Posts Tagged "baby"


‘Beyond lucky’: Woman with uterus transplant gives birth to ‘miracle’ baby – National

by BBG Hub

A woman who gave birth to a boy she carried inside a transplanted womb said Thursday that the experimental procedure delivered a “miracle.”

Jennifer Gobrecht and her husband, Drew Gobrecht, appeared Thursday at a news conference in Philadelphia, Pa. Their child, Benjamin, was the first baby born as part of Penn Medicine’s two-year-old uterine transplant trial, and the eighth baby in the United States to be born to the recipient of a uterus transplant, according to Penn.

Jennifer Gobrecht, 33, who was born without a uterus, underwent a 10-hour transplant procedure in 2018. The uterus came from a deceased donor.

Baby Benjamin Gobrecht

Baby Benjamin Gobrecht


“This journey has not been easy, but every time I look at Benjamin’s face, I know it was worth it,” she said. “Benjamin is truly a miracle, and we feel beyond lucky to have him.”

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There have been about 70 uterus transplants performed worldwide. Penn Medicine said its trial is one of the few to accept donations from both living and deceased donors, an approach it said could pay dividends in the form of an expanded pool of donor organs.

Most transplant programs accept only from living donors, according to Penn.

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Some medical ethicists and transplant experts have expressed concerns about uterine transplants, questioning whether the benefit justifies the risk.

But Dr. Kathleen O’Neill, one of the lead trial investigators at Penn, said uterine transplantation could give couples like the Gobrechts another option besides adoption and the use of a gestational carrier.

“Uterus transplant is the only path to parenthood that will actually allow these women to carry their own pregnancies,” she said.

The first baby born after a uterus transplant from deceased donor

The first baby born after a uterus transplant from deceased donor

Penn said trial participants will be followed for five to 10 years, from in vitro fertilization through long-term followup after delivery. Because of the risk of rejection, women with transplanted uteruses have hysterectomies after giving birth.

Gobrecht has Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, a congenital condition that occurs in one of every 4,500 females. She learned at age 17 she wouldn’t be able to carry a child.

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“That was a very difficult thing to hear as a teenage girl who had dreams of being a loving mother,” Gobrecht said. “Like many young girls, I dreamed of how it would feel to grow a baby in my womb, to feel them kick inside me, and those dreams disappeared.”

READ MORE: Husband donates kidney to wife of 51 years

Years later, she and her husband, both of suburban Ridley Park, Pa., underwent fertility treatments that produced several embryos. They were exploring a gestational carrier when Jennifer Gobrecht learned of the Penn trial.

Benjamin was born via caesarean section in November.

“Two years ago, if you had told me I would be sitting here not only a mother but one who got to bear her own child, I simply would have not believed you,” Gobrecht said.

“But here I am.”

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Royal baby Archie makes debut, meets Desmond Tutu during first-ever official royal engagement – National

by BBG Hub

Royal baby Archie Harrison has been incognito since the beginning of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s trip to South Africa, but he made an appearance on Wednesday to meet anti-apartheid hero Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

On Sept. 25, Day 3 of the royal couple’s African tour, the duke and duchess had their firstborn in tow for tea time with Tutu and his daughter, Theresa Thandeka Tutu, in Cape Town.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry give powerful speech on gender-based violence in South Africa

The family stopped by for finger foods at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, which aims to help in the development of youth and leadership and facilitates discussions on social justice.

Desmond Tutu kissed royal baby Archie Harrison on the forehead.

Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage


The royal trio enjoyed tea with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town.


In video footage first shared on the couple’s Instagram account @sussexroyal, Prince Harry can be heard telling Archie: “You get to meet Arch!”

The 34-year-old has a long relationship with the Tutus.

Last time he was in South Africa, in 2015, Prince Harry presented the archbishop with the Order of the Companions of Honour from the Queen.

Archie Harrison looks nearly identical to his dad, Prince Harry, when he was young.

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The duchess can be heard describing her son as “an old soul” in more footage shared by the Sussexes.

At one point, Thandeka joked: “You like the ladies. He’s going to be a ladies’ man.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also shared a photo of Tutu holding Archie’s hand.

“Their Royal Highnesses have joined The Archbishop and Thandeka to learn more about the work of The Tutu and Leah Legacy Foundation, and see first-hand how they are focussing on global awareness of the critical issues affecting the world,” the couple captioned the photo.

The family of three are on a 10-day tour of Africa. Following their meeting with Tutu, Markle visited Woodstock Exchange, a women founders and social entrepreneurs event.

The organization focuses on skills development and access to the market by assisting businesswomen in acquiring new skills and providing resources and support.

The Duchess of Sussex spoke with 12 female entrepreneurs while visiting the Woodstock Exchange.

Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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New York dad throws adorable weekly spa day for his baby daughter – National

by BBG Hub

Jimmy Howell is a hardworking firefighter by day, and puts just as much effort into his at-home job as a father — weekly spa days and all.

Howell melted hearts worldwide after sharing his and nine-month-old daughter Kensley’s weekly spa day, which included nail cutting and filing.

