49 answers

9 Year Old Daughter Maturing Too Soon

I have a beautiful 9 year old daughter maturing quickly. No, she has not started her period, but she is developing in all the other areas. Her pediatrician says it is "normal", but I am don't agree. I am looking for a endocrinologist (pediatric), but until I get in to see a doctor, I wanted to know what other moms are experiencing with your young daughters maturing.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! Thank you all for the comments and support. I have a better understanding, and you all reminded me that I must be mindful of my words. I certainly do not want her to be ashamed. BTW, I started early, at age 11. I felt I was the only one in school to be going through the changes at the time. A classmate was going through my purse one day and found a pad. She gasped, and other girls found out --- I was so embarrassed. So, I guess you all can understand my feelings on the subject. However, hearing your comments really helped. Plus, I will hold off on the specialist stuff. Again, thank you all!

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For what it's worth, my OB/GYN said early puberty is not directly related to the growth hormones in chicken and other food products. I asked her this when I was pregnant with my daughter who is now six. She said it is a weight-related issue. Menstration and body changes start appearing around the 100 pound mark. Some girls are reaching that weight earlier making it appear we've got a new norm for puberty. My daughter is only 6 and weighs 47 pounds, so I can't say that I've had any experience in proving her point yet, but I'd rather believe that than worry about everything that goes in my mouth even though we are careful about what we eat. Again, that was six years ago, and I've not asked her about it since. Maybe she's changed her opinion.

2 moms found this helpful

My sis-in-law told me about the same thing happening to a friend's daughter. And she ended up starting her period in the 3rd grade shortly after developing early.

Their doctor (they live in Austin) told them to try taking her off all products with hormones and buy (especially meat and dairy products) at whole foods or some other organic meats. They began that and she stopped having her period and lost some of the breasts she had been developing. She also had gotten a few hairs under her arms and it went away too. The dr. told them that the growth hormones in meat, chicken, eggs, etc. can cause that reaction in children.

It's worth a try. It actually makes sense to me how that could happen. We try to avoid the growth hormones in what i feed my daughter now. She is only 2 but I guess you can never start to early.

I started developing that early also. My mom freaked out and took me to an endocrinologist who monitored me for 2 years, only to come to the conclusion that I was perfectly normal, just an early developer. I was 5'9" and wore a B cup by 5th grade. I'd think she's probably just fine.

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For what it's worth, my OB/GYN said early puberty is not directly related to the growth hormones in chicken and other food products. I asked her this when I was pregnant with my daughter who is now six. She said it is a weight-related issue. Menstration and body changes start appearing around the 100 pound mark. Some girls are reaching that weight earlier making it appear we've got a new norm for puberty. My daughter is only 6 and weighs 47 pounds, so I can't say that I've had any experience in proving her point yet, but I'd rather believe that than worry about everything that goes in my mouth even though we are careful about what we eat. Again, that was six years ago, and I've not asked her about it since. Maybe she's changed her opinion.

2 moms found this helpful

I developed breast tissue at the age of seven (wore a training bra by age 11). I went through a barage of tests at Children's growing up and nothing was not normal in any of my results. I know it traumatized me more than it satisfied my mother. I still have body image issues because it was such a big deal. My advice would be it is one thing to learn about her early development and another to run her through a series of tests that make her feel that there is something wrong with her. As a mother I know that our family is just genetically predisposed to develop early, of course I'd run the blood work for other conditions but after that unless something came up in the results, I'd just support her early development with good examples of what it is to be a young lady (proper clothing, proper behavior, how to deal with emotions and body image). Also try to remember that this means boys will be attracted earlier in life, she may be teased, she may be dealing with many other things socially that normally would be saved for 3-4 years from now. So be sensitive to her needs.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, this a growing problem brought on by all of the hormones found in food. Chickens are pumped with hormones which affect the eggs we eat and their meat. Cattle as well, milk, hamburger, steak. Don't forget pork, the biggest culprit. Look over the diet your family is eating and access how much of these products you consume in a week, month and then year.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm not sure what you mean by "too soon"... do you mean literally that you think this can't be right? That it's impossible for a 9-year-old to naturally develop to this point?

I am 100% certain that you are wrong. I started to develop that early myself. I had the beginnings of breasts and had started growing pubic hair at that age, among other changes. My period was very very early in 5th grade.

