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Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Put down those Doritos and read this! The foods you’re eating during pregnancy and while breast feeding are shaping the way that your unborn child will eat for years to come, according to a new study. That’s right—bad eating habits form in utero.
Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit research organization in Philadelphia, found that babies’ taste buds are directly linked to what their moms ate while pregnant with them. So if you’re eating a diverse and varied diet, your child will eventually be a less picky eater, who is open to trying new things. Your good habits are being passed down to them, and that will show in how they eat as toddlers and later on as adults.
But your bad habits are being passed down as well. A study conducted at the University of Adelaide in South Australia found that if you are eating sugary or fatty foods, your child will actually have cravings for those foods and form an emotional attachment to them. Moms who ate Froot Loops, Cheetos and Nutella during pregnancy had children that built up a tolerance for those foods, so that they needed more of them to get the same gratification from eating them. That is how researchers believe the US’ obesity epidemic all started (70 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese).
According to the New York Times, “researchers believe that the taste preferences that develop at crucial periods during infancy have lasting effects for life. In fact, changing food preferences beyond toddlerhood appears to be extremely difficult.” So when you tell people you’re “eating for two,” you really are—not the amount of calories for two people, but you are choosing what your baby will be eating for the rest of his or her life. Just think about that the next time you have a craving! Of course it’s fine to indulge every now and again (here are some ideas for doing that the smart way), but know that your eating habits do have long-term effects on your little one, so choose your meals wisely!
Test your Pregnancy Nutrition IQ here.
TELL US: What foods have you cut out while you’re pregnant? What are your healthy indulgences?
Image of pregnant woman eating a salad courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Childhood Obesity, Diet, Fit Pregnancy, Food, Healthy Eating, Healthy Pregnancy, Junk Food, Obesity, pregnancy, Pregnancy Diet, pregnant | Categories:
Cravings, Healthy Pregnancy
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
With IVF treatments, twins have basically become the new norm—46 percent of IVF births are multiples, mostly twins. But now fertility experts want to change that. The new goal: single births, even when using IVF. Why? Twins have a much higher risk of being preemies and having serious health problems that could potentially last a lifetime.
The most recent info from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that 37 percent of IVF babies, who are multiples, are born premature, while only 3 percent of babies born without fertility treatments are twins, and of those about 12 percent are preterm.
Many women who’ve struggled to have kids are excited to have twins—even asking their physicians for twins—because they may not have the money for multiple IVF treatments (each round can cost up to $20k!), or they would love to have two kids at once, and never have to go through pregnancy again! But doctors fear that couples are making a rash decision without really knowing the increased medical risks for babies and moms (risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are higher).
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s recent guidelines state that women should be counseled on the risks of multiple births and embryo transfers and that this discussion should be noted in their medical records. According to the guidelines, “for women with reasonable medical odds of success, those under 35 should be offered single embryo transfer and no more than two at a time.” They are open to more embryos being implanted, if the woman is over 35.
According to Valley News, with stronger screening of embryos, success rates for single embryos could be nearly as good as when two or more are used, say experts. The new techniques include maturing the embryos a few days longer, improving viability and allowing cells to be sampled for chromosome screening. Embryos can be frozen to allow test results to come back and more precisely time the transfer to the womb.
Taking these steps with single embryos results in fewer miscarriages and tubal pregnancies, healthier babies with fewer genetic defects and lower hospital bills from birth complications, many fertility specialists say.
I’m really torn on this subject, because I don’t think any of us want more Octomoms running around out there, or kids with health problems. But—and it’s a big but—all of the women I’ve known who’ve had IVF (and I should note that all of them have been over 35), have had twins, and are beyond thrilled with their decision to have multiple embryos implanted. Many of them did have complicated births—including extended bed rest, spotting, C-sections, and breathing problems in the children that caused them to stay in NICU for weeks, up to months after their births.
All of that said, as far as I know every single one of them is a happy, healthy kid with no lingering medical issues (at least so far—fingers crossed!). And even though the pregnancies and births were more complicated, required more doctor visits, and now they have twice the expenses with two little ones running around at the same time, the parents’ love for their two cuties made all of that initial anxiety worth it for them, and they would never, ever want to have traded that experience in for a single birth.
TELL US: Do you think women should be discouraged from having twins? Do you have twins? Tell us your story!
Use our Ovulation Calculator to see when you’re most likely to get pregnant. Then, see the 13 tell-tale signs you’re expecting.
Image of twins courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Baby Names: How To Name Twins and Multiples
Bed rest, C-section, Cesarean Section, fertility, Gestational Diabetes, In Vitro Fertilization, infertility, IVF, Multiples, Preeclampsia, Preemies, pregnancy, pregnant, Spotting, Twins | Categories:
Monday, December 2nd, 2013
The Huffington Post UK is reporting that a pregnant 35-year-old Italian woman in England for a work trip was ordered by Essex’s Court of Protection to have a Cesarean section against her will. And it gets worse! She was then forced to put her child up for adoption. Scary, right? The court says it was all done to protect her unborn child. Why? The woman—who is the mom to two other girls—has Bipolar disorder, and if she fails to take her meds she can have manic episodes and paranoid delusions.
