Jeanne Sager

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I have strung words together for Kiwi Magazine, Babble.com, AOL, Parents Magazine and more. I live in upstate New York with my daughter, husband, dogs, and too many cats. I rock a cool 'do because I shave my head most years to fight children's cancer with the St. Baldrick's Foundation.

Though my daughter is officially an elementary schooler, I'm pleased to report I've yet to give in to the curse of the appliqued mom sweater. Small victories, people.


Sipping on:

Seltzer

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    June Cleaver. Carol Brady. Marge Simpson. The list of TV moms we all wish were our own is long and varied. And since Parenthood debuted on NBC, it's grown to include Kristina Braverman, mother of three, breast cancer survivor, and the type of candidate for city mayor who will stop everything during a town hall meeting to pass her phone number to a mom in crisis. Kristina Braverman is the mom we want and the mom we want to be, and without actress Monica Potter, there is no Kristina Braverman.

    Like her character, Monica is a mother of three. And like her character, the soft-spoken actress shines on the homefront -- she even has a growing line of home products -- in a way that lifts other moms up rather than making us feel inadequate.

    Parenthood fans who are bemoaning NBC's decision to give us just one more season, and a shortened one at that, have heart: Kristina Braverman is alive and well and living in California. 

    Proof?

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    When I reached out to a photographer friend to book our family portrait, I had just one request. We needed to schedule an appointment for sometime before the babysitter leaves for college. We didn't need our babysitter to occupy our child or encourage her to smile with funny faces. As a family portrait photographer myself, I've seen it happen, but our daughter is 9 and quite capable of following directions. Instead, we were booking a pre-college shoot because our babysitter needed to be in our family portrait.

    In as in standing in line with my husband, my daughter, and me, smiling at the birdie.

    He made it happen, and the photos are everything I wanted them to be. But as soon as I uploaded them to Facebook, the comments flooded in.

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    It hits you like a freight train. An awful smell that seems to be coming from the general direction of your child. Welcome to the next phase of growing up: developing body odor. You're about to go from buying bubble bath to buying deodorant for your child, and it all happens in the blink of an eye. 

    So is your kid normal? Can they possibly be ready for deodorant when they just learned to tie their shoes yesterday (or so it seems)?

    Well ... yes!

    Typically, body odor can begin to develop as early as 7 years old in girls, 9 years old in boys, as the body hits puberty. Suddenly, your child is beginning to sweat more and sweat specifically from what are called the "apocrine sweat glands," glands in the armpit and groin region.

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    I stood, back hunched over to protect my throbbing breasts from the pinpricks of hot water in the shower, and let loose sobs that echoed around our tiny bathroom. My husband waited outside the curtain, begging, "Just give her formula. It's okay. You don't have to do this to yourself anymore." Our daughter was less than a week old. I was failing at breastfeeding, and I felt like a failure as a mom, as a human being.

    It would take another week to give up nursing entirely, and I sank into a bout of postpartum depression that would take some serious anti-depressants to beat. I felt completely alone at the time. But according to a new breastfeeding study, I was anything but.

    Researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Sociology have now found a link between breastfeeding failure and higher rates of postpartum depression.

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    When you're pregnant, a whole new part of the English language opens up. Suddenly you're obsessed with placentas, trimesters, and sussing out whether you should go with a sonogram or an amniocentesis to determine baby's gender. And then you hit the ninth month of your pregnancy, and a new term pops up: cervical dilation.

    It refers to the opening of the cervix, the part of the body that separates the uterus from the vagina, and according to Dr. Robert Atlas, an OB/GYN at Mercy Medical Center in Maryland, dilating is part of the body's way of getting ready for delivery.

    "As you get closer to term, the body knows to start contracting and opening of the cervix begins," he explains.

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