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Enjoy some culture, take some action

By Alice Bradley

Parents of colic-riddled babies, take heart: the pros are on their way. Probiotics, that is! (I can’t believe I just wrote that.) (And yet I’m leaving it there. For you to witness the horror.) A new study suggests that the probiotic lactobacillus reuteri, a similar type to the active culture found in some yogurts, may ease colic. The study found that lactobacillus was more effective than simethicone, a gas-relieving agent.
But don’t start troweling Yoplait into your poor baby’s maw just yet. More studies have to be performed—different strains of lactobacillus should be tested, the participating mothers also maintained a low-allergen diet, which may have affected the results, blah blah details blah. Meanwhile, desperate parents can find colic advice here. (Although any parent of a baby who’s suffered through colic can tell you that most colic-relieving tactics are mere diversions meant to make you forget to commit suicide. And the list is missing some key strategies, like clutching your head and shrieking (thus drowning out baby’s cries), leaving baby on the porch for a nicer, more tolerant family to take her, or scheduling an exorcism.) Keep those probiotics studies coming, scientists.
Moving on: a recent survey showed that minority women are more likely to be unaware of the risks and symptoms of heart disease than non-minorities. This is a disturbing finding, given that black and Hispanic women are at higher risk for cardiovascular troubles. Nearly half of African American women and a third of white women suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease. In fact, heart disease is the number-one killer of women, killing more women each year than all other types of cancers combined. This horrifying fact is lost on most women—and, even more alarmingly, most health practitioners. And that’s not all the bad news! For men, the death rate for heart disease has declined since 1979, but in the same time period, the death rate for women has increased. Oh! And because most studies on heart-disease medications and devices were performed on men, whether those same medications and devices will work as well on women is more or less a crapshoot. As a result, women tend to receive less aggressive treatment.
Want to see this change? Urge your congressperson to support the HEART for Women Act: legislation designed to increase public awareness of this very real threat to women’s health, and to address disparities in treatment. All you have to do is type in your info, and the good people at the American Heart Association will send out a nicely written letter for you. So go ahead– it’ll do your heart good. (Yeah, I wrote that, too. And I won’t apologize for it.)
Before you go there, read on, because Georgia’s children also need your help. The state’s healthcare program PeachCare, which covers children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to purchase their own insurance, has lost its federal funding. PeachCare currently provides medical coverage to 273,000 children throughout Georgia. The program depends on federal matching funds, and currently needs $131 million to fund the program through September.
On Monday, President Bush submitted to Congress a supplemental spending bill to continue funding the Iraq war. Within the budget, he chose not to include a bailout of this healthcare program as well as several others—a bailout that would have totaled $745 million in a $2.9 trillion budget that includes hefty boosts to defense spending. The budget, which calls for more than $620 billion to be spent on defense next year and more than $93 billion to be spent on the Iraq war during 2007, also eliminated $101.5 billion from Medicaid and Medicare programs. Hooray, Mr. President!
Feel like writing to some congresspeople? Sure you do. Visit Voices for Georgia’s Children. Do it… for the children. (I now officially have no shame.)
Next up! Have a baby in the first three years of your marriage, or face annulment. That’s the initiative filed recently by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance. The initiative states that heterosexual marriages must be “proven” by the creation of new life. In fact, to be able to marry in the first place, couples must be able to procreate.
Is this a joke? Yes. Well, sort of. Sort of yes. But it’s for a good cause. The WADOMA was actually created by proponents of same-sex marriage. Their goal is to challenge a recent Washington Supreme Court ruling in which the justices chose not to overturn the state’s Defense of Marriage Act. In their ruling, the justices stated that there was a “legitimate state interest” in defining marriage exclusively for the purpose of procreation and child-rearing. By filing an initiative that dissolves baby-free marriages, the WADOMA hopes to show the absurdity of the previous ruling. And by ruling against the initiative, the state Supreme Court will, in fact, be ruling against the basis for keeping the state’s Defense of Marriage Act. Clever, no? “At the very least,” argues Gregory Gadow, “it should be good fun to see the social conservatives who have long screamed that marriage exists for the sole purpose of procreation be forced to choke on their own rhetoric.”
Would you like to help the equal-marriage fight in Washington State? Find out how you can help here (link no longer available). It’ll do you gay. No, wait. Do it… for the homosexuals who want to marry each other. Oh, Alice, you’ve hit it out of the ballpark again.

