Archive for the ‘
Must Read ’ Category
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
When you’re pregnant, you may be thinking about how your or even your partner’s life needs to adjust, but you sometimes forget about your furry friends, and how they’re being impacted, too. They innately sense that something’s up, and can react in one of two ways: by becoming the ultimate protector, always at your side (well, your belly, actually), acting as if they’re fending off any intruders or anyone who might harm you and the baby. My cat Edie was like that, wanting to lie next to me, or even on my belly, and she’d sometimes even lick it, while her sister Izzy was the other extreme—indifferent on a good day, and downright scared or pissed off at my growing bump on other days.
Dogs can have equally strong feelings. Don’t be surprised if your pup sniffs your belly and wants to be close to it. Soon guard dog instincts may kick in and man’s best friend can even turn against his partner in crime, now favoring mommy and baby-to-be. And if the dog feels you and your bump are at all threatened, watch out! It can bring on an all-out barking or growling assault, or they can even physically barricade you by blocking the entrance to a room you’re in so no one else can get in. While your pooch may be aggressive towards others, it’s likely that with you he or she could become clingy, even going as far as waiting for you outside of the bathroom.
But if your dog goes the way of my Izzy, it could get stressed out at the impending “guest” in their home. Fido could become anxious and begin over-grooming himself, causing hair loss, or acting out by marking his territory inside the house (never fun).
Even though your dog’s mood may have changed, try not to change yours. Keep to business as usual, and try to give your pet as much attention as you always did. If you need help say walking your pooch because you’re too pooped from carrying your extra 30 pounds around all day, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or relative to step in and help.
Also, as you stock up on baby goods, let your dog or cat sniff the items and get used to the idea that there are changes ahead. Continue this when the baby is born. At the suggestion of my OB, my husband took one of the swaddle blankets our son had been wrapped in at the hospital home to let the cats get used to the baby’s scent. Then he sent me the most adorable photos of both cats (even indifferent Izzy!) lying on the blanket and rolling around on it, just like they do when they get a catnip treat. That’s when I knew not to worry—we were all going to be one happy family.
For more on how to prep your pooch for baby, read this and this, and this piece on pet safety.
TELL US: Have your pets reacted to your pregnant belly? How so?
Image of cat courtesy of Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
While trying to do my due diligence in reading everything I can about pregnancy for this blog (and you), I came across this article in GQ UK, which is basically a how-to article on having sex with a pregnant woman. Keep in mind it’s not some clueless guy pontificating about pregnancy sex. The story is written by a woman, Rebecca Newman. So even though the piece is parading around under the guise that it’s supposed to help men, obviously it’s way more helpful to us women!
Most men like to pretend they have a Wiki-level of knowledge when it comes to a woman’s desires, but the truth is they need to be told what we want. Sure, it’s probably best coming directly from a guy’s partner so he knows his woman actually wants the same things as this writer, but we can’t always verbalize exactly what we’re looking for, especially in the heat of the moment, so that’s where this article comes in handy (maybe leave a copy lying around for him to read?).
Being pregnant is not only a confusing time for a woman whose body is going through major changes, and whose hormone levels are going nuts, it’s also an adjustment for your guy for those same reasons. I love that Ms. Newman tells it like it is to the male readers: “She’ll either want you as never before … or she’ll find the idea of intercourse with you as arousing as an asthma attack.” Both are true in my experience, and either can change instantaneously.
That said, there are a lot of perks for you and your guy with pregnancy sex. So it shouldn’t be dreaded and feared, which it sometimes is. You should be excited. Why? Two words: Ultimate orgasms. Thanks to increased blood flow and off-the-charts hormone levels you can be aroused a million times easier and faster than ever before. Or as Ms. Newman puts it to men: “Now is your moment to cement your status as the keenest lover that ever lived.” You have amazing orgasms and he feels like a sex god—it’s a win, win.
Also, pregnancy sex insures you two shake things up as missionary position is out relatively soon. You shouldn’t have any added pressure on your abdomen, and by week 16 women are no longer supposed to be on their backs for long periods because it constricts blood flow to the baby. So if you’ve gotten into a sexual rut lately, you’re about to find your way out of it!
