31 December 2008
Interestingly, the study suggests that marital status is not necessarily a factor in the results. "It is the decision that couples make to strengthen commitment and move in together that is important, rather than marital status per se," lead researcher Natasha J. Cabrera, of the University of Maryland in College Park, said in a university statement.
Source: Journal of Marriage and Family, December 2008.
"Her previous pregnancies ended with emergency caesarean secions," an insider tells OK!. "She's been told that, at the least, she should not get pregnant for a year after her last deliver, and it would be safer if she did not get pregnant, ever."
I'm not sure this is necessarily a bad thing. How many kids does she have now? Six? How on earth can you possibly give each child the attention that they need when you have to do a head count on a daily basis to make sure all of your brood is in tow?
I don't know what bothers me more, naming a baby Tripp or the fact that he's a Republican.
30 December 2008
"Your little one will look fabulous in these soft crib shoes designed to look like high heels! Each pair of heelarious heels is packaged in a darling purse-shaped gift box, complete with a rhinestone closure. Pink patent heel with zebra satin lining for infants size 0-6 months."Uh huh. Okay so we have already firmly established that the idea of pregnant women wearing stilettos is basically ridiculous. In fact, stilettos are pretty ridiculous for any woman with any aspiration to actually walk. And now we are looking at baby's first high heels. As if it wasn't bad enough that 11 year old girls know how to put on makeup more skillfully than most adult women or that Miley Cyrus, at 15, has a 22 yr old boyfriend and posts racy photos of herself on MySpace. The innocence of childhood for young girls (if it ever even existed) has well and truly been lost.
Although wearing makeup and high heels have become rites of passage for young Western women, let's leave our baby girls alone. Babyhood, the last relic of 'innocence' and vulnerability, and until now, has been a rare time when girls don't have to worry about sucking in their stomachs, wearing jeans that are too tight or prancing around in shoes that pinch their feet.
Heelarious? I'm not laughing. Are you?
28 December 2008
For those of you rockin' mums who not only breastfeed but who also happen to have a profile on Facebook you are probably abreast (pun intended) of the current status of breastfeeding photos on the networking site: they are not allowed, considered 'obscene' and pornographic. Images of areolas apparently are too racy for the standards of the website and so they have systematically deleted photos of women breastfeeding and in some cases has deleted accounts altogether. Considering users continue to post photos of themselves in various states of undress, many of which are not deleted, the idea that breastfeeding is pornographic is so antiquated it feels like this argument is so five years ago. If Angelina Jolie can appear on the cover of a magazine with her boobs out and everyone thinks it's beautiful, why on earth would it be inappropriate for everyday mums to celebrate their powers of lactation??
What can you do?
1) Join the FB group 'Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene' (65,000 mums have already joined)
2) Participate in a virtual nurse-in hosted by posting a photo of yourself or any woman lactating to remind Facebook administrators that breastfeeding is legal and appropriate in public and should also be allowed on the website.
27 December 2008
Although Australian women have had job protection following maternity leave for 30 years, half of the women surveyed had nevertheless lost their jobs, were offered inferior positions or part-time work.
McDonogh sums it up quite nicely: "Everyone thinks the laws will protect them but in lots of cases the law means squat."
"At the turn of the 20th century, women commonly died in childbirth due to 'rachitic pelvis,' " write Anne Merewood, MPH, IBCLC, from Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts, and colleagues. "Although rickets virtually disappeared with the discovery of the hormone 'vitamin' D, recent reports suggest vitamin D deficiency is widespread in industrialized nations. Poor muscular performance is an established symptom of vitamin D deficiency, [and] the current US caesarean birth rate is at an all-time high of 30.2%."
26 December 2008
Women with misperceptions about their prepregnancy weight are thought to be more likely to gain excessive weight while pregnant. The researchers argue that overweight women who thought they were at a 'normal' weight prepregnancy are at the most risk of gaining too much during pregnancy (nearly 8x more likely to gain too much weight). Women of 'normal' weight who thought they were overweight before pregnancy are also, however, at risk of gaining too much.
