All Articles Tagged "pregnancy"
You can’t really hold a man accountable for what he says when you tell him he’s going to be a dad (unless, of course, he says nothing and just walks out the door.) Pregnancy is news that turns a person’s world upside down. It has financial, emotional and spacial implications—I mean, hello, that one bedroom apartment can’t accommodate a baby. If you and your partner have been trying, his excitement can go to some pretty weird places. If you haven’t really been trying but, hey, were open to the idea of having kids, your partner will go to some even weirder places. Later, when you’re assembling your child’s fifth birthday album, you’ll just laugh at these hilarious things a man says when you tell him you’re pregnant.
Earlier this year, we reported on a pregnant teenager who contracted the Zika virus in Central America and decided to keep her baby. Although she was commended for making such a brave choice, the teenager was also ridiculed for not aborting her infant. So how do doctors react when they have to diagnose and treat women who have contracted the virus and who are also with child? Dr. Christine Curry of Miami, Florida, shared how doctors navigate this sensitive topic in her XO Jane piece, “I’m an OB-GYN Treating Women With Zika, And This Is What It’s Like.”
“When I talk to patients these days, I ask them where they or family members have traveled recently. These are questions OB-GYNs across the country may ask pregnant patients. And since I practice in Miami, I might also ask patients if they have been in Wynwood, the neighborhood where local mosquito transmission has occurred. Since Zika is primarily spread by mosquitoes, I also talk with patients about avoiding mosquito bites and using bug repellent. Sexual transmission is also possible, and we talk about that, too,” she writes.
Dr. Curry continued by noting that she worries about her patients who’ve traveled to the Miami neighborhood Wynwood or abroad where the virus is prevalent. She also went on to share that if a woman is pregnant, the state of Florida will be offering free Zika testing for all women in the state through the Department of Health.
Although we know the Zika virus causes deformities in babies, Dr. Curry confirmed that there are still many unknowns about how the virus affects infants. “How does the virus get into the fetus? Researchers are still figuring that out. In which trimester does infection pose the highest risk? And do complications for the fetus vary by time of infection? It is going to take time to understand all of [these] risks.”
As of July 28, the CDC reported that there were 15 babies born with birth defects from the virus and six pregnancy losses in the United States, Dr. Curry shared.
Being a part of this experience has allowed Dr. Curry to gain another level of humility; she claims that even though she’s the doctor, both she and her patients are learning about the virus together, and sometimes it’s her patients teaching her about the virus through the changes occurring in their body —especially if they’re with child. For example, she vulnerably revealed that an infant can look normal in an ultrasound during the earlier trimesters but then physical effects of the virus can be seen in an ultrasound in the last trimester and even with that an ultrasound cannot pick up on every birth defect.
“Even with planning, there are still many questions we can’t answer for our patients. For instance, if a baby is born with microcephaly, we don’t know the exact issues that the baby might have. This means the mother won’t know right away if her child will lead a normal life or will always need medical care,” Dr. Curry disclosed.
To read Dr. Curry’s entire piece, click here.
Last week we reported on how many times a woman should take Plan B; today we’re discussing how many times she should pay for it. Or better yet, should a man pay for the morning-after pill for a woman after they’ve had unprotected sex or when the condom breaks?
According to XO Jane writer Sarah Sahagian, they should, and if they don’t, dump ‘em!
In her think piece, “Why You Should Dump Any Guy Who Won’t Pay For Your Plan- B,” Sarah claims that if a man you’re dating doesn’t pay or even offer to pay for the pill, he is and will never be the man for you. “Why is it so important a guy pony up the cash for your Plan B needs? Well, emergency contraception, while sometimes necessary, can be unpleasant to take (although likely less unpleasant than an unwanted pregnancy would be). It causes cramping and breakthrough bleeding, and, in many of my friends’ experiences, it can mess up your menstrual cycle for months. If you have to go through all that physical suffering just to avoid a pregnancy neither of you desire, the least a guy can do is shell out the $10 to $70 it takes to buy the pill, depending on where you are,” she writes.
Sarah based this belief on a relationship she had during her mid-twenties when her significant other of five months traveled with her to the pharmacy, but instead of reviewing the different types of Plan B options, he wandered around the store, shopping for granola bars. “I guess he figured he might as well kill two birds with one shopping trip? Why not load up on groceries for next week while I was busy preventing the birth of his firstborn child,” Sarah said of his behavior.
As she recounted many other events that lead to the demise of their relationship, Sarah shared that the experience in the pharmacy that day taught her to do one thing: create the “Plan B Relationship Test.”