Ready, set, go!
TELL US: How has your sex life changed since you’ve been pregnant?
Image of couple courtesy of Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
Hormones, Orgasm, Orgasms, pregnancy, Pregnancy Sex, pregnant, relationships, sex, Sex & Relationships, Sex Drive | Categories:
Healthy Pregnancy, Must Read
Thursday, August 8th, 2013
It can be nerve-wracking trying to figure out how and when you should spill the beans about the bun in your oven at work. You could be extra sensitive if you’ve just recently started the job, you’re up for a promotion, or your company is rumored to have layoffs coming up. It’s a very personal decision of when to share your big news, so do it on your own time. But a good rule of thumb for most pregnant women seems to be at the beginning of their second trimester. That way, they know things are going well with the pregnancy, many haven’t fully started showing yet, and it still gives them enough time to work out the minute details about their maternity leave.
But could giving your boss and colleagues too much notice backfire on you? According to a new survey of 432 moms conducted by Slater & Gordon in London, the answer is yes! A staggering 75 percent of women suggested that moms-to-be should actually wait till the last possible minute to tell their bosses that they’re expecting. Why? Because the attitudes of their bosses and colleagues changed once they found out they were pregnant (not in a good way), and a whopping 48 percent felt their chances of rising in the ranks had come to a halt since becoming pregnant.
Suddenly, you’re seen differently in the eyes of your co-workers. You’re no longer the capable, confident go-getter, but fragile. What’s up with that? I’ve had friends who’ve said they’ve been moved from high-profile accounts—without their request—because they required nighttime entertaining of clients, or longer hours, and their bosses felt that those weren’t the right fit for a pregnant woman. Whether it’s intended to be helpful or not—who knows?!—often times bosses take it upon themselves to do what they think is best for you and your family. And by that I mean they think you should be at home more—whether that’s your intended career path or not.
Sadly, for the women in the survey, the news didn’t get much better once they returned from maternity leave. Twenty-nine percent felt that they had been passed over for promotions because they had taken maternity leave, and were now perceived as having family obligations that would prevent them from doing as well of a job as they had done before having kids.
Discrimination is never a good thing, but I really hate that this sort of blatant stereotyping would never happen to men. Fathers aren’t “daddy tracked” in the office, so why are mothers “mommy-tracked”?
TELL US: When did you tell your boss you were pregnant? Did you feel anyone at work treated you differently because you were pregnant?
Image of woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Kevin Jonas’ wife Danielle (both of E!’s Married to Jonas fame) proudly Tweeted her baby’s sonogram, pointing out, “Look at that cute nose!!!” Lucky her, because not all moms-to-be come away from their sonogram appointments feeling that way. I know I didn’t!
Danielle’s sweet tweet took me back to when I got my first ultrasound. I was so excited to get a glimpse of my little one. My husband and I were holding hands the entire time, completely ecstatic. The technician walked us through the process, pointing out the body parts: “Here’s the heart. See it beating? Here’s an arm, a foot, the head. Now let’s zoom in on the face.” When she did, I nearly fell off of the exam table!
My son’s face (of course, at that point I didn’t know whether I was having a boy or girl—it was too early to tell) was pressed up against my uterine wall. It was smushed and lumpy. I hate to say it (forgive me Logan!), but he looked way more creepy than cute! Think: Scream mask + Leatherface = horrifying, nightmare-inducing baby!
I felt awful and guilty for even thinking it. Shouldn’t a mom think her baby is cute no matter what?! But a few days later I was talking to a friend and telling her I had my first ultrasound, and she bluntly asked, “Did your baby look weird?” I let out a huge, “Yeeees!” and a sense of relief came over me. There, I said it!
It turns out that I’m not the only mother to ever think that her kid wasn’t darling via sonogram. In fact, not all moms think their babies are adorable once they’re born either (and that’s ok). Just to prepare you, not all babies are picture-perfect right out of the gate. They can come out looking really red, or even yellow, since it’s common for newborns to have a touch of jaundice. Some are born with acne, or their entire bodies are covered in thick hair called lanugo, which is especially common if your baby is born early. (We affectionately referred to Logan as Wolf Boy for the first few weeks because his back, upper arms and even his butt were furry, and his eyebrows morphed into his hairline and sideburns).