In the video, the New York native chats adorably with his miniature-bathrobe-clad daughter, joking that she must have been crawling a lot given the state of her toenails.

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“She got a little crazy with me today due to the fact that I was filing her nails a little too rough, y’all see why I can’t do anything for free, I’m charging her next week, just watch,” he wrote in the caption.

At one point, he kisses her tiny feet and makes dog barking noises, eliciting an adorable laugh.

In the second part of the video, Howell jokingly negotiates with his daughter who seems to be bothered by his nail-filing job.

“Listen, this is free. You can’t complain about something that’s free,” he can be heard saying.

“I’m sorry if I’m rubbing too hard, but it’s free. Beggars cannot be choosers.”

As it turns out, Howell and Kensley have already become quite the Instagram stars.

WATCH BELOW: New Zealand parliamentary speaker babysits during House debate

His social media page is full of sweet videos starring his little girl, from doing push-ups together to getting her ears pierced and enjoying her first swim in a pool.

Kensley even has her own Instagram account, which already boasts nearly 3,000 admirers.

The Internet understandably lost their minds for the daddy-daughter duo, taking to the comments to share love for their sweet bond.

READ MORE: Controversial U.K. animal expert wants parents to ‘train’ babies like dogs

“You’re an amazing dad,” one person wrote. “I loved seeing this video. Keep up the good work and keep making her feel special.”

Another Instagram user commented: “So freaking adorable. This video made my heart smile,” while another said: “So cute… need more dads like this.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Should you take your baby to the chiropractor? Experts weigh in – National

by BBG Hub

Earlier this year, Melbourne chiropractor Andrew Arnold made headlines when a (now deleted) video of him performing spinal manipulation on a two-week-old baby was shared to his clinic’s Facebook page.

Arnold’s actions were condemned by health minister Jenny Mikakos, who called the video “extremely disturbing.” Shortly thereafter, the Chiropractic Board of Australia barred Arnold from treating children under 12 years of age while they investigate him.

All of the clinic’s social media accounts have since been deleted, and Harry Nespolon, the president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, has called for a nationwide ban on chiropractic treatments on babies.

READ MORE: Former Nova Scotia chiropractor ordered to pay $100K over anti-vaccination posts

In a letter to the review panel, the Australian Medical Association said there is no “credible scientific evidence that manipulation, mobilization or any applied spinal therapy in children under 12 years of age is warranted or safe.”

On the heels of the ongoing debate in Australia, chiropractors in Canada appear to be taking a different approach.

As reported by the National Post on July 2, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association is offering two-day courses on “adjusting the infant” in Toronto and Ottawa later this year.

Beyond that, several Canadian chiropractors offer treatments for infants. Some, such as Vancouver’s Jassal Chiropractic, say that spinal misalignments may occur “through the processes of labour, birth or delivery intervention,” and a chiropractor can help. Others, like Toronto clinic West End Mamas, claim treatments can help with “digestive issues and colic” in infants.

READ MORE: Video of very animated Calgary chiropractor patient goes viral

Several medical doctors have expressed concern over this growing trend. When asked about chiropractic treatments for babies, consumer health advocate Ryan Armstrong told the National Post that “babies do not need to be adjusted and they should not have their spines manipulated.”

In response, the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) released a statement on July 5 defending the use of chiropractic techniques on young children. In it, the association reaffirmed that chiropractors put patient safety first and that safety is of the utmost importance when the patient is a child.

(The CCA is a national, voluntary association representing “Canada’s licensed Doctors of Chiropractic.”)

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“When treating infants and children, chiropractors follow best practices. This includes modifying techniques and the application of force to support the needs and comfort of the child,” read the statement.

“The evidence for pediatric conditions is limited” but research is ongoing, said the CCA.

“Like other health-care professions, the processes and challenges of translating an ever-increasing evidence base into practice is a health-care wide issue not a chiropractic-specific one, but one that the chiropractic profession and educators take seriously.”

READ MORE: Technology is changing the way chiropractors help adjust patients’ spines

In the statement, the association also cited a study which found that “published cases of series adverse events in infants and children receiving chiropractic, osteopathic, physiotherapy or manual medical therapy are rare.”

We need more research

Dr. John LeBlanc is skeptical about both the CCA’s statement and chiropractic treatments for babies more generally. He’s a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

“The thing that bothered me about the CCA statement was [when it said] there was a ‘limited but growing’ body of evidence,” LeBlanc told Global News. “One can’t really make such a broad statement.”

He believes it was irresponsible for the CCA to promote pediatric chiropractic treatments while also admitting that more research is needed. “Chiropractors need to define their scope of practice and scientifically prove what works in specific conditions before they advocate something as acceptable care,” he said.

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While chiropractic manipulations may not cause any physical harm to babies, performing them before more research is done “gives a false sense of security [to parents] where none exists,” said LeBlanc.

Even some chiropractors admit that there are some things for which chiropractic has been shown not to work, and LeBlanc says this should give parents pause.

A recent study found that the efficacy of chiropractic care to treat non-musculoskeletal disorders (such as colic in infants) “has yet to be definitely proven or disproven, with the burden of proof still resting upon the chiropractic profession.”

