Healthcare Panel Advises Mothers to Keep Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be a time-consuming endeavor, whether you’re nursing the baby or pumping milk while you’re on the job — in 2015, 26.8% of respondents to a survey said they expressed milk between five and 15 times a week. Now, a new report says that too many mothers are stopping breastfeeding too soon, and a task force of doctors and nurses should be deployed to change that. Convincing evidence “that breastfeeding provides substantial health benefits for children” has prompted the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to issue guidelines stipulating that primary care providers should discuss breastfeeding with women when they are pregnant, at the hospital where they give birth, and after they go home with their babies. Healthy People 2020, a government initiative, aims to have 81.9% of new mothers nursing their babies, with 60.6% continuing for six months, and 34.1% for one full year. The current task force, a group of experts appointed by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare and Research and Quality, came to its conclusions and advice after looking at dozens of medical studies, which overall indicated that encouraging breastfeeding has a net benefit not just for the babies, but for the mothers as well. Breastfeeding is excellent for babies — studies showed that babies who breastfeed are less likely to get ear infections, asthma, gastrointestinal infections, and rashes. Mothers also benefit, with reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and Type 2 diabetes. Currently, although 80% of mother start breastfeeding, only 51.4% are still nursing after six months. Only 29.2% nurse for a whole year. In order to shrink that gap, the panel of experts wants healthcare providers to start encouraging women to breastfeed from the very beginning, even before their babies are born. One-on-one counseling should be provided to help mothers master nursing after delivery. Still, the panel emphasizes that if mothers decide not to breastfeed, doctors should respect their choices. “Any breastfeeding appears to be more beneficial than no breastfeeding, and longer durations...

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First-Time Buyers May Make Up Half of Housing Market Next Year

Oct 31, 16 First-Time Buyers May Make Up Half of Housing Market Next Year

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We may have a few months to go until the end of 2016, but the housing market is already looking forward to the year ahead. According a recent report conducted by Zillow, and findings from the National Association of Realtors, first-time home buyers are poised to make up half of the overall housing market in 2017. The survey from Zillow found that nearly half of the homes purchased last year — around 47% — could be attributed to first-time buyers. Other industry estimates had initially put this number at a much lower percentage, which means that these first-time buyers are making up a much more significant portion of the housing market than originally anticipated. One reason for this is that millennials are entering the housing market in droves. Of all the prospective buyers who took part in a survey from the National Association of Realtors, 61% are under age 35. Similarly, Zillow found that most of 2016’s growth in this area could be attributed to sales from couples who are in their 30s and buying a home for the first time. Those in the industry hope that current millennials, aged 18 to 34, could help to support the housing market. Millennials are starting trends of their own, too. They’re a much more diverse market and are thinking outside the idea of a traditional starter home. Instead of buying a smaller and less expensive first house, the median for millennial home price and size is nearly identical to that of buyers from an older age bracket. Generally, they’re willing to pay more in order to get what they want — which is not so different from the qualities found in more experienced buyers. Like many other buyers, younger potential homeowners typically want aesthetically pleasing features, as well as technological advancements. Wholly 54% of prospective buyers are willing to pay more for hardwood flooring in a home, and millennials are no different in that regard. But they’re also leading the charge in terms of adopting smart...

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New Company Lets You Trade In Unused Vacation Days For Cash

It’s been all over the news recently, but it isn’t really groundbreaking to anyone. Americans aren’t using all of their vacation days, despite assurances that not taking time off can lead to burnout and other health issues — research has even shown that vacation is good for families, with 37% of families saying that it makes them happy. And yet, a recent report by Allianz, a travel insurer, has shown that more than 170 million Americans haven’t taken a single vacation in the last year, and 41% of respondents to a different survey stated that taking a trip is important still haven’t booked one. It can be especially frustrating to workers who have allotted paid time off, but still feel like they can’t afford to take it. A company called PTO Exchange, however, is launching a new program which allows companies to buy back that unused vacation time, instead of rolling it over. The program works a lot like collecting points on a credit card, and workers are able to trade unused time off for money that goes in their retirement accounts, towards their student loans, or to non-profits. The system also allows for employees to give their time off to coworkers. PTO Exchange also does its fair share to encourage actually using the days off as well — they have partnered with Priceline to allow employees to book deals on flights and hotels. PTO Exchange may be the first platform of its kind, but the idea it operates on is old news. A 2013 study conducted by Society for Human Resource Management found that 9% of employers allowed their employees to trade in their unused time off for money, and another 7% let employees donate vacation time to a general...

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87 of Robin William’s Bikes Go Up For Auction With All Proceeds Going to Charity

Biking is one of the most enjoyed athletic and recreational activities in the country — a full 33% of Americans stated that they ride bikes for fun. And now, it’s a subject of interest for many shoppers and Robin Williams fans, after 87 of the comedian’s bikes were put up for auction earlier this month. Most people remember Robin Williams for his sense of humor and talent onscreen, but not many people knew that he was an avid bike enthusiast. The bikes were donated by the Williams’ children, Zak, Zelda, and Cody, almost two years after his suicide. The proceeds from the auction will go to the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, both charities that Williams cared about and donated to during his life. “Though bright, skin-tight spandex still remains one of the more embarrassing outfits to regularly witness your Dad wearing growing up, the sport of biking and the people Dad helped through his love of it will always hold a special place in the hearts of our family,” said the Williams family in a statement. The collection is on Paddle8.com, and the auction will run online until 1 p.m. ET on October 25. The collection includes a number of luxury racing bikes, along with some novelty items, like a “Runt” mini bike, a Schwinn unicycle and a Z turbo-electric scooter. The auction could bring up to $200,000 to the non-profits. Peter Wilderotter, the CEO of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which funds research for people with spinal cord injuries, said that Williams supported them “without fanfare.” Similarly, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which issues grants and support to disabled athletes, said that the Williams family were “fixtures” at the organization’s fundraisers and...

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Marijuana Taking a High Precedence in November’s Election

Oct 19, 16 Marijuana Taking a High Precedence in November’s Election

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The upcoming election in November isn’t just about choosing what presidential candidate is the right fit for leading the country. For nine states, a huge part of their electoral process this year has been dedicated to opening up discussion about legalizing marijuana use. These nine states are focusing their efforts on relaxing their legal statues of both medical and recreational marijuana use. California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada are considering legalizing but taxing recreational marijuana use. Voters in Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota will be deciding whether to permit medical use for certain conditions such as cancer or chronic pain management. No matter how the votes turn out, these decisions can impact both the federal and state governments in many ways. First off, only four states — Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, plus the District of Columbia– have completely legalized recreational marijuana use. In total, 25 states have legalized medical use. Adding more states into the mix can lead to a domino affect, where more Americans can gain access to this drug that is said to provide a host of medical benefits. Those who are in favor of legalizing marijuana believe it will cut down on fatalities that come with illegal drug use. Sadly, in 2014 alone, there were 47,055 individuals who died due to fatal drug overdoses. Additionally, marijuana has also been shown to be just as effective in pain management as prescription medications. A full 48.5% of Americans have used at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days, so those in favor of legalization are hoping this number will be cut down in favor of a more holistic method. Not to mention, these nine legal marijuana initiatives have the potential to add $7.8 billion dollars to the U.S. economy by 2020. According to a new study that highlights the investment trends in this booming market, the financial benefits that would come with legalizing this drug would be unprecedented. As reported on USA Today, the New Frontier Data and Arcview Market...

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