Let’s talk about something we really ought to be talking about a whole lot more: Infertility. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 6.7 million American women aged 15-44 (that’s about one in every ten) will or would have trouble getting pregnant.Yet there’s still this horrible stigma around talking about infertility.
The struggle to get pregnant is one of the worst triple threats a woman or couple could face. Several friends have been trusting enough to open up to me about trying to conceive, and, as a journalist I’ve interviewed many women coping with infertility over the years—yet the confusion, sadness, and frustration many feel never ceases to cut to my core. I’d call it more of an emotional hell than an emotional struggle. Then on top of that, you’ve got the physical struggle. Many fertility procedures are invasive (think surgery)—and getting daily or weekly fertility injections can be brutal.
Finally, and for some, most importantly—you’ve got the financial struggle. The thing is, the emotional and physical struggles are almost always worth it to women who want more than anything to become mothers. But the financial burden can only be “worth it” to those who can afford it, and that’s not everyone.
The high costs of fertility treatments often act as a flat-out barrier to those who can’t afford them. Sure, there are some places in this country where couples having trouble trying to conceive get awesome support—like Massachusetts, where insurance companies that provide pregnancy-related benefits are required to cover diagnosis and treatment of infertility, including IVF. That’s amazing . . . if you happen to live in Massachusetts. If you live in, say, Georgia, your insurance company isn’t required to cover any fertility treatments. Not one.
If you’re curious (or simply really need to know!) about infertility support where you live, you can look up fertility clinics in your area here, and then check out the just-released, state-by-state Fertility Scorecard, created by the phenomenal people over at the RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. They’ve got an interactive map, showing you how each state ranks in terms of providing women with the tools they need to get pregnant. I think anyone looking at the facts will agree that we’ve got a long way to go when it comes to infertility support in America.
There’s a ton of speculation about Kate Middleton’s royal baby-to-be, but we know one fact for sure—and it’s that Kate looks great. How’s she staying in such fantastic shape? According to many reports, the typically active and outdoorsy Duchess is practicing prenatal yoga with a private instructor.
I can already see you rolling your eyes and thinking, “Well, who but the royal family can afford private yoga lessons?!,” but the amazing thing is that anyone can play Kate Middleton for a day (or the full ten months of pregnancy!) with our totally doable prenatal yoga video series. We can’t promise that these moves will suddenly give you a posh British accent (or even give you Kate’s gorgeous figure—a lot of that is genetics, people!) but they will help you look and feel your best.
Have you ever tried prenatal yoga? Would you? Tell us about your pregnancy exercise routine, and share your best tips in the comments.
Here’s the skinny on the Kim Kardashian miscarriage scare: Apparently Kim K was returning from Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday night when she was rushed to a Los Angeles doctor with worries that she was suffering a miscarriage. Pregnant Kim Kardashian, who is four months along, reportedly started feeling ill on the plane and started calling friends in a panic. The great news is that she and baby are A-Okay. The not so great news is why Kim’s health was in jeopardy in the first place.
Mean-spirited tabloids have been splashed with “Pregnant Kim Kardashian this” and “Pregnant Kim Kardashian that” for weeks now. Maybe you saw a photo that was making the rounds on Facebook, comparing an unflattering pic of Kim with Shamu the Killer Whale. Heck, maybe–like a few of my friends–you even shared it on your wall or liked it on someone else’s page. I know it seems like it’s all in good fun, but in the end, it’s really not.
This is hard for me to say, since I am in no way a fan (I really don’t understand why she’s famous!), but Kim Kardashian is human, and she suffers the same insecurities that any of us would. For a woman whose entire empire has been built on her physical attributes, getting slammed for pregnancy weight gain has got to be painful. I’m sure she’s freaking out. And apparently, that kind of criticism is at least in part responsible for her miscarriage scare. She’s been so upset about the attacks on her figure that she’s reportedly been obsessively working out seven days a week—and wearing herself out. Not good for her, and not good for baby.
Anyone who knows me can attest that I love snarky gossip as much as the next girl, but I do think commentary on super-sensitive things like pregnancy weight gain is in really bad taste. I mean, the woman is going through one of the biggest physical and emotional challenges she’ll experience in her life, and weight gain is a part of that. I’m not saying we should sit around and sing Koombaya together (booooooriiiiiing!), but I do think pregnant women (including Kim K!) deserve a break.
Do you agree that people are too hard on Pregnant Kim Kardashian? Do you think people have gone too far with insults about her pregnancy weight gain, or do you think that as a celeb she’s fair game? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!
Huge news to those of us on the royal bumpwatch—Pregnant Kate Middleton is having a girl (or so we think from a slip of the tongue yesterday!). While greeting some of her well wishers in Grimsby, England, a woman gave the Duchess of Cambridge a teddy bear, prompting Kate to say, “Thank you, I’ll take that for my d–” Holy smokes. Of course she could have been saying she’d take that for her dog, Lupo, but it’s way more fun to believe that she meant daughter–and that the royal couple is having a girl!
If Kate Middleton really is having a girl, she’s going to be a bonafide princess—which in this day and age of Disney Princess mania, is a pretty big deal. That said, I really hope Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby grows up to be a new kind of princess–the kind that resets what the word “princess” means to little girls everywhere. The kind of princess that inspires girls to be more, to do more than simply be beautiful (although with Lady Lovely Locks for a mom, she’s sure to be gorgeous). With that thought in mind, I’ve decided to play fairy godmother and bestow my wishes for the baby princess-to-be:
May she have the courage of Katniss . . .
