Jul 28 2011

Black Mothers Are Least Likely to Breast-Feed … Is a Breast-Feeding Doll the Solution?

A recent CDC report found that non-Hispanic black women in the U.S. were least likely to breastfeed compared to other racial groups, despite the fact that breast milk provides superior nutrition, natural immunity, and possible allergy prevention for babies who receive it.

Data suggest that there may be experiences unique to non-Hispanic black women that contribute to their decision to bottle-feed:

  • Lack of culturally relevant information and images of non-Hispanic black women breast-feeding.
  • Perceptions that breast-feeding is inferior to formula feeding or conflicting messages about breast-feeding.
  • Need for non-Hispanic black women to return to work sooner, where, until recently, support for breast-feeding was often insufficient.
  • Lack of social or partner support.

Spain-based Berjuan Toys thinks it has the solution to raising those breast-feeding rates — a breast-feeding doll that acculturates young girls to value breast-feeding and view it as a normal part of motherhood. Breast Milk Baby comes with a halter top that a child wears to “nurse” the doll. Located on the outside of the garment is an appliqué where the child places the doll’s mouth to simulate breast-feeding. The doll makes motions and suckling sounds when a sensor in its mouth is near the appliqué. The doll sells for 69.99 and is currently only available online. Two million have been sold in Europe.

Those for and against the toy are equally vehement about why their opinion is the right one. A Facebook page “Against the Breast Milk Baby Doll” has been created, and an online petition asking U.S. toy stores not to stock it has been circulated. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly mentioned the doll on his show, saying it pushes little girls to grow up too soon.

Berjuan Toys rep Dennis Lewis says the doll is a much-needed antidote to a culture that advocates bottle-feeding at the expense of breast-feeding, even though it’s known to offer health benefits for mother and child.”This is an important issue, because if little kids start learning about breast-feeding when they’re young, it becomes an easy choice for them when they are older,” Lewis says. The doll is a fun way to let children play out “the importance of natural breast-feeding.”

It seems a bit ridiculous to spend $70 bucks on a doll that is supposed to encourage behavior an imaginative child will do without the high-tech gadgetry. A child who witnesses breast-feeding will emulate it in play. My daughters saw me nursing their younger siblings and when they played “mommy” they pretended to breast-feed. The sucking sounds coming from the doll are unnecessary and a little creepy n my opinion.

-by Kathleen Cross for rollingout.com

Jul 18 2011

Does Your Toddler Have Bad Credit?

With the rise in foreclosures, bankruptcies, long-term unemployment and other recession-related financial disasters, some desperate people have resorted to stealing the identities of children to apply for credit.

It is estimated that as many as 400,000 kids per year are having their pristine credit histories hijacked — a crime that doesn’t impact them today, but can have devastating financial repercussions when they reach adulthood.

Adam Levin of Credit.com reports, “The crime generally goes undetected unless and until the child applies for a license, a credit card, a loan for college or, perhaps, requires a medical procedure. When they do, if their identity has been compromised — by someone having used their stolen SSN to set up credit accounts, obtain free medical care or throw police off of his trail, for example — bad things begin to happen almost instantly.”

Even when a teen-turned-adult does eventually discover the crime, when it is the parent, foster parent or other guardian who has used the identity for financial gain, it often goes unreported because, says Levin, “of the very human inclination not to ‘rat out’ a parent or family member.”

You may not have considered the possibility that your child’s credit has already been established (and possibly destroyed), but if a financially desperate family member has had access to your child’s social security number, it may be too late. If you are curious or concerned, TransUnion.com provides a secure online form to help you discover if there is any credit activity related to your child’s social security number and date of birth.

For more information, visit businessinsider.com.

Apr 20 2011

Father & Friend: ‘Every Time I Look at You, I See Myself’

A public declaration of love, respect, pride and appreciation between a son and his father. Kinda makes you wish something as inspiring as this wasn’t so rare. :/

Fathers and sons please feel free to leave your own video declarations of love in the comments… (Now, wouldn’t THAT be something if they really did it?)