Should You Avoid “Keepsake” Ultrasounds? The FDA Says…

Twins ultrasoundBecause I was expecting twins, my pregnancy was automatically labeled “high risk.” And as such, I had about a gazillian ultrasounds. Like most parents-to-be, my husband and I looked forward to these doctor visits as a chance to see our babies growing inside — and as a way to bring home another cute fridge pic too! (That’s an image from our 12-week visit.)

Ultrasound images are super common, of course, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says they’re completely OK when prescribed by a doctor. But the agency also now specifies explicitly that ultrasounds should only be used when recommended by a doctor—and not just to generate keepsake images or videos.

“Although there is a lack of evidence of any harm due to ultrasound imaging and heartbeat monitors, prudent use of these devices by trained health care providers is important,” says FDA biomedical engingeer Shahram Vaezy in a report on the agency’s website. “Ultrasound can heat tissues slightly, and in some cases, it can also produce very small bubbles (cavitation) in some tissues.”

Fetal keepsake videos are especially controversial because they may be done over a long period of time (as much as an hour), and they provide only the souvenir and not any medical benefit—it’s strictly a commercial pursuit.

The agency says that the long-term effects of tissue heating and cavitation are unknown—and that’s why ultrasounds should not be performed frivolously.

Tell us: Did you (or would you) have any keepsake ultrasound images made?

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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom, as well as a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.


Your Pregnancy: How To Calculate Your Due Date
Your Pregnancy: How To Calculate Your Due Date
Your Pregnancy: How To Calculate Your Due Date

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The Surprising Reason You Might Have Food Aversions During Pregnancy

PregnantDuring my twin pregnancy, I never had a single food aversion—in fact, I ate like a champ beginning to end. I was eating for three after all!

But a new study claims to have some insight on which pregnant women are most likely to experience such aversions—and found results had to do with baby’s gender. The Polish research published in the journal Physiology and Behavior claims to suggest that moms carrying boys are more likely to feel “disgust” during the first two trimesters than those incubating girls.

The researchers theorized that the feelings of so-called disgust are a protective mechanism to support the healthy development of male embryos, which other research have shown to be more vulnerable than female embryos durign those early months.

It seems logical, right? Maybe. But this is hardly a study with a massive sample group. In fact, only 92 women participated in the gender-related study.

Beyond that, several members of our editorial team here at Parents.com who have carried boys say their own experiences don’t line up with the new research. As for me? Well, because I was carrying both a boy and a girl at once, I’m hardly able to differentiate whe it comes to questions like this!

But I’d love to hear from you: Were you disgusted by certain foods during pregnancy?

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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom, as well as a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Snack
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Snack
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Snack

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Struggling to Drop Those Pregnancy Pounds? A New Study Says You’re Not Alone!

Pregnancy weight gainIt’s hardly breaking ground to point out the dangers in observing the postpartum weight-loss patterns of celebrities and expecting the same results from ourselves. The lives of us real-world moms—which involve childcare, sleeplessness, work, and other nonstop responsibilities—don’t support the kind of post-baby fitness habits of those women whose job depends on flaunting their bodies in the public eye, and who have limitless resources to support their weight-loss goals.

But even if the rest of us can’t—and should never be expected to—lose pregnancy weight as quickly as the stars, a new study shows that many of us are not losing it at all. And that’s problematic.

Specifically, the findings of the new University of Chicago study indicate that a full three quarters of all women weighed more a year after giving birth than they did prior to their pregnancies—and many of those moms actually became obese. Among the category of women who were of normal weight before giving birth, a third were overweight or obese a year later.

However, the study does have its handicaps: For one thing, the women were in the low-income category, meaning their access to things like gyms may have been more limited than they are for more affluent women. Beyond that, the average body mass index of the nearly 800 women in the study was in the overweight category. For women who start off their pregnancies overweight, it may be even harder for them to lose afterward. (But let’s face it: It’s not easy for any of us!)

Of course, new moms have so much to worry—and feel guilt—about. Do we really need a new study to pile on the concern? Well, it’s not just about vanity. Carrying extra weight adds to long-term health risks—and short-term ones, too, during the timeframe of pregnancy. Overall, the study points to the fact that pregnancy itself can be a risk factor for obesity, and as we already know, that can be a dangerous thing.

