Review Category : Health

App Helps Nursing Moms Find Clean, Safe Spaces to Pump and Breastfeed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — From dirty bathrooms to ogling strangers, the path nursing moms tread to feed their babies is often paved with indignities.

But a new app hopes to change that.

Moms Pump Here, which launched in May 2015 for iOS, bills itself as the first online GPS tool to help nursing moms find, rate and share nursing room locations. For those who find themselves needing to pump or breastfeed outside the home, it could be a game changer.

“I find it far more comfortable and less stressful when I can nurse somewhere private, like a dressing room, rather than somewhere public, like a restaurant,” said Joanna Campbell, 35, who is currently tending to a 3-month-old baby girl in New York. “It can be kind of tricky when you’re starting out to get them latched properly and get them at a good angle, especially when the fabric of your shirt/bra/cape is in the way. So being able to breastfeed “openly” without juggling all that under a nursing cape is just easier.”

Until now, Campbell has mainly relied upon recommendations from friends and colleagues.

“[It’s been] trial and error, and talking to other moms,” said Campbell, who works as a social media strategy consultant at Show + Tell Social. “One day, I ducked into an Old Navy and was so pleased that they had giant dressing rooms where I could kick back. Now, when I stroll around town I think, ‘Could I nurse here? Can I get my stroller in?’ — criteria I never considered before I had a baby.”

A similar experience three years ago is what inspired Moms Pump Here co-founders Kim Harrison and Priya Nembhard to launch their new venture.

“With my third son, I was fortunate to nurse on-demand most of the time but I had customers and projects that needed me, so I went back to work when he was only 4 weeks old,” Harrison wrote on the app’s website. “I pumped extra milk whenever I could, at a client’s facility … in offices, bathrooms, hotel and department store lounges, train stations, airports — anywhere I needed to.”

Frustrated with the challenge of finding appropriate spaces, Harrison and Nembhard created the app so that other moms could find and share the best nearby options.

The app uses GPS technology to pair a user’s location with a list of spaces in the area and notes whether there is a designated nursing station, bathroom or other spot to rest.

This way, a mom visiting New York City can choose whether she would prefer to walk to the Toys ‘R Us store located at 44th Street and Broadway, which features a designated nursing room on the top floor, or to set up inside the less-private lounge area at Radio City Music Hall.

Users can submit spaces and personal reviews, which are, in turn, vetted by Moms Pump Here staff.

The hope is that as more dedicated nursing spaces become available at businesses, better options will populate the lists.

“I work in a hospital, so all of my at-work pumping was able to be in a ‘lactation room’ on the mother-baby floor with a hospital-grade pump and a glider chair,” said Katherine Fisher, 36, of Philadelphia, who has a 20-month-old son. “I have been very fortunate.”

But even with the resources available to her at work, Fisher has encountered occasional obstacles, as when she attended a friend’s wedding.

“The only place to pump was the bathroom, and it was the only bathroom for the venue so there were people literally banging on the door,” Fisher said. “Needless to say, I didn’t get much pumping done!

“I think it should be required,” added Fisher. “For every x number of employees there should be one room dedicated for pumping/nursing moms, and more overall awareness of people’s rights. I love when I see a shop or restaurant that says something like, ‘nursing moms welcome here,’ on a sticker or sign out front. Definitely makes me want to give them business!”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Online Petition Opposing Baby Ear Piercing Signed by Thousands

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — An online petition with thousands of supporters is calling for a ban on baby ear piercing.

Though baby ear piercing — even on newborns — is common in some cultures, the petition calls it “a form of child cruelty.”

The petition’s creator, a woman named Susan Ingram, writes: “Severe pain and fear is inflicted upon infants unnecessarily. It serves no purpose other than to satisfy the parent’s vanity. Other forms of physically harming children are illegal — this should be no different.”

Ingram is not alone in her opinion. The petition, launched just over a week ago in the U.K., has almost 40,000 signatures. Almost 20,000 signatures have been added in the last five days.

Ingram did not respond to requests for comment from ABC News.

“Many of my patients have their ears pierced during the first year of life. In many cultures it is the norm,” said Dr. Richard Besser, a pediatrician and ABC News’ chief health and medical editor.

“I don’t recommend it during the first two months of life since that is a period we watch very closely for fevers — I wouldn’t want an infected earlobe to lead to a trip to the hospital for a big evaluation,” Besser added. “After that, it’s important that parents go to a trained professional who will take precautions to limit the chance of infection and allergic reaction and that parents follow all of the proper care instructions. Although the Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until the child is old enough to care for the earring on his or her own, that’s not what is done in many cultures.”

The petition calls for the attention of Edward Timpson, the Minister of State for Children and Families in the U.K. It asks for a minimum age requirement to be set before a child’s ears can be pierced. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Mutation Discovered in Cannibal Tribe Might Stop Deadly Brain Disease

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The DNA of tribes in a remote area of Papa New Guinea may someday help scientists find a way to protect people from certain degenerative brain diseases, including the illness commonly called “mad cow” disease.

