Itchy Nipples…

Have you ever been walking along, having a totally normal day, and suddenly your nipples feel itchy, it’s like you’re wearing a bra made of a 1000 nipples.

If your nipples are anything like mine, they don’t usually cause much trouble — they go along to get along, trooping around quietly in the bra until you need to unleash them for practical and/or recreational purposes — which might be why, when your nipples feel strange, it can sometimes be kind of terrifying.

That terror can easily turn into full-tilt panic: My first thoughts are ALWAYS could my itchy, dry nipples be a sign of something serious? Are these random hairs going to be here for the rest of my life? Why hast thou betrayed me, beloved headlights!

The shock of having a nipple feel weird is usually much worse than whatever’s actually going on with your nipple — because, for the most part, nipple weirdness is not a sign of a serious health problem. Anything having to do with my breasts can send me into breast cancer panic mode.

The most common nipple-related breast cancer symptoms are tenderness, dimpling, a change in skin texture on the nipple, and a suddenly inverted nipple (inverted nipples are common and harmless — a sudden inversion is the only cause for alarm.)

So what I’ve learned is that anything else that you feel: random itch, tingle, or drip — is most likely nothing to worry about.

If your nipples look or feel different than they usually do for a prolonged period of time, or if you’re just freaked out, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor. 

First of all, itchy nipples are almost never a sign of a health problem. In rare cases, itchy nipples can be a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer or Paget disease of the breast, but itching is almost never the only symptom.

Run-of-the-mill itchy nipples have more benign causes: sometimes the itchiness is created by a skin condition, like eczema, but if you’re not experiencing a rash or other symptoms, odds are that your nipples are itchy because they’ve become irritated — by the laundry detergent or soap that you use, by friction in an ill-fitting bra, or by dry weather that’s making all of your skin dry and itchy.

Itchy nipples can also be a side effect of pregnancy-related breast growth — as a pregnant woman’s breasts expand, the stretching of the skin can irritate the nipple, leading to drying, cracking, and a persistent nipple itch.

Fortunately, itchy nipples are easy to treat, for pregnant and non-pregnant folks alike — just massage some non-irritating moisturizer into your nipple, especially right after you come out of the shower. The moisture should keep your nipples calm. But no matter how itchy your nips get, don’t put calamine lotion on them — that lotion can actually dry the skin of the nipple, and make the itching worse.

Question of the day: How do you handle the itchy nipple?

Leave a comment below…

SurveyStud: In the App Store

Am I Petty…

There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe we read a few obscure love stories from the 19th century on how not to be.

But when it comes down to actually handling the nitty-gritty of relationships, we’re given no pointers… or worse, we’re given advice columns in women’s magazines or this blogg. Yes, it’s trial-and-error from the get-go. And if you’re like most people, it’s been mostly error.

But part of the problem is that many unhealthy relationship habits are baked into our culture. We worship romantic love — you know, that dizzying and irrational romantic love that somehow finds breaking china plates on the wall in a fit of tears somewhat endearing — and scoff at practicality or unconventional sexualities.

Men and women are raised to objectify each other and to objectify their relationships. Thus, our partners are often seen as assets rather than someone to share mutual emotional support.

A lot of the self-help literature out there isn’t helpful either (no, men and women are not from different planets, you over-generalizing prick.) And for most of us, mom and dad surely weren’t the best examples either.

Fortunately, there’s been a lot of psychological research into healthy and happy relationships the past few decades and there are some general principles that keep popping up consistently that most people are unaware of or don’t follow. In fact, some of these principles actually go against what is traditionally considered “romantic” or normal in a relationship.

Below are tendencies (based on research from the folks at SurveyStud)in relationships that many couples think are healthy and normal, but are actually toxic and destroying everything you hold dear.

THE RELATIONSHIP SCORECARD. What It Is: The “keeping score” phenomenon is when someone you’re dating continues to blame you for past mistakes you made in the relationship. If both people in the relationship do this it devolves into what I call “the relationship scorecard,” where it becomes a battle to see who has screwed up the most over the months or years, and therefore who owes the other one more.

You were an asshole at Amy’s 28th birthday party back in 2010 and it has proceeded to ruin your life ever since. Why? Because there’s not a week that goes by that you’re not reminded of it. But that’s OK, because that time you caught her sending flirtatious text messages to her co-worker immediately removes her right to get jealous, so it’s kind of even, right?

Wrong.

Why It’s Toxic: The relationship scorecard develops over time because one or both people in a relationship use past wrongdoings in order to try and justify current righteousness. This is a double-whammy of suckage. Not only are you deflecting the current issue itself, but you’re ginning up guilt and bitterness from the past to manipulate your partner into feeling wrong in the present.

