When it comes to co-sleeping, a little hysteria goes a long way. As many moms will attest, co-sleeping is a wonderful opportunity for breastfeeding and bonding.
And although many parenting manuals advise against sleeping with baby in your bed, if done responsibly, there is nothing cooler than cuddling up with your little cooing bundle -- responsibly being the operative word.
Booze and babies don't mix, especially where co-sleeping is involved, since the "risk of smothering or crushing the baby skyrockets". As one British mom recently learned the hard way.
She'd had a whole bottle of wine on an empty stomach and then passed out with her little girl in her arms. When her husband got home, he found her unconscious "with the infant dead at her side".
Incredibly, because the formal inquest into the girl’s death couldn’t conclusively pin her death on the mother’s actions, no charges were laid, in spite of the mom's guilty admission in her testimony:
"I am not proud of my behaviour," she cried. "No mother should be drinking at all. Since that day I have not taken one drop of alcohol. I should have been 100 per cent sober and that is what I have to live with. It has happened and I believe I have failed completely because I am her mum."
Many moms, including Jeanne at The Stir, believe this mom should go to prison for her negligence. Obviously she made a mistake, one that will haunt her for the rest of her life. However, it's unclear what a prison term would accomplish now that the damage has been done; especially given this mom has two other children to look after.
Think co-sleeping deserve its bad rep? Do headlines like these make you think twice about sharing your bed with your baby?
The Canadian Cancer Society is urging all Ontario political parties to commit to new legislation restricting indoor tanning for those under 18. According to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted this month, 83 per cent of Ontario residents support an all-out ban on tanning salons by minors.
Nova Scotia and the city of Victoria have already enacted legislation, while Sarnia city council has been asked to take similar action.
Cancer Society spokeswoman Joanne Di Nardo says all political parties must commit to limit advertising by indoor tanning salons directed at teens.
She says it is up to the government to protect the health of youth who are exposing themselves to what the International Agency for Research on Cancer referred to as a "known human carcinogen". Tanning beds can emit ultraviolet radiation at levels five times stronger than the primetime summer sun. Using a tanning bed before the age of 35 can increase a person's chance of developing skin cancer by as much as 75 per cent.
"There is no safe way to tan," said Dr. Cheryl Rosen, head of dermatology at Toronto Western Hospital. Melanoma skin cancer is reputed to be one of the most common forms of cancer for youth between 15 and 29.
Repeat after me: pale is pretty.
There's a sad trend going on in the baby-bearing world. For years now, celebrity moms like Victoria Beckham and Bethenny Frankel did their utmost to limit weight gain during pregnancy, and have taken even more extreme measures to leave the hospital looking like they were never pregnant in the first place.
Frankel reportedly lost 30 lbs within a month of delivering her baby girl, while Beckham, who is due to give birth on July 4, is "sporting a belly less pronounced than your average beer gut".
According to Lisa Cohn, a registered dietician in New York City, where "mommyrexia" is all the rage, Beckham et al are sending a dangerous message to women out there. Not only is it unsafe to stave off calories while pregnant, it borders on obsessive and vain. And did we mention, sad? A pregnant or breastfeeding mom needs all the nutrients she can get in order to nurture her growing baby.
Rather than lavish that time and energy pounding the treadmill, a new mom would be better served getting to know her baby. And trust that her body will bounce back as nature intended -- slowly. With healthy eating habits and regular exercise, especially if the mom is breastfeeding, mummies will get yummy again, but not overnight.
“Women are spending thousands to restore to their pre-pregnancy sizes in record time," said Meredith Carroll of Being Pregnant.
Of course, maternity stores and gyms have been quick to cash in on the trend. One Manhattan gym offers "MILF and Stroller Bootcamp" classes. That a new mom's top priority after giving birth should be to attain MILF status is truly pathetic, not to mention demeaning.
"I’ve seen a massive uptick in my clients feeling stress if they’re not down to their pre-baby weight," said Pregnant in Heels star Rosie Pope. Many maternity labels are starting to shrink their sizes, a trend that worries Pope "because even I couldn’t fit into it, and I’m small!"
It would seem that the radical transformation of the female form in pregnancy is something to be ashamed of, rather than something to marvel at. As with most trends, celebrities set the benchmark and the "average" woman jumps on the wagon, trying to follow their impossible lead. After all, not everyone has personal trainers and nutritionists and can (or should) spend several hours a day desperately trying to squeeze back into their size zero's.
What is worrying is that there are moms out there who forgo breastfeeding altogether so their fitness regime isn't hampered by a nursing schedule. Others skip meals after the birth of their baby, and drink diet sodas for quick energy without the calories.
“Hell hath no fury like a post-partum woman trying to get back into the groove,” says Joshua Margolis, a personal trainer at Mind Over Matter Health & Fitness in NYC.
Do you feel pressured to shed post-baby weight fast, or to gain as little as possible during your pregnancy?