Posts Tagged ‘ Stretch Marks ’

How Tia Mowry-Hardict Conquered Infertility (and Other Pregnancy Advice)

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Endometriosis InfertilityActress and momtrepreneur Tia Mowry-Hardict may always seem upbeat and über-positive, but she went through a very dark period when she was struggling with infertility. The cause? Endometriosis, which is an abnormal growth of cells from the lining of your uterus that appear outside of the uterine cavity. It can be painful and cause fertility issues. Now, 35, Tia was diagnosed with Endometriosis at 27, and underwent two surgeries and a major lifestyle change before getting pregnant with son, Cree, now 2.

Tia shares her experiences with Endometriosis, as well as some smart pregnancy tips all moms-to-be can learn from.

Due to your Endometriosis diagnosis, you had two surgeries and were told you needed a third. Was there ever a point where you thought you wouldn’t be able to have kids?
Yes, despite my diagnosis I still wanted to try and have a baby, but not being able to have kids was an immediate fear. It made me feel out of control. I knew that I desperately wanted to have children and after speaking with a nutritionist that came recommended by my doctor, I was reassured that with the right eating habits and lifestyle changes (no sugar, no carbs!), I would have a better possibility of getting pregnant.  I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I became extremely health conscious, changed my diet, and I think those changes helped with ultimately getting pregnant.

Now that you are a mom, what do you wish you could tell your pregnant self about all of the fears you had about being a mom?
The baby is going to come when he/she is ready and it’s really important to let nature take its course. There’s only so much we can control, like vitamins, exercise etc…but when all is said and done, the baby will come out however he/she is meant to come out. You have to be ok with that.

What were you most excited about when you were pregnant?
I was most excited about seeing my baby (and my belly) grow.

What were you most scared of?
Natural childbirth! And like any mom I was anxious about making sure my baby was healthy.

What was the best piece of advice you received while pregnant?
Sleep while you can!

How did you get through the not-so-fun parts of pregnancy? Any tips for moms-to-be?
For the nausea that comes with morning sickness, what really, really helped me were seasickness bands. You wear them and they work on a pressure point that deals with seasickness. For exhaustion, listen to your body. When you’re tired, rest. Don’t try to be superwoman.  But also don’t be afraid to exercise when your’re feeling up to it. My advice for women struggling with stretch marks would be to use Stretchy by needbrands.com, a line of products I launched with my sister Tamera.

Why did you two decide to launch your own line for pregnant women, moms and babies?
We felt that there were certain products that didn’t exist out there that we absolutely could have used during our own pregnancies.  So, if there was a need on our end, there must be other moms out there looking for the same types of things. Milky—an herbal tea supplement to help boost the quality and quantity of your breast milk—is important because it is a need (no pun intended).  It’s quick, convenient, affordable, natural and tasty. Next up, we’re looking to have six more products in stores at Destination Maternity nationwide by January 2014, that focus on the needs of moms (during and post pregnancy) babies, infants and toddlers.

 Was it hard to be a working mom-to-be?
It was really challenging. The hardest thing was hiding my pregnancy for the first two months. When you’re working on a set, it can be extremely hard. I found myself running to the bathroom several times with morning sickness, but had to tell those around me that I had gastro-intestinal issues. I’d also fall asleep in between takes. I didn’t really deal with mommy brain until after I had Cree. I went to the grocery store once and left my car running the whole time! I found the best way of working through all of the absent mindedness was to write everything down.

You have your series of yoga DVDs. How do you think yoga can help pregnant women?
Yoga opens up parts of the body that otherwise stay shut down, and it helps with breathing techniques, which are vital to the childbirth process. Yoga also helped me lose weight post-baby but it’s important to remember that it deals with more emotional and spiritual weight than physical. Yoga combined with cardio and weight training is ideal. I gained 60 pounds when I was pregnant and it took two years to get back to where I was pre-pregnancy.

On Instant Mom you fall in love and you’re suddenly a step-mom of three. What tips have you learned from your character that you can share with other moms with newly blended families?
Even though you are a step-mom, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be a mom to the children. A mom is someone who nurtures and loves, and shares responsibilities with the rest of the caretakers in the family. Having kids is a blessing.
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Tia Mowry-Hardrict’s new show, Instant Mom, debuts Sunday, Sept 29, at 8:30 p.m. on Nick at Nite, then airs again at 10:30 p.m. on Nick Jr. The third season of her reality show Tia & Tamera premieres on E! Tuesday, Oct 15, at 9 p.m. And her Need products are available at Destination Maternity.

 TELL US: What are your best pregnancy tips for other moms-to-be?

Image of Tia Mowry-Hardict courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The Pregnancy Superfood You Need To Try NOW

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Benefits of Coconut in PregnancyOf course coconut is yummy—macaroons, Pina Coladas, delicious cream pies, oh my! But did you know that coconut oil and coconut milk are also terrific for pregnant women (and not just to fill their sweets cravings)? Cue an image of yourself lying on an exotic beach somewhere with a fresh coconut in hand.

According to the Western A Price Foundation, a nutrition research charity, pregnant women should consume two tablespoons of unprocessed coconut oil per day, either in a smoothie or in place of other oils or butters. Rich in anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, coconut oil can help prevent colds, flu and other viruses—which is especially helpful when you don’t want to be taking over-the-counter remedies—and strengthens the immune system of both the pregnant mom and unborn baby.

