Breast milk and baby names

When I was a child and didn’t eat my dinner, my mother (like all mothers of her generation) would remind me that there were starving children in Africa. However, she never would take me up on my generous offer to ship the leftover food to those starving children in lieu of my having to eat it.

My friend Jill Youse puts a modern spin on the question of what to do with leftovers. Jill’s problem isn’t food, it is breast milk. After her baby Stella was born, she produced huge amounts of breast milk — far more than baby Stella wanted. She thought about throwing it out, but then she thought about those babies in Africa. She took the step my mother never would: she actually began shipping the milk to Africa. You can read all about her efforts on the International Breast Milk Project in a Time magazine article.

Looking for ways to fund her charity, Jill’s latest idea is to write a fun, smart book on baby names. Towards that end, she has posted a short baby names survey that she is hoping people will fill out. If you are interested, please take the survey and also spread the word.


NeilS

If you want to see the absolute top names of the 20th century, take a look at this site,
http://www.babynamesgarden.com/Decade.aspx
where they have put together the top 100 names of the entire last century. Even though six more years have passed, there is no doubt that there have been more "marys" than any other female name, at least in the last hundred years. Boys' names are a little closer -- there is little to separate the James, Johns, and Roberts.

Mack

I don't know if you've ever pointed to it, but this is a fascinating interactive site (Java applet) that allows you to look at the relative popularity of first names over the last century in the US. Entering "STE" shows, for example, that while the variant STEPHAN was virtually unknown before 1930, it now ranks higher than STEPHEN. And the girl's name STEFANI arose from nowhere in the '70s, peaked in 1980, then died a decade later. Great fun.

toddzilla

Mack's link is interesting! Looking at it, it's a great way to track the popularity (or infamy) of public people, especially if they have an uncommon name.

Presidents:
Franklin Delano -- both saw spikes in the thirties
Warren -- a spike in the twenties
Dwight -- a spike in the fifties
Lyndon -- a spike in the sixties
Roosevelt -- spikes in the 1900's and the thirties
Theodore -- a spike in the 1900's

Song names:
Angie (Rolling Stones) -- peaked in the seventies, then say a sharp drop
Layla (Eric Clapton and that band) -- a spike in the seventies, as well as a current surge

Actors, athletes, other performers:
Sade (female vocalist) -- peaked in the eighties, gone by 2003
Aretha Franklin -- peaked in the sixties
Sonny (Bono)-- peaked in the seventies
Paris -- in the waning days of a big peak
Annette (Frankie's gal) -- peaked in the sixties
Elvis -- big spikes in the fifties, seventies, and now more popular than ever.
Dean (Martin) -- peaked in the sixties; popularity of that name nearly doubled between the forties and sixties
Lamont (Sanford) -- peaked in the seventies
Muhammad (and its various spellings) and Ali -- exploded in the seventies
Farrah (Fawcett) -- peaked in the seventies
Harrison (Ford) -- peaked recently; dramatic growth in the eighties and nineties
Kirstie (Alley) -- peaked in the nineties
Matt (from Gunsmoke) -- peaked in the sixties
Drew (Barrymore) -- peaked in the nineties, and again recently
Che -- peaked in the seventies

Plus far too many others to mention.

All spikes are relative; peaks show a large growth in popularity from before the celebrity got famous and a drop once their celebrity status started to fall.

Read more...

jillyouse

Just some preliminary findings- it seems that 9/10 people who indicate that Friends in one of their favorite shows, also rank the name "Emma" in one of their top 5 choices. Emma was the name that Rachel (Anniston) gave her little bundle of joy. On the show, she first named it Isabelle and then changed it to Emma. Ahh the influence of Friends will live on for years to come!

Here are the first five #1 choices for people who make over 1 million/year and first five #1 choices of people who make under 30,000.

1,000,000: Iona, Julia, Reagan, Allison, K'liegh
Under 30,000: Baylee, Kelby, Tara, Brooke, Chava

Here are the first five responses for selected categories (not most popular, just first five people who responded. popularity stats coming soon)

Teenyboppers favorites - Eleanor, Mary Kate, Annemarie, Beatrix, Bronwyn, Adair

Dropped out or GED top choices: Chantel, Annick, Angel, Abigail, Diedre

Buddhism top choices: Beatrix, Adalynn, Eulalie, Lucienne, Tara

Catholic top choices: Lauren, Ella, Sally, Dylon, Emily, Elizabeth

Read more...

jillyouse

Here is another one:

People who report loving Al Franken or Michael Moore:

Estella, Emmeline, Zoe, Aliyah, Thenjiwe, Maile, Adalynn

Rush Limbaugh lovers: Taylor, Mary, Aimee, Aveline, Katie, Angel

CollegeCat

I'll be interested to see what other Muslims are naming their children, if enough register for your survey. My fiancee and I discuss our children's names often because it is something of great significance in our culture. As a sociologist with some training in demography, I predict that Zinedane (as in Zidane) will show some worldwide resurgence in future years. Strangely enough, his headbutt has been declared something of a manly feat in the Middle Eastern world. Just an idea... but I could be biased as we've picked it as number 1 on our list.

jillyouse

Any chance you would forward the survey to any other Muslims you know and see if we can't get the participation up?

CollegeCat

I'd have to search out some more that are engaged or already married. Most Muslims wouldn't fill out something that like unless they were already strongly committed to someone. Another problem is the concept of predicting the future by choosing names. It sounds silly, but many people in our cutlure live their life saying "as God wills it". By choosing a name for your children, you are implying that you are arrogant enough to assume you will have children. That said, I have a few friends who are pregnant and I will forward this to them.

kah

Jill, you are missing a great research opportunity if you don't get some more finely binned data on Christian membership.

