When it comes to discussing pelvic health with your daughter, the sooner the better.

Don't wait till puberty.

For young girls and teenagers, talking about periods, sex, and pelvic health can be ... awkward.

Unfortunately, as a society, we seem to ignore the pelvic region until puberty. According to Missy Lavender, founder of To Know Is to Know — a nonprofit that will educate girls and their grownups about all things pelvic — and author of the book "Below Your Belt," it's a scary trend.

"From a pretty young age, we were completely ignorant and passive-aggressive about our pelvises," Lavender says. "We kind of shove them aside to that icky place we only look at once a month."


But halting conversation about the pelvic region — the area of the body that houses reproductive organs and essential digestive organs — can cause serious health problems for young girls.

Our hush-hush culture around female pelvic health has created generations of girls and women with chronic pelvic disorders.

All images via iStock.

According to a number of studies, around one-third of U.S. women have a pelvic floor disorder, and research from Lavender's foundation shows that at a young age, many girls are already symptomatic with preventable issues that can follow them into adulthood if not addressed.

The lack of knowledge also leaves women ill-prepared for common life events related to the pelvis, such as the start of menstruation, sexual activity and sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and childbirth, according to a study published in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.

To prevent these problems, Dr. Deepa Camenga, assistant professor and pediatrician at the Yale School of Medicine, says we need to talk openly about the pelvic region with our daughters at an early age.

"When we drop our kids off for camp, we remind them of healthy habits like 'Be sure to put on sunscreen before and after the pool' and 'Wash your hands,' but we rarely remind our kids to go to the bathroom," Camenga says. "Holding it" for too long, she says, may increase the chance of developing pelvic muscle disorders, incontinence/bladder leaking, and urinary tract infections in the future.

This advice might sound silly or obvious to an adult ear, but the truth is pelvic and toilet health is learned.

It's up to parents and educators to teach girls what's going on with their bodies. It's a matter of their health.

Here are a few do's and don'ts on talking pelvic health with your daughter:

  1. Do your homework. Some of us adults don't have the full story on our pelvises either. Consult with your child's pediatrician for helpful reminders and tips. There are resources (including "Below Your Belt") available to help address the whole picture of what's going on "down there."
  2. Do engage early and take advantage of youthful curiosity. The earlier you can begin the conversation, the less likely the topic will already be stigmatized for your child. Any time they hint at a question about their pelvic region, engage. Smaller questions are sometimes the gateway to larger issues. Camenga says if your child is younger, feed into their curiosity about toilet behavior. "They'll be asking all sorts of questions about their bodies, so when questions come up about down there, address it head-on."
  3. Do make the conversation natural and easy. If you show it's not weird for you (even if it is), it'll help them relax and speak freely on the topic. "Answering questions in a matter-of-fact way helps de-stigmatize the conversation as well," Carmenga says. "When your kids perceive it as part of the everyday conversation and not as special and secretive, they're more likely to be open."
  4. Don't frame it as "The Talk." Pelvic health isn't focused on the birds and the bees. Camenga says treating this as "The Talk" can create a feeling that pelvic health should be secretive and only discussed in certain environments.
  5. Do include pelvic health in your list of healthy reminders. Things like wiping front to back, not "holding it," and reminders that using the bathroom is a healthy act can go a long way.
  6. Do connect in ways that make sense to them. There are plenty of apps, games, and books available to engage kids in different ways. Lavender has raised funds to create an app called Below Your Belt to accompany her book.
  7. Do keep in mind that health education classes don't cover everything. Many health classes don't even begin until pubescent ages for most students, so the importance of regular bathroom use and encouraging discussion when something — good or bad — is happening below the belt aren't being reinforced in the classroom. Studies have confirmed that "while school-based health education has been found to be effective in increasing knowledge of sexual function and behaviors, current efforts lack a comprehensive approach to understanding the pelvic area of the female body and the interrelatedness of the organs and muscle functions."

Even if it feels awkward, an open dialogue with your daughter about her pelvis is essential to her health.

Teaching good habits and building a foundation of openness at a young age will help your daughter stay healthy and keep lines of communication open through the thorniness of puberty.

So talk it out. It could make for more happy, healthy young women in the world.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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