Another study determined that, since five to 10 per cent of all chiropractic patients are children and teens, the chiropractic community has a “responsibility” to undergo further research on the subject.

READ MORE: Attention new moms: Here’s why your fitness routine could be doing more harm than good

LeBlanc believes it is difficult for the general public to parse through the medical data, which is why medical associations exist — to bridge the gap.

“I think the responsibility of the CCA is to try and clarify that… [and] to really say where things work and where they don’t,” he said.

Given the current research, LeBlanc can’t see any situation in which chiropractic services for babies would be necessary.

“It’s difficult to understand what value [chiropractors] bring to the care of children that isn’t already offered by family doctors and nurse practitioners,” LeBlanc said. “At this point, they cannot argue that spinal manipulation is an essential or even important aspect of care.”

Can babies experience birth-related physical trauma?

A claim often made by chiropractors is that birth can cause physical trauma to a baby, whether delivered naturally or by c-section surgery.

LeBlanc said there is “not a shred of evidence” to support that birth can inflict trauma on a baby. “Babies are kind of cartilage… they’re not really fragile.”

“There are some [chiropractors] who are saying ‘yes, this is so-called evidence-based’ or ‘evidence-informed,’” he said. “I’m glad the CCA acknowledged that.”

In the statement, the CCA admits that the claim about birth trauma “isn’t supported by current scientific evidence.”

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However, LeBlanc is still worried because — despite the CCA stance — many chiropractors continue to share the falsehood as though it’s a fact.

“The message that sends is that, somehow, evolution or mother nature or God (depending on how one views how human beings came to be) somehow screwed up over the last hundred thousand years in terms of birth,” he said.

“It sends a message that we’re born unhealthy.”

Parents need a ‘trusted source of information’

LeBlanc worries that some chiropractors might prey on the fear and anxiety of a new parent in order to make money.

“Some of the chiropractic treatments are relatively short — they may just be a few sessions — but others can just go on and on… and that’s very costly,” he said. “People have to think about a trusted source of information.”

Unfortunately, it can be difficult for members of the general public to determine which sources can be trusted. “It’s also an issue of turf… doctors don’t like chiropractors and vice versa,” LeBlanc said. “If you go to a medical professional, they’re just going to pooh-pooh it.”

READ MORE: Here’s how much baby’s first year might cost — and how to prep for it

The solution, said LeBlanc, is to read as much as you can.

“Read widely, both on the medical side and the chiropractic side,” he said. “Ask yourself: Does the person who’s putting this information out have a vested interest?”

In LeBlanc’s view, chiropractors do have a stake in promoting treatment for children because it will produce more revenue. “It’s the same as if you go to a car dealership or any other place that’s offering a service, you simply have to take it with a grain of salt what they are saying.”

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Unfortunately, seeking out “objective sources” takes time — something which most new parents don’t have. “That’s where people have to rely on chiropractic associations like [the CCA],” LeBlanc said.

When asked about its stance on pediatric chiropractic treatments, the CCA reiterated its commitment to “advocate for the profession in a manner that supports quality care and upholds public trust.”

“To be clear, pediatric patients with mild to moderate musculoskeletal dysfunction are often referred for conservative management including a public health nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, and chiropractor,” read the statement provided to Global News. “As allied health professionals, chiropractors work collaboratively with a range of health-care providers to co-manage and provide advice and referrals in the best interests of the patient.”

READ MORE: How much does it cost to raise a kid in Canada?

The association says that there are no age-related chiropractic specializations in Canada.

“Chiropractic treatments can effectively relieve pain, restore function and mobility and improve health outcomes — and Canadians of all ages rely on chiropractic to manage a range of age-specific musculoskeletal conditions,” the statement said.

“The study of pediatrics is an integral component of the four-year/five-year chiropractic curriculum in Canada. Graduating students must complete a series of clinical competency examinations, which include pediatrics, before obtaining their license to practice. Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) are trained, licensed and regulated to assess, diagnose and treat Canadians of all ages.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Royal baby christening: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won’t announce Archie’s godparents – National

by BBG Hub

On Saturday, the newest member of the Royal Family, Archie Harrison, will be christened.

Typically, when a royal baby is christened, his or her godparents are announced in a statement from Buckingham Palace — as was the case for all of Archie’s first cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

READ MORE: Everything we know about Archie Harrison’s christening

However, according to reports, it may not be the same for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son.

On Wednesday, royal expert Omid Scobie shared a statement he had received from Buckingham Palace to Twitter.

READ MORE: Royal baby godparents: Who will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry choose?

In it, the Royal Family confirmed that Archie Harrison will be christened in the private chapel at Winsdor Castle on July 6. They also announced that “the godparents, in keeping with the parents’ wishes, will remain private.”

This isn’t surprising for fans of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — the pair have been notoriously private since getting married last May.

Thankfully, eagle-eyed royal watchers can expect the couple to share photos of Archie at his christening, which will be the first time the world gets a glimpse of the baby’s face.

Markle and Prince Harry have previously shared two photos of the baby, but neither featured his entire face.

