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Friday, September 20th, 2013
It’s Emmy weekend, and no one could be more excited than Homeland’s Morena Baccarin. Sunday might just be twice as nice for her, because not only could it be her first Emmy win with her cast of the hit Showtime show, but Marena is also due with her first son any day now, and could in fact go into labor at the awards. Something as exciting as an Emmy win could certainly cause her to go into labor!
Morena recently joked on Jimmy Kimmel Live, “My doctor is my plus one, so it’s all good,” she said. “He’ll be waiting in the limo just in case.” Since it’s such a big night for her and her costars (including new mama Claire Danes), Morena doesn’t want to miss a moment of it. So what’s her birth plan? “I told myself that I was going to go, and if I went into labor at the Emmys, I was going to sit through it. I mean, no baby comes in four-and-a-half hours anyway. I’m going to wait it out. I’m going to cross my legs and hold tight.”
Well, I hate to break it to you, Morena, but it is possible to go into labor and deliver all in four-and-a-half hours. While according to a 2012 study by the National Institutes of Health, the average first time mom spends six-and-a-half hours in labor, 50 years ago the average was four hours, and plenty of women have had children in under a few hours. Um, haven’t you heard of all of those roadside baby deliveries on the way to the hospital? But the all-time craziest story happened in 2007, when a British woman set the record for fastest delivery when she gave birth to her daughter just two minutes (yes, a mere 120 seconds) after her water broke!
I hope for Morena’s sake, she doesn’t go into labor on Emmy night. But it would make for one unforgettable TV moment!
Homeland premieres its third season Sunday, Sept 29, on Showtime.
TELL US: Would you go to the Emmys if you were due any day, or is Morena coo-coo bananas for going so close to her due date?
Image of Morena Baccarin courtesy of Shutterstock.
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birth, Birth Plan, celebrities, delivery, due date, Homeland, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Labor, Marena Baccarin, pregnancy, pregnant, Pregnant celebrities | Categories:
Who Is Pregnant
Monday, September 16th, 2013
There seems to be so much contradictory news out there when it comes to inductions.How are you supposed to know what to do?
One recent study sings the praises of inducing a pregnancy (which is when a doctor gives you medicine like pitocin, or other drugs, to artificially start or speed up your contractions) as a major way to stave off the need for a C-section. Though this is contrary to a British study from two years ago that said the use of pitocin doesn’t lower the risk of a Cesarean section.Their findings stated that the use of pitocin sped up labor by about two hours, but that it did not lessen the need for a C-section or increase the number of unassisted births.
Meanwhile, an anxiety-inducing study was also recently published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, that says inducing a pregnancy can increase a child’s chance of having autism. Researchers say the method used to kick-start the labor process likely doesn’t cause the autism, but it comes from a larger underlying problem with the pregnancy. Studies have found that children are at higher risk for autism if they are born early or very small; if they are in medical distress during delivery; if they have older mothers or fathers; or if they are born less than a year after an older sibling. Autism risk also goes up if a mother has diabetes or high blood pressure; is obese; is exposed to significant air pollution during pregnancy; had low levels of folic acid; or makes antibodies toxic to the fetal brain.
There are plenty of medical reasons to induce, such as you’re one to two weeks past your due date; you have gestational diabetes and the doctor fears the baby may be getting too big; your placenta is no longer bringing nutrients to the baby properly, you have too little amniotic fluid, or your baby isn’t growing as it should; your water breaks but your labor doesn’t start on its own; you develop preeclampsia, which restricts the flow of blood to your baby; or you have high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease.
You should note that the March of Dimes advocates that a baby is not fully developed until at least 39 weeks of pregnancy, so if you’re having a healthy pregnancy they suggest you wait for labor to begin on its own. Why? At 35 weeks, a baby’s brain weighs only two-thirds of what it will at 39 to 40 weeks, and babies born after 39 weeks have fewer health problems and have an easier time feeding and staying warm.
I’m especially interested in—okay, obsessed with— this topic because my OB induced me at 39 weeks. My water had broken at 4 am, and by 8 am, I was still just dilated one measly centimeter. I also had gestational diabetes, so she worried that I could end up having to have a c-section if all did not go well. Luckily, all did go well! In fact after getting the pitocin at around 9, I went to sleep around 10 and when I woke up at noon, I was fully dilated! The best part was meeting my ridiculously-cute son, Logan (pictured on the day we took him home from the hospital).
But now to hear that induction can be a sign that your baby may be on the autistic spectrum only makes me analyze his every move, wondering if what he’s doing is a sign of autism (I’m a first-time mom—we freak about about anything and everything!). As scary as the media makes autism out to be, though, having a child with autism is not the end of the world—far from it. I know a few parents who have children with autism, and they’ll be the first to tell you that there are incredible ups and very emotional downs with coming to terms with the diagnoses and the day-to-day challenges that affect the entire family. But life with kids with autism is still good—just different, and those differences deserve to be celebrated too.
