Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Tits for Tots

Whether you believe in an Intelligent Designer or study the matter scientifically, you’ll agree that mother’s milk is the perfect food for infants. Only in the last couple of generations have many Americans allowed commercial interests to pervert the essentially human act of nurturing our babies.

Fortunately, in Texas, breastfeeding in public has long been protected under law. However, that has not kept mothers from being harrassed. In fact, in the last couple of decades since I breastfed my own son I’ve noticed a decline in support for breastfeeding. A woman’s breast has become increasing eroticized by the media with nipples being pixelized even on medical shows. People seem to have forgotten what breasts are for; we don’t need to protect kids from breasts–breasts are designed for kids. Luckily, Austin has restaurants like Jaime’s Spanish Village which advertise that they are breastfeeding-friendly.

If you are currently breastfeeding, consider taking part in Saturday’s Breastfeeding Challenge 2006 which is taking place simultaneously in cities all over the US and Canada. This is a family event designed to heighten awareness of the importance of breastfeeding in raising healthy children. Help take back breasts from the realm of smutty magazines and put them where they belong–in babies’ mouths.

The Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin encourages new moms to join in so that Austin can break its own record–42 moms and 44 babies. The Breastfeeding Challenge will take place in Republic Square Park right next to the Farmers Market at 11 o’clock, Saturday, September 30th. Check in at 10:30 am at 4th and Guadalupe.

Join Me for a Run?

I discovered earlier this year that I really enjoy training for some sort of athletic event. I spent two months in the spring training for my first triathalon, and I managed to cross the finish line at the Rogue Women’s Tri in July. I had a blast. Me, former couch potato extraordinaire. So I decided to train for another event. This time, I’ve chosen the AT&T Austin Marathon (the half-marathon portion, anyway), and I’ll be training with AustinFit, the best training value in town. I’m a slow runner, wogging (walk/jogging) most of the time rather than actually running. But with AustinFit, that’s okay. We’re divided into pace groups, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to keep up with my fellow Orange group runners throughout the 26-week training. For folks who are faster or more experienced, there are training groups for you, too. Training started officially last Saturday morning, but you can still sign up. Show up at TxDOT on Riverside at 7:15 a.m. tomorrow morning to register. Join me!

The Short and the Shorter of It

Oh, me.
Okay, so, got my apartment, feelin’ groovy. Decide my hair is gross and flat and decidedly not punk rock. I have weird, fugly, Michael-McDonald’s-greatest-hits hair. And this, this cannot be. So I recall my best friend raving about a little place called Bird’s Barbershop where she came back with this creative and cute haircut for a pittance. I remember that haircut. It was badass. Maybe they’ll understand my need for “emo bangs”. Celebratory haircut it is.
I call ahead and apparently they’re more of a walk-in type of place, so I take my sweet time getting there. When I finally do, I have a wait time of about 2 seconds before I’m hurried over to a chair by a very nice lady named jacqui/jackie/jakqee/you know what I mean. She asked me a lot of questions, trying to get a feel for my relationship with my hair (drunkenly cursing screaming “you’re not the boss of me!” at it in the mornings) and what I use on it daily (duct tape and pudding mix) and what look I was going for (hard to explain without Meg Ryan reinventing the Shag every two years.)

Competition for the tooth fairy

You’ve heard of cord blood banks? They operate on the idea that the blood from your child’s umbilical cord can be used later to treat diseases like leukemia, sickle cell and metabolic problems among others. The problem is that it’s generally expensive and the likelihood that you’ll actually need it is difficult to predict. Costs range from $600-$2000 for the initial deposit in a private bank and then there’s a yearly storage fee that hovers around $100. The probability that you’ll need it can be anywhere from 1:1,000 to 1:200,000, depending on who you ask. It’s free to donate to a public cord bank, but there you’re not assured that you’d have access to the blood that you deposited.

Now, apparently, there’s a new cheaper option and it’s based here in Austin. BioEden can take your child’s baby teeth and extract stem cells from them that can be used to treat diseases. The cost is somewhat cheaper and for those of us that have kids that were too old or decided to delay the decision, we’ve got another option. I’ve inexplicably been saving my son’s baby teeth as he’s lost them. They’re sitting in a plastic baggie in the top drawer of my dresser. Honestly, I don’t know why I’m saving them. I don’t think I’m shelling out the money on the outside chance that they’ll help later though, especially since we don’t have a history of the types of things it might help. I wonder how long you can keep the teeth and still harvest the cells? I guess you’re SOL once the tooth is out and you haven’t put it in their special ToothSaver solution with ice packs?

Update (2006.07.17): The Statesman wrote a story about this today.

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