Category: Maternity

Favorite Names for Royal Baby Number Two

Posted on Jan 5, 2015 by 1 Comment

In three more months, royal baby number two is due to arrive. The royal couple is busy getting the second nursery in order, and like all parents-to-be, trying to narrow the list of possible names.

The difference between them and most of us is that there are a lot of people interested in the name they choose. You see, in the UK the people are allowed to bet on such things.

While we don’t really have insight into the names at the top of Kate and Prince William’s list, we can see which names are the top runners according to the masses at

For instance, if the baby happens to be a girl, top favorites as of the time of this article include “Eliazbeth” with 7/2 odds, and “Charlotte” with 6/1 odds.

The top boy names are “Philip” at 10/1 odds, and “Arthur” at 12/1 odds. For those who think the baby will be named after his father, “William” is next on the list with 14/1 odds. Names at the high odds end of the list include Macbeth and Ringo at 500/1 odds.

Betting isn’t limited to just the name Kate and William might choose for their second child. Bets are also being taken on the sex of the baby. As of right now the odds are running even at 5/6 no matter which way you vote.

Bookmaking is totally legal in Britain, and when the Royals are good for business. Not just the royal babies, but they also take bets on who the next Monarch will be, when Prince Harry will get married, and whether or not Camilla will be queen.

While we won’t know whether the baby is a boy or a girl or what name Kate and Prince William decided on until the little bundle arrives, it sure is good for the economy when a royal baby is on the way.

Photo credits: WochitEntertainment

Autism Risk 23 Percent Higher in C-section Babies

Posted on Jan 2, 2015 by 1 Comment

Last year a study linked autism to induced labor. That study reported a 35% increased risk for boys born through induction and augmented labor.

Now a new study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry says that babies born via C-section run a 23% higher risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Before you panic, it’s important to add that no definitive connection has been established between the two. Instead, the results lead to another theory. It suggests that because elective C-sections are scheduled weeks before the mother’s actual due date, it deprives the baby of the last few weeks of brain development.

Another guess is that C-section babies are not exposed to the same gut flora as babies who are born vaginally and that this difference may factor in a child’s psychological development. In the meantime, what’s an expectant mom supposed to do?

Experts are saying there is no need to panic and I agree, because while the study suggests there is a link, it really isn’t clear what that link is. In other words, at this point, there really isn’t anything conclusive for us to base our decisions on.

I’m not saying it should be dismissed without further research, however the findings are incomplete and more research is needed.

If this latest study concerns you, go to your OBGYN and discuss your birthing options. If your doctor is talking about caesarian section, ask for more information. While the number of C-section deliveries is high these days, new guidelines were put in place in March 2014 to prevent unnecessary procedures.

A C-section can be a life-saving procedure for both the mom and the baby, and there are many reasons why it might be recommended. However, if your situation doesn’t include one of these reasons, it’s time to revisit your options and let your doctor know your concerns.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Planning Your Maternity Photo Session

Posted on Dec 29, 2014 by No Comments

Even if you’re feeling self conscious about your pregnant body, don’t automatically dismiss the idea of posing for professional maternity photos. Once your child is grown, these photos will be a cherished keepsake of one of the most special times in your life.

Ana Brandt, a mother of three and an Orange County photographer since 1999, recommends scheduling your maternity photos between 28 weeks and 36 weeks. You want to have a readily visible baby bump, but not be so big that you’re crabby and uncomfortable.

You should start looking for a professional photographer in your second trimester, however. You want to have time to look at the portfolios of several local photographers and ask other recently pregnant friends or family members for personal recommendations.

When it comes to choosing your outfit, you have several different wardrobe options. If your style is conservative, try a tight fitting maxi or a long flowing skirt with a tight top that shows your bump while keeping covered.

Wear jeans and a tank top for a casual look. If you’re feeling sexy, check your lingerie drawer for boy shorts and a cute bra. If there’s nothing you like in your own closet, ask your photographer if the studio has a wardrobe for you to choose from.

