Why Chinese women are faking pregnancy
The latest fad in China is faking pregnancy. In order to score themselves seats on the cities’ overcrowded subways and buses, some women have reportedly resorted to strapping on silicone “pregnancy pads.” The realistic-looking faux bellies come in sizes to simulate different trimesters and even twin pregnancies!
In other news:
New mom obsessions: Most mothers share similar (somewhat irrational) fears when dealing with their newborns—like dropping the baby, the baby not breathing or worrying about germs. But a new study has found that for some women, the problem becomes a true psychological disorder. Researchers discovered that 11 percent of women between two weeks and six months postpartum experience significant symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. About 70 percent of those who screened positive for OCD also had depression. And while half of the study subjects reported improvement by six months, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you experience any compulsive or depressive symptoms post-partum.
Bigger feet? Blame the baby: A new study confirms what many moms have long suspected—that having a baby makes your feet bigger. In the study, more than half of the women’s feet grew during pregnancy by 2 to 10 millimeters because the height of their arches dropped. Not only does this phenomenon lead to the need for a new shoe wardrobe, but researchers warn that such musculoskeletal changes may help explain why women are more prone to arthritis in their feet, knees, hips and spine than men.
How to produce a junk food junkie: Apparently, it’s simple. Just eat junk while you’re pregnant and your offspring will be born already addicted. And this isn’t just about developing a taste for the stuff in utero. A new study found that when mom scarfs down chips and cookies, it can actually alter the development of the opioid-signaling pathways in baby’s brain. That means that when your child starts eating junk food, she’ll need more of it to get that opioid-induced, feel-good sensation that eating foods high in fat and sugar typically produces.
Why it pays to learn math early: Kids who fail to acquire a basic math skill while they’re in first grade end up lagging far behind their peers by seventh grade, new research has shown. The important skill is called “number system knowledge,” and it includes understanding that each number represents a specific quantity and doing simple calculations with those quantities. Without this base of knowledge, it can be nearly impossible to learn more complex math skills that are necessary later in life (a shocking 20 percent of US adults don’t have the eight-grade-level math skills needed to function in the workplace).
Another asthma culprit: Asthma rates among children have skyrocketed in the past few decades, and now researchers have identified another environmental contaminant as a potential cause. The chemical bisphenol A (more commonly known as BPA), which is found in some plastics, food can liners and store receipts, may be to blame. A new study found that exposure to BPA in early childhood was associated with an increased risk of wheezing and asthma. The reason for the connection is still not completely clear, since researchers found detectable levels of BPA in more than 90 percent of the children in the study, yet not all of them will develop asthma.
Keep your family healthy with tips from The Healthy Household every Friday on MSN Healthy Living
More on MSN Healthy Living:
family health updates
Plus: The co-sleeping debate continues.
Plus: Can formula help you breast-feed?
Plus: Playing sports reduces bullying, and parents need to stop multi-tasking behind the wheel.
Plus: Overprotective parents could increase bullying risk, and is it ADHD or sleep deprivation?
Plus: Why your kids should skip the clean plate club.
Plus: Why too much texting is bad for your student's GPA, and do baby migraines exist?
Plus: The latest figures on lead poisoning, and does your teen need a sleep diet?
Plus: The latest on teen driving safety, and tips to raise kids with healthy hearts and strong bones.