Cuddling Babies Positively Alters Genes

By David Neild for Science Alert
Published to Peaceful Parenting with permission

Cuddling Babies Positively Impacts Genetics

The amount of close and comforting contact that young infants receive doesn't just keep them warm, snug, and loved. A 2017 study says it can actually affect babies at the molecular level, and the effects can last for years. Based on the study, babies who get less physical contact and are more distressed at a young age, end up with changes in molecular processes that affect gene expression.

The team from the University of British Columbia in Canada emphasizes that it's still very early days for this research, and it's not clear exactly what's causing the change. But it could give scientists some useful insights into how touching affects the epigenome - the biochemical changes that influence gene expression in the body.

During the study, parents of 94 babies were asked to keep diaries of their touching and cuddling habits from five weeks after birth, as well as logging the behaviour of the infants – sleeping, crying, and so on. Four-and-a-half years later, DNA swabs were taken of the kids to analyse a biochemical modification called DNA methylation. It's an epigenetic mechanism in which some parts of the chromosome are tagged with small carbon and hydrogen molecules, often changing how genes function and affecting their expression.

The researchers found DNA methylation differences between "high-contact" children and "low-contact" children at five specific DNA sites, two of which were within genes: one related to the immune system, and one to the metabolic system. DNA methylation also acts as a marker for normal biological development and the processes that go along with it, and it can be influenced by external, environmental factors as well.

Then there was the epigenetic age, the biological ageing of blood and tissue. This marker was lower than expected in the kids who hadn't had much contact as babies, and had experienced more distress in their early years, compared with their actual age. "In children, we think slower epigenetic aging could reflect less favorable developmental progress," said one of the team, Michael Kobor.

In fact, similar findings were spotted in a study from 2013 looking at how much care and attention young rats were given from a very early age. Gaps between epigenetic age and chronological age have been linked to health problems in the past, but again it's too soon to draw those kind of conclusions: the scientists readily admit they don't yet know how this will affect the kids later in life. We are also talking about less than 100 babies in the study, but it does seem that close contact and cuddles do somehow change the body at a genetic level.

Of course it's well accepted that human touch is good for us and our development in all kinds of ways, but this is the first study to look at how it might be changing the epigenetics of human babies. It will be the job of further studies to work out why, and to investigate whether any long-term changes in health might appear as a consequence. "We plan to follow up on whether the 'biological immaturity' we saw in these children carries broad implications for their health, especially their psychological development," said one of the researchers, Sarah Moore. "If further research confirms this initial finding, it will underscore the importance of providing physical contact, especially for distressed infants."

The research was published in Development and Psychopathology.

Peaceful Parenting Community

Take Mom's Picture

By Mary Katherine Backstrom
Find more from Backstrom at Mom Babble on Facebook.

Dear men, husbands, people who love us,

On behalf of mamas everywhere, I have an important request: Take our picture.

Even when we complain, even when our hair is a mess. Even when we are wearing a dingy, oversized sweatshirt. Take our picture.

I know this isn’t something on the forefront of your mind, and that’s okay. We don’t need every special moment documented... but, let’s be honest. We spend a lot of time doing just that for everyone else.


Take our picture.

Even when we fuss about how “chubby” we think we look in our swimsuit. If you see us splashing and laughing loudly with our babies in the heat of a gorgeous summer day—I don’t care if we are nine months pregnant (*ahem*) Take our picture.

Even if we moan that the angle isn’t good or our smile looks a little insane, I promise you this: We want to be seen. We want to be remembered. And it means the world to us when you take our picture.

You may not realize it now, but we’ve taken hundreds of sneaky photos of you and the people you love. When we see you snuggled on the couch with our babies or playing catch in the backyard, our hearts fill with joy and we can’t help but take your picture.