If desired, you can also add props such as baby shoes or sonogram photos to your session. If this is not your first pregnancy, you may want to get a few photos of your older children with their hands on your belly.

On the day of your photo session, Brandt recommends making sure you eat a full meal and drink plenty of water. Maternity photo sessions can be exhausting, so you want to do whatever is necessary to keep your strength up.

Photo credit: Ana Brandt

How Long Should You Wait to Get Pregnant Again?

Posted on Dec 26, 2014 by 1 Comment

Planning your family doesn’t always go exactly as planned. I remember when my sister-in-law found out she was pregnant with her second. Her son was only three months old at the time. That wasn’t her plan, but she rolled with it.

My mother-in-law had all four of her kids three years apart. Now that’s a plan. I’ve heard all kinds of theories on how far apart kids should be spaced, but a new study has narrowed the answer for the shortest amount of time we should allow between kids — not based on personal preference, but on risk factors associated with delivering a preterm baby.

The study, which was published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researched interpregnancy intervals (IPI) based on 454,716 live births of mothers who had two or more babies in six years.

Researchers took a closer look at those moms who waited less than 18 months to become pregnant again. The results show that in those cases the resulting pregnancy is shorter.

For this study, the participants were broken into three categories according to their IPI:

  • Under 12 months
  • 12 to 18 months
  • Over 18 months

Researchers concluded “over 18 months” is the most favorable of the inerpregnancy intervals while the mothers with the shortest IPIs were more likely to give birth before their 39th week. This could put the baby at risk and lead to problems even though the CDC considers pre-term birth as occurring before 37 weeks.

While short IPI is a known risk factor for preterm birth, their data showed that inadequate birth spacing is associated with decreased gestational age for all births.

The findings show that “pregnancies following short IPIs have a higher frequency of birth at all weeks of gestation prior to 39 and fewer births greater than or equal to 40 weeks, resulting in overall shortened pregnancy duration.”

The moms who fell into the “under 12 months” category delivered before 39 weeks at a rate of 53.3% while of the women in the other two categories only 37.5% delivered that early.

So when you’re planning your next child, think about the potential impact your timing can have on whether or not you’re putting your baby at risk for a preterm birth.

Photo credits: littleheartsbooks

Beyonce Pregnancy Rumors Still Buzzing

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 by No Comments

Beyonce had the opportunity to meet the royal couple, Kate Middleton and Prince William, when they visited New York. And what was the focus of many articles covering the event as far as Beyonce is concerned? That she may be sporting a baby bump.

Every time the media starts focusing on what they think might be a baby bump, I cringe. People think just because someone wears lose or baggy clothing it is evidence that they are trying to hide something. What if they are just dressing comfortably?

The meet with the royal couple wasn’t the start of this particular gossip thread. These rumors started circulating back in September.

I’m not saying that we don’t all go through the thought process of thinking someone might be pregnant when we see little clues. But most of those clues aren’t observable unless you are with the person on a regular basis. I mean, things like morning sickness aren’t going to be picked up by a camera.

With that said, I read one article that offered 10 reasons that pointed to Beyonce being pregnant, but it was all speculation.

The thing I don’t like is when headlines tell a woman she looks pregnant when she might not be. The woman may just be wearing something baggy.

And if they are pregnant, people have various reasons why they may want to hide a pregnancy for a little time. In fact, since the risk of miscarriage is highest during the first trimester, many moms-to-be choose to wait to share their big news until at least 10 to 12 weeks.

I personally didn’t enjoy people commenting on how I looked while I was pregnant. Yes, I was “big as a house” with my second child, but I didn’t really need to hear others say it. I already felt like I needed a crane to get out of a chair by the eighth month.

If you were a sexy celebrity, like Beyonce, would you announce to the world that you were expecting early on? I certainly wouldn’t. The media already makes a baby bump out of nothing.

Photo credits: Lehren Hollywood

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