My oldest (nearly 20) started everything much much later than I did; however, my next daughter (9 years old) is not quite as early as I was, but is definitely closer to the timeframe I experienced.

PLEASE stop deciding that this is WRONG and just start talking to your daughter, in a "hey, guess what! You've got some cool new stuff coming!" kind of way. DO NOT MAKE HER FEEL WEIRD ABOUT THIS. As someone who lived through this very situation, I can tell you how awful it is to feel weird - it was odd enough to not have many friends who could relate (thank goodness for my friend with the giant boobs... ha!), but to have your mom act like you're some kind of out-of-control mutant is just too much. And yes, that's how it will feel to a poor kid in the grip of puberty hormones.

I am only 38, so I guess it wasn't all THAT long ago, and it's not like puberty's all that fun for anyone - but I hope this helps you to see what it is that your daughter will TRULY need from you during this time.

Good luck to you both!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi!
I teach fourth grade and every single year I have about four little nine or ten year old girls start their periods. I feel so bad for them taking on this responsibility at such a young age but our school nurse says that now this is the norm!

I know you've gotten tons of responses and have already updated but everyone is right, it's more normal than I would like, too. My daughter is turning 11 next month and I can not believe how much she changed this past school year with the growing. Even her four year old twin brothers have noticed (LOL) and say "sissy girl has big boobies!" Nothing like little brothers! Anyway, glad everyone calmed you down, it's tough letting these little girls grow up. Kind of off the subject, but just protect her by helping her pick out clothes that are modest because one thing I've noticed is how these girls start to mature and then start dressing in a way that brings male (young and old) eyes right to those areas - that's what bothers me.....

I developed very early too. Who knows what contributes to this. You should still see a doctor to get a professional opinion. I was in a size c cup before anyone else was wearing bras. If you daughter is active in sports she will start her period later as her fat cell count will be lower. Just let her know that her body is nothing to be ashamed of.

Hi J.,

I can see why your scared and nervous, our daughters seemed to be growing up so fast in our eyes. My daughter started her period just last Thursday at age 11, but this age is when I started and even my mom started. She started growing hair down there at age 9, very little but it was happening. She also started wearing a training bra in the 3rd grade, now she is in a A cup almost a B going into the 6th grade. Everything your experiencing is totally normal. Girls have started everything earlier in this day in age compared to waaaaay back then thanks to enviormental estrogen that's in everything, that includes food, plastic bottles and even tap water. I didn't even believe this at first but after much research and talking to my doctor this is all true. What is strange is my daughter doesn't even have hair under her arm and she's no even ready to shave her legs but everything else she has experienced. Don't worry, she is just growing up and and maturing, it's scary and makes us sad that they are becoming women. It's all apart of growing up 

I do not have any daughters but I very vividly remember going to buy bras with my mom in 3rd grade. That means I was about 9. My period didn't start until I was 12.

Hi J.,

Everyone is different. As long as your daughter isn't having issues and isn't complaining, then I wouldn't get to worried about it.

I have a sister that developed a lot faster and earlier then me and she is younger then me. I also have a cousin that did that same thing.

There's no reason to think anything is wrong unless she is complaining of something. This can be normal for some girls. I see friends with children that looks like their 18 and their 12. It's a part of life.

Hope this helped.

Love and Light,
Rev. G. Hudson, Reiki Master.
www.reikigailhudson.com

Girls are maturing too fast. It is all the hormones used in and on food. So it has become "normal." The best thing to do is to buy organic milk (expensive) and any vegetables or fruit where you eat the skin, buy organic for those too. If you peel the skin off then you can buy regular fruit.

My daughters both started developing when they were 9 and I was told it was due to all of the hormones in foods. They were big milk drinkers and the hormones in milk was the reason I was given. So nature will take it's course and you might want to casually start the "girl talks". Nine is not to early to start their cycle either, one of mine started a month before her 10th birthday and the other at 10. They truely do grow up too fast.

Our daughter who is grown now started when she was nine years old. It was a hassle for a little girl who didn't even carry a purse to have to carry pads to school with her. We put them in a purse, but kids want to look through your purse. Be sure and tell the nurse at school and see if she can give you some help on this when school starts. It is normal. My sister was that age as well when she started her monthly period.

