Archive for August, 2004

Pelvic Exercises Ease First-Time Labor

Kelli A. Miller in WebMD reports:

If the joy of expecting your first child competes with anxiety of a painful delivery, take heart. Researchers say women who workout their pelvic muscles by doing Kegel exercises during the last few months of pregnancy have an easier time giving birth.

The findings come from this week’s British Medical Journal.

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Positive Midlife Pregnancy

Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE in About.com Pregnancy reports:

Prior to doing any research women were told they had very grim prospects of getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy child. Science has now shown us that this is not necessarily true. Here are some areas of concern for midlife moms…

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Overweight Girls May Have More Behavior Problems

Merritt McKinney in Reuters UK reports:

Overweight girls, but not boys, may be more likely to have behavioral problems when they start kindergarten, according to the results of a nationwide study.

“The message for parents from our research would be that it is the child’s home environment that influences not only their obesity but also their behavioral health,” Dr. Ashlesha Datar of the research organization RAND in Santa Monica, California, told Reuters Health. “Therefore providing a healthy environment at home is essential for children to be healthy in the early school years.”

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Parents Key to Adolescents’ Success, Duke University Social Psychologist Says

Ascribe reports:

Students whose parents are involved in their schooling have higher career and educational goals, according to a new Duke University study of middle- and high-schoolers.

And parents’ influence on how their children think about the future and perform in school continues through adolescence, according to the study, which followed nearly 500 black and white children from seventh through 11th grades.

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Freedom, stress and diet weigh down college freshmen

Barbara Karkabi in Houston Chronicle reports:

Tips for soon-to-be college freshman:

  • Keep a daily food journal.
  • Eat meals — especially breakfast — at regular times. That lessens the chance of “grazing” that contributes to weight gain.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Exercise. Take a bike to school even if it’s just for pleasure. Join a club sport or a dance group. Use the stairs. Exercise helps reduce stress levels and can energize your brain, so take a 20-minute exercise break while studying for exams.
  • Take a daily multivitamin with calcium and iron.

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Separation after divorce gets tricky for parents

Leslie Eaton in Duluth News Tribune reports:

The United States remains a highly mobile society; a 2000 Census Bureau survey found that in a 12-month period, 43.4 million people changed residences. Americans have become more likely to move longer distances, the survey found, and divorced people are far more likely to move than those who are married.

Ultimately, relocation cases usually come down to “the best interests of the child,” but there is little agreement about what that means. In many states, including New York, judges have a laundry list of factors to consider, but no clear way to weigh their importance.

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7 ways to radically cut your debt

M.P. Dunleavey in MSN Money offers some interesting advice on handling your debt. Among the many suggestions, she offer 7 ways to radically cut your debt:

  1. Reduce housing costs
  2. Drop a car
  3. Get (another) job
  4. Quit your vice
  5. Live moderately
  6. Let the kids go public
  7. Tap your assets

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Credit counselor: ‘Stop using credit cards’

Suan Erler in Northwest Indiana News reports:

Those carrying credit card debt at variable interest rates, like those with adjustable rate mortgages and other loans, are likely to see corresponding hikes in their monthly bills.

“When a homeowner is already experiencing difficulty, they could end up out of their house by trying to pay a credit card and not paying their mortgage,” said Stalling, whose agency counsels those in budget crisis.

Credit card debt carried by the average American was $8,562, according to American Consumer Credit Counseling, amounting to a total U.S. credit card debt of $60 billion.

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Parental depression affects the entire family

Bob Condor in Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

What’s news — and myth-busting in some circles — is that children in homes with a mentally stable dad and a depressed mother are almost as unaffected and free from behavioral and emotional problems as kids with a depressed father and stable mom.

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Teach Kids to Eat Healthy

Lynn N. Duke in The Ledger reports:

The transition from freewheeling summer days to the structure of the school year is a good time to start children on a better eating plan.

Getting children to eat healthier food starts by keeping your home stocked with healthy snacks and limiting their access to junk food. But parents often need some guidance, too, if they’re going to be successful.

“Children definitely look at their parents,” said Suzanne Henson, coordinator of the EatRight Weight Management Program at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. “It’s important that parents be aware of what they make available and what they purchase when they’re out with their kids.”

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