1992).

Uncooperative kids. Children reared by a divorced or never-married mother are less cooperative and score lower on tests of intelligence than children reared in intact families. Statistical analysis of the behavior and intelligence of these children revealed "significant detrimental effects" of living in a female-headed household. Growing up in a female-headed household remained a statistical predictor of behavior problems even after adjusting for differences in family income.

Source: Greg L. Duncan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Pamela Kato Klebanov, "Economic Deprivation and Early Childhood Development," Child Development 65 (1994).

Unstable families, unstable lives. Compared to peers in two-parent homes, black children in single-parent households are more likely to engage in troublesome behavior, and perform poorly in school.

Source: Tom Luster and Hariette Pipes McAdoo, "Factors Related to the Achievement and Adjustment of Young African-American Children." Child Development 65 (1994): 1080-1094

Beyond class lines. Even controlling for variations across groups in parent education, race and other child and family factors, 18- to 22-year-olds from disrupted families were twice as likely to have poor relationships with their mothers and fathers, to show high levels of emotional distress or problem behavior, [and] to have received psychological help.

Source: Nicholas Zill, Donna Morrison, and Mary Jo Coiro, "Long Term Effects of Parental Divorce on Parent-Child Relationships, Adjustment and Achievement in Young Adulthood." Journal of Family Psychology 7 (1993).

Fatherly influence. Children with fathers at home tend to do better in school, are less prone to depression and are more successful in relationships. Children from one-parent families achieve less and get into trouble more than children from two parent families.

Source: One Parent Families and Their Children: The School's Most Significant Minority, conducted by The Consortium for the Study of School Needs of Children from One Parent Families, co sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the Institute for Development of Educational Activities, a division of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, Arlington, VA., 1980

Divorce disorders. Children whose parents separate are significantly more likely to engage in early sexual activity, abuse drugs, and experience conduct and mood disorders. This effect is especially strong for children whose parents separated when they were five years old or younger.

Source: David M. Fergusson, John Horwood and Michael T. Lynsky, "Parental Separation, Adolescent Psychopathology, and Problem Behaviors," Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 33 (1944).

Troubled marriages, troubled kids. Compared to peers living with both biological parents, sons and daughters of divorced or separated parents exhibited significantly more conduct problems. Daughters of divorced or separated mothers evidenced significantly higher rates of internalizing problems, such as anxiety or depression.

Source: Denise B. Kandel, Emily Rosenbaum and Kevin Chen, "Impact of Maternal Drug Use and Life Experiences on Preadolescent Children Born to Teenage Mothers," Journal of Marriage and the Family56 (1994).

Hungry for love. "Father hunger" often afflicts boys age one and two whose fathers are suddenly and permanently absent. Sleep disturbances, such as trouble falling asleep, nightmares, and night terrors frequently begin within one to three months after the father leaves home.

Source: Alfred A. Messer, "Boys Father Hunger: The Missing Father Syndrome," Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, January 1989.

Disturbing news: Children of never-married mothers are more than twice as likely to have been treated for an emotional or behavioral problem.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, Hyattsille, MD, 1988

Poor and in trouble: A 1988 Department of Health and Human Services study found that at every income level except the very highest (over $50,000 a year), children living with never-married mothers were more likely than their counterparts in two-parent families to have been expelled or suspended from school, to display emotional problems, and to engage in antisocial behavior.

Source: James Q. Wilson, "In Loco Parentis: Helping Children When Families Fail Them," The Brookings Review, Fall 1993.

Fatherless aggression: In a longitudinal study of 1,197 fourth-grade students, researchers observed "greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households."

Source: N. Vaden-Kierman, N. Ialongo, J. Pearson, and S. Kellam, "Household Family Structure and Children's Aggressive Behavior: A Longitudinal Study of Urban Elementary School Children," Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 23, no. 5 (1995).

Act now, pay later: "Children from mother-only families have less of an ability to delay gratification and poorer impulse control (that is, control over anger and sexual gratification.) These children also have a weaker sense of conscience or sense of right and wrong."

