Posts Tagged ‘ babies ’

Baby Boy or Girl: Would You Choose Baby’s Gender?

Monday, July 8th, 2013

baby boy and baby girl baby gender choicesLots of women (and, yes, even men) have dreamt about what sort of—and how big of—a family they’ve wanted ever since they were little. Some dads want a “mini me” to throw the ball around with; others want a little girl to spoil, while moms might hope for a shopping partner to dress or a doting mama’s boy. But not all couples have to leave whether they have a boy or girl up to chance.

Did you know that the United States is one of the few countries in the world to allow parents to choose their preferred gender of baby during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)? It’s called Pre-Implementation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), and after enough eggs are harvested for IVF, the eggs are implanted with sperm and only three days after fertilization scientists know whether the embryos will be boys or girls. A couple chooses which sex they prefer and only the embryos of the desired sex are inserted into the uterus (of course, a couple using IVF can choose to have both male and female embryos inserted as well).

England is one of the countries that still has a ban on this type of gender selection (other than in extreme medical cases where a horrible genetic condition is only passed down to one sex). But now some doctors are speaking out in the Telegraph, saying families have a right to choose their baby’s sex regardless of their reasons.

I understand why people are scared of this sort of technology—it’s something straight out of a sci-fi movie, where a crazy dictator decides to kill off all the women to form a “superior” race. And it’s not that far from reality. If used in parts of the world where they prefer boys (like Asia), it could lead to a shortage in compatible mates. In China, where they highly favor boys, and there’s a major push to abort female babies, The State Population and Family Planning Commission has already predicted by 2020 roughly 30 million Chinese men will be unable to marry on the account of gender imbalance.

That said, if I was given the chance would I want to choose whether my second child was a boy or girl? Yes! With my first, I was one of those people who truly didn’t have a preference. I was just so happy to be pregnant that I didn’t care what came out of me as long as it was healthy. Though, I knew friends who really had their hearts set one way or the other, and they were actually devastated when they found out that they were having the opposite of what they wanted. There was actually a period of mourning for a bit before they could truly be excited about their baby again.

Now that I have an amazing son, I would love to have a girl to see the other side of the baby bond. I could finally indulge in all of those fantasies of buying an adorable pink tutu and taking my daughter out for real tea with scones after years of imaginary tea party play. I’d have someone to pass down my mom’s jewelry to, and to give advice about boys. In my dream scenario, I cut out the part about mother-daughter drama that inevitably comes with the teen years!

TELL US: If you were able to, would you choose to have a boy or girl, or would you leave it up to chance?

Image of twins courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Birth Trend: Tans, Waxing and Makeovers (Oh My!)

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Spray tanning waxing blow outs pre-baby makeoversOf course you want your labor to go as smoothly as possible, but is it important for you to look good while actually pushing out your baby? Apparently it is for a growing number of women, according to the Daily Mail.

The new trend is to shell out bushels of bucks to look your absolute best before you go into labor, so you can guarantee an amazing post-birth photo op with your brand new baby. As if everyone will be looking at you in the photo!

While everyone in the article seems to have prepped to the hilt with French manicures and pedicures, highlights and blow outs, bikini and leg waxes, and spray tans, 29-year-old Heather wins for most high maintenance by actually applying another layer of self-tanner while in labor. Yes, while in labor! I’ve heard of  keeping busy to get your mind off of things (like pain), but that is crazy!

I think it’s a bit ridiculous to have a spray tanner, bikini waxer, nail technician and hair and makeup artist on high alert so they can bronze you, dehair your nether regions, paint your nails, add color to your pout and straighten your locks for what could be 24 hours or more of hard, painful labor!

While some say if you feel beautiful, you’re more confident, and therefore you’ll get through the labor pains easier, for me, a face full of makeup is the last thing I would have wanted since my birthing room was already a total sauna thanks to a bum air conditioner in the dead of summer. I assure you it wasn’t pretty!

I went into labor 10 days early, with my water breaking at 4 am, so I was not prepared whatsoever. My mani and pedi were chipped, my hair was a mess, and I was still wiping sleep from my eyes as I was in shock and wondering if what I thought just happened really did (Could I be dreaming?). But once I gathered my thoughts—and things—I knew I wanted to be completely comfortable for what could be a long wait at the hospital. I wore a loose sundress and flip flops with no makeup whatsoever (Heather, mind you, was in heels and full hair and makeup).

I admit, though, I see those first photos taken right after my son was born and the vain part of me thinks, “Jeeze, I look awful!” instead of concentrating on what an awe-inspiring experience it was to hold my son in my arms for the first time. I was absolutely elated, proud, and in love with this tiny little Buddah baby that would one day call me mom!

Sure, a part of me wishes I looked straight off of the red carpet rather than the treadmill in my very first photo with my little man, but I now know  from other moms that there is a happy medium between my carefree attitude and the makeover madness of other women. Some friends I know had the baby au naturale, but then had hair and makeup people come to the hospital for a post-birth touch up on the day the family was checking out of the hospital. It also served as a mini spa day for the mamas, and much needed pampering as their bundles of joy were getting all of their tests ran before they could be discharged anyway.

