API Links - May 2011

API Links you to...

News on happy faces, stress during pregnancy, and the power of mother's milk.

Editor's Picks

The Happy Face Advantage ...
(or How to Save Life on Planet Earth)

Smile at your baby ... save the world?

Childhood Stimulation May Reduce Adult Violence
Toddlers in a program to encourage interaction and play with their mothers grew into adults with higher IQs, greater educational attainment, and less involvement in violence than kids who did not receive the early stimulation.

Helping Your Baby Get the Best Possible Start in Life
This 22-minute video teaches parents how to create a secure attachment bond with their baby and overcome challenges that make connecting difficult. The attachment bond is the deep, lasting relationship that shapes your baby's lifelong development.

Breastfeeding = Stronger Response by Mom to Baby's Cry
A new study finds that mothers who feed their babies breastmilk exclusively, as opposed to formula, are more likely to bond emotionally with their child during the first few months after delivery. The breastfeeding mothers surveyed for the study showed greater responses to their infant's cry in brain regions related to caregiving behavior and empathy than mothers who relied upon formula as the baby's main food source.

Special! Special! Become a Member Today
Become a member and receive the
teleseminar "Balancing Parent and Child Needs So Everyone Thrives" with Jan Hunt FREE.
As a bonus, help a support group by joining today so that they can receive $15 of your membership dollars. Indicate your support group upon membership submission.
Not part of a support group but would like to help out? Take a look at our support group page to help you select your group of choice.

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

Investigation Cites Caesaren Section Birth Impact
Deaths from pregnancy-related causes, which usually occur around the time of childbirth, have risen dramatically in the United States in the last decade. A committee investigating such deaths cited an increase in caesarean-section births as a major contributor to the disturbing trend.

Obesity, Disparities in Care Help Drive U.S. Stillbirths
While the rate of stillbirths in the United States has dropped over the past few decades, this tragic outcome is still a reality for far too many couples. 27,000 American women still experience this often preventable outcome each year. Researchers report that a leading cause of stillbirth in the United States may be obesity, which can raise the risk for fetal loss.

Repeated Stress in Pregnancy Linked to Children's Behavior
Research has found a link between the number of stressful events experienced during pregnancy and increased risk of behavioral problems in children. Common stressful events included financial and relationship problems, difficult pregnancy, job loss, and issues with other children, and major life stressors were events such as a death in the family.

Maternal Stress during Pregnancy May Affect Child's Obesity
There is increasing evidence that offspring of parents who were physically or psychologically stressed are at higher risk of developing obesity, and that these offspring may in turn "transmit" that increased risk to the next generation. A mother's nutritional or psychological stress during pregnancy and lactation may create a signature on her child's genes that put the child at increased risk for obesity later in life, especially if the child is female.

API Reads
We'll be reading Playful Parenting this May, June, and July.
Don't have time to read a book? Check out
Lawrence Cohen's audio CD by emailing him at audio@playfulparenting.com for further details. Don't miss out on this reading opportunity.
You can chat with Larry this July!

"Psychologist Lawrence Cohen wishes he had a nickel for every time he's been called a poopyhead. He's a playful guy, so when little kids test their power by calling him a bathroom name, he says, "Shhh, don't tell anyone my secret name." Of course, the kids all laugh and shout, "Larry's secret name is Poopyhead." Then he says, "Ha-ha, I was just kidding. My real secret name is Rice Crispies Cake." The silliness breaks the tension over name-calling, the kids giggle and a bond is formed. Now, isn't that better than getting angry? Cohen, a Boston psychologist who specializes in children's play, lets civilians in on some trade secrets in his book, Playful Parenting. It includes tips for connecting with kids, defusing power struggles, and using playfulness as an approach to discipline." Cecelia Goodnow, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Feeding with Love and Respect

The Power of Mother's Milk
More than half a million babies are born prematurely each year in the U.S. Treatment is costly but a new strategy to help is as old as life itself: breastfeeding.

Early Nutrition Has a Long-Term Metabolic Impact:
Growth, Hormonal Profiles Differ between Breastfed and Formula-Fed Infants

Nutrition during the first days or weeks of life may have long-term consequences on health, potentially via a phenomenon known as the metabolic programming effect.

