Infertility Guidance Begins with Healthcare Providers

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Infertility can be a difficult topic to understand for couples trying to conceive a child. Many questions arise during the conception journey concerning health, timing, and fertility treatments. So where do most couples go for guidance and support?
The Stork ib2C Inc. conducted an online survey among 150 adult consumers under the age of 45 who have been trying to conceive for at least three months and have taken action to improve fertility or would consider taking action in the future. The survey uncovered that healthcare providers are the top resource consulted about fertility at the beginning of many couples’ conception journey and during the time couples began to feel concerned. The results showed that 51 percent of respondents consulted their healthcare provider initially for fertility, and 49 percent for concerns related to fertility.
The more-concerned respondent bases most likely consulted resources about fertility from the very beginning, including 92 percent of those who were moderately concerned and 84 percent of those who were highly concerned.
The number-one reason for concern, by a ratio of more than 2 to 1, was the number of months the couples spent trying to conceive, in addition to how long these couples thought it would take at the time they started trying to conceive. The level of concern positively correlated to couples who tried certain conception techniques, including over-the-counter (OTC) medical devices and incorporating lifestyle modifications about diet and caffeine.
The survey showed that experiences and actions changed as the respondents moved along the levels of concern. The most-concerned segment was eager to try new options. Twenty-six percent of respondents were unaware of the possibility of using an OTC medical device to improve fertility, as only 6 percent of respondents were using one; however, another 25 percent said they were considering it. This is where The Stork OTC can help.
The Stork OTC home conception device is a low-cost option that affords couples the opportunity to increase their fertility without engaging in long-term and costly treatments. There are no shots to take, scans to schedule or prescriptions to fill. The FDA-cleared, over-the-counter device provides a way to keep higher sperm score concentration at the cervix compared with natural intercourse by cervical cap insemination.
For more information, visit www.storkotc.com.

How Parents Can Have A Device-Free Meal with the Tap of A Button

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Technology, the pletho- ra of devices, such as smart phones and tablets, and social media have brought convenience to our finger- tips today in ways that we didn’t know were possible just a few years ago.
It has made life easier for families and businesses in so many ways, more than we can count.
But, with that immediate grat- ification we, as a society, have some serious consequences to con- sider and address.
A new Comcast survey shows that the majority of parents across the country believe that disconnecting from devices during mealtime improves family bonding, with more than 2 in 5 (42 percent) not able to remember the last time their family had a device-free meal.
However, children aren’t the only ones to blame: more than half (52 percent) of parents have been told by their children to put their cell phones away during meals. A new DeviceFreeDinner campaign featuring comedian Will Ferrell captures this very issue. Comcast offers a solution for parents called Xfinity xFi, a new way for users to personalize, monitor, and control their home Wi-Fi, including the ability to instantly pause Wi-Fi connectivity by user or device.
The “pause device” feature is the most popular xFi function, with users tapping “pause” about five million times since launch, most often between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Parents will be happy to learn that they are not alone in their concerns about screen time and its effects.
Comcast’s nationwide study of parents, conducted by Wakefield Research, also found:
* Dinnertime is bonding time -Nearly every (98 percent) parent surveyed agrees that disconnecting from devices during mealtime im- proves family bonding.
* Millennial parents have an especially hard time remembering the last time they sat at the dinner table without a device at the table (49 percent), compared to Gen Xers (37 percent) and Boomers (33 percent).
* Sneaking screen time – Par- ents admit to taking away their children’s devices an average of once per week and more than half (56 percent) have found their chil- dren trying to sneak their devices when they were banned from them.
* Going to extremes to discon- nect – Nearly one-third (31 percent) of parents make their children leave their devices in a basket be- fore bedtime, while 14 percent go so far as to disconnect their modems to stop Wi-Fi usage.
The American Academy of Pe- diatrics recommends that parents develop personalized plans for their children’s device use, warning that excessive screen time can displace important activities such as face-to-face interaction, familytime, outdoor play, exercise, and sleep.
“Technology should adapt to meet our customers’ needs, not the other way around,” says Eric Schaefer, Senior Vice President of Internet and Communications Ser-vices for Comcast Cable. “With xFi’s ‘pause device’ feature, parents have the power to decide when it’s time for family members to connect with each other, rather than their devices.”
For more information about Comcast’s xFi, go to: www.xfinity.com/xfi.