Source: E.M. Hetherington and B. Martin, "Family Interaction" in H.C. Quay and J.S. Werry (eds.), Psychopathological Disorders of Childhood. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979)

Crazy victims: Eighty percent of adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from broken homes.

Source: J.B. Elshtain, "Family Matters...", Christian Century, July 1993.

Duh to dead: "The economic consequences of a [father's] absence are often accompanied by psychological consequences, which include higher-than-average levels of youth suicide, low intellectual and education performance, and higher-than-average rates of mental illness, violence and drug use."

Source: William Galston, Elaine Kamarck. Progressive Policy Institute. 1993

Expelled: Nationally, 15.3 percent of children living with a never-married mother and 10.7 percent of children living with a divorced mother have been expelled or suspended from school, compared to only 4.4 percent of children living with both biological parents.

Source: Debra Dawson, "Family Structure...", Journal of Marriage and Family, No. 53. 1991.

Violent rejection: Kids who exhibited violent behavior at school were 11 times as likely not to live with their fathers and six times as likely to have parents who were not married. Boys from families with absent fathers are at higher risk for violent behavior than boys from intact families.

Source: J.L. Sheline (et al.), "Risk Factors...", American Journal of Public Health, No. 84. 1994.

That crowd: Children without fathers or with stepfathers were less likely to have friends who think it's important to behave properly in school. They also exhibit more problems with behavior and in achieving goals.

Source: Nicholas Zill, C. W. Nord, "Running in Place," Child Trends, Inc. 1994.

Likeliest to succeed: Kids who live with both biological parents at age 14 are significantly more likely to graduate from high school than those kids who live with a single parent, a parent and step-parent, or neither parent.

Source: G.D. Sandefur (et al.), "The Effects of Parental Marital Status...", Social Forces, September 1992.

Worse to bad: Children in single-parent families tend to score lower on standardized tests and to receive lower grades in school. Children in single-parent families are nearly twice as likely to drop out of school as children from two-parent families.

Source: J.B. Stedman (et al.), "Dropping Out," Congressional Research Service Report No 88-417. 1988.

College odds: Children from disrupted families are 20 percent more unlikely to attend college than kids from intact, two-parent families.

Source: J. Wallerstein, Family Law Quarterly, 20. (Summer 1986)

On their own: Kids living in single-parent homes or in step-families report lower educational expectations on the part of their parents, less parental monitoring of school work, and less overall social supervision than children from intact families.

Source: N.M. Astore and S. McLanahan, Americican Sociological Review, No. 56 (1991)

Double-risk: Fatherless children -- kids living in homes without a stepfather or without contact with their biological father -- are twice as likely to drop out of school.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Survey on Child Health. (1993)

Repeat, repeat: Nationally, 29.7 percent of children living with a never-married mother and 21.5 percent of children living with a divorced mother have repeated at least one grade in school, compared to 11.6 percent of children living with both biological parents.

Source: Debra Dawson, "Family Structure and Children's Well-Being," Journals of Marriage and Family, No. 53. (1991).

Underpaid high achievers: Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes. Almost twice as many high achievers come from two-parent homes as one-parent homes.

Source: "One-Parent Families and Their Children;" Charles F. Kettering Foundation (1990).

Dadless and dumb: At least one-third of children experiencing a parental separation "demonstrated a significant decline in academic performance" persisting at least three years.

Source: L.M.C. Bisnairs (et al.), American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, no. 60 (1990)

Son of Solo: According to a recent study of young, non-custodial fathers who are behind on child support payments, less than half of these men were living with their own father at age 14.

Slip-sliding: Among black children between the ages of 6 to 9 years old, black children in mother-only households scored significantly lower on tests of intellectual ability, than black children living with two parents.

Source: Luster and McAdoo, Child Development 65. 1994.

Dadless dropouts: After taking into account race, socio-economic status, sex, age and ability, high school students from single-parent households were 1.7 times more likely to drop out than were their corresponding counterparts living with both biological parents.

Source: Ralph McNeal, Sociology of Education 88. 1995.

Takes two: Families in which both the child's biological or adoptive parents are present in the household show significantly higher levels of parental involvement in the child's school activities than do mother-only families or step-families.

