How To Have A Healthy Pregnancy After 35

By Felicia Vance

Getting pregnant after 35 may be more difficult than at age 25, but it’s not necessarily impossible. What are your chances for getting pregnant after age 35? Why is it more difficult than in your 20s and early 30s, and why do doctors recommend seeking help getting pregnant sooner than later if you’re past age 35?

Rest assured, most healthy women who get pregnant after age 35 and even into their 40s have healthy babies. That doesn’t mean, though, that that you shouldn’t think about smart steps you can take to maximize your health and your baby’s health during pregnancy.

Get early and regular prenatal care. The first eight weeks of your pregnancy are very important to your baby’s development. Early and regular prenatal care can increase your chances of having a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. Prenatal care includes screenings, regular exams, pregnancy and childbirth education, and counseling and support.

Getting prenatal care also helps provide extra protection for women over 35. It allows your doctor to stay ahead of health conditions that are more common in women who are older when they get pregnant. For instance, your age may increase your risk for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure along with protein in the urine. During prenatal visits, your doctor will check your blood pressure, test your urine for protein and sugar, and test your blood glucose levels. That way, any potential problems can be caught and treated early.

Consider optional prenatal tests for women over 35. Your doctor may offer you special prenatal tests that are particularly applicable for older moms. These tests help determine the risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Ask your doctor about these tests so you can learn the risks and benefits and decide what’s right for you.

Take prenatal vitamins. All women of childbearing age should take a daily prenatal vitamin containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Getting enough folic acid every day before and during the first three months of pregnancy can help prevent birth defects involving a baby’s brain and spinal cord. Taking folic acid adds an important level of protection for older women, who have a higher risk of having a baby with birth defects.

You deserve the same TLC as your baby. Taking care of yourself will help you manage any existing health problems and protect you from pregnancy-related diabetes and high blood pressure. And the healthier you are the better it will be for your little one.

Keep up with other doctor appointments. If you have a chronic health problem such as diabetes or high blood pressure, be sure you keep up with your regular doctor appointments. Managing your condition before you get pregnant will keep both you and your baby healthy. Be sure to see your dentist for regular exams and cleanings too. Having healthy teeth and gums lessens the chance of preterm birth and of having a baby with a low birth weight.

Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. Eating a variety of foods will help you get all the nutrients you need. Choose plenty of fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. You should eat and drink at least 4 servings of dairy and calcium-rich foods every day. That way you’ll keep your teeth and bones healthy while your baby develops. Also be sure to include good food sources of folic acid, such as leafy green vegetables, dried beans, liver, and some citrus fruits.

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Are YOU Causing ADHD In Your Child?

By Felicia Vance

Preschoolers whose parents report depression and intimate partner violence may be more likely to develop attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD or ADHD) by the age of 6, new research suggests.

And young children with depressed moms may be more likely to receive prescription drugs to treat behavioral and mental health issues down the road.

“Our study indicates that preschoolers who are diagnosed with ADHD are more likely to have been exposed to both intimate partner violence and parental depression within the first three years of life than their peers not exposed to either risk factor,” said study author Dr. Nerissa Bauer, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis.

“There has been increasing awareness that certain psychosocial risk factors can impact the behavioral presentation of children at very young ages,” she said. Still, not all children who are exposed to maternal depression and intimate partner violence will develop ADHD, she noted.

“There are other factors that can be associated with a child’s higher likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD, including a family history of ADHD,” Bauer explained.

ADHD symptoms can include impulsiveness, hyperactivity and difficulty focusing. Kids with ADHD may have difficulty in school, holding down jobs and sustaining relationships. They are also at greater risk for alcohol or substance abuse, depression and anxiety disorders. Treatment typically involves medication and behavioral modifications.

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Ravens Wide Reciver Torrey Smith & Fiancee’ Make Rap Video To Encourage Kids To Study

By Team BLAM

Ravens wide receiver Torry Smith and his fiancee Chanel Williams want to make sure everyone is ready. Ready for what?

Students in the state of Maryland are preparing for some important exams this week. They made a video. Williams teaches fourth-grade at Dogwood Elementary in Baltimore County. We love her creativity and willingness to include her fiancee’ in the video to get her students motivated.

The MSAs or Maryland School Assessment tests are given to children in grades 3 through 8 to test reading and math levels.

 The video has already gotten more than 20,000 hits on YouTube.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Jada Pinkett Smith Gives Tough Love Advice To A Friend About Loving Your Husband’s Children

What’s up BLAM Fam,

Check out this letter that Jada Pinkett Smith wrote to a friend who’s dealing with some blended family issues.  Let us know what you think.  Was it too in your face?  Was it on point…and what a lot of other women need to hear?