After talking about his sexual escapades with recently pregnant wife Ashlee Simpson, today Wentz described tasting his wife's breastmilk as "soury and weird". He went on to tell Sirius Satellite Radio, "The baby loves it, it's the only thing he's had a chance to have."
23 December 2008
Following on from a week when a woman gives birth to her 18th child, I thought I had seen it all. Apparently not. A British woman will have her pregnancy immortalised on mantle pieces forever with a nativity scene painted on her belly and sent to her friends and family on a holiday card.
Hallmark here we come.
"You try nine months of gestation and self-abnegation before you start censoring my diet. Your mother was probably on vodka, and do you have three heads?"
21 December 2008
“It’s never nudity for the sake of nudity. But the physical act of taking my clothes off on film, in a roomful of people? That gets easier because I’m used to it.
“And after you’ve had kids and you’ve been in that delivery ward, frankly, goodbye vanity, goodbye self-consciousness!”
I don't know. Maybe I'm totally wrong here. Does birth make you less self-conscious?
20 December 2008
The Duggars of Arkansas have just welcomed their 18th child and mum Michelle is already thinking about their 19th..but they have run out of 'J' names..
My ovaries hurt looking at this photo.
Considering Davenport and many other female athletes like Paula Radcliffe and Jana Rawlinson have taken their careers to new heights following pregnancy and motherhood, it seems unbelievable that such antiquated views of the 'ravages of motherhood' continue to inflect mainstream representations of female sporting heroes.
If anything, at the young age of 32, Davenport will be a proud mother of two and continue her legacy as an American tennis great.
Who says that pregnancy has to be career suicide?
So what does this mean? Well nothing really. I'm continuing on with the blog and a book this year but I guess I'm looking to take this blog in new directions for 2009. I want more personal content from readers and hopefully manage to be less reliant on the mainstream media for stories.
Anyway, that's my rant. Any thoughts? Is anyone else as annoyed with Hollywood as I am at the moment?
18 December 2008
"It's an amazing bond with your child," says the Gossip Girl star, 40. "Some cultures do it up to five years, normally. I thought, 'Well, I'll just do it as long as it feels right for my son. I was thinner after my pregnancy than before, and I think a lot of it was the nursing. They say it helps your body get back to shape in a natural way."
Go for it, girl.
Take Pete Wentz for example. His lovely new wife Ashlee Simpson has just given birth to their first child. So how does he repay her?
He goes on Howard Stern and tells the world of satellite radio about their first sexual encounter, her pregnancy weight (150 lbs), her pre and post-pregnancy bra size (C to D cup) and his passing thoughts of having a threesome with her sister Jessica.
Way to be lame!
As I always say, I have seen the future and it is not good. Called the Kickbee pregnancy belt, some enterprising American PhD student has created a belt that tracks foetal movement through electric currents and then transfers the data via Bluetooth and posted directly to Twitter with a message like 'I kicked mummy at 6 am'. So basically this is a way to introduce foetuses to the virtual world before they are even born. Future versions will update Facebook pages. Virtual babies making virtual contact.
I'm waiting for the iPhone application.
29 November 2008
In Chicago (where I currently am blogging), Northwestern University's School of Medicine is opening a centre focusing exclusively on 'treating' and researching obesity, especially in pregnancy.
According to recent statistics, in 2007, almost half of the women who gave birth at Northwestern Memorial's Prentice Women's Hospital (where I was born!) were categorized as overweight, meaning they had a body-mass index between 25 and 29.9 before pregnancy. An additional 12 percent had a BMI of 30 or greater, the definition of obesity.
In Melbourne, it is suggested that more than 30 obese women are presenting at hospitals every month which is a huge increase over the last five years. At least 35% of pregnant patients are now considered to be obese. Doctors are saying that overweight pregnant women are "posing serious challenges" as it becomes increasingly difficult to monitor foetuses on ultrasound machines and monitor their heart rates. On a more practical level, medical staff complain that the hospital does not even have appropriate trolleys to transport pregnant women who weigh more than 150kg. As a result of the reportedly 'huge' rise in overweight mothers, Australian obstetricians are suggesting that obese women should have their weight vigiliantly monitored throughout pregnancy.
