Archive for the ‘ Pregnancy News ’ Category

Are Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Trying to Get Pregnant?

Monday, March 10th, 2014

That’s the question on everyone’s lips after Latham Thomas, who runs the pregnancy website Mama Glow, tweeted Thursday, “Highlight of my night – speaking about natural birth, home birth, & doulas with Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake & @jessicabiel.”

While Latham said Jessica is not pregnant—and she sure didn’t look like she had a bun in the oven at the Oscars in her form-fitting Chanel gown and her recent birthday was in a restaurant’s wine cellar in Miami—he said, “She’s a supporter of natural birth, doulas, and midwives. We talked about it for hours.”

I have to say, before my husband and I started talking about having a family, I would have been completely uninterested in all of the above. After deciding we were ready, on the other hand, I couldn’t read enough about my birth options. So there might be something to the rumor that JT and JB are ready to become parents since they are certainly doing their research if they’re talking to a birth expert for hours!

Though natural birth—without pain meds—sounds like a nightmare for a lot of women, those who get an epidural (as the majority giving birth vaginally in the U.S. do) actually have a greater incidence of needing birth interventions, such as vacuum extraction and delivery by forceps, or even a c-section, according to a recent study in National Vital Statistics Reports. An epidural can also mean short-lived but scary side effects for mom, including low blood pressure, headache, and fever. Women who skip the meds instinctively push, rather than exerting when they are told, which mean less pushing and less tearing too, and an overall shorter birth. So if you learn pain-reducing techniques and can handle the pain, in many ways you’re better off without an epidural.

If Jessica has a home birth using a midwife, she’ll certainly be on trend. Home births are at an all-time high. Home births jumped by 29 percent from 2004 to 2009, and now are thought to be at an all time high, though still only about 1 percent of women choose to give birth at home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, home births are most common among women over the age of 35 who have already had at least one child. The biggest increase was in non-Hispanic white women. About 1 in 90 births in that segment of the population is now a home birth. But before deciding on a home birth, do your research. Recent data, also released by the CDC, found a growing number of infant deaths among babies who are birthed at home.

Using CDC data collected from 14 million infant births and deaths, the research team learned that the rate of newborn deaths was greater for home births delivered by midwives (12.6/10,000 births) compared to births delivered by midwives in a hospital (3.2/10,000 births). The death rates were even greater for first-time mothers having a midwife delivery at home (21.9/10,000 births). Births in a hospital–even if delivered by a midwife, were still safer than home deliveries.

In addition to having a midwife or OB, lots of women are now choosing to also include a doula. Doulas are professionally trained birth coaches, who offer prenatal education and emotional support to the mother, and serve as an advocate for her while in labor. My experience with a doula was amazing, she put me and my husband at ease before and during the birth, and was there to explain things in more detail since the OB and nurses were more often out of the room than in it.  (See which stars have used doulas here).

TELL US: Share your experiences with natural births, home births and doulas with us! If you haven’t had your baby yet, tell us what’s included in your birth plan.

Giving Birth: What To Bring to the Hospital
Giving Birth: What To Bring to the Hospital
Giving Birth: What To Bring to the Hospital

Image of Jessica Biel courtesy of Joe Seer/Shutterstock.

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Why Shakira’s Not Pregnant with Baby #2 Yet

Friday, March 7th, 2014

The singer and passionate judge and mentor on The Voice has been in love with her son, Milan, ever since he was born 13 months ago. She shares photos of him on Twitter (and what a cutie he is!) and can’t stop talking about him in interviews. It seems she wishes for lots of brothers and sisters for Milan (her son with boyfriend, soccer player Gerard Piqué), as she tells Latina magazine that, “I would love to have eight or nine kids with Gerard—my own [soccer] team!”

So what’s the hold up? Something I think we can all relate to: Work! “If it weren’t because of my music projects, I would be pregnant already,” she shares. Working moms are often torn between wanting to move up the corporate ladder—both because they (hopefully) love what they do, and because they’ve got to help bring home the bacon. Babies are expensive (um, understatement of the year)!

Unless there’s a surprise pregnancy, there’s usually a lot of thought that goes into when to try for baby number two. Since there isn’t a universal paid maternity leave in the U.S. yet—and some women are still even being put on unpaid leave while pregnant and possibly getting let go from their jobs for getting pregnant—it’s as much about financial readiness than just emotional readiness.

I know I’ve heard the dilemma from my friends: “If I want two kids, do I have them back to back, so I’m getting my baby-making years out of the way all at once and then can focus more on job promotions?” “Do I spread the babies out, and maybe find a new job in between, because most companies frown upon multiple maternity leaves?” “Can I afford to not go back to work until they reach a certain age? And if so, will I still have a career to go back to?”

So you not only have to worry about the best baby spacing for your family, but for your career too. And it seems the same goes for the rich and famous. I always say, “Pregnancy is the great equalizer!”

TELL US: How did/will you handle maternity leave and meeting your career goals?

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Work-Life Balance in America
Work-Life Balance in America
Work-Life Balance in America

Image of Shakira on Latina magazine via Twitter.

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Woman Gives Birth in NYC Crosswalk During Rush Hour!

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

How is that for a birth story?! You can guilt your kid for years and years with that one!

You know how your doctor warns you not to come to the hospital at the first sign of contractions, because you’ll likely just be sent back home until you’re further along? (The joys of hospital overcrowding!) Well, one pregnant woman in New York City waited a bit too long.