The first, shared to the couple’s Instagram account in honour of Mother’s Day, was of Archie’s small feet in Markle’s hands. The second, which the couple posted to Instagram for Father’s Day, was of Archie’s eyes — but the rest of his face was shielded by his father’s hand.

The rules of the Church of England

Despite the couple’s wishes to keep their choices private, it could be that Archie’s godparents are revealed anyway due to the rules of the Church of England.

According to the U.K.’s National Archives, the Parochial Registers and Records Measure was passed in 1978.

It states that “register books or baptisms and burials [are] to be available for research within reasonable working hours in the diocesan record offices.”

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This means baptism records — including the names of godparents — are a matter of public record and can be searched by anyone.

However, the Queen may overrule the 1978 measure if she wishes because the private chapel at Windsor Castle — where Archie is to be christened — is known as a Royal Peculiar.

This means it belongs directly to the monarch and not to any diocese. Therefore, it doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of a bishop.

The top picks for Archie’s godparents

According to royal expert Victoria Arbiter, the role of a royal godparent is to offer friendship and guidance throughout the child’s “spiritual journey.”

“It’s likely we’ll see close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too,” Arbiter said of the royal baby’s potential godparents.

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The goal is to give the child access to several unique perspectives throughout his or her life.

A clear front-runner is Markle’s close friend Jessica Mulroney, according to Arbiter.

“She has been an amazing friend, and she has an amazing background in terms of her marriage to Ben Mulroney, whose father was prime minister [of Canada]… They would be able to offer wisdom about being in the public eye,” she said.

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“If we were to see any Royals, Eugenie and Harry are very close,” Arbiter said. “I think Eugenie deeply appreciated her mother being included in Harry and Meghan’s [wedding] guest list.”

(Eugenie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, divorced from Prince Andrew in 1996.)

Arbiter also expects to see a few of Harry’s close friends, as well as a cousin or aunt from his mother’s side of the family, included in the list of potential godparents.

Alternatively, Harry may pick his childhood nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

“She was an amazing support when Diana died,” Arbiter said.

What we know about the christening

The event will reportedly be extremely private, with just 25 of the couple’s close friends and family members — including Archie’s godparents — in attendance, a royal source told People.

This is typical of royal christenings, which have historically been very private affairs.

At Prince Louis’ christening in July 2018, only 21 people close to the baby were in attendance.

WATCH: Royal baby: 3 things Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s child might endure being biracial

During the ceremony, Archie will probably be christened using the Lily Font, a silver baptismal bowl in the form of a blooming flower.

The font was originally commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1840 and has been used for all royal christenings since.

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It is one of only two English silver fonts — the other was made in 1660 for King Charles II.

After the ceremony, guests will likely be invited to enjoy afternoon tea hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

According to the Royal Family, it’s customary that guests indulge in the christening cake, which is a tier taken from the wedding cake of the christened child’s mother and father.

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Though unconfirmed, the Sunday Times reported that Archie will wear a replica of the historic royal christening gown originally used for the baptism of Princess Victoria in 1841.

According to the Royal Family, the original gown was commissioned by Queen Victoria and worn by 62 royal babies, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Harry.

In 2008, Queen Elizabeth commissioned a replica by her dressmaker Angela Kelly in order to preserve the original.

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James, Viscount Severn, was the first member of the Royal Family to wear this replica gown at his christening at the private chapel at Windsor Castle in the same year.

Archie’s cousins, Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte and Prince Louis, all wore the replica at their respective christenings.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘It shouldn’t have happened’: Baby allegedly strangled to death by teething necklace – National

by BBG Hub

Danielle Morin didn’t think twice about letting her 18-month-old son, Deacon, use the beaded teething necklace she was given as a gift.

She assumed that the accessory, meant to help alleviate her baby’s teething pain, was safe for babies. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

In October 2016, Deacon was placed down for a nap at daycare when the necklace allegedly tightened around his neck and constricted his breathing.

The child was rushed to hospital but he didn’t survive.

READ MORE: Mom left devastated after toddler dies choking on bouncy ball

Now, Morin has filed a lawsuit against Etsy, the retail website which sold the teething necklace. She argues that Etsy is legally responsible for Deacon’s death.

“I want parents to know there is no more Toys R Us… people need to go online to buy products… and these products aren’t always safe,” Morin said in an interview with Yahoo.

“No parent should have to grieve a child. No parent should have to bury their child.”

In response, Etsy released a statement which said: “While we understand the desire to take action, Etsy is a platform and did not make or directly sell this item. We believe the allegations should be directed at the criminally-negligent daycare providers or, if appropriate, the seller of the necklace.”

Unfortunately, Deacon’s death was completely avoidable.

In the opinion of Dr. Dan Flanders, the founder of Kindercare Pediatrics, the baby shouldn’t have had the teething necklace in the first place.

“One completely preventable death is one too many. It shouldn’t have happened.”

In Flanders’ opinion, there are two ways teething necklaces could put babies in danger.

“One, it could cause strangulation,” he said. “The other is that… the necklace could break and then [the child] could put those little beads in their mouth — they could be a choking hazard.”