Coconut oil also helps relieve morning sickness, heartburn and constipation (three icky side effects of pregnancy). Other women swear the super-moisturizing oil even prevents stretch marks when it’s rubbed on the belly on a regular basis. And for those of you planning to breast feed, coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which is supposed to stimulate milk production during pregnancy and after birth.

Coconut oil isn’t the only part of the coconut that can help with pregnancy, either. Coconut water has lots of benefits as well. Coconut water is fat-free and one of the richest sources of electrolytes (think: natural sports drink that’s going to keep you well-hydrated). It is high in potassium, magnesium and protein and is a good source of dietary fiber, calcium and Vitamin C.

It also helps with circulation, which is especially important when you’re pregnant because your blood volume increases by 50 percent. Poor circulation leads to foot and leg pain for mom, and in extreme cases can lead to lack of oxygen to the baby. Another persistent problem many pregnant women suffer from is urinary tract infections. Since coconut water is a natural diuretic, it flushes you out faster and can help to prevent infections.

It sounds like a pregnant woman’s miracle to me! I heard about the morning sickness benefits of coconut water when I was pregnant, but I had no idea how good coconut oil would have been for me as well. As with all things when you’re pregnant, though, consult your doctor before jumping into a high coconut oil or coconut water diet because it’s still possible to overdue a good thing.

TELL US: Have you incorporated coconut oil and coconut milk into your pregnancy diet? Have you felt any positive changes?

Image of woman with coconut courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Stretch Mark Secrets from Ali Landry

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Stretch MarksLet’s face it—while some women wear their stretch marks as a badge of honor, which is awesome (check out Jade Beall’s book, A Beautiful Body!), not all of us are secure enough to be able to embrace them, even though we love what they represent—the ability to bring life into this world!

“Women love being moms, but no woman wants stretch marks!” exclaims Ali Landry, 39, who just gave birth to her third child, son Valentine Francesco. As an actress, TV host and model, Ali’s job pretty much depends on looking amazing all the time, so she totally gets the fear of stretch marks that most women have.

That said? In the nearly seven years of motherhood and three pregnancies, Ali hasn’t had a single stretch mark. It’s okay to hate her just a little bit for that (if only we could all be that blessed!), but she’s way too sweet to hate her a lot! And even though there is sadly no miracle cream that can stop you from getting stretch marks (it’s mostly hereditary and about 90 percent of women will get them during one of their pregnancies), Ali swears by Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, which she used while pregnant with Estela (now six), before she became a Spokesbelly for Palmer’s products with Marcelo (now 21 months), and Valentine (born yesterday!).

Ali took time out of her insane schedule to share how pregnancy has affected her self-esteem, how she told daughter Estela she was going to be a big sister again, and why you won’t be seeing her in a bikini on a magazine cover anytime soon.

How did you tell Estela about the new baby?
Andre and I told her on Christmas. We had a video camera going as we told her together because we wanted to capture this big, exciting moment, and she acted like she already knew! She was like, “OK, another one’s coming.”

Was she disappointed she wasn’t getting a baby sister?
At first she really wanted another brother, but now that Marcelo’s bigger and getting more aggressive she’s realizing two brothers mean double the trouble!

Not to scare you, but there was a recent study that said women with three kids are more stressed out than women with any other number of children.
My friend with four kids told me that three was really hard, but that four was really great. So I told my husband, maybe we should hurry up and have a fourth!

What advice would you give a mom who’s pregnant with another baby?
The same advice I’d give first-time moms: When the baby sleeps, you sleep! Otherwise, you’ll never get any rest.

Did you go on a babymoon with this pregnancy?
We did! We did a double babymoon, actually. We had a trip to Rome, where we had a private meeting with the pope and he blessed the baby. That was really special! Then we went to Mexico to relax on the beach. I think it’s important to take time as a couple to stay connected.

Did any of the old wives’ tales ring true for you in predicting whether you were having a boy or girl?
I hadn’t thought about it until now, but both of my sons did sit much lower than my daughter. Wow, what they say is actually true!

You’re such a sex symbol. Do you feel sexy when you’re pregnant?
I don’t ever see myself as sexy, but hopefully my husband does! I will say I feel feminine and confident when I’m pregnant. You really just have no choice but to release any sort of insecurities you have about your body because it is what it is. So you either go with it, embrace it, and love it, like I do, or you’ll be miserable.

So much has been made about how big (Kim Kardashian) or small (Kate Middleton) women are when they’re pregnant. How do you feel about all of that body scrutiny?
I think it’s horrible. Both myself, Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian were all due at the same time (before Kim went into labor early!). I felt like I was going through that with them and it would frustrate me so much to see the media rip them apart because this really is a beautiful time in a woman’s life and everybody is trying to figure it out. I really wish people would have given Kim a break and let her enjoy her pregnancy.

Are you worried about losing the baby weight?
I do feel the pressure, but it’s more for myself than the pressures from the industry. I feel better when I’m in shape, and I really love to exercise. Plus, working out gives me energy, and I’m going to need a lot of it since I have three children to run around after! That said, it really frustrates me when I see someone in a swimsuit on the cover of a magazine three weeks after giving birth. That’s impossible to live up to! I look at it this way—it took nine months to put the weight on, it’s going to take nine months to take it off. It’s a process. Give yourself a break and really enjoy that gorgeous baby of yours!

TELL US: Are you worried about getting stretch marks? If you already have them, do you cherish or hate them?

Image of Ali Landry and her kids courtesy of Palmer’s.

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