Source: Zill and Nord, "Running in Place." Child Trends. 1994

Con garden: Forty-three percent of prison inmates grew up in a single-parent household -- 39 percent with their mothers, 4 percent with their fathers -- and an additional 14 percent lived in households without either biological parent. Another 14 percent had spent at last part of their childhood in a foster home, agency or other juvenile institution.

Source: US Bureau of Justice Statistics, Survey of State Prison Inmates. 1991

Criminal moms, criminal kids: The children of single teenage mothers are more at risk for later criminal behavior. In the case of a teenage mother, the absence of a father also increases the risk of harshness from the mother.

Source: M. Mourash, L. Rucker, Crime and Delinquency 35. 1989.

Rearing rapists: Seventy-two percent of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers. Sixty percent of America's rapists grew up the same way.

Source: D. Cornell (et al.), Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 5. 1987. And N. Davidson, "Life Without Father," Policy Review. 1990.

Crime and poverty: The proportion of single-parent households in a community predicts its rate of violent crime and burglary, but the community's poverty level does not.

Source: D.A. Smith and G.R. Jarjoura, "Social Structure and Criminal Victimization," Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency25. 1988.

Marriage matters: Only 13 percent of juvenile delinquents come from families in which the biological mother and father are married to each other. By contract, 33 percent have parents who are either divorced or separated and 44 percent have parents who were never married.

Source: Wisconsin Dept. of Health and Social Services, April 1994.

No good time: Compared to boys from intact, two-parent families, teenage boys from disrupted families are not only more likely to be incarcerated for delinquent offenses, but also to manifest worse conduct while incarcerated.

Source: M Eileen Matlock et al., "Family Correlates of Social Skills..." Adolescence 29. 1994.

Count 'em: Seventy percent of juveniles in state reform institutions grew up in single- or no-parent situations.

Source: Alan Beck et al., Survey of Youth in Custody, 1987, US Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1988.

The Main Thing: The relationship between family structure and crime is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature.

Source: E. Kamarck, William Galston, Putting Children First, Progressive Policy Inst. 1990

Examples: Teenage fathers are more likely than their childless peers to commit and be convicted of illegal activity, and their offenses are of a more serious nature.

Source: M.A. Pirog-Good, "Teen Father and the Child Support System," in Paternity Establishment, Institute for research on Poverty, Univ. of Wisconsin. 1992.

The 'hood The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families.

Source: A. Anne Hill, June O'Neill, "Underclass Behaviors in the United States," CUNY, Baruch College. 1993

Bringing the war back home The odds that a boy born in America in 1974 will be murdered are higher than the odds that a serviceman in World War II would be killed in combat.

Source: US Sen. Phil Gramm, 1995

Get ahead at home and at work: Fathers who cared for their children intellectual development and their adolescent's social development were more like to advance in their careers, compared to men who weren't involved in such activities.

Source: J. Snarey, How Fathers Care for the Next Generation.Harvard Univ. Press.

Diaper dads: In 1991, about 20 percent of preschool children were cared for by their fathers -- both married and single. In 1988, the number was 15 percent.

Source: M. O'Connell, "Where's Papa? Father's Role in Child Care," Population Reference Bureau. 1993.

Without leave: Sixty-three percent of 1500 CEOs and human resource directors said it was not reasonable for a father to take a leave after the birth of a child.

Source: J.H. Pleck, "Family Supportive Employer Policies," Center for research in Women. 1991.

Get a job: The number of men who complain that work conflicts with their family responsibilities rose from 12 percent in 1977 to 72 percent in 1989. Meanwhile, 74 percent of men prefer a "daddy track" job to a "fast track" job.

Source: James Levine, The Fatherhood Project.

Long-distance dads: Twenty-six percent of absent fathers live in a different state than their children.

Source: US Bureau of the Census, Statistical Brief . 1991.

Cool Dad of the Week: Among fathers who maintain contact with their children after a divorce, the pattern of the relationship between father-and-child changes. They begin to behave more like relatives than like parents. Instead of helping with homework, nonresident dads are more likely to take the kids shopping, to the movies, or out to dinner. Instead of providing steady advice and guidance, divorced fathers become "treat dads."