Or maybe you DO realize it, and it’s a little bit annoying. I can understand that, too. But here is a little reminder of these pictures are SO dang important: One day, we won’t be around for our babies. One day, you and I will be gone and what will remain of us will be the memories we’ve captured of this beautiful life we made. One day, our kids will gather around a table and scroll through images of these precious, fleeting days. They will cry and laugh and commiserate. They will say, “Remember that vacation? Remember that day?” And it will be so, so beautiful.

But if every single picture was taken by their mama, guess who won’t be in those memories?

Men, husbands, people who love us: Take our picture.

The mother of your children deserves to be seen, documented, and remembered. Not through posed family portraits or hundreds of selfies. But as who she was—who she is NOW—in those real, special life moments.

I know we don’t make it easy. Love us enough to do it, anyways. For our sake and for yours. For the sake of our babies Take our picture.


When you yell at your daughter "out of love"

"Every time you tell your daughter you yell at her out of love, you teach her to confuse anger with kindness, which seems like a good idea until she grows up to trust men who hurt her 'cause they look so much like you." -Rupi Kaur, 'To Fathers With Daughters' -


How to calm an upset baby

Upset baby? Some of the most tried-and-true ways to meet a baby's needs when s/he needs love, comfort, security, snuggling and just to be calm and close to a loving parent.

#1 - Breastfeed! When in doubt, whip 'em out. Breastfeeding is perfect for more than just hunger or thirst needs -- human babies, as part of the carry mammal group, need to nurse for a baseline level of development and secure attachment.

#2 - Have skin to skin time with your baby. Nothing is more soothing and regulating for temperature, hormones, and respiration.

#3 - Babywear. Let friends and family know that you'd like a quality wrap or carrier (Moby Wrap, or similar stretchy wrap for snuggly newborn months; or a Kinderpack, Lillebaby, or Tula for heavier/older babies). This allows a parent to have two free hands, while keeping baby safe and snuggled in their natural habitat - close to a parent's beating heart.

#4 - Dance with your baby. Babies love (and need!) gentle, swaying, calm motion. This not only assists in core strength and development, but soothes a little one who was used to growing up for 9-10 months inside with the constant motion of mom's body. Couple babywearing with dancing, and you've got the perfect pair!

#5 - Sing to your baby. Your baby knows your voice from all their time inside, and this is another centering, calming way to settle your little one. If you're currently pregnant, you can pick a sweet song you love and start singing it now, while baby is growing within -- your baby will recognize the tune when s/he arrives and it will be a fast way to calm while rocking, wearing, and dancing together in the moonlight.

#6 - Take a warm bath with your baby (water only - skip the soap as baby skin does best with only warm water). Your little one grew up close to you in water, and a warm water soak with mom (or dad) revisits this soothing state of being. Don't climb into the bath while holding baby - have a small bouncy chair, or even basket with towel next to the tub for baby to safely lay or sit in while you get in, and then gently lift baby into the water with you. A warm set of towels nearby will help with easy, gentle transfer into a bundle when you're ready to get out. Breastfeeding in the bath is heaven for little ones!

#7 - Take baby for a walk. Whether in a wrap or carrier, or in a stroller, taking a daily stroll with your little one allows for calming motion needs to be met, while slowly exposing your baby to the world around them. Even before they are able to understand, tell your baby stories about what you see on your walk; talk with them about what you encounter. This will stimulate baby's brain development, language comprehension, and double the soothing as your little one hears your voice along your walk.

#8 - Rock with your baby.

#9 - Go on a drive with your baby. While this is not the case for all, many babies enjoy the soothing hum and rhythm of riding in a comfortable car seat in the car. If this is the case with your baby, taking a drive (when you yourself are NOT too tired) can provide a break while calming music plays along the way.

#10 - Have a trusted friend or loving individual step in and implement the above soothing items. When you are taxed, tired, and need a break - for a nap, shower, or just to run errands solo, a mom's helper for even an hour or two can make a world of difference. This is especially the case for those mothering solo. You need a break too, and that's okay. Nurse baby right before, and right after, and ensure you have someone who takes over that is on board with being calming, gentle, and keeping your baby in-arms.