If this goes on long enough, both partners eventually spend most of their energy trying to prove that they’re less culpable than the other, rather than solving the current problem. People spend all of their time trying to be less wrong for each other instead of being more right for each other.

What You Should Do Instead: Deal with issues individually unless they are legitimately connected. If someone habitually cheats, then that’s obviously a recurring problem. But the fact that she embarrassed you in 2010 and now she got sad and ignored you today in 2013 have nothing to do with each other, so don’t bring it up.

You must recognize that by choosing to be with your significant other, you are choosing to be with all of their prior actions and behaviors. If you don’t accept those, then ultimately, you are not accepting them. If something bothered you that much a year ago, you should have dealt with it a year ago.

DROPPING “HINTS” AND OTHER PASSIVE-AGGRESSION. What It Is: Instead of stating a desire or thought overtly, your partner tries to nudge you in the right direction of figuring it out yourself. Instead of saying what’s actually upsetting you, you find small and petty ways to piss your partner off so you’ll then feel justified in complaining to them.

Why It’s Toxic: Because it shows that you two are not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with one another. A person has no reason to be passive-aggressive if they feel safe expressing any anger or insecurity within the relationship. A person will never feel a need to drop “hints” if they feel like they won’t be judged or criticized for it.

What You Should Do Instead: State your feelings and desires openly. And make it clear that the other person is not necessarily responsible or obligated to them but that you’d love to have their support. If they love you, they’ll almost always be able to give it.

BLAMING YOUR PARTNER FOR YOUR OWN EMOTIONS. What It Is: Let’s say you’re having a crappy day and your partner isn’t exactly being super sympathetic or supportive at the moment. They’ve been on the phone all day with some people from work. They got distracted when you hugged them. You want to lay around at home together and just watch a movie tonight, but they have plans to go out and see their friends.

So you lash out at them for being so insensitive and callous toward you. You’ve been having a shitty day and they have done nothing about it. Sure, you never asked, but they should just know to make you feel better. They should have gotten off the phone and ditched their plans based on your lousy emotional state.

Why It’s Toxic: Blaming our partners for our emotions is a subtle form of selfishness, and a classic example of the poor maintenance of personal boundaries. When you set a precedent that your partner is responsible for how you feel at all times (and vice-versa), you will develop codependent tendencies. Suddenly, they’re not allowed to plan activities without checking with you first. All activities at home — even the mundane ones like reading books or watching TV — must be negotiated and compromised. When someone begins to get upset, all personal desires go out the window because it is now your responsibility to make one another feel better.

The biggest problem of developing these codependent tendencies is that they breed resentment. Sure, if my girlfriend gets mad at me once because she’s had a shitty day and is frustrated and needs attention, that’s understandable. But if it becomes an expectation that my life revolves around her emotional well-being at all times, then I’m soon going to become very bitter and even manipulative towards her feelings and desires.

What You Should Do Instead: Take responsibility for your own emotions and expect your partner to be responsible for theirs. There’s a subtle yet important difference between being supportive of your partner and being obligated to your partner. Any sacrifices should be made as an autonomous choice and not seen as an expectation. As soon as both people in a relationship become culpable for each other’s moods and downswings, it gives them both incentives to hide their true feelings and manipulate one another.

Let me stop because my bath water is getting cold, and I realize Im really talking about myself. Am I petty?

Question: Are you petty?

Leave a comment below…

SurveyStud: In the App Store

Single Mother Stats: SurveyStud

Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, single motherhood is now becoming the new “social-norm.”

This prevalence is due in part to the growing trend of children born outside marriage — a societal trend that was virtually unheard of decades ago.

About 4 of 10 or 40% of children were born to unwed mothers. Nearly two-thirds are born to mothers under the age of 30.2

Of all single-parent families in the U.S., single mothers make up the majority.

According to U.S. Census Bureau, out of 12 million single parent families in 2015, more than 80% were headed by single mothers.

Today 1 in 4 or 25% of children under the age of 18 — a total of about 17.4 million — are being raised without a father and nearly half (45%) live below the poverty line.

For those living with father, about 21% live in poverty. In contrast, among children living with both parents, 13% are counted as poor.

STATISTICS OF SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES * (2015)

– 84% Single Mom Family
– 16% Single Dad Family

DEMOGRAPHICS

– Around 49% of single mothers have never married

– 51% are either divorced, separated or widowed. Half have one child, 30% have two.

– About two thirds are White, one third Black, one quarter Hispanic. One third have a college degree, while one sixth have not completed high school.