TELL US: Which study do you believe? Were you induced? Are there any signs of your child having autism?
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Amniotic Fluid, Autism, Being Induced, birth, C-section, childbirth, delivery, due date, Gestational Diabetes, Inducing Pregnancy, Induction, Pitocin, pregnancy, pregnant | Categories:
Friday, July 26th, 2013
With the joys of pregnancy also come the exhaustion, aches and pains. While it’s tempting to kick back on the couch and watch a whole Real Housewives marathon in one sitting, getting active is going to make you feel better, and it’s going to ensure a healthier pregnancy, and ultimately a healthier baby (which of course is the end goal!).
Pregnant yoga instructor, Extra Lifestyle Correspondent and wife to Alec Baldwin, Hilaria Baldwin, is due with her first child, a daughter, at the end of the summer. Here, she shares her tips for a healthy pregnancy.
How has your workout changed since becoming pregnant?
My cardio softened quite a bit. I still did some spinning and jogging at the beginning, but you have to be careful not to get your heart rate up too high because the baby can’t sweat. Later in my pregnancy, I started swimming more and I do yoga every day. As your belly gets bigger, you have to widen your stance in yoga. If you’re squatting down, you need to make more and more space so your growing belly has room to breathe.
Do you think yoga is something all pregnant women can benefit from?
Some women are on bed rest or have other health considerations, but if your doctor suggests you exercise, then yes, I believe that all pregnant women should do yoga. It’s incredible for hip, lower back and foot pain, restless leg syndrome, circulation, and just the whole body and mind in general. It can also help with the delivery. A strong core and flexibility can really help with labor.
Do you ever think some women focus too much on getting their body back even before they have the baby? What advice would you give women who are worried about their bodies not bouncing back?
My advice is don’t let your body run away from you when you’re pregnant—stay active. I know it’s frightening to not be so thin, especially being someone who’s been thin my entire life. But remember that you’re doing something that is beautiful. You are creating life. It’s your responsibility to take a step back from your vanity for those 40 weeks to do what’s right for your child. Many studies I’ve read have said that exercising (with your doctor’s approval) and not letting your body run away from you promotes the best possible pregnancy and the best health for your child.
Have you seen changes in your skin since you’ve become pregnant?
No, other than a blemish here and there. I think one of the reasons I haven’t really had any problems is because I started moisturizing my skin from day one. Once you become pregnant you think a lot more about your overall health and well-being— your skin included. Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash has been an incredible addition to my beauty regimen because it is gentle and has shea butter so it keeps the moisturizers on your skin even after the cleansers rinse away. So I never feel dry.
Pregnancy has its perks, but it can also bring on some not-so-attractive side effects (acne, hair loss, indigestion, etc). How do you manage to feel confident and sexy while pregnant?
I work out every day. Not only does that give you endorphins and adrenaline that carries you throughout the entire day, but it also promotes circulation. In an expanding body, staying active keeps everything at bay. During pregnancy your body is supposed to grow and you should embrace that womanly figure. In the end, taking good care of your body makes you feel good as well.
You always look great. What’s your best maternity style secret?
A Pea in the Pod has great jeans. But it’s important to also understand that you don’t have to wear maternity clothes. Most of my clothes aren’t. Recently, I learned that you can wear a skirt as a dress just by adding a belt. It’s the best thing ever!
What’s been the most surprising thing about pregnancy?
Feeling the baby kick! You know from the start that the baby’s going to kick, but when you really feel it, it is such a wonderful and bizarre feeling at the same time. It just makes you cry because you’re so happy. The second most surprising thing is not being able to remember anything. I had no idea about pregnancy brain!
The most exciting?
Getting to know your baby. I haven’t met her on the outside yet, but I feel like I know her so well. I’m at the point now when I’m really getting to interact with her and if I talk, I feel her respond.
There are a lot of medical tests and waiting for test results can be scary, but yoga helps me through that [stress] a lot.
What’s been the most fun for you to buy for the baby?
The gear! We were really excited to get our strollers. We have two: the Bugaboo Chameleon, which I’m really excited about. But I definitely need a tutorial on how to use it—there are so many levers! We also have a Graco stroller and car seat combo. The other thing that I wanted, right from the beginning, was the Mamaroo. My friend had one and her baby was the most content baby ever! It has a car mode, a wave mode, there’s music that plays, and so I immediately went out and bought it, although my husband pointed out that I was only four months pregnant at the time!
What’s the sweetest thing your husband has done for you since you’ve been pregnant?
I had one really crazy pregnancy moment when I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t eat dinner. Around 1 AM, I popped out of bed and said that I needed to eat right then! I had never done that before and I was almost in tears. Alec ran downstairs, but we didn’t have that much food in the house, so he brought up melon and almonds. He just watched me while I inhaled all of it, then went back to sleep.
Have you dropped any hints about a push present?
I didn’t know about push presents until someone explained it to me. Ultimately, my present is the baby. But knowing Alec, he’s very generous and he always spoils me. He’s a total sweetheart, but I’m not really big into presents. She’s the real present, so we’ll put a bow on her!
