Thursday, March 13th, 2014
I’ve heard playing music for plants can actually help plants grow to be taller and stronger, thanks to the mild vibrations the music emits. But could the same technique help to fertilize eggs during IVF? A new study suggests yes.
This far-out idea could potentially help the 7.3 million infertile couples in the U.S. as well as millions of others struggling to have children around the world. While infertility affects one in 8 couples in America, one in four couples are plagued by it in developing countries. That is a lot of people who want desperately to have kids, but can’t.
This promise of new hope is music to their ears. At the Institut Marques fertility clinic in Barcelona, Spain, researchers studied whether playing music in IVF labs would boost the odds of fertilization by injecting sperm in almost 1,000 eggs and putting them in dishes in incubators.
Then they divided the incubators in half. Five hundred received no music, while the other 500 had speakers placed in them, where everything from pop tunes by Michael Jackson and Madonna to rock songs by Nirvana and Metallica to classical works by Mozart and Vivaldi were played 24/7.
Not all of the eggs were fertilized, but fertilization rates were 5 percent higher in incubators with music (there seemed to be no difference in success rates based on type of music played). The theory is that musical vibrations could mimic what occurs naturally during conception, where the fertilized egg is rocked as it rolls down the fallopian tube, and then receives gentle contractions in the womb. As bizarre as it sounds, according to The Daily Mail, “Music is thought to ease the passage of nutrients into the egg and speed the removal of toxic waste, so increasing the odds of fertilization taking place and the fledgling embryo surviving.”
Though it is too early to say whether the technique makes a significant difference in the odds of giving birth, couples in 17 countries have become parents thanks to the unorthodox technique. So just as music can help a couple get in the mood for baby-making, it seems it has the same effect on your eggs—even if they’re in a petri dish.
TELL US: Do you think music really can make a difference in conception? If so, what tunes would you want on your eggs’ IVF playlist?
Take our fertility maximizer quiz to see if you’re making all the right moves to get pregnant.
Image of woman with headphones courtesy of Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
Conception, conception study, fertility, In Vitro Fertilization, infertility, IVF, Music, pregnancy, pregnant | Categories:
Must Read, Pregnancy News, Pregnancy Tips
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Sure, most pregnant women have wanted to kick their partners out of the delivery room for one reason or another (i.e. he’s too squeamish and you’re a little too busy to take care of him too; he’s making inappropriate and/or lame jokes to try to break the tension and keep your mind off the pain; or he’s squeezing your hand even tighter than you’re squeezing his). But would you ever really consider banning him? Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed recently ruled to uphold a mother’s right of privacy and the right to control her body, which says “she is neither required to notify the baby’s father that she is going into labor nor required to admit him into the delivery room against her wishes,” according to the New Jersey Law Journal.
This is a historical case because this subject has never been litigated anywhere else in the United States. In the case at hand, the couple—who are not married—is estranged, but technically this ruling could set precedence for all couples throughout the United States.
The judge felt that if his ruling was in favor of the father being allowed in against the mother’s will, he noted: “It would create practical concerns where the father’s unwelcomed presence could cause additional stress on the mother and child. Moreover, such a finding would also lead to a slippery slope where the mother’s interest could be subjugated to that of the father’s.”
So it seems that the act of carrying the baby inside you actually does come with (even more) privileges. I can’t imagine not having my husband beside me when I gave birth to my son. He was the right amount of supportive, without being an annoying rah-rah cheerleader. He made the best hospital playlist to pump me up when I needed it most. As cliché as it sounds, he was my rock.
But I agree that a woman should have the right to decide who is—and isn’t—with her during that sacred time when you’re giving birth. The last thing you want is something else to cause tension in an already stressful situation that could spike your blood pressure and put your baby in jeopardy. In my opinion, if a husband or partner is abusive, or hasn’t been there to support you throughout your pregnancy, his mere sperm donation should not grant him a golden ticket into that delivery room. So I’m glad this judge, who’s a dude, agrees!
TELL US: Do you think a father has a right to be in the delivery room no matter what? Who do you plan on having in the room with you when you give birth?
Use our Due Date Calculator to find out when your baby will make his grand entrance.
Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
One of the most exciting moments of being a mama-to-be is when you feel your baby kick for the first time. Even though the novelty may wear off, as the baby starts to move more and more, the amazing connectedness you feel definitely doesn’t. But at times all that fetal movement can be downright shocking. How can a baby be so active inside such cramped quarters?!
I know when I was pregnant I joked that sometimes it felt like my son was salsa dancing; other times playing soccer. Well, Once Upon a Time’s Ginnifer Goodwin described her inner-bump bounces by announcing on Twitter, “Presently there are Cirque du Soleil rehearsals being conducted in my womb.” I think we can all relate to that feeling!
Ginnifer, who’s thought to be around the 7-month mark (though she and costar-fiancé Josh Dallas have not confirmed that), has had her pregnancy written into her hit show. So while their characters Snow White and Prince Charming will be expecting their second child together, Ginnifer and Josh will be preparing for their first.
Josh told Good Morning America, “As we saw in the first part of the season, Snow White confessed some secrets to her Prince Charming. She wanted to have another baby. If you saw Ginny now, you would know that hiding the baby bump is going to be difficult so Snow White and Prince Charming are just going to have another baby.”
Unlike pregnant Kerry Washington, who has to wear form-fitting suits while still concealing her bump through creative camera shots on Scandal, Ginnifer told her Twitter followers that Snow White’s cloaks are so spacious that she “can fit a baby AND ace-bandaged ice packs under those royal muumuus.”