Encourage a Love of Reading During National Family Literacy Month

(NewsUSA) – For many parents, it’s a struggle to get kids to read outside of the classroom, but November is the perfect time to change that, because it’s National Family Literacy Month.The importance of reading goes well beyond acing a test or getting an "A" on a book report. It’s a lifelong skill that helps you to better understand the world around you and even yourself. And it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure that kids don’t become non-readers in their busy, over-connected daily lives."Reading opens up so many possibilities, from discovering a new interest to sparking untapped creativity. Best of all, it is a great way to spend time together as a family," says Emily Levitt, vice president of Education for Sylvan Learning.Here are a few suggestions to help kids to fall in love with reading, and to share fun, memorable reading experiences together as a family.* Read Aloud — The easiest way to get kids interested in reading and to build their vocabulary is for parents to read aloud to their children, no matter their ages. Kids will often skip over words they don’t recognize when reading alone, but if they hear their parents say the word, they may ask for the definition. Putting aside just 15 minutes a week to read aloud to kids can make a difference.* Start a Book Club — Starting a book club with a group of your kid’s friends and their parents is a great way to make reading fun. Give participants a month to read the selected book, then organize a party where everyone can chat and enjoy themed snacks.* Stick with What They Like — Kids will be more inclined to read if it’s about something they’re already interested in. And if you can share that interest with them, that’s even better! And because not everyone loves the same subjects or genres, try to at least hook them with engaging books on whatever they enjoy — be it baseball, magic or anything else.* Monkey See, Monkey Do — It’s important that kids see their parents reading. If they don’t, it’s an unspoken statement to your child that it’s okay not to read. From crossword puzzles to comic books, it’s easier than you think to build literacy as a family. Make a conscious effort to set time aside time for you and your kids to read together.* Deploy Backup — Not every child is a natural born reader and even kids who are great readers can use reading help.Sylvan Learning offers reading programs from Pre-K through Grade 12. And because no two children are exactly alike, they personalize reading tutoring for each child, giving kids the personal attention and confidence they need to thrive.For more information, please visit www.sylvanlearning.com

Back To School Means Early-Morning-Wake-Up Call

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s that time of year again — back to school.
Kids may not be happy, but moms are most likely thrilled to get organized, prepared and back into a routine.
It can be difficult to put a schedule in place after a summer of sleeping in, staying up late, hanging out at the pool, and just relaxing.
If this sounds like you and your family, here are some great tips to get you started:
* Breakfast is essential. During the summer, both moms and kids experience inconsistency. To help get everyone back in a routine, work on a consistent breakfast time. Remind kids that if they don’t eat, lunchtime at school will feel an eternity away. Quick and easy options for the most important meal of the day include cereal and milk or apples or bananas with nut butter. If you’re looking for diversity, Malt-O-Meal brand cereals come in more than 30 varieties — something for every taste bud in the family.
* Order the school supplies online. Who has time to run all over town, stopping at four different stores for items on the list? Order what you can online and save time and money. Many stores offer back-to-school sales and everything will be delivered to your door.
* Over the weekend, get groceries and meal prep done for the week. You can help yourself by chopping up produce, making soups and casseroles to freeze, and assigning portions to containers.
* Reevaluate what your kids can do or contribute to. Kids are perfectly capable of helping out: based on their age, they can make their own lunch and snacks for school, put laundry away and take out the trash and recycling.
Sometimes, there are good lessons to learn, too. For example, the Malt-O-Meal cereal bags from breakfast can be recycled through a free program in partnership with TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based recycling company. Through the Malt-O-Meal Cereal Bag Recycling Program, you can ensure that none of it ends up in the landfill. And the bonus? It’s a great way for kids to get involved.
So think about what your kids and family can do to help you during this school year. They are able to do more than you think. Be organized, plan ahead and get that school routine in place so the rest of the year is a breeze.

Study Suggests Today’s US Students Are Less Efficient Readers

(NewsUSA) – Do today’s students perform better than their peers in 1960? Given the advances in education and technology, it would be natural to assume that the answer is a resounding "yes." But, when it comes to reading efficiency, new research suggests that that’s not the case.The research, published by the International Literacy Association, compares the comprehension-based silent reading efficiency of US students (grades 2-12) in 2011 with data collected in 1960.A key finding was that students fall further behind as they advance through the grades, wrote Alexandra Spichtig, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer of Reading Plus, and first author of the study.The study showed that today’s second-grade students are comparable to their peers of 50 years ago, but that by the end of high school, students’ comprehension-based silent reading rates average 19 percent slower than the rates of their 1960 peers."What we know — and the data underscore this — is that for many students, the progression to efficient silent reading does not develop naturally. Many students need structured silent reading instruction," explains Mark Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Reading Plus, a web-based silent reading program for schools.Some of the benefits of implementing silent reading instruction at home or in school are:* Expanded vocabulary* Improved comprehension* Increased efficiency* Enhanced reading enjoyment* Improved writing skillsExperts agree that without extensive silent reading practice in the classroom or at home, students will continue to struggle and literacy rates will continue to fall short or fall behind."Effective reading instruction must integrate fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension practice tailored to meet each student’s unique needs. This study demonstrates that as long as structured silent reading practice is neglected in this country, the literacy problem is likely to continue," Taylor adds.While researchers can’t pinpoint reasons for the decline in silent reading efficiency from that of 50 years ago, it stands to reason that those students who engage in structured silent reading practice become more efficient readers and take with them a love of books that lasts far past their high school graduation.For more information, please visit www.readingplus.com

