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Must Read ’ Category
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
You always hear that “size does matter” when it comes to a man’s, um, manhood. But a new study says it’s not a guy’s twig, but his berries that women should really take note of. And in this case, bigger isn’t better. That’s right, ladies, good things do indeed come in small packages.
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found a correlation between the size of a man’s cojones and his parenting skills. In layman’s terms, the bigger the balls the more semen; the more semen ejaculated at a time, the more likely a man is to be an absentee dad. This is especially important because children with more involved dads have been proven to have higher IQs and fewer behavioral problems.
The evolutionary theory behind the findings is that men are divided into two camps: the function of those with bigger balls and more testosterone is to proactively procreate; those with smaller stones are made to nurture and protect the offspring. This study follows the lead of similar research that has suggested that men with higher testosterone levels are less interested in raising kids. But a man’s testosterone level can vary over his lifetime because of age, diet and general health, while the size of his family jewels stays consistent.
So if you believe this study—and I’m still not sure I do—taking a peek at a man’s sack while between the sheets could give you a clue about what type of family man he’d be. Just don’t get caught staring!
TELL US: Do you believe the size of a man’s pills really determines how good of a father he’ll be? Or do you think this study is totally nuts?
Image of guy in boxer briefs courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Monday, September 9th, 2013
Vanity Fair recently reported that sources close to the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, revealed she told friends that her natural birth was “perfect.” And by “perfect,” she meant she had no complications and she was able to stick to her birth plan. For some reason, though, that description of perfection really stood out to me as odd—on so many levels.
Really, let’s be honest. Yes, the act of having a baby is a miracle. The big picture is a beautiful one; you’re creating life, specifically, you’re creating the person you’ll love the most in the world. But when you look at the small details, even if everything goes off without a hitch, pregnancy isn’t exactly a walk in the park, and childbirth is hard, exhausting work and can be really disgusting (like no one tells you that you can actually poop while pushing during delivery. I didn’t even know that was a possibility until friends who’d gone through it asked me if I had. For the record, as far as I know, I did not!).
Also, what if there are complications and you have to have an emergency c-section (about 30 percent of women have either a planned or emergency c-section)? I’m sure Kate was not trying to make any grand statements about natural childbirth being more perfect than surgically-assisted births, but it could be taken that way, and another Kate—Kate Winslet—did get into hot water for outright suggesting natural childbirth is superior. After having her second child, Kate Winslet, who is now pregnant with her third, revealed in New York’s Gotham magazine that she had lied for years about having her daughter Mia vaginally when she actually had 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,” she told Gotham. “I felt like a complete failure. There’s this thing amongst women that if you can handle childbirth you can handle anything. I had never handled childbirth and I felt like in some way I couldn’t enter the ‘powerful women’s club.’ It was an amazing feeling having Joe naturally. Fourteen hours with no drugs at all, but then I had to have an epidural because I was so tired. It was an incredible birth. It was really triumphant.”
Reading that really upset me, because I don’t think women should be made to feel that the only way or “the right way” to have a baby is if she delivers vaginally. So many women I know who’ve had c-sections already feel a sense of guilt, as if they did something wrong, or they just weren’t woman enough. This insanity should not be perpetuated. Childbirth is not a competition. Whether you choose to have an epidural or not is your business. If a cesarean section is needed in order to have a healthy delivery, do it without second thought! No one has the right to judge you. And remember that the end result is still the same: you’re taking home a beautiful baby, and any way you do it is “perfect” in my book! Don’t let anyone take that amazing feeling away from you.
TELL US: Have you or someone you know had c-section guilt?
Image of Kate Middleton and Prince William courtesy of the British Monarchy’s Twitter page.
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birth, Birth Plan, C-section, celebrities, Cesarean Section, childbirth, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Kate Winslet, Natural Birth, Prince George | Categories:
Must Read, Pregnancy News
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
A scary new study suggests the high number of cesarean sections may have more to do with doctors’ greed than the patient’s need. According to a story by NPR, “about 1 in 3 babies born are now delivered via C-section, compared to 1 in 5 in 1996. During the same time period, the annual medical costs of childbirth in the U.S. have grown by $3 billion annually.” That’s worth repeating: an increase of $3 billion—that’s with a “B”!
In a paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists found that in many cases, doctors are paid hundreds more for performing a C-section over a vaginal delivery, and hospitals can be paid up to thousands more.
