Nov
10
2011

Too Old for IVF?

Granny as Mom

Too Old for IVF?

At 57-years-old, Susan Tollefsen was all for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Now, raising a three-year-old daughter on her own, the British mom has her doubts.

Tollefsen, 61, told the Daily Mail that there should be a cap for people seeking fertility treatment.

When her daughter was conceived, Tollefsen was confident that her partner, 11 years her junior, would be able to help care for their daughter Freya. That was all well and good before the couple split.

“If I’m completely honest, my experience has taught me that 50 should probably be the cut-off limit for having children, but until you have them it’s almost impossible to appreciate that,” said Tollefsen who now suffers from health problems, including being deaf in one ear and having a replaced knee.

“It’s so true that you only learn by your own mistakes, and my mistake was not to have had [Freya] sooner.”

While the UK, like Canada, recommend that doctors refuse IVF treatment for women over 40, Tollefsen underwent treatment in Russia, via a donor egg and her partner’s sperm.

The accessibility of fertility treatments and more and more women putting off having children until later, means women are giving birth at older ages.

Take Rajo Devi Lohan for example.  70-year-old Devi gave birth in 2008, only to admit 18 months later that she was dying and unable to look after her only daughter.

Modern science is often guilty of putting the cart before the horse. While fertility treatment is in and of itself a splendid thing, clear ethical boundaries and restrictions need to be in place before such treatment is offered to the masses.

IVF is big business. Not only is it eye wateringly expensive, when doled out willy nilly, such treatment comes at a cost -- to the children it delivers.

Nov
10
2011

Kate Gosselin's Blind Spot Endangers Son

Kate Plus 8 Minus 1

Kate Gosselin's Blind Spot Endangers Son

Ok, so I admit, I've never seen an episode of 'Kate Plus 8'. Frankly, I'd rather watch my nail polish drying. The mere idea of a woman with eight children gives me heart palpitations. Still, if you have them, for Pete's sake, take good care of them or at the least, enlist some help to keep them safe.

This is where coupon cutting Kate Gosselin falls down. When doing the school run recently, the reality TV star's blind spot got her into trouble with a child safety group which accused her of being negligent.

While Gosselin sat in the driver's seat waiting for her troupe to board, her seven-year-old son Collin managed to crawl under the minivan undetected. Gosselin could quite easily have started the engine and driven off with her son's head directly beneath the front wheel.

Luckily Collin slithered out from under the car unharmed.

Still, Janette Fennell, president of KidsAndCars.org, was less than impressed with Gosselin and the what-could-have-beens of the situation.

"She is blessed she didn't run him over," said Fennell. "She should have gotten out of the car to supervise them, especially when you have that many children."

Clearly Gosselin needs to grow more eyes on the back of her head. Or maybe the film crew could come back 24/7, to help supervise. Then again, maybe she could hire Supernanny Jo Frost to shadow Gosselin and her brood. Now there's a reality show in the making. You heard it here first, yummies.

"
Nov
10
2011

The Chicken Pox Lollipop

Get Sick Quick Scheme

The Chicken Pox Lollipop

Forget those scary needles. For all you vaccine-wary parents out there, the way to get a youngster immunized against disease is through his sweet tooth. For $50 a pop, your child can lick or suck his or her way to vaccination.

Or, for parents concerned about post-Halloween candy overload, the mail-order lollipop -- which has been "licked by a stranger’s infected kid" -- can be substituted for good old-fashioned infected spit!

According to the Time.com report, authorities are already cracking down on the "get sick quick" scheme, warning that chicken pox candy is not only bizarre – it’s also illegal.

“Can you imagine getting a package in the mail from this complete stranger that you know from Facebook because you joined a group, and say here, drink this purported spit from some other kid?” Nashville federal prosecutor, Jerry Martin, told the Associated Press.

While it's theoretically possible to transmit the virus this way, chicken pox is typically "inhaled" according to Isaac Thomsen, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Besides, Thomsen added, sharing lollipops could inadvertently spread more dangerous viruses, such as hepatitis.

Although chicken-pox-related deaths have more or less been phased out with the vaccine, the Facebook group “Find A Pox Party Near You” isn't convinced.

“We, as parents, know what we’re doing,” wrote the page's administrator. “Healthy kids don’t die from chicken pox, and our children are healthy, generally with extremely strong immune systems.”

As an adult who has never contracted chicken pox, I'm hoping for immunity. Just in case, can anyone tell me where the nearest pox party is?

"