Year of the Recall

In the last 12 months, we seemed to receive a new child-related recall every other day. But U.S. lawmakers are promising the next year will be different because they're backing tougher product safety laws. The House has overwhelmingly passed the Conference Report on Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act. Long-story-short? The legislation boosts government regulation of consumer products, including toys that were subject to a rash of recalls last year. It bans lead and other risky chemicals.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor, "Today is a special day for us because this bill is long overdue and it took a New Direction Congress to work it out and bring it to the floor in the form which it is in, which is to protect America's children."

Read the full story HERE.

Maybe Baby: Infertility, Part 1

--by Pocahontas

From movies to TV right down to the playground songs we learn as kids, the story is the same. “John and Mary sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First, comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes Mary with the baby carriage!” Yep. And it’s all supposed to happen just as simple as that. But what happens when Mary can’t produce the baby for her carriage that easily? Yes, I know it’s supposed to go like this: Boy meets girl. Boy sweeps girl off her feet and marries her. Then girl starts poppin’ out babies as if she was related to our nursery rhyme matriarch, “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.” But what if girl and boy try for weeks, months and years and still have no baby to show for it despite the fact that their family pesters them about when they are going to hurry up and get pregnant and reminds them often they aren’t getting any younger? Then what?

Although having a baby comes as easily to most couples as saying, “I do”, the book “A Child Is Born” by Lennart Nilsson and Lars Hamberger estimates, “that every seventh or eighth couple has more or less serious difficulty becoming pregnant.” It goes on to say, “in an estimated 40% of cases of childlessness the problem lies with the man only; in another 40% with the woman only; and in about 20 % the problem has to do with the couple.” But with so many different conditions that cause or contribute to infertility, it may be difficult to navigate the explanations especially when emotions are running high. So let’s examine the most common Dxs (diagnosis’s) broken down in simple terms.

First on the male side there is low sperm count. A man may suffer from this for a host of reasons. It could be dietary or too much caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. It also could be a hormonal deficiency, infection or virus. Sometimes it is a more serious condition like a varicocele (blood pooling in the vein of the testicle overheating the sperm and killing them) which must be corrected surgically. No matter what the issue, it can be easily diagnosed with a simple semen analysis in an urologist office.

But what about on the female side of things? One of the most commonly diagnosed fertility problems is endometriosis. In this disorder, the endometrial tissue that typically lines the uterus grows in other parts of the abdominal cavity. It could develop as cysts in the ovary called endometriomas (which you may hear referred to as “chocolate” cysts because of their color) or anywhere else in the pelvis causing adhesions and/ or a toxic environment preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. Strangely enough, endometriosis may have no symptoms in one woman yet may cause excruciating pain in another. Unfortunately, there is no blood test to diagnose endometriosis. A laproscopy is normally used to detect it (more on that in the 2nd part of this series.)

Another prevalent disorder that may cause infertility is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). According to Toni Weschler, author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility (2002), “what essentially happens with this condition is that the developing follicles that are normally ovulated each cycle actually remain trapped inside the ovary. After awhile they swell with fluid and turn into cysts that develop on the internal ovarian wall. If not treated, a hard shell may also form around the outside of the ovary, which of course will make a successful ovulation even less likely in the future.” There are many ways doctors today are treating PCOS although there unfortunately has not been a cure developed yet.

There are numerous other conditions that contribute to IF including tubal/pelvic issues, ovulatory dysfunction, and immunological problems. But what happens after the Dx? Now that your OB has found something causing your IF what’s next? How will it be “fixed”? Better yet, CAN it be “fixed”? In the next part of this series we will examine these questions more closely.

Although Pocahontas is not a medical professional, she endured 17 months of IF diagnosis’s and treatments before finally conceiving her first born. So she wanted to share the vast amount of information she has learned and compiled in this 3 part series with women who may have to travel the same road to motherhood.

115,000 Pacifiers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling pacifiers sold nationwide at baby boutiques, Nordstroms, and online at because of a potential choking hazard. Parts of the pacifier may come off and a child could choke or swallow them. Get more information HERE.

New Graphic

Hello, readers!
We are cooking up new banners and buttons for our friends to use.
Today, we're introducing the first of many. It's our new banner. Use it any and everywhere. (Just click on the image and you'll see the code for it in your browser.)

Beautiful Brown Babies and Families will soon be an important resource for African-Americans interested in children and family life. We want you to be able to show it off! This blog isn't just for people with children, but also for couples considering having babies, and for those trying to conceive. We're with you every step of the way.

Major Change in Baby Milk Recommendations

Here's some news for those of you with children under two. The American Academy of Pediatrics has changed its recommendation that weaned babies be fed whole milk. It now says kids at risk of being overweight should get reduced-fat 2% milk between 12 months and 2 years of age. See the entire article on WebMD.

Being Solo vs. Being In A Bad Marriage

Ever wonder why some men proclaim to be bachelors-for-life? A new study has something interesting to say about that. The reseachers say most men in the survey were not afraid of marriage, just afraid of a bad marriage. The conclusion was that "Men are 10 times more scared of marrying the wrong person than of never getting married at all."