A letter to a friend:

Blended families are NEVER easy, but here’s why I don’t have a lot of sympathy for your situation because… we CHOOSE them. When I married Will, I knew Trey was part of the package…Period! If I didn’t want that…I needed to marry someone else. Then I learned if I am going to love Trey…I had to learn to love the most important person in the world to him…his mother. And the two of us may not have always LIKED each other… but we have learned to LOVE each other.

I can’t support any actions that keep a man from his children of a previous marriage. These are the situations that separate the women from the girls. Your behavior is that of an insecure child who needs to recognize her own weaknesses that MUST be strengthened to take on the task at hand. We can’t say we love our man and then come in between him and his children. THAT’S selfishness…NOT love. WOMAN UP… I’ve been there…I know. My blended family made me a giant… Taught me so much about love, commitment and it has been the biggest ego death to date. It’s time you let your blended family make you the giant you truly are.

How To Guard And Guide Your Children With Love

By Lana Moline

Today’s kids are faced with more pressures than we ever had to deal with.  Things that were innuendoes in stories and movies are on the forefront and pronounced.  There was a time when issues such as homosexuality, infedelity, or adultry would go over their heads but that’s not the case anymore.  Even in the attempt to monitor our television viewing, those issues have taken center stage even in the “family-oriented” shows.  I know the easy answer is to simply turn off the television but how realistic is that for 365 days.  I don’t want to set my kids up so that they will be totally caught off guard nor am I am making an excuse for watching television.  What I am saying is that the biggest issues aren’t setting curfews or wearing makeup.  As parents we must be intentional in making sure our kids connect to how big the world is and guide them to recognize that every single individual on this planet has their own set of core values and beliefs.

So how do we tackle the big issues?  Here’s a checklist that may be helpful when talking to our kids.

1.  Pray first and rely on the power of God whose knowledge and wisdom stems far beyond ours.  Share vulnerabilities, hesitancies and concerns in prayer.  Ask for guidance and a divine script to follow.

2.  Wait and follow God’s prompting.  Timing is everything and our kids are very receptive and sensitive to our emotions or concerns.  After we pray, it is very important to make sure that we are still and do not act ahead of God’s timing.  When we are still and wait, the perfect opportunity will present itself and we are graced to go all in.

3.  Share with your child the point of the conversation.  Let them know that you have prayed about it and would like to have an open conversation about a few tough issues.

4.  Listen to your child’s point of view and build from there.  Kids today are brilliant and will blow us away with what they know.  Resist the urge to discourage their ideas if they are different or contrary to what you believe to be best.  Encourage invidual thought but share wisdom, giving factual information, moral obligations, ethical convictions and biblical references.

5.  Remain open for follow up.  Assure your child that this conversation is one of many and that as they grow up you will remain available to talk again if they ever need to.

Part of our concern as parents is that is doesn’t matter if we are parents of the year who was present for every single extra-curricular activity.  Our kids will be faced with difficult decisions and tough circumstances.  As much as we would like to, we can’t shield them or even assume that they will automatically have ease in making a decision.  Let’s face it, there were many things that we dealt with as we were growing up.  We can all conclude that our stats reveal that we won some and we lost some.  Let that be our motivation.  We can’t go overboard or over identify and try to right our wrongs.  All we can do is offer our very best to them, continuously pray for and with them and repeatedly let them know that we are here.

Lana Moline is an integral part of the writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her at Lana Moline Speaks.


What’s Your Grade? ‘A’ as a Mom ‘F’ as a Wife?

VIDEO:  Have you recently taken the time to ask yourself…”What’s my grade as a wife and as a mother?” If you take the time to do some self reflection and honest self examination you will discover your strengths and weaknesses in these roles. Far too often we are way out of balance and pay more attention to one area of our lives than the others and consequently something or someone suffers. We need to be balanced in life and in love. How do you measure up? Do you make the grade? Leave a comment with your thoughts or submit a video response. We want to hear from you.

Three Types Of Parenting Styles: Which One Are You?

By Brigitte Coste

What type of parent are you? Have you really ever thought about it? You are your child’s first teacher; but you should never stop learning ways to be a better and more effective parent yourself. Beginning with studies in the 1960s, 3 parenting styles have emerged to help understand and explain the behavior and development of children.

Observing the impact that parents have on child development has been a fascination for researchers and sociologists throughout the years; but, it was the work of Diane Baumrind that defined the idea of distinct parenting styles and the effects each method has on behavior, social skills, and maturity.

Baumrind’s theory is based on the two vital elements of parental responsiveness, which includes warmth, ‘supportiveness’, and acceptance, and parental demandingness, which considers disciplinary strategies and methods of behavior control. The job of a parent is to influence, teach, direct, and empower their children to become secure, happy, independent adults, and such things as communication styles, expectations, and parenting techniques can either help or hinder this process.