Unsurprisingly, overweight women are now being encouraged to seek out gastric band surgery prior to falling pregnant as a means of avoiding the 'risks' associated with obesity during pregnancy.
So rather than providing services for overweight women to learn about sensible weight loss, they are being encouraged to look to a surgical solution. This comes from the same band of obstetricians who continually lament the high rates of caesarean sections throughout the developed world (many of which are attributed to obesity in pregnancy). Surely, there has to be a better way to lower high rates of surgical birth associated with obesity other than asking obese women to have surgery to lose weight.
"On one page it showed all the actresses who got skinny in six weeks or less (after giving birth), and on the other page was me! I was so depressed and frustrated. I was exhausted! I couldn't work out three hours a day and do my job as a mother and an actress. So I took the pressure off. I cut back on seeing the trainer but started eating healthier. Ultimately I'm very proud of how I dropped the weight because I think it was the healthy approach. I've finally taken ownership of my body."
Here is the latest:
I'll be blogging from the US for the next month as I'll be doing a bit of work in Chicago and working on a documentary about celebrity motherhood in LA over the next few weeks.
I've decided that the blog is going to take a new direction.......drum roll please...........
The Baby Bump Project will now be accepting submissions from guest bloggers.
If you have a way with words, a keen interest in celebrity, pregnancy, body image or motherhood, you are welcome to pitch your ideas or send in a sample post (about 200-500 words). Not only will you develop a public writing profile, I can offer you the possibility of becoming a permanent contributor to the site.
I am also looking for interns (perfect for undergrad students in media/gender/women's studies) who want experience and a chance to do research. Tell me in 500 words or less why you want to be a part of the Baby Bump Project: not only will you be working on one of the most popular pregnancy blogs on the net, you will have the chance to work as a research assistant as I work on my forthcoming book.
Send all submissions/queries to babybumpproject[at]yahoo.com.au
05 November 2008
We may have seen the future of waterbirth...but is it good?
"... the mother will enjoy the spacious service area, a height adjustable birthing seat, a raised seat for wading, an attachable seat for her companion, a swing-out grab bar for hanging, and programmable massaging jets for her back. Moreover, this tub features a waterfall simulation to entertain the mother. A gentle lighting system is also integrated."
Is this a birth pool or a hot tub? Where are the cup holders? More importantly, when is the pool party?
As for the 'waterfall simulation', I think pushing a big baby out of a much smaller opening is entertainment enough...
03 November 2008
Moving right along. You would think that scientists could make up their minds. 3 new reports suggest that:
1) light drinking during pregnancy could benefit the baby: mothers who have a drink every so often are more relaxed and therefore, have babies with better cognitive and emotional outcomes
2) caffeine intake of more than 200mg per day (about one small latte) leads to low birthweight babies.
3) gaining 'too much' weight (over 40 lbs) leads to big babies (over 9 lbs).
Can somebody please make up their mind?
31 October 2008
Tori Spelling has revealed that she looked to Jessica Alba for inspiration to lose the weight after the birth of her second child, Stella.
She says, "I would look at pictures of myself and compare them to Jessica Alba, who had her baby two days before me. I'd see photos of her two months after and go, 'Look at her!'"
She adds, "The best way to lose weight is to make it a family affair. It has changed my life. It's easier now because I'm not as focused on it. Take your time. If you get obsessed, you'll miss out on great moments with your children.”
28 October 2008
Some of you will pleased to know, a study has just been published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal that debunks the very widely held perception that breastfeeding causes saggy boobs. Well, it doesn't. The authors argue that greater age, higher BMI, greater number of pregnancies, larger pre-pregnancy bra cup size and history of smoking were significant risk factors in the development of sagging breasts.
Considering complaints of saggy breasts are one of the most common reasons for undergoing plastic surgery post-birth, it looks like women will have to blame their saggy boobs on something other than childbearing.
And yes, I did take that photo in Thailand. In fact, I probably know a little bit too much about breast implants as a result.
