According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women in the States are working later into their pregnancy and returning to the office soon after baby arrives.
Between 2006 and 2008, 82 percent of women worked up to a month of less before their child's birth, while that figure was just 73 percent between 1991 and 1995, 59 percent of whom returned within three months after birth between 2006 and 2008, compared to 57 percent between 1991 and 1994.
Interestingly, the research suggests that the reason for working late into pregnancy isn't strictly down to economics. Many women viewed their jobs as a long-term investment, and educated moms were most likely return to work full time.
The University of Warwick in the UK further found that women in senior or high-paying roles tended to go back sooner, or to abandon their career altogether due to lack of part-time work.
“Our nation remains mired in a conversation about whether mothers should work, but the reality is that most already do,” said economist at think tank Center for American Progress, Heather Boushey.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the level of workplace stress and flexibility directly affected a new mom's decision to stay or quit.
How late into your pregnancy did you work? How early did you return?
Have a precocious child? Chances are, she'll grow up to be a druggie.
According to a new study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, those in the top third IQ bracket from ages five to 10 were more likely to take drugs like cannabis and cocaine when they got older.
Nearly 8,000 people took part in the 1970 British Cohort Study, which measured IQ scores of children at age five and 10, then evaluated their drug habits when they were 16 and 30.
While boys in the top third in terms of IQ were found to be 50 per cent more likely than those with lower IQs to have used drugs such as amphetamines and ecstasy by the time they turned 30, the outcome for women was even more pronounced.
Women with high IQs were more than twice as likely as those with low IQs to have used cannabis and cocaine in the past year.
One possible explanation is that more intelligent people are "more likely to get bored or to suffer at the hands of their peers, either of which could lead to experimenting with drugs," suggested researcher Dr. James White of Cardiff University.
However, Dr. White added that people with higher IQs also tended to lead a healthier lifestyle overall, as they tended to be better informed about diet and exercise.
Pass the Dutchie.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is using shock tactics to raise awareness of the dangers of co-sleeping, the second leading cause of infant mortality in the U.S. city. The poster depicts a baby lying in a bed next to a large knife, and reads: “YOUR BABY SLEEPING NEXT TO YOU CAN BE JUST AS DANGEROUS.”
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) often results from ”unsafe sleep” of bed-sharing with parents.
“Is it shocking? Is it provocative?” argued the city’s commissioner of health, Bevan Baker. ”Yes. But what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better [infant death] rates than Milwaukee.”
According to the report in The Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee's infant mortality rate in 2009 was 10.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births, and race certainly played a factor, with the rate of white babies at 5.4; 14.1 for blacks.
Co-sleeping advocates are not impressed by Milwaukee's efforts and stressed that responsible co-sleeping is perfectly safe for babies.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told ABC News that he is willing to “take some heat” on the issue. “If the ads make some people uncomfortable, I guarantee it’s a lot less uncomfortable than having another baby die from co-sleeping.”
Do you think such scare advertising is effective or, like smoking labels, will largely be ignored by those who choose to engage in that behaviour?