All Articles Tagged "pregnancy"

Can Baby Fever Damage Your Health?

September 11th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Amanda Chatel, From YourTango

There’s nothing worse than wanting to have a child, then realizing, after years of trying, that motherhood just isn’t in the cards for you. It’s one thing to be childless by choice, or as those women prefer to call themselves, “childfree,” but it’s another thing to be childless because of physical issues that are out of one’s control. While there’s always the option of adoption, for some, having a baby of their own is the only thing they want, and when that dream is taken away, it’s hard to recover.

Considered the “unfulfilled wish,” a new study found that after trying with as many fertility treatments as possible, women who still can’t conceive are three times more likely to end up suffering from depression. Even after a decade of realizing that their hope to be a mother will never happen, women still continue to suffer from the disappointment and sadness of not having kids. While some women are able to accept the harsh reality and release their desire to have kids are far less likely to suffer from depression, I think we can all agree that this is no easy task at all.

Scientist studied 7000 women who had taken fertility treatment to see how that extreme level of disappointment or, in some cases, success had affected their lives 11 to 17 years after the treatments. Even after years had passed and the fact for some was that children were impossible for them, 6% still desperately wanted to have kids. So, what does that mean for those women? As Dr. Sophia Gameiro and her team discovered, “We found that women who still wished to have children were up to 2.8 times more likely to develop clinically significant mental health problems than women who did not sustain a child-wish. For women with children, those who sustained a child-wish were 1.5 times more likely to have worse mental health than those without a child-wish.” These are heartbreaking statistics. Even those who already have children, but would like more, still suffer from the depression of not being able to conceive. I guess the heart wants what the heart wants.

However, having a child doesn’t mean you’ll be happier. As Gameiro also pointed out, children can be difficult, not just emotionally and mentally, but there’s the stress of it, financial concerns, and just the overall responsibility of providing for someone beside yourself. It isn’t easy to be a parent.

Read more about conceiving a baby at YourTango.com

Surviving Ovarian Cancer At 24: BreAnne Middleton And Her Journey

September 3rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Courtesy of BreAnne Middleton

Source: Courtesy of BreAnne Middleton

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. While many of us can tell you why we paint the town pink in October, there’s a general lack of awareness when it comes to the teal ribbon. This month, in order to bring more awareness to the subject of ovarian cancer, MadameNoire is speaking to several ovarian cancer survivors about their journeys. 

First, is BreAnne Middleton, a 26 year old who learned of her cancer diagnosis when she was pregnant with her son Riley and raising her three year old daughter Leila. 

What were your symptoms?

I was diagnosed when I was 34 weeks pregnant. And I had to get a vaginal ultrasound because Riley was breech and backwards and they were just trying to see the position of the baby. And when they gave me the ultrasound, we could see the tumor right next to the baby. That happened October 2. Then when I was in the office, they gave me all these kind of vague hints but they told me that they wanted me to go see this oncologist. They were referring me to a doctor who specializes in pelvic cancers. And I was like, ‘Ok, so I have cancer.’ And they were like, ‘Well, we can’t tell you that but we do want you to see the oncologist.’

So two days later I had an appointment with an oncologist and I found out that it was in fact ovarian cancer. And all of the symptoms pretty much line up with being pregnant. So I didn’t know that there was anything wrong because I was bloated but I was pregnant so I was big and I couldn’t tell. And I had to use the bathroom all the time but I just chalked that up to having a baby sitting on my bladder. I was full after two or three bites of eating but that also happens when you’re pregnant. So all of the symptoms pretty much line up with that.

I always call Riley my life saver baby because I’m not one to go to the doctor. When something’s wrong I just take a nap or pop ibuprofen, just go on and keep it moving. I just happened to be going to the doctor for one of my prenatal appointments.

So you don’t think you would have caught it otherwise?

I definitely would not have caught it at stage two. A lot of people call ovarian cancer the silent killer because it’s really not easy to detect. If you talk about breast cancer, you can kind of do that at home. You can do the test where you feel around for lumps. There’s absolutely no kind of test that you can do for ovarian cancer like that. You either have to get a blood test or you have to get a vaginal ultrasound. A lot of women think you can detect it with a pap smear but they can’t. It’s those two specific ways.They don’t really detect it until it’s too late. You end up having these symptoms for a long time and then these women will finally go to the doctor.

