Dr. Fischbein at The Birth Sanctuary

Our fearless doc, Stuart Fischbein, is now collaborating with The Birth Sanctuary in West Los Angeles. Of course, that’s great news for all the pregnant moms there. But I was struck by the sweet picture of Dr. Fischbein and this baby boy The Birth Sanctuary decided to run in their recent newsletter. I just had to repost it. -- Victoria Clayton

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Oh Boy! My baby shower on PopSugar!

I can’t help sharing this link…Sofie Sausser and some dear friends threw me an awesome baby shower last month. Because they are all extraordinarily crafty, thrifty and eco-smart mamas, it wasn’t just any shower. They reduced-reused-recycled to make an affordable and unique event. It was so impressive, in fact, that Pop Sugar decided to run Sofie’s blog post about it. Check it out. You’ll get plenty of ideas for your next shower. By the way, Sofie’s 15-year-old daughter Andie Sausser (who is also our fab babysitter) made the cake — with a little mini bird’s nest and everything. Pretty cool. Thanks Sofie, Andie, Stephanie Gonzalez, Keri Bowers, Debbie Miller and all the others who made it happen. – Victoria Clayton

Click here for a link to the PopSugar/CasaSugar feature on the shower.

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Be a part of something big: the National Children’s Study

Here’s a very cool opportunity to take part in something extremely valuable. The National Institutes of Health Children’s Health Study is a nationwide landmark health effort that’s currently enrolling pregnant moms (or soon to be pregnant women) in an effort to track and study longterm the effects of various environmental influences on kids. This is going to be one of the most comprehensive research efforts and the largest and most detailed study in U.S. history focused on children’s health and development. I’ve recently contacted the researchers at UCLA to see if I can take part in the LA/Ventura County study location. I’m anxiously waiting to hear back because I’d love for my son (due Nov. 4) and me to be a part of this history making health study. My assumption is that we wouldn’t be signing up for invasive testing but rather for tracking. Sort of along the lines of the Framingham Heart Study. I’ll fill you in if/when I have more details. If you’re also interested, click right HERE for a list of study locations around the county and more info on eligibility. -- Victoria Clayton

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Maternity clothes: don’t forget to pass them along

An important discussion broke out in my prenatal yoga class yesterday. Clothes! Apparently, my fellow yogis liked the leggings and t-shirt I was wearing. They wanted to know where I got them. Which really led to a discussion about passing along maternity wear. Early in my pregnancy my former MSNBC editor Jackie surprised me by sending a box stuffed full of her maternity clothes. Jackie was just about to deliver her third — and final– child when I found out I was pregnant. I was so touched and elated to think that she had washed, packed up and mailed all these clothes to me. Later my niece Stacey also delivered a huge bag of her maternity clothes. Every time I wear one of their tops or dresses, I think of Jackie or Stacey. And, since both of them had such great stuff, I haven’t spent a lot of money on clothes the entire pregnancy. As much as I’ve delighted in wearing all of these surprise clothes, though, guess what? I’m roughly five weeks away from my due date and I’m so looking forward to packing them up and saying adios!  I’ll be sending them all back to Stacey, who is trying for baby #2 soon. Of course, you can resell your maternity clothes on eBay or places such as Voguemama, but it’s so much fun to pass them along to a friend or relative I strongly encourage you do it! It’s good mama karma.

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Why African Babies Don’t Cry

I recently came across this sweet article titled Why African Babies Don’t Cry. It reinforces what many parents already know: sometimes the answer to baby rearing is simply the most primal! Enjoy! -- Joyce Weckl

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Best booster seats

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently offered it’s new list of recommended booster seats. These are not seats for newborns/babies, but mainly for kids ages 4 to 8. So if you’re shopping for a big kid seat, it might be a good idea to check the IIHS list beforehand. Note: they also have a “not recommended” list but, as they note, any booster is better than no booster.

link to IIHS booster seat list

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Dr. Fischbein on delayed cord clamping

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Baby to the chest does more than you think

There’s an unbelievable  (or maybe highly believable — depending on your perspective) story out of Australia about a mom who brought her infant son to her chest after being told that he didn’t make it. She and her husband were at first merely saying their good byes. But they were also practicing something called “kangaroo care” — in simple terms, keeping a newborn tight to the mom’s chest. After some time in the position, the baby — who was already pronounced dead –revived. He’s alive and healthy now five months later.  Of course, this is a pretty incredible story, but even in more routine circumstances we hope this serves as ammunition for moms to insist their newborns are kept with them after birth. Sadly, too many hospitals here still don’t believe in kangaroo care.  Check out the full story here– Victoria Clayton

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Love My Zulily!

Nah, Zulily isn’t a new baby gadget. It’s a site that offers “great deals for moms, babies and kids.” Each day, Zulily features cool items (some eco-friendly) in limited supplies from various designers and manufacturers. Many of the prices would typically be overbudget for me, but Zulily sells clothes, toys and some home items at up to 70 percent off. at A friend referred me and I’ve already made a few happy purchases. Click here to check it out for yourself: Zulily. – Victoria Clayton

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Recession dictating your fertility?

I just read this article on MSNBC.com about the U.S. birth rate  reaching the lowest in a century. The culprit: $$. Experts say  the recession means many couples are putting off having a child or more children. It doesn’t surprise me, and yet if I were older I suspect it might. Not to insinuate I’m a young mom. I’m just saying that  I’ve noticed the thinking of most people thirtysomething to fortysomething (I fit in the latter category!) is very different from some of my grandparent-age relatives and friends. I’ve repeatedly heard that back when they were having children, they didn’t sit around worrying about how they’d pay for college before the child was even conceived. My mother-in-law couldn’t believe that money would even be a serious consideration for my husband and me when it came to family size. While I always like to be on the side of the people who make choices based on their heart — knowing that life usually works out just fine –when it comes to having children I find myself somewhere between. Maybe we’re an unromantic generation of parents, but how can you  not think about the economic reality these days? –Victoria Clayton

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