Staying Together

Young marrieds! Ever wish someone would give you the real story on staying married past a year? Tying the knot can be so exciting and romantic. And being a newlywed can be downright FUN. But the fact is, after the wedding there can be new pressures and frustrations that never came up before. Some brides and grooms suddenly find themselves at odds. But help just might be on the way. Author Lorraine Sanabria Robertson promises to tell you what no one else will in her new book, Help! I’m a Newlywed … What Do I Do Now? Wife-Saving Advice Every New Bride Must Know to Survive the First Year of Marriage The book will be released on Wife Appreciation Day, which is September 20th.
If Robertson's name sounds familiar, it could be because her work has appeared in various publications including Teen People, Upscale, and Heart & Soul magazines; and in the anthology Souls Of My Sisters: Black Women Break Their Silence, Tell Their Stories, and Heal Their Spirits. She has been married for nine years and her wedding was featured on The Learning Channel’s popular television show, “A Wedding Story.”

Delayed Childbearing a Bad Idea?

Wow. Now this guy has really put his foot in it.

No, not that little guy up there.

This guy, here--->
We don't know whether he's right or wrong but a lot of people seem to feel he's overstepped his bounds. The short story is that Dr. Alan Singer is advising parents to tell their adult children not to put off having children. He says this "trend" of people marrying later has led to delayed childbearing, which has led to fertility problems, which has lead to more pre-term births and caesarian sections, or even infertility. There's more (MUCH more) on his website.

Our experience has been that people often put off child-bearing because, uh... they're not married yet, they can't afford it, or they feel they aren't emotionally ready. Still... does the good doctor have a point? Should newlyweds who want children get on the ball right after tying the knot? Tell us what you think in our comments section.

$10 A Day Can Make All The Difference

In our continuing series on money, we've talked about big ways to save money for your wedding, for the Summer, and for the rest of your life. But today's little nugget of wisdom is about saving a little, for big returns later on. An article from explains why it's important to stop whatever daily habits have you spending $10 a day on things you don't need. You've heard it a million times, but with everything going on in your life right now you have more reason to pay attention to the tips in Spend $10 Today, Be Out Of 100K Tomorrow. It makes you wonder, "do I NEED to stop by 7-Eleven every morning?", "Is this caramel chocco venti-venti chino really worth 5 bucks?", "Wouldn't it make more sense for me to start bringing my lunch?" or "Could we wait to see that movie on video?" Just some thoughts.
But, what do you think? Let us know in the comments section. Have a great day!

What you don't know could hurt your kids

-by Pocahontas

I’m a teacher by trade…so let’s take it back to school for a second, ladies, shall we? Raise your hand if you were ever told any of these things growing up:

“Get a good education and a college degree.”
“Work hard and move up the ladder.”
“Save your money in the bank because investing is too risky.”
“Get a good job with benefits and a pension.”

Now do any of you whose hands are up know people have done all these things but are still struggling financially? Here’s a better question…do you think this is what the Rockerfellers or the Rothschilds are teaching their children? Since my sistahs are without question some of the most astute women in the world, obviously you can surmise the answer to that is a resounding, “No”. Granted we all believe in the value of a first-rate education, but just because you have X many degrees and/or letters after your name does that really guarantee your financial success?

As I said, my sistahs today are savvy enough to recognize that the wealthy are giving their kids something most people are not...and that is the “REAL” keys to financial freedom (after all, aren’t “they” the ones able to play golf at 9 am on weekdays while the rest of us grit our teeth through rush hour to go to a J-O-B? Clearly, they know something many of us do not.) So what IS it that they teach their kids? They tell them to own their own business so they can be in total control of their time and their income. Easier said than done, you think? Well, ask yourself this, “Can you honestly say you’d want your little one to grown up and do the job you’re currently doing?” Actually, do you own your job to be able to pass it down to your kids even if you wanted to after your retire from it like you could a business?

Truth be told, most people would rather be the boss than answer to one, but they just have no clue how to make that happen. So allow me to share a few books with you that might give your “entrepreneurial spirit” a prick. First, you may want to invest in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “Cashflow Quadrant” both by Robert Kiyosaki. The former will certainly change your life and the latter will definitely shed some light on the common mistake novice entrepreneurs make in distinguishing between self-employed and business owner.

One book I will highly recommend for your children if they are in middle or high school and you want to start them off right with the rules of money is “The ABCs of Making Money 4 Teens” by Alan Lysaght & Denis Cauvier. It features many inspirational stories from teens who found success yet gives your child practical advice like how to escape credit card traps, how to reduce debt, and how to invest wisely.

Arm your children with the knowledge you may not have had at their age. After all, isn’t your goal for them to have more than you were able to? Share this quote with them and then maybe you, too, should hang it on your mirror and live by it every time that fear of failure comes creeping up to keep your from taking that step of faith, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, famous or successful?’ Actually, who are you NOT to be?” ~ Nelson Mandela

Pocahontas is a licensed Financial Coach and has been in the industry since 2005. She can be reached at

All-Black Vogue Hits Shelves... In Italy

The highly anticipated "Black" Issue of Vogue Italia is out this month. The magazine's editor says the decision to use models of African-descent for this special edition was influenced by a protest group of models claiming racial discrimination in New York, as well as by Barack Obama’s success in America's presidential race.