Additional tips and practical solutions for calming an upset baby can be found in Dr. Sears' The Fussy Baby Book. Dr. Linda Palmer also covers nutritional/gut health reasons for potential infant pain, reflux, "colic" and other underlying reasons for crying babies in her fantastic book, Baby Matters -- a must-read especially for breastfeeding mothers or those interested in the science behind infant health and development.

I will not be working to get my body back

Photo by Alli Upham

No, no, you have it wrong, I will not be working to get my body back.
She was never lost.
She was here, giving every moment and detail to this sweet baby.
She was pushed and exhausted, stretched and stripped to make space for a new life.
Please stand back and aside.
For her sacrifice she will not be scrutinized.
She will be loved, and thanked and bowed down to.
She will be allowed her time to heal and be settled into.
This body’s work will not be forgotten, hidden or erased.
And if you feel it should, you understand nothing about the gift she has given.
No, no. Body don’t listen.
Because I see you.
I thank you deeply.
You did so good.

By Mia Car, Snuggle Me Organic


Pregnant Moms Due This Year (more mainstream)

Birthing (more holistic)

Broken Birth Practices - Hospital Tour: Imma Head Out...

Earth's Natural Touch: Birth Care & Beyond in Bridgeport, Connecticut, put together this meme collection of broken birth practices and the responses from the mother who owns her birth. It's your body, your baby, your birth. You have the right, Momma, to know everything about your birth team, and birth location, and be picky in your selection process.

Pregnant Moms Due This Year (more mainstream)

Birthing (more holistic)

Peaceful Parenting Community

Research EVERYTHING when you are expecting.

The Vulva - A Professional Guide for Girls

Shannon O'Boyle writes:

Here it is. The V word. The G word.

Moms, Teach your girls that they are normal before some adolescent boy who learned from men who learned from porn + few real experiences tell her she is not.

I’m talking to YOU, Midwestern Mom.

I’m talking to YOU, Southern Bell.

I grew up here. Catholic. I know what we know, and it is rarely actual real and valuable information about OUR bodies that are OURS.

Yeah. Your parts are sacred. So, no one taught you to look at them. Look! YOU are your best advocate for health. Teach your partner what normal is. Teach your girls what normal is. LEARN WHAT NORMAL IS WHICH IS PROBABLY ALMOST ANYTHING THAT ISN’T PAINFUL. 

Guys, read this info so you’re not an idiot about it. Jokes on you if you learned about female body parts from porn and magazines... that sh*t is edited for one standard look.

Girls getting genital plastic surgery... Women telling me they need it after one baby... I’m done. You are whole and beautiful, and fortunately (!) of your own beautifully designed, unique mold. Know it.

This Online Vulva Guide Can Help Your Daughter Love Her Genitals:
By Rachel Moss | Read more from Moss at:

In a world where girls as young as nine are seeking surgery to alter the appearance of their genitals, parents may be at a loss as to how to reassure their daughters their vulvas are “normal.”

But now, doctors have created an online booklet you can direct young women to so they learn “vulvas come in a variety of shapes and sizes” and every woman’s “normal” is different.

The booklet, created in partnership with with Brook, a young people’s sexual health and wellbeing charity, features a series of illustrations that detail the changes that happen to a woman’s body during puberty and beyond.

Commenting on the launch, Laura West, participation and volunteering manager at Brook, said: “All young people deserve education, support and advice about anatomy, but unfortunately there is a lack of accurate and sensitive information available as part of the school curriculum and on the internet. This new booklet will help to address this need and will inform doctors, girls, young women and their families, as to what is normal and where to seek further help and support if required.”

The resource was commissioned by The British Association of Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology (BritsPAG), a specialist society of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

According to NHS figures, in 2015-16 more than 200 girls under 18 had labiaplasty and more than 150 of the girls were under 15. These numbers do not include girls and young women having the procedure privately. BritsPAG say these operations do not have a medical justification.