Health care economists Erin Johnson and M. Marit Rehavi hypothesized that OBs might be less likely to perform C-sections for financial incentives if the patients had significant knowledge about childbirth and its risk factors. So they looked at how many doctors had C-sections while giving birth to their own kids as opposed to non-doctors—who would likely know much less about whether a C-section was the right birth method for them.
The findings were that in cases where financial incentives were involved, pregnant doctors are about 10 percent less likely to get C-sections than their non medically-trained counter parts, which points to the fact that when armed with knowledge about whether a cesarean section is really necessary, women are likely to push back if they think it is more of a doctor’s elective surgery.
In situations when vaginal delivery is first tried, and for whatever reason doesn’t go as planned, women without a medical degree are more likely to have cesareans—which makes sense because during that time all you hear is “there is a problem,” and the rest of your mind shuts down. You of course trust your doctor and presume he or she knows a hell of a lot more than you do in this situation, so in most cases you are going to do exactly what they say.
Interestingly, in instances where doctors were paid flat rates whether they did a vaginal birth or surgical birth (so there were no benefits to the doc for performing a c-section), pregnant physicians actually had more C-sections than non-doctors, which could mean that when there aren’t financial incentives doctors are less likely to give women c-sections (often a longer and more difficult procedure) even when they need them.
Neither the study nor I are saying that all doctors are evil or that they would all do an unnecessary surgery just for the extra bucks. But the reality is that it does happen, whether subconsciously or not. So the best thing you can do for your and your baby’s health is to read up as much as you possibly can about births and emergency procedures, or even hire an impartial doula or midwife if you can afford it (many insurance companies don’t pay for them), so if and when you are put in that situation you can make the most informed decision possible.
TELL US: Do you believe doctors would be more likely to perform a cesarean section because of the bigger paycheck? Do you suspect your doctor steered you into having one?
Image of doctor courtesy of Shutterstock.
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birth, C-section, Cesarean Section, childbirth, Doula, Labor, Midwife, pregnancy, pregnant, Vaginal Delivery | Categories:
Healthy Pregnancy, Must Read
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Something’s a little off. Your period is late; you’re feeling out of sorts. Could you be…? Time to take a trip to the drug store (or more often than not, time to send your guy)! The whole anxiety begins…are you pregnant? Are you not pregnant? If you are, how many weeks pregnant are you? So many questions swirling through your head!
Starting September 1, for the first time in the United States, an at-home pregnancy test will be able to tell you just how long you’ve been pregnant. Well, sort of. The new Clearblue Advanced Pregnancy Test with Weeks Estimator— which has been available in Europe since 2008—will not only tell you if you are or aren’t pregnant, but with a new technology it will also estimate whether you are 1-2 weeks pregnant, 2-3 weeks or 3+ weeks.
The new test has two strips instead of one, and screens for the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone that appears in a woman’s urine stream after fertilization. Clearblue says the test is 99 percent accurate at detecting pregnancy from the day of a woman’s expected period, and about 93 percent accurate in estimating the number of weeks you’ve been pregnant.
What a great idea! Who doesn’t want more information when they first find out they’re pregnant? I know I was so nervous, that it took three positive pregnancy tests before I was sure I somehow didn’t screw up the test results, and even then I wanted to wait to see the doctor to confirm the results before I could fully let myself celebrate. But I think having something that would let me know how many weeks along I was, would have solidified in my head that it was truly real.
I think this is going to revolutionize pregnancy tests going forward. Now if only scientists could come up with a pregnancy test that could tell us from day one whether we were having a boy or girl—that would be a real breakthrough!
TELL US: Would you be more likely to buy a pregnancy test that would tell you how far along you are? Or would you prefer to wait to hear it from your doctor once you have your first ultrasound?
Image of couple courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Thursday, August 15th, 2013
I admit I’m not cool. I first heard about twerking through Miley Cyrus’ “Twerking Unicorn” video, which now has 4 million + views on YouTube, and at least 100 of those views are from me! There’s something oddly mesmerizing about it (Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé and Rihanna agree—they’ve been known to break out into a mean twerk themselves).
As with all fads, this dance craze exploded and suddenly, men, women and children were all uploading twerking videos on YouTube. Now, it seems pregnant women are getting into the act too! Check out the video below for proof!
While exercise during pregnancy is encouraged to help ease aches and pains, boost energy and prep the body for childbirth, twerk at your own risk. Please seek advice from your doctor before you try this at home!
Here’s the video I was talking about. Preggers and she can still move like that? Very impressive.
TELL US: Will you give twerking a try, or do you think it could be dangerous for the baby?
Image of dancer courtesy of Shutterstock.
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