Formula-Fed Preemies at Higher Risk for Dangerous GI Condition Than Babies Who Get Donor Milk
Extremely premature babies fed human donor milk are less likely to develop the dangerous intestinal condition necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) than babies fed a standard premature infant formula derived from cow's milk.

Quality of Parent-Toddler Relationship Could Affect Risk for Childhood Obesity
Toddlers who do not have a secure emotional relationship with their parents, and particularly their mothers, could be at increased risk for obesity by age 4 ½, according to new research. There is a clear association between the security score and later obesity: a 30 percent increased risk for obesity in children who were insecurely attached at age 24 months.

Parents of Young Children May Not Be Eating Healthy
Pediatricians should discuss diet and physical activity with new parents to encourage healthful behaviors to improve their own health and to model healthful behavior for their children.

Responding with Sensitivity

How to Raise a Child Who Doesn't Bully
With all of the media attention on young people being tormented by bullies and cyberbullies, parents may wonder what they can do to protect their children. The question they may want to ask instead is, how can they prevent their child from becoming a bully? New research shows that parents can play a key role in decreasing the chances that their son or daughter will harass or intimidate other children.

Key Risk Factor for Bullying Identified
Roughly 44% of middle school students and 31% of high school students are involved in or affected by bullying. Middle and high school students who are bullies, victims of bullies, or both victims and perpetrators of bullying (bully-victims) are more likely to report being physically hurt by a family member and witnessing violence in their family than students uninvolved in bullying.

Parent Resources to Help Children after Disaster
Our children come to us for insight and understanding about the world, but as their parents, even we struggle to make sense of the recent devastation of natural disasters and the overwhelming heartbreak they cause. At API, we grieve for all the lives lost and families broken apart or hurt in each one of these inexplicable tragedies. As an education and support organization, API joins with other organizations in reaching out to support our hurting communities by offering two excellent resources for parents of young children.

Brain Development, Intelligence, Education, and School

Five-Minute Screen Identifies Subtle Signs of Autism in One-Year-Olds
A five-minute checklist that parents can fill out in pediatrician waiting rooms may someday help in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Why Preschool Shouldn't Be Like School
New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire. That means what we need is a rich, stable, and safe world, with affectionate and supportive grown-ups, and lots of opportunities for exploration and play. Not school for babies.

It's All about the FAMILY!

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development -
Doing Better for Families

All OECD governments want to give parents more choice in their work and family decisions. This new book, Doing Better for Families, looks at the different ways in which governments support families. It seeks to provide answers to questions such as: Is spending on family benefits going up, and how does it vary by the age of the child? Has the crisis affected public support for families? What is the best way of helping adults to have the number of children they desire? What are the effects of parental leave programmes on female labour supply and on child well-being? Are childcare costs a barrier to parental employment and can flexible workplace options help? What is the best time for mothers to go back to work after childbirth? And what are the best policies to reduce poverty among sole parents?

UK Family Friendly Program
Only 6% of families think Britain is very family friendly. Family Friendly wants to change this. Family Friendly is a major upcoming scheme that aims to change the way UK society views families. Run by the Family and Parenting Institute, it will link businesses and public services with their customers, and help staff at all levels to think about the needs of the family.

Britain - A World Leader in Working Mothers: And It's Harming Children's Development, Warns Global Report
Half of British mothers now go out to work before their child’s first birthday – despite clear evidence it can harm their development, an authoritative international report has found.

Five Family Facts
Learn five “Family Facts” about the United States, and see how we compare to 33 other countries.

Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

Parents Exercise Less, Young Moms Eat More Than Women without Children
A new study has confirmed what parents of young children know from experience: It’s difficult to maintain healthy habits and juggle the demands of raising a family. The study finds that new moms and dads get less exercise than adults the same age who don’t have children. And mothers appear to have higher BMIs and take in more calories, particularly from saturated fat and sugary drinks, than women who don’t have children.

Mum’s the Word When It Comes to Children’s Happiness
Young people's satisfaction with their family situation is clearly related to the quality of relationships with parents and especially their mother's happiness. The research findings come from the first findings from Understanding Society, the world's largest household panel study managed by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex.

It's Right to Want to Be Right, Right?

Kathryn Schulz: On Being Wrong
Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? "Wrongologist" Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.


Dear Supporter,

Mother's Day ... frilly cards, aromatic flowers, nice meals in a restaurant. Those are some of the images that come to mind when we hear those two words. Pretty superficial.