Sandy

I hate to tell you this but that is normal. I started my period at 10 and there is nothing wrong with me. Unfortuately it seems kids are maturing earlier and earlier.

This is so common now. My friend's daughter started her period at 9. There were several girls in my daughter's fifth grade class that had started, so they were 10 or 11. Lots of the girls had hair in the fourth grade. All of us moms felt exactly like you are feeling right now. Some blamed the growth hormones that are fed to cattle and so they switched to organic milk and beef. Who knows what the root cause is. I do recommend a book called, Ready, Set, Grow for your daughter. It helps her understand the changes because they won't see the puberty film until the end of fifth grade. I got it at the library. She loved the book and hugged me after she read it because it really answered questions that she hadn't even verbalized to me. Good luck!

It looks like you've gotten some great advice from other moms. It's perfectly normal to start developing at 9yrs of age. I started getting breast buds in 5th grade and I knew girls who were fully developed in the 5th grade. Everyone is different but unless you have concerns about abnormal development changes she's just growing up and starting the changes we all one day go through. Do you remember when you and other women in your family started maturing? It usually starts about the same time that other women in your family started, but many girls are beginning to develope a lot sooner than girls 10 and 20 yrs ago. There are lots of books that you can look into to help her through the changes, some are just the basic changes and some take you through changes and how to discuss the sex topic. They do get the "Becoming a Woman" video at the end of 5th grade. If she's clueless I'd start the conversation with her now though. Once they see the video in 5th grade questions about sex will start getting their attention.

I had to have a bra by the time I turned 10. Period not till 12. My Goddaughter had to have the bra at 9, period started at 11. Her body already looks 16 and she just turned 12.

J.-
I started my period when I was 10 and am quite healty- no problems with irregular periods or excessive bleeding or anything like that. I just started young---so I would agree with your pediatrician, it is normal.

K. M.

My sis-in-law told me about the same thing happening to a friend's daughter. And she ended up starting her period in the 3rd grade shortly after developing early.

Their doctor (they live in Austin) told them to try taking her off all products with hormones and buy (especially meat and dairy products) at whole foods or some other organic meats. They began that and she stopped having her period and lost some of the breasts she had been developing. She also had gotten a few hairs under her arms and it went away too. The dr. told them that the growth hormones in meat, chicken, eggs, etc. can cause that reaction in children.

It's worth a try. It actually makes sense to me how that could happen. We try to avoid the growth hormones in what i feed my daughter now. She is only 2 but I guess you can never start to early.

Your daughter is going through what is absolutely normal. It is hard to accept that your little girl is growing up, but you need to let her. A 9 year old should be developing in those areas that you are referring to. It is also entirely possible and it sounds like it is probable that she will start her period soon. Listen to your pediatrician. The endocrinologist is way overboard. You have sought the advice of a doctor and they gave you sound advice. You do not need to do anything to try to stop your daughter from developing, you will only cause her body harm and if you act like it isn't normal, you wil completely damage her self image and self esteem. You need to accept that it is normal and convey to her that it is completely normal. Do not act like it is wrong and needs to be stopped you will cause unrepairable damage to her young and very delicate self image. Reassure her that it is normal, every girl goes through it and some go through it earlier and some go through it later. She needs to think that she is normal and you need to help her with that, not drag her from doctor to doctor trying to stop it. I am sorry that you are having a hard time with it, but you need to come to terms with it and be there for your daughter. Good luck. Many girls need a bra by 9 and 10 years old and many need to begin shaving at 10 years old. You can do this! Be brave!

My 11 year old step daughter started her period last summer and begain maturing about 2 years ago. I think this is normal...sad but true...

This is a trend that Parents have been noticing in their daughters for several years now. Some scientist have made the connection with premature aging and early maturation of young girls with the added hormones in the food and products that we use. This is just one of the reason people are are pushing for "clean labels". It makes sense to me. What is the old saying? "You are what you eat." Well if our cows, chicken and pigs are shot up with growth hormones to make them produce faster. Our veggies are genetically engineered to produce faster fruit and more fruit. What does that say about what we are eating?
Your Pediatrician may be right in saying that this is "normal" for today's standards, but it is NOT normal. It is only "normal" because that is where the trend has headed over the past 12-15 years.*

*I am not a doctor or a scientist. I am only a Mom that has read many articles on the subject and believes that if I can't pronounce it and I can't find it in nature, it shouldn't go in or on my body.

