DOCTORS URGE NEW MOMS TO GET OUT OF BED, START WALKING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, FIX THEM A MARTINI

New mothers need to get out of bed as quickly as possible after birth to avoid the risk of a potentially fatal blood clot. Such clots (it's deep-vein thrombosis, the same risk you face if you stay in your seat throughout a lenghty airline flight) are rare, but are four times more common in pregnant women and new moms.


BEST REUTERS EDITORIAL DECISION OF 2005: NOT INCLUDING A PHOTO WITH THIS STORY

A three-day-old baby in India born with an external heart she was holding in one of her hands has died of an infection. Here's just a hint of how awful those three days were:

Doctors separated the baby girl’s hand from her heart after her birth, and said she needed surgery to position the heart, which lay between her neck and collar bone, inside her body.

THE IN-CASE-YOU-MISSED-IT BIG NEWS OF THE WEEK WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ABORTION DEBATE

A first-trimester screening test many of you moms may have taken as part of a 38,000-woman, eight-year, $15 million study has proven effective in identifying fetuses likely to be born with Down Syndrome as soon as 11 weeks after conception, early enough for a first-trimester abortion if parents choose that option.

Fergal D. Malone of the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin led the study and trumpets its likelihood to ease a woman’s abortion choice:

"By the time you're 20 weeks pregnant, most women will be feeling fetal movement. We wouldn't want to underestimate the psychological or emotional difficulty of undergoing pregnancy termination that late .... Also, at that point it's easy to tell by looking at the woman if she is pregnant. This way she can make her decision in utmost privacy."

Anti-abortion advocates, however, will have none of that, and instead see a slippery slope in society’s willingness to eliminate people with Down syndrome:

"What's the goal here? Is it to rid our society of Down babies? If that is the goal, I really have to question the civility of that," [Gene Rudd of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations] said. "The overwhelming number of people with Down will tell you their life is good." ... Randall K. O'Bannon of the National Right to Life Committee said ... "These tests appear to be used only to select babies for abortion. . . . Killing a child with Down's Syndrome is not the solution to Down's Syndrome."

YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE, BUT YOU CAN SCHEDULE DELIVERY

Despite a concerted effort by, well, everyone except pregnant women and their obstetricians, the rate of Caesarean sections in the U.S. has climbed to an all-time high. The procedure was performed 1.4 million times in 2004, which amounts to almost 30% of all births. Among the reasons given for the C-section increase: better detection of potential delivery risks; an increasing belief that women who’ve had C-sections are at risk if they deliver vaginally in the future; and doctors’ fear of malpractice suits from botched vaginal deliveries.


WE WANT TO MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR: FREELANCE DAD WAS NOT IN THE NEWTON AREA AT THE TIME OF THE REPORT

A man claiming to be a "professional diaper changer" (although we don't recall ever seeing him at the institute) accosts a pair of mothers in a Store 24 parking lot, offering to change their children's diapers right there on the spot, and of course, creeping the diaper-change material out of them.

But here's the punchline: After hearing one mom's complaint, local police went to a nearby day-care center to ask if, by any chance, she had a rogue staff member roaming the streets in search of posteriors to powder. The director said, no, she didn't, and in fact

there was "absolutely" no one trained to change diapers at the center.

(via Fark)

WE'RE NOT READY TO GIVE UP ON THIS GIRL. IF SHE ENROLLS AT THE FREELANCE DAD DIAPER CHANGING INSTITUTE, SHE MAY YET HAVE A SUCCESSFUL CAREER AHEAD OF HER

An Oklahoma mom frustrated by her teen's poor grades and bad attitude sends her walking the streets wearing a sandwich board that says, "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food." This mother-of-the-year candidate also has an entry in the race for understatement of the year:

"This may not work. I'm not a professional ... But I felt I owed it to my child to at least try."

Donald Wertlieb, a child-development professor at Tufts, broke no new ground with his theory that "such punishment could do extreme emotional damage," but then redeemed himself with this classic but worthwhile piece of parenting advice: "The trick is to catch them being good."

NOT TO BE LEFT OFF THE BANDWAGON, THE CENTRAL PARK ZOO IS RUSHING POLAR BEAR BURGERS ONTO ITS SNACK BAR MENU

A safari-themed zoo in Thailand has come under fire for offering a VIP dinner buffet featuring relatives of the animals on display, including tiger, lion, elephant and giraffe. Food critics say the giraffe tastes like chicken. The tigers agree.

COLLEGE IS REALLY ALREADY VERY MUCH LIKE NURSERY SCHOOL, WHAT WITH THE PUBLIC URINATION, THE INCESSANT SITTING IN CIRCLES, AND ALL THE DAMN CLIQUES

Alison Gopnik of the University of Washington, one of FD.com's favorite childhood-development thinkers and the co-author of The Scientist in the Crib, wants to make college more like nursery school. As she writes on Slate.com this week, undergraduates in all disciplines need to get in the lab or the field and do hands-on research as much as possible, not just sit and listen to lectures about it for four years:

This is, literally, a medieval form of learning, and it's no coincidence that modern science only began to take off when it abandoned it—at first divorcing itself from universities in the process .... Why not make all teaching like graduate teaching (or, for that matter, the best preschool teaching)?

THIS SINGLE PHOTO IS ALL WE'VE EVER SEEN OF THIS PROGRAM, AND YET IT'S ENOUGH TO CONVINCE US THAT WE NEVER WANT TO WATCH IT

051114_kidfit_hmed_11ahmedium1PBS is getting involved with the national campaign to beg kids to stop getting fat and raising their parents' health-insurance premiums with its new show, "Kid Fitness," which began airing this fall. Targeting husky youngsters age 2-8, the show stars the superhero "Kid Fitness" (that's him there at left, in the bright yellow kneepads), who encourages viewers to get off the couch and join him in basic, high-energy exercise movements. And if kids should actually be inspired to get off the couch and go outside to run and play, Kid Fitness encourages them to leave the cable box on so PBS still gets the Nielsen credit and he doesn't lose his show and have to go back to work at the Y.

WE'RE HAPPY YOU'VE DECIDED TO SPEND A SMALL SHARE OF YOUR HALF-A-MILLION YEARS OF GOOFING OFF WITH US

Advertising Age magazine has determined that U.S. workers will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years reading blogs on the job this year. Work time spent reading blogs unrelated to work will eat up 1.65% of labor force hours. With that, we encourage you to get back to work before they ship your desk to Bangalore.

November 17, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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