"Christian not Catholic"??? That's barely meaningful, there are so many, and of very different social habits!

jillyouse

Great thought. Would you give me your advice on how to break it down? Which to include or not to include? Thanks so very much, greatly appreciated.

jillyouse

CollegeCat,
I did not know that - thanks for sharing. Very interesting. Perhaps I will contact you down the road to provide more insight into this for the book? Hopefully we can get input from people who have already had children. Would you by any chance have contacts with people who are older or done having babies that would be willing to share their favorite names?

RattlingTheKettle

My wife recently donated over 200 oz. of breastmilk to a milk bank here in California. The milk bank, a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, sells the milk to hospitals, which then fortify the milk and administer it to at-risk very premature infants.

My wife feels good about her donation, but the situation lead me to wonder: is it good policy for the government to not allow us a deduction against our income taxes for the value of the milk we donated?

The milk clearly has a well-defined market value - the milk bank sells it to hospitals, and hospitals "sell" it to their patient's medical insurance - but the IRS guidance is clear that donors are not allowed a deduction, unlike if we were to, say, donate our sofa to the milk bank. Allowing a deduction would provide a strong incentive for more people to donate their "extra" milk, which would certainly be a good thing for all those at-risk infants (and which would result in public health savings to the government).

Read more...

CollegeCat

Jillyouse, I would love to be of any help that I can. I contacted several of my friends, several of whom already have children, and some that were expecting. Most of them are of the more moderate ilk, so they were agreeable to filling out the survey. I unfortunately thought of another bias that this might create, and that is that most of my friends are not of Arab descent. This will lead to different regional spellings and variations based on language and cultural differences. For example, in Turkey it is more common to call your son Mehmet rather than Mohammed, but they can be translated as the same name. I told my friends to circulate it as well, so I hope that this gives you some good results. How would you like to contact me for your book?

jillyouse

Give me an email at:
jill@breastmilkproject.org and we can set up time to chat. thanks!!

TVarmy

Hey, Jill.

This is your nephew-in-law (I believe that's the term for it?) Tim McCarty. Congrats on the write up in Time Magazine. Your charity also got a recommendation on my favorite web blog Consumerist.com.

TVarmy

...

Ugh, I need to sleep more. I meant cousin in law.

NeilS

If you want to see the absolute top names of the 20th century, take a look at this site,
http://www.babynamesgarden.com/Decade.aspx
where they have put together the top 100 names of the entire last century. Even though six more years have passed, there is no doubt that there have been more "marys" than any other female name, at least in the last hundred years. Boys' names are a little closer -- there is little to separate the James, Johns, and Roberts.

Mack

I don't know if you've ever pointed to it, but this is a fascinating interactive site (Java applet) that allows you to look at the relative popularity of first names over the last century in the US. Entering "STE" shows, for example, that while the variant STEPHAN was virtually unknown before 1930, it now ranks higher than STEPHEN. And the girl's name STEFANI arose from nowhere in the '70s, peaked in 1980, then died a decade later. Great fun.

toddzilla

Mack's link is interesting! Looking at it, it's a great way to track the popularity (or infamy) of public people, especially if they have an uncommon name.

Presidents:
Franklin Delano -- both saw spikes in the thirties
Warren -- a spike in the twenties
Dwight -- a spike in the fifties
Lyndon -- a spike in the sixties
Roosevelt -- spikes in the 1900's and the thirties
Theodore -- a spike in the 1900's

Song names:
Angie (Rolling Stones) -- peaked in the seventies, then say a sharp drop
Layla (Eric Clapton and that band) -- a spike in the seventies, as well as a current surge

Actors, athletes, other performers:
Sade (female vocalist) -- peaked in the eighties, gone by 2003
Aretha Franklin -- peaked in the sixties
Sonny (Bono)-- peaked in the seventies
Paris -- in the waning days of a big peak
Annette (Frankie's gal) -- peaked in the sixties
Elvis -- big spikes in the fifties, seventies, and now more popular than ever.
Dean (Martin) -- peaked in the sixties; popularity of that name nearly doubled between the forties and sixties
Lamont (Sanford) -- peaked in the seventies
Muhammad (and its various spellings) and Ali -- exploded in the seventies
Farrah (Fawcett) -- peaked in the seventies
Harrison (Ford) -- peaked recently; dramatic growth in the eighties and nineties
Kirstie (Alley) -- peaked in the nineties
Matt (from Gunsmoke) -- peaked in the sixties
Drew (Barrymore) -- peaked in the nineties, and again recently
Che -- peaked in the seventies

Plus far too many others to mention.

All spikes are relative; peaks show a large growth in popularity from before the celebrity got famous and a drop once their celebrity status started to fall.

Read more...

jillyouse

Just some preliminary findings- it seems that 9/10 people who indicate that Friends in one of their favorite shows, also rank the name "Emma" in one of their top 5 choices. Emma was the name that Rachel (Anniston) gave her little bundle of joy. On the show, she first named it Isabelle and then changed it to Emma. Ahh the influence of Friends will live on for years to come!

Here are the first five #1 choices for people who make over 1 million/year and first five #1 choices of people who make under 30,000.

1,000,000: Iona, Julia, Reagan, Allison, K'liegh
Under 30,000: Baylee, Kelby, Tara, Brooke, Chava

Here are the first five responses for selected categories (not most popular, just first five people who responded. popularity stats coming soon)

Teenyboppers favorites - Eleanor, Mary Kate, Annemarie, Beatrix, Bronwyn, Adair

Dropped out or GED top choices: Chantel, Annick, Angel, Abigail, Diedre

Buddhism top choices: Beatrix, Adalynn, Eulalie, Lucienne, Tara

Catholic top choices: Lauren, Ella, Sally, Dylon, Emily, Elizabeth

Read more...