“So, here’s how it works: If, for some reason, despite all your best-laid plans, it becomes necessary for you to swallow some emergency contraception, dump the dude if he won’t pay. It’s that simple. Now, I’m not saying you have to let him pay. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, for whatever reason, it’s totally cool. But he should at least give you the option of letting him pay,” Sarah advised in her piece. “In 2016, if a man offers to buy the Plan B pill, that’s how you know he’s a freaking gentleman…hey, if there’s sperm on the loose in my uterus, I’d like a cash contribution to aid in the war against it.”
While some commenters understood Sarah’s point of view, others deemed it unconventional and a bit crazy, arguing if you’re participating in risky sex, you should be accountable for your own reproductive health — not to mention be more mindful of engaging in such behavior. For those who believed a man should be financially responsible, they said that’s only the case if you’re in an exclusive relationship. Overall, the idea of resting the future of an entire relationship on a pill purchase seems a bit much. While it may say something about a man that he wouldn’t offer to purchase Plan B, if he does, is that a good enough reason to stay in a relationship with him? Further, is Sarah’s “Plan B Relationship Test” a bit ridiculous?
When it comes to matters of the heart and uterus, what’s more, important to you?
We know; it’s not fair. On top of putting up with morning sickness, wearing nothing but slippers because your feet have doubled in size, and having to buy maternity clothes that you’ll never wear again, you also have to…Wait. We’re not done. On top of peeing every ten minutes, facing mood swings you didn’t know were possible, fighting constipation, and facing the reality that your vagina will never be the same again, you also have to avoid certain regular activities while you’re pregnant. GRRRR! But, just remember, you wanted this baby. And while you may struggle to leave these things behind during pregnancy, you’ll love the healthy, happy baby that doing so produces. And you can hold your sacrifices over your partner’s head forever, so that’s nice too. Here are 20 things pregnant women should avoid at all costs.
A couple of weeks ago, we reported that singer and producer Marsha Ambrosius was expecting a child with her man, fellow musician Dez.
And while we already thought the two were pretty cute, with an amazing chemistry, as seen in her video “Have You Ever.” They took it to a whole ‘nother level in a recent Instagram video.
In it, Marsha brushes her teeth and dances to Drake’s “Controlla” while Dez sings to her growing stomach.
It’s pretty adorable. But then the moment goes from sentimental to sensual as Marsha turns around and bends over to use the sink. It was the then that the wining really began.
Check out the video below that so many are calling relationship and life goals.
Being pregnant means that there are a lot of things on the “can’t do” list. You can’t sleep on your belly. You can’t skydive. You can’t ride a roller coaster. The list seems endless! At the top of that list is have a cocktail. Pregnant women can’t have cocktails. Counting down to your due date often revolves around having a celebratory cocktail. Some of my mommy friends even popped bottles at the hospital post-delivery. Unfortunately if you’re a breastfeeding mom, the wait is even longer. UGH!
The mocktails are made with fresh ingredients unless otherwise specified. Wachtel warns that while juice from concentrate seems like a shortcut, it lessens the nutritional value of the mocktail. Taking the time to muddle, mix, blend, chop, and juice fresh ingredients is important to mocktail recipes. With names like the ‘Beet Down’, ‘Lamb’s Blood, and ‘Carrot vs Stick, these cocktails are healthy with plenty of flavor and personality.
While it may seem difficult to mix and muddle, mocktails are pretty easy to put together. While a centrifugal or cold press juicer makes things easier, a blender, some water, and a fine strainer will work just fine. Ingredients and flavors can be substituted, increased, or decreased so that the drink can be catered to your taste. If a larger quantity is needed, simply do that math. As long as the ratios remain the same within the recipe, things will come out just fine. Check three of our favorite mocktails below and head over to Craft Mocktails for some additional mocktail options.
When cocktails can be integrated back into your regularly scheduled diet, simply add a few splashes of your favorite alcohol to any of these for a kicked up version of your fave. For now, enjoy these.
Green Apple Juice 4 oz
Lime Juice .25 oz
Raspberries 6-8 depending on ripeness
Mint leaves 6-8
Add cilantro sprigs (leaves removed) and mint oil for garnish. Muddle raspberries and mint in a mixing tin. Add juice and ice, shake and fine strain into a coupe. Carefully place cilantro sprigs and garnish with mint oil. Enjoy!
Fresh OJ 4 ounces
Ginger 2 slices
Muddle ginger to a mixing glass or tin. Add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with drops of chili oil and a whole chili.