Misconceptions About Conception

(NewsUSA) – As straightforward as the idea of getting pregnant may seem, there is still a great deal of confusion about infertility. A survey of 500 participants, conducted by The Stork Ib2C, Inc. uncovers the most prevalent misconceptions about conception.When asked how long respondents assumed it would take to see a positive pregnancy test, nearly 56 percent thought only three to six months. In actuality, most will take up to a year to conceive. Fertility is often out of our control, and these false expectations can lead to disappointment and stress early on, and that can negatively impact fertility and the conception process.The survey also revealed a psychological impact from fertility issues as 38 percent described feeling sad or upset that others were pregnant while they were not.Although friends and family are supporting the couple’s success, not being able to give those loved ones the news they want to hear causes the same percent to feel unwanted pressure.Thirty-three percent were concerned about financial barriers of fertility treatments, questioning how they would finance expensive treatments, particularly at a time they were saving for a new baby. Clinical fertility treatments vary in price, but most procedures are not covered by health insurance and can reach well over $10,000.More than 52 percent thought multiple births were the number-one risk associated with in vitro fertilization (IVF), and 67 percent said they would not try the most invasive of the clinically fertility treatments. Surprisingly, many did not recognize the risks associated with ovulation-stimulating hormones. The high price of clinical procedures doesn’t equate to greater success rates, a component only 13 percent cited as a risk they associated with treatments.The average cost of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is $500, but yields only a 16-21 percent rate of success, similar to the 20 percent of cervical cap insemination, the technique the Stork OTC offers, but at a considerable lower price .The Stork OTC home conception device is a low-cost option that affords couples the opportunity to assist their chances of conception without engaging in invasive and costly treatments. The FDA-cleared, over-the-counter device provides a way to keep a higher sperm score concentration at the cervix compared to natural intercourse. For more information, visit www.storkotc.com

Boomers, Grandchildren Find Common Ground Through Music

(NewsUSA) – "It was 20 years ago, today…" 50 years ago actually. June 2, 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of, what many describe as "the greatest rock album of all-time" — "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band."The eighth studio album by The Beatles spent 27 weeks at the top of the U.K. charts and 15 weeks at no.1 in the U.S.This summer, Billy Shears and the gang were back on top, hitting no. 1 once again, as one of this year’s highest-selling albums. Many people remember exactly where they were the first time they heard one of the iconic songs included on the album during the Summer of Love.Considering that David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd and many more have also been listed at the top of the charts this year, one might be inclined to dust off an old turntable or 8-track tape player.But unlike the other classic music talent mentioned, The Beatles have inspired a new revolution these days, this time for kids even younger.Meet Buzz, Walter, Jay, Crick, and Kumi: the Beat Bugs.Josh Wakely’s Beat Bugs is an Emmy Award-winning animated kids series featuring songs made famous by The Beatles.This Netflix hit revolves around the lives and adventures of these five best friends, charming and funny childlike bugs who explore and learn life lessons in their suburban backyard home.Each episode ties in a song made famous by The Beatles, reimagined in an innocent and child-friendly fashion, sung by one of the characters or guest stars that include mega-musicians Pink ("Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"), Sia ("Blackbird"), Aloe Blacc ("Rain"), The Shins ("The Word"), Jennifer Hudson ("I’ll Follow the Sun"), and more.Beat Bugs introduces a new generation to the music of the most influential band in rock history.Groovy.In support of the Netflix success, Target has curated a line ofBeat Bugs interactive merchandise, including toys and games, DVDs and books, apparel and accessories and more.Many products available come complete with the musicality of the show.From the Beat Bugs Hijinx Alive that magically sing along on cue to the show playing on Netflix or the app, to the Musical Submarine that plays excerpts from, (you guessed it) "Yellow Submarine" to the Sing Along Microphone and more.Even Beat Bugs books and the backpack play music!Shop for Beat Bugs at http://beatbugs.toys/NewsUSA.Fans "Across the Universe" have had a similar reaction to the show and the products, stating that it is such a thrill to be able to introduce The Beatles to a new generation in a refreshingly fun and innovative way.Actor, comedian, television host ("The Late Late Show with James Corden"), and singer James Corden lends his voice to "I’m a Loser" for Beat Bugs. During his recording session, he stated, "My son is four years old and I can’t wait for him to watch this.""I would be amazed if he didn’t just start to fall in love with these songs."So kick back, relax, and cast some special time with the kids or grandkids, who no doubt will be impressed that you already know all of the words to the songs.Fifty years from now, they’ll remember being by your side the first time they heard "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band," or any other Beatles song.Righteous. 