EMPLOYMENT

two thirds of single mothers are working outside the home, a slightly greater share than the share of married mothers who are also working outside the home.

However, only half are employed full-time all year long, a quarter (23.2%) are jobless the entire year. Among those who were laid off or looking for work, less than a quarter (22.4%) received unemployment benefits.

If a single mother is able to work, her earning power still lags significantly compared with men’s, about 78¢ to a $1 for the same job — leaving a wage gap of 23 cents on the dollar.

The wage disparities are even greater for women of color — African-American women earn only 64¢, while Hispanic and Latinas fare worse, being paid just 56¢ on the dollar.

INCOME

Single mothers earn income that place them well below married mothers in the income ladder. The gap between the two groups is significantly large.

The median income for families led by a single mother in 2015 was about $26,000, one third (⅓) the median for married couple families ($84,000.) Nearly half with an annual income of less than $25,000.

Source: Contact us for information

SurveyStud: https://appsto.re/us/Ddj18.i

Effective Feedback: SurveyStud

Feedback is valuable information that will be used to make important decisions. Top performing companies are top performing companies because they consistently search for ways to make their best even better. For top performing companies ‘continuous improvement’ is not just a showy catchphrase.

Effective feedback has benefits for the giver, the receiver, and the wider organization. Here are five reasons why feedback is so important.

1. Feedback is always there. If you ask someone in your organization when feedback occurs, they will typically mention an employee survey, performance appraisal, or training evaluation. In actuality, feedback is around us all the time. Every time we speak to a person, employee, customer, vendor, etc., we communicate feedback. In actuality, it’s impossible not to give feedback.

2. Feedback is effective listening. Whether the feedback is done verbally or via a feedback survey, the person providing the feedback needs to know they have been understood (or received) and they need to know that their feedback provides some value. When conducting a survey, always explain why respondents’ feedback is important and how their feedback will be used.

3. Feedback can motivate. By asking for feedback, it can actually motivate employees to perform better. Employees like to feel valued and appreciate being asked to provide feedback that can help formulate business decisions. And feedback from client, suppliers, vendors, and stakeholders can be used to motivate to build better working relations

4. Feedback can improve performance. Feedback is often mistaken for criticism. In fact, what is viewed as negative criticism is actually constructive criticism and is the best find of feedback that can help to formulate better decisions to improve and increase performance.

5. Feedback is a tool for continued learning. Invest time in asking and learning about how others experience working with your organization. Continued feedback is important across the entire organization in order to remain aligned to goals, create strategies, develop products and services improvements, improve relationships, and much more. Continued learning is the key to improving.

10 Surprising Statistics on Women in the Workplace: SurveyStud

Take a moment to read through these ten eye-opening stats to see where women really are in the working world and get some inspiration to see where changes need to be made and where advancements can be lauded for this generation and the next.

1. Women comprise 46% of the total U.S. labor force. With almost half of the workforce being women, female employees aren’t exactly a rarity. For most women today, getting a job is an expected part of life. This is a big change from past decades. In 1900, fewer than 20% of women participated in the labor market while today the number is around 75% and growing.

2. Women make only 77.5 cents for every dollar that men earn. This figure comes from data on the 2010 census. Despite this gap, many economists feel that the gap between pay for men and women is due to different personal choices men and women make about personal fulfillment, child rearing and hours at work. Whichever you choose to believe, the reality is that the gap is slowly but surely closing as women become increasingly educated and dual income families become the norm, but this isn’t much consolation to those who feel discriminated against today.

3. The more education a woman has, the greater the disparity in her wages. This certainly doesn’t mean women should shy away from professional positions, but they should be aware that they may have to battle harder for equal pay. Women in professional specialty occupations were found to earn just 72.7% of what men in the same position earned, and women in upper level executive, administrative and managerial occupations earned even less at 72.3%. If you compare this against the average of 77.5%, the numbers speak for themselves, and this graphic from the New York Times makes it even easier to see.

4. Women may work longer to receive the promotions that provide access to higher pay. One example provided by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that women often have to work three years longer in a teaching position to be promoted to a principal than their male counterparts. Some studies suggest that this is because women and men adapt different strategies when it comes to management and pursuing promotions, yet other studies connect it less to work and more to gender-based biases.

5. Women business owners employ 35% more people than all the Fortune 500 companies combined. If you’re like most people, you don’t picture a woman when you think about a business owner. Yet there are about 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., a number that comprises nearly 40% of all businesses. The idea that women don’t make good managers just doesn’t hold up when you look at these kinds of numbers, with women managing a large number of employees and making healthy profits while doing so.

