Free advice kit for moms is chock-full of helpful tips

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DEAR ABBY: As children come to their mothers to mend their scraped knees and broken hearts, readers in turn come to you for advice that can mend fractured relationships and save lives.

Knowing how much mothers everywhere value your wisdom, the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health and the Federal Citizen Information Center have created the Healthy Moms Advice Kit for your readers. It’s filled with practical tips on topics such as hay fever, recognizing and conquering depression, keeping food safe, discovering the real differences between name brand and generic drugs and — every mom’s dream — learning the secrets of getting a good night’s sleep.

Abby, thanks for letting your readers know about the free Healthy Moms Advice Kit, and for being someone we always know we can trust to steer us to the answers we need. — MARSHA HENDERSON, FDA ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH (ACTING)

DEAR MARSHA: I’m pleased to help you educate readers on these important topics. Every year when I review the advance copies of your kits, I learn something new — which is why I know they will be helpful to others.

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Folks, this year’s free smorgasbord of information contains helpful advice on such topics as how to avoid getting sick from restaurant take-out foods, medications and products to avoid during pregnancy, and an enlightening fact sheet on HPV (human papillomavirus), a sexually transmitted disease that, left untreated, can lead to cervical cancer. Did you know that vaccination with Guardasil prevents four types of this disease? I didn’t. I thought there were only two kinds of the virus, the one that causes cold sores and the “other one” that affects the nether regions. And no, you CAN’T get HPV from the vaccine.

Because all the information in these kits has been compiled by the government at taxpayer expense, it’s offered at no cost to you. However, quantities are limited, so don’t wait. Order now. To receive the kits in printed form, send your name and address to Healthy Moms Advice Kit, Pueblo, CO 81009, go online to Publications.USA.gov, or call (888) 8- PUEBLO (that’s (888) 878-3256) weekdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time. You can also read the publications online in PDF format, download them to your computer and print them.

DEAR ABBY: I had an affair a few years ago that lasted a lot longer than it should have. It ended when my lover, “John,” died unexpectedly. The kicker is I was — and still am — married. For the last two years I had wanted to end the relationship, but I couldn’t find the courage to do it on my own.

My question is, should I feel guilty for feeling glad that John is dead? I’m glad the affair is finally over, but I feel guilty that death is what ended it and that I didn’t have the courage to end it myself. — CONFLICTED IN SANTA ROSA

DEAR CONFLICTED: I don’t think you’re feeling “glad” as much as you’re relieved that John is finally out of your life — even if it was feet first. As to your guilt about not ending the affair, that’s something between you, your religious adviser and your higher power. You’ll have to work it out with one of them, and I’m advising you to start now.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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