5 Pregnancy & Baby Apps For iPhone

You’ve seen the doctor and you’ve read every baby and pregnancy book out there. What next? Who says you can’t have a little fun with this incredible nine-month long journey. Use these iPhone apps to help keep track of all of your pregnancy details from date of conception to the birth of your newborn.

1. Pregnancy Tracker

Keep track of your baby’s development – and your fast-growing belly – week-by-week, read the latest posts from the WTE message board community, get daily tips for each day of your pregnancy, and more!

  • Due-date calculator
  • Week-by-week details on your baby’s amazing growth and development
  • Weekly baby illustrations
  • Updates on your changing body
  • Slideshow of your belly pictures
  • Countdown to your due date!

2. NineMonths – Contraction & Movement Timer

Ninemonths is an app that will come in handy towards the end of your pregnancy because it tracks movement and contractions.  From their website: “Designed under the supervision of a board certified OBGYN Dr. Herbert S. Coussons. Our goal was to build an extremely simple to use application that computes results in a form that can be read directly to your medical team. Clinical beta testing has produced fantastic results and we are excited to release NineMonths to all mothers/fathers to be.”

3. Baby Tracker: Nursing

New moms, listen up! Looking for a quick and easy way to keep track of your nursing sessions? This iPhone app will save you time and trouble with a timer and log to keep track of your nursing session details.

4. Foods to Avoid When Pregnant

As we discuss in our nutrition podcast, what you eat during pregnancy is very important. Use this handy iphone app to help you make the right nutrition choices for you and your baby.

5. Pregnancy Calendar

Keep track of your weight during pregnancy, get week by week pregnancy progress updates and even create a birth plan! This app helps you prep everything you need for your trip to the birthing room: medical information, what you want to bring, people to contact, etc.

Increase In Pregnancy-Related Deaths Tripled Over The Last Decade

Here’s some alarming news – according to a California Watch report, deaths related to pregnancy complications in 2006 is triple the number reported a decade ago. An increase in cesarean sections was cited as one of the main culprits for this drastic swell in pregnancy-related deaths. The report also mentions the fact that the amount of C-sections have increased about 50 percent during the same time period, which equals nearly one in three babies!

This topic of discussion has gained a lot of momentum in pregnancy forums these days. Ricki Lake’s 2008 documentary The Business of Being Born also explores the maternity care system in America and how it is treated more like a business than something that is much more important than money – your health and your baby’s health! One of the major points of the documentary is to point out that the infant mortality rate in the US is not as low as we think. We are 4% higher than Singapore which according to CIA World Factbook has the lowest infant mortality rate. The California Watch report also states that “it’s more dangerous to give birth in California than it is in Kuwait or Bosnia.”

Listen to our podcast about C-sections for more information about the procedure and it’s risks.

Over 40 Car Seats Recalled: See If Yours Made The Cut

On Friday, December 18, 447,000 popular infant car seats were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc. The recall came after 77 separate reports were made about faulty bolts on the child restraint handles of over 40 different models. Loose bolts caused the handles to partially — or in some cases fully — break loose from the car seat base, causing injuries to at least three babies.

Wondering if your car seat is involved in the recall? Here’s the full list:

Child Restraint Model # – Product Descriptions
Safety 1st
22-057 DBY – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-085 DWA – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 CLN – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 HRT – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 HRR – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 PTK – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-057 LPH – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-085 LYN – Safety 1st Sojourn Travel System
22-322 KDL – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322 LXI – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322OLY – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322PRS – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-322 MAI – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-325 COB – Safety 1st Eurostar Travel System
22-095 RBK – Safety 1st Explorer Travel System
22-380 LGA – Safety 1st Lite Wave Travel System
22-380 MSA – Safety 1st Lite Wave Travel System
22-627 WAV – Safety 1st Vector Travel System
22-325 PAC – Safety 1st Vector Travel System

22-300 FZN – Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 OSF – Cosco Sprint Travel System
22-300 CSF – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-300 JJV – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-300 THD – Cosco Spirit Travel System
22-300 TWD – Cosco Spirit Travel System

22-627 AWF- Disney Propack Travel System
22-355 LBF – Disney Propack Travel System
22-305 NAB – Disney Propack Travel System
22-305 PPH – Disney Propack Travel System
22-355 PWK – Disney Propack Travel System

Eddie Bauer
22-627 CGT – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 FRK – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 SNW – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627 WPR – Eddie Bauer Adventurer Travel System
22-627KGS – Eddie Bauer Endeavor Travel System
22-655BYTE – Eddie Bauer Endeavor Travel System

What you can do now: If you own one of the recalled infant carriers, stop using yours immediately and order a free repair kit now by heading to the Dorel website or by calling Dorel directly at (866) 762-3316 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST Monday-Friday.
Don’t forget, you can get your car seat installation checked out for FREE! Go to http://www.seatcheck.org to make an appointment.