I started developing that early also. My mom freaked out and took me to an endocrinologist who monitored me for 2 years, only to come to the conclusion that I was perfectly normal, just an early developer. I was 5'9" and wore a B cup by 5th grade. I'd think she's probably just fine.

My daughter was only 7 when she came into my bathroom one morning and said "Mama, why do I have hair here?". Freaked me out. I took her to the doctor. He said he could run a lot of expensive tests but in his opinion she was just big for her age and would be one of the early ones. Said she would probably start her period within a year and I needed to explain what was happening to her so she wouldn't be scared. It was two years but she was prepared.

J.,

I have two thoughts. I might be way off, but these two thoughts have always been my theory why girls develop early. Actually, I have three theories:

1) It might be genetic, and not a darn thing you can do about it.

2) I know girls who are overweight can develop early.

3) This is where I really might be way off, but I have always believed that a contributing factor to children who develop early are drinking cows milk that have all those extra hormones. If I were you, I would buy cows milk that says "rbst hormone free." I feel that the added hormones in cows milk can make kids develop quicker - after all, it IS hormones.

But whatever the reason is that your daughter is developing quickly, it stinks, and it can be tough for her in school, especially if she is the only one who is ahead of the rest. Best of luck!

Hi J.,

I was there a few years ago...my 10 year old started her period. It seemed strange to me, but our pedi also said it is normal. Things have been fine, well, minus the PMS! lol

Blessings,
K.

This has become normal due to diet. You can find info at www.westonaprice.org on some of the things that have brought this about in our society. Unfortunately, you aren't going to stop it now. I was fully developed and started my period at 10. I remember being in about 5th grade and getting hit on by a 19 year old at a hotel during a family vacation. I looked 20 :( Very sad that our girls lose so much of their childhood these days.

J.,
She is growing up. As hard as it is on us moms to accept that.

My 14 yr old was wearing a bra in 3rd grade, deoderant started in 4-5th grade, period at 12.

My advice is to just make sure she knows that you are there for her no matter what. She'll go through confusing emotions, moods, etc. There'll be times you think she hates you but she doesn't...

Hang in there and welcome to puberty.

All little girls develop at different times. My daughter started developing little hips when she was 7. I have a friend whose daughter just turned 10 that already has hair on her private parts. When I was in school, a friend of mine started her period in the 6th grade (she was already a Dcup).

You may want to find a woman gynecologist - she may be able to give you some comfort that your daughter is developing normally, even if she is a little young.

Now 9 yrs old for girls is the new 13. I matured at 13, my daughter at 11, and my granddaughter at 10. It must be vastly improved nutrition and those pesky vitamins. But, as far as her behavior, Mom, YOU are in control of that. I don't know if I'd go so far as to advocate a shotgun by the door, but you and dad need to be ever so aware of her friends and social activities.

Age 9 is a perfectly normal age for girls to start maturing and for their body to start changing. My daughter started her period at age 9 which I felt was young and it is on the young side of normal but it is normal. I was surprised when my mother-in-law (age 71) told me that she also started at age 9. American Girl has a great book called "The Care and Keeping of Me". It has a lot of great info for girls about the changes their body is going through or about to go through.

I have a 10 year old daughter and a 10 year old niece and both started budding and getting hair last year. Neither have their period yet, but we've talked to them about what to expect and what to do if it happens when they're not at home.

Check out the book: The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls (American Girl Library) It's written in very simple language for kids, and includes lots of diagrams kids can understand.

Good luck!

I have to agree with all the other responses. I have 3 girls (ages 14-9). My oldest actually started developing breasts at the age of 6. There was definite breast tissue there but she didn't get her period until she was 12. My 11 yo has not started her period yet but has developed in all the other areas.
Please don't freak her and yourself out about her body changing. She is maturing, even if at a faster rate than we moms would like.
There are some great books out there to help both of you talk about what is happening to her body.

