Introducing Solid Foods for Baby

Oct 6, 2009 | Posted by | 0 Comments

Around six months of age, your baby will begin to show signs that he or she is ready to eat solid foods because breast milk or infant formula alone is no longer enough to meet the growing energy and nutritional needs of your baby. At this time other foods become important for baby’s healthy growth and development.

Because every baby is different, be sure to rely on your little one – rather than the calendar – to let you know when he or she is ready for their first solid foods. Here are a few cues that can help determine when it’s time.

Baby Can Sit Up with A Little Support & Can Hold Her Head

Developing the ability to sit up on her own and having good neck support allows your baby to open her mouth and take food from a spoon in a controlled way.

Baby Keeps Solid Food in Her Mouth

For the first few months of life, babies rely totally on their sucking instinct to gain nourishment. Until three to four months of age babies have a natural reflex to push anything thicker than liquid out of their mouths with their tongues; this extrusion instinct will prevent them from receiving solid foods or spoons. Before you can start your baby on solid foods she must be able to move her tongue in her mouth to allow non-liquid foods to be swallowed.

Baby Wants Food

Has your baby started staring at each bite of food as it goes from your plate to your mouth? Does your little one try to grab tiny morsels for herself? If the answer to these questions is yes, it may be time to start baby on solid foods.

Baby Can Express Hunger

If your baby can tell you she’s not hungry, has had enough to eat or want more by leaning back, forward, and keep her mouth closed or turn away, it may be time to start solid foods.

Things to Know When Your Baby Needs to Start Solids

Before introducing any solids foods to your baby you should talk to your doctor, dietician, nutritionist or healthcare professional.

Start with Iron-Rich Food

Start with foods rich in iron or iron-fortified cereals to prevent iron deficiency. Breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula remain baby’s most important food during her first year of life. Solid foods are a complement to milk or infant formula, not a substitute. When baby starts eating solid foods, she needs to continue drinking the same amount of breast milk or infant formula; begin meals by offering breast milk or formula first.

It is recommended that babies consume 900-1200 ml (30-40 oz) of milk or formula per day at four to six months of age, and 720-960 ml (24-32 oz) of breast milk or formula per day at six to twelve months.

Introduce Only One New Food At a Time

Introduce only one new food at a time to make it easier to observe your baby for signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, rash, eczema, nasal congestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, mucous in stool, and/or difficulty breathing. Wait at least three to five days before adding in a new food. If any signs of an allergic reaction occur, discontinue the suspected food and talk to your baby’s healthcare professional immediately.

Keep Portion Sizes Small

Babies have tiny tummies and do best with small amounts of food offered throughout the day rather than three bigger meals. Remember that  baby will still be getting the bulk of her calories and nutrition from breast milk or formula until she’s about one year old.

Listen to Baby’s Cues

Although there are general guidelines, there is not one, best method of food progression. Your baby’s likes and dislikes combined with your family history of allergies/asthma could play a major role in which foods you offer your infant, and when you offer them.

If your baby doesn’t care for a food – or isn’t hungry – don’t force her to eat. Keep mealtime enjoyable to ensure your baby develops a healthy, happy relationship with food.

Make Meals a Family Event

Sit together as a family during mealtime, and allow your baby to join you, so that she can begin to enjoy the social side of sharing a meal all together; babies love this social interaction and your family will love the entertainment she provides!

Read More»

Are Cell Phones Dangerous?

Sep 15, 2009 | Posted by | 0 Comments

A recent AOL-Pew Research Center Mobile Lifestyle Survey revealed that 52 percent of American adults surveyed keep their cell phone turned on all the time while 40 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 are saying that they are increasingly likely to drop their landline once and for all.

With an estimated 3 billion cell phone users worldwide and most adults and teenagers owning a cell phone or smart phone, it seems a bit late to be asking the question: are cellular phones safe?

Nevertheless, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has reported that many research groups around the world are working hard to find out if cell phones are actually safe to use.  Some (not all) studies of frequent cell-phone users suggest this radiation may increase risks for cancer or children’s behavior problems.


Why Cell Phones Can Be Dangerous

All cell phones and mobile devices emit radiation in order to send all those voice calls and text messages which so many people depend on each day.