Female genital cosmetic surgery refers to surgical cosmetic procedures that change the structure and appearance of the healthy external genitalia of women. It includes the most common procedure, labiaplasty, which is sometimes referred to as “designer vagina” surgery and involves the lips by the vaginal opening being shortened or reshaped.

As well as including illustrations of vulvas, the booklet, titled ‘So what is a vulva anyway?’ includes information to clear up the names of body parts for young women who may be confused.

“People call vulva lots of different names: fanny, minge, foof, flower,” it says. “Some people say vagina when they are actually talking about their vulva which is fine, but it’s a really good idea to know the proper names to avoid confusion.”

Dr Naomi Crouch, consultant gynaecologist and chair of BritSPAG, told HuffPost UK as well as being useful for teens directly, the new booklet can help parents when talking to young people about normal vulva appearance.

“It provides accurate and sensitive information about the vulva, how it is unique and it is entirely normal and healthy to change throughout life,” she said.

“Parents can play an important role in ensuring young people have access to accurate information and offer reassurance and emotional support to those who may feel concerned or distressed about how they look or feel.”

The team behind the booklet conducted discussion groups with young women in order to gauge their current level of understanding and whether they felt as though this resource would be useful.

These young women felt there is a lack of understanding about the vulva and that they are not taught enough in school. They said they are likely to conduct their own research online.

The booklet provides girls with a reliable resource to counteract the fact they are presented with so many images of vulvas that are digitally manipulated.

“It’s difficult to know what a ‘normal vulva’ is. You don’t really get to see other peoples so it’s difficult to appreciate that labia come in different shapes and sizes,” the booklet says.

“If you have seen any porn you might have seen vulvas looking a particular way (often with no hair and with very tiny labia - so you can’t see them). Lots of images are photoshopped to look like this - as are boobs, legs and various other body parts. This creates a false image of what is considered normal or desirable.”

The resource also aims to tell young women - and their parents - that if a young person does have concerns about their body, a positive thing to do is to reach out and speak to a healthcare professional, such as a GP.

The booklet will be available on the BritsPAG website as a download for clinicians, including GPs, practice nurses and sexual health staff to be able to give out when meeting young people with genital cosmetic concerns and signpost them to further resources that promote healthy body image.

Louise Williams, clinical nurse specialist at University College Hospital and co-lead of the project, said: “We see many patients in our pediatric and adolescent gynecology clinic who have a poor understanding of the function of parts of the anatomy and also of normal genital variation."

“We hope [this booklet] will reassure young people that vulvas come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and if they need advice and support, they can know where to go”

Dr Naomi Crouch, consultant gynaecologist and spokesperson for the RCOG and chair of BritSpag, added: “There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the practice of labiaplasty and the risk of harm is significant, particularly for teenagers who are still in stages of development both physically and psychologically.

“We hope this resource will provide information for girls and young women that their vulva is unique and will change throughout their life, and that this is entirely normal and healthy.”

The British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology

A body-positive, gentle parenting community

How to Relieve Your Baby’s Congestion

Babies have underdeveloped immune systems compared to adults, and this makes them more susceptible to infections and diseases. When your little one starts showing symptoms, you can’t help but worry if it’s an indication of something dangerous. In particular, one of the commonly occurring ones is congestion.

What is Congestion?

When the body encounters pathogens or other foreign invaders, it secretes mucus. This sticky fluid will then accumulate in the airways and nose. Too much mucus blocks these parts, making it difficult to breathe and feed. The general discomfort from the blockage can also affect your little one’s quality of sleep. And if untreated, it might lead to sinusitis.

Newborn congestion is more dangerous than infant congestion due to their weaker immune system. If your child is under three months of age, we suggest that you immediately take him/her to the doctor.

Those older than three months of age, on the other hand, doesn’t pose as much risk. Infants will commonly experience congestion because if you think about it, their passages are narrower than ours. It’s faster for these spaces to fill up with mucus compared to an adult's. However, like with any other health issues, nothing can bring you more peace if you talk to your child’s pediatrician.

