Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy News ’ Category

Viral Pregnancy Videos: The Top 5 of 2014!

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

viral pregnancy videoGive me a good viral pregnancy video and I’ll watch it 20 times in a row while laughing, crying, gasping, clutching my heart — you get the gist. (Fortunately, watching them is actually part of my job description!) Especially because I was pregnant for much of 2014, the year’s best videos on the subject got me right in the gut. Here are my absolute favorites of the year.

5. “From Bump to Buzz”

This video makes my list as a placeholder for the whole category of time-lapse and stop-motion pregnancy videos that trended this year. There’s nothing like watching the adventure of pregnancy — such an intense journey, at times spectacular and at times arduous — play out right before your eyes. Bonus: The dad in this video, who is Tom Fletcher of the English band McFly, wrote the moving song that plays throughout. Total views: 10.5 million.

4. “Bawling Dad to Be”

This video slays me because it focused on the moment a dad-to-be learns he has a baby on the way. It’s such a sweet, wonderful, unique moment in time—and one the whole family will be glad was captured on camera! Total views: close to 1.4 million.

3. “#ShareaCoke with the McGillicuddys”

While those personalized Coca-Cola cans were making the rounds this summer — the ones that say “Share a Coke With…” followed by a name or title — one family was inspired to make what at first looked like an actual Coke ad. But it later reveals itself to be a most awesome pregnancy announcement. Total viewers: over 4 million.

2. “Valet Baby”

Because I was pregnant myself when I saw this video, I watched it with intense anxiety—and gratitude that I lived just 10 minutes’ drive from my delivery hospital! The insanely dramatic 10-minute clip on YouTube showed a GoPro camera-wearing dad’s capture of not only his epic race to the hospital with his wife in labor—but the baby’s sidewalk birth too! Total views: close to 5 million.

1. “I’m So Pregnant”

Let me count the ways I love this parody video of Iggy Azalea’s “Famous,” on the WhatsUpMoms YouTube channel. First of all, I was eight months pregnant when it came out this summer, and related to every word. Second, it’s so catchy, I literally sing the spoof words in my head every time the real song that inspired the parody comes on the radio! Total viewer count now? More than 14 million (though I may account for a couple million of those myself).

What was your favorite pregnancy video of the year?

Baby Announcement Wrapped in a Surprise Gift
Baby Announcement Wrapped in a Surprise Gift
Baby Announcement Wrapped in a Surprise Gift

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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom, as well as a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of YouTube/WhatsUpMoms

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Is Pregnancy Weight Gain Connected to Baby’s Gender?

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Pregnancy Weight GainPeople are always looking for patterns to connect pregnancy symptoms with baby’s gender. And while many such connections are just myth based, there’s hard data to show that the latest pattern to emerge is totally grounded in reality: The more weight you gain during pregnancy, the more likely you are to deliver a boy.

This news comes from a study published in PLOS One, which analyzed data from nearly 70 million births over a close to a quarter century. It determined that increased pregnancy weight correlated with male babies.

When moms-to-be gained about 20 pounds, they delivered about 49 percent male babies—so under half. But when pregnant women gained 40 pounds, they delivered boys about 52.5 percent of the time. And when they gained 60 pounds, they delivered boys a notable 54 percent of the time. (Above 60 pounds, the connection went away.)

Why is this the case? Well, it’s not completely known. But Kristen J. Navara, the doctor who analyzed the data, wrote, “It is possible that this relationship results from the fact that male embryos and fetuses have higher metabolic rates, and likely need more caloric energy to develop successfully.”

Given that I delivered a boy and girl at the same time following my twin pregnancy, I’m never a great test of these theories. But I’d love to know if this jives with your experience—let me know in the comments!

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Boy or Girl: How Genetics Determine Your Baby's Gender
Boy or Girl: How Genetics Determine Your Baby's Gender
Boy or Girl: How Genetics Determine Your Baby's Gender

Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom, as well as a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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The Biggest Celebrity Pregnancy News of 2014

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Jwoww vagina cakeAs the year comes to a close, I’m reflecting on all the big things that happened (I’m sure are all of you as well!). The biggest for me, of course was the birth of my precious boy-girl twins in July after a sometimes arduous pregnancy. It’s a year I’ll never forget!

Around the celebrity media world, too, it seemed that big news was breaking weekly—and it’s fun to take stock of all those stories, from heartwarming to thrilling to downright wacky. So come along with me as I look back on what I think were some of the biggest celebrity news stories of 2014. (And as with my picks for the top pregnant celebrities of the year, please know that there’s no science behind this list—it’s just some good fun!)

The rise of the vagina cake: Oh yes, this was very much a thing this year. At her baby shower, Christina Aguilera had a pretty raunchy vagina cake. But never one to be shown up, former Jersey Shore star JWoww had not one but two of them at her shower, thanks to pal Snooki!

Blake Lively’s pregnancy style: In terms of maternity style, this star’s looks—whether street style or red carpet—are absolutely the talk of the town. First, there was the breezy mixed-pattern outfit she wore in photos when she posted the big announcement on her website. Then there was the body-con pale yellow Gucci gown with plunging neckline. The girl cannot lose.

