Now that the Royal family has confirmed that Kate Middleton is pregnant for the second time, amid the buzz about a second royal heir being on the way is talk about whether or not 13 months is two short a time between pregnancies.
That is the amount of space between my own children, and while it wasn’t what I had “planned” I rolled with it. But 13 months is shorter than the 18 months recommended by Mayo Clinic and other organizations including the March of Dimes.
However, there is also research that suggests too much time between babies is not good either.
One of the cited possible risks based on the limited research is that the baby is at risk of a lower birth weight and small gestational size.
In my case that didn’t happen. My son actually weighed over two pounds more than my daughter and was an inch and a half longer. I’m not saying that is proof that the research is wrong, just that for me it was absolutely not the case.
Other possible risks include the potential for the placenta to partially or completely detach from the inner wall of the uterus before the baby is delivered, or that the placenta may attach to the lower part of the uterine wall and cover the cervix partially or all together in women who had a Caesarian section with their first child.
Aside from these risks there may be an increased risk of autism in the second child and some experts point to how an unplanned pregnancy and closely spaced pregnancies can put women at a socio-economic disadvantage.
I can say this is not the case for William and Kate. First of all, they probably planned this pregnancy…that is my guess not a substantiated fact.
Secondly, finances are not a factor for them, and even the stress of having kids close together will be much different with the help of a nanny, the Royal Chef, and all the other support most people don’t have.
While pregnancy and breast feeding take a toll on the mom’s body and diminish the supply of nutrients available, women in good health, who take their prenatal vitamins and have access to good prenatal care should be okay with the 13-month spacing according to some experts.
So are the Royal babies spaced to close together? Not really.
Photo credits: wikipedia
It’s official! Prince George is expecting a baby brother or sister.
The announcement made on Twitter says that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge “are very pleased to announce” they are expecting their second child. Both Prince William and Kate are now 32 and their first child turned one in July.
A statement from Buckingham Palace says “The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.” And guess what! Royal watchers are just as thrilled and so are the capitalists who profit from such news.
For instance, the online betting site Paddy Power is already featuring novelty bets on the gender, hair color, and name of the new baby.
So far, this time fighting the inconvenient side-effect of extreme nausea hasn’t sent her to the hospital. Instead the palace’s statement said, “The Duchess of Cambridge is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace,” which is where the couple lives.
Prime Minister David Cameron also shared his congratulations on Twitter, saying, “I’m delighted by the happy news that they’re expecting another baby.”
Along with the happy news comes speculation on what maternity fashion she’ll don this time around.
Will she wear some of her maternity clothes from her first pregnancy? Possibly, but we have to remember that Prince George was born in the summer, while this baby will be due in the spring. Different seasons call for different maternity clothes in my book, unless you’re into a one-size fits the whole pregnancy approach, which I can tell you the fashion conscious Kate will not be.
Ultrasounds offer a unique glimpse and a first baby pic before our children are born.
Seeing your baby for the first time is more special than words can tell, and for one couple, when they got a thumbs up from their baby, they thought it was really exceptional.
According to the baby’s father, Brandon Hopkins, his wife is actually expecting twins and is due in January. At this time they don’t know the sex of the babies. Even so, the twins or at least one of the twins is already famous for the thumbs up photo.
The proud dad-to-be posted the pic on his Facebook page, and then his brother posted the same sonogram pic to Reddit where the responses exploded. Some have even nicknamed the baby the “Fonzie fetus” after the iconic cool guy from Happy Days.
After the surprising response, the uncle of the babies called his brother to let him know, “Your babies are famous.” They even made the news on WCVB Channel 5 Boston.
It is really a cool shot. I mean I got excited to see thumb sucking! A thumbs up is like a positive message sent ahead. However, I can’t help but think about after the kids are born.
This is a story that will become part of their family lore passed from one generation to the next, but will the kids wonder which of them gave the thumbs up? You know what I’m talking about. The sibling rivalry thing boasting about who does something better. Which one will be able to say, “I was famous before we were born”?
Luckily because they don’t even know the sex of the babies at this time I don’t think that will happen. Instead, this now famous picture and bit of celebrity as a viral sensation will be something the entire family can cherish as a whole unit. It is special.
Photo credits: reddit
Three of my friends and I were sharing our birthing stories a couple of evenings ago after one of the women told of how their daughter was under 5 pounds when she came home. Yes, she was a preemie. Her now teenage daughter walked over to us to remind her mother that she’s not so little any more.
The conversation went on to tell birth weights of our various children, and all of us thought our eight-pound-something kids were plenty big. The daughter asked what average was and it raised the question in all our minds. We all thought the seven pound range was average territory, but with so many extremely big babies being born these days is there a new normal?