Symptoms of Baby Congestion

Mucus Discharge

A runny nose along with nasal congestion indicates common cold in babies. Depending on the cause of your baby’s congestion, you might find mucus ranging from clear, white, or yellow in color.

Difficulty in Eating and Sleeping As we have mentioned earlier, congestion is uncomfortable, and it can affect normal body functions. Babies might refuse to eat/suck because of the resulting difficulty in breathing caused by congestion. Babies may also become more restless and avoid sleeping or napping because of the discomfort.

Faster Breathing If your baby’s respiratory passages are blocked by mucus, then consequently he/she is going to breathe faster than normal to compensate for the difficulty. To give you an idea, babies normally take 40 breaths per minute. However, if your child takes more than 60 breaths per minute, it would be safer to take him to the hospital right away.

Other symptoms that may be involved with baby congestion are:

  • Coughing 
  • Grunting 
  • Wheezing 
  • Noisy breathing 
  • Sniffling 
  • Runny nose

Causes of Baby Congestion

Before we go on with how you can relieve your little one’s congestion, it is important that you know what might be causing it.

Common Cold

There are different cold-causing viruses. And since a baby is just starting to build his/her immunity against them, he/she is more prone to catching them.


Every baby will differ in potential triggers and allergens. If you suspect that he/she has come in contact or has eaten something that might have caused an allergic reaction, visit the doctor for a test.

Foreign Object Blockage

As unexpected as it might seem, a random object or a piece of food can get lodged in your baby’s nose. Of course, the body will treat it as a foreign invader and secrete mucus in response. However, you must not remove the object yourself, especially if it’s deep down the passage. It’s better that you take your child in the emergency room for a safer removal.

Other potential causes:

  • Asthma 
  • Pneumonia 
  • Flu 
  • Dry air
  • Weather changes 
  • Cigarette smoke 
  • Pollutants/Irritants

How to Relieve Your Baby’s Congestion

It’s worrisome to see your baby suffering from congestion. They have smaller passages than us so they’ll need extra help in clearing the mucus out. We are going to focus here on how you can make your baby more comfortable. At the same time, on how you can help his/her body get rid of the mucus.

Do note that these suggestions are not the sole solution or cure for congestion. Be sure to consult your child’s doctor to know if there are underlying issues that need to be addressed.

Saline Drops

If your baby is under 6 months, you’ll have an easier time with this first suggestion. What the saline does to the mucus is thin it out, so that it’ll be easier for your child to expel it out. For younger babies, you can use a bulb syringe to remove the mucus yourself. However, this can be tricky to do, especially with babies older than 6 months.

You can ask your doctor when looking for a brand of saline solution. However, did you know that you can also use breastmilk in the same way? According to some lactation consultants, breastmilk is familiar enough for babies. This way, they wouldn’t oppose it if they happen to swallow some in the process compared to salty saline.

Now, it might be tempting to give your child cold medications, treatments, or rubs. It works effectively on adults, right? But for young children, these medications are too dangerous. Never attempt to medicate your baby with medicines unless you have the approval of his/her doctor.


Baby congestion and humidifiers are often related to each other. The reason for this is because the air moisture quality, such as dry air can worsen congestion. Parents typically look for the best baby humidifier that can safely alleviate their baby’s discomfort. In fact, some manufacturers even came up with designs and features targeted for nursery use.

Humidifiers are helpful for breathing and preventing the body from producing more mucus. If the air is dry, then the sinuses will also dry out. The body will compensate for this and produce more mucus, which is the opposite of what you want.

However, humidifiers also have some risks. The good news though is that you can avoid them with good hygiene and proper usage. Remember to keep its reservoir clean and always use distilled water to prevent white dust.


