Monday, August 5th, 2013
I’m sure I’m not alone in noticing there’s a major twin trend happening right now. I have three friends who’ve all given birth to twins within the last year, and stars like Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, and Angelina Jolie’s twins are paparazzi favorites. We as a society just can’t seem to get enough of twins. Why? It’s simple. Because there’s twice as much to love!
The double baby boom has been a long time coming. Between 1980 and 2009, the rate of multiple births increased by 76 percent. As of 2012, about one in 30 babies born in the United States is a twin. Two-thirds of the increase is likely due to the growing use of IVF. The remainder is mainly attributed to a rise in the average age women give birth. Older women are more likely to produce more than one egg in a cycle, and 35 percent of births in 2009 were to women over age 30, up from 20 percent in 1980 (This age-induced increase applies only to fraternal twins, though; the rate of identical twin births does not change with the age of the mother).
Due to IVF, many moms-to-be are faced with the question: How many fertilized eggs do I want implanted in my uterus? One is the safest for both mom and baby, but many couples who’ve suffered with infertility are afraid to rely on a single egg per try. Aside from it being a costly process (usually around $10-15k per cycle), the thinking is the more embryos the higher chance of pregnancy. But according to Dr. Amos Grunebaum, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist at Weill Cornell, having multiple embryos implanted during IVF doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of pregnancy, it simply increases your chances of being pregnant with multiples.
In fact, when a woman carries more than one fetus, it’s less likely that she’ll be able to carry that pregnancy to term. Dr. Grunebaum thinks mothers should ask for only one embryo to be implanted because of the health risks involved with having multiples for both the babies and the moms (In some European countries it’s actually illegal for docs to implant more than one embryo because of the risks it poses to the mother’s health).
About 60 percent of twins are born prematurely (at an average of 35 weeks). More than half of twins are born at less than 5.5 pounds. Low birthweight babies—especially those born before 32 weeks and/or weighing less than 3.5 pounds—are at an increased risk for breathing, vision, hearing and heart problems.
Mothers expecting twins are in danger too. They are more than twice as likely to develop preeclampsia, a mix of high blood pressure, protein in the urine and general swelling that can be dangerous for both mom and baby. Gestational diabetes—which can cause the baby to be larger—is also common, and can increase risks of injury to mom and baby during vaginal births, and can lead to poor feeding, jaundice, breathing problems and seizures in infants. And, finally, women due with twins are more likely to need a cesarean section, which is a more evasive birth with a higher chance of hemorrhaging during and after delivery, and requires a longer period of recovery.
The stress of twins is not over once they’re born, either. Two babies at the same time means more feedings, diaper changes, and temper tantrums. More clothes, gear and childcare, which can add up to be very pricy. But it also means twice the smiles, hugs and giggles too. While the moms of twins I know love having twins, they’ll be the first to tell you it’s an awful lot of hard work—that goes far beyond picking out perfectly coordinated outfits. So think twice before you decide to implant yourself with more than one egg. You might not be ready for what you’re wishing for.
TELL US: Would you want twins? If you have them, how are you dealing with double the work, double the pleasure?
Image of twins courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Angelina Jolie, celebrities, fertility, Gestational Diabetes, In Vitro, In Vitro Fertilization, infertility, IVF, Jennifer Lopez, Low Birthweight, Mariah Carey, Multiples, Pre-Eclampsia, pregnancy, pregnant, Premature Birth, Twins, Twins Pregnancy | Categories:
Healthy Pregnancy, Must Read
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:
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
We’ve heard the story a million times: A woman is going through pregnancy complications—especially if she’s having twins—and the doctor prescribes bed rest. When you’re retaining water, having hot flashes and are breathing so heavily that you could be mistaken for a crank caller, it sounds like a dream come true. It’s basically doctor-imposed relaxation. Cue the dream sequence of you at the spa for weeks on end. Not bad, right?
Reese Witherspoon was placed on bed rest with her third child, Tennessee; Marcia Cross missed the Golden Globes because of it when she was pregnant with her twins, Eden, and Savannah; Pilates devotee Julia Roberts had to give up her fitness classes in favor of bedside games of Scrabble with hubby Danny Moder when she was pregnant with twins Phinneaus and Hazel.
Singer and American Idol judge Mariah Carey had a super-complicated pregnancy with twins Monroe and Morocco—she developed gestational diabetes, then oedema, which is when fluid develops under your skin. It usually only happens in women’s feet and ankles, but Mariah’s condition started to spread up her body. All of that combined lead to several false labors and emergency trips to the hospital that she was finally placed on bed rest. “I had a really tough pregnancy,” Mariah told Barbara Walters on 20/20. “It was so bad that even the bed [rest] hurt.”
After years of it being the go-to answer for women with difficult pregnancies, a new study suggests that bed rest might be causing more harm than good. In a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, 40 percent of women who cut out activity had a premature baby, compared to 17 percent of women who didn’t scale back. Researchers say bed rest also increases the risk of blood clots, and bone and muscle loss.
While one study doesn’t prove absolutely conclusive, its findings do warrant a discussion with your doctor, if your physician suggests bed rest. At the end of the day, it’s important for you to trust your doctor’s expertise (all of those years of schooling and training mean something!), but you need to feel good about your decision as well. So it’s best to be as knowledgeable about the situation as you possibly can be. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Tell us: Have you ever been placed on bed rest? Do you think it was the right decision?
Image of Mariah Carey courtesy of Shutterstock.
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