While studying the Fore population in Papa New Guinea, which has practiced cannibalism in the past, researchers discovered many people had a genetic mutation that appeared to protect them from an incurable neurological condition called kuru.

Kuru is caused when people eat human brain or nervous system tissue that is tainted with an infectious protein and results in symptoms nearly identical to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which humans can contract by eating cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly called mad cow disease.

Both disease are a form of prion diseases, where an infectious protein causes other proteins to fold in the “wrong” way, eventually leading to cell death. Prion diseases usually progress rapidly and are always fatal, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In an article published this week in the prestigious journal Nature, researchers revealed they have discovered a genetic mutation that might protect people from contracting two famous prion diseases: kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The genetic variant appears in a large number of the Fore population and the researches think that many without the variant may have died in earlier kuru outbreaks. When kuru was first identified in the 1950s, up to 2 percent of the Fore population were dying every year from kuru, according to the journal Nature’s website.

Researchers replicated the genetic variant they found in the Fore population in mice and then infected the mice with either kuru or Creutzfeldt-Jakob. The mice with the same gene variant as one found in the Fore population appeared to be mostly protected from the disease and its fatal symptoms, researchers found.

Dr. Jiri Safar, co-director of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center and associate professor of pathology and neurology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said the finding was a “breakthrough” but that more study would be needed to see if it could be a target for gene therapy.

He said since the genetic variant was tested in just two types of prion disease strains, it may not be effective for other prion-induced diseases that cause neurological decline.

“It’s very possible that this protective polymorphism may not be protective across all prion strains,” he explained. “A caveat for the future.”

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Belly Button Challenge Sends Negative Body Image Message: Experts

Amana Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — First came the #KylieJennerLipChallenge, when teens tried to sucking on a cup or glass to get bigger fuller lips. Next, the #CharlieCharlieChallenge, when kids tried to summon demons. And now comes the #BellyButtonChallenge.

The latest bizarre trend on social media is challenging users to try and touch their belly buttons by reaching behind their back and around their waist.

The challenge is meant to show off a fit figure, according to users who completed it successfully, but medical experts are concerned the challenge is promoting harmful misconceptions about health and weight that could promote unhealthy eating.

The Belly Button Challenge reportedly started on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media site popular in China. The Mandarin hashtag of the challenge started trending Thursday night and remained a “hot” topic on Friday afternoon.

Since then, people all over the world — including Russia, Vietnam and the U.S. — have been uploading their attempts to reach their navels on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and other social media.

Many users have been wondering whether the trick to the challenge is having flexible arms or a skinny waist.

But medical experts aren’t amused.

“Social media challenges like these can stoke comparison and body insecurity, especially for those struggling with disordered eating,” National Eating Disorder Association program director Claire Mysko told ABC News on Friday. “We advocate for body positivity challenges, which are empowering and encourage self-expression, not self-criticism.”

Additionally, someone could have a small waist and look healthy, but their blood work could show that they’re “just as unhealthy as someone who weighs 400 pounds,” weight-loss specialist Dr. Charlie Seltzer told Cosmopolitan.

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‘Fight Song’ Singer Has Message for Texas Mom Whose Cancer Video Went Viral

ABC News(CEDAR PARK, Texas) — A Texas mother-of-two has attracted the attention of “Fight Song” singer Rachel Platton after documenting her fight against cancer to Platton’s song in a viral video.

The mother, Holley Kitchen, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2012.

“I took that punch to the gut and picked myself up,” Kitchen, 42, told ABC News. “I did chemo. I did radiation. I had a double mastectomy.”

One year later, Kitchen, of Cedar Park, Texas, found out the cancer had returned, in the form of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, an aggressive form of cancer that spreads outside the breast.

“I thought I had no breasts, I could not have breast cancer,” Kitchen, a mother of two sons ages 4 and 6, said. “My doctor said, ‘This isn’t bone cancer. It’s breast cancer on your bones.’”

Kitchen used her diagnosis to help educate others. She filmed a three-minute video in which she presents the facts of metastatic cancer on white note cards that she holds up silently while “Fight Song” plays in the background.

Kitchen’s video has picked up 46 million views in just one week.

“The Lord said it’s time to share this message,” Kitchen said of her inspiration behind the video. “I posted it [and] I woke up the next morning to half a million views.”

“It was mind blowing,” she said.

One of the people who saw the video is Platton, the voice behind “Fight Song.”

“Thank you for educating us on metastatic cancer,” Platton said in a special message to Kitchen. “You are incredible. Apparently the world agrees.”

“Oh my gosh, that’s awesome,” Kitchen said after seeing Platton’s message.

Kitchen is now focusing on her treatments and making life as normal as possible for her two young sons.

“I get up every morning and I decide it’s going to be a good day,” Kitchen said. “Everyday life is normal. It’s loud. It’s crazy. We try to make it fun.”

