Category Archives: Research

Trends in Unmarried Childbearing Point to a Coming Apart

SOURCE: https://ifstudies.org/blog/trends-in-unmarried-childbearing-point-to-a-coming-apart Late last year in this space, I offered an overview of a report from Senator Mike Lee’s Social Capital Project about the rise of unwed childbearing. Today, two-fifths of children are born to unmarried mothers, a phenomenon the report traced to declining birth rates among married women, rising birth rates among unmarried women, a fall in “shotgun marriages,” and a decline in marriage itself. On Valentine’s Day, the project released some additional charts breaking the numbers out by race and educational attainment. The simple way to summarize them is this: In terms of race, old disparities have persisted as unmarried childbearing has risen…

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Don’t Miss the Joy of Family Life

SOURCE: https://ifstudies.org/blog/dont-miss-the-joy-of-family-life I remember leaving swimming lessons with a five-year-old one afternoon. (She was mine. I hadn’t taken a random child.) As we passed the garden I turned back to see why my daughter wasn’t beside me. We were late. I was frustrated. This was no time for dawdling. And then I noticed her bending over and smelling the flowers. My heart melted. She reminded me that there is joy in every moment if we look. We spent about 20 seconds looking at and smelling the flowers. Her curiosity was satisfied. And she gladly accompanied me to the car. Imagine the…

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Kyla Reveals Heartbreaking Loss: ‘An Angel Is Watching Over Me’

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/pregnancy/getting-pregnant/kyla-reveals-angel-is-watching-over-her-a00228-20180417?ref=home_feed_1 A pregnancy loss is one of the most heartbreaking experiences for any woman. The devastating pain stays with you no matter how many years had passed, and the memory can catch you off-guard like what singer Kyla experienced recently during a performance. During the launch of her latest album, “The Queen of R&B,” at Eastwood City, Kyla performed some of the songs on the record, including one that was titled Proper Heartbreak, which was about a relationship coming to an end. In a video shared by ABS-CBN News, Kyla, who is a mother to Toby Elsiah, 4, and happily married to basketball player Rich Alvarez, explained…

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This Mom Got To See Her Baby Being Born Via C-Section

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/pregnancy/labor-and-childbirth/this-mom-got-to-see-her-baby-being-born-via-c-section-a00041-20180416?ref=home_featured_big For most moms, whether you deliver your child naturally or via C-section is not an issue. Still, however, a few feel like they deprive their babies if they don’t give birth vaginally. That way of thinking should be a thing of the past, though, as C-section moms are now also taking control of their belly births by having a gentle C-section. A gentle C-section allows the new mom immediate skin-to-skin contact with her newborn to stimulate bonding and breastfeeding, and in some cases, they use clear surgical drapes so the mom can see her baby being born. Pregnant ladies can even…

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3 Signs You Might Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/health/your-health/pcos-the-3-signs-you-have-it-and-the-possibility-of-infertility-a00026-20180410?ref=home_feed_1 If you’re a Filipina, you probably know someone — or have been diagnosed yourself — with polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS.  According to Dr. Maynila Domingo, an obstetrician-gynecologist at ManilaMed in Ermita, Manila, “Overall, at least one in 15 women of reproductive age will be affected by PCOS, making it the most common endocrine (a.k.a. hormonal) disorder among this age group,”   PCOS’ exact cause is unknown, but it’s characterized by an imbalance in reproductive hormones. The imbalance has a symptom that have made many Filipinas head to their doctor: irregular menstruation.  Unfortunately, many women wait up to a year since their last…

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Motherhood Is Like Working More Than Two Full-time Jobs, Study Says

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/health/wellness/motherhood-is-like-working-more-than-two-full-time-jobs-study-say-a00041-20180410?ref=home_feed_1 Of all the roles women play, being a mom is rewarding, but there is no doubt it is the most challenging. Whether you’re a mom who manages the home, runs a business, or has a career, you have a lot of things on your plate. And even then, there are times when we STILL think we’re not doing enough. We think it’s time to prove to the doubters — and we’re talking about you, mom — that we are all doing the best we can. We believe moms are superwomen, but even superheroes can’t do everything that needs to be…

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Why Doctors Don’t Recommend Co-Sleeping for Babies Under 6 Months

