Early-morning births are genetically programmed

https://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21741136-small-hours-provided-evolutionary-advantage-early-morning-births-are

 

“THE notion that nothing good happens after midnight does not seem to apply to times of birth. Around the world the peak hours for vaginal births that have not been induced by drugs fall between 1am and 7am; the numbers then dwindle throughout the rest of the day. This has led many scientists to believe that giving birth during the early morning offers some sort of evolutionary advantage, perhaps gained long ago when hunter-gatherer mothers and their infants would benefit from having their group reunited during the small hours to help with care and to defend them against any predators.

The problem with this theory is that almost all the information on the timing of human births comes from modern, urban settings, such as clinics and hospitals, which could produce artificial conditions that skew the variation in timings. Not so, it turns out. As Carlye Chaney of Yale University shows in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, early-morning births are common to communities with both modern and traditional lifestyles.”

(click link at top to read this fascinating article on economist.com)

 

Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/magazine/black-mothers-babies-death-maternal-mortality.html

The answer to the disparity in death rates has everything to do with the lived experience of being a black woman in America.

Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — 11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel. In one year, that racial gap adds up to more than 4,000 lost black babies. Education and income offer little protection. In fact, a black woman with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with less than an eighth-grade education.

(click link above to read this powerful piece on NYTimes.com)

How To Be a Perfect Parent in 5 Easy Steps… or Probably Never

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/una-lamarche/how-to-be-a-perfect-parent_b_2888253.html

I don’t dole out much parenting advice as a rule, largely because I have an almost 18-month-old and spend most of my days feeling like a complete and utter fraud and failure.

I know that sounds depressing, but here is the truth that will set you free: That’s what parenting is.  

(click to read Una LaMarche’s VERY funny blog post on Huffington Post)

Why You Should Wear (or Carry) Your Baby (At Least Some of the Time)


Just as all members of the family hominidae are and were ardent co-sleepers, apes, humans, and (most likely) all extinct hominids carried or even wore their infants on their bodies as a general rule. And so, for most of human history, our infants have been swaddled, slung, carried, grasped, hugged, and otherwise attached to our bodies for a significant portion of their early development. Like other environmental inputs to which our ancestors were routinely and consistently exposed, there’s plenty of evidence that carrying your baby confers beneficial physiological and psychological effects – to both child and parent.

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-you-should-wear-or-carry-your-baby/#ixzz2JgyVP5mM