Category: Maternity

Carrie Underwood Serenades Her Unborn Baby

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 by No Comments

I’ve been a fan of Carrie Underwood since her American Idol days. It’s like she’s grown up in the public eye since then, but happily she’s retained her sweetness. I

n 2009 she was engaged to hockey player Mike Fisher, and they were married in 2010. Now at 31, I’m happy to see that she’s expecting her first baby…a boy.

The couple broke the news in September, shortly following their fourth wedding anniversary. A week later, her baby bump made its debut at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois.

This week, she appeared on the Tonight Show recently with Jimmy Fallon and talked about her pregnancy. During the exchange, she mentioned that she performs for her unborn son and feels pressure to make it “good.”

It amazes me that she feels that way. Not just pressure to be good, but that she still doesn’t realize how good she really is. That’s one of the things I appreciate about her.

She went on to admit that she feels like she has to sing good all the time, like even if she’s just driving in the car, because the baby is listening. When I heard that, all I could think was “as if she could sing bad.”

Fallon himself is a new dad, and he asked about how her family took the news. She said her parents have a lot of grandkids. “I have lots of nieces and nephews so my parents were obviously very happy, but they’ve heard it all before. They have great grandchildren. I’m slow.”

But on Mike’s side of the family, she said, “Mike’s mom shed a few tears…. She was that kind of happy.”

Carrie is looking great. She’s taking steps to stay healthy on the inside and out with exercise and diet and has been working with Erin Oprea as her personal trainer. It shows!

Photo credits: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Stretching to Help Prevent Pregnancy Aches and Pains

Posted on Nov 27, 2014 by 1 Comment

The cute little bundle of joy at the end is well worth the effort, but there’s no denying that the side effects that occur during pregnancy can be unbearable. Carrying a child for nine months means constant body changes. Back pain, leg cramps, and swollen feet are quite common among expectant mothers.

Regular stretching can help relieve many of the discomforts of pregnancy, but stretching can be tricky when your body is changing on daily basis.

Keith Hatfield, a former athletic trainer for the Kansas City Royals, designed the Hatfield Strap to help you get a relaxing stretch from the comfort of your own bed.

The shoulder strap attachment acts as a harness that makes it easier for you to hold a comfortable stretch for an extended period of time. The stretch is dependent upon your own natural body movements and takes no exertion of energy.

The foot strap is 4” wide, which means that it covers the width of your entire foot. This spreads the force of the stretch so you get the same results as stretching while standing without the added exertion or stress on your joints.

While the ease of use makes the Hatfield strap ideal for pregnant women, it’s something that can be used by nearly anyone. It’s recommended for athletes as well as people suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.

Visit the Hatfield Strap website to learn more.

Photo credit: Hatfield Strap

Snooki Down to 99 Pounds 7 Weeks After Giving Birth

Posted on Nov 25, 2014 by 1 Comment

Jersey Shore star, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi made news last year when she dropped 50 pounds. Then we learned she was expecting her second child.

For many of us, pregnancy means weight gain and unwanted pounds we have to battle after the baby is born. But Snooki is down to 99 pounds just 7 weeks after giving birth to her second child, and a week from walking down the aisle.

Before you get upset at her low weight, let me remind you that she is only 4’8″ and for her, 99 pounds is a perfectly healthy weight according to the 26-year-old star’s trainer, Anthony Michael.

Her initial weight loss was due, in part, to coming to the realization that alcohol is full of empty calories and that she could end up consuming up to 2,000 calories in a single night with tasty drinks.

But along with cutting those calories, Snooki’s trainer says her diet includes decreasing her carbs and “reducing calorie intake” overall. Plus she’s exercising. No matter who we are, that’s the secret to weight loss.

According to her trainer, they are “…hitting the gym hardcore, doing high intensity interval training.”

Since her daughter was born, right now her fitness routine is geared toward weight loss. And it has paid off. She fit into her jeans just 12 days after giving birth, which tells me she watched her weight during her pregnancy. I’m glad to hear she has a trainer helping her to do it right, though.

According to that trainer, once she gets married she’ll be focusing on building lean muscle mass. Right now, she just wanted to make sure she looks great in her dress. Looking at her recent pics, I’d say she’s on target to meet that goal. The wedding will take place Nov. 29, with a Great-Gatsby theme to Johnny LaValle.

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi has come a long way since her Jersey Shores days. She’s taken some healthy turns and it shows. She’s got two beautiful children with her fiancé Jionni LaValle, is about to get married, and is a successful entrepreneur.