Of course, categorizing specific styles and identifying predicted outcomes is limited since few parents will fit unquestionably into only one style. Most people use a mixture of techniques, and two parents may differ in their beliefs and philosophies even though they are raising the same child. Individual personalities, social environments, and the presence of other authority figures in a child’s life cannot be overlooked when evaluating the effects of parenting on child development. No one can deny that sometimes children raised in the same home grow up to be very different, while children raised in seemingly opposite environments may be equal when measured according to Baumrind’s ideas of maturity and social adjustment.

Baumrind’s theory provides a great guideline in helping parents identify valuable techniques and recognizing areas that need change, but it should only be used as a framework to build upon. Each parent needs to define their own child’s needs and work to effectively meet those needs, focusing on the individual and using the concept of parenting styles as a tool to help children become strong, happy, healthy adults.

1. Authoritarian.

This style is defined as high demandingness and low responsiveness, meaning that parents have very high levels of expectation and very low tolerance for individuality, creativity, or personal desires. They shape, control, and judge behavior based on an absolute set of standards and demand that rules should be obeyed without question. Tradition, predictability, and rigid order are valued, and failure to follow the rules is not tolerated. Behavior is controlled by punishment. Authoritarian parents have a very black and white point of view and children are always being judged or evaluated based on this distinction, making them either ‘good or bad’ or ‘right or wrong’. There is no middle ground and no room for discussion or communication. Policies are not explained, nor do parents feel it is necessary since unquestionable obedience is expected. The goal is for children to behave as adults, assume mature responsibilities, and conform to expectations.

Children raised in strict, authoritarian homes are often anxious and withdrawn, have low self-esteem because they are unable to live up to expectations, and usually do not engage in deviant behavior. Since most decisions are made for them, they tend to not be good at independent thinking, rank lower in social competence, and are unwilling to try new things. They tend to react poorly to frustrations and are have difficulties in dealing creatively with challenges. Basically, these children obey out of fear of punishment and their behavior is dictated by external elements.

2. Permissive.

This style is defined by high responsiveness, but low demandingness. Permissive parents are very indulgent and respond well to their child’s desires and have very few expectations. They use reasoning, manipulation, and bribes to achieve control and want to be their child’s friend rather than an authority figure. They believe that children should be treated as equals and given a high level of autonomy; however, they do not expect them to behave as adults. This may lead to a self-centered, ‘me’ focused attitude with little regard for the needs of others. Rigid rules are considered to be restrictive and children are included in the decision making process, with all policies being open for discussion and dispute. Permissive parents are usually afraid of confrontation so discipline is rare. Although they have very few expectations, they are very accepting of their children’s desires and interests and encourage them to pursue every opportunity.

Unfortunately, a complete lack of limits often results in insecurity. Children do not know what they can count on and will regularly test the limits, knowing that their parents will do whatever necessary to avoid conflict. Children raised in permissive homes tend to be impulsive, rebellious, are more likely to engage in experimentative, sometimes even problematic behavior. Since they are treated as equals, they have good communication skills, but may exhibit poor emotional regulation and tend to give up easily when faced with a challenge.

3. Authoritative. (Not to be confused with Authoritarian)

This parenting style is basically a ‘middle ground’ or combination of the previous two. It is defined by a high level of demandingness balanced with an equally high level of responsiveness. Parents are supportive rather than punitive; however, they do have a clear standard of behavioral expectations. The authoritative parent will ‘direct’ rather than ‘control’ and strive to accept the individuality and interests of each child. They provide reasons for rules and welcome feedback, both listening and respecting their children’s point of view. Children are given a certain degree of say, with the knowledge that the parent is the final authority. Punishment is not usually used to prevent bad behavior, and children are encouraged to fulfill their potential and make their own decisions within a controlled framework of boundaries.

I am a strong proponent of Authoritative Parenting. I believe that positive attention, fair rules, consistent consequeces (not necessarily punishment) and a warm, accepting environment lead to happy, well-adjusted children who are self-confident, capable, and goal-oriented. Research has shown that these children have well developed social skills, work to master tasks, and are able to think both independently and creatively.

Take the time to evaluate your techniques and develop your own positive strategies so you can effectively raise happy children who grow to become secure, responsible, independent adults.

Birgitte Coste is an anthropologist and mother whose passion for parenting led her to create where she shares practical tips for raising children and details each of the 3 parenting styles.

The Ma’at Children Say “I Know I Can”

VIDEO: As adults we get in the way of ourselves and impose parameters on our potential. If we sit still for a moment and watch children we can learn to reconnect with our inborn optimism and go after those once forgotten dreams. Listen in as the Ma’at children remind you that YOU can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.

Ready To Grow Your Family? Check Out These 6 Essential Tips.

