Archive | May 2013

ISIS PDF bed-sharing May 2012 FINAL – Up to date Info on Bed Sharing Safety

This information sheet summarizes research-based evidence about the risks and benefits of babies sharing an adult bed with a parent or parents and about babies’ safety.

For more information on this and many other topics, please visit

Many parents bring their baby into their bed to sleep, but for most UK babies this is not where they always or usually sleep. Bed-sharing usually happens for part of the night, or for a couple of nights a week, although some babies sleep all night every night in their mother’s or parents’ bed.

Although many new parents think they will never sleep with their baby, research shows that many do so, for all kinds of reasons. About 50% of UK babies have bed-shared by the time they are 3months old, and on any night of the week a fifth of all babies sleep with a parent. Most of these are babies who are being breastfed, and three quarters (70-80%) of breastfed babies sleep with their mother or parents some of the time in the early months. It is important that ALL parents are informed about bed-sharing and have thought about how they will manage night-time care.

Why do people bed-share?

People bed-share for many reasons, and in many different circumstances. Bed-sharing can happen more — or less — safely. When done accidentally, without thought for babies’ safety,it can be very dangerous. Some babies are also vulnerable due to specific risk factors.

The most common reason for bed-sharing is to breastfeed in the night. Breastfed babies nursefrequently because human milk is easily digested, and they need to do so night and day.

Frequent night-time nursing helps mothers to make sufficient milk. Many breastfeeding mothersfind bed-sharing makes night-time nursing less disruptive after the first few weeks, and motherswho bed-share generally breastfeed for more months than those who do not.

Other people bed-share for bonding, especially if they have to leave their baby during the day forwork; some do so when their baby is ill, to be able to pay close attention. Many families fromaround the world bed-share because this is their normal cultural practice. Sometimes people bed-share because they cannot afford to buy a cot/crib, or because they are sleeping in a temporaryplace without one (e.g. visiting friends/family or on holiday).

Sometimes people fall asleep with their babies accidentally, or without meaning to. This can bevery dangerous, especially if it happens on a couch/sofa or arm-chair, or after consuming alcoholor drugs. Because every night is different, parents should think about their baby’s bed-sharingsafety every time!

Bed-Sharing and Safety

Many studies have shown that falling asleep with a baby — whether planned or by accident — isvery dangerous when the adult has been drinking alcohol, or has consumed drugs (includingmedication that affects awareness during sleep), or when they are on a sofa or arm-chair.


Bed-sharing, SIDS and risk factors
Although some bed-sharing (or sofa-sharing) infant deaths involve accidents relating to unsafe behaviour, others have no explained cause and are called SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome),
also known as ‘cot death’. SIDS deaths happen wherever babies sleep, but studies have shown that some babies are more vulnerable than others.
Several studies around the world found that babies whose deaths were unexplained (SIDS) were more likely to have slept with an adult. More detailed investigations have shown that bed-sharing
SIDS cases usually involve a combination of bed-sharing and other factors. Smoking increases the risk of SIDS wherever a baby sleeps, but the risk is greater still when combined with bed-
sharing. The biggest risk-factor for bed-sharing SIDS is mothers’ smoking in pregnancy, followed by exposure to cigarette smoke after birth. In a large UK study the ratio of odds for SIDS to a
smoker (compared to a non-smoking mother) was 5 to 1. The odds ratio for a bed-sharing smoker was 12 to 1. Avoiding the combination of smoking and bed-sharing therefore reduces the chance of SIDS. Avoiding smoking has the biggest impact.
Other factors that increase SIDS-risk when bed-sharing include infant prematurity, and low birth-weight. There is some discussion about whether bed-sharing with a young infant (under 12 weeks
of age) may increase SIDS risk, but the research evidence is not clear cut. Although it is clear that breastfed babies have a lower risk of SIDS than those who are not breastfed, it is not clear how
the combination of breastfeeding and bed-sharing affect SIDS-risk as many other factors are usually involved.
How bed-sharing works
Adult beds are not designed to keep babies safe. Parents must do this! Look at the bed and where it is: make sure baby can’t fall into gaps between the bed and wall or other furniture. Keepbaby away from any pillows. Remove heavy bedding that might cover the baby. Think about the height of
your bed and whether you have a hard floor in case baby falls.
Studies of breastfeeding mothers and babies who
routinely bed-share show that they automatically sleep
close together, facing one another and waking at the
same time. Mothers place the baby on its back to
sleep, level with their breasts, on the mattress surface (away from pillows). The mother adopts a protective position in the bed, curled around the baby, with her arm above his head and her
knees bent under his feet. This protects the baby from cold, heat, bedding and bed-partners.
One study showed that mothers who did not breastfeed often placed their babies high in the bed, at parents’ face-height, positioned between, or on top of pillows. They did not consistently face the baby or adopt the “protective” sleep position. This suggests that bed-sharing may be less safe for non-breastfeeders, unless the above behaviour can be learned, which is unknown. A three-sided ‘bedside’, or ‘side-car’, crib which attaches to your bed may be a suitable option if you want to be close to your baby, but you have concerns about bed-sharing safety.
Before you bed-share, consider whether
you are happy it is safe for YOUR baby.

via ISIS PDF bed-sharing May 2012 FINAL – ISISPDFbed-sharingMay2012FINAL2.pdf.


Pregnant? Stay out of Nail Salons!

(CBS News) – Citizens, advocacy groups, medical professionals and companies are speaking out after a Calif. state government study found that many of the “non-toxic” nail polishes officials tested contained carcinogens or developmental toxins.

According to the study, out of the 12 nail product brands the Department of Toxic Substance Control tested that claimed they didn’t have one to three of the “toxic trio” of chemicals, only two brands were able to stand by their claims. Some of the whole sample group of 25 brands contained as much as 17.7 percent of toxic materials.