Dr. Catherine Cox, a resident in the Dalhousie University department of family medicine, agrees.

She recently conducted a case study on a baby who suffered from non-fatal infant strangulation caused by a teething necklace.

While no deaths caused by teething necklaces have been reported in Canada, there have been several cases of non-fatal strangulation. This can cause oxygen deprivation to a baby’s brain and result in serious health consequences.

Despite these risks, manufacturers continue to sell these products — and parents continue to buy them.

READ MORE: Parents, vaping near children is just as dangerous as smoking: study

“The distribution of these products that have warnings have actually increased in the past five years,” said Cox. “So people are using more of these products, despite the dangers.”

According to Cox, manufacturers will try to offset these worries by making erroneous claims about different safety features.

“A lot of manufacturers explicitly counter the intuitive risk of strangulation or aspiration by saying that there’s a knot between each bead that reduces the probability of [them] becoming loose,” she said.

They’ll also claim the necklace has “a clasp break that will break under tension… so the risk of strangulation is minimized, but there’s actually no validity to support that,” Cox said.

Health Canada has actually issued several warnings around these products in the past.”

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The rise of teething necklace sales in Canada is especially concerning because babies may not even need teething aids at all.

According to Flanders, doctors can’t confirm if babies even feel pain during teething.

“For some babies, teeth come in and it’s as if nothing’s wrong — there’s no irritability, no nothing,” Flanders said.

“Then other baby’s teeth come in and they seem really irritable and upset, but we can never really attribute it to teething.”

Accessories like teething necklaces are supposed to help alleviate pain caused by new teeth penetrating a baby’s gums. The baby is meant to chew on the beads as a way to relieve pressure.

However, in terms of a cost-benefit analysis, Flanders sees very little benefit to this method.

“Putting these necklaces on babies is all risk and no benefit.”

“I don’t think teething necklaces do anything to help teething pains, which is the tragedy of this case,” said Flanders.

READ MORE: Are your baby’s ‘first finger foods’ safe? Some may be a choking hazard: study

If you believe your baby is struggling with teething pain, there are other options you should explore.

Flanders recommends doctor-approved teething rings or even the pads of a parent’s fingers.

“Sometimes, it’s better if they chew on a soft texture,” Flanders said. “Sometimes, chewing on cold objects can give them relief.”

For this, Flanders suggests placing a teething ring in the fridge — not the freezer.

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“We advise against frozen things because those can cause low-temperature burns, like frostbite,” he said.

If your baby appears to be in prolonged discomfort, Flanders recommends a dose of Tylenol or Advil.

If that doesn’t work, you should consult your family doctor.

“If the baby is really irritable and upset and you can’t really seem to get it under control — and you know this is a new-ish behaviour (in other words, it hasn’t been going on for months and months) — then something is obviously wrong,” said Flanders.

“It’s always the right answer to seek help from a medical doctor.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Everything we know about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s new baby (so far) – National

by BBG Hub

The newest royal baby has finally arrived!

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their firstborn son at 5:26 a.m. local time on Monday, May 6.

The Duke of Sussex was by Markle’s side during the birth. The baby weighs seven pounds, three ounces, and both he and the Duchess are healthy.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle gives birth to baby boy, palace confirms

Kensington Palace announced the baby’s arrival via Instagram. In the caption, the Duke and Duchess “thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives.”

An overjoyed Prince Harry greeted reporters shortly after the baby’s arrival.

The birth was “the most amazing experience I can ever possibly imagine,” he said. “How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, but we’re both absolutely thrilled.”

Prince Harry later added that he’s “so incredibly proud” of the Duchess of Sussex.

WATCH: Prince Harry said Monday he was “excited to announce” that he and Meghan Markle had a very healthy baby boy.

“As every father and parent would ever say, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to die for,” he said.

Prince Harry said the public would see the baby in a few days’ time.

According to Kensington Palace, Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is with their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage, and she’s “overjoyed” by the arrival of her first grandchild.

Markle and Prince Harry have been tight-lipped about the details of the impending birth and how they plan to raise their firstborn. Here’s what we know so far.

The baby’s birthplace remains unknown

The Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital is a popular destination for royal moms, including Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge.

It wasn’t a clear choice for Markle and Prince Harry, as they weren’t thought to be living in downtown London, where the hospital is located.

Royal expert Victoria Arbiter guessed that the couple would choose a facility “closer to their home base in Windsor” — and it appears she was right.

There have been no reports of ambulances coming or going from Frogmore Cottage.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s pregnancy wardrobe cost more than $800K — here’s who pays for it

“The Lindo Wing has seen more royal births than any other hospital, but that doesn’t mean it’s a tradition,” said Arbiter. “I think where to give birth is very much a personal choice.”

Markle wouldn’t be the first to depart from convention if she did, in fact, choose to give birth somewhere other than the Lindo Wing.

“Fergie had her babies at the Portland hospital, [and] Sophie Wessex had her babies at Frimley Park, which is not too far from Windsor,” said Arbiter.

