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Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
WARNING: You might not want to read this if you just ate! I was fascinated in an I- can’t-look-away-from-the-horrific-traffic-accident sort of way by a piece on xoJane written by a woman who had a lotus birth.
What the heck is a lotus birth, you ask (as did I)? It’s when the umbilical cord isn’t cut after childbirth so that the baby is left attached to his or her placenta until the cord naturally falls off—which could take up to a week.
To put this in perspective, most umbilical cords are usually clamped and cut within the first few minutes of a baby’s life as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of maternal hemorrhaging. Recent studies have shown that delaying clamping for at least a minute significantly improves iron and hemoglobin levels in newborns and does not increase the risks to mothers. The World Health Organization believes you can wait even longer, and recommends clamping and cutting the umbilical cord between one and three minutes after birth because of the iron benefits passed onto the baby (but beware that delaying clamping can sometimes cause the baby to develop jaundice, caused by either liver trouble or an excessive loss of blood cells).
There are no findings that the lotus birth improves the health of a baby since the placenta stops pumping oxygen, iron and stem cells to the infant after approximately five minutes. In fact, many physicians believe a lotus birth could cause infections if the umbilical cord isn’t properly cared for and watched closely since it’s basically dead tissue full of blood—a breeding ground for bacteria. Despite that, lotus births are becoming more and more popular.
According to moms who are doing this, there are two main perks. 1) The placenta is said to be a comfort to the newborn, since it has been in the womb with the baby throughout the pregnancy. 2) It helps the immediate bond formed between mother and child since the child needs to be kept close because the umbilical cord and placenta are still attached.
Depending on your point of view, this may be the most insane thing you’ll ever read, or you might think it’s the most natural, beautiful way to look at childbirth. I tend to lean towards this being a teensy bit nuts! Not to mention really unsterile (even though the mom says she went through painstaking measures to “wash and wrap the placenta everyday to keep it clean,” even placing it in a waterproof pouch.
Often lotus births go hand-in-hand with unassisted births, where the moms choose not to have a midwife or doctor present during the child’s birth—just her partner. Though I find that to be a romantic idea, just you and the one you love bringing this baby you two created into this world all by yourselves, I would be too paranoid something would go terribly wrong that I’d never even consider that as an option.
One might say I’m being too squeamish about childbirth (maybe!), and that a woman’s body knows what it’s doing—it’s like turning on cruise control in a car! But I don’t see any lotus births in my future. Ever!
TELL US: Would you give unassisted lotus birth a try?
Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Friday, October 11th, 2013
When you’re pregnant, your OB tells you all of the things that you can’t eat—and soft, unpasteurized cheeses are right at the top of the list. As my doctor was running down the list of noshing no-nos, I wondered, How bad could cheese really be for you? But being the goody-goody, by-the-books type I would never break the rules if it could possibly harm my little peanut. So I said buh-bye to my beloved Brie, Feta and Queso Fresco.
Now after reading this horrifying piece in The Daily Mail, I’m so glad I didn’t take the risk. Twenty-five-year-old mom-to-be Vanessa White from Las Vegas is thought to have contracted tuberculosis after eating unpasteurized cheese from abroad, which caused her to go into premature labor. And now for the really sad news: She and both of her daughters ended up dying. Because. Of. Cheese!
How could someone die from dairy? It sounds impossible, mind-blowing even. Well, it truly is dangerous. Unpasteurized soft cheeses may contain dangerous bacteria including the one that can cause fatal tuberculosis, and another one called Listeria, which can cross over into the placenta and lead to infections or blood poisoning in the baby, or even miscarriage.
If you don’t know much about listeria, get educated now! According to the FDA, symptoms of Listeriosis can take days or even weeks to appear and may include fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck, and loss of balance. Often the pregnant women who are infected don’t even feel sick, so they are passing the infection on to their unborn babies without even knowing it.
While Listeriosis is still pretty rare in the US (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 1600 illnesses and 260 deaths occur annually in the US due to Listeriosis), the sad fact is that it really does happen, and it wouldn’t seem all that “rare” or “unlikely” if it happened to you or one of your loved ones. Plus? Research has shown that pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get Listeriosis than other healthy adults, and an estimated 14 percent of Listeria cases occur in pregnant women.
No matter how fantastic a creamy cheese is (and, boy, do I love ‘em!), it’s obviously not worth risking yours or your baby’s life over. But after the baby’s born, you can let loose and fill those cravings with a much-deserved girls’ wine and cheese night!
TELL US: What is the hardest food or drink for you to give up while pregnant?
Image of cheese plate courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Monday, June 3rd, 2013
It’s a girl! After months of enquiring minds wanting to know whether Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are having a boy or girl, in fitting fashion for any KK, the big announcement was made on the premiere of the eighth season of the family’s E! reality series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Of course the episode was taped about three months ago, so Kim—who is due in July—has known since then that she’s having a daughter, but now it’s finally confirmed to the world. The big news came the same day Kim was feted at her baby shower brunch in Beverly Hills by friends and family including Nicole Richie, Kelly Osbourne, Maria Menounos, NeNe Leakes and Mel B.
“I’m so excited we’re having a girl,” said Kim to mom Kris and sisters Kourtney and Khloe when the doctor told her the results of her ultrasound. “Who doesn’t want a girl? They’re the best and I know that’s really what Kanye has always wanted. He wanted a little girl.”
Too bad Kanye wasn’t at the appointment to actually hear he was having a daughter (he was reportedly in Paris working on his album—lame!). IMHO, that was a once in a lifetime missed bonding moment for the couple. One of the most special and exciting times in every woman’s pregnancy—if not the most!—is when she finds out whether she’s having a boy or girl. When the doctor makes that announcement, it is suddenly very real that you’re actually going to be a mom. Of course you knew that (the bump doesn’t lie!), but there is something about knowing what you’re carrying that connects you to your baby even more than ever. It further connects you with your partner too in some indescribable way that even Hallmark doesn’t have a card for.
Another thing that was glossed over in the episode (much like Kanye’s absence), was the fact that Kim told her OB that she wants to eat her placenta. “I really wanna do it!” she exclaimed. It’s a thing, I know. Fellow celebs like January Jones and Holly Madison have done it, as have plenty of other women around the world, and there are supposed to be great health benefits, but I can’t help it, the thought of gulping down my own placenta (or any part of my body, really) still gives me the heebie-jeebies! But good for Kim for having the guts (pun intended) to do it.
Now back to the baby! Though her name hasn’t been revealed yet, here’s what we do know about Kim and Kanye’s daughter: Lil’ miss Kardashian-West is for sure going to be spoiled rotten by Aunties Khloe and Kourtney and honorary Uncle Hova and Aunt Bey; she’s going to have a designer wardrobe that any adult would die for; and she’s going to have the paparazzi clamoring for photos of her. Come July, a star-in-the-making is born!
TELL US: Are you excited Kimye is having a girl? Would you forgive your guy for missing the gender-reveal appointment for work? Are you considering eating your placenta?
Photo of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West via Instagram.
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