The “toxic trio” is the nickname for dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene and formaldehyde, three ingredients that have been known to cause adverse side effects.

“This report shows that these companies are knowingly peddling tons of toxins without even an ounce of scruples,” Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, part of the National Health Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance, told HealthPop by email. “Not only are they including dangerous chemicals in their products, but they are outright lying about it. More disturbing is that the cosmetics industry continues to be almost completely unregulated- the FDA still does not have the power it needs to keep consumers and salon workers safe. ”

Calif. report reveals “non-toxic” nail polishes could cause birth defects

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) comes from the family of phthalates, a classification of compounds known to be disrupt function of the endocrine system, Dr. Kenneth R. Spaeth, the director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center’s Department of Population Health at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., told HealthPop. Phthalates can alter hormone levels or disrupt the way the body handles its response to hormones. Although studies about the toxin are relatively recent, it has been known to cause birth defects, including neurological and developmental issues in fetuses.

“In a fetus, there’s felt to be greater susceptibility to the effects,” Spaeth said. “Pregnant women would be at particular concern here. Any exposure that they experience is also going to be experienced by the fetus.”

According to Spaeth, toluene is a neurotoxin that can also irritate the upper respiratory system. It has been known to harm the nervous system of people of any age, but it can cross through the placenta and reach the fetus to cause developmental defects as well.

“A lot of the mechanisms that we have in the body to protect us from these toxins are not developed so there’s greater susceptibility because of that and because of their size,” he said.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that is also known to cause respiratory problems and can exacerbate problems in people with asthma and other breathing issues, Spaeth commented.

While he said that the problem could be a concern for people who go to nail salons frequently, it’s more of a bigger problem for people who work with the products. Poor ventilation and improper equipment – like using the wrong masks – can lead to health problems. Spaeth says it’s fairly common to see nail salon workers with breathing problems.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that many nail salon workers are of different ethnicities and may not have a command of the English language warnings. The report found that 59 to 80 percent of nail salon workers in California are of Vietnamese decent, and English was not their primary language.

“Physically, I can tell after eight or ten hours working, the chemicals give you very bad headache and affects you mentally. My eyes itch. My nose itch. But as soon as I walk outside the salon, I feel much better. I hope the state government think about this and make it by law that if you say ‘no’ and you have it, they have to have punishment or penalty,” Tina Bui, who has been a manicurist for 17 years in Marin County, Calif, told the Associated Press.

Spaeth and Yeung said more needs to be done to protect these workers. Spaeth urged that people need to be educated about potential dangers in their native language.

“Immigrants find themselves performing job tasks that are higher risk and that often exposes them to chemicals or hazardous situations because of their inability to understand or speak the language,” he said. “They aren’t always educated about the risk.”

Nail polish company Zoya, which was tested in the study, told HealthPop that not only did they strive to be free of the three chemicals and other toxins. The vegan-friendly brand was one of two brands whose claims that they were “3 free” were substantiated by the study. The polish was developed in 1992 by pianist turned cosmetologist, Zoya Reyzis, and her husband Michael, who had previously worked in the medical field, to be a healthier alternative nail polish.

“Today, Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments remains committed to a proactive approach to developing quality, toxin free products,” a Zoya spokesperson told HealthPop in a statement.

It’s important to note that some of the brands included in the California study may not be considered to be top nail polish companies.

“(The Nail Manufacturers Council) condemns any manufacturer misleading customers about the ingredients in their products,” Myra Irizarry, director of government affairs for the Nail Manufacturers Council, told the Associated Press. “The public should, however, be aware that nearly the entire nail polish industry voluntarily took steps years ago to remove toluene and DBP from their products.”

Popular polish brand OPI told HealthPop that the major salon brands have improved their formulas to get rid of these chemicals. The study determined that although they didn’t label their products as “3 Free,” they were in fact devoid of the toxins.

“The lesson of the study is that consumers should ask for, and use, brands they know and trust,” OPI told HealthPop.

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

via Concerned advocates, companies respond to Calif. “toxic” nail polish report – HealthPop – CBS News.

Cambridge Documentary Films | Our Films | BirthMarkings


BirthMarkings is a 19 minute documentary about how giving birth transforms our bodies. The film reframes and destabilizes the observer’s reaction to the changes in a woman’s body after she’s given birth. The Film refocuses on the dynamism and lives experiences rather than the commodified image. Women talk with ambivalence, humor and love about the scars, marks and stretched skin that brands them as mothers.

What they say about “BirthMarkings”

“A beautiful and very important film.”

Cornelia vanderZeil, MD, author, Big Beautiful and Pregnant

“Startlingly original…Fantastic to use in women and gender studies.” Robbie Pfeufer Kahn, Professor of Sociology, UVM, author of Bearing Meaning: The Language of Birth

“Understanding and loving our post-birth bodies is an essential part of childbirth education. What our media culture pushes as a problem, This film reframes as a path to appreciation and thankfulness. The film opens our eyes with beauty, grace and profound emotional understanding.”

Judy Norsigian, executive director of Our Bodies Ourselves

Awards and Screenings

Winner of Best Documentary, Ovation Film Festival

Screened at numerous festivals including:

The International Museum of Women

New England Film Festival Online

The LA Short Film Festival

The Real to Reel Film Festival

The Edmonton Film Festival

The Provincetown Film Festival

The Best of Fest Film Festival


The Boston Museum of Fine Arts

The Women’s Media Action Film Festival

Community Choice Selection

via Cambridge Documentary Films | Our Films | BirthMarkings.

thegodmolecule: here is a tribe in Africa where…

here is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.

And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.

This is so sweet.

(via empressmo)

via thegodmolecule: here is a tribe in Africa where….