"2013. In my Medieval Literature class at the University of Pittsburgh, we’re talking about Margery Kempe, a 14th century English woman who wanted very, very much to be a saint, one of the few roles an ambitious woman of her time could aspire to achieve. She talked a monk into writing down her dictated autobiography, a sort of proto-memoir/self-hagiography that – along with a lengthy explanation of how she convinced God to make her a virgin again after having 14 children – includes visions of interacting with the Christ child. There’s one in which she explains to Mary, the mother of God, how to diaper the baby." [more inside]
FastCo explores the invasive practice of taking someone else's baby's pictures off Instagram and pretending that the baby is yours, or even, you. It's called Fake Adoption or Baby Role-Playing. In response to the FC article, Instagram has declared, "This type of content violates our terms. Once a parent or guardian reports it to us, we work quickly to remove it."
Relax on your pristine white couch and enjoy these realistic depictions of motherhood.
What do vintage ads for Beech-Nut, Q-Tips, and Eskimo Pie have in common with some of the earliest depictions of multiethnic babies in children's books? They were all the work of pioneering illustrator Gyo Fujikawa. [more inside]
Evidence Based Birth is a blog with articles by Rebecca Dekker, a PhD nurse and faculty member at the University of Kentucky, summarizing the best medical evidence for childbirth practices. To start, check out the table summarizing the state of US maternity care to see the differences between current standard childbirth practices and evidence based care. The topics page lists the currently available articles. [more inside]
"Postpartum depression isn’t always postpartum. It isn’t even always depression. A fast-growing body of research is changing the very definition of maternal mental illness, showing that it is more common and varied than previously thought." ‘Thinking of Ways to Harm Her’ and "After Baby, an Unraveling". [more inside]
Why your friends with children no longer socialise and other horrifying new parent facts Christine Skoutelas explains the myriad reasons why parents with young children don't seem to want to socialise (TLDR: They are permanently exhausted). [more inside]
Cute things are made for squeezing. Scientists study why we want to squeeze, squish, pinch, and eat cute things. "Volunteers were given bubble wrap and told they could pop as much of it as they wanted. When faced with a slideshow of cute animals, people popped 120 bubbles, whereas people watching the funny and neutral slideshows popped 80 and 100 bubbles respectively."
You named me... WHAT? Nine baby-naming rules.
A researcher at the University of Lincoln tests whether cats form secure attachments in the same way human babies or dogs do. [SLYT] [more inside]
UPDATE: The headline, subhead, and lead to this story are not meant be taken seriously. Together they are, in the parlance of journalism, "the thing that gets people to read the article." The Christian Science Monitor website published a brief article summarizing a study that examined the effects of newborn baby smell on women's brains. Its lead sentence: "If you're like most normal people, you've briefly considered eating a baby or two." Via Romenesko
"Poverty is a more powerful influence on the outcome of inner-city children than gestational exposure to cocaine." [more inside]
UBC psych prof Dr. J. Kiley Hamlin: "Across two experiments with combined samples of more than 200 infant participants, we found that 9- and 14-month-old infants prefer individuals who treat similar others well and treat dissimilar others poorly." Popularization at The Atlantic. Full paper (Psychological Science, paywall). Researcher profile.
" Initially it was thought to be something to house firewood, though it didn’t seem capable of holding much, and the slat that sits perpendicular to the box on the inside wall made little sense. It took observers a while to realize that this contraption was a device for holding children—a “baby tender.”" (via)
A mixture of data and cultural tradition support the notion of putting babies outside to nap, even in winter. There is some evidence that babies who nap outside sleep longer and get sick less.
BBC/NRI reports that women in China are being labeled "sheng nu" or "leftover women" after the age of 27. Beyond the traditional family pressure to get married, the Chinese government is applying pressure on single women to get married, fearful that a growing population of single men could cause civil unrest. [more inside]
'News of impending fatherhood affects men in different ways. Some guys pump their fists. Others light cigars. A few flee. When 33-year-old Colin Furze learned that his girlfriend was pregnant, he channeled his paternal excitement into building the world’s fastest baby stroller.' The twin-exhaust, 10-horsepower, gasoline-fueled pram has four gears. And cupholders. And it can accelerate to 50mph in less than 30 seconds. [more inside]
Photographer Patrice Laroche has created an image series that answers, once and for all, how to make a baby. [sfw]
Can you make it through this post without squealing? Plus hedgehog bath time! & other moments of squee, within [more inside]
Iron Baby and Dragon Baby, the inevitable prequels for two movie franchises, from Patrick Boivin, creator of AT-AT Day Afternoon (previously).
