Amy Reiter

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I've written for publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, Wine Spectator, and Time Out NY Kids and websites including Babble, AOL/Huffington Post, BN Review, MSN, and Salon. My work has been anthologized in the book "Maybe Baby" and eBook "Welcome to My World" and honored with a MADD Media Award. My proudest accomplishments, however, are a son who says I look like a teenager and a daughter who draws princesses and labels them "Mommy."


Sipping on:

Coffee ... iced ... brought to me in bed.

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    During my pregnancies, I hated taking my prenatal vitamins. Don't get me wrong: I loved most of the vitamins' effects. Most important, I knew it was vital for the health of that little bean growing within. Also, at least initially, I felt healthier and even looked better. But at a certain point in some trimester or other, those giant pills began to make me feel completely sick to my stomach. Crackers and ginger tea got me through, but still, each day, I would my swallow that horse pill with a sense of dread. The prenatal pill might be our first lesson in the sacrifices of motherhood: We have years ahead of us of doing things we might not choose to do but do anyway, purely because they benefit our kids. A new study makes it all the more clear that pregnant women and those planning to get pregnant should take that giant prenatal vitamin daily, regardless of how it makes them feel. That pill, it turns out, could make all the difference for your baby's language development.

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  • Your Lipstick May Be Bad for Your Health

    posted by Amy Reiter February 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM in Healthy Living
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    At this point we're all pretty accustomed to the feeling of being surrounded by health risks, but that doesn't mean that a new one -- from an unexpected source -- doesn't still have the power to unsettle and even shock us. Such may be the case with a new FDA report that 400 lipsticks (400 of them!), from leading brands such as L'Oreal, Maybelline, NARS, and Cover Girl, and many, many others, contain lead. (You can find the list here.)

    The FDA maintains that the level of lead found in the lipsticks pose no safety risks, but a consumer group, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, has countered that any lead is too much lead. And that in fact of 33 red lipsticks it tested in 2007, most of which contained lead, one-third of them contained lead levels in excess of those allowed by the FDA for candy. Those results are pretty hard to swallow!

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    Imagine, if you will, standing with your kids and waiting for the school bus to swing by, as you would on any typical school day, when you see the bus coming -- and then rolling right past you and not showing any sign of stopping ... at all. Then your daughter looks up at you and says, "Mom, something's not right with our bus driver!"

    What would you do? Me? I'm afraid I'd just freeze in terror. But that's not what one fast-thinking Albuquerque mom, Rhonda Carlsen, did. She tells local news station KOAT that she ran after the bus, which was filled with terrified kids on their way to elementary school. Through the window, she could see the driver was having a seizure.

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    Did we really need another reason to feel bad about eating too many calories? Regardless, we just got one. A new study has found a link between high calorie diets and memory loss. In fact, according to information just presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, people in their 70s and 80s who took in a lot of calories had twice the risk of mild cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to dementia.So yeah, it's probably yet another inducement to cut a few calories out of our daily diets, but it's worth noting that the cause-and-effect relationship is not that clear. Did the calories lead to the memory loss? Or was it, rather, that the people in the study ate more because they had forgotten that they'd already eaten? (I'm actually serious, though it's also true that I keep forgetting that it's not cool to joke about memory loss.)

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    You know that "Charlie Bit My Finger" viral video? The one in which a kid inserts his finger into his younger brother's mouth and then exclaims, "Ouch! Charlie! Ooow! Charlie, that really hurts!"? Of course you do. We've all seen it. Most of us have even watched it repeatedly -- though it's unclear what's so captivating about the 56-second clip. Toddler Harry's adorable British accent? His baby brother's equally adorable chortle? The changing expressions on their faces? Their brotherly bond? Still, it's hard to watch it just once through without hitting "Replay." And since the boys' dad, Howard Davies-Carr, posted the video of his sons Charlie and Harry on YouTube in 2007, it's been viewed more than 419 million times! (I personally am responsible for at least 25 of those times.)

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