Howstuffworks.com

I discovered a useful resource for pregnancy related information. Its not dedicated to pregnancy but it has some articles on baby related stuff and appears to be scientific based, not some mambo jumbo about pregnancy superstitions. Here are my random thoughts on a few articles I just read.

http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/10/06/bottoms-up-pregnant-women/

Its a slight relief to see that its safe to have a little bit of alcohol when pregnant since I did have some when I didn’t know I was pregnant and I no longer need to be freaked out about the cooking wine added to food, but otherwise I’m not too concerned. What worried me, though, was when the article mentioned that the research showed that children of teetotalers performed almost as poorly as children of binge drinkers on intelligence tests. I relaxed a bit when they went on to say that it could perhaps be because the drinking helped mums to relax which leads to healthier babies. Drinking certainly doesn’t help me relax since its not something I enjoy at all. However, reading that stress results in less healthy and not as smart babies is scary since I’m a highly strung person most of the time.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/perception/remember-birth.htm

With a title like “can a person remember being born” I expected the content to be a little silly, with perhaps bits of trivia etc, but it turned out to be a pretty good analysis of how memory of young children work and why some memories stick and some don’t, which was highly interesting to me. I had always wondered why children can learn things like language(s), counting, art, psycho-motor skills etc and keep all these for life but cannot remember that half an hour ago they were promised a trip to the playground, so this article was enlightening. I’m not sure whether that would necessarily help me teach Sophia better though.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/pregnancy-and-parenting/pregnancy/postpartum-care/breast-feeding-better.htm

I started reading “does breastfeeding make better babies expecting to read all about the things I already know – that breast milk is more easily digested and contains antibodies etc than formula and so is better BUT, it again surprised me with more information. I was informed that studies on breastfeeding are mostly not conclusive and most importantly, it is not clear whether the advantage that babies gain is due to the milk or the increased interaction with mum. If it is the increased interaction, then expressing would almost be a waste of time. Studies have already shown that some of the advantages are not present for babies fed on expressed milk. One example is obesity. This can be easily explained though, because breastfed babies first consume a lot of watery foremilk before the thicker hindmilk becomes available, which triggers feelings of being full. In bottles, however, everything is mixed up so presumably the baby gets a thicker formula right from the start and will possibly end up drinking more calories? This is just my guess. The article’s explanation is that putting the baby to the breast enables the mum to gauge when baby is full more easily than giving a bottle.

While there are several useful articles, there are also some quite useless (to me) ones like do babies have kneecaps, which turned out to be an analysis about how babies start out with some bone fragments that eventually become fused, and with some cartilage that turn into bone, but its all just not my cup of tea..

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