Though the cute celeb couple is private, Ginnifer and Josh’s romance played out in the media because they’re costars. In April 2012, they announced their relationship one year after the show’s premiere, then revealed their engagement in October 2013 and their pregnancy in November 2013, through social media. “It is true! There is a bun in my oven! Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart and bump for your loving support. #JoshDallasIsMyBabyDaddy #OverTheMoon,” Ginnifer tweeted.
It looks like these two are getting their fairytale ending in real life too!
TELL US: Where were you the first time you felt your baby kick?
Image of Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas courtesy of Feature Flash/Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
Monday, March 10th, 2014
That’s the question on everyone’s lips after Latham Thomas, who runs the pregnancy website Mama Glow, tweeted Thursday, “Highlight of my night – speaking about natural birth, home birth, & doulas with Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake & @jessicabiel.”
While Latham said Jessica is not pregnant—and she sure didn’t look like she had a bun in the oven at the Oscars in her form-fitting Chanel gown and her recent birthday was in a restaurant’s wine cellar in Miami—he said, “She’s a supporter of natural birth, doulas, and midwives. We talked about it for hours.”
I have to say, before my husband and I started talking about having a family, I would have been completely uninterested in all of the above. After deciding we were ready, on the other hand, I couldn’t read enough about my birth options. So there might be something to the rumor that JT and JB are ready to become parents since they are certainly doing their research if they’re talking to a birth expert for hours!
Though natural birth—without pain meds—sounds like a nightmare for a lot of women, those who get an epidural (as the majority giving birth vaginally in the U.S. do) actually have a greater incidence of needing birth interventions, such as vacuum extraction and delivery by forceps, or even a c-section, according to a recent study in National Vital Statistics Reports. An epidural can also mean short-lived but scary side effects for mom, including low blood pressure, headache, and fever. Women who skip the meds instinctively push, rather than exerting when they are told, which mean less pushing and less tearing too, and an overall shorter birth. So if you learn pain-reducing techniques and can handle the pain, in many ways you’re better off without an epidural.
If Jessica has a home birth using a midwife, she’ll certainly be on trend. Home births are at an all-time high. Home births jumped by 29 percent from 2004 to 2009, and now are thought to be at an all time high, though still only about 1 percent of women choose to give birth at home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, home births are most common among women over the age of 35 who have already had at least one child. The biggest increase was in non-Hispanic white women. About 1 in 90 births in that segment of the population is now a home birth. But before deciding on a home birth, do your research. Recent data, also released by the CDC, found a growing number of infant deaths among babies who are birthed at home.
Using CDC data collected from 14 million infant births and deaths, the research team learned that the rate of newborn deaths was greater for home births delivered by midwives (12.6/10,000 births) compared to births delivered by midwives in a hospital (3.2/10,000 births). The death rates were even greater for first-time mothers having a midwife delivery at home (21.9/10,000 births). Births in a hospital–even if delivered by a midwife, were still safer than home deliveries.
In addition to having a midwife or OB, lots of women are now choosing to also include a doula. Doulas are professionally trained birth coaches, who offer prenatal education and emotional support to the mother, and serve as an advocate for her while in labor. My experience with a doula was amazing, she put me and my husband at ease before and during the birth, and was there to explain things in more detail since the OB and nurses were more often out of the room than in it. (See which stars have used doulas here).
TELL US: Share your experiences with natural births, home births and doulas with us! If you haven’t had your baby yet, tell us what’s included in your birth plan.
Image of Jessica Biel courtesy of Joe Seer/Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
C-section, Doula, Epidural, Having a Baby, Home Birth, Jessica Biel, Justin Timberlake, Latham Thomas, Midwife, Natural Birth, pregnancy, pregnant | Categories:
Friday, March 7th, 2014
The singer and passionate judge and mentor on The Voice has been in love with her son, Milan, ever since he was born 13 months ago. She shares photos of him on Twitter (and what a cutie he is!) and can’t stop talking about him in interviews. It seems she wishes for lots of brothers and sisters for Milan (her son with boyfriend, soccer player Gerard Piqué), as she tells Latina magazine that, “I would love to have eight or nine kids with Gerard—my own [soccer] team!”
So what’s the hold up? Something I think we can all relate to: Work! “If it weren’t because of my music projects, I would be pregnant already,” she shares. Working moms are often torn between wanting to move up the corporate ladder—both because they (hopefully) love what they do, and because they’ve got to help bring home the bacon. Babies are expensive (um, understatement of the year)!
Unless there’s a surprise pregnancy, there’s usually a lot of thought that goes into when to try for baby number two. Since there isn’t a universal paid maternity leave in the U.S. yet—and some women are still even being put on unpaid leave while pregnant and possibly getting let go from their jobs for getting pregnant—it’s as much about financial readiness than just emotional readiness.
I know I’ve heard the dilemma from my friends: “If I want two kids, do I have them back to back, so I’m getting my baby-making years out of the way all at once and then can focus more on job promotions?” “Do I spread the babies out, and maybe find a new job in between, because most companies frown upon multiple maternity leaves?” “Can I afford to not go back to work until they reach a certain age? And if so, will I still have a career to go back to?”
So you not only have to worry about the best baby spacing for your family, but for your career too. And it seems the same goes for the rich and famous. I always say, “Pregnancy is the great equalizer!”
TELL US: How did/will you handle maternity leave and meeting your career goals?
Are you ready for another baby? Take our helpful quiz and find out.
Image of Shakira on Latina magazine via Twitter.
Add a Comment
Baby #2, Celebrity pregnancy, Gerard Piqué, maternity leave, Paid Maternity Leave, pregnancy, pregnant, Shakira, Unpaid Maternity Leave | Categories:
Everything Pregnancy, Must Read, Pregnancy News