Photo credits: Instagram

November Is Prematurity Awareness Month

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 by No Comments

I just learned November is Prematurity Awareness Month with November 17 being World Prematurity Awareness Day.

I’m not big on the idea of having months set aside for causes because there are so many worthy causes that usually what happens is that the message ends up being lost with so many vying for attention.

For instance, November is also “Adopt a Senior Pet Month,” “National Adoption Month,” “National Family Caregivers Month,” and that just a few from a long list of worthy causes that claim November as their month.

They are all important, but really prematurity is worth talking about whether it is November or not because it remains the number one cause of newborn mortality in the United States.

Since this month is suppose to be about awareness, it’s important to note that 1 in 8 babies in the U.S. are born too early. In some cases it’s not preventable, but moms can reduce their risk of preterm birth by making some changes to their behavior.

For instance, moms-to-be should stop smoking and avoid the use of alcohol or drugs.

While that might seem like a no-brainer, taking care of yourself in general can help make a difference. This includes getting regular prenatal care throughout your pregnancy, eating healthy, taking prenatal vitamins, and controlling diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

While these things all smack of common sense, in general staying healthy while pregnant can reduce the risk of a preterm birth. So that should be a mom-to-be’s goal

Prematurity Awareness Month is the brainchild of the March of Dimes. Their goal is to focus the nation’s attention on premature birth and to educate the public.

Be sure to visit their website to see how your state rates when it comes to premature births. They along with their partner organizations around the world are asking everyone to help spread the word on the serious problem of premature birth and what can be done to help prevent it.

Photo credits: wikimedia

New Safe Sex Recommendations for Teens

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 by No Comments

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has new recommendations for the way teens practice safe sex.

It’s just kind of sad to me that pediatric experts have to have recommendations for safe sex, and leads to the question of what that term really means. I use to think it meant ways to prevent STDs, but in this case what they are talking about is birth control to more effectively prevent teen pregnancy.

The AAP previously recommended birth control pills and condoms, but now suggests the use of IUDs and other long-term contraceptive devices instead.

These recommendations line up with the current recommendations made by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the reason behind them is that oral contraceptives have shown to be the least effective option for adolescents because they tend to not be consistent in taking them.

The problem is the cost. Birth control pills can cost anywhere from $15 to $50 a month while an IUD, which can provide birth control for up to 12 years, can range in cost from $500 to $1,000.

The IUD is the least expensive, long-term birth control option that is reversible and could cut pregnancy rates by almost 80 percent for sexually active teens.

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that educating teen girls about all forms of contraception and then providing them for free is the way to really curtail unwanted pregnancies.

I agree that would probably work, but it leads to the question of who will pay for free medical treatment. We already see how well that doesn’t work in our attempt to provide Affordable Care.

Statistics show that teen pregnancy has declined almost continuously for the last two decades with a 51 percent decline between 1990 and 2010. These numbers include live births as well as pregnancies terminated through abortion or miscarriage.

This improvement is attributed to an increased number of adolescents waiting to have sex as well as the increased use of contraceptives. That sounds like a sensible approach that’s working, doesn’t it?

Photo credits: wikimedia

One in 68 Kids Diagnosed with Autism

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 by 1 Comment

What causes autism is a debated issue. Some think it’s an environmental issue involving exposure to pollution, some household chemicals, and other environmental factors. Many also think it is directly linked to vaccinations.

I have friends in both camps, and I’ve thought it could be both. However, at this time no one can point to a specific, provable cause of what is now commonly known as autism spectrum disorders. What we do know is that currently one in 68 8-year-old children in the U.S. have an autism spectrum disorder! Those numbers really shine a light on how many kids and families are dealing with this, and makes one wonder why we don’t have definite answers to the cause.

It turns out that one new study that looks directly at the brain might provide some answers but also more questions.

Researchers studied brain samples of autistic children who died young, and they found differences on the genetic level and in the physical structure of the brain. They concluded that autism starts with disrupted genes that somehow interfere with brain development. That means it happens in the womb.

“The changes look like patches of arrested development deep in the brain.” — Eric Courchesne of the University of California, San Diego’s Autism Center of Excellence

Eric Courchesne told NBC News that there are “too many cells” and that the cells have not developed properly. “Brain cells are there but they haven’t changed into the kind of cell they are supposed to be. It’s a failure of early formation.”

These findings support the theory that genetic changes leading to autism occur in the second and third trimester of pregnancy.