Source: F. Furstenberg, A. Cherlin, Divided Families . Harvard Univ. Press. 1991.

Older's not wiser: While 57 percent of unwed dads with kids no older than two visit their children more than once a week, by the time the kid's seven and a half, only 23 percent are in frequent contact with their children.

Source: R. Lerman and Theodora Ooms, Young Unwed Fathers . 1993.

Ten years after: Ten years after the breakup of a marriage, more than two-thirds of kids report not having seen their father for a year.

Source: National Commission on Children, Speaking of Kids. 1991.

No such address: More than half the kids who don't live with their father have never been in their father's house.

Source: F. Furstenberg, A. Cherlin, Divided Families. Harvard Univ. Press. 1991.

Dadless years: About 40 percent of the kids living in fatherless homes haven't seen their dads in a year or more. Of the rest, only one in five sleeps even one night a month at the father's home. And only one in six sees their father once or more per week.

Source: F. Furstenberg, A. Cherlin, Divided Families. Harvard Univ. Press. 1991.

Measuring up? According to a 1992 Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of all adults agreed that fathers today spend less time with their kids than their fathers did with them.

Source: Gallup national random sample conducted for the National Center for Fathering, April 1992.

Father unknown. Of kids living in single-mom households, 35 percent never see their fathers, and another 24 percent see their fathers less than once a month.

Source: J.A. Selzer, "Children's Contact with Absent Parents," Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50 (1988).

Missed contact: In a study of 304 young adults, those whose parents divorced after they left home had significantly less contact with their fathers than adult children who parents remained married. Weekly contact with their children dropped from 78 percent for still-married fathers to 44 percent for divorced fathers.

Source: William Aquilino, "Later Life Parental Divorce and Widowhood," Journal of Marriage and the Family 56. 1994.

Commercial breaks: The amount of time a father spends with his child -- one-on-one -- averages less than 10 minutes a day.

Source: J. P. Robinson, et al., "The Rhythm of Everyday Life." Westview Press. 1988

High risk: Overall, more than 75 percent of American children are at risk because of paternal deprivation. Even in two-parent homes, fewer than 25 percent of young boys and girls experience an average of at least one hour a day of relatively individualized contact with their fathers.

Source: Henry Biller, "The Father Factor..." a paper based on presentations during meetings with William Galston, Deputy Director, Domestic Policy, Clinton White House, December 1993 and April 1994.

Knock, knock: Of children age 5 to 14, 1.6 million return home to houses where there is no adult present.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, "Who's Minding the Kids?" Statistical Brief. April 1994.

Who said talk's cheap? Almost 20 percent of sixth- through twelfth-graders have not had a good conversation lasting for at least 10 minutes with at least one of their parents in more than a month.

Source: Peter Benson, "The Troubled Journey." Search Institute. 1993.

Justified guilt. A 1990 L.A. Times poll found that 57 percent of all fathers and 55 percent of all mothers feel guilty about not spending enough time with their children.

Source: Lynn Smith and Bob Sipchen, "Two Career Family Dilemma," Los Angeles Times, Aug. 12, 1990.

Who are you, mister? In 1965, parents on average spent approximately 30 hours a week with their kids. By 1985, the amount of time had fallen to 17 hours.

Source: William Mattox, "The Parent Trap." Policy Review. Winter, 1991.

Waiting Works: Only eight percent of those who finished high school, got married before having a child, and waited until age 20 to have that child were living in poverty in 1992.

Source: William Galston, "Beyond the Murphy Brown Debate." Institute for Family Values. Dec. 10, 1993.

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978.)
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God`s Children.)
70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home (Source: Fulton Co. Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. of Corrections 1992)
Original Source here

My New Juicer

My latest household purchase was a new juicer.  It was only $44.99 on Groupon.

 

Cookinex Kung Fu Master Electric Juice Extractor B00AL48SEU

The Specs:

  • Powerful 400W Motors
  • 1.5L Pulp Container & 550 Juice Cup
  • 65mm diameter of feeding tube available for juicing whole carrot, Apple, Pear, and more placement
  • Stainless Steel filter basket for much housing
  • Stainless Steel blade assembly

 For SMOOTHIE+JUICING recipes visit my Pinterest board here. Also check out my FOOD INC. board here and RAW DIET board here.