Click here for more about choosing the right baby gear for your baby.

H1N1 Update

Grrrrrrrrr…Ok, preggos, you know you’re not a candidate for the FluMist form of the vaccine, because it contains a live, attenuated virus. However, it appears the injectable form of the vaccine, the one that you can get, has been delayed. Again.

Here in Texas, the counties have been warned that they won’t see any H1N1 shots until November. It’s the same everywhere else.


You can look up when the vaccine will be arriving in your state here. I caution you, however, these may not be updated. The delivery dates for Texas have not been updated.

Also, it turns out the underlying condition present in a majority of the kids who end up in the hospital with swine flu is asthma. Kids with asthma also need the shot. The can’t have FluMist.

So, again, grrrrrr……

There finally is some suggestions about why H1N1 is so hard on pregnant women. This is from Anne Schuchat at the Centers for Disease Control.

First, pregnancy itself changes a woman’s immune system, keeping her body from having an immune reaction to the baby. Secondly, as the pregnancy progresses, the baby presses upwards on its mother¹s lungs, making it harder for her to breathe deeply. Pregnant women need to contact their health care provider if they are experiencing difficulty breathing and fever, Schuchat says.

The thing is, the same is true for the seasonal flu, so I’m not sure that we’ve gotten any real info here.

The alarming figure from this story has nothing to do with pregnant women or with kids who have asthma. It’s about everyone else. The CDC says 45% of those hospitalized with H1N1 have no underlying conditions.

I have a call in to an epidemiologist to find out if this is our of an overabundance of caution because of all the coverage swine flu is getting, or because this flu is tougher on healthy people than experts thought it would be. I’ll post it to the Pea in the Podcast blog when I get it.

In the meantime, remember, a person with Swine Flu is contagious for 24 hours before they have any symptoms, so practice good clean hand hygiene. WASH OR SANITIZE YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU TOUCH YOUR FACE. Seriously, that’s hard because we touch our faces all the time. But it’s important.

If people are coughing or sneezing, walk away.

If you are coughing or sneezing, please do it into your sleeve and not your hands. After all, you may be the one who is incubating H1N1! ;)

My previous blog postings on H1N1 can be found at the following links…

Listen to the advice of an obstetrician here

Listen to the inside scoop about the clinical vaccine trials on pregnant women with one of the doctors working on them here

And listen to a nationally recognized pediatrician give some controversial advice regarding the H1N1 vaccine here

I urge you to add the Pea in the Podcast blog to your internet favorites. I will keep you hooked up with all of the latest news on pregnancy and parenting…and I am following the H1N1 vaccine story for you very closely. Everything you need to know is here. :)

Circumcision: It’s YOUR choice!

The New York Times says “Public health officials are considering promoting routine circumcision for all baby boys born in the United States to reduce the spread of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.”

I do not understand this at all.

The study on which this idea is based was done awhile back on African men in an area where AIDS is rampant and condom use is rare. I cannot imagine a study with less relevance to the lives of American men.

If American men are practicing safe sex — i.e. condoms use, etc — what does their foreskin have to do with anything? Absolutely nothing. So are we promoting safe sex, or are we promoting circumcision, CDC? I don’t get it?

(Oh, and by the way, another study of African men found that circumcision did nothing, nothing at all, to prevent the transmission of HIV to women. Circumcised men in Africa infect women at the same rate as uncircumcised men. So moms, we’d better be teaching our little girls about safe sex and condom use regardless of whether their partner is circumcised or not.)

I have not spoken with a single doctor who says there is any reason at all to recommend routine circumcision of boy babies, and I have talked to a lot of doctors. It is a choice parents can make, and many do, for many reasons. That is what is great about being a parent…you get to make that choice.

If you choose to circumcise your boy baby, I support you in that choice (which is actually none of my business, anyway, so who cares what I think?). There are religious reasons and cultural reasons and personal reasons that make circumcision the best choice for many families.

If you don’t choose to circumcise your boy baby, that is also a perfectly valid choice. According to Baylor College of Medicine pediatrician Dr. Sara Rizvi (and she is far from alone), there is no medical reason to circumcise .

I, personally, would never choose to circumcise a boy child (barring some great new revelation about the practice), even if the Centers for Disease Control was actively promoting it, particularly if that promotion was based on the suspect assertion that the practice might decrease the H.I.V. infection rate in America.

