All Articles Tagged "pregnancy"
Since I first found out I was pregnant early this spring, in between building my dream nursery on Pinterest and trying to balance the little paid time off I have left with all my pre-natal appointments, every second of the day I am secretly freaking out about giving birth. I don’t know how other first-time mommies deal, but in my work interacting with pregnant teens and young adults and now being pregnant myself, I can verify one thing: I don’t care about the potty training advice, the decision to breastfeed or even what car seat is the safest. All I care about is surviving giving birth. If I can get through that in one piece, deciding on breast pumps and breast pads doesn’t seem nearly as intimidating.
There isn’t a birth video I’ve watched where I’ve felt like, “Hmmm, that might not be so bad.” The idea of NOT getting some sort of pain management while I squeeze a watermelon out of a walnut has never crossed my mind and I have yet to be comfortable with the fact that my body, albeit amazing, is doing things it’s never done before. It seems like I have very little control, which for someone who doesn’t even like the DVR schedule disorganized is a problem. So last week when the doctor told me because of a condition called placenta previa, I could be looking at a c-section in about two months I was somewhat relieved. It was possibly the first sense of control I felt over anything since I first saw that pink plus sign in March.
If you’ve never heard of placenta previa, it’s basically a condition where the placenta sits too low in the uterus increasing the chance of complication during vaginal birth (or even making vaginal birth impossible). My case isn’t as severe, but it was enough to make my OB/GYN uncomfortable with a vaginal delivery as far as me and my child’s safety and start preparing me and my fiancé for the chance that our baby elephant could be arriving via c-section. “It can be scheduled,” she said. “And it means you will definitely have me delivering your baby, “she said. Wait, scheduled? You mean like a day and time I can put in my planner? You mean I won’t be riding the El train when my water breaks and have to track down what part of the city my fiancé is working in?
I’m aware I’m going to have to let go of these control issues since children can be anything but predictable, but I’d be lying if I said the idea of being numbed and not having to push for hours didn’t provide me with some comfort. Since I didn’t know as much about c-sections, I did what anybody else would do: I googled it. After I passed WebMd I came across the article, “10 Celebrity Moms Who Had C-Sections”. Many celebs, like Christina Aguilera had opted for elective c-sections stating all kinds of reasons from not wanting “surprises” or “tearing” to simply “being tired of being pregnant”. But actress Kate Winslet’s explanation was truly alarming to me:
“I’ve never talked about this. I’ve actually gone to great pains to cover it up. But Mia was an emergency C-section. I just said that I had a natural birth because I was so completely traumatized by the fact that I hadn’t given birth. I felt like a complete failure. My whole life, I’d been told I had great childbearing hips. There’s this thing amongst women in the world that if you can handle childbirth, you can handle anything. I had never handled childbirth, and I felt like in some way that I couldn’t join that ‘powerful women’s club.’”
Wow, is this really an issue? Pregnancy is truly life-changing in an incredible way, but it’s also the beginning of a lot of sacrifices. I haven’t slept comfortably in months, I question everything I put into my body like It’s applying for a job at Apple and now I have to deal with the fact that there’s some kind of mommy snobbery going when to comes to how babies are born? I can’t deal.
My supervisor was explaining to me the other day how before 4D ultrasounds and Doppler, women would find themselves exhausted from hours of labor only for a doc to tell them their birth canal was too narrow or the baby was breech and they were left with c-section as they’re only option. So although I’m fully for the moms who think natural birth is best, I embrace the fact that technology is available to not only increase the chances of a woman bringing a healthy baby into this world, but also making sure momma is around and healthy as possible to take the baby home and have some chance at hitting the ground running. It’s not about you feeling like birth has to be hard or you haven’t done it right. You don’t get a gold medal because of the pain you endured. Lesson 1 in parenthood: It’s not about you and your accolades anymore. All you can hope to have is a happy, healthy baby in the end and hopefully all of your organs still intact.
Maybe it’s the hormones. Maybe it’s the fact that in order to keep women from panicking their entire pregnancy, people think its comforting to say things like, “Women have been doing this since the beginning of time without all the machines and white coats,” or “Your body was made for this.” Well, people were also dying from the black plague before proper sanitation and advances in medicine, but you don’t hear anyone talking about, “It’s natural.”
When I tell people the news of what is looking like will probably be my baby’s “scheduled” birthday, the look of sympathy on people’s faces is pretty funny. It’s almost like they want to say, “I’m sorry,” like I’m “The Butler” and just got snubbed for an Academy Award nomination. But I’m not ashamed to say that a big part of me is relieved, and if the fact that I’m literally growing another human being inside of me isn’t proof that I am anymore of a woman, I don’t know what is, but it damn sure isn’t the fact that I suffered through anyone’s labor for a whole work day.