Cell phone radiation exposure is long-term, and its effects on the body, particularly the electrical organ, the brain, are compounded by numerous other simultaneous long-term exposures including continuous waves from radio and TV transmitter towers, cordless phone base stations, power lines, and wireless computing devices.


Can Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?

World renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Vini Khurana has deemed cell phone use "worse than smoking" for cancer risk. Dr. Khurana has published a study in which he links cell phone usage to an increased risk of brain cancer. He also suggests that mobile phones could one day be responsible for more cancer deaths than either cigarette smoking or asbestos exposure.

A malignant brain tumor represents a life-ending diagnosis in the vast majority of those diagnosed. Since many cancers take more than a decade to develop and be detected, often well after it is too late, Dr. Khurana fears the potential lethal prognosis which may be waiting for those who constantly have a mobile phone held (or strapped) to their heads.

The "incubation time" or "latency" (i.e., the time from commencement of regular mobile phone usage to the diagnosis of a malignant solid brain tumor in a susceptible individual) may be in the order of 10-20 years, he writes.

Despite the dismissal of the physicians concerns by industry groups and millions of cell phone users, Dr. Khurana insists it’s only logical to conclude that radiation emanating from the phones isn’t good for the brain; he’s worried that we may soon start seeing a virtual cancer epidemic as the exposure takes its toll.


Can Cell Phones Cause Infertility?

If brain cancer wasn’t bad enough, it seems that cell phone use may also contribute to an increase in male infertility, which could a huge problem if you’re trying to get pregnant and your guy is a cell phone addict. According to a 2008 observational study by the Reproductive Research Center, use of cell phones has been shown to decrease the semen quality in men by decreasing the sperm count, motility, viability, and normal morphology. The decrease in sperm parameters was dependent on the duration of daily exposure to cell phones and independent of the initial semen quality.


Cell Phone Exposure Poses Great Risk to Children

Already pregnant? You should seriously consider tossing your cell phone’s handset. A massive study by the universities of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Aarhus, Denmark of over 13,000 children from birth up to age seven, has shown that pregnant women using cell phone handsets just two or three times a day was enough to raise the risk of their babies developing hyperactivity and difficulties with behavior, emotions and relationships by the time they reached school age. The research also indicates that the risk is even greater if the children themselves used the cell phones before the age of seven.

According to the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, children cell phone users are likely to face health hazards such as disruption of memory, decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, increased irritability, sleep problems, increased sensitivity to stress, and increased epileptic readiness in the near future.

Expected (possible) long term health risks of cell phone use by children include brain tumors, tumors of acoustical and vestibular nerves by the age of 25-30 years, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depressive syndrome, and other types of degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain by the age of 50 to 60.

The Committee emphasizes the ultimate urgency to defend children’s health from the influence of the electromagnetic fields (EMF) of mobile communication devices in order to prevent negative consequences to the future generation’s health.


Is Your Cell Phone Safe?

The EWG has created a guide to help consumers choose safer, low-radiation cell phones and smart phones. Their listing shows that the top three best phones (low radiation) currently available are the Samsung Impression, Motorola RAZR V8, and the Samsung SGH-t229. The worst three phones (high radiation) were the Motorola MOTO VU204, T-Mobile myTouch 3G, and the Kyocera Jax S1300.

Among the sub-category of PDAs/Smartphones, the top three best PDAs/Smartphones were the Nokia 9300i, Nokia 7710, and the T-Mobile MDA. The worst three PDAs/Smartphones were the Kyocera Jax S1300, T-Mobile myTouch 3G, and the Blackberry Curve 8330.

Check out the relative radiation level and safety of your phone.

Read More»

Can Coffee Make You Fat?

Sep 4, 2009 | Posted by | 0 Comments

People usually drink coffee for the jolting perk the caffeine buzz coffee is famous for, but did you know that coffee can actually rob you of energy and make you fat?

Coffee is undoubtedly the most commonly used and abused drug (caffeine) in North America. A naturally occurring stimulant found in the leaves, seeds or fruit of dozens of plants worldwide, caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world.

Caffeine is a Drug

The “wake-up” effect of caffeine is due to its action as a drug. Caffeine has several metabolic actions as a central nervous system stimulant; these include causing an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, gastrointestinal activity, stomach acid output, kidney function, and mental activity. Following consumption of caffeine, it is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, where its level peaks after about one hour.