According to Kids Health, “Most full-term babies (born between 37 and 40 weeks) weigh somewhere between 5 pounds 8 ounces (2,500 grams) and 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams).” So that means the average is about the same as what we thought weighing about 7.5 pounds.
So what’s making so many babies tip the scales at weights like 14, 15, and even 16 pounds? One of the things that plays a role is diet and weight before you get pregnant and while you’re pregnant. That means those of us who are overweight to start can expect to have a heavier baby. Does that mean the baby is born “overweight?”
At the other end of the spectrum, if we don’t take in enough nutrients, then our baby might be smaller. Other factors that can influence birth weight are lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking and health issued like diabetes.
Things we have no control over include genetics and our own birth weight and the sex of the baby (boys tend to weight more than girls). Firstborns usually weigh less than their siblings, too. All of this makes me wonder if the rise in obesity and overweight is being passed on to the next generation! All the more reason why we should try to get ourselves in shape before we get pregnant!
Photo credits: Coolins335
Christina Aguilera and her fiancé Matt Rutler welcomed their first child together on Aug. 16. According to an article in Us Weekly, the baby was delivered via Caesarian section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and, the 33 year old star announced via Twitter that the baby’s name is Summer Rain.
As with any baby name, people will be divided as to whether or not they like the name choice. I think this particular name is pretty. It doesn’t sound gimmicky, silly, or like a forced effort to be different. Instead it has a casual elegance to it.
Summer can be a girl or boy name and it means “summer season.” It actually was somewhat popular back in the late 90s. According to the Government Social Security Administration it ranked 188 in popularity last year which means it is still pretty popular.
Summer Rain is Aguilera’s second child and the first for her fiancé, who she met on the set of her 2010 film Burlesque where he worked as a set production assistant. She and ex-husband Jordan Bratman share custody of her six-year-old son, Max, who she also had by an elective scheduled C-section.
At the time she had told People magazine, “I didn’t want any surprises. Honestly, I didn’t want any [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section [anyway]. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early.”
According to one article I read, one third of celeb babies are born by C-section. That’s one decision I don’t think I’d make, but there are pros and cons for both sides of that issue. I’m happy all is well with the baby and mom, and wish the entire family all the best.
Photo credits: Splash News
In this day and age where people tend to believe their way of thinking is the right way, now there are lines being drawn about when to have children.
I personally wanted to be done having my kids by the time I was 30, because in my mind I wanted to be young enough to be active enough to really enjoy them. That was my personal opinion. Yet, my father was born when my grandmother was 49.
Today, with more women concentrating on their careers, they put off starting a family. It can make a difference in career earnings according to University of Virginia economist Amalia Miller who says that for every year a woman delays childbearing she will see an increase of career earnings of 10 percent.
But let’s face it, it’s not always so cut and dried as following a plan, budgets, or career goals. What if a woman doesn’t fall in love until 40? Or what if you find yourself fulfilling the role of caregiver for an elderly parent and having children gets put off as you wait for a better time?
And the dreaded biological clock doesn’t dictate what we do and when we do it as much as it used to. With improved fertility treatments, the birthrates for women in their 40s are at their highest since 1967!
Is waiting until 40 or older selfish? Some may think so, but it is the woman’s decision. Why do some people say it’s selfish? First of all, because of the increased chance of delivering a baby with birth defects like Down syndrome. Yet health issues are tied to babies with older fathers, too, and they aren’t being called selfish.
Another reason moms over 40 are considered selfish is because of the increased risk of leaving the child without their mom early in life.
I think it is up to the mom and dad as to when they will have kids. And what of the moms like my grandmother who didn’t “plan” to have my dad when she was 49. My girlfriend has 4 teenage girls and now a little guy at 43 who is precious and running her ragged. While he was not part of her “plan” she’s not complaining. In fact, she’s keeping up!
Photo credits: Stéfan
Contradicting information surrounds caffeine and pregnancy. Do you have to give it up or not? Actually that’s between you and your doctor.
My doctor suggested limiting my intake. In the UK, the NHS recommends limiting caffeine intake to 200mg a day which is about the equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee or 2-3 cups of tea. However, a study of 1,000 women in their first trimester showed a doubling of miscarriage when drinking that amount of caffeine per day.
Another study in BMC Medicine linked caffeine to lower birth weights; babies who are at a higher risk of both short- and long-term health problems. So what’s a mom-to-be to do? After looking at all the conflicting information, I decided to play it safe and give it up.
When I decided to cut caffeine, no one warned me about the symptoms like the headache that was so bad it sent me to the bathroom vomiting. A friend told me to sip a half cup of coffee and the headache went away. Instead of quitting cold turkey, I cut back a little each day. I started with a half a cup in the morning. When I felt a hint of the headache, I had another half cup.