How did you feel when you learned you really were dealing cancer?

I shut down. I was in my room for the next two days. My blood pressure actually rose so high that it sent me into premature labor. So I got diagnosed on October 4 and then on the 6th, I went into labor with Riley. And I got to the hospital and my blood pressure was just out of control. And I know for a fact it was because I was stressing out. I internalized everything because I hadn’t shared anything with my family yet.

I couldn’t believe it because at 24 you think you’re invincible. And you don’t think that things like that happen to you. And also no one in my family had ever battled cancer except for my grandfather who went through a few radiation treatments for prostrate cancer about seven years ago.

I don’t know that there’s a way that you could prep yourself for being 24 and hearing the doctor telling you that you have cancer. And then it just made it that much more stressful because I was like, ‘Well, I’m supposed to have a baby in six weeks.’ And I didn’t even know what was going on with him. It was a really, really stressful time. I went home, I cried, I couldn’t eat I couldn’t sleep.

“I Never Wanted Kids:” Aisha Tyler Says It’s Okay To Choose A Professional Life Over Motherhood

September 3rd, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Aisha Tyler Says It's Okay To Not Be A Mother

HuffPost Live

Last year on “The Talk,” host Aisha Tyler openly shared with her co-hosts and viewers that she struggled to conceive. Married for 22 years, the Daily Mail reported Tyler wasn’t able to get pregnant after going off of birth control and she also has a tortuous Fallopian tube, making it harder for sperm to reach the egg for fertilization to occur.

After the tearful revelation on the show, Tyler decided to share her story with more media outlets to let women know it’s okay if they don’t have children. Yesterday on HuffPost Live, Tyler spoke to host Nancy Redd about the validity of women choosing a career over parenthood, saying:

“It was important to me for two reasons, three actually. The first one was that I have been a professional woman for my entire life and I think this is a relatively new issue for women who have chosen work over family, which is a completely valid choice and no one should ever feel embarrassed or regretful about that. It’s a valid choice. Men never have to make that choice. It’s one that I’ve also embraced fully. I never wanted kids. I loved what I did. I was really passionate about it. And then my husband and I got to a place where we were like ‘Well we’re going to run out of road soon. If we’re going to do it, we should try it now.’ And we started to get into it and when we found out that it was going to be difficult to impossible, it really was a choice to stop. I feel like I wanted families [and] couples to know that it was a valid choice not to get on this crazy merry-go-rounds of IVF and [spend] tens and tens of thousands of dollars.”

And for people who still shout “IVF” as if it’s the answer to all fertility problems, Aisha added this reminder:

“People who do what I do for a living can afford that stuff, but most people can’t. They mortgage their homes and they break themselves. And by the way, most of them don’t get pregnant. We only focus on the Cinderella stories. We don’t focus on all the people that don’t do it. And I wanted people to feel — men and women — it’s okay to say, ‘I love my marriage, I love my life, I choose not to have children.'”

Although Tyler and her husband stopped trying for children of their own, she has not confirmed if they will adopt in the near future.

Watch Tyler’s segment on HuffPost Live, below.

Do Moms Who Have C-Sections Get Less Respect?

August 30th, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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c-section

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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.

 

 

20 Things You Should Do Before Becoming A Mother

August 20th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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teen pregnancy

Source: Shuttestock

 

 

From StyleBlazer 

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 

The 15 Stages Of “Oh No My Period Is Late”

August 14th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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The 15 Stages Of "Oh No My Period Is Late"

Image Source: Tumblr.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 Shows Off Post-Pregnancy Body & Baby Future!

August 3rd, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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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.

“He’s Like The Greatest Guy Ever” Kelly Rowland Gushes Over Husband Tim Witherspoon And Pregnancy

July 31st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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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.

Sex After Pregnancy: A New Mother Still Has Her Needs

July 18th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Source: Corbis

Source: Corbis

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.

Source: Corbis

Source: Corbis

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.

Source: Corbis

Source: Corbis

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!

REGISTER TO RECEIVE A FREE VAGISIL MOISTURE KIT HERE 

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Study Says Pregnancy May Be Contagious

June 4th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Study Says Pregnancy May Be Contagious Among Friends

Source: Quickmeme.com

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.