How Does Caffeine Work?

The exact mechanism by which caffeine delivers its java jolt has been postulated in several theories, however according to National Geographic’s January 2005 feature, “Caffeine, the World’s Most Psychoactive Drug”, the current consensus by scientists is that caffeine interferes with the biochemical adenosine, which acts as a natural sleeping pill. It is believed that by blocking the hypnotic effect of adenosine, caffeine prevents people from falling asleep.

In the same article, Dr. Charles Czeisler, observes that the caffeine craving is a complete catch-22 in which caffeine is used to promote wakefulness to compensate for lack of sleep: “We use caffeine to make up for a sleep deficit that is largely the result of using caffeine.”

What Are the Negative Effects of Caffeine On The Body?

Aside from its ability to promote wakefulness, caffeine also has the desirable side effect of enhancing mood and alertness in moderate amounts. But what are the negative effects of caffeine consumption?

Heavy daily caffeine use – defined by the Mayo Clinic as more than 500 to 600 mg a day, or about four to seven cups of coffee – can cause serious problems. Even small doses may result in negative side effects depending on your body mass, history of caffeine use, and stress level. People with smaller body masses feel the effects of caffeine more intensely, as do people without a history of caffeine use and people with any kind of stress, physical, or psychological.

According to Dr. Elson M. Haas in Staying Health with Nutrition (2006), coffee abuse can result in cardiac sensitivity, abnormal heartbeats, anxiety and irritability, stomach and intestinal irritation, insomnia, and such withdrawal symptoms as fatigue, headaches, and depression.

Osteoporosis & Stunted Growth

Coffee and other sources of caffeine can interfere with the absorption of many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which is required for health bones and teeth and the prevention of osteoporosis, and iron, a mineral that is essential for growth and the delivery of oxygen throughout the body.

High Blood Pressure / Hypertension

According to the MayoClinic, the amount of caffeine in two to three cups of coffee can raise systolic pressure 3 to 14 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic pressure 4 to 13 mm Hg in people without high blood pressure. Exactly what causes this spike in blood pressure is unknown, but hypertension specialist Sheldon Sheps, MD explains that scientists believe that caffeine’s effect on adenosine is at play. Since adenosine helps keep blood vessels widened, caffeine may indirectly cause blood vessels to narrow as it blocks adenosine. Dr. Sheps also indicates that caffeine stimulates the adrenal gland to release more cortisol and adrenaline, which cause blood pressure to increase.

Adrenal Fatigue & Hypoglycemia Syndrome

Although caffeine is commonly used to assist weight loss, with frequent consumption, Haas explains that caffeine’s effect of spiking cortisol and adrenaline secretion – hormones secreted by the adrenal glands – can result in adrenal fatigue and hypoglycemia, chronic syndromes in which the body eventually becomes unable to handle stress, resulting in exhaustion, thyroid problems and weight gain.

Caffeine is also believed to play a role in the development of fibrocystic breast disease in some women, and the incidence of certain cancers including bladder cancer, ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer.

Caffeine addiction can be a problem, particularly with members of the nine-to-five workforce who use it to help them burn the candle at both ends. Although not as serious as some other drug addictions, withdrawal from coffee and caffeine may be difficult.

Read More»

Are You Having Twins?

Sep 4, 2009 | Posted by | 0 Comments

With twin and triplet pregnancies on the rise, here are a few symptoms which may help you figure out if you are about to become a mother of multiples.

According to the Mayo Clinic, three in every 100 women find themselves pregnant with twins, up from a rate of one in 100 only a generation or two ago according to What To Expect When You’re Expecting (2002).

Twins Are On the Rise

Advanced Maternal Age & Fertility Treatments

There are several reasons why multiples pregnancies are on the rise. With more and more women delaying pregnancy well into their 30s and 40s, the incidence of non-identical (also known as fraternal or dizygotic) twins or triplets has boosted thanks to age-related hormonal changes which can cause hyperovulation – the release of more than one egg during a single menstrual cycle. The increased use of fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization also greatly contributes to the increased rate of twinning currently observed.


While there are no factors that seem to increase your chance of having identical (maternal or monozygotic) twins – those conceived from one fertilized egg which splits into two embryos – your chance of conceiving non-identical (fraternal) twins is increased if there is a history of fraternal twins among women in your family. Twins are also more common in black women than white women, and less common among Asian and Hispanic women.