I gradually reduced my half cups to quarter cups and eventually quit drinking coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages all together. I also became aware of the caffeine in painkillers, ice cream, chocolate, and other products.
If you plan to breastfeed, I’d say you might as well wean yourself off caffeine totally before the baby is born because babies don’t excrete caffeine at the same rate as adults, and too much caffeine can make the baby cranky and keep it awake.
In my book, anything that lessens the chance of a fussy, sleepless baby is worth trying and once you’re done breastfeeding, you can always enjoy a cup of coffee again.
Photo credits: Joanna Bourne
Little Megan Hui is a miracle baby. She was born last February and is now a healthy 18-week-old little girl.
She’s a miracle, because her mother suffered a miscarriage six weeks into the pregnancy. Then following the miscarriage, she was given abortion drugs to help clear out her uterus and as a precautionary method to avoid infection. Then 10 days later she went back to the hospital to have a surgical procedure to clear remaining blot clots that could be life threatening.
According to Megan’s 31-year-old mom, Michelle, the doctor said, “You are not going to believe it, we’ve got a heartbeat.” Can you imagine the roller coaster of emotions to she went through from losing her baby, to finding out she was still pregnant?
It turns out the Megan was a twin. Her mom had lost a baby after six weeks of pregnancy, and didn’t know that she was actually carrying two babies. She even underwent 5 different scans that confirmed she had lost the baby, and yet for some reason, little Megan survived the abortion drugs. I count that a miracle!
Michelle Hui went in to have the surgical procedure to have the potentially dangerous blood clots in her uterus removed. It was at this time that a scan picked up a faint heartbeat.
The medical team decided that since the baby had survived so much already that Michelle should continue her pregnancy. They think that perhaps the blood clots caused shadows that hid the surviving fetus, but however it happened, the result is that a healthy baby girl who weighed six pounds at birth.
She joins her older sister Mya, who is four, and her brother, Noah, who is two.
It turns out that I’m not the only one who thinks Megan is a miracle. Her story is considered extraordinary enough to be written up in medical journals and the doctors said it was a “blessing.” I agree!
Photo credits: Twitter
One of the hardest things for new moms to do after giving birth, aside from learning to keep the tiny person in their life alive, is going back to work after maternity leave. Most women find themselves torn because, while they might love their career, many of us are completely overwhelmed and blindsided by our attachment to our newborn babies.
I thought for sure I’d go back to work and leave my baby in the onsite daycare at the university but once I held her, it was all over.
I realized pretty quickly that I couldn’t leave my girls when they were newborns and luckily my husband’s job allowed me that luxury. I also knew I needed to work, so when they were newborns, I found work from home tutoring college students online.
I was lucky. But sometimes there is no choice and you have to go back to work, whether you want to or not. If you’re going to return to work after maternity leave or after taking time off to stay home, why not go back like a boss?
The first thing you’ll need to do is secure childcare that you feel completely comfortable with. That will be your biggest hurdle to returning to working outside the home.
Next, you will need to get a non-spit up covered wardrobe put together. Believe me, my girls are 8 and 6-years-old and I still have to do a foreign body fluid check of my clothes to make sure it’s public worthy. It’s not easy switching gears from cooing at a newborn all day to having actual conversations with co-workers. You need to mentally shift gears.
It will be hard in the beginning to separate Mommy you from corporate you. Obviously. You are always mommy first but when you are in the office, try to stay focused on your work and career goals.
Sure your baby is still the cutest baby ever, but try not boring your co-workers with a constant barrage of photos of your baby in the tub or spitting up. Soon, they will all be running the other way when they see you coming in their direction.
Use work as a chance to get some “me” time, meaning focus on you the person instead of just you the mom. Use all that time at work to focus on your projects and show your boss that motherhood has only increased your multi-tasking skills.
Be professional when you are at work. It will be hard those first few mornings to leave your precious little baby, but once you get to work, get into work mode. You can’t spend every moment obsessing over the webcam in your baby’s nursery.
Set aside certain times to check in on your baby, let your caregiver know that you cannot have constant phone calls and emails when you are at work unless it is an emergency. If not, you will run the risk of looking unprofessional and possibly losing your job.
Keep a schedule. Sure, as a mom, there will be situations that you will have to make allowances for like running a sick baby into the pediatrician’s office, or if your caregiver gets sick or doesn’t show up. You can’t prepare for these things but plan well visits around your work schedule and if you must be late or miss a day, make it up by working through lunch or putting in hours from home.
Prove your dedication to your job to your boss. It’s not an easy situation to get a handle on but with time, it will get easier to balance the two.
What’s your best tip for going back to work after having a baby?