Beet 2 ounces
Green Apple 2 ounces
Ginger 2 slices
Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan until light brown. Mix in kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Dip rim of glass into a plate of fresh juice or honey syrup. Dip in sesame/salt/pepper mixture and set aside. Muddle ginger to a mixing glass or tin. Add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and fine strain into the rimmed coupe glass. Garnish with drops of sesame oil and enjoy!
There are several things expecting moms can do to prepare down there for baby. While most are exciting, there is one exercise that’s boring yet crucial. Kegel exercises.
But Kegels don’t have to be a bore.
Minna Life, makers of kGoal, a smart Kegel exerciser + app just released a new game on the app. Shape Shift will challenge women to trace shapes as they move across the screen so that they stay engaged while practicing Kegel exercises. While the app helps women keep track of their progress and endurance, the insertable device provides valuable bio feedback so mom knows if and when she is fully contracting and releasing her pelvic floor muscles.
According to Minna Life’s pelvic floor specialist Liz Miracle, MSPT, WCS, most women can contract their muscles, but they don’t release them all the way. Just like doing bicep curls you want to fully contract and extend your forearm so you get the most of the exercise.
Mommynoire: First, what are Kegels?
Liz Miravle: Kegel exercises are the lifting and releasing of the pelvic floor muscles, encouraging proper function of the pelvic floor. Proper function of these muscles is not only related to sexual health and satisfaction, but they assist in childbirth, contribute to stability of the pelvis and help keep women from leaking urine or stool.
Why are Kegel exercises so important?
Kegel exercises are a big deal is because pelvic floor muscles are a vital part of the body’s core. Our core is literally the center of our body providing support and stability for all motion. Ignoring the pelvic floor can result in poor bladder control, abdominal or back weakness, or even decreased sexual function. In addition, what many people don’t consider is that they play a role in stability. Without good stability our balance becomes impaired and could lead to injury.
Should we be doing Kegel exercises from the time we’re 21? When’s the right time to start?
Women should start thinking about their pelvic floor after their first visit to the gynecologist. This is when many women begin to learn about their bodies. Unfortunately, since the perception is that young women have strong pelvic floors this is ignored, when in truth many young female athletes suffer from urinary incontinence due to sports activities like running on hard pavement and jumping, or tumbling. Strong pelvic floor muscles are an important part of good health through all stages of adulthood.
Some women worry that by performing Kegels, other things (like orgasms) will happen. Is that true?
Squeezing your pelvic floor muscles alone will not cause an orgasm. While strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles may improve the quality of an orgasm, you should not be worried that exercising them will have unwanted “side effects.” Many women exercise their pelvic floors throughout the day, in the car, sitting at work, even while breastfeeding their baby.
What was the motivation or inspiration for Minna Life to create the KGoal?
Despite the fact that the pelvic floor muscles are a critical part of a healthy, fit body, the level of education as to why they matter is sorely lacking, as are tools to help women manage and improve their pelvic floor fitness. We wanted to change that.
How exactly does the exerciser and app work?
The kGoal device provides tactile biofeedback so you know if you’re contracting and fully releasing the right muscles. The device connects to the app via Bluetooth and provides guided 5-minute workouts and games as well as the ability to track your exercise progress and history. The newest game is called Shape Shift and challenges users to open and close a set of gates to allow different shapes through.
Any other tips?
Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles doesn’t have to be hard. As few as three five-minute workouts per week can make a big difference. And for those experiencing significant weakness, they should considering practicing their Kegels up to three times a day.
In addition to practicing Kegel exercises, women should choose good posture when sitting – don’t sit with your tailbone tucked. Remember, the pelvic floor muscles work best when the pelvis is in balanced, or neutral, similar to in Pilates. When exercising your pelvic floor muscles, be sure that you are not only lifting, but also fully releasing. Muscles function best within their full range of motion.
Thinking about changing your travel plans due to concerns over the Zika virus? For women — in particular, anyone planning on having children — the disease has made us a lot more likely to say “Maybe I’ll stay at home.” Even a few athletes have passed up on going to Rio for the Olympics in August over concerns.
Just how worried should you be? We’ve got the answers to all of the questions you have and things you’ve been worrying about when it comes to traveling while the Zika virus continues to make headlines. If you’re worried about the effects that such a disease could have on you and your future family, read on to find out what you need to know about changing up (or keeping) your travel plans this year.
Nigerian author and feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie recently sat down to speak with London’s Financial Times, for lunch. She ordered a Nigerian mocktail, saying “This is just very sugary, very sweet. I would probably have a glass of wine, but I’m breastfeeding, I’m happy to announce.”