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/parenting/baby/doctors-avoid-co-sleeping-6-months-a00026-20180319?ref=home_feed_1  Co-sleeping, where a parent and her child sleep in the same bed, is common in the Philippines. But doctors are urging parents not to co-sleep with their infants at least until your baby knows how to roll over due to the risk of death due to suffocation, strangulation, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  In the United States, “the number of babies dying from accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed skyrocketed 184% from 1999 to 2015,” according to new statistics released this February by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), reports WebMD. In the AAP’s updated safe sleep recommendations, the guidelines state that co-sleeping…

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What You Can Expect During Labor and Childbirth

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/pregnancy/labor-and-childbirth/6-things-you-can-expect-during-labor-and-childbirth-adv-con?ref=home_feed_1 No matter how many times you’ve discussed your birth plan with your doctor, it’s very likely that you’re going to encounter a few unexpected things on your actual delivery date. When the going gets tough, the best thing an expecting mom can do is to not panic and manage her expectations. Here’s a list of unexpected things you should brace yourself for:  You will feel labor pains that do not necessarily mean you’re about to give birth. There are contractions that may come and go in short bursts, which are called false labor pains or Braxton Hicks. They are described as…

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To Post or Not to Post? These Moms Say It’s Your Wall, Your Rules

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/parenting/real-parenting/to-post-or-not-to-post-a1741-20180311-lfrm In this day and age, parents can capture almost everything their kids do: Cute smile, adorable first words, grades in school, beautiful OOTDs, and a whole lot more. This treasure trove gets stored in our phones, computers and electronic gadgets, of course. But more often than not it finds its way first on our social media for our family and friends to see.  Whenever there’s a cute photo or a funny video of my baby that I want to share on social media, I ask myself to post or not to post? In my heart, I want to shout…

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Longer Maternity Leave Will Be the Best Gift This Women’s Month

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/life/news/call-on-congress-to-pass-expanded-maternity-leave-a00041-20180309 It’s been over a year since the Senate passed Senate Bill No. 1305, or the Expanded Maternity Leave Act. Where is it now? It’s pending with the House of Representatives (HOR), which has not approved its version, House Bill No. 4113or the Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) Bill.  “We call on our representatives in Congress — including the majority floor leader, [Rodolfo] Fariñas — to please support [the bill] and be the EML champion of the respective constituencies. We call them to action and give us a reason to celebrate Women’s Month,” Shirley Yorong of IndustriALL Women-Philippines said in a press conference in a GMA News report. …

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Are You at Risk of Having a Miscarriage? 6 Common Reasons It Happens

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/pregnancy/getting-pregnant/miscarriage-causes-symptoms-a00228-20180305?ref=home_feed_1 In an ideal world, every mother-to-be would have the smoothest, happiest pregnancy. Except, it doesn’t always happen.  A lot of women worry about the risks of having a miscarriage, or the loss of a fetus, which typically occurs before the 20th week of pregnancy. According to a 2003 study published in the Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, one in three Filipinas have had at least one pregnancy loss in their lifetime. In the United States, roughly 15 to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. For women who have experienced this heartbreaking loss, the guilt is overwhelming. They think the miscarriage…

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This Mom’s Simple Technique to Make Her Kids Listen Will Work for You

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/parenting/preschooler/would-this-trick-a-mom-uses-to-get-her-kids-to-listen-work-in-your-household-a00026-20180301?ref=home_aside_popular “My voice has lost some power,” says mom and writer forParent Co Curry Winters. She has three young kids and when she calls their names, “I am met with silence,” Curry shared. “Their lack of response makes me unsure if my directions are going to be followed.”  This is a scene typical of households with young kids, specifically preschoolers, who are testing out their newfound independence with defiance and stubbornness. Curry sought for solutions and found one that actually works for her: clapping a rhythm and expecting them to clap the same rhythm back to her.  Her trick is based on insight…

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Measles Outbreak in Zamboanga: DOH Urges Parents to Vaccinate Kids

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/health/your-kids-health/measles-outbreak-declared-in-zamboanga-doh-urges-parents-not-to-stop-vaccinating-kids-a00026-20180228?ref=home_feed_1 The Department of Health (DOH) declared a measles outbreak in Zamboanga City with a reported 166 cases in the last two months alone. Rising infection rates were already seen in August 2017. The viral respiratory disease took the life of a 6-month-old boy. He “presented all signs and symptoms of measles such as fever, rash, cough, coryza (inflammation of the membranes in the nose), conjunctivitis (eye redness), malaise (discomfort or uneasiness), and dyspnea (difficulty breathing),” said the DOH. The outbreak was attributed to low vaccination rates. The last measles supplemental immunization conducted in the area was in 2014, according to the health agency….