Since mid-2011, a substantial rise in pertussis [Whooping Cough] cases has been reported in the state of Washington. In response to this increase, the Washington State Secretary of Health declared a pertussis epidemic on April 3, 2012. By June 16, the reported number of cases in Washington in 2012 had reached 2,520 (37.5 cases per 100,000 residents), a 1,300% increase compared with the same period in 2011 and the highest number of cases reported in any year since 1942 [Make sure you don't miss Figure 1]. Commentators are already drawing corellations with the fact that Washington State leads the nation in vaccine non-compliance, Washington State's recent cutbacks in public health funding, and increases in the number of uninsured (PDF). [more inside]
Oh now, this really is ridiculously cute. slyt
Science is Rewriting the Rules of Reproduction Aarathi Prasad's new book investigates taking sex out of the reproduction equation. [more inside]
Tired of looking at your friends' baby pictures on Facebook?
1. INSTALL unbaby.me
2. BROWSE Refresh Facebook. Any baby pics will now be cats.
3. REJOICE Now you don't have to look at all your friends' annoying kids.[more inside]
How Babies Are Made SLYT
During his tenure as Mayor of New York City, "public health autocrat" Michael Bloomberg has attempted to regulate trans fats, smoking and sugar-filled sodas. Now, he has a fresh target: moms who don't breastfeed. Beginning September 3, NYC hospitals participating in a new, voluntary program: Latch-On NYC (press release / posters / FAQ -pdf-), will make formula less accessible, to encourage moms of newborns to breastfeed instead of using formula. [more inside]
"Boxes where parents can leave an unwanted baby, common in medieval Europe, have been making a comeback over the last 10 years. Supporters say a heated box, monitored by nurses, is better for babies than abandonment on the street - but the UN says it violates the rights of the child." [more inside]
Given or Taken – an ABC television documentary by the usually excellent 4 Corners looks at a period in the nation’s history when unwed mothers were forced, coerced or tricked into giving up their babies- often without holding or even seeing their newborn. Writer Kim Berry describes a little of what it was like to be relinquished by her teen mum.
Getting babies to sleep is a topic of great interest to all parents (see previously). One trick that has been shown to work is white noise. Although many opt for a white noise machine, other parents swear by radio static, vacuum cleaners, dryers, or a running faucet. Now, of course, you can send your cutie to slumberland without wasting nearly so much electricity or water, all thanks to youtube. [more inside]
Renaissance Babies in various stages of choking and passing out from noxious fumes: A Study. This is what happens when the Madonna eats way too much turkey, yall. Happy Thanksgiving! (Warning: Tumblr)
A typical full term pregnancy is 40 weeks. Premature babies are those born before 37 weeks. Worldwide, 13 million babies are born premature. In the United States, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely. Prematurity can lead to a host of lifelong cognitive, respiratory, vision, and digestive problems. November 17 is World Prematurity Day, devoted to raising awareness of the problems of as well as prevention of pre-term births. [more inside]
Jeff Atwood, co-founder of StackOverflow/StackExchange (previously) is also fairly well known for blogging about programming and human factors. Today he wrote a post about Parenthood.
Sure a baby has a swimming reflex but that doesn't mean watching them swim isn't absolutely terrifying.
Babies laughing at being sprayed with water | babysitter kitteh | baby loves Bon Jovi| heavy metal lullaby | Oh baby...President Obama. [more inside]
Whole Foods Parking Lot A rap about the extreme challenges people must face every day in their quest for organic kale and biodynamic kombucha. If you don't like rap, don't worry Whole Foods provides opera, hipster marching bands, strange dancing babies and Bollywood. If you just like naturally-grown peaches and quiet while you shop, there is always a freezing flash mob.
Footage of cute laughing babies, slowed down. Hyek hyek hyuh hyuh hyuhhh!! Haw haw haw haw haaaaw.... heh... Ohhhh hah hah hah... whoooh!
One in every 8 babies born in the US is premature. A new study (pdf/via) published online Wednesday in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology indicates that vaginal progesterone gel can help women who are pregnant for the first time and at risk of premature birth extend their pregnancies, reduce potential complications and boost the health of their newborns. [more inside]