When it comes to pregnancy I don’t think there’s any wrong way to feel. If Kate Winslet feels like less of a woman because her child emerged from her abdomen and not from the birth canal, that’s OK. And if other moms want to jump from their hospital bed and rip off their hospital gown to reveal the “S” on their chest after giving birth, that’s cool too. But I’ll have a whole lifetime to obsess over what I’m not doing right when it comes to raising a child in this world. I refuse to feel guilty for all the pain I didn’t have to endure getting her here.
Did you have an elective or an emergency c-section? Do you feel like less of a “superwoman” because of it?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.
Ring? Check. Career? Check. Baby? Not so fast. Having a baby is a huge commitment, and definitely not one to be taken lightly. It is important that you and your significant other are on the same page when it comes to parenting styles and that you as a woman are ready to shift into motherhood mode.
Before the baby bump, now is the time to go on that exotic vacation, drive that sports car and drink as much wine as possible.
Make sure that bucket list gets a few more checks before your life becomes all about that little bundle of joy, and enjoy your partner as much as possible while it’s still just the two of you. Check out our checklist of 20 things to do before having a baby.
Read more life before motherhood at StyleBlazer.com
Your period comes every 28 days like clockwork. But it was due the day before yesterday and there’s no sign of it anywhere. Could it be stress? Or that one time you relaxed your birth control policy? One thing’s for sure, it’s probably time to start worrying — and reacting like this.
Ciara showed off her post pregnancy body in a series of pictures this past Saturday.
The new mom has been vacationing in Ibiza, Spain for the last few days with her mother and baby Future. While on the trip, Ciara posted a photo of herself in all black for Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci’s birthday party. The songstress looked absolutely stunning in the black and gold pants ensemble.
In addition to her post-baby body pictures, Ciara also snapped multiple pictures of baby Future’s first trip to Ibiza. She captioned one of the pictures,
“He’s so fascinated. I am too. #soakingitallin #Love #ibizamemories”
The three month old is already receiving passport stamps.
Poppa Future, aka Ciara’s fiancée Future, wasn’t posted in any of the pictures so we assume he must’ve been off on a tour somewhere making money for his family. During an interview with E online, Ciara’s eyes started to water up as she talked about their first interaction and how much she loves her king. It looks as though Ciara is finally getting the happy ending she deserves.
Kelly Rowland has been known for keeping her personal life private but perhaps the hormones and overflowing of love she’s feeling these days has gotten her ready to open up and tell all. Because in a recent E! News interview the singer couldn’t help but gush about how amazing her life is these days.
In talking about her partnership with Caress, she opened up about preparing for the birth of her first child, who is due this fall, with her husband and manager Tim Witherspoon.
“I’m extremely excited. First of course for myself and my husband. We couldn’t be more happy.”
She talked about how supportive and attentive he’s been to her during this time.
“He’s just super supportive. He’s like have you eaten today? Did you take your vitamins? Did you drink enough water? He’s so hands on and I’m just so blessed. I just love him, he’s like the greatest guy ever. He’s so awesome I just can’t believe how blessed I am…and he is too! He’s an amazing man.”
And he hasn’t been the only supportive person in her life. Rowland says even complete strangers are full of well wishes and advice for the mom-to-be.
“I’ve gotten the best advice from every woman! It’s at the corner of the street, at the grocery store, at the mall…It’s really sweet actually the way women have been towards me. They ask can they touch my belly, they just have good advice. They’re just supportive and that’s the way we’re meant to be an a unit. It feels really good to have that support.”
And as we’ve been able to see with her pregnancy workouts, Rowland is not going to be held down. She mentioned that she’s also been in the studio working on new music.
“Sometimes you do have those sessions where it’s almost too good to be true. You come up with these ideas and then the producers and writers start building on top of it and make a beautiful canvas.”
This just gave me warm fuzzies. We don’t even know the half of Kelly’s story but from what we do know, she’s been through a lot. And as someone who always roots for her to win, I’m so glad to see her so undeniably happy these days.
And just for good measure, check out Kelly, her man and her friend La La Anthony living and loving life in this recent Instagram sing-a-long video she shared.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my pregnancy experience it’s that everyone has their own journey. It’s great to get pointers from other mothers on what to expect and how things will go, but in the end your body is going to do what your body will do. It’s been five months since I had my first child, a son, and, thankfully, I was able to remain active on the exercise front throughout the entire pregnancy, and give birth without meds after being in the hospital for seven hours.