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Mom Describes Harsh Reality of Raising Young Kids: It’s Survival Mode

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/parenting/toddler/mom-describes-harsh-reality-of-raising-young-kids-survival-mode-a00228-20180215?ref=home_featured_big Whenever we see other moms’ posts on social media looking like they’ve got their life under control — makeup on, dazzling smile, behaved kids — we start to wonder whether what they’re showing is real or if there’s something wrong with our parenting style. The doubt strikes new moms pretty hard —their days are chaotic and their nights sleepless, so how the heck can they reach a semblance of normal life? Most of the time, navigating this parenting life is all about taking it one step at a time. We go through the motions, sometimes not knowing a thing…

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New Estimate of the Share of Children Being Raised by Married Parents

SOURCE: https://ifstudies.org/blog/1-in-2-a-new-estimate-of-the-share-of-children-being-raised-by-married-parents When it comes to today’s children, we often think about “privilege” in terms of the access to education, income, and good neighborhoods that some children benefit from and others do not. Certainly, these three forms of privilege matter for children’s welfare and for their shot at the American Dream, as Richard Reeves reminds us in Dream Hoarders. But there is another form of “privilege” that is often overlooked in contemporary debates about children’s welfare and futures: that of growing up in a stable two-parent family—loving and being loved by one’s two parents, who are also committed to one another and…

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Trends in Unmarried Childbearing Point to a Coming Apart

SOURCE: https://ifstudies.org/blog/trends-in-unmarried-childbearing-point-to-a-coming-apart Late last year in this space, I offered an overview of a report from Senator Mike Lee’s Social Capital Project about the rise of unwed childbearing. Today, two-fifths of children are born to unmarried mothers, a phenomenon the report traced to declining birth rates among married women, rising birth rates among unmarried women, a fall in “shotgun marriages,” and a decline in marriage itself. On Valentine’s Day, the project released some additional charts breaking the numbers out by race and educational attainment. The simple way to summarize them is this: In terms of race, old disparities have persisted as unmarried childbearing has risen…

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Feminism as the New Natalism: Can Progressive Policies Halt Falling Fertility?

SOURCE: https://ifstudies.org/blog/feminism-as-the-new-natalism-can-progressive-policies-halt-falling-fertility “American Women Are Having Fewer Children Than They’d Like,” I recently noted in an article for The New York Times. The article generated pushback, especially from progressives who charged me with ignoring the role that public policy may be playing in keeping American women from realizing their ideal number of children. Take this tweet about my article from Jill Filipovic: Also telling to see an article hand-wringing about fertility decline, written by a man, that takes the time to blame birth control, lack of sex, and smartphones, but doesn’t mention paid parental leave, affordable childcare, or pregnancy discrimination. Filipovic raises the possibility that better public policy could…

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WHO’s New Recommendations Aim to Reduce Medical Interventions in Childbirth

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/pregnancy/labor-and-childbirth/who-recommends-more-woman-centered-childbirth-fewer-interventions?ref=home_feed_1 In recent years, women empowerment had preggos reclaim the power to decide how they want to welcome their little ones into the world, as long as it doesn’t out their life and their baby’s life in danger. Moms wanting to try and push for a natural non-medicated birth is no longer just a trend.  The World Health Organization (WHO) issued new recommendations for childbirth practices all over the world. That is, to reduce unnecessary medical interventions for healthy pregnant women. Women in the old days have welcome babies naturally did it successfully, and it’s still possible to do so today.  “We…

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Why Moms Should Stop Saying ‘Be Careful’ to their Kids

