Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
While everyone seems to be on the same page that binge drinking is definitely not a good idea while pregnant (it can lead to a miscarriage, premature birth, birth defects or developmental disabilities), some people have questioned whether or not light drinking is okay. The latest on that bandwagon is a new study out of Denmark claims that women who consume small amounts of alcohol while pregnant are actually healthier in many ways than women who don’t. The study is a bit problematic, but first, let’s go over the data.
Researchers examined more than 63,000 pregnant Danish women and found that those who admitted to being light drinkers during their pregnancies were more likely to exercise; have a body mass index in the normal range; eat more fish; and drink less soda compared to those who abstained from drinking. That’s all fine and good (we love healthy moms!) but what does this have to do with the baby’s health? A respected study from 2012 shows that as little as two drinks a week in the first trimester can increase a woman’s risk of miscarriage. In my book, the risk of losing your baby entirely is far worse than the risk of a slightly higher body mass index!
In another study, researchers looked at 1,600 children in Denmark, considering the ability of the 5-year-olds to pay attention. The researchers found no negative effects on children whose mothers reported drinking up to eight drinks per week. But again, this data only focuses on the children who were born from those mothers who drank–those who survived the pregnancy. It’s harsh to say, but true that they couldn’t exactly survey those who didn’t make it through until labor day.
The truth is that differences between individual women, such as genetic or metabolic differences, likely influence the effect of alcohol on a fetus. Whereas some research has suggested that drinking does not harm babies, according to an article in Live Science, researchers say “nothing causes problems in 100 percent of exposed babies.” Because of that, most pediatricians and health organizations recommend pregnant women avoid alcohol entirely, as there’s no sure way to determine how any one child might be affected.
I feel like this debate could go on a lifetime. While most doctors across the board say not to drink while you’re pregnant (and Parents as a whole advises against it since any data saying it’s “safe” just isn’t strong enough), I’ve had friends whose doctors have prescribed a half glass of red wine when they’ve had constant Braxton Hicks contractions late in their pregnancy. The theory? The wine will relax them and therefore the muscles in the uterus, causing the annoying (not really painful) contractions to stop. Plus, there’s thinking that alcohol is less dangerous in the third trimester than in the first half of the pregnancy.
Even though this study, and a brash new book now say there is no evidence drinking just a little while pregnant will harm your baby, I’m too much of a scaredy cat (which actually might be a good thing during pregnancy!) that I’d never take the risk. To think that something could go wrong with a child of mine over a drink that I really didn’t need, would be too much guilt for me to bear. But like everything else in life, it’s an individual decision, and one a woman needs to make for herself after being fully informed.
TELL US: Do you think it’s ok to drink while pregnant? Have you been? Would you judge a woman if you saw her drinking a glass of wine at dinner?
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Image of pregnant woman with wine courtesy of Shutterstock.
Monday, June 24th, 2013
Nude photo shoots aren’t just for Playboy Bunnies anymore! More and more women are baring all while pregnant in boudoir-style photo shoots. And not just celebrities like Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and Mariah Carey (who were all inspired by Demi Moore)—regular pregnant women like you are taking nude pregnancy pictures.
Some take naked pictures to preserve how beautiful pregnancy is. You have that natural “pregnancy glow,” making your skin look fabulous, and oxytocin, the natural feel-good drug, is pumping through you, making you happy 24/7 (even when your body is aching, heaving, or any number of other bad stuff!). Your body, and life, are both going through one of the largest transformations you will ever undertake. Why not capture the moment, and celebrate it?
Others do these risqué shoots to feel sexy at a time when their self-esteems could use a much-needed boost. Yes, even your fattest of jeans are too small right now. Yes, you can’t even reach your shoe strings let alone stand the thought of wearing a G-string (granny panties, anyone?). But, no, that doesn’t mean you aren’t attractive! The proof is in the photographer’s proofs. Embrace your newfound curves, and capture a priceless keepsake for you and your honey.
Or not. While many women are lining up to get their nude pregnancy pictures taken, there are still a lot of ladies who think the whole idea is just plain obscene, or downright embarrassing for their future children—another pic that will end up on Awkward Family Photos, right? And getting all dolled up in between Braxton Hicks contractions and putting on nothing but a smile for the cameras (which supposedly add another 10 pounds) is the last thing on earth you’d want to do when you already don’t feel comfortable in your very-stretched skin.
So the question is: Are nude pregnancy pics cheap and trashy or sweet and classy? And only you can answer that question for yourself.
TELL US: Will you be stripping down for a nude pregnancy photo shoot? Why or why not?
Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Boudoir photography, Braxton Hicks, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey, Maternity Photography, Maternity Pictures, pregnancy, Pregnancy Photo Ideas, Pregnancy Photos, Pregnancy Pictures, Pregnancy Portraits, pregnant | Categories:
Monday, June 17th, 2013
Kanye 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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