I thought it was particularly horrible when lesbians were being denied IVF without medical documentation of infertility. Now, all Australian women are going to be subject to what amounts to a criminal background check when they are already feeling pretty vulnerable. What is really astounding is that Australians with a criminal record are procreating willy nilly and no one seems to care because they can do it 'naturally'.
The Victorian police have no business or right to interfere with Australian wombs.
26 October 2008
I've spent the past week writing about my Thailand surgery trip as a distraction and I'm still reeling from the surgery that I watched. I sort of can't believe I was there and that the whole trip even happened. After spending time with the surgeons and hanging out with some of the women having surgery, I have to say, the whole pregnant celebrity thing really seems insignificant compared to what average women are dealing with everyday.
I'm really eager for suggestions for future posts. Celebrity pregnancy is a little ho-hum at the moment. In fact, I would really like to go back to when I first started this blog and readers sent in their personal stories about pregnancy and body image.
Anyway, this is a bit of a hodge podge. Feeling very out of sorts!
23 October 2008
The question remains, it seems, as to whether labour pain has lived out its usefulness for women. As the author of the article suggests, this theory is problematic for natural childbirth advocates because this evolutionary perspective implicitly argues that birth is dangerous and not 'natural'.
I'm not sure I agree with this argument in general. After all, babies heads have become substantially larger over time and a woman's pelvis has pretty much stayed the same. In a nutshell, it seems pretty clear to me why giving birth would hurt.
22 October 2008
Great article today in the New York Times about the persistent silence around the experience of miscarriage and is a nice antidote to John McCain's dismissive statement about women's 'health':
A British group of women is discussing their experiences of miscarriage and insensitive doctors on Mumsnet: www.mumsnet.com
Read more about it here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article4964678.ece
17 October 2008
I'm not going to give too much away right now as there is a whole article that will be published in the next few weeks but I will say that medical tourism is a very complicated issue. I was blown away by the doctors that I met. They are highly-educated, highly skilled surgeons who are actually caught between a rock and a hard place, trying to cater to the market of foreign patients that are flocking to Thailand for medical procedures but also trying to practice ethically.
All I can say is that I don't know what to say. Still trying to process everything and this has definitely changed some of my views on plastic surgery.
I met a woman who had had lipo, breast life and body countouring all in one go. She wasnt doing it because she wanted to be the hottest mum on the block, she was doing it because she wanted to feel better about herself. It is very easy to judge women who have these procedures as being selfish and narcissistic. When they are sitting in front of you, clearly in pain from having their body parts shifted up and expanded....it's hard to feel anything but sympathy. What I saw in that operating room was intense. I cannot even imagine the pain that this woman will feel when she is recovering for the next few weeks.
On the upside, I got to fondle a big basket of breast implants.
More to come.
Oh, Phuket is beautiful too :-)
13 October 2008
I will be blogging (with many photos) from Phuket for the rest of the week!
Oh and my thesis is due in 2 weeks! WHOOOOOHOOOO!
10 October 2008
In a huge analysis of 12,000 women in 4 countries, researchers argue that women who were supported by midwives were much less anxious than those treated by other health care providers. As a result, they experienced fewer miscarriages.
Obstetricians are unsurprisingly annoyed with the findings.
The best part of the study?
Women being looked after by midwives were less likely to be admitted to hospital during pregnancy, episiotomies or require pain medication and were more likely to have vaginal births, feel in control during labour and better able to initiate breastfeeding.
As the most comprehensive study of this kind ever, the analysis also showed there was no significant difference between the women who were looked after by midwives or obstetricians when it came to foetal deaths after six months gestation, length of labour, induction, intervention, premature births and admissions to neonatal intensive care units.
For all the midwives out there, go on...say it....
WE TOLD YOU SO.
“I think one of the life changing things that he [Brad] did, one of many, is that I was absolutely never going to get pregnant. I never felt that it was the right thing to do. Now I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. It taught me a lot about life, just the process of it, and now we have three other beautiful children that wouldn’t otherwise be here.”
09 October 2008
Read more here: http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10575
07 October 2008
Much more beautiful than those horrible posed photos!
02 October 2008
"I kinda regret that one," she revealed.