Twin Diet?

Some research indicates that folic acid supplementation – which is currently recommended for all women of childbearing age – may contribute to an increased chance for twins.

Diagnosing Multiples: Could it Be Twins?

Exaggerated Pregnancy Symptoms May Suggest a Multiples Pregnancy

According to What to Expect When You’re Expecting, mothers of multiples may find that they experience increased or exaggerated early pregnancy symptoms such as more severe morning sickness, indigestion, edema, increased weight gain, and large-for-date uterine size. However, these symptoms can all occur in a normal, healthy, singleton (one fetus) pregnancy.

Blood Tests May Suggest Twin or Triplet Pregnancy

Abnormal prenatal AFP (Alphafetoprotein) screening blood tests may also suggest a multiples pregnancy, as can elevated HcG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) levels in blood or urine tests very early in pregnancy.

Finding More Than One Heartbeat

If your doctor or midwife suspects you may be carrying more than one baby, she or he may look for and detect more than one fetal heartbeat using a fetal doppler machine. Keep in mind, however, that the fact that, according to What to Expect When You’re Expecting, the heartbeat of a single fetus can be heard from more than one location means that this method only confirms twins, triplets (or more) if the heartbeats detected differ in rate. For this reason, the auditory detection “multiple” heartbeats alone is rarely used to diagnose a multiples pregnancy.

Ultrasound Tests Can Confirm Multiple Gestations

With the advent of modern technology and prenatal care that includes ultrasounds, nowadays twins are rarely a birth day surprise and are almost always diagnosed well before delivery, during the first or second trimester of pregnancy; a multiples pregnancy is definitively confirmed with ultrasound, where sound waves are used to create actual images and/or video of the uterus, placenta, and baby or babies.

Read More»

Modern Ways to Meet Men

Sep 4, 2009 | Posted by | 0 Comments

Has your dating life fallen a little flat? Everyone says there are plenty of fish in the sea, but have you got the sneaking sensation that your pond has dried up? Fear not. Try your hand at these dating tactics.

Find Love Online

You needn’t feel like a freak for having a profile on one (or even several) dating sites. As a busy professional woman on-the-go it’s nice to know that you can be on the market even while you sleep. Popular sites include: has helped over 8 million people in their quest for love, with over 50,000 new members joining weekly.’s website explains that online dating has proven itself to be a safe, enjoyable and rewarding experience for their members. Their research shows that thousands of couples have begun successful relationships through their online dating services, with an average of one marriage weekly., one of the world’s largest interactive dating websites, also allows members to connect via email, instant messaging, video webcam, landlines and mobile phones. is a bit different in that it asks you to fill out detailed profiles and questionnaires in order for them to actively seek only members they consider scientifically compatible for you.

Get Romantic Referrals

Six Degrees of Separation from True Love

Not too keen on broadcasting your singledom throughout the vastness of cyberspace? Chat with friends, family, and friends of friends and do some serious networking to let them know who and what you’re looking for in a relationship, and let the theory of six degrees of separation do the rest.

Throw a Recycle Men Party

Forget diamonds! References are a girl’s best friend. Invite your girlfriends over for cocktails and tapas, and ask them to bring along a guy who didn’t make the cut for them, but is still an eligible candidate with potential. Maybe it wasn’t a match made in heaven for the two of them, but if your girlfriend thinks enough of her ex to try to help him find true love he can’t be all bad. Think of it as pre-screening with a twist.

Help Him Make the First Move

Go Out Without Your Girlfriends

Occasionally ditching the chicks means there’s no chance of bickering over guys and means he doesn’t have to venture into the depths of no-man’s land to strike up a conversation.

Create an Opportunity for Chivalry

Are there any genuine gentlemen left? It sounds incredibly hokey, but be spontaneous and let something fall discretely (a book, a pen, whatever). If he takes the bait, you’ve just broken the ice (but made him feel as if he’s made the first move).

Join an Activity that Breaks the Ice suggests adult education classes or clubs as great places to meet men who are interested in the same things as you. Good ones include drawing, cooking, or Do-It-Yourself classes and running clubs. Joining classes creates a regular non-date session where you can learn something, catch his eye and have something in common to talk about.

Read More»