A different kind of royal baby announcement

Typically, in anticipation of a new royal baby, the media is alerted when the expectant mother is admitted to hospital.

“It’s very difficult for a royal to sneak into hospital so … with Kate [Middleton], we got the notice when she was already in hospital,” Arbiter told Global News. “That way, had anyone spotted her going in, [the Royals] were still ahead of the story.”

This wasn’t the case for Markle and Prince Harry — the baby announcement wasn’t made until Markle was at the hospital.

READ MORE: ‘We’re in uncharted territory’ — Royal expert shares everything she knows about baby Sussex

According to Arbiter, this was not a break with tradition or protocol.

“They’re just doing what works for them,” she said.

As tradition dictates, the easel announcing the newest royal baby landed at the gates of Buckingham Palace at 4:45 p.m. local time.

It says the baby’s time of birth, that mother and baby are doing well and is signed by the attending doctors. The easel usually stays up in front of the palace for 24 hours.

The baby will likely be named in honour of another royal family member

In conversation with reporters after the baby’s arrival, Harry added that the couple was “still thinking about names.”

However, eagle-eyed fans of the Royal Family have been speculating about the likely choices.

According to betting platform Ladbrokes, Arthur (5/1) is the current favourite.

In second place is the posh Alexander (6/1), which may be a nod to the Queen’s middle name, Alexandra.

Albert (8/1) is another possibility, as it is the name of Queen Victoria’s husband. The name was also a top pick for Kate Middleton and Prince William’s son Prince Louis, who was born in April 2018.

Philip is also a leading contender (10/1) after the child’s great-grandfather Prince Philip.

The newest royal baby is seventh in line to the throne

This baby will be seventh in line to the throne, right behind dad Prince Harry.

From closest to the throne to farthest away, the line of succession will be as follows: Charles, William, George, Charlotte, Louis, Harry and then baby Sussex.

“It’s very unlikely that this baby will ever be monarch. It would take a catastrophe of unforeseen circumstances if we were to wipe out Charles and the entire Cambridge clan,” said Arbiter.

READ MORE: Royal baby succession — Where does Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son rank?

That said, once Charles is king, the newborn will still be the grandchild of the sovereign, at which point he and his father will take on “very significant roles.”

There’s been much speculation about why the baby is not eligible for a royal title, but Arbiter said this rule goes back to George V.

“People who don’t know better are using it as an opportunity to say the Queen is angry with Meghan… which is nonsense,” Arbiter said. “[George V] just didn’t foresee a future in which there would be four generations alive.”

Had the Queen already passed, this baby — as the grandchild of the sovereign in the male line — would be HRH Prince or Princess. Since the Queen is still alive, this baby is not eligible for the title of HRH Prince or Princess.

“If a boy comes along, he will likely be the Earl of Dumbarton, one of Harry’s subsidiary titles. If a little girl comes along, she will be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor,” Arbiter said.

The potential royal godparents

The role of a royal godparent is to offer friendship and guidance throughout the child’s spiritual journey.

“It’s likely we’ll see close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too,” said Arbiter.

A clear front-runner is Markle’s close friend Jessica Mulroney, according to Arbiter.

WATCH: Royal baby — Fans gather outside Windsor Castle to celebrate the birth

“She has been an amazing friend and she has an amazing background in terms of her marriage to Ben Mulroney, whose father was prime minister [of Canada] … They would be able to offer wisdom about being in the public eye,” Arbiter said.

If Prince Harry and Markle wanted to go the Royal route, Princess Eugenie is a likely choice.

Arbiter also expects to see a few of Prince Harry’s close friends, as well as a cousin or aunt from his mother’s side of the family, included.

Alternatively, Prince Harry may pick his childhood nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

“She was an amazing support when Diana died,” said Arbiter.

The Royal Family’s first American citizen

Markle is a U.S. citizen, which means this baby has dual citizenship.

He is both American and British, and the first American citizen with a direct line to the British throne.

This presents some anomalies when it comes to money.

“Meghan, as a U.S. citizen, does have to file a tax return. I’m not a tax expert but as I understand it, you’re charged a percentage of taxes while you’re outside of the country,” said Arbiter.

READ MORE: Royal protocols — Why Meghan Markle always carries her purse in her hands

This was confirmed by David Treitel, founder of American Tax Returns Ltd., in an interview with CNN.

Despite living in the U.K., Markle will be obliged to file a U.S. tax return and to report any foreign accounts, assets over $200,000 and gifts valued at more than $15,797 “regardless of whether it is actually in your possession,” Treitel told CNN.

This means Markle has needed to declare items like the diamond in her engagement ring, taken from Princess Diana’s jewelry collection, for example.

LISTEN: Alan Carter talks new Royal baby

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Baby Sussex will be required to do the same with all of his or her assets and income until they are 18 years old.

The Royal Family is “notoriously private” about their finances, said Arbiter, so this is sure to cause some issues.

“It becomes a huge financial nightmare… and the Royal Family will try desperately to keep their finances private,” she added.

With files from Laura Hensley

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Meghan Markle gives birth to baby boy, palace confirms – National

by BBG Hub

The newest addition to the Royal Family has arrived!