This issue will feature images of black women taken by photographer Steven Meisel. Naomi Campbell, Iman, Tyra Banks, Liya Kebede, Jourdan Dunn, Alek Wek and Pat Cleveland and full-figured model Tocarra Jones are among the fashion icons found in the black edition.

See more at ABC News

Are You An "Every Woman"?

by Adaya

Chaka Khan’s song “I’m Every Woman” reminds me of myself because I truly think that “it’s all in me” as do many of my girlfriends who have very busy and demanding lives. But sometimes that all in the “all in me” can be too much. As I move through my everyday life, I try to think of simpler ways to give of myself, keep a little for myself and still be me.

I don’t have all the answers, but here are some tips that that work for me. Maybe they will work for you too.

1. Say “Yes” to yourself. Find ways to do the things that you love. Maybe it’s just quietly reading a book, taking that dance class, or getting in the kitchen and trying out some of those recipes you’ve had for years tucked in the kitchen drawer. Being kind and loving to yourself means that you can be kind and loving to others.

2. Say “No” to others. Do this when you just can’t give anymore of yourself or your time. This is very difficult to do when many of us are so stricken with the disease to please, but I’ve realized that I can’t be all things to all people, all of the time. Sometimes we just have to say no to save ourselves from undue stress and burden.

3. Say “Yes” to receiving help and assistance when needed. Don’t be afraid to delegate or even ask for help whether it’s at work or in the home. We all have people in our lives that love and care for us and will be there for us if we only ask.

4. Say “No” to negativity in all forms. Clean out the cobwebs of fear, frustration, doubt and any forms of stress that will hinder you from being your best self. Thinking more positively will help you to think clearly and make better decisions about being “every woman.”

5. Say “Yes” to shortcuts. Who says that you have to do things the way they have always been done? If there’s a better way to get that work project done, suggest it. If you know how to cut down on time spent in the kitchen, take advantage of it. Try to find ways to streamline the many tasks you have on your plate and enjoy the extra time you find.

So, here’s to you and you being a whole, healthy and happy “every woman”.

Major Crib Recall

This just in...
Jardine is recalling its cribs sold at Babies R Us. It turns out the wooden slats and spindles can break and end up trapping infants and toddlers. There have been some reports of injuries from this malfunction. See the complete list of recalled cribs at

I'm a New Mom?

-by Lyrik08

I'm a new mommy to a 5-month-old bundle of baby boy joy.

I say that, smile and then pause.

My life is filled with daily blessings of juicy kisses, the smile that melts your heart, the touch of a little hand that lets you know that life is truly a gift from God and the giggle that makes you feel like a kid again.

Again, I pause.

My life has also been filled with sleepless nights, countless bottles, laundry, little socks (that go missing), cries, poopy diapers and uncertainties about my parenting skills.

Gone are the days when my biggest concern was what I was going to fix for dinner tonight, or what my husband and I were going to be doing for the weekend, or what movie to see--the latest black love story, or the latest epic thriller.

I never would have imagined that my life would be so fixated and consumed with the Disney Channel, or NickJr that I'd know the daily show line up to the point where I know when to catch the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or could recite the entire Backyardigans theme song along with all of the character names. Or, that my DVD library would slowly be overpopulated with the latest movie inspired by one of the aforementioned.

Who knew my living room would look like a mini kid camp with the latest gizmos and gadgets to keep my son occupied. I never thought I'd be reading up on the latest recalled baby items or researching which shots we can do without and worrying about which bottles to buy and if I should put them in the microwave or not. I even faithfully get the Sunday paper to see who has the best sale on Huggies and Enfamil and what coupons I can clip to make life just a tab bit more economical.

Let's not even mention that going shopping now means bypassing the cute outfit and matching shoes in the store window. Now, it's a beeline to Carters or Osh Kosh, Old Navy (again not for me) and Target is a marathon adventure spent mostly in the Baby section perusing the baby necessities -- man they grow so fast.

Again, I pause.....and a smile fills my face.

You know what......I don't mind the change one bit and wouldn't trade it for the world.

These are the feelings and blessings for which you can never be prepared.

My son is the joy in my heart....the laughter in my soul.....the calm in my storm. When I have a bad day at work, he reminds me not to sweat the small stuff because there are much bigger things in this world. He's such a ray of sunshine. He brings so much meaning to a world and life that was once so confusing. He has given me purpose--a drive beyond compare.

Even in the midst of all the confusion about being a first time mom, doubting my abilities to care for such a fragile life and hoping and praying to every God that I don't screw up this poor child......I know that all he wants and needs from me is to cuddle him when he cries and to play peek-a-boo once in a while. He doesn't ask for much and he doesn't expect me to be perfect and I can't expect to be perfect either. We're both in this baby training camp together and we'll make it through just fine.

How was your transition to being a new mommy? Share your story with us in the comments section.

Welcome to our new blog!

This is the first post of Beautiful Brown Babies. But, trust us, there is much more to come. Stick around as we discuss raising babies and wonderful families.

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