The pregnancy and birthing experience was similar to what some of my girlfriends told me I could expect, but one area that didn’t pan out quite how I thought was my desire for sex. Now let me preface this by saying I don’t have the sex drive and sadly – for my husband at least — did not experience the increased libido I’ve heard other pregnant ladies brag about. My husband and I had sex throughout the entire pregnancy but we weren’t hanging from chandeliers or anything — not that I could. What’s funny is how many sexual dreams I began to have after my pregnancy that made me feel like a teenager. “Why on Earth was I thinking about bumpin’ and grindin’ when I have a child?” I thought. “I just gave birth!”
Even though I was back in the gym within a few weeks of giving birth, I made the decision to wait the full six to eight weeks before I could open up my stairway to heaven below. Regardless of your pregnancy experience, if you delivered vaginally then you know how sore your lady part gets – and how long it feels sore. God bless my husband for being patient (what else could he do), but I surely did play double dutch with my emotions. One day I was ready to give sex a try only to take it back out of fear.
I’m not gonna lie, the first time after giving birth felt like the first time ever. I was awkward and very fearful that I was going to rip something – even though my stitches had already dissolved. After the second time I felt a bit silly. “What am I doing?” I said to myself. “No man part is going to break my sweet Nancy.” And then it dawned on me, I just gave birth, got my snatch back within three weeks and proudly joined the mother’s club. What do I have to be fearful of? If men think there’s something sexy about a pregnant woman then us ladies need to think there’s something even hotter about a mother who gave birth. Our bodies change, we get more curves, and we are now in charge of this little blessing of life.
From then on I started to think about myself in a new light – one with self-confidence and awareness. Damnit I looked good for being someone’s mother and didn’t need to wear a MILF t-shirt to show it. It was this confidence that made love making with my husband all the more special. I switched up my intimate apparel, made sure to stay fresh and ready by way of Vagisil’s Moisturizing Wash, and became this new woman around my husband. He was shocked when I would prance around him and give him a peep show once our son was sleep. Granted I didn’t do it all the time because we were both tired from waking up at night, but there was this vixen I felt needed to get out.
We had midday meetings where we didn’t make it to the bedroom and took each other in the hallway. If I heard a sensual song I would save it on my phone and add it to my “lovemaking soundtrack.” Child I even invented characters like Keisha from the South (random I know) who would twerk and ride if you know what I mean.
I reclaimed my sexual empowerment not because my husband was a good man and stuck it out, but because I deserved loving too. Our love life since the birth of our son has been wilder, more random and freakier than before. I see why Beyoncé made a grown woman’s album!
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If it always seems like pregnancies among your social circles come back to back or in multiples, a new study suggests that it’s not all in your head. According to the study, young women whose high school friends have bore children are more likely to join the mommy club shortly after. Researchers note that they noticed the trend in young women in the United States who planned their pregnancies. However, the baby-making decisions of friends showed no direct impact on unplanned pregnancies.
“In our study we focus on high school friends because the later a friendship is formed, the more likely it is that the individual chooses the friends on common future family plans or common family orientations,” Nicoletta Balbo, a researcher at the Carlo F. Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics at Bocconi University in Italy told Reuters Health.
The study followed 1,170 of women beginning in the 1990s when they were adolescents. The participants were interviewed several times over the years. Out of the 1,170 participants, 820 became pregnant during the study. According to what the women revealed during interviews, approximately half of the pregnancies were planned, while the other half were not. The study revealed that after one friend in each pair had a baby, the likelihood of that other friend having a baby went up for nearly two years, the declined.
According to Balbo, who coauthored the study with Nicola Barban, a sociologist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, there are three ways in which a friend may influence another friend’s decision to have a child.
“The first mechanism that might be at play is the so-called social influence,” she said. “We all compare ourselves to our friends and being surrounded by friends who are parents makes us feel pressure to conform to parental status as well.”
The second mechanism is social learning, says Balbo.
“Friends are an important learning source,” she explained. “Becoming a parent is a radical change in an individual’s or a couple’s life, and by observing our friends, we can learn how to fulfill this new role and therefore be more willing to become parents.”
Lastly, Balbo says having children at the same time as a friend can prove to be less stressful and more cost-effective.
“For example, we can share the childbearing experience and thus reduce the stresses and costs associated with pregnancy and child rearing,” she said. “In contrast, being the only childless couple within a group of friends who have children can lead to isolation.”
Researchers note that the association between friends and childbearing was only studied in first-borns and not subsequent births.
If You Knew Your Unborn Child Would Be Born With Immense Health Challenges, Would You Have An Abortion?
I think that the abortion debate is interesting because it mainly centers around the question of whether or not termination is right or wrong – with the usual answers varying from you should be able to do it whenever you want to do it, to you should absolutely never do it. However, rarely do we discuss or even question the merits of choosing life when the alternative might be more just.
