Who doesn’t love a steamy sex scene, especially when it’s on an awesome show that always keeps you guessing, like Homeland? Well, the show’s star, Claire Danes, for one—at least during pregnancy!
According to Claire the most uncomfortable scenes to film pregnant were the sex scenes (which I imagine would be incredibly awkward to film even at your skinniest weight, and without all those lovely gastrointestinal issues that come with being pregnant!). “At the very end, I was a month and a half shy of popping, and I was doing a romantic scene,” says Claire, during a roundtable discussion for The Hollywood Reporter. “And Cyrus was really active. It was late at night, it was after dinner, and [my son] was going crazy in my belly. It was like he was protesting on my husband [Hugh Dancy]’s behalf or something. That was hard!”
Claire shared that filming while pregnant with her now-17-month-old son was the most physically demanding job of her career. “I was pregnant for the second season of Homeland, and as my baby progressed, the show got more action-packed,” she revealed. “At one point, we were shooting in an old sewage factory. I was kidnapped, I was chained to a pipe, it was 4 a.m., I was 7 ½ months pregnant, and I was like, ‘This sucks.’ At one point, the baby was on my sciatic nerve, and I was charging down the halls of pretend Langley.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted just reading that! As tough as it was for Claire, though, having to power through long, physically-demanding hours with no sleep sounds like the perfect boot camp for motherhood!
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Here’s a surprising fact: Only about 5 percent of women actually give birth on their due dates!). But new research involving “good bacteria” in the placenta suggests that doctors may soon be able to do a quick and easy test to better determine when your baby might be born.
Sound crazy? Not really, say researchers led by Dr. Kjersti Aagaard at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, who found that the placenta contains clues about when the baby will be born. According to Time magazine, “Dr. Aagaard is not ready to say that the bacteria living there actually decide when moms-to-be will give birth, but the association is strong enough to make it worth studying further (and she already plans to compare the placental and oral microbiomes of more than 500 women at risk for preterm birth to dig a little deeper).”
Within an hour of delivery, Aagaard and her team collected 320 placentas from women who delivered preterm (at 34-37 weeks), or at term. They analyzed the tissues for the microbes inhabiting them, and concluded that the makeup of the microbial community within the placenta was different between the preterm and term groups.
“We’re not suggesting that the differences in the placental microbiome necessarily cause preterm birth; we don’t know,” says Dr. Aagaard. “All we know is that they are different.” The theory is that the varying communities of bacteria—most of which have important day-to-day functions, such as dealing with molecules like vitamins, biotin, and folic acid, which are key for a developing fetus—have different functions, and these affect both the placenta’s ability to nurture the fetus and the development of the fetus itself.
It wouldn’t be safe to go in and sample the placenta throughout pregnancy, but the placental microbiome most resembled bacteria frequently found in the mouth, Dr. Aagaard reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine. That news is a big deal in the scientific world! Scientists had long thought the placenta was sterile, free of bacteria and other microbes, as opposed to mouths, which have tons of bacteria. Dr. Aagaard’s hypothesis: Oral microbes slip into the mother’s bloodstream and make their way to the placenta.
So, in the future, a non-invasive mouth swab might be able to help predict whether you might go into labor early or deliver at term. Freaky, yet cool, right?
Gone are the days of simple pregnancy announcements, where you tell your friends one by one that you’ve got a bun in the oven. These days, the bigger the hoopla, the better. (Professional photo shoots! Adorable YouTube videos!) Well, preggos, now the bar has been set even higher—because it doesn’t get any bigger than having mega moviestar Will Smith as your baby news-breaking wingman.
I’ve always liked Will Smith, but this makes the actor even cooler in my eyes. Apparently, a fan named Emily recognized Will at a coffee shop and asked the A-lister if he’d help her break her baby news to her family and friends via an Instagram photo. Clearly, he said yes! Just take a look at the photo of the Men in Black star holding up a hand-written sign that says: “Emily’s Pregnant!” with Emily standing next to him, giving a thumb’s up. He looks almost as excited as the mom-to-be does! How cute is that?
While Emily’s last name is still unknown, she has her friend to thank for making her and her bump internet celebrities. The pal, whose screen name is “yogaposer” posted Emily’s birth announcementon Reddit with the caption: “My friend’s baby announcement is pretty fresh.” Come on, how do you top that? I mean, really?!
“We would love more children if God saw fit to give us more, I just want to make sure that I am ready to catch a baby if that would happen,” Michelle Duggar says in tonight’s episode, as she goes to see Dr. Paul Wendel, an ob-gyn in Little Rock, Arkansas, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies.
At 47, if Michelle were to get pregnant again, it would be considered a high-risk pregnancy as the risk of birth defects and complications rise with age. Her doctor says getting pregnant at her age isn’t impossible (just look at Halle Berry!), but “very unusual.” “As we age, your chance of getting pregnant naturally begins to drop. And in the mid-40s it drops to less than 5 percent.”
He also shared that if Michelle were to get pregnant the chances of having a child with down syndrome would be high. (At age 47, the risk is as high as 1 in 4. In comparison, at age 24 the rate is 1 in 2,000.) Of course, this isn’t new news to Michelle, who has had six children since turning 36.
While Michelle would love to have another baby, she says she will be able to come to terms with not having any more children—if it should come to that. “If I am in that season of life where we’re not able to have any more, then I’m fine, I ‘m happy with that,” she says in the clip. “But if there are things physically I need to know, that I need to do, health-wise just to be ready to catch a baby if God saw fit to give us one.”
What’s interesting is we now have a sneak peek into what pregnant women around the world are Googling, thanks to researcher Seth Stephens-Davidowitz—who has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard—and his recent piece in the New York Times. He studied anonymous, aggregate Google search data from 20 countries to get inside the heads of pregnant women to see what they are truly worrying about.
As it turns out, the top safety-related questions in the U.S. are: Can pregnant women “eat shrimp,” “drink wine,” “drink coffee” and “take Tylenol”? In Canada, their biggest concern is whether or not they can eat dairy products, especially cream cheese (pregnant women are at a higher risk of getting listeria from unpasteurized cheeses). In Nigeria, the top question is whether pregnant women can drink cold water (in some countries it is thought to give your baby pneumonia). Meanwhile, in Mexico, the fifth most common question is: Can pregnant women wear heels? And they rarely ask about whether pregnant women can eat shrimp or drink wine.
How-tos are another area where there are huge differences of concern by country. In the United States, Australia, and Canada, the top search is “how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy?” But in Ghana, India, and Nigeria, preventing stretch marks is not in the top five. Instead, they are more likely to search “how to have sex” or “how to sleep” while pregnant. Surprisingly, in India, one of the top searches beginning with “my husband wants,” and/or “how to” and “my husband” is “how to breastfeed my husband.” Luckily, that’s not a big trend in the United States!
The place where most pregnant women seem to be on the same page is when it comes to their pregnancy symptoms—and what’s worrying them. Searches like “nausea,” “back pain” and “constipation” in conjunction with “pregnant” seem to come up consistently in the U.S., Britain, Australia, and India. I always say that pregnancy is the great equalizer. No matter where you’re from, how much money you have, or even how famous you are, for better or worse pregnancy symptoms are the same no matter what. We’re all in this together, ladies!