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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
Thursday, August 1st, 2013
In vitro fertilization is a very personal thing between you, your partner and your doctor. If you choose to share your story with friends or family, or other women going through the same extremely draining process, that’s up to you, and only you.
So I was really annoyed to see that In Touch is reporting that Jennifer Aniston is going through IVF in order to have a baby after 40 (don’t even get me started on how the tabloids always portray her as a pathetic victim who can never find love—um, have you seen Justin Theroux? She seems to be doing fine to me!) Who knows, maybe she is going through IVF. But is that really what so-called journalism has come to, trying to out a woman for using IVF? It’s like branding her with a scarlet letter.
I know Angelina Jolie shared her battle with breast cancer with the world, but that doesn’t mean Jennifer is obligated to share her most intimate details with us. IVF is not only emotionally taxing—never knowing whether it’s going to work or not—but it’s also very physically demanding. Women have to undergo daily hormone injections, and often end up bruised, sore and exhausted.
Of course, some women are open about their use of IVF and I applaud them for that. I’ve had friends who’ve needed someone to talk to about it because it was such an emotional roller coaster, and since their husbands were going through it with them, they didn’t want to burden their guys with even more baggage. They needed a sympathetic ear, and I was more than happy to be that for them.
Others are even more willing to include a larger group of people in their trials and tribulations with fertility treatments. Since IVF is so expensive (it can range from around $10-15k a cycle) and not all health insurance companies cover it, I’ve heard of couples getting very inventive and throwing fundraising parties to raise the cash for their IVF treatments, and even keeping “donors” abreast of their progress (more and more people are taking out IVF loans as well).
The point is that there are different ways of handling who knows whether you’re going through IVF, and how you tell them (in your own way and in your own time). No one should feel like they don’t have a choice in the matter—including Jennifer Aniston.
TELL US: Would you share your IVF story with others, or keep it to yourself?
And if you’re pregnant (or trying to be!) sign up for our Parents Daily pregnancy newsletter—it’s FREE!
Image of Jennifer Aniston courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Artificial Insimination, celebrities, fertility, In Vitro, In Vitro Fertilization, infertility, IVF, Jennifer Aniston, pregnancy, pregnant | Categories:
Healthy Pregnancy, Must Read
Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Who here loves a baby shower? Who here’s looking forward to her own baby shower? If you fall into either camp, read on for the most heartfelt baby shower activity (at least according to me!).
I admit I’m a sentimental softie and that’s why I love it when baby showers incorporate personal touches. So I was really excited to see that Heather Morris’ friends designed onesies for the Glee star’s upcoming bundle of joy during her summer shower.
It lets your pals get creative and you and your little one get a one-of-a-kind gift. When Heather’s friends were done designing their mini masterpieces, they were hung from a clothing line by cute clothespins, adding to the party’s decor (gossipy sidenote: since there are blue, pink and yellow clothespins, I’m guessing Heather’s waiting till she gives birth to find out the sex of her baby!).
For my shower, my friends did something similar, and everyone designed bibs using waterproof markers, so they’re safe to wash without erasing the doodles. I received tons of amazing gifts at my baby shower, but the handmade bibs are what I will forever cherish (scroll down to see some of them).
I highly recommend adding a creative baby shower activity to your day, or urging a friend to get one going for you. Other great ideas include making decorations for the nursery together in whatever color or theme you’ve selected (this could be customized picture frames, wall hangings, or pillows), each guest writing a hand-written note to the baby on what the baby means to them and what they hope s/he will achieve in life, and for super-crafty types knitting a small square of fabric that can be put together to make a customized blankie for the baby. The possibilities are endless!
Here are some of my favorite bib designs from my shower:
For more fab baby shower ideas, go here.
TELL US: What are some of the creative personal touches you’ve incorporated into your shower? What are your favorite baby shower activities?
Image of onesie via Instagram.
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