By Susan F Taylor

There are many reasons why a woman cannot conceive a baby. If you are one of these women, who are experiencing difficulty with getting pregnant stop what you’re doing and read on to get tips to improve your chances of conceiving a baby. You likely have heard of some of these, but the question is are you doing these things?


1) You have to consult first an obstetrician for you to be diagnosed. Your doctor could conduct series of tests to know if you have hormonal imbalances.


2) Engage yourself to physical activities or exercise routines everyday for at least 30 minutes. Try different sports such as playing tennis, swimming, badminton, or volleyball. Or you can do simple exercises such as walking your dog, jogging or biking.


3) You should consider your sexual positions during sex. The advisable positions are dog style and missionary positions. During intercourse, do not shift to different positions especially sitting to standing positions. After intercourse, you have to raise your hips by putting a pillow under your bottom to help the sperm swim near your cervix.


4) Do not stress yourself if you cannot conceive. Do it naturally and with love. Remember that a child is a product of your love with your partner.


5) Another tip for improving your odds of getting pregnant is to know your ovulation period. Timing is very critical in conceiving. Knowing your ovulation period will give you the best time to have intercourse with your partner.


6) Eating healthy and nutritious foods will help improve your chances of conceiving a baby. You have to include in your balanced diet the following: milk, orange, poultry, beans, nuts, green leafy vegetables and lean meats. Avoid in your daily meal trans fat food such as potato chips, cookies, French fries and doughnuts.

You Are The “Busy Mom” Because You Choose To Be

By Lori Radun

Let’s face it. We live in a fast paced world. As moms, it is hard to keep up with everything on our plates. We have piles of laundry, piles of dishes, and piles of school papers. Along with the many errands we have to run, we also play chauffer for our children. It may be martial arts on Monday, soccer practice on Tuesday and music lessons on Wednesday. Weekends may be even worse with baseball games, gymnastics meets or ballet lessons. And it doesn’t end there. Many of us also try to squeeze in time to volunteer at school and church because we know they need help.

When life is too busy, stress increases and adrenaline levels rise. Eventually, our bodies begin to tell us we are in trouble. Common problems of an over-stressed lifestyle include physical illness, disease, anxiety and depression. Our bodies can handle only so much before they scream STOP! Relationships may also suffer, as everyone becomes tired and irritable. Children, who are over extended, may not be able to communicate their stress in words, but tantrums, fighting and other unacceptable behavior may all be warning signs.

People who try to handle too much often become disorganized and forgetful. (Have you ever searched everywhere for something you just saw yesterday? Or remembered an appointment – three days late?) My husband and I are perfect examples. I was scheduled to attend a teleclass on Monday: on Wednesday it dawned on me that I had forgotten all about it. Last week my husband returned home twice after leaving for work. The first day he forgot his briefcase; the next day, he forgot his samples. Today he forgot his suit jacket. It really is a vicious circle. Every time we have to take time to return home or worry about things we have forgotten, stress levels increase even more.

For many of us, volunteering becomes a time-stealing trap. Don’t hear me wrong. Volunteering is a great thing. Our world needs volunteers, and volunteering is very rewarding. It is also our responsibility to teach our children the importance of community service. But moms overwhelmed with volunteer work may be over scheduling themselves at the expense of their families and themselves. When people identify a kindhearted person, who likes to help, they may take advantage. It is easier to approach that type of person than one who is never willing to volunteer. Volunteering is important, but keeping our lives balanced is more important. Expect others to do their share, but when they do not, do not step in for them. Knowing when to say no is as important as knowing when to say yes.

How wonderful it would be to have a magical machine with the ability to create peace in the midst of chaos. With this machine life would be slower and we would feel like we have all the time in the world. If I had this machine I know what my life might look like: I wake up 15 minutes early every day to meditate and pray. I have time to spend on laundry and housecleaning because there is nothing on my schedule. My children have time to relax and play because they have eliminated many of their extracurricular activities. Each night my family sits down to dinner together and shares the best parts of their day. One night of the week is designated as family game night. Saturday night is date night and the children enjoy their babysitter. Everyone in the family is happier and less stressed. Real connections with loved ones exist.

Is this a “Fantasy Island” that can never be reached? No it is not. In fact, no magical machine is needed. We all have the power to create any kind of life we want. We can transform our stressful lives into more relaxed and enjoyable ones. We may have to rearrange our priorities. We may have to make some hard choices – eliminating some of the activities and responsibilities we once believed were necessary. We may have to develop new habits or change old attitudes. But it can be done. Change is not always easy, but isn’t a happier, less stressful life worth it? Think about this: The lives we model today will probably be the types of lives our children live as adults. We do have a choice – choose wisely.

Lori Radun, certified life coach for moms. To receive her FREE monthly ezine and the FREE special report “155 Things Moms Can Do to Raise Great Children”, go to