The wait is over! After a much-chronicled pregnancy, Mila Kunis delivered a baby girl on Tuesday with her fiance, Ashton Kutcher, at her side, the Daily Mail reports. This is the first child for the couple, who first met while filming That ’70s Show in the 1990s and, after years of friendship, started dating in 2011.
Though this was Kunis’ first pregnancy, it sounds like she had lots of support at home. During an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in May, she said, “Ashton assumed that I was gonna have goofy cravings, so he stocked our secondary fridge with weird food, just, like, pickles and sauerkraut, or, like anchovies and ice creams, just in case at one point during this pregnancy I’d be like, ‘I really want something.’” (The dad-to-be’s hunch was at least partially right — Kunis reportedly did crave pickles and sauerkraut.)
No word yet on when the couple will release a much-anticipated photo of their little girl, but here’s one artist’s best guess to tide us over in the meantime. Congratulations to the new family!
In the U.S., there are 6.1 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. Though our infant mortality rate is an improvement over previous years — it was 6.87 in 2005 — it’s still higher than nearly every other country in the study. (We rank 26 out of 29.) Or, put another way, it’s nearly three times the rate in Finland and Japan (both 2.3) and almost twice as high as Spain or Korea’s (both 3.2). Despite recent declines in infant deaths and increased money poured into healthcare here, even poorer countries, like Cuba (4.7), have outpaced us, reports the CIA.
If a country’s health is partially judged by its infant mortality rate, what does ours say about us? Turns out, plenty. According to an article in the Washington Post, a group of researchers from the University of Southern California, the University of Chicago, and MIT have discovered that not every country reports infant deaths the same. Some countries, for example, categorize a very premature birth — 22 weeks or before — as a miscarriage or still birth, since the chances of survival are so low. This discrepancy could help account for our higher-than-average rate.
But they also found that socioeconomic factors play a large role in determining whether a U.S. baby will live to see his first birthday. In fact, our infant mortality rate is due ”entirely, or almost entirely, to high mortality among less advantaged groups.” Translation: A baby born to a poor mom in the U.S. is more likely to die in his first year than one born to a wealthy mom, because poorer families don’t have the same access to healthcare. Meanwhile, in higher-ranking countries like Finland and Austria, poor and wealthy babies have almost an equal shot at surviving their first year of life. As reports like this one show, though we’re making strides in some meaningful ways, more work needs to be done to ensure that, despite their parents’ income, every child has what he needs to grow and thrive.
Tell us: What’s your take on the CDC report? Are you surprised by the findings?
Can I make a confession? Every year on my son’s birthday, I try to steal a moment and give myself a little pat on the back. For the excruciating hours I labored in the delivery room. For all the soupy, smelly diapers I’ve changed. For the countless books and articles I’ve read so I could be a better parent. For the long nights spent rocking him back to sleep. As much as I love being a mom — and I very much do — it’s not the easiest gig out there, and I think there’s something to be said for acknowledging the hard work every now and then.
Pampers Japan is right there with me and devoted an entire commercial to us mothers (h/t Huffington Post). In the tearjerker of an ad, we see moms taking their babies for their first-year checkup. They talk frankly to the pediatrician about their child’s progress but also about their first year as a mom. “I was so unsure when she was first born,” one woman says. “I’d worry myself to tears almost every day.” Another wondered, “Am I doing this right?” (Sound familiar?)
But more interesting than that were the goings-on in the hall outside the doctor’s office. Dads were setting up a surprise party, but the guest of honor wasn’t their newly minted one-year-old. It was mom, who was also celebrating her first year as a parent. There was cake, yes, but also (and here’s where I start bawling) photos and signs celebrating them and their commitment to their families. “I almost cried when you first said ‘hello’ to our son,” one dad wrote on a sign. “Thank you for deciding to do this,” wrote another.
Grab the tissues and watch the full video below. (And be sure to turn on the video captions, unless you speak Japanese.)
Tell us: How has motherhood been for you so far? What has surprised you the most?
California dads on diaper duty may have to fend for themselves for now, but life just got a little easier for nursing moms there. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that requires all of the state’s major airports to offer a private room for moms to breastfeed or pump, reports ABC10 News.
By 2016, all airports that serve 1 million passengers or more a year must offer breastfeeding women rooms with a chair and an electrical outlet for the pump. New terminals must provide all of that plus sinks. Right now, the only airport that has such comforts is San Francisco International.
Personally, I think this mandate is a big win for nursing moms, who as of late have been booted out of stores, given flack at work, and even censored on Facebook for (gasp!) feeding their babies in public. Laws like this one aim to give us the privacy we need to perform this most natural of jobs. “This is not something they want to do in bathroom stalls,” Democratic Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, the bill’s sponsor, has said of nursing. (Truth.) “This is just one more added protection for mothers with new babies to continue breastfeeding in a comfortable place while they’re on the road, while they’re traveling.”
Tell us: What do you think about California’s new law? Do you think it will inspire other states to do the same?
The Clinton entourage just got a little bigger — former first daughter Chelsea gave birth to a baby girl Friday night, reports the New York Post. The new momtook to Twitter to share the happy news with her followers, writing, “Marc and I are full of love, awe and gratitude as we celebrate the birth of our daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.”
This is the first child for the Chelsea and husband Marc Mezvinsky and the first grandchild for Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have made no secret of how excited they are to become grandparents. On Sunday, the former president told CNN, “I can’t wait. We’re on watch now. I hope by the first of October I’ll be a grandfather.”
Chelsea was busy right up until the delivery. Earlier this week, the very pregnant mom-to-be was at the Clinton Global Initiative event in New York City, along with guests including President Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sting and ”Late Night” host Seth Meyers. Although the event’s focus was on the environment, Chelsea’s bump stole some of the spotlight. The president jokingly offered her use of his motorcade to navigate New York City’s traffic in case she went into labor, ABC reported. And Meyers joked that the famous family doesn’t care if the baby was a boy or girl, “as long as it’s a swing voter.”
Congratulations to the happy family!
Tell us: Did you work right up until your delivery?