As far as the endocrinologist goes, we too took our then 8 yo (now 14)for testing and hand x-rays to make sure that she was growing at the appropriate rate....and she was. All we did was put her through needless testing and needle sticking.

It is not normal for your 9 year old. Unless she is almost 10. Then it is early, but not too early and it is "normal". If she is maturing this much then this means she has been maturing for a long time and at an early age. My daughter is 8 and she has started to mature a little at and since she was 7. Our pedi has run tests and drawn blood and we are still not done yet. We are trying to figure out what the cause of it is. I'm guessing there are differant treatments for differant reasons for the early developement. We've had sonograms, xrays, taken blood twice to check hormone levels, and now we have an MRI on Thursday. We haven't found the cause yet. We haven't been to the endocronologist yet, but she is going to refer us to one. She (the pedi) is doing all the tests she can do first. The main reason for stopping this is that it messes with their growth. You stop growing after puberty. I also really don't want my little girl to be in a grown ups body at such a young age. Hope this helps and if you have any other questions let me know. Oh and by the way hormones in food have nothing to do with it. It's genetic.

Hello J.!

In today's world this is "normal."

African American girls usually start earlier then other races.

I started developing and had to wear a bra in 5th grade.

My oldest daughter now 17 started her cycle when she was 9 about to be 10. My sister who is 2.5 years older then my daughter started that summer and we were really excited! That fall my daughter started and I was like WHAT!!!!!!????!! LOL..

So I say, don't worry about these changes they are natural just happens sooner now days, then when we were growing up.

Take care and God bless!

M.

You received some great advice. I am the mother of three daughters (17, 14, and 11). My mother started her period at 9; I started mine at 10 (was wearing a bra in 2nd or 3rd grade); my oldest started budding around 9 and started her period at 11; my middle daughter didn't start until she was 13 and in the last month or so has really started to blossom into a young lady; my 11 year old looks like she should be 9--only extremely minor body changes toward puberty. All this to say that everyone is different, but still "normal."

Good luck and enjoy every moment with your daughter. One day you will turn around and be staring at a grown woman and wonder what happened to your little girl.

I am a mother of 4 daughters that range 13-21 yr and I think it's something with this generation or something...maybe the hormones they are/have been pumping into food in the last 10 or so years. My girls started maturing early as well and didn't start their periods until 12-14 yoa and they are developing much more than what runs in my family, if you know what I mean. So, I don't know that I would worry about it too much.

The reports state that a lot of girls are maturing too early due to harmones in the foods we are eating; namely chicken and beef and soy products. Some girls are beginning to have their periods at 8-11 when it used to be about age 13-15. More fruits and vegetables, fish and not as much meat and dairy will help. But with the Standard American diet, this is happening with alarming proportions and is difficult to prevent. Check out www.hacres.com for more info.

Because of better nutrition and health care today, girls are maturing and hitting puberty younger these days than they did in your day or mine or my mother's. Also, some ethnic groups seem to hit puberty a year or so earlier than other groups.

I wouldn't be concerned. My mom was 16. I was 12. My daughters were around 10 or 11. The school starts preparing them with "the talk" around 5th grade or earlier these days. When I was in elementary school, it was sixth grade.

I'm a nurse at an elementary school, and I too am alarmed at all the little girls maturing so fast! This is truly a current trend that has changed over the past several years. It is nationwide epidemic and personally I think it's due to all the hormones they put into our chicken and milk products. If I were you I would switch to all organic, hormone-free products including eggs, milk, chicken or any meat products. This would be really hard to do, and you can forget fast food! However, if it's this important to you, you might want to try it. Please remember that this is my opinion, and probably most people in the medical community would tell you that there are no "studies" to prove that it's the hormones in our food. Soo.... good luck. I am glad you are showing concern. Children should be children for as long as they can! :O)

2 of my friends' daughters, both 9, are in the same change - one is budding and one is in full development.

As for an endocrinologist, our daughters have been seeing Dr. Ellen Sher for 7 years now and she's wonderful!

Please don't get scared, it is completely normal. Kids are different and mature at different ages. This happened to me as a I child- I never wore a training bra but went right to a full sized b cup bra when I was only 9. (And grew 2 more cup sizes by the time I was 13.) I did start my period at the beginning of 6th grade, too so be ready to go through that early too (it may or may not be the same way). I turned out fine and actually my parents were happy that I also mentally matured faster than others and therefore did better in school and stayed out of trouble! (Most of the time.)