"But the thing is, the healing was so much faster," the 32-year-old explained. "I didn't have to get the drugs out of my system and was moving around a lot more.""I labored at home for 9 hours and then went to the hospital for an hour and a half - two pushes and he was out," she said.
Anyone else out there regret saying no to an epidural?
30 September 2008
I find this amazing and actually it strangely crossovers with some things I have been mulling over lately. Here are some facts:
In the last 40 years, the Australian fertility rate has declined from 3.55 babies per women in the ‘baby boom’ of 1961 to a historic low of 1.73 in 2001. The fertility rate first started to decline in 1976 and ever since that time, the population has been below replacement level (2.1 babies per woman). Since 2001, however,
As there is still no national scheme for paid maternity leave and given that provisions for childcare in Melbourne are woefully inadequate, being pregnant and ‘at work’ is still seen as perhaps visually and culturally inconsistent. This may point to a ‘backlash’ against feminism(s) both by the Australian government and women themselves. In spite of hard-won changes to Australian women’s legal and political status over the last 30 years, anxieties about pregnancy and motherhood clearly continue to brew. If the second wave of feminism encouraged middle-class Australian women to expand their understandings of themselves beyond marriage and motherhood, the falling birthrate in
Many of the women in my study were quite anxious about clinging to their positions in the paid workforce or having to make a somewhat defeated ‘choice’ to stay at home for a certain period of time to be ‘full-time’ mothers. They seemed genuinely frustrated and, at times, angry that the versions of feminist discourse presented to them in women’s magazines and by celebrities, for instance, seemed to suggest that being a mother and having a career is a seamless negotiation: that women can ‘have it all’. Ways of combining motherhood with other feminist aspirations are rarely discussed in the current Australian political climate. Rather, it is the women who are blamed for wanting to both have a working life and look after their children. This 'backlash' against maternity leave also particularly highlights the fractured and partial adherence to everyday feminisms by many Australian women themselves.
29 September 2008
Currently, only 43% of Australian women are entitled to paid maternity leave. One in six mums is back to work before their babies turn one month old.
According to the proposed plan, women would be paid the equivalent of minimum wage at the cost of $500 million to the government. This is quite controversial and a number of critics are suggesting that the expenditure is too great especially in the face of a 'global financial crisis'. Others have suggested that the scheme has to be means tested. Some groups are worried that if the scheme is passed, women of 'childbearing age' (read: early 30s) will be discriminated against in the workplace.
Let's just remind ourselves of one fact: Australia is one of the only two developed nations in the world (the other being the US) that does not have a scheme for paid maternity leave. British mums get 39 weeks. Swedish mums get 18 months. Bulgarian mums get 2 years.
28 September 2008
24 September 2008
'I feel fantastic. I have no stretch marks and have kept my blood pressure where it should be. I haven't put on much fat, my muscles have stayed strong and I always feel so much better after going to the gym. My midwife is really pleased with how healthy I am.'
Women are not supposed to gain too much weight when they are pregnant but of course they have to gain some weight. You are supposed to exercise but not too much. Women can never women. This woman is exercising with a personal trainer and her midwife is happy with her health. Why shouldn't she continue to train? It annoys me that pregnant women who do look after themselves are made spectacles simply because they are breaking the mould.
23 September 2008
Looks like Oprah now has some competition for 'world's biggest narcissist'.
Gwyneth Paltrow has launched her own 'lifestyle' website which is basically a template for how to be like....her! Just when you thought she couldn't get more pretentious, she's named the site 'GOOP: nourish the inner aspect'. First of all what the heck is 'GOOP'?
She claims on the only fully finished page of the site that she wants you to invest in a 'real' life....
I say her life is 'good' because she is Gwyneth-frickin-Paltrow and she has lots of money to make it 'good'.
Check it: www.goop.com
We have seen the future and it is not good.
Jools Oliver, wife of British chef, Jamie Oliver, has announced she is pregnant with their third child. The former model has openly discussed the couple's fertility issues and she was contemplating fertility treatments as it was taking so long to fall pregnant for the third time around. She is due in April. Jamie is dying for a boy.