 

Black Women, Breastfeeding + Cancer

I am embarking on yet another breastfeeding journey with CC. Six weeks in I have pumped over 200 ounces of milk, so I feel very accomplished. The first two weeks of nursing were very hard for me. I never became engorged, due to the pumping, but CC had the hardest time latching and I was super sore. Her latch has improved, some what, but she has been super gassy for the last two weeks. This translates to a very fussy, cry all the time baby. Gripe water has not worked to address the issue, so I've completely changed my diet. IT SUCKS! I cut out all citrus, dairy, legumes and nuts. Basically I'm eating oatmeal or mesclun salad w/ lean chicken breast and drinking mineral water.

 

On Mocha Mom's blog today  I came across a post titled, Could Black Women's Breastmilk Cure Breast Cancer? Black Moms Needed For Important Research. I always wondered the correlation between breastfeeding and breast cancer. Check out more below: 

But could breastmilk hold the keys to preventing and treating breast cancer?  And could African American moms’ breastmilk be especially important? This is the question that a professor at the University of Massachusetts is trying to answer, and she needs the help of African American nursing moms to do it. Dr. Kathleen Arcaro studies breast cancer by studying breastmilk.  She examines breast cells, which are naturally plentiful in breastmilk, to look for genetic signs of breast cancer risk.

To read more click here.

 

Note:  If you’re an African American nursing mom living anywhere in the country and interested in donating breastmilk for this research, please see the contact information at the bottom of this post!

If you’re African American and interested in donating milk for this effort, please contact Beth Punska at (413) 545-0813, or email her at epunska@vasci.umass.edu. More information is also at the study website.  If you’re not nursing, please considerjoining the Love/Avon Army of Women, and select “breast milk study” when asked how you heard about it!

 

Other Interesting Reads

How Angelina Jolie was duped by cancer doctors into self mutilation for breast cancer she never had

 

EXPOSED: Angelina Jolie part of a clever corporate scheme to protect billions in BRCA gene patents, influence Supreme Court decision (opinion)


Guest Post: Home Automation & Free-Range Parenting: Independence 4 Kids, Assurance 4 Mom & Dad

What is free-range parenting?

Free-range parenting - the philosophy of allowing your children to explore and experience the world on their own terms - has been the subject of widespread debate for more than five years.

Free-range parenting, also called simplicity parenting and slow parenting, first entered the public eye when Lenore Skenazy published an article in the New York Sun titled, "Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone" on April 1, 2008. The article, which describes her polarizing decision to allow her young son to ride the New York City subway by himself, prompted a range of reactions from the public. Many were horrified, and some even went as far as calling it child abuse. Others, however, endorsed Skenazy's decision to give her child the freedom to discover the world on his own accord.

 

How can free-range parents benefit from home automation? 

There is no magic formula or secret recipe to successful parenting. Every child is different, and it's up to you to figure out how to best raise your son or daughter.

For some parents - particularly single parents - it's oftentimes difficult to balance work responsibilities with the active supervision of their children. Others simply choose to raise their young ones more passively. Regardless, granting your kids more freedom is not an excuse for neglect, and requires just as much responsibility as any other parenting style.

Fortunately, technology has made it easier for parents who want to back off a little bit, but are hesitant to sacrifice the comfort of knowing their kids are safe and sound. Cutting-edge home security systems, in particular, have been a powerful tool for free-range parents.

Many high-profile residential security companies (check out here for more info) have begun offering affordable home automation packages to customers. Although the idea has been around since The Jetsons became popular in the early 1960s, home automation technology is only now becoming widely available.

A "smart home" system allows you to manage almost every aspect of your home using a web-enabled mobile device - from virtually anywhere. That means that, using your iPhone, you can check in on your son or daughter  at home from the office. You can also view live surveillance video, arm/disarm your security system, lock/unlock doors and even receive customizable text and video alerts.

With these capabilities, giving your children more freedom doesn't have to mean giving up the peace of mind that they are safe.