I know you might be scared, but that just means she's even more scared about it. Be careful not to let her think she is not normal or that there is something wrong with her, because there's not. She probably already thinks that just because none of her friends are going through it with her, which makes it even more devastating to a young girl. It was tough being the only one in school wearing a bra and developing faster, and yes, I got some teasing which didn't help either. Just make sure you are there for her and try not to make it worse for her by implying that it is not normal and you need to get it fixed by a doctor or drugs. And help her out with her peers by teaching her how to take care of the new changes (i.e. shaving under her arms, washing face every day, zit control, wearing a bra properly, wearing deoderant, etc.) before they have something to make fun of her about. And if they still make fun, they're just jealous because she looks so good!

I hope this helps and welcome to puberty!

I too have a 9 year old that the peddy said could be maturing to fast. He ordered a bone density test of her hand that showed she might be on the onset of puberty. We have an appt next month with a Dr. Sher at Medical City in Dallas. I doubt I will do any hormone treatment but I want to be armed with info to make the best decision for her.

I have three teenagers and one preteen. The older girls seemed to develop early to me but really didn't. I have friends who have gone through this and going organic has helped. There are tons of growth hormones put in our food that effects our children. Try going organic.

My best friend growing up started her period at age 9 and developed much faster than me or our other friends. She is completely normal.

This early maturing and high growth levels in children is considered the new "normal" these days because it is very widespread. However, this "normal" is a direct result of growth hormones that are given to the animals in our food chain. I am not some Earth Mother, instead, I have been a rancher most of my life. Milk, beef and chicken are the biggest contributors to this problem. If your girls are maturing too early I would highly suggest that you change your buying habits at the grocery store. Buy milk that is hormone free - Braums is a great source. Organic chicken & beef is the other alternative. We raise our own beef without hormones (not feedlot cattle) and that solves that problem. Perhaps you can find someone who also does this and buy a quarter or half beef and get an extra freezer for storage. Check out Sprouts Market for a good source of organic meats. They have good weekly specials that will help with your budget. A little change in shopping will help with this problem. It won't reverse anything, but will slow the progress. Lots of soy in her diet could be a factor as it messes with your estrogen levels and thyroid. Switching to soy milk would not be a good solution.

You're not crazy - this new "normal" isn't. Our modern food supply is messing with our kids growth patterns.

I totally agree with most of all the others. My coworkers daughter and my niece have started their periods at the age of 10. Most kids start budding at the tender age of 8,9 and two years after they start their cycle. Support the stage and let them know it is normal. Good luck.

Nowadays girls are developing a lot sooner than we did. I remember starting in the fifth grade, and so did most of my friends. I believe I just turned 10. But now there are 1st graders wearing training bras and having pubic hair, Doctors say it is normal, that is not normal. Some believe it is from the consumption of all the growth hormones in our dairy and meats. Did you know that it used to take 7.5 months to raise a chick into a chicken and have it ready to slaughter? Now with all the hormones that are fed to the chicks-it can be slaughtered in 28 days! Cows are given bovine growth hormones as well, to produce more milk. These hormones end up in the food. The only way to avoid them is to eat organic meats and dairy-organic is hormone free. It also tastes better and is more expensive. Your daughter is just one year younger than what I remember which isn't that bad, but why not take these chemicals out of your food if you can?

J.,

If you will Google - girls developing early - or some other way of phrasing it, you will find many articles on this subject. It seems this is not unusual these days, and it can simply be genetic, or related to artificial substances that unlock the hormones causing breast development, or for early menstruation, it can be that the girl's body has stored the amount of light needed that "clicks" on the monthly cycle (back when there wasn't so much artificial light exposure, the effects of light didn't initiate a girl's cycle so early). Maybe you will read something that gives you insight and guidance.

I know it's disturbing to think of our young girls already beginning to move into womanhood, and it seems their bodies are moving way ahead of their emotional and intellectual development, which brings up lots of issues to consider. I have a 7 year old (and 4 year old), and we're not there yet - but I'm aware it could be right around the corner. Best wishes in finding good information and helping your daughter process these changes.

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