I know, that sounds horrible. But here’s what I mean:
The New York Daily News reported on the story of Australian “miracle” twins, Hope and Faith, who were born with a rare medical condition called diprosopus, where the two babies share one body, although they have two faces and separate brains. According to the Daily News, the condition is so rare that only 40 cases have been recorded since the 1860s and most diprosopus babies are stillborn or rarely live past a day. Currently, Hope and Faith are still in intensive care, although hospital officials report that the twins are eating and are breathing “perfectly” on their own.
The Daily News story includes pictures of the twins, which are kind of heart-wrenching as you can’t help but think about the quality of life they might have in the event that they do survive and live long lives. Equally heart-wrenching are the words from Renee Young and Simon Howie, the parents of the twin girls, who say the twins received their diagnosis when Young was 19 weeks pregnant. And yet, they maintain that termination (aka, an abortion) was not even considered an option. As the Daily News writes: “If I only get two days with the baby, I only get two days with the baby, at least I have some time with ‘it.’”
That’s kind of cavalier…
I’m not sure why these kind of stories are celebrated as some sort of marvel of the world when the reality is that these parents had advance notice that their children would be born into the same body. It’s seems pretty expected if you ask me. And maybe even cruel and irresponsible too. As medical history has shown, these types of births never end well. And I imagine that the children could be experiencing pain in their fight to stay alive – one that they statistically might not survive.
I realize that this is a sensitive topic. And I also realize that there are religious connotations, particularly the over-reliance in hope and faith (no pun intended whatsoever) even in the face of readily available options, which likely contribute to the decision of the parents. Plus, I don’t want to downplay (at all) the difficulty in terminating a wanted pregnancy, which is never an easy choice. But where does the well-being of the children come into play in any of it, when you knowingly let a fetus become severely handicapped children? Outside the daily challenges of being ostracized and limited in society and in their own lives (what if Hope wants to be a doctor and Faith wants to be a lawyer? Who wins?), these children will have but the life-long (however long that may be) health problems associated with two people living in the same body.
By my reproductive politics, I am pro-choice. And for all intents and purposes, that means the choice for a woman to decide life when termination might be more humane. But just as those who believe in the right to life think that women should consider all moral questions prior to having an abortion (including mandatory ultrasounds, pre-abortion right-to-be-born counseling and all other ways we restrict free access to abortion), I believe that potential parents should truly weigh those same moral authorities when considering a child’s right to not be born into a situation where the minimum requirements to live can not be guaranteed. Just a thought.
Back in March, we told you about reports that Ciara dropped nearly $20,000 on a Safari-themed nursery for her baby. While it was never actually confirmed whether or not those rumors were true, Future did reveal that his very pregnant fiancée has been working hard to get the baby’s nursery together.
“We’ve been shopping, she done changed the whole house up for the baby,” Future shared during an interview. “We had to get bigger houses, bigger rooms, everything.The rooms changed. The guest room done changed into the baby room. The closets, man she told me, ‘You gotta get rid of your clothes, the baby clothes need to be in here.’ I’m like, ‘hold on.’ She’s like ‘We have too many clothes, we have too many shoes.’”
“The [baby's] room is beautiful. I can’t wait for you to see it,” he added.
Well, that time has finally arrived. On Instagram yesterday, CiCi debuted a photo of the all-white nursery she put together for her baby boy. And it’s absolutely darling! It’s unclear if she went with the safari theme, as she only showcased a portion of the nursery, but it looks like he’ll be very comfy there.
“In Love With My @angelsonghome Gliding Chair, and My @BrattDecor Baby Crib For My Little Prince,” she wrote. “This Is All Surreal. Everything About This Time And Process…Wow!!:)”
Just four months after giving birth to her son, Maceo, Halle Berry hit the red carpet looking absolutely amazing. Now, she’s speaking out about her post-baby body. According to Halle, she’s not overly concerned with shedding the baby weight.
“I’m healthy and that’s really good. When you’re nursing you can’t really diet because you have to keep producing milk,” she told PEOPLE. “Listen, I’m healthy and I’m happy and that’s all that matters.”
Halle also discussed juggling work and a new baby.
“[A new baby means] less sleep,” she says. “And I’m working on the TV show, [Extant]. It’s a new grind, it’s a new rhythm. We’re trying to get used to that. We’re managing.”
Despite the new change in her schedule and lack of sleep, Halle is extremely excited about baby Maceo.
“[He's] perfect, just perfect. More love, more joy — having a new baby in your family brings that,” she expressed.
As for the baby advice she’d offer former co-star and new dad, Bruce Willis, Halle jokes:
“Well, I’m nursing right now. I don’t think he’s nursing himself so I don’t know what I could tell him.”
We’re super happy for her.