What is this day really about? It's to honor us as mothers, right?

Today, instead of honoring the act of mothering that each of us does for our own children, I'd like to honor those mothers in our lives who have led us to where we are. Those women - mothers, grandmothers, aunts, godmothers, sisters, neighbors - who had an impact on how we now parent.

For all those mothers, the ones who nurtured, who breastfed, who snuggled and hugged ... for those who carried, adopted, or cared for ... even for those who neglected, spoke harshly, or perhaps even abandoned ... for every mother who had an impact on a life, your life ... she led you to where you are today.

No matter what her history, and yours, she guided you, at least in part, to this place in your life that now allows you to do the best for your own children. She played some role in showing you what you want for your children, and perhaps what you don't.

Perhaps it was by example, perhaps it wasn't.

Let's honor the influence of our mothers for the path that she journeyed with you and for the part that she contributed to your life now as a mother: an attached mother, one whose goal is on what's best for her children.

Here's to you, Mom. Thanks for leading me on this path that enabled me to be the best mom that I can be.

This month, we have a variety of news to bring you. Learn about

- the value of being wrong;
- how children who interact with their mothers and smarter and less violent;
- lots of news on families; and
- the key factor in bullying.

Please welcome our new Leaders: Wendy Friedlander, API of Suffolk County, New York, and Jamie Hornych, Greater Pittsburgh API. Welcome!

We also extend a warm welcome to our new Professionals: Maryellen Stephens of Westcountry Family Chiropractic,;
Cara Hilton, an attachment friendly psychologist; and
Sally Johnson
of The Nurturing Program University of Florida. Welcome!

Camille North,
API Links Editor

Please let us know what you like and what could be better about Links - contact us.

API is a free enewsletter, dedicated to bringing you information to support you in your parenting journey.

AP Month Now Accepting Donated Items!

We’re preparing to celebrate our 4th annual AP Month and we need your help to collect a great online auction inventory! 
It’s a super easy way to be involved in AP Month and a great way to help raise funds. 
Need ideas?
What are items you would bid on? Toys, clothing, handmade items, services, gift certificates, travel, sports tickets, entertainment, books, jewelry, art, accessories, and more! 
Donate items online today!
Questions, ideas, or comments about AP Month? Interested in volunteering on the AP Month Team? Please email us
Want to know more about AP Month?  Check out AP Month Central for more info!

May Is Foster Care Month ... You Can Change a Lifetime

Every year, approximately 30,000 young people leave the foster care system without lifelong families – most at age 18.
On their own, they must navigate a weakened economy offering fewer jobs and less support for vital services such as housing. They need and deserve caring adults who love and support them.
May is the month to reach out and change a lifetime for a child or youth in foster care.

Need inspiration?
Long-time API Board member

Reedy Hickey
new grandmother of twins, has fostered more than 30 children, carrying them in slings and helping to give them a great start in life.

The United Nations Observes the International Day of Families - May 12

The 2011 observance of the International Day of Families, with a theme: "Confronting family poverty and social exclusion" is organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in cooperation with the New York NGO Committee on the Family. A panel discussion will take place on 12 May (1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.) in Conference room 6 (NLB) at UN Headquarters in New York. All are invited to attend.

Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline - June 2-4, 2011

Earlybird registration
ends this week!

Join API Cofounders
Lysa Parker
and Barbara Nicholson
at this summit!

An international group of leading policy makers, attorneys, educators, children's rights activists, and researchers from multiple disciplines (e.g., anthropology, criminology, history, medicine psychology, social work, and sociology) as well as other interested individuals who concur that corporal punishment of children is an unsuitable and potentially damaging way to discipline and teach children will gather.
Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Do Well and Do Good...

Support the mission of API and connect with your target audience.

Contact us
to help you create an advertising package to fit your message and budget.

API is proactively engaged with organizations with diverse missions and activities in order to leverage and expand our work in supporting all parents, children and families to promote secure attachments and strong, positive relationships.

Want to change a life?
You can now apply online
and learn more about
becoming an API Leader!

Did You Have an Aha! Moment Reading One of These Links?

If so, we couldn't be more pleased to serve you. Help us serve others too. Please consider donating $20, $10, or even $5. API is a non-profit organization and it depends on your tax-deductible donations.

Photos by Martin Pettitt from here
and by Sarah Fleming (SMercury98)
from here

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