That is my choice.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend circumcision of baby boys. I does not not recommend it. It’s the Switzerland of the circ debate. It says (although I understand it may be rethinking its language)…

“Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In circumstances in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child’s current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child.”

The bolding and italics were added by me lol, because that’s how I feel. This is a parent’s decision. No one else’s. What you decide for your baby is no one else’s business.

The end.

For much more on caring for your newborn, from their foreskin (or circumcision) to their belly button and so much more, please listen to what our wonderful pediatrician has to say in our Pea in the Podcast on Caring For Your Newborn.

3 of 5 Brand-Name Sunblocks Don’t Protect The Skin From Sun Damage Sufficiently

One of our favorite sites, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), has recently released a study about the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of major sunscreens. This is a must-read before you head to the pool or beach with your kids.

Basically, sunscreens are improving but three of five brand-name products either don’t protect the skin from sun damage sufficiently, contain hazardous chemicals, or both.

“I’d give the industry a C minus,” says Jane Houlihan, EWG’s senior vice president for research. “They have moved from a D to a C-minus in my book.” Overall, however, she says the industry is “not doing enough to protect consumers from UVA radiation.”

This year’s report is the third annual from EWG, which investigated 1,572 sunscreens, lip balms, and daily moisturizers with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, typically the minimum recommended. To type in your brand and see how it rates visit: http://www.ewg.org/cosmetics/report/sunscreen09

Among the failings of the sunscreen products and industry, according to EWG:
-Only 5% of products overall met their criteria for safety and sunscreen effectiveness — and that includes blocking UVA and UVB, maintaining stability, and having no or few ingredients with health hazards.
-Product claims are overstated, promising such things as “all day” protection.
-Many spray and powder products contain tiny “nano-scale” ingredients that could be absorbed more easily in the lungs and cause problems.

After digging around their site a bit we found our favorite brand, the California Baby Stick Sunblock, has one of the highest ratings for coverage and safety. You can find their products at Target.

Scientists from EWG developed a “best” list for sunscreens, lip balms, and moisturizers (the full list is here):

On the 10 best sunscreens list (many sold online):
Soleo Organics Sunscreen Organic chemical-free sunscreen, SPF 30+
Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30
UV Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Mexitan Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
Lavera Sunscreen Neutral, SPF 40
California Baby Sunscreen Lotion No Fragrance, SPF 30+
Trukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum, SPF 30+
Kabana Skin Care Green Screen Organic Sunscreen, SPF 22, Skin Tone Tinted
Obagi Nu-Derm Physical UV Block, SPF 32
Elta MD UV Physical, SPF 41.

On the top 10 lip balm list:
Fallene cotz LipCotz, Ultra High Sun Protection, SPF 45
Jane Iredale LipDrink, SPF 15
Badger Lip Balm, SPF 15
Caribbean Blue-natural basics Lip Shield, SPF 15
Shady Day Shady Kiss Lip Balm, SPF 30
Bare Escentuals Lip Guard, SPF 15
Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Lip Butter, SPF 15, Pure Vanilla, SPF 15
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm Lemon & Chamomile, SPF 25
Rx Suncare Lip Balm Sunblock, SPF 45
Crabtree & Evelyn Naturals Protective Lip Balm, SPF 8, Cocoa butter & Cardamom

And the top 10 SPF moisturizers, according to EWG:
Keys Soap Solar Rx Cosmetic Moisturizing sunblock, SPF 30
Marie Veronique Organics Crème de Jour Tinted, SPF 30,no nanoparticles
Devita International Daily Solar Protective Moisturizer 30
SanRe Organic Skinfood Supple Sunshine, Organic Rosemary and Lavender Day Creme (Dry to Normal), SPF 30
Lotus Moon Sage Sun Protective Crème, SPF 25
Institut Dermed Sun Protective Cream Oil Free, Untinted, SPF 28
N.V. Perricone M.D., Targeted Care Solar Protection Face with DMAE, SPF 26
Sue Devitt Promarine Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 30, Capri
Sun Science Organic Daily Wear, SPF 30
Karen’s Botanical Lovely Lavender Cream, SPF 15

Among the 339 sunscreens not recommended are:
Coppertone NutraShield, Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 30
Huggies Little Swimmers Sunscreen, Moisturizing Blue Melon Splash
Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas: Complete Block Spray, SPF 26
CVS Sport Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30

And don’t forget to use ENOUGH of the product! Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin 15-30 minutes BEFORE going outdoors. When using sunscreen, be sure to apply it to all exposed areas and pay particular attention to the face, ears, hands and arms. Coat the skin liberally and rub it in thoroughly – most people apply only 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body properly. Don’t forget that lips get sunburned too, so apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Sunscreens should be re-applied at least every two hours or after swimming or perspiring heavily. Even so-called “water-resistant” sunscreens may lose their effectiveness after 40 minutes in the water. Sunscreens rub off as well as wash off, so if you’ve towel-dried, reapply sunscreen for continued protection.