But within a few weeks (ok, months for some), the awkward phase disappears and you have the precious baby you’ve dreamed about—the perfect mixture of you and your honey.
TELL US: Did your sonogram scare you? Are you worried just a little that you’ll have an “ugly” baby?
Image via Danielle Jonas’ Instagram.
Add a Comment
Monday, August 5th, 2013
I’m sure I’m not alone in noticing there’s a major twin trend happening right now. I have three friends who’ve all given birth to twins within the last year, and stars like Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, and Angelina Jolie’s twins are paparazzi favorites. We as a society just can’t seem to get enough of twins. Why? It’s simple. Because there’s twice as much to love!
The double baby boom has been a long time coming. Between 1980 and 2009, the rate of multiple births increased by 76 percent. As of 2012, about one in 30 babies born in the United States is a twin. Two-thirds of the increase is likely due to the growing use of IVF. The remainder is mainly attributed to a rise in the average age women give birth. Older women are more likely to produce more than one egg in a cycle, and 35 percent of births in 2009 were to women over age 30, up from 20 percent in 1980 (This age-induced increase applies only to fraternal twins, though; the rate of identical twin births does not change with the age of the mother).
Due to IVF, many moms-to-be are faced with the question: How many fertilized eggs do I want implanted in my uterus? One is the safest for both mom and baby, but many couples who’ve suffered with infertility are afraid to rely on a single egg per try. Aside from it being a costly process (usually around $10-15k per cycle), the thinking is the more embryos the higher chance of pregnancy. But according to Dr. Amos Grunebaum, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist at Weill Cornell, having multiple embryos implanted during IVF doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of pregnancy, it simply increases your chances of being pregnant with multiples.
In fact, when a woman carries more than one fetus, it’s less likely that she’ll be able to carry that pregnancy to term. Dr. Grunebaum thinks mothers should ask for only one embryo to be implanted because of the health risks involved with having multiples for both the babies and the moms (In some European countries it’s actually illegal for docs to implant more than one embryo because of the risks it poses to the mother’s health).
About 60 percent of twins are born prematurely (at an average of 35 weeks). More than half of twins are born at less than 5.5 pounds. Low birthweight babies—especially those born before 32 weeks and/or weighing less than 3.5 pounds—are at an increased risk for breathing, vision, hearing and heart problems.
Mothers expecting twins are in danger too. They are more than twice as likely to develop preeclampsia, a mix of high blood pressure, protein in the urine and general swelling that can be dangerous for both mom and baby. Gestational diabetes—which can cause the baby to be larger—is also common, and can increase risks of injury to mom and baby during vaginal births, and can lead to poor feeding, jaundice, breathing problems and seizures in infants. And, finally, women due with twins are more likely to need a cesarean section, which is a more evasive birth with a higher chance of hemorrhaging during and after delivery, and requires a longer period of recovery.
The stress of twins is not over once they’re born, either. Two babies at the same time means more feedings, diaper changes, and temper tantrums. More clothes, gear and childcare, which can add up to be very pricy. But it also means twice the smiles, hugs and giggles too. While the moms of twins I know love having twins, they’ll be the first to tell you it’s an awful lot of hard work—that goes far beyond picking out perfectly coordinated outfits. So think twice before you decide to implant yourself with more than one egg. You might not be ready for what you’re wishing for.
TELL US: Would you want twins? If you have them, how are you dealing with double the work, double the pleasure?
Image of twins courtesy of Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
Angelina Jolie, celebrities, fertility, Gestational Diabetes, In Vitro, In Vitro Fertilization, infertility, IVF, Jennifer Lopez, Low Birthweight, Mariah Carey, Multiples, Pre-Eclampsia, pregnancy, pregnant, Premature Birth, Twins, Twins Pregnancy | Categories:
Healthy Pregnancy, Must Read