Fast Facts About Excessive Sweating at School

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s back-to-school and sweat’s happening.
But while it’s “normal” to sweat with heat, exertion or anxiety, 4.8 percent of people — students included — experience sweating so excessive it’s a serious medical condition called hyperhidrosis.
To help these youngsters as they return to school, the International Hyperhidrosis Society, a non-profit that helps improve quality-of-life for those living with hyperhidrosis, is debunking excessive sweating myths with facts:
* Children, teens, and young adults can all suffer from hyperhidrosis that’s debilitating and life-altering.
* Hyperhidrosis often first manifests during school-aged years, bringing with it severe embarrassment due to sweat-drenched clothes and damaged school materials.
* Poor academic performance, social isolation, and depression can happen as a result.
* Individuals with hyperhidrosis sweat about 5 times more than what’s considered “normal” because they have overactive sweat glands, NOT because of moods, poor health, or lack of hygiene.
* Kids don’t outgrow hyperhidrosis; they need help to manage it.
* This condition can make basic school activities, such as holding a pencil difficult.
* Hyperhidrosis is as emotionally damaging as severe acne and shouldn’t be ignored.
* Young people with hyperhidrosis can find support, understanding, and treatment — but they need adults to help.
Learn more at www.SweatHelp.org.

Have A Dog Who Wets Her Bed? Your Vet Can Help

(NewsUSA) – As a pet owner, have you ever had a female dog who always finds the outdoor bathroom during the day, but wets her bed at night?Dogs who follow the house rules can be horrified when they realize that they’ve leaked — even though it occurs during sleep.Plastic sheets aren’t the answer, and most likely your long-suffering pet wouldn’t be happy alone outside.Urine soiling isn’t something pet owners enjoy discussing.Many assume it’s a behavioral problem, believing they’ve failed to properly train their pets.But poor bladder control following spaying is actually a physical disorder that’s seen mostly in middle-aged female dogs, and can occur any time after surgery.In addition, it’s more common in large breeds and those who struggle with obesity.To that end, a rolled-up newspaper won’t solve this problem, and won’t improve behavioral house soiling either. Leaking urine during rest or sleep is not your dog’s fault.There is value in spaying your female dog, but giving up their ovaries means the sphincter muscle in the bladder can be left just weak enough to relax and release urine. It may happen any time they drift off. The result is a tell-tale wet spot on their bed. About 20 percent of spayed dogs face this messy downside.For dog owners who want to try and help their pet, the answer may lie in a liver-flavored tablet.Proin tablets can be given twice daily, and make a difference in both a pet and an owner’s life because urine leakage can damage relationships. Consider this: 18 percent of the dogs in shelters were surrendered by frustrated owners because of house soiling.Alternatively, there are other possible causes, so it’s essential to allow your veterinarian to make an accurate diagnosis before medication is started.Urinary tract infections are common, especially for indoor girls. Bladder stones can also cause house soiling. And elderly dogs may urinate indoors because of senile brain changes, a problem called cognitive dysfunction syndrome. Pets with urinary symptoms need to see their doctors.If a thorough exam and urinalysis come up normal, a healthy female dog who leaks only when resting or sleeping most likely has urinary incontinence due to reduced estrogen. You can explain all of this to your dog, ending "the talk" by telling her that she has urethral sphincter hypotonus. With her leader so well-informed, she is sure to feel better.Veterinarians like to uncover these cases because almost all of them can be turned from frustration to success.Proin is often chosen because it is the only non-hormone treatment option, and also because it’s palatable and easy to dose.But in certain cases, due to pet irritability, restlessness, or medical conditions, Proin may be inappropriate.For those dogs, an old standby treatment — a synthetic estrogen called diethylstilbestrol (DES) — may be used.There are many undiagnosed female dogs struggling with nocturnal incontinence. The good news for spayed female bed wetters is that they can enjoy campouts and sleepovers just like everybody else.For more information on Proin, including important safety material, pet owners can visit www.proinforcanines.com.

Talking about Estate Planning Needs to Happen Sooner Rather Than Later

There are subjects in life that need to be discussed, but many of us tend to avoid them. Issues like mortality and money top the list. As parents and children grow older, a must-have conversation should be the topic of estate planning, but do we know all that we should?

According to Fidelity Investments’ “ Family & Finance Study,” the answer is a resounding — and rather scary — “no.” In fact, seven out of 10 of children underestimated their parents’ estate by an average of $278,000. That’s a big number between knowing what is going on and not understanding at all. It illustrates a breakdown in communication that Kevin Ruth, head of Fidelity’s wealth planning and personal trust, says badly needs addressing through ‘frank conversations” between parents and their adult children.