Introducing Solid Foods? Forget the Rice Cereal!

You have heard it from your mommy friends, and you may hear it from your pediatrician, but not everyone thinks that when your baby is finally ready for solids, it has to be rice cereal. The conventional wisdom behind that common advice is it’s easily digested and unlikely to sensitize your baby to allergens. These are good things!

Rice cereal is also controversial, particularly if your family has a history of diabetes, and it’s never a good idea if your baby is less than four months old. It’s even controversial if your baby has reflux (scroll to page three).

But some research and pediatricians are suggesting that your baby has many other, much more tempting options available for its first solid meal! This is the very provocative lede to this article…

Ditch the rice cereal and mashed peas, and make way for enchiladas, curry and even – gasp! – hot peppers.

The deal is this, according to those who are smarter than I am…the closer your baby is to six months old, the less likely they are to become sensitized to allergens in what they eat. So the allergy concern addressed by rice cereal becomes moot. Their digestive system is also more mature, so the ease with which a baby can digest rice cereal also becomes irrelevant.

We started solids at about 5 1/2 months with sweet potatoes. Mmmmmmmm….

So how do you know when your baby is ready for solids? Here are some things to look for….

The infant should be able to do the following:

1. Sit with support

2. Have good head and neck control

3. Push up with straight elbows from lying face down

4. Show readiness for varied textures of supplemental foods by placing their hands or toys in their mouth

5. Lean forward and open the mouth when interested in food, and lean back and turn away when uninterested in the food or not hungry

6. Additional skills are necessary before an infant should be allowed to progress to eating finger foods

7. By eight to 10 months, infants begin to have the skills necessary to eat finger foods independently (can sit independently, grasp and release food, chew food (even without teeth), and swallow)

8. By 12 months, fine motor skills improve, allowing the child to grasp pieces of food between two fingers

Also, if you try to feed your baby and they push the food out of their mouth with their tongue, you should hold off for a little while. That’s called the “tongue thrust” reflex, and means they are not quite ready for solids.

When your baby reaches these milestones, and you and your pediatrician have decided on an appropriate first food, it’s time to get out the camera! Those pictures and videos of your baby’s confusion and then possibly delight will be priceless! Yes, it’ll be messy, but that’s part of the charm. Just make sure you put plastic down on the floor lol. You’ll thank me later. :)


Don’t forget to check our blog archives. We’ve got great info there for you on things like how a fan may prevent SIDS (scroll to the second post), bed-sharing with your baby, and whether your baby’s birth can be orgasmic. Have fun poking around! I promise our archives aren’t too dusty. ;)

Lead In Your Prenatals

You take prenatal vitamins on the advice of your doctor. You take them because you want to do everything you can to ensure that your pregnancy and your baby are healthy. You take them every day, feeling reasured you are doing something really good for that kid in there kicking you. You smile and pat your belly…

Then you hear that your prenatal vitamins may be laced with lead.

Yes, lead.

The Food and Drug Administration began testing vitamins for women and children in 2007, after hearing rumblings that there were elevated lead levels in some over the counter supplements. The vitamin research covered 324 multivitamin and mineral products available online.

Only four were free of lead. Out of 324. Yep.

However, in something that closely resembles English — but is not English — the government agency indicates prenatals, as well as the other tested vitamins for women and children, are not unsafe.

Estimates of Pb exposures for all products were below the PTTI levels for the at-risk population groups of children, pregnant and lactating women and adult women.

What’d I tell ya? Not English!

Here is the F.D.A. report, with a complete list of tested vitamins, as well as charts and graphs. You’ll feel like you’re back in college! In no time you’ll be looking for someone else to read the report for you — and take notes — while you go play frisbee.

Yeah, I know you. ;)

Back to the issue at hand, it is simply shocking, to me, that you would find any trace of lead in a product like prenatal vitamins, when we have been warned again and again about the danger of lead exposure to our children. The March of Dimes website says the following

Lead poses health risks for everyone, but young children and unborn babies are at greatest risk. Exposure to high levels of lead during pregnancy contributes to miscarriage, preterm delivery, low birthweight and developmental delays in the infant. Lead is harmful even after birth. Children exposed to high levels of lead may develop behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth and hearing loss.

It’s really enough to make you want to cry.