The year of nude bump pics: Is there a pregnant celeb who didn’t pose for nude bump photos this year, from Instagram selfies to high-fashion glamour shots? Kourtney Kardashian posed for DuJour, Kelly Rowland for Elle, Alicia Keys on social media…

Jill Duggar’s speedy bun in the oven: The 19 Kids and Counting star wasted zero time to get pregnant following her wedding in June. She announced her pregnancy on August 20, even before clearing the first trimester. We knew the Duggar family is all about being fruitful and multiplying, but even I was surprised with how fast this pregnancy happened!

Eva Mendes carrying Ryan Gosling’s baby: When people heard this bombshell news, hearts broke all over the world. Rumors proved true and the star indeed gave birth to what will probably turn out to be the most gorgeous human in the history of the world (apart from my own babies, of course).

Kate Middleton’s second bump: I don’t know about you, but I’m far from over all the royal baby hoopla—even the second time around. The effortless grace of the Duchess of Cambridge, her impeccable maternity style, her celeb-studded visit to New York, even her acute morning sickness—they’ve all been such fascinating details to follow.

What did I miss? Tell me your favorite celebrity pregnancy news story of 2014?

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Rosie Pope's Style Tips for Mom-to-Be
Rosie Pope's Style Tips for Mom-to-Be
Rosie Pope's Style Tips for Mom-to-Be

Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom, as well as a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Twitter/Snooki

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This Top CEO Is Speaking Out for Paid Maternity Leave (Woo Hoo!)

Friday, December 19th, 2014

maternity leaveSadly, when we talk about maternity leave in this country, we ususally talk about it in the context of a tug of war: Our families need and want one thing, wheras our employers need and want something completely at odds.

But in a pretty groundbreaking and exciting recent piece in the Wall Street Journal, the top executive at one major company is speaking out in support of paid maternity leave—saying that it’s not just good for families, but it’s good for business, too.

Susan Wojcicki was Google’s first employee to go on maternity leave, after she joined what was then startup in 1999—when she was four months pregnant. And now that’s she’s the CEO of Google-owned YouTube, she’s getting ready to go out for her fifth time—and she’ll be entitled to the same 18 weeks of paid leave as every other women in the company.

She points out the sad fact we know so well: The United States is the only developed country that doesn’t require paid leave as mandated by the government. (Let that sink in.) The only ways to get it are to work for a generous employer who offers it, or to live in one of the very few states that mandate some benefits. And as pathetic as that may be for moms, babies, and families, it’s also bad for business, she says.

Wojcicki writes, “After California [one of only a few states mandating benefits] instituted paid medical leave, a survey in 2011 by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that 91 percent of employers said the policy either boosted profits or had no effect. They also noted improved productivity, higher morale, and reduced turnover.”

And she adds, “That last point is one we’ve seen at Google. When we increased paid maternity leave to 18 from 12 weeks in 2007, the rate at which new moms left Google fell by 50 percent… And it’s much better for Google’s bottom line—to avoid costly turnover, and to retain the valued expertise, skills, and perspective of our employees who are mothers.”

So we know that mandating paid maternity leave can be good for every last person and entity it touches, including corporations. Here’s hoping legislation and prevailing corporate policy catch up to that reality before decades’ more harm is done in this country to families—and bottom lines—alike.

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Alesandra Dubin took eight weeks of maternity leave when she delivered twins in July. She’s a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.


After Baby: How I Found Flexibility At Work
After Baby: How I Found Flexibility At Work
After Baby: How I Found Flexibility At Work

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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Should You Avoid “Keepsake” Ultrasounds? The FDA Says…

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Twins ultrasoundBecause I was expecting twins, my pregnancy was automatically labeled “high risk.” And as such, I had about a gazillian ultrasounds. Like most parents-to-be, my husband and I looked forward to these doctor visits as a chance to see our babies growing inside — and as a way to bring home another cute fridge pic too! (That’s an image from our 12-week visit.)

Ultrasound images are super common, of course, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says they’re completely OK when prescribed by a doctor. But the agency also now specifies explicitly that ultrasounds should only be used when recommended by a doctor—and not just to generate keepsake images or videos.

“Although there is a lack of evidence of any harm due to ultrasound imaging and heartbeat monitors, prudent use of these devices by trained health care providers is important,” says FDA biomedical engingeer Shahram Vaezy in a report on the agency’s website. “Ultrasound can heat tissues slightly, and in some cases, it can also produce very small bubbles (cavitation) in some tissues.”

Fetal keepsake videos are especially controversial because they may be done over a long period of time (as much as an hour), and they provide only the souvenir and not any medical benefit—it’s strictly a commercial pursuit.

The agency says that the long-term effects of tissue heating and cavitation are unknown—and that’s why ultrasounds should not be performed frivolously.

Tell us: Did you (or would you) have any keepsake ultrasound images made?

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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom, as well as a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.


Your Pregnancy: How To Calculate Your Due Date
Your Pregnancy: How To Calculate Your Due Date
Your Pregnancy: How To Calculate Your Due Date

Photo courtesy of Alesandra Dubin

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