Perhaps the easiest out of these suggestions, some tender-love-and-care will go a long way in making your baby comfortable. You can do this by giving gentle pats on his/her back with him leaning slightly forward. This will help loosen the mucus for easier expulsion. You can even softly rub the bridge of your baby’s nose to soothe him/her before bedtime.

A warm, steamy bath can also make your child more comfortable. Similar to how we feel a tad better when we have a cold. This bath time also serves as your bonding moment while distracting him/her from the stuffy feeling.

Overall, these suggestions can help relieve your child with the discomfort from congestion. At the end of the day, it is best to see his/her doctor to make sure you’re not worsening or ignoring other health concerns.

Nose Frida for babies with colds and congestion

Effects of Air Pollution on Pregnancy and How to Stay Safe

Learning that you are pregnant and expecting your first child can often be one of the most impactful moments of your entire life. After all, it marks a milestone with you and your family, with you moving forward to start a family of your own. While there are many different things to celebrate in this stage of life, there are also many more things that you need to be wary of.

Adapting to Protecting Your Child

The human body changes quite a bit during pregnancy to accommodate the growing life. Because of this, expecting women need to be a little bit more careful about what they do and where they go so that they can remain as safe as possible, and their children can be born as healthy as possible as well. Of course, it borders on impossible to expect people to avoid everything that is even mildly unsafe, but there are some things that you should try to avoid more than others.

Out of the many things that pregnant women need to avoid, most people are well aware of smoking, alcohol, and seafood. However, there are still many other things that you will need to try and stray away from as well. One of the things that you might be worried about is air pollution and how it could affect the baby inside you. Thankfully, the idea of how air pollution affects pregnancy is one that has been studied for quite a while now, which means that it is easier than ever to get an answer.

First things first though, you need to understand the basics of air pollution and what exactly it can do to your body if you are exposed to it for too long.

Understanding What Air Pollution Is

To put things simply, air pollution occurs when there are particles in the air that aren’t necessarily safe to breathe for prolonged periods of time. This means that there are many different things that can fall under the umbrella term of “air pollution.” From ozone to vehicular exhaust, second-hand smoke, and dust, there are many things in daily life that can easily be considered air pollution. In fact, people who live in major cities tend to be exposed to minor air pollution on a near-constant basis.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is bad for you, or your baby, but it does mean that you have to be more aware of how it affects your body. When your body starts showing signs of prolonged exposure to air pollution, that’s when you know when it is truly affecting you. It is safe to assume that if it is affecting your health, then it can affect your baby’s health as well. Because of this, you should be well aware of the signs of exposure to air pollution. More often than not, these symptoms will include the following:

  • Coughing and wheezing 
  • Irritation in the sinuses and eyes 
  • Respiratory diseases, such as asthma and bronchitis 
  • Decreased lung capacity 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Physical damage to the heart and lungs 
  • Cancer

As you can see, there is certainly a range of symptoms when it comes to air pollution. Typically, more severe symptoms, such as damage to the lungs and cancer are signs that your body has taken quite the beating from breathing in polluted air. On the other hand, minor symptoms, such as coughing and eye irritation, are signs that you should probably think about how you can keep yourself safe during your pregnancy.

What Are the Dangers of Prolonged Exposure to Air Pollution?

Of course, the occasional exposure to the more polluted parts of the city isn’t going to cause irreversible damage to your child. However, repeated and prolonged exposure will cause damage. This damage often rears its ugly face after the pregnancy is over, which means that you should do whatever you can while you are pregnant to keep yourself safe. One of the most common dangers of exposure to air pollution is having a low birth weight. Most newborns should weigh between six to nine pounds. Babies who are under five pounds and eight ounces are considered to have a low birth weight, which can cause a number of issues when the child is first growing.

What is more worrisome is that exposure to severe air pollution has the chance of causing a preterm birth. Depending on how early the child is born, this can be incredibly dangerous for your child. In fact, about 18% of all preterm births are caused by air pollution. There are numerous risks for children who are born before they are fully developed, which can range from permanent disabilities to neurological disorders. You should try and reduce your risk as much as possible by staying as safe as you can from polluted air.