At the peak of rush hour on Monday afternoon, an about-to-pop Polly Court waddled out of her apartment building on the corner of Third Avenue and 68th Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. With the help of a doorman, the woman who was already far along in her labor tried to flag down a taxi. But finding a taxi in the Big Apple during rush hour is almost as unlikely as winning the Lotto. After several minutes of searching for a ride, onlookers say the mom-to-be dropped to the ground and began to give birth—on the street—still bundled up in her winter coat!

Complete strangers passing by ran to her side (and people say New Yorkers keep to themselves!) and assisted her until medics arrived. While most people were helpful, of course others just gawked and took photos to post on Twitter. But in the end, the crazy birth—which drew a big crowd of onlookers by the end of it—worked out fine. The woman gave birth to a seemingly healthy daughter, and New Yorkers sweetly offered the new mom scarves off their necks to protect the baby girl from the cold winds.

According to People magazine, shortly after the birth, the woman and her newborn—who she has named Ila Isabelle, with Isabelle being after the woman who offered Polly her coat as she went into labor—were “loaded into an ambulance and taken to Lenox Hill hospital. Both are said to be doing well.” I’m so glad to hear that. Giving birth—especially if it’s the first time—is an exhilarating, but terrifying experience even when every last detail is planned out with a super-specific birth plan in place. I can’t imagine having everything go wrong, and having to give birth without your partner by your side, with only your doorman and total strangers there to help you, in the middle of a cold winter day in one of the most congested cities in America! That’s the picture of strength right there—a mama moment that daughter can look up to and be proud of one day. Wow, just wow!

TELL US: Would you freak out if you gave birth in the middle of a busy street? Did you give birth in an equally-interesting place?

Image via Twitter.

When will your baby first smile at you? When will she take her first steps? Find out by using our Baby Milestone Tracker!

Giving Birth: What To Bring to the Hospital
Giving Birth: What To Bring to the Hospital
Giving Birth: What To Bring to the Hospital

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Woman Pregnant with Conjoined Twins Won’t Abort Them

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Can you imagine the thrill of finding out you’re pregnant—with twins—and then at your 15-week check up being told that you are having conjoined twins? Not only that, but they are conjoined in such a rare way that there are only 35 other recorded cases in the world and none of them have survived. That’s the reality for Australians Renee Young and Simon Howie, who were told their daughters will have separate but identical faces on a shared skull with two brains on one brain stem, and will share a body. According to doctors this type of duplication, known as craniofacial hyperhidrosis or diprosopus, is so rare that the chances of having this happen is between one in a million and one in two million.

“Shocked” and “confused” the couple drove home silently, still processing the information, not ready to even speak to each other about it. Though doctors advised a late term abortion (since Renee was already in the second trimester), the couple agreed that was not an option for them, believing that having conjoined twins was the same as being told, “a child had autism or down syndrome”. “I don’t believe in terminating the baby if it’s healthy and growing fine,” said Simon.

The couple—who already have seven other children—are determined to see the pregnancy through even though doctors say the baby will likely not survive past birth (and if she did, the costs of treatment would be off the charts). “If I only get two days with my daughters, at least I have some time with them,” Renee told A Current Affair at 19 weeks. “And their brothers and sisters get to meet them.”

TELL US: What would you do if you were told you would have conjoined twins, who would likely not survive past birth?

Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Saddest. Birth. Story. Ever!

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

We’re all still teary eyed at the mere mention of Marlise Munoz—a pregnant woman in Texas who was kept on life support for weeks against her family’s will until a court finally overturned a state law protecting her fetus, and allowed her family to lay her and her unborn child to rest. Now comes another tragic mommy-to-be story.

Robyn Benson—a 32-year-old Canadian woman, who was still a newlywed, married only seven months—was 22 weeks pregnant when she collapsed with a cerebral hemorrhage in December and was pronounced brain dead. But unlike Marlise’s husband who knew the fetus was not healthy, Robyn’s hubby Dylan—who first met Robyn when she was 16—wanted to keep Robyn alive in hopes of giving their unborn child a chance of surviving.

The doctors in Victoria, British Columbia, agreed and after six weeks of further gestation, Iver Cohen Benson was born on Saturday, February 8, at 28 weeks, weighing 2 pounds and 13 ounces with a patch of red hair, like his mom. The following day Robyn was taken off of life support, and later died.

Dylan announced on his Facebook page, “It is with a heavy heart but also with extreme proudness that I am posting this update. On Saturday evening, my beautiful and amazing son, Iver Cohen Benson, was born. Iver is healthy and is the cutest and most precious person I have ever met. As to be expected, it will still be a bumpy ride for he and I as he continues to grow under the care of the wonderful staff at the hospital.

On Sunday, we had to unfortunately say goodbye to the strongest and most wonderful woman I have ever met. I miss Robyn more than words can explain. I could not be more impressed with her strength, and I am so lucky to have known her. She will live on forever within Iver, and in my heart.”

Dylan later told the Vancouver Sun, “It’s the best and definitely the worst thing to ever happen to me in my life at the same time.” He is one strong man to have gone through that. All my best to Dylan and baby Iver, who will get to know his mother through the eyes of someone who truly loved her, his dad. What a hard journey they have ahead of them, but at least they have each other.

TELL US: Share your congrats and condolences with Dylan Benson below.

Keep your child safe during the cold weather with our free safety guide.

Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies
Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies
Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies

 Image of Dylan and Iver Benson via Facebook.

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