So not only did Adichie go through a whole pregnancy, she delivered a baby and no one knew about it. While the media and paparazzi don’t hassle literary and feminist icons in the way the do pop stars, actors and entertainers, it’s still no small feat that Adichie was able to keep this out of the public eye.
Then she describes what motherhood has been like for her.
“This is the first time I’m saying it publicly. I have a lovely little girl so I feel like I haven’t slept … but it’s also just really lovely and strange.”
And then she spoke about the reasons she kept the news of her pregnancy from the public and even some in her personal life.
“I have some friends who probably don’t know I was pregnant or that I had a baby. I just feel like we live in an age when women are supposed to perform pregnancy. We don’t expect fathers to perform fatherhood.”
Chimamanda stays preaching to the masses.
And it’s not just pregnancy that women are asked to perform. Women are supposed to perform to get into a relationship. Then once they’re in one they’re supposed to perform within the confines of it and for the approval of others as well. And a part of that performance requires that said woman get married within a set time frame. And then once she gets married, she’s supposed to have a baby within a set time frame. We want to see how much weight she gains, we want her to be happy after she delivers the baby, adjusting mentally, spiritually and emotionally to being responsible for a new life, immediately. And then, most importantly, we want her to lose the baby weight in a predetermined time frame. You know, the #Snapback.
We want to tell the woman how she should raise her child. We want to see how long she’s going to breastfeed and whether or not she’s going to do it in public. And then we want that performance to include a mode of discipline. We watch the production and ask is this mother going to spank or use the time out method. Will she have a nanny? Will she work or stay at home? The world, whether it’s your family, friends and your social media followers— or the actual world is watching.
And she’s right.
Women really do spend far too much of our time performing. And so congratulations to Chimamanda not only on having a lovely, little girl. But also on having the foresight to know she didn’t want to do it in the public eye.
Late last week, Tia Mowry-Hardrict and her husband Cory Hardrict celebrated the fifth birthday of their son, Cree. And as he continues to grow (along with his luscious hair), the topic of baby No. 2 keeps coming up. It’s not surprising when you consider that the actress has been talking about possibly bringing another child into the world for years now, and was even in a competition of sorts with sister, Tamera, to see who would give birth to their second child first. But as she revealed to People, an endometriosis diagnosis has made it harder than she would like to conceive a second time around.
“I do suffer from endometriosis,” the 37-year-old told the publication. “So there’s a little bit of a challenge there, but I will say this: I am working on my diet.” She went on to say that she hopes that changing her diet will help her “clean myself out and get rid of inflammation in my body.” Let Tia tell it, “endometriosis basically grows from inflammation.”
That doesn’t mean she and her husband have slowed down their attempts to have a second child. However, she does admit that she’s not trying to get her hopes up too high at this point.
“[We’re] trying, but I don’t want to put too much hope into it. I don’t want to be let down.”
With that in mind, what role does your diet play in such a disorder?
According to experts, it is true that a change in one’s diet can help with the symptoms of endometriosis. It can reduce your cramps, inflammation, estrogen levels, help move out toxins, boost your immune system, and balance your hormones. Less symptoms can mean less chance for endometriosis to progress further.
And according to AmericanPregnancy.org, while some women deal with infertility because of endometriosis, with the right treatments (including laparoscopy), the possibility of getting pregnant increases. But fertility problems can increase as the severity of the disease increases, and as women with it get older.
There is no one known cause of endometriosis, but as pointed out by endometriosis.org, “it is highly likely that certain genes predispose women to develop the disease.”
And according to UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology:
One idea is that when a woman has her period, some of the blood and tissue from her uterus travels out through the fallopian tubes and into the abdominal cavity. This is called retrograde menstruation. Another idea is that some cells in the body outside of the uterus can change to become the same kind of cells that line the uterus. This is a common explanation for endometriosis at unusual sites like the thumb or knee. Another possible explanation is that the cells from the lining of the uterus travel through the blood vessels or through the lymphatic system to reach other organs or body areas. Also, endometriosis can spread at the time of surgery. For example, a woman with endometriosis that undergoes a cesarean section could inadvertently have some endometriosis cells attach to the abdominal incision so that she has endometriosis in the scar from the surgery.
It reportedly impacts an estimated one in 10 women during reproductive years.
But with all that being said, I’m hopeful that Tia and Cory will be able to have another child, as previously mentioned, it’s something she’s openly spoken about wanting for a while. And considering that there are women who’ve had children after endometriosis diagnoses and dealing with a wide variety of symptoms, it’s very possible.