If you have asthma, living in an area that is susceptible to air pollution can actually be extremely dangerous. As many people with asthma know, polluted air can worsen the symptoms and even trigger an asthma attack. This is already dangerous enough for your baby, but it becomes even more dangerous because asthma has been linked to causing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia causes elevated blood pressure while decreasing the function of the kidneys and liver, which can severely affect your child. As long as you take care of your asthma, your child should be fine, but this means that you should take extra care to stay as far away from polluted air as possible.

There are many other risks to being pregnant in an area that has air pollution issues, but these are arguably some of the most severe issues. Other issues that you can have include the fact that you are far more likely to have a child with autism. There have been a few studies that link air pollution to the increased chance of miscarriages, although more studies point toward lower fertility rates in both men and women.

Staying Safe From Polluted Air

With all of this being said, it becomes even more important for you to keep yourself safe from polluted air while you are pregnant. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can keep you, and your unborn child, as safe as possible. For one, you should always keep yourself up to date on the Air Quality Index (AQI). This will give you an idea of just how polluted the air is in your area, which should give you an idea of just how far to take these next steps to stay safe.

You can also get the best home air purifiers for your house. While it won’t completely remove all the pollutants, it will remove the majority of them. Coupled with the fact that you should stay inside as much as you can to avoid the brunt of the polluted air, a good air purifier can do a lot in terms of keeping you safe. Air purifiers will ensure that your home becomes a place where you can rest comfortably without worrying about the quality of the air. You can increase this comfort by also getting some air-purifying plants to further clean the air.

How the 30 Minute BRIEF Assessment Works

The second edition of the Behavior Rating of Executive Function (BRIEF2) is an assessment to measure impairment of executive function with the use of rating scales. It is used to assess children ages five to eighteen.

The administration time is ten minutes or less for all forms including the parent, teacher, and self-report forms, and scoring takes approximately fifteen minutes for a total of no more than thirty minutes. A single manual contains information and research about each screening form.

What’s New

This second edition contains an increased sensitivity to executive function. It eliminates items that distract from the sensitivity of key clinical groups like autism spectrum disorder and ADHD. There is also updated normative data from all fifty states in the U.S.

The scales are more concise, making it easier for teachers, parents, or adolescent respondents to conduct and assess. The parallel structure across all three screening forms has increased as well.

There are three indexes included in the BRIEF2: behavioral, cognitive, and emotional. Identifying unusual responses is easier than ever with a new infrequency scale.

Administration and Scoring

Administration and scoring time takes no more than thirty minutes, and sometimes less. The BRIEF2 can be hand-scored in this time for increased accuracy and efficient results. It includes feedback reports, protocol summary reports, interpretive reports, and i-Admins on PAR’s digital platform. Online scoring or a mixture of hand and online scoring are also available.

Reliability, Validity, and Norms

The BRIEF2 has been used in over 800 studies around the world and has a greater ability to provide targeted diagnostic information than any other assessment of its kind. The lack of new items added to the clinical scales allows smooth and consistent transitioning from the first to the second edition.

The nationally stratified standardization sample across all fifty states includes 3600 cases matched by gender, age, parent education level, and ethnicity to the U.S. Census for reliable and accurate results.

The reliability coefficients for both the teacher form and the parent form are consistently above .90 and the self-report form has a reliability coefficient of more than .80. The BRIEF2 correlates with other measures of behavior and IQ, like CBCL, Conners-3, BASC-2, RIAS, ADHD-RS-IV, WAIS-IV, and WISC-IV for increased reliability and validity.

Extensive analysis has determined that the three-factor solution including Emotional Regulation Index, Behavior Regulation Index, and Cognitive Regulation Index is accurate and reliable.

The professional manual of the BRIEF2 provides base rates and mean performance across clinical groups like ASD, ADHD types, LD, TBI, anxiety, cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, and NF-I. In addition, new reliable change statistics allow easy measurement of significant changes in scores over time.