19 September 2008
Camilla Alves, partner of Matt McConaughey, had this to say about being pregnant and having a caesar in an interview with BabyCenter:
"It’s a hard thing to be pregnant. Your hormones are crazy. Your body is changing. It’s a major change. I really enjoyed being pregnant, but I certainly didn’t love it."
"If there’s any advice I could give to a pregnant women, it’d be to have a natural birth. With c-sections, there’s a lot of pain and recovery is not fun. You already went through the whole pregnancy, and you don’t want to sit around for six to eight weeks in recovery. I don’t understand why healthy women go in and schedule a c-section."
"Women need to give their bodies time to rest. I really recommend that a woman who has the time, take that time to rest, because you’re not getting much sleep."
Somehow, I don't really believe that.
Lopez is apparently happy with her post-baby body. "The triathlon really helped get me in better shape, and snapped me back into my body. I don't weigh myself a lot. I still have 10 lbs., or so. [But] I don't have any problems with it. I never felt I had to get rid of it."
Gwyneth Paltrow also wanks on to Oprah about her post-baby fitness regimen and you can watch a video of her working out with the trainer she shares with Madonna. You can see her bouncing around doing this ridiculous cardio dance routine. I would be embarrassed to have this footage out in the public domain.
Watch it here:
18 September 2008
"I haven't lost the weight yet! I'm wearing Spanx," she revealed. "I just stopped breastfeeding so now I can start a diet program. Getting back to working out is the hardest part but we have a really active lifestyle."
Clearly, Tori doesn't know about the University of Georgia study that appears in the August issue of International Breastfeeding Journal in which the researchers found that breastfeeding BOOSTS post-baby weight loss. Women who exclusively breastfed their babies lost more weight than mothers who used formula or formula and breastmilk ('mixed feeding')
17 September 2008
Headline: Celebrities give false hope to IVF mums
In this story, the Daily Telegraph claims that only 2% of women over 45 become pregnant successfully through IVF.
"Despite the increase in success rates in women over 40, the majority (over 40) who come for IVF treatment go away without a baby," he said.
Headline: IVF boost for women in their 40s
In this article, women in their 40s have apparently 'doubled' their success rate with IVF over the last 2 years. One doctor is quoted as saying the success rate now amounted to, "a realistic chance" for older women, particularly those aged 40 or 41."
Of course, both articles conclude that IVF is not an 'insurance policy' for women who wait too long. *sigh*
16 September 2008
Eva recently told everyone to 'chill out' about all of the pregnancy speculation. Desperate Housewives castmate Felicity Huffman 'supported' her:
"She’s just fat, that’s all there is to it!" Huffman said on Saturday in Los Angeles.
Right. I hardly think that Eva Longoria is 'fat'. Gotta love women supporting each other.
15 September 2008
New maternity lingerie just hitting stores called Cake. Not very inventive. The gals at Hot Milk have been doing this for awhile now. What annoys me the most is that women are supposed to feel 'empowered' by looking at images of sexed up preggos. I don't know about you, but I think this kind of sexualisation of women's bodies is just as problematic as it is for non-pregnant women. I'm not sure why maternity lingerie has gotten so hypersexualised. It almost feels like designers are obsessed with compensating for the fact that pregnant women have been asexualised for so long that now they are oversexualising them as if to force 'sexy' down our throats. Besides, the women in these types of catalogue images only reinforce the notion that pregnancy is attractive on certain women as long as their bellies are appropriately contained, tight and seemingly not 'fat'.
On being chased by cameras constantly:
"People's fascination with people being pregnant is kind of weird. I do eat and I eat a lot. I don't find it annoying though because when I found out I was pregnant people were saying, 'Are you going to make an announcement?' and I kind of thought no because it really has nothing to do with anyone."
On weight gain:
"I don't weigh myself ever. I think scales are the work of the devil. I think they are just awful, it's an awful thing the scale. Every time I go to the doctors they do weigh me and I ask them not to tell me."
On maternity clothes:
"I've never wanted to dress up more and find ways to dress the stomach and my breasts because I've never had them before. I have these new found curves and I have been quite happy about dressing it all. You get a whole new wardrobe, it's exciting."