Alice Bradley
About the Author

Alice Bradley

Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.


Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.

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I’m now trying to figure out how I can swing moving to Washington so that I can vote for this. Brilliant! I would do darn near anything for the homosexuals who want to marry each other. Heck, the first wedding I catered was a bride and a bride. Too bad it was just a ceremony and not legal.

slouching mom

I’m still back at troweling Yoplait into your poor baby’s maw.
Alice, you’ve outdone yourself with this image. I will NEVER get it out of my head now. You’ve got funny in your bones.


I thought that WADOMA initiative was brilliant. I hope at the least it gets some traction and points out that – as a conservative, Republican, Catholic Constitutional law professor I onced watched on TV said – there is no legitimate basis for denying marriage rights to all people. This just proves it.


Gee, Alice, usually you’re more, I don’t know, controversial. Not that I’m complaining here, It’s just that this week? We’re, like, brain twins. Which is totally cool.

Alice Bradley

Really, Karen? And here I thought I was being especially edgy this week…


Dried-up raisin eyes haven’t slowed you down a bit – yet another awesome post! I’ll be doing it for children and probiotics and gay people who want to marry each other. What am I doing, you may ask? And the answer is, I’m not sure because I’m still laughing too hard at Alice. But when I’m done laughing, I will go do something. Even if it’s just twiddling my thumbs or eating toast, it’ll be for all those people.


I guess I just agree with you even more than usual. The sound of the marbles rollng around in my head as I nodded while reading what you wrote was louder than usual.
Wait. Should I be divulging publicly about the marbles in my head? [shakes head] Uh, maybe not.

kyran @ Notes to Self

Those crafty homosexuals. Can we hand that Iraq-funding travesty to the WADOMA people and see if they can’t come up with an equally mad-genius way to shame the bozos behind it?
You know, ever since they started marrying gays, the sanctity of our marriage has definitely suffered. I would say it’s even gotten a little dirty.


I hate to say anything, but the anal-retentive English major in me wants to point out this sentence: “In fact, heart disease is the number-one killer of women, killing more women each year than all other types of cancers combined.”
Heart disease isn’t cancer.
(:::groveling::: Other than that, I love your posts! Truly! I look forward to your posts! Please don’t hit me.)
The anal-retentive English major in ME is dying inside. Originally I had a line in there about breast cancer. JUST SO YOU KNOW.–ab


In addition to benefits for infantile colic and prevention and treatment of diarrhea, limited evidence also suggests that probiotic treatment helps with growth of the babies.


I wanted to write something intelligent and savvy, but my head exploded after I read about the dissolution of marriage thing, and I’m just getting the little sticky pieces back together again. After all, I need to look my best this summer when my husband and I pass our third anniversary and get hauled off for an annulment because we’ve decided to be responsible and put off having kids until we can afford to feed and clothe them.


Thank you, Cobwebs. That little glitch marring the hilarious glory of this post was killing me. Now I can simply appreciate it–and go write letters to a whole lot of Congresspeople.


Our first child had colic and it wouldn’t get full metal until about 1:30am or so, right when we were the most tired. My wife could sleep through anything, so I would just pack up baby in the car, turn up the tunes and drive up and down the Kennedy expressway in Chicago all night. I was always trying to give the child away during the day, because she was so darn cute then. I must have been the only one that didn’t see ‘colic infested child’ in bold across her cute little noggin, no takers. I wouldn’t wish colic… Read more »

Amy :)

Another thing probiotic is good for: it stopped my 7-month-old son, who had just had intestinal surgery, from having CONSTANT DIARRHEA. And that is definitely A Very Good Thing.