Clinical and Validity Scales

There are a number of clinical and validity scales for the BRIEF2 contained in its indexes.

The Behavior Regulation Index includes inhibit and self-monitor executive composites that help measure impulse control and monitor the child’s ability to keep track of the effects of their behavior on others.

The Emotion Regulation Index includes shift and emotional control executive composites that measure the child’s ability to effectively move from one activity to another and modulate appropriate emotional responses.

The Cognitive Regulation Index includes initiate, task completion, working memory, plan/organize, task-monitor, and organization of materials executive composites. These executive composites help identify the child’s ability to generate their own ideas, complete schoolwork or chores on time, hold information in their mind to complete tasks, anticipate future events, check their own work, and keep their work space clean.

The validity scales include inconsistency, negativity, and infrequency scales designed to measure how inconsistently or negatively the child answers BRIEF2 items and the extent to which they endorse unlikely events.

Cosleeping, Breastfeeding Mom Life...

Falling asleep in a cute tank top...
Waking up in a cute tank top.

😅 Especially for the cosleeping, breastfeeding mommas here! 😉💕

Art by Loryn Brantz Books and Illustration:


Latch on cards for awareness raising available at Etsy

Grandmother Nurses Her Grandbaby

Vietnamese grandmother nurses her grandchild after relactating, common in many parts of the world today, and throughout human history.

Photo via @melissajeanbabies

Related Reading: 

Induced Lactation:

Breastfeeding my adopted child:

My adoptive breastfeeding journey:

The Protocols for Induced Lactation A Guide for Maximizing Breastmilk Production:

The Breastfeeding Community (group)


Doctor Bans Doulas From Attending Births

As publicly composed by Exposing the Silence

ICAN of Huntsville shared the post circulating the web of the obstetrician's office who posted a sign stating that the practice would not work with pregnant clients who hire a doula (pictured above). In their post, ICAN accurately states how disheartening it is to see care providers assume they have the authority to make a decision like that which drastically affects their clients AND is in blatant disregard to all of the evidence confirming that doulas improve birthing outcomes in general. 

Of course, there is always that one person who has to stir the pot... 

"I don't see anything wrong with this and commend the doctor's office for stating clear as day! They are people too who have their own opinions and the way they want to practice. If you don't like it, then don't go to them! It's really that easy!" 

FIRST: "...who have their own opinions and the way THEY WANT TO PRACTICE..."

Whoa. Did you hear that? This person believes that our care providers have the RIGHT and POWER and AUTHORITY to decide HOW they WANT to practice [upon your body]! Yikes. 

SECOND: "If you don't like it, then don't go to them! It's really that easy!" 

Yikes again. Obviously, this individual is extremely unaware of how insurance coverage in healthcare works, the various geographic challenges pregnant people face, as well as the PRIVILEGE to just go somewhere else...that easily! Good grief. 

As expected, this comment has a massive thread of subsequent comments in response to include...

"Patients don't run the facility, the facility runs the practice. So pick a different facility." 

"It seems most are bashing doctors for doing what they are trained to do. I mean, referring to breaking someone's water as rape is infuriating to me. I know what both are and they are not the same. How dare someone say they are." 

ICAN chimes in with: "breaking someone's water without consent could be considered rape because you are inserting your hand into a person's vagina without consent." 

To which this response follows: "ICAN uh, no. Not even close. That is not rape by any legal definition." (YIKES again!) And: "I am making the argument that doing a cervical check is an established standard of care. It's not rape. And it's also not rape if a nurse or a midwife does it in the context of providing accepted medical care." 


It's not just the obstetric model of care we are up against when it comes to basic rights for all pregnant people, folks... The belief that MDs and other medical staff have the authority over our bodies runs deep in our culture. We have generations of conditioning to unlearn. 

In related NOT shocking news, the person who made that last comment is none other than an obstetrician.


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