TELL US: How are you staying fit during your pregnancy?
Image of Hilaria Baldwin courtesy of Olay.
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A Pea in the Pod, Alec Baldwin, birth, celebrities, delivery, Exercise, Healthy Pregnancy, Hilaria Baldwin, Labor, Maternity Clothes, pregnancy, pregnant, Skincare, Work Out, Yoga | Categories:
Thursday, July 18th, 2013
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Pregnancy is exhausting! Insomnia becomes a nightly ritual as you’re tossing and turning and having to sleep on top of a pyramid of pillows to get the least bit comfortable. You’re carrying around an extra 20+ pounds (though skinny celebs like Miranda Kerr and Heidi Klum gained 40, Jessica Alba over 55, and Kate Hudson and Isla Fisher put on 70 pounds each!). You’re also more prone to hot flashes and nausea. So the last thing you want to do is workout when you’re already breaking a sweat just sitting down!
My doctor told me it was important to exercise while pregnant, especially in the last trimester to help keep my energy up and to prepare my body for what was to come. As she said, “The better shape you’re in now, the easier your body will bounce back after baby.”
But she also said that I didn’t have to do anything too hardcore—long, brisk walks, my usual subway stairs and prenatal yoga were her prescription rather than heavy weights or marathon runs. She just wanted to make sure I kept my heart rate up for 30 minutes three times a week. For the most part I did. But there were days when I was too pooped to move and my ankles and feet were swollen, making my shoes tight and uncomfortable, so as much as I tried to convince my body to get up for a walk, I wasn’t going anywhere!
As tired as you may be (and I’m sure you are!), new research might give you the inspiration you need to get up and get moving. Women who exercise during pregnancy are less likely to require a c-section, say scientists. A brisk walk three times a week halves the risk of having a heavy baby—one of the main causes of emergency cesareans.
Science Daily reports that in a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers followed 510 sedentary expectant women. One group had 55 minutes of aerobic, strength and flexibility exercises three days a week during the last six months of pregnancy, while the others did not. Those who worked out reduced their chances of giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds by 58 percent, and the number of expected cesarean deliveries fell by 34 percent. This exercise routine can also combat gestational diabetes, which can lead to larger baby weights, and the need for a cesarean section.
So while I believe you need to listen to your body, and shouldn’t overdue it and push yourself too hard while pregnant, think about the exercise you’re doing now as preventative medicine. The workouts you’re putting in will keep your baby from getting too big, and stopping you from having a surgical procedure rather than a vaginal birth. And, exercises like yoga and pilates that build your core muscles and perfect breathing techniques, will make your pushes during labor easier, and will help you get back to your pre-baby shape faster. So the effort you put in now will come back in spades. Keep telling yourself that when all you want to do is sit on the couch!
TELL US: What are you doing to workout while pregnant?
Image of pregnant woman via Shutterstock.
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birth, C-section, Cesarean Section, delivery, Diabetes Pregnancy, Exercise, Exercise For Pregnant Women, Gestational Diabetes, Healthy Pregnancy, Labor, pregnancy, pregnant, Work Out Routines, Workout | Categories:
Tuesday, July 16th, 2013
For most women, the thought of having a cesarean section is just about as scary as sitting through the most frightening horror film. Not only is it a surgical procedure, but in most hospitals it means the mom’s view of the birth is blocked by a curtain, her arms may be restrained, and she might not see her baby for up to two hours (which can seem like an eternity when all you want to do is see your baby!).
Lots of women with c-sections complain that they don’t get the same bonding experience with their newborns as those with vaginal births, mainly due to the lack of skin-to-skin contact. Over 130 years after the first modern c-section, hospitals are finally starting to change their procedures to give moms a more comfortable, loving birth in what’s being dubbed a gentle c-section.
In the gentle c-section technique, which was designed by Dr. Nick Fisk, newborns are placed on their moms’ chests directly after birth, which is said to steady the baby’s temperature and heart rate, improve the parent-child bond and help to initiate breastfeeding—all things that the standard c-section lacks. As silly as it sounds, it also helps moms remember why they’re in the hospital in the first place: to have a baby!
I’ve had friends who have had cesareans, and while they are happy with the outcome (an adorable baby), they say it felt like they were having any ol’ surgery. It was so impersonal, and immediately afterwards they had no interaction with their baby after waiting nine long months to meet him or her. Instead, the baby is whisked off by a nurse, and isn’t seen again until after the mom is stitched up. In some cases, that can even mean not until the mom is in her recovery room. From my friends with cesareans, the overall feeling was disappointment on what should be a day full of excitement and joy!
I have no idea what took doctors so long to think up the gentle c-section, but I want to give Dr. Fisk a standing ovation for putting emotions back into the delivery room. Every mom deserves to have her delivery be a moment she’ll never forget—for all of the right reasons.
TELL US: If you’ve had a c-section, what was your experience like?
Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock.
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