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their son on Monday, Kensington Palace confirmed on social media.

“We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019,” the palace said on Instagram.

“Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz.”

“The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives,” the palace said.

“More details will be shared in the forthcoming days.”

WATCH BELOW: Prince Harry says he and Meghan Markle had a baby boy

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not yet revealed the name of their firstborn, but anxious royal onlookers have been placing bets.

The newborn is seventh in line to the throne. They’re behind Prince Charles, Prince William and his children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and then Prince Harry.

WATCH BELOW: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their son on Monday

The baby is the Queen‘s eighth great-grandchild. The 92-year-old monarch also has eight grandchildren, and four children.

Markle, 37, and Prince Harry, 34, announced they were expecting a child in October.

READ MORE: What Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may name their child?

The couple wed in May 2018.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Baby bumps aren’t the same size — here’s why – National

by BBG Hub

Pregnancy, like any other health-related experience, differs for every woman — and this includes bump size.

“Between pregnancies, (bump sizes) are going to be very different as well,” said Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Women’s College Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto.

READ MORE: How safe is it to take medication during pregnancy?

Kirkham points out that the first trimester differs from the third and that the further a woman is into her pregnancy, the larger a bump usually gets. But why do some women show their pregnancy earlier than others, and why are some bumps big while others look small?

Here are some factors that affect baby bump size.

Core strength

Core muscles are an important muscle group and are vital to things like posture and balance. Our core also affects how far a baby bump comes out.

“If someone is very fit and does a lot of sit-ups or Pilates and has a strong core, then their rectus muscles — which are the abdominal muscles in front — are tight,” Kirkham said.

WATCH: One-third of pregnant women think cannabis is OK to use during pregnancy, review says

Strong abdominal muscles mean a growing uterus is going to stay closer to the core of the body, Kirkham explained, making a bump appear smaller.

On the other hand, if core muscles have been stretched out from a previous pregnancy, a second or third pregnancy baby bump may look larger.

“Your muscles are a little bit more elastic at that point,” Kirkham said.

Weight and height

Women’s bodies are all different, and varying bump sizes reflect that.

If a woman is taller and has a longer torso, their pregnancy may not show as early as someone who is shorter, Kirkham said. Later in a pregnancy, a shorter woman’s belly may also seem wider because there is less room for the baby to move “up and down.”

READ MORE: How fertility apps are changing the way women conceive

A woman’s pre-pregnancy weight can also play a role in the size of their bump. While Kirkham says doctors usually encourage about 25 to 35 pounds of pregnancy weight gain, this amount varies across body sizes.

People who are underweight typically need to gain more, Kirkham says, recommending between 20 and 40 pounds.

“People who are underweight … have very little for the baby to utilize so your body actually has to make more energy stores and fat stores,” she explained. “Women that are overweight actually gain less — or sometimes even lose weight — because they have a little bit more (that) the baby can take from.”

READ MORE: University study says stress experienced while pregnant has lasting health impacts for children

Kirkham says a woman can determine their recommended weight on the government of Canada’s pregnancy weight gain calculator but should also talk to their doctor.

Hormones and stage of pregnancy

Typically, a bump grows as a woman’s pregnancy progresses.

“Most people don’t show before around 16 weeks or so, but everyone is going to be different,” Kirkham said.

WATCH: Women should wait a year before getting pregnant again — study

In the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman may experience morning sickness, which can include nausea and vomiting. If she has a hard time keeping food down, she may lose weight.

On the flip side, if someone starts gaining weight at the beginning of their pregnancy, the stomach area can look larger faster. There can also be bloating from progesterone hormones, which can cause a change in the belly’s shape as well, Kirkham said.

Visit your doctor

It’s important for pregnant women to have regular checkups with their doctor to monitor their pregnancy. A health-care provider does weight measurements as well as symphysial fundal height (SFH) measurements, which monitor fetal growth.

READ MORE: New Canadian pregnancy guideline shows exercise cuts odds of major complications by 40%

“That’s where we measure from the pubic bone up to the top of the uterus, and we only do that after 20 weeks,” Kirkham said. “At 20 weeks, your bump is usually up to your belly button, and then each week after that, (it grows) about a centimetre.”

Because of all the factors that can affect the size of a baby bump, Kirkham said it’s important to avoid commenting on a woman’s size. It can be upsetting and can also cause unnecessary worry or anxiety for the mom-to-be.

READ MORE: Monkey see, monkey do — Teaching your kid to love their body starts with you

“Because of all the variations, it is very hard for anybody to know and compare (bump sizes) properly,” Kirkham said.

“One of the worst things you can tell a pregnant woman is that her bump is too big or too small because … somebody on the street is not going to be able to tell that.”

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‘Bachelor’ stars throw ‘ultrasound party’ to let loved ones meet baby in the womb – National

by BBG Hub

Arie Luyendyk and wife Lauren, who married in January after meeting on season 22 of The Bachelor, are expecting their first child sometime in June.

To celebrate the baby’s impending arrival, the couple had a typical baby shower — complete with fresh fruit, a rainbow cake and cheesy games — save for one unique activity: a live ultrasound.