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How I Lost the Baby Weight: At-Home Workouts
How I Lost the Baby Weight: At-Home Workouts
How I Lost the Baby Weight: At-Home Workouts

Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom, as well as a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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The 10 Best Celebrity Pregnancies of 2014

Kate Middleton pregnantI don’t know about you, but I shut my brain off around this time of year. All I want is a cup of spiked hot cocoa, a fire in the fireplace, the Mariah Carey holiday Pandora station—and a bunch of year-end fluff on the Internet. If you’re anything like me, I have a present for you: a list of the top 10 celebrity pregnancies of 2014! No, this list is not scientific in any way, and there’s no methodology to report. But there were sure a lot of pregnant stars who kept me entertained this year, and now seems like a plenty good time to reflect on their stories. So grab that mug of hot cocoa and come along with me for the fun of it, won’t you?

10. Kourtney Kardashian
What would any arbitrary list of celebrities be without a Kardashian? The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star just gave birth to her third child—a boy!—with boyfriend Scott Disick.

9. Jill Duggar
The 19 Kids and Counting star got pregnant almost immediately following her June wedding, announcing her pregnancy on August 20—even before the end of her first trimester. More time for us to follow the journey on Instagram, thank you very much!

8. Carrie Underwood
The country star shared her pregnancy announcement with her fans on social media on Labor Day, and has since shared us given us some totally relatable candid moments. Yes, we all know about pregnancy crying fits too, sister!

7. Eva Mendes
The star had a baby with epic dreamboat Ryan Gosling this year. Need we say more?! Sadly, we didn’t have too much time to track this celebrity pregnancy: Rumors only broke in the star’s final months of pregnancy.

6. Zoe Saldana
Completely the opposite of the Kardashian-style approach, this mama-to-be makes our list for the mystery surrounding her pregnancy (and now, quite possibly, birth!). She’s kept mostly quiet throughout… even though we have much reason to believe she’s having twins!

5. Alicia Keys
In a year of naked celebrity baby bump photos galore, we’re adding a star to the list for a belly-baring shot with an excellent cause: the singer’s own #wearehere movement for social justice.

4. Blake Lively
This gorgeous star makes our list for becoming nothing short of a maternity fashion icon from right out of the gate. We’re taking notes!

3. Mila Kunis
We had a lot of fun along with Ashton Kutcher’s future wife during her pregnancy, didn’t we? The outspoken star always had something conversation-sparking to say, from her remarks about epidurals, to that famous pregnancy rant!

2. Chelsea Clinton
A grandbaby for the presidential family! After being pregnant much 2014, the former first daughter delivered her daughter, Charlotte, in September.

1. Kate Middleton
What’s more exciting than another royal baby on the way? Although barely showing, the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second child with Prince William. As with Kate’s first pregnancy, the palace was forced to make the announcement early as the duchess suffered from acute morning sickness. And that early annoucnement gives us plenty of time to look forward with excitement to her expected April 2015 delivery!

Tell me: Who was your favorite pregnant celebrity to follow in 2014?

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Alesandra Dubin was pregnant in 2014 too! She’s a new twin mom, as well as a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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Keira Knightley Is Pregnant!

Keira KnightleyHello, red carpet bump watch! Keira Knightley, who just recently received both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Imitation Game, is about to join the millennial mom club: The 29-year-old actress is pregnant!

Page Six first reported the actress was pregnant on Wednesday, while People.com confirmed the news today.

Knightley is married to musician James Righton, whom she wed in France in May, 2013—but don’t expect her to settle down into a traditional role any time soon. As she told Vogue magazine in a now oft-quoted 2012 interview, “…would I want to be a stay-at-home mother? No. On the other hand, you should be allowed to do that, as should men, without being sneered at.”

Like another fashionable young mom-to-be, Blake Lively, we expect some chic maternity fashion choices from Knightley—both on the red carpet and off. And while the actress and her hubby didn’t share the baby news themselves, we’re hoping for a cute gender reveal announcement in the months to come!

Congratualtions to the newly expecting couple!

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Playing Charades to Break the Baby News
Playing Charades to Break the Baby News
Playing Charades to Break the Baby News

Image of Keira Knightley courtesy of J Stone/Shutterstock

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