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National Institutes of Health

In a couple of weeks my little brother is going to become a first-time dad. I was so excited to hear about a new nephew coming into the world — not least because it was a great opportunity to wrest some of those last baby toys from my 6-year-old’s clutches and send them halfway across the country to his new cousin.

As I packed up boxes of crib sheets that my own mother-in-law had lovingly sewn for my boys, I came across a cute moon-and-stars bumper pad that matched my old nursery theme.

Without hesitation, I threw it away.

Like many working moms, I constantly have a severe case of mommy guilt. But this past week, I read a report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that was effective as a backrub and a mug of hot cocoa in calming my mommy anxiety.

If your child has asthma, this is probably the week you’re starting to check the pollen counts again. Even though St. Louis recently lost its ranking as “Asthma Capital” of the nation (for 2010 we’re at No. 2 – thanks, Richmond!) it’s still a challenging place for many kids and adults to take a deep breath.