 

By Karen Clark
Blog Editor

Pregnancy Gender Myths

Last month I broke down and decided I had to know the sex of BC2. My midwife suggested I try a relatively new test called the Panorama Prenatal Test. For the test you simply needed to have your blood drawn and a host of results would be expected. I will share all I learned in a later post. In this post I wanted to share this super cool infographic from Cryo Bank. Check it out!

 

 

Bill Cosby "I'm 83 and Tired"


I've worked hard since I was 17. Except for when I was doing my National Service, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn't call in sick in nearly 40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as though retirement was a bad idea, and I'm tired. Very tired. 
I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it. 
I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; Muslims burning schools for girls; Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to. 
I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques and Madrasa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia , New Zealand , UK, America and Canada , while no one from these countries are allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country to teach love and tolerance.. 
I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate.


I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off? 
I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor. 
I'm really tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems. 
I'm also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and early 20's be-deck themselves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making themselves unemployable and claiming money from the Government. 
Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 83.. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter and their children. Thank God I'm on the way out and not on the way in. There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on! This is your chance to make a difference.
I’m 83 and I'm tired. If you don't agree you are part of the problem!

Powerful words from a great man.

Bill Cosby


Wills and Ting

Last night my hometown team won the Super Bowl and one of the all time best entertainers, Mrs. Carter literally shut the Super Dome down. Her performance was so high voltage the lights were out for 30 minutes, somebody definitely lost their job last night (unless they're in a union ~inside j/k). Anyway, I am mentally going through the beginning stages of getting prepared for my upcoming labor. I am on an 8-10 week time frame. I'm definitely overly anxious to meet BC2. I am a little bummed that the doula we used for Lil D's birth will not be available, oh well. I assigned D to the task of being my doula. I know, ahh ohh, I'm a little apprehensive about this, but he is a coach and he has had first hand experience of seeing a doula in action. He was excited at the prospect of being "daddy doula" and even mentioned he would look into creating a rice sock. :-\ I've scheduled a tour of the birth center where we will have BC2. I hope it meets all of my expectations. 

Besides my mental aerobics centered around birth, {S/N: I'm on train typing this sitting next to a grown man who is digging in his nose and mouth!!! WTH! Get me off this train!} I have been busily getting our family estate planning in order. This past Saturday we went to a notary to notarize our living wills (health care directives) and last will and testament. As I presented the paperwork to the notary I was quite appalled at her ignorance about planning for the unexpected. She said to me, "You are so young, why do you need a will?" I not so politely told her, "death and injury is not on a timetable". Ignorance is indeed bliss.

Way back in October our accountant recommended a lawyer who specialized in estate planning. We had a very informative two hour consultation with her and got a very good idea of the exact paperwork we needed. D asked her a million what if questions, which she patiently answered. We left the consult feeling quite comfortable with her doing our estate planning, but she was charging $300 per will! After thinking about it for three months, we decided it wasn't something we were willing to pay so much for. Through divine intervention, my neighbor spoke to D and ask if we could be witnesses for the signing of his family's wills and power of attorney. We agreed and I told them of our $600 situation. They were gracious enough to share a DIY site for free legal documents, Rocket Lawyer. Immediately went to the site and created our living will (healthcare power of attorney) and last will and testament.

I know its some heavy stuff, but when BC2 decides to use my ribs as a kickboard at 3 in the morning I think about some serious issues. I sit up thinking: Who will care for the children if we both were to die? Who will receive our property if both of us die at the same time? Who will handle the business affairs of our estate? If I were on life support who would decide to take me off?

Why You Need A Will, Especially as a Parent

If you die without a will or without naming a guardian, the courts will have to make the decision. This means that someone could be appointed to raise your children who does not necessarily share your values and parenting skills. The courts make their decision based on state law and what is considered best for the children, according to Colorado State University Extension. All this will happen in a short court hearing. Source

Some property is transferred automatically at death to the person with survivorship rights. This property, called non-probate property, includes most life insurance policies and assets transferred by beneficiary designation (such as retirement plans) and property held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Even if all property is non-probate property, a couple still needs wills to transfer the property in case the person with survivorship rights does not survive and to provide for the care of children.