“I want to see them graduate high school,” she said of her sons. “Right now that is my goal. Don’t tell cancer.”

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Experts Urge Anchoring TV, Furniture to Prevent Tip-Over Injury to Kids

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Last year, a dresser fell on Kim Lichtenstein’s 4-year-old son, sending the boy to the hospital.

Luckily he was alright, but many other children haven’t been so lucky. Too often, when a tall piece of furniture tips over, it can end in tragedy, crushing a child.

Unsecured televisions and large pieces of furniture kill a child every two weeks, and send a child to the hospital every 24 minutes. Between 2000 and 2013, 84 percent of the 430 deaths reported to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission involved children younger than 10, according to the CPSC.

The situation has prompted experts to issue an urgent warning for parents and other adults to properly anchor furniture and TVs.

“The newer televisions, even though they are lighter, if they are not anchored properly they still have 2,000 pounds of pressure, and when you are talking about a little kid that is enormous,” CPSC commissioner Marietta Robinson said.

The accidents are wholly preventable by following two easy steps, according to experts: First, anchor tall pieces of furniture directly to the wall, especially if there’s anything heavy on top of the furniture — such as a TV. Second: Secure flat screen TVs with an anti-tip strap, which connects the device directly to the furniture upon which it rests.

The straps “can be purchased in any hardware store,” Robinson said, adding that “they are as easy and as simple of a device as you can come up with.”

But the best thing to do is to keep TVs and monitors off tall furniture completely. Experts say people should hang flat-screen TVs on walls or strap them to low TV stands.

“Make sure your television, if it is going to be placed on a piece of furniture, that it is a piece furniture that is meant for a television,” Robinson said.

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Underage Drinking on the Decline, Report Says

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Good news for parents. Underage drinking and binge drinking by minors is on the decline across the United States, according to a new government study.

A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that drinking among all U.S. residents from age 12 through 20 dropped 6.1 percentage points in the years between 2002 and 2013, the last year of data used in the study. Underage binge drinking decreased 5.1 percentage points, during the same period.

In 2013, the final year of the study, 22.7 percent of the nation’s young people reported that they had an alcoholic drink in the last 30 days, and 14.2 percent of underage people reported they had engaged in binge drinking, or more than five drinks in one day, in the same time period.

Not surprisingly, college drinking is higher than elsewhere. The survey found that 59.4 percent of the college-age population reported drinking in the prior 30 days. The rate of binge drinking for ages 18 through 20 has stayed between 39 percent and 44 percent for the past two decades,

Rich Lucey, special assistant to the director at SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse, told USA Today he attributes the decline to stricter underage drinking laws.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Underage Drinking on the Decline, Report Says

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Good news for parents. Underage drinking and binge drinking by minors is on the decline across the United States, according to a new government study.

A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that drinking among all U.S. residents from age 12 through 20 dropped 6.1 percentage points in the years between 2002 and 2013, the last year of data used in the study. Underage binge drinking decreased 5.1 percentage points, during the same period.

In 2013, the final year of the study, 22.7 percent of the nation’s young people reported that they had an alcoholic drink in the last 30 days, and 14.2 percent of underage people reported they had engaged in binge drinking, or more than five drinks in one day, in the same time period.

Not surprisingly, college drinking is higher than elsewhere. The survey found that 59.4 percent of the college-age population reported drinking in the prior 30 days. The rate of binge drinking for ages 18 through 20 has stayed between 39 percent and 44 percent for the past two decades,

Rich Lucey, special assistant to the director at SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse, told USA Today he attributes the decline to stricter underage drinking laws.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Decrease in New Cases of HIV for Indiana

Shaul Schwarz/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) — The number of new cases of HIV in Indiana has slowed down since March, according to state health officials.

In March, an outbreak of HIV in rural Scott County caused Gov. Mike Pence to declare a public health emergency. Now state health officials are saying the amount of new cases has come down considerably.

“We might get an increase of like one or two cases in a week, which is much lower than what we were seeing earlier,” said state epidemiologist Pam Pontones.

In the affected rural southern area, Pontones also says there are currently 169 positives.

The original surge was due to excessive intravenous drug use of prescription painkiller Opana, but a needle exchange program in the area may have helped slow down the spreading of HIV.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Decrease in New Cases of HIV for Indiana

Shaul Schwarz/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) — The number of new cases of HIV in Indiana has slowed down since March, according to state health officials.

In March, an outbreak of HIV in rural Scott County caused Gov. Mike Pence to declare a public health emergency. Now state health officials are saying the amount of new cases has come down considerably.

“We might get an increase of like one or two cases in a week, which is much lower than what we were seeing earlier,” said state epidemiologist Pam Pontones.

In the affected rural southern area, Pontones also says there are currently 169 positives.

The original surge was due to excessive intravenous drug use of prescription painkiller Opana, but a needle exchange program in the area may have helped slow down the spreading of HIV.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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