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/parenting/preschooler/one-mom-says-we-should-stop-telling-kids-to-be-careful-here-s-why-a00026-20180221?ref=home_feed_1 Moms and dads will do anything to protect their kids and keep them safe from harm. It’s entirely understandable — when you love someone so much, you can get a little paranoid at everything that can hurt that person. Even the sight of your little one running just a bit too fast can make you yell from across the playground, “Be careful!” Mom and photographer Josée, who has three children and runs the blog Backwoods Mama, thinks we should stop saying those two words though. As a nature lover, the Canada-based mom is a big advocate of letting kids play outdoors…

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“Mix Feeding Is Not Going to Make You Less of a Mother”

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/pregnancy/breastfeeding/bangs-garcia-mix-feeding-a00041-20180222?ref=home_feed_1 Many moms say it’s only hard at the beginning, and as soon as you and your baby get your rhythm, breastfeeding will be effortless eventually. Still, sometimes, it doesn’t always go according to plan, as Valerie “Bangs” Garcia recently found out. The new mom, who gave birth to daughter Amelia in the U.K. three months ago, revealed she developed an infection after her C-section operation. While on antibiotics, her breast milk supply diminished. “It explains why Amelia got so frustrated and stopped latching during our last day there,” she wrote on Instagram “I thought I couldn’t [breastfeed], but I did. It really hurts in the…

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Bianca Gonzalez-Intal: ‘Me Doing My Best for My Daughter Is All She Needs’

For Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, social media is a well of ideas for kid-friendly spots, good food havens, and even fun family activities, great books, and cool toys. But, in an Instagram post, another one of her “#mommydiaries,” her words resonated among millennial moms once again by saying that social media also makes her insecurities worse, especially during her first few months of being a mom. “I would scroll down my feed and just….feel bad. Feel sorry for myself. Feel like I wasn’t good enough to be a mother,” the TV host revealed. She was seeing moms who didn’t look haggard at all…

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Hugging Your Child Benefits Him Today and in the Years to Come

Unang Yakap, or the First Embrace, is mom’s first skin-to-skin hug with her baby immediately after birth. It is an essential step that is highly recommended by doctors because it transfers a mother’s warmth and protective bacteria to her newborn. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls it “life-saving.” This skin-to-skin contact, whether as an embrace, hug, or any expression of physical affection, continues to be vital to your child’s well-being as he grows up. “Higher self-esteem, better parent-child communication, and fewer psychological and behavior problems have been linked to warmth and affection between parent and child,” said a report from Child Trends, a nonprofit research organization in the…

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Self-Care Prescription: Parenting Drains Your Brain Power

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/health/wellness/expert-say-take-time-for-yourself-mom-a00026-20180213?ref=home_feed_1 Kids always come first, right? So when contributing writer and dad Steve Calechman, who has a 6- and 3-year-old, was asked by his doctor what he did for fun, he answered with a laugh. His life was so overtaken by his children that he had trouble fitting in time for himself.  “I know that I should squeeze in something like listening to music, reading, or doing nothing. It just never tops the priority list. I feel guilty spending time or money on anything that isn’t family-related,” he wrote in an article for Harvard Health. Most, if not all, parents are in the same boat…

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A Mother Teaches her Kids not to be a Slave of Money

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/parenting/real-parenting/my-family-was-a-slave-to-money-how-i-am-trying-not-to-do-the-same-to-my-kids-a1738-20180211-lfrm?ref=home_feed_1 One day, many years ago, I fetched my firstborn from preschool and was surprised to find her crying as she got into our car.  Apparently, two of her classmates mocked her, calling her, “Poor!  Poor!” Unlike them who were fetched by different cars every day, my daughter was only fetched by one car, driven by me. My daughter was crying because she did not understand what poor was, a word we never used at home. “Mama, what’s poor?” “It’s hard to explain in words, palangga,” I gently answered as I drove, all the while racking my brains on how…

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A Mother’s Reflection on Acceptance

SOURCE: https://www.smartparenting.com.ph/life/love-relationships/i-may-have-been-broken-but-now-i-am-complete-a1736-20180201-lfrm I knew that I shouldn’t question God why I had to come from a broken family, but I’d be lying if I say that I never thought about it. Recently, after more than 20 years, I finally found out that everything has a greater purpose, and it comes even after a bad beginning. As far as I could recall, my family still lived together when I was 3 years old. I remembered a night where I was crying because it was the first time that I was sleeping and sharing a bed with my sisters instead of being in…

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