The Bottom Line

Lengthy disputes and delays are likely to prevent your beneficiaries from receiving the funds they need to settle your estate and benefit in the way you intend. So create a will as soon as possible.

Book Review: Free-Range kids

I've been out of commission for three days. On Friday, we celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary and my seventh month of pregnancy. We made the journey over to Warren, NJ to the Stone House Restauant at Sterling Ridge for dinner. Soon after returning home I began to feel queasy. This queasiness turned into a hacking cough, noise bleeding, abdominal aching, five pound weight loss, bedroom quarantined extended vacation. I'm at about 50% now, ready for work tomorrow. Thank goodness there will be no students at school this week for me, so I can be sick in peace. I went to the dollar store and purchased disposable face mask I plan to wear until I beat this cough. I know I'll be getting some strange looks, but who cares. When I had to go to Trader Joe's on Sunday, I wore one and people look at me like I had leprosy. Can't wait for my morning commute :-|.  Also on Thursday I go for the glucose screening, with a five pound weight loss I know I'm going to get a lecture from my midwife -- I CAN'T WIN!

 

Back in June I began to construct this post and never completed it, so here is the finish product.

As a part of my "Mommy's Book List" here, I read Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy. It was an excellent, quick read. I highlighted almost every other sentence in the book, I was so engaged. The book is divided into two parts: (a) The Fourteen Free-Range Commandments and (b) the Free Range Guide to Life. In part two of the book an A-Z review of everything a parent might be worried about is provided with statistically data to support how unnecessary some of the worry is. At the end of each chapter Skenazy offers advice on three levels: Free-Range Baby Step, Free-Range Brave Step, and One Giant Leap for Free-Range Kind. In this post I will highlight a few of the more interesting facts I learned from part one of the book. 

Topics for Further Research

  • The Science of Fear, Daniel Gardner 
  • The Myth of the First Three Years, John Bruer
  • A Nation of Wimps, Hara Estroff Marano
  • Pressured Parents, Stressed-Out Kids, Grolnick



P 54

"The problem is, if you picture the very worst outcome of every very safe endeavor, there is no way you can enjoy life. All you can do is smother it."

P 55                                                                           "Constant supervision" "Issue of control" 

"Cell phone umbilical cords" p 57

P 79                                                                           Help your child, age nine or up, find an 'apprenticeship'. 

 

P 85                                                                                Unsupervised playgrounds seem to be the norm in most countries, freeing up parents to do other things if they choose. 

P 86                                                                                                                                                             Parents in other countries just seem to trust their children and their fellow citizens more. Or at least, parents in non-English-speaking countries seem to. 

p 87
Cultural fear

P92 
Control is a figment of our imagination. Seeking it only makes us more anxious. It certainly isn't required for good child rearing. And to the extent that we do manage to solve all our children's problems- or keep those problems from ever even popping up- we are doing them a disservice. Not a fatal one that will stunt our children forever. But still, we are steering them away from the real source of confidence and independence, which comes from navigating the world and its surprises. Especially the unpleasant ones.

P 94
The idea is that if you're worrying, then you're doing the right thing - Lawrence Balter, editor of the encyclopedia Parenthood in America. Worrying "is like a demonstration to yourself that you're being responsible" it has become our national pastime.

P 96
The assumption behind constant availability is that there are problems facing your child that must be solved, immediately, by you. The assumption behind that assumption is that you, the parent, are capable of solving all problems. And the secret assumption behind the assumption behind the ... Whatever, is that your child is helpless without you. So if you don't solve each and every problem, he's sunk, and you haven't done your job.

P 99
In terms of parenting, the way to gradually desensitize ourselves to the fear of letting our kids go is to - you guessed it- gradually start letting them go.
                                                                                                                                                              Peter Stearns, the Anxious Parents author, recommends letting kids walk to school without you starting in first grade. 


If you can just put the risk in perspective, the fear gets put in perspective too. 

"Don't go off with strangers" versus "don't talk to strangers"

P 104
... We are not just the results of how our parents raised us 

 
Bottomline: Life = Risk (from www.wimp.com)