Waiting that extra day or two, mom and baby had a chance to bond, rest, and lose some of that blotchy coloring that comes with extreme labor pushes for mom, and the wild ride down the birth canal for baby. That way, they had their (possibly cringe-worthy, but emotional) first photos for family viewing only, and then the glamour shots that were sent to everyone. It’s the best of both worlds.

TELL US: Will you be getting a makeover before you give birth?

Image of mom and newborn courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Kim Kardashian Had a Premature Birth . . . Will You?

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Pregnant Kim Kardashian Gives Birth to Daughter Five Weeks EarlyKanye West was by Kim Kardashian’s side as she gave birth to their baby girl, who weighed in at just under five pounds on June 15, five weeks early, reports E! News. Kim and baby are said to be fine and resting. But I’m sure going into labor that early was a frightening experience for Kim, who already went through an appendicitis scare while five months pregnant.

Any baby born before 37 weeks is considered preterm, or a premature birth. Around twelve percent of babies born in the US are preemies, and premature birth is the leading cause of death among newborns. Those who survive can go on to live completely healthy lives, but often times are more likely than full-term babies to have lifelong health problems like developmental delays, hearing loss, blindness, chronic lung disease and cerebral palsy. No pregnant woman—or new mom—wants to hear that!

How do you know if you’re at risk for a preterm birth? Here are some of the indicators—but these are not guarantees you’ll have a preemie, so don’t freak out just yet!

• You’ve had a premature baby in the past.

• You’re giving birth to multiples.

• You’re over 35.

• You have a chronic illness like diabetes or hypertension.

• You were extremely overweight or underweight before getting pregnant.

• You smoke.

• You’ve experienced severe stress during pregnancy.

• You used fertility treatments to get pregnant.

• You’ve had a urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted infections while pregnant.

As always, you should speak to your OB openly about your full medical history in order for him/her to assess if you might go into labor early. Doctors can’t stop preterm labor, but can delay it for a few days with the use of medication. The last trimester is when the greatest amount of development occurs, so with a preterm pregnancy every extra day counts, and just a few additional days can make a difference in the amount of time your baby may need to be in the NICU.

Often times women going into labor early overlook the symptoms because they think it can’t be happening already. Yes, it can! Here are signs you’re going into labor:

• You’ll feel pelvic pressure, cramps and lower back pain.

• Your contractions—a tightening in your stomach—are coming every 10 minutes, or more frequently. Braxton Hicks contractions are common also, but they will not be as consistent as real contractions.

• If you have blood or a brownish discharge, your water may have broken without you realizing it.  Call your doctor right away.

Unless your doctor says to head to the hospital right away, lie down and drink a couple of glasses of water because dehydration often causes cramping, and water can ease your pain. Track your symptoms for an hour and if the pain goes away, it likely wasn’t preterm labor, but only Braxton Hicks contractions you were experiencing, which at times can feel just as real as the real thing. Still relax for the rest of the day as your body has been through a lot. The next day, if you haven’t already, pack your hospital bag, so if this happens again, it will be one less thing you have to worry about!

TELL US: Are you at risk of going into labor early? What have you done to prepare?

Image of Kim Kardashian courtesy of Shutterstock.

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When Is Baby #2 on the Way for Beyoncé?

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Beyoncé baby pregnantOnce you’re a mom, people suddenly feel compelled to ask you: “When are you going to start trying for another?” “When can we expect baby #2?” “Don’t you want more?” It can be overwhelming!

While on Good Morning America during a tour stop in London, busy superstar-mom Beyoncé was asked just that for the umpteenth time. She answered graciously and honestly, saying she does want Blue Ivy—her 16 month old with hubby rapper Jay-Z—to be a big sister.  But she cushioned her answer by adding, “At some point—when it’s supposed to happen.”

Why is everyone in a rush for a new mom to have another baby? In February, when Hilary Duff’s son Luca with retired hockey player Mike Comrie was just under a year old, Hilary told Life & Style “Motherhood is an adjustment…I’m not trying to have [another] baby any time soon!”

For me, the baby questions started coming right after I got married—literally, at the reception! Five years later, when I actually was pregnant, people couldn’t resist asking when I was going to have another. My prepared answer (because the question was asked so many times) became: “I need to meet this baby first, before I even think about having another one!”

When children come into the picture, it’s suddenly acceptable for everyone—including complete strangers—to basically ask you, “When are you going to be having sex?” I understand that everyone loves babies. They’re cute! How can you not fall head over heels for their smiles, laughs, and that new baby smell? But unless you’re in an episode of Sex and the City, most women don’t go around spouting off about what goes on between their sheets. Call me a prude, but I prefer to keep my sex life, and baby-making plans, private. I think most people—celebrity or not—do too!

Tell us: Have you been asked when you’re going to try for baby #2 even before you have baby #1? Do you understand everyone’s enthusiasm, or do you find it annoying?

Image of Beyoncé courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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