During the party, Lauren laid down on a bed in the middle of her living room so a technician could show partygoers the baby in real-time.

READ MORE: Skip the baby shower: Why some moms need postpartum parties after birth

After Lauren was finished, two of her pregnant guests were also given impromptu ultrasound screenings.

The exams were provided by an obstetrics clinic in Arizona (where the Luyendyks live), but it’s not the only place that offers mobile ultrasounds. Clinics across the United States now offer in-home ultrasound services, with the cost starting around $150.

Dr. George Arnold believes an “ultrasound party” could be a great way to connect with your unborn baby.

He works as the chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Markham Stouffville Hospital.

READ MORE: Expectant couple angers neighbours after asking them to do their chores, cook their meals

“I think that it really does help with just further establishing that connection with your newborn prior to actually being able to physically see or physically hold [them.] There’s something special about that for sure.”

Arnold also advocates for the use of 3D and 4D ultrasounds to produce even more detailed pictures and videos of your baby.

“With a traditional 2D image, you see these black holes and you wonder, ‘Is something wrong with my baby?’ [With] a 3D or 4D ultrasound, you can get some phenomenal pictures,” said Arnold.

“There is something special about not only feeling your baby move but being able to see what your baby’s like.”

There aren’t any known medical risks

There is no known risk to having an ultrasound while pregnant, nor is there any evidence of cumulative risk which increases with each ultrasound performed.

“This makes sense because ultrasound is basically using sound wave technology,” said Arnold.

“We’re exposed to sounds every day of our life, bouncing off our bodies one way or another. From a safety point of view, there is no concern.”

For Arnold, the only real risk you run by having an ultrasound party is that the technician might see something of concern with your child.

His concern is that you might need to have what’s typically a private moment between parents while surrounded by your friends and family.

“God forbid you haven’t felt the baby move for a few days and an ultrasound shows that your baby’s no longer alive… There’s always the chance that something could be seen or misinterpreted,” said Arnold, though the likelihood of this happening is very slim.

READ MORE: ‘Fertility isn’t funny’: Why you shouldn’t pretend to be pregnant on April Fools’ day

Alternately, Dr. Ori Nevo, who works as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Sunnybrook Hospital, warns that there may be risks not yet discovered by the medical community.

“We don’t know if there’s any issue we haven’t picked up with studies [on ultrasounds during pregnancy],” said Nevo.

“That’s true for many other interventions, interactions, medications — pretty much anything because studies are always limited to some degree.”

Nevo doesn’t believe there to be any risks, but he admits that doctors don’t know everything. He recommends you err on the side of caution and only have the recommended number of ultrasounds to be safe.

The typical ultrasound schedule

The average low-risk pregnancy will see three to four ultrasounds, though doctors haven’t reached a consensus on the exact number and schedule that’s best for tracking the baby’s development.

In Arnold’s practice, he recommends most women have the “dating ultrasound” somewhere around the seven- or eight-week mark.

“That’s the most accurate way of determining your due date,” said Arnold.

The next ultrasound is usually around week 12, as part of genetic testing. The third ultrasound is typically done around the 19-week mark.

“That’s the one that will tell you the gender, if you’re interested,” Arnold said.

After that, it’s not clear if another ultrasound is necessary — especially in low-risk pregnancies.

“A lot of caregivers will do an ultrasound somewhere around the 30-week mark just to confirm growth,” said Arnold. “I do that and I find it’s helpful. Occasionally, you’ll pick things up that have been missed at the earlier [19-week] anatomy ultrasound.”

WATCH BELOW: Baby appears to flash ‘rock on’ sign in ultrasound photo

Nevo’s practice differs slightly. He recommends the mother have her first ultrasound between 11 to 14 weeks.

“Some people do a dating scan early on, although it’s not completely necessary if you’re doing the 11 to 14 weeks ultrasound,” Nevo said.

During this checkup, Nevo assesses the basic fetal condition and he screens for Down syndrome. The second scan comes between 18 to 22 weeks.

“It’s a long scan in which we check all the different organs. We check the placenta location… we’re pretty much seeing if there are any fetal disorders,” said Nevo, who calls this “the big scan.”

He usually performs a third scan on or around the due date, to make sure the baby is ready for birth.

According to Nevo, this schedule will look very different if you’re pregnant with twins or if it’s a complicated pregnancy.

A way to bond

In Arnold’s view, if there’s no risk to mom or baby imposed by having an ultrasound, why not have one or two?

“I think patients benefit from seeing their baby move before he or she is born,” he said.

It’s been Arnold’s experience that patients love every chance to see their growing baby, and he’s happy to provide that opportunity.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry break tradition with ‘private’ birthing plan

Nevo is less supportive of the trend.

“When we don’t know something, we think it’s better not to expose the patients for unnecessary testing,” he said.

Arnold doesn’t know of any Canadian clinics that provide in-home ultrasounds yet, but he’s sure the service will travel north soon enough.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it does exist [in Canada] and if it doesn’t, I’m sure it will very soon.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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