While it’s insanely unlikely that any royal babe would ever face the trials that Katniss does in the Hunger Games trilogy, I hope that this princess borrows from the heroine’s playbook when it comes to being courageous and doing the right thing.
The moxie of Merida . . .
In Brave, Merida stands up for herself in a way that no other Disney Princess ever has. She doesn’t want to be rescued by a prince, or even to have a prince “rescue” her kingdom. When things go wrong, it’s up to her to set them right—and she does.
The drive of Dora . . .
Whether or not Kate Middleton is having a girl, it’s certain that this child won’t often be left to roam the countryside alone like Dora does! Still, I absolutely hope she emulates Dora’s infectious can-do attitude.
The strength of She-Ra . . .
Come on, guys. How cool would it be to have a real-life Princess of Power? Maybe she wouldn’t have to actually move mountains like He-Man’s sister did, but it would be incredible to have a princess who stood up for important issues and who had the power to really make a difference. Also? It’d kind of be the best thing ever if she rode around on a pegasus.
And the brains of Belle
While I absolutely don’t want Kate Middleton’s baby girl to end up in a relationship with a scary and violent beast (yikes!), I do hope she has Belle’s curiosity about the world, as well as her love of books and knowledge.
If Kate Middleton is having a girl, what do you hope she’ll be like? Do you think she could change the way we think about princesses? I, for one, certainly hope so.
Let’s face it—pregnancy super sizes your whole body. Even if you stay fit and healthy, you’ll have a pregnancy bump, and almost definitely a pregnancy bum and pregnancy boobs to complete the look. But the one upsizing that many moms-to-be don’t expect is pregnancy feet.
A recent study by the University of Iowa confirmed that up to 70 percent of women will see their feet grow by up to half an inch in length during pregnancy. That’s a whole different shoe size, ladies! And although I’ve heard that a lot of moms’ feet eventually shrink back down to their pre-pregnancy size, the researchers in this study are saying that for many mothers, the growth is permanent.
I know, I know. I can already hear you guys groaning over never again being able to fit into those gorgeous strappy wedges you saved for (and only wore twice), but we all know there’s an obvious upside to having pregnancy feet. This is a bonafide, no-excuses-necessary pass to go shoe shopping to your heart’s content. You’ll need flats, sandals, boots, heels–heck, maybe even new bedroom slippers! I mean, you? Barefoot and pregnant? No stinkin’ way.
Honestly, pregnancy feet might just be the best thing to happen during pregnancy besides, well, having a baby!
Do you (or did you) have pregnancy feet? How much did your feet grow? Inquiring minds want to know . . .
Fact: Kristen Bell had her baby shower a few days ago. Another fact: I was somehow not invited. How I was overlooked from the guest list is an absolute mystery to me, but I really should have taken matters into my own hands and crashed the freaking party anyway.
If you’re wondering why I’d do such a thing and not just leave the lady alone to celebrate her impending mommyhood with her closest circle—let me explain. Here are five (clearly very good) reasons why yours truly should have been partying with Kristen Bell last weekend:
1. A long time ago, we used to be friends.
Okay, Kristen Bell and I never reallyused to be friends, but we SHOULD be friends, because we have so much in common. I mean, we both went vegetarian when we were 11, we both love corgis, and we’re both hockey fans? BFFs made in heaven. Obviously.
2. Because I have questions Rachel Bilson was there, and I absolutely need to talk to her about Hart of Dixieand The O.C. I wonder if she got to keep Princess Sparkle. And . . . was Adam Brody a good kisser?
3. I bet the sloth was there
4. To party down
Because it looked like the most fun baby shower ever. Not convinced? Check the picture (above) of Kristen Bell holding nipple pumps up to her breasts. Ridiculous, and ridiculously awesome.
5. The most obvious reason of all!
To wish her and Dax Shepard my absolute best. Kristen and Dax seem so real and cool—and their baby is going to be incredible. Basically, I’m psyched for them and want to raise a glass!
Love Kristen Bell as much as I do? Wish her well (and give her any baby tips you’ve got!) in the comments.
Big news, you guys. You know that delicious bowl (or, um, sometimes pseudo-bucket) of olive oil they give you at every Italian restaurant? The one you sometimes feel a little guilty about sopping up with tons of gorgeously crusty bread? Well, scientists have just proven that indulging in a bit of olive oil as part of a Mediterranean diet can dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from heart disease. And? It’s a smart diet to borrow from during pregnancy—minus the recommended glasses of vino, of course!
Along with a focus on olive oil, the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet studied included servings of fish every week (make sure it’s not a high mercury fish!), including plenty of nuts and legumes, and avoiding processed meats and snacks. No calorie counting. No cardboard-tasting diet foods. Just a delicious “diet” that can save your life.
The really cool thing is that the Mediterranean diet has extra health benefits for pregnant women and their babes-to-be: olive oil (and the olives it comes from), fish, and legumes all contain healthy fatty acids, which are vital in developing your baby’s nervous system—including her brain. Add in a bunch of fruits and veggies for balance, and you’ve got yourself a smart and scrumptious pregnancy feast!