While this highlights the genetics of autism, it still doesn’t tell us why it happens. However, IF it starts during pregnancy, then it couldn’t be linked to vaccinations. That doesn’t jive with much of the uncorroborated experiences recorded by parents and others.

I’m afraid we are still left with a ton of questions and looking for help. Autism Speaks is currently funding a similar study in South Carolina.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Pregnant Middle Class Women Tend to Ignore Alcohol Warnings

Posted on Nov 7, 2014 by 1 Comment

It’s been well documented that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to all sorts of problems for your baby.

A glass of wine or a cocktail once every couple of months probably isn’t anything to worry about but daily drinking is – and apparently the women in affluent middle class are ignoring warnings and putting their babies at risk by drinking more than they should.

First of all, I was personally shocked to hear that there still was an affluent middle class. I thought they’d gone the way of the Tyrannosaurus Rex and gasoline for under $2.00 a gallon. So the good news is that the middle class does still exist somewhere.

Aside from that, it makes you wonder why women who are presumably more highly educated than lower income brackets as a general rule drink more than the recommended limit of two ounces of alcohol a week during the first trimester of pregnancy.

According to the Telegraph older white women with degrees were not as likely as other groups to comply.

Women who drink more than the recommended amounts are more than twice as likely to have premature babies than women who didn’t drink at all. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is also a risk no matter who you are. It’s important to note that there is no verified safe alcohol level during pregnancy.

I wonder why this is? Is it because when we get older, have money, and are well educated we get the idea that the rules don’t apply to us? Or, maybe it’s the fact that older, middle class women are becoming more and more likely to use wine to get them through the week.

What are your thoughts?

photo credit: Schwangerschaft via photopin cc

Preemie Born at 23 Weeks Celebrates 1st Birthday

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 by No Comments

First birthdays are special, but for 25-year-old Rachel Crockett, the celebration for her son Conner marked a milestone many said would never happen.

Back when her water broke at 23 weeks, doctors delivered the bad news. Her baby was going to die. But when she saw his heartbeat on the scan, she knew differently. She knew she could save him.

Studies show that babies born at 39 to 41 weeks of pregnancy do better than those born 37 or even 38 weeks. When Rachel’s water broke at 23 weeks, her doctors told her she would miscarry.

In the UK, abortion is limited to 25 weeks or less. Rachel and her partner Craig Walkow told the doctors they wanted to save the baby, but even though Conner’s heart still beat, they were told her “case” would be treated as a miscarriage.

Desperate, they knew they had to find a specialist hospital to save their baby. They found one 39 miles away, but doctors said she couldn’t be transferred unless the hemorrhaging stopped.

Time was running out. She did the only thing she could think. She lied and said the bleeding had stopped.

They made the transfer to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and a day later she gave birth to Conner. She was only 23 weeks and two days along and the baby came into the world weighing only 1 pound 2 ounces.

“We thought we would never get the baby we always wanted, but I pushed them.” Rachel Crockett via the Daily Mail

Conner celebrated his first birthday in October, 2014. It was a milestone many didn’t think would ever happen.

Conner was in the hospital for the first 7 months of his life. He suffered many setbacks including fungal meningitis, perforated bowels, and a brain bleed. He also had to undergo eye surgery to have his retinas reattached after they started to detach due to a condition brought about by the ventilators.

While Connor has already faced more challenges than many children face their entire childhood, with more undoubtedly in the future, Rachel doesn’t regret her decision. In fact, now she calls on maternity units to do more to save babies who are routinely considered “unviable.”

She is also pushing to have the abortion limit amended to 20 weeks. She says, “I think the abortion limit should be lowered to 20 weeks – especially considering what happened with Conner. By then, you can see their sex – they are a person.”

Photo credits: wikimedia

Link Round-up: Avoiding Toxins, Healthy Meals, Fingerpainting with Starburst, and More

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has tips for avoiding toxins while pregnant, treats, healthy meals, a new fingerpaint idea, and more.

A Beautiful Mess shared a giant skillet brownie recipe.

Mind Body Green shared 14 tips for minimizing toxins while pregnant.

Bitz n Giggles showed us how to make a Snicker caramel apple dip.

link ru monogrammed pumpkin
Uncommon Designs Online showed us how to make monogrammed pumpkins.

Life a Little Brighter showed us how to make Starburst fingerpaint (that’s one idea for getting rid of the Halloween candy!).

Luv a Bargain shared a cilantro lime chicken with zucchini and spinach recipe.

Play Dates on Fridays took a look at some of the insecurities we have as parents and how they sometimes show up in daily conversations.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Uncommon Designs Online