14 September 2008
It was only a few weeks ago that Swedish mother of 5, Ulrika Jonsson was railing against the skinny post-baby bodies of her fellow celebritiy mums. She claimed she was not going to worry about losing weight and was proud of her stretch marks. Today she written that she hates her huge post-pregnancy breasts and is planning to have them reduced:
"In my first pregnancy in 1994 when I was 27, I went from a D up to an FF-cup. When I moaned about this to my dear friend Vic Reeves, his eyes lit up and he asked whether the double F stood for ' F***** g Fantastic'.
I set a record this time when I was pregnant, though - I eclipsed all physical possibilities, I thought, when I had to order an I-cup over the internet. Marks & Spencer goes up to a J-cup but its best seller is a 36C.
I was truly repulsed by my breasts and I think my husband, Brian Monet, was stunned into a nine-month silence. I likened myself to a fat, ageing porn star.Standing in the shower, I could not see the rest of my body when looking down. And don't even get me started on the backache and the painful red grooves the bra straps left on my shoulders.
Which brings me to the post-pregnancy bust. If anything could be less desirable than bloated, humongous 'mummy bags', it's a deflated pair.
You see, I know what's coming over the next few months. Not unlike a tyre with a slow puncture, they will gradually diminish and I will, before you can say the word 'mammoplasty', be left with what can be described only as two ping-pong balls in bin liners."I've conflicted about this. I think women should be able to make choices about what they do with their bodies. One person's decision to have plastic surgery has nothing to do with me. But, at the same time, it makes me uncomfortable that she frames her justification for wanting a reduction around whether or not her husband would approve. She also says she is not doing the surgery for 'self-esteem' reasons like other women who want to have bigger breasts so they can feel more 'womanly'. Well, of course she is?! If she is uncomfortable with having large breasts and is constantly trying to hide them, I'm not sure how that isn't a matter of self-esteem.
13 September 2008
On one hand, shops like Babies R' Us are acknowledging that sometimes pregnant women just want to park close to a shop without hassling around. At the same time, however, the idea that pregnant women 'need' these special parking spaces also reinforces the notion that pregnant women are 'disabled' and physically weak. In March, in California, legislators proposed that pregnant women be allowed to park in 'disabled' spots but the proposal never left the ground. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has said the bill's sponsor had good intentions, but that it isn't appropriate, especially considering pregnant women need to be encouraged to physically active.
What do you think? Should pregnant women be entitled to special parking spots?
12 September 2008
Word on the street is that Jennifer Garner is due as early as October. By the size of her belly, I would say probably not until at least the end of the year. Any speculations?
That's what the Daily Mail had to say about Billie Piper's sheer gray dress she sported yesterday in London.
I mean really. So it's sheer. Big deal. Considering that most days we see pregnant celebrities flaunting their naked bellies or in some state of undress, a sheer dress is like the maternity equivalent of a hijab.
11 September 2008
According to the Daily Mail, as a result of a midwife shortage in the UK, women are being 'forced' to have 'dangerous' homebirths. The maternity system in the UK is so overcrowded, understaffed, and apparently un-hygienic, many women have opted to have their babies at home. Dame Karlene Davis, a midwife said:
'Technology and the internet has led to people thinking they can do freebirthing. If a woman has had a positive experience then people think it’s something worth trying."
Damn that technology. Putting ideas in women's heads. Lead them not into temptation! Even though the British government is unwilling to acknowledge the midwife shortage and birth rates continue to rise in the midst of a crumbling system, I highly doubt that the majority of women in the UK are freebirthing or even homebirthing, for that fact. In most of the West, homebirthing is still rare and unfortunately, women are more willing to suffer the ills of public medical systems rather than have babies at home because they are not given the proper information nor the support to make that choice if they so desire. All of this malarky and panic over freebirthing is evidence of a resounding fear that if women give birth on their own or at home with a midwife, obstetric 'expertise' will be undermined. In Australia, the government is considering giving midwives the power to prescribe medications and to deal with Medicare as a way to cope with understaffing. And why not considering births in Oz are at the highest level since 1971? Of course doctors have attacked this proposal with more 'risk' talk saying that more babies will die if midwives have a greater role in hospitals. No wonder women in Australia and beyond are sceptical of homebirth and freebirth: doctors keep telling them they will die or their babies will die. Sure there are always risks but scare tactics will not fix underfunded and understaffed maternity systems.