6. Women account for 46% of the labor force, but 59% of workers making less than $8 an hour. What does it mean? It means that many women are taking on jobs that pay well under a living wage. With nearly 16% of U.S. households having women who are divorced, widowed or never married as the sole providers, this leaves many women at a distinct disadvantage and struggling to make ends meet as they dominate jobs in low paying fields.

7. Only 53% of employers provide at least some replacement pay during periods of maternity leave. Despite the fact that the arrival of a child means extra bills and expenses, many employers don’t provide women with any benefits if they to leave work temporarily to have a child. While there is no law requiring companies to offer paid maternity leave, considering it is an issue that primarily affects women, it’s certainly a blow to their income potential and ability to care for their families and themselves.

8. Four in ten businesses worldwide have no women in senior management. This shouldn’t be a surprise given the way many countries feel about women in the workplace. Here in the United States, however, women still feel the stress of trying to break into upper management, with 93% of the 439 senior women executives surveyed by Korn/Ferry International in 1992 feeling that a glass ceiling for women still existed. Yet new studies report that women outnumber men as managers in fields like human resources, health administration and education–perhaps stemming from reports that many businesses have seen a direct financial impact from hiring women.

9. Women earned less than men in 99% of all occupations. In virtually every field that women choose to enter, they can expect to earn less over their lifetime than their male counterparts. This means that over 47 years of full-time work, this gap amounts to an estimated loss in wages for women of $700,000 for high school graduates, $1.2 million for college grads, and $2 million for professional school grads–a staggering amount.

10. Minority women fare the worst when it comes to equal pay.
African-American women earn 64 cents to every dollar earned by white men and Hispanic women just 52 cents per dollar. Whether it’s attitudes about race or gender that are at play, it’s clear that something needs to be done to level the playing field.

SurveyStud: https://appsto.re/us/Ddj18.i

Breast Cancer Stats 2016: SurveyStud

In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

1 in 8 or 12% of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

About 2,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2016. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.

Breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. began decreasing in the year 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7% from 2002 to 2003 alone. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.

About 40,450 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2016 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989. Women under 50 have experienced larger decreases. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.

For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.

Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2016, it’s estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.

In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. For Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women, the risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower.

In 2016, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.

A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.

About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. On average, women with a BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 45%. Breast cancer that is positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations tends to develop more often in younger women. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. In men, BRCA2 mutations are associated with a lifetime breast cancer risk of about 6.8%; BRCA1 mutations are a less frequent cause of breast cancer in men.

About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.

The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).

Source: BreastCancer.org

SurveyStud: https://appsto.re/us/Ddj18.i

Single Mom-Family Stats: SurveyStud

Who are single moms today? These single mom statistics might surprise you:

There are 10 million single mother-lead families in the United States (Census). 3x the number in 1960.

– 25% of families are headed by single moms. (Pew).

– 40% of babies born in the United States are born to single mothers. (Pew)
 
Millennial single mom statistics

– 57% of babies born to millennials were out of wedlock. (John’s Hopkins)

– 64% of millennial moms reported at least one birth out of wedlock. (John’s Hopkins)

More educated millennials are having babies outside of marriage. Of millennial moms who have babies outside of marriage:

– 67% have some college education, and 32% have four or more years of higher education. (John’s Hopkins)

Older single mom statistics

– 48% jump in births to unmarried women age 35-39 (CDC)

– 29% jump in births to unmarried moms aged 40-44 (CDC)

While the rate of babies born to single mothers has declined slightly, there is a notable rise in babies born to single moms by choice – women who tend to be older, more educated, higher income. (CDC)

Single moms’ education and income:

– 58% of single moms have attended college or have at least a bachelor’s degree (Pew)
Of millennial moms who have babies outside of marriage

– 67% have some college education, and 32% have four or more years of higher education. (John’s Hopkins)

– 32% earn $40,000+ (Census)

– 10% earn $80,000+ (Census)

Single moms are overwhelmingly doing it all alone:

– 51% of custodial parents have child support agreements (informal or formal), but only 41% received all child support owed. (Census)

– Of fathers who live apart from their children, only 22% of dads see their kids more than once per week. (Pew)

What is driving single mom trends?

There are 1.2 million divorces in the United States each year. (Census)

Traditional nuclear families with two married heterosexual parents are now the minority of U.S.

The rise of single motherhood is the largest influence on this trend — followed by gay families, multigenerational families and . (Pew)

– 46% millennials and 44% GenXers say “Marriage is becoming obsolete.” (Pew)