She had what appears to be a breakdown at a hotel and was taken into custody. The court ordered the C-section, and the baby was taken by social workers the following day. Another judge began the adoption process for a British couple to take full custody of the child—despite the mom being back on her meds, with a job, home, and family support (her 11 and 4 year old are being raised in Italy by her parents). She testified that having her daughter taken away is what finally made her accept that she is in fact bipolar, and got her back on her medication.
The mom, whose daughter is now 15 months old, plans to continue to challenge the adoption, in hopes that she and her baby can return to Italy, so her entire family can be together. I know the intention was to “save” the baby, but this sounds like a total violation of the mom’s human rights to me. A forced Cesarean section? That sounds like something that would happen in a barbaric nation, not England!
Mental health is a serious issue—and more help and insurance coverage should be devoted to it, IMHO—but why not notify the woman’s parents in Italy, so the baby could grow up with her sisters? Why rip her from the arms of her mom, and out of her siblings’ lives? I don’t get it! Where’s the common sense here? They are supposed to be the family court, but they clearly don’t value the importance of family.
TELL US: Do you think the Court of Protection did the right thing, or was it a huge human rights violation?
See how your baby is developing from conception to birth. Then use our week by week calendar to track your pregnancy.
Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Saturday, November 30th, 2013
Having trouble coming up with the perfect name for your little prince or princess? It’s a lot of pressure, right? You want a name you’ll love forever, that won’t embarrass your kid or get him or her teased, but something that’s different enough that there aren’t 10 of them in his or her class.
Well, the former Hills star turned shoe designer and hubby Jay Cutler did pretty well naming their first child without the help of a baby name book—Camden Jack Cutler (Camden was #156 on the national list of the most popular boys’ names in 2012). Now that she’s pregnant with her second, Kristin is sharing her tips on how to find the best fit for your child’s name:
Keep an open mind. You can find inspiration anywhere! Kristin and Jay don’t know whether their second baby will be a boy or a girl yet, so they’ve picked out names for each. “I saw the boy name in a magazine and I just liked it,” she shares. She found the girl name in the unlikeliest of places: a store clerk’s dog!
Sound it out. Don’t just pick names you like. Make sure the first and middle names go well with the baby’s last name. “We liked the way Camden Cutler sounded,” she said, “and we liked calling him Cam for short.”
Personalize it. They loved the name Camden the moment they heard it. But to make it have a family tie, they made Camden’s middle name Jack, “which is Jay’s dad’s name, so it has meaning,” Kristin explains.
Have a thick skin. You can’t make everyone happy! That’s why some people choose to keep their baby names a secret till the baby’s born, so they don’t have to hear people weigh in on whether they like the names or not. Kristin and Jay have told close friends and family their baby name contenders and have gotten “mixed reviews—and we don’t care!” she said with a laugh.
For the biggest baby name trends of 2013, click here. For the buzziest baby names of 2013, read this.
TELL US: What baby names are you considering?
Image of Kristin Cavallari courtesy of s_bukley/Shutterstock.com.
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Thursday, November 28th, 2013
On Thanksgiving, when it’s natural to overeat (and eat and eat!), it seems only fitting to talk about wanting to look slimmer. I get it—pregnancy and ill-fitting maternity clothes can cause your self-esteem to take a major nosedive. Your butt is bigger than it’s ever been (and not in a good Kim Kardashian sort of way), your thighs are jigglier than Grandma’s Jell-O Surprise, and stretch marks are starting to pop up in places you never even imagined possible. What to do? Many women are turning to pregnancy shapewear to smooth, enhance and reshape their bodies to give them sexy hourglass figures (with a bump, of course).
But a piece in the Daily Mail has me questioning just how safe control underwear can be. While OB-GYN Dr. Mike Bowen says the nylon and Lycra shapers would likely have no effect on your unborn little one since he or she is “safely cocooned in your womb,” other experts brought up good points I never would have thought of: like how you could be constricting the blood flow to your baby, according to National Childbirth Trust adviser Elizabeth Duff, which can of course be dangerous because babies depend on their mom’s blood flow to bring oxygen to them.
If you’ve ever worn Spanx (and I will admit I have, and that I hated every single second of it), you know what a pain they are to get on and off. Well, that annoyance—according to Gail Johnson, a midwife and education advisor at England’s Royal College of Midwives—could deter you from going to the bathroom when you need to, which in turn could cause painful Urinary Tract Infections (something pregnant women are already prone to).
And like the old adage says, “Use it or lose it,” the built-in support from the shapers, when worn daily, can actually weaken muscles in the stomach and lower back, says London-based physiotheropist Sammy Margo, causing injuries to you once the baby is born and you’re constantly having to pick up your bundle of joy.
My few experiences with body shapers were miserable enough for me to never go back to them—and that was when I wasn’t pregnant. I can’t even imagine trying to hold it all in when your body is naturally trying to spread out and make room for your growing baby. I know the cliché is, “no pain, no gain,” but I’d take my comfy Adidas sweatpants over a tight-fitting body shaper any day! It’s important to feel beautiful, especially when you’re pregnant, but like my latest pregnancy muse, Drew Barrymore, said, “You’re not supposed to look perfect while you’re making babies—making babies is the perfection.” Wiser words were never spoken! Embrace those newfound curves, ladies. Don’t hide them!
Image of pregnant woman courtesy of Shutterstock.
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