So what do we do? Well, remember, this information only reflects testing on over the counter prenatal vitamins (Like the ones I took. Awesome). You could talk to your doctor about the prescription variety. I do not know if these vitamins have been tested for lead content, and — if so — how they fared. I’ll keep looking, and I’ll let you know what I find.

You could also take a look at the following lists, and choose your OTC prenatal accordingly…

Top 10 pre and postnatal vitamins with the lowest lead content
1. After Baby Boost 2
2. Nature’s Sunshine Nature’s Prenatal
3. Nature’s Plus Prenatal Liquid
4. Natrol PreNatal Care
5. Pregnancy Plus
6. Pure Encapsulations PreNatal Nutrients
7. Maxi Health One Prenatal
8. Nature’s Bounty Prenatal
9. Stuart Prenatal
10. Natural Wealth Prenatal

Top 10 pre and postnatal vitamins with the highest lead content
1. After Baby Boost 1
2. A to Z Naturals Wow! PreNatal
3. Vitamin Source Prenatal Complete
4. Prenatal Superior
5. Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System
6. Buried Treasure Prenatal Plus DHA Complete
7. DaVinci Laboratories Ultimate Prenatal
8. Life Time Professional Pre-Natal Formula
9. Daily Foods Baby & Me
10. Carol Bond Women’s Choice Prenatal

As far as vitamins for your infant (0 to 6 mos), here’s some good info…

F.D.A. tests found these products have no lead:

Natrol Liquid Kids Companion (Liquid)
NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric (Liquid)
Twinlab Infant Care (Liquid)

These products had some lead, but in the lowest levels detected in the F.D.A. tests:

Windmill Bite-A-Mins (Tablet/Capsule)
Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals (Liquid)
My First Flintstones (Tablet/Capsule)
Natural Wealth Children’s Chewable Multivitamins Plus Extra C (Tablet/Capsule)
Uno Diario Ninos (Tablet/Capsule)
Flintstones Plus Immunity Support (Tablet/Capsule)
Natural Wealth Children’s Chewable Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)

Information like this can overwhelm you, I know. I’ve met more than one mom who has thrown her hands in the air in desperate frustration because, no matter where she turns, she finds out another product she trusts may be dangerous to her child. I have surely felt this way myself.

This is what I do. I take a deep breath, and then I pick my battles. We can’t fight them all!** I think this is one we can manage, mom. We’ll just buy our vitamins a little more selectively.

Onward and upward!

For much more information on prenatal Health and Nutrition, please listen to our Pea in the Podcast on the subject here.

**Actually, I have a good mommy friend who tries very hard to fight all the mommy battles out there, and actually manages to win most of them. I hate my friend. ;)


Melamine Found In American Infant Formula

It has killed at least six babies in China. Probably more. It has made at least 300,000 sick. Melamine can cause kidney stones and even kidney failure, and now traces of the industrial chemical have been found in America’s most popular infant formula brands.

That’s the kind of story that makes a mommy’s blood run cold.

OK…breathe. This story is not China’s story. Yes, traces of a potentially toxic substance have been found in infant formula here, but not in anywhere near the amounts found in Chinese formula. Medical experts and the F.D.A hope to reassure you that if you’re using formula, it’s safe. I spoke to one of those medical experts today, and we’ll have more on that in a bit.

First, what in the world is melamine? Well, it’s a chemical found in plastics, industrial cleaners and many other things. The F.D.A. has much more on melamine here.

In China, The F.D.A. says infant formula manufacturers laced their products with melamine to hide that they were nutritionally deficient. The melamine made it appear the formula contained more protein than it did. Unfortunately, they put so much in that babies started to get sick. Babies died.

Baylor College of Medicine Pediatrician Sara Rizvi says that is nothing like what has happened here. In the U.S., Investigators found minute traces of melamine. The suspicion is it may have come from contact with melamine containing substances during the manufacturing process. No one really knows for sure. They’re trying to find out.

But Dr. Rizvi urges you not to panic. She has no reason to believe formula will make your baby sick. She says don’t change brands and don’t switch to something nutritionally inferior. Just use what’s been working for you and your baby, while paying attention to the news (and this website).

Listen To What Dr. Sara Rizvi Has To Say About Formula And Melamine

A note…traces of melamine have been found in samples from all three of the big infant formula manufacturers in America. They are Abbott Laboratories, Nestle and Mead Johnson, makers of Similac, Good Start and Enfamil. They make 90% of all the formula produced here.

If you’re worried about this — or anything else related to your baby — Dr. Rizvi says to talk to your pediatrician. They want you to! That’s what they’re there for.

For everything you need to know about breastfeeding and bottle feeding, please listen to our Pea in the Podcasts on those subjects on the home page.