09 September 2008
O'Connell went on Conan O'Brien on Friday to say that Rebecca was 'huge' and that he told her this regularly. Right. Well, twins will do that to a gal.
He's now issued an public apology:
"I regret calling my wife 'huge. I meant to say that there are specific areas of my wife that are larger than normal and growing every day. All other portions of my wife are quite petite. I apologize to her and will be coming home with flowers."
A dozen roses per baby?
Totally off topic: No photos of Rebecca Romijn have surfaced as yet. Interesting.
So, for a long time scientists have been wanking on about how women need to continually remind themselves that when they are pregnant they are certainly not 'eating for two'. Newspapers have been blazing with headlines about women programming their foetuses for obesity if they even look at a block of chocolate.
Well. Now, it seems that according to new research from Dr. Helen Budge of Nottingham University, pregnant women who eat too little can also program their foetuses for obesity. Having too few calories in the womb inflames fat cells and this inflammation 'damages' the body's ability to metabolise properly. Thus, foetuses are at greater risk for obesity later in life.
Right. And how did Dr. Budge come to this conclusion?
By testing sheep. That's right. SHEEP.
And her solution? Budge says women must eat a 'healthy, balanced diet'.
How in the world are women supposed to know what 'healthy' or 'balanced' is anymore if science keeps moving the bloody goal posts?
08 September 2008
A research team at Yale carried out brain scans on 12 women two to four weeks after they had given birth - known as the early postpartum period.
Half had a Caesarean, the other half gave birth naturally.
The differences in brain activity were found in regions that not only appeared to influence a mother's response to her child, but also to regulate her mood.It seems oxytocin, the 'love' hormone is a critical factor in the bonding process.
The researchers suggest that women who have caesareans should be encouraged to cuddle their babies straight after birth.
I think this is all a bit problematic. Sure we have known for quite a long time that oxytocin does a number of important things for birth and bonding. Yet, making sweeping claims on the basis of a sample of 12? Hmmm.
Anyone have a different experience? Did you have a caesarean? How was your bonding experience? Did you get to cuddle your baby straight away? If not, how long did you have to wait?
07 September 2008
As you can probably gather from reading my posts, I am a little bit obsessed with maternity clothes. As I've been writing and re-writing and then re-writing my thesis (which is due now in less than 8 weeks!) part of my work has been constructing a history of Australian maternity wear. And much to my surprise, there has been basically nothing written on the subject. For those of you in America, you have Pregnant Pictures written by Sandra Matthews and Laura Wexler. It's not a maternity clothing history but it is one of the most comprehensive collections of images of American pregnancy and a lot of you can learn alot about the history of maternity fashion just by looking at the images.
Anyway, I spent the better part of Friday at the State Library of Victoria looking at issues of the Australian Women's Weekly in a search for maternity fashion images. I was surprised to find that maternity fashion never featured in the magazine until the 1960s and even then it was not really until 1966 and more so around 1971 that maternity clothes were even considered to be 'fashion'. As in the image above, pregnant women were never really featured in advertisements together. It's actually hard to tell that the gals in the ad above are even pregnant. The A-line dresses that they are wearing are pretty mainstream when it comes to fashion of the time period and there is nothing distinctive about their dresses that says 'pregnancy'. For the most part, in the 1950s, pregnant women were only pictured with their 'husbands'.
I was surprised, however, to find a number of advertisements for stretch mark creams which suggests the body fascism directed at new mothers in the present day is actually not 'new' at all. 'Ugly' stretch marks have been marked as the bane of a mother's existence for quite some time now in the west. Also, lots of ads for maternity bras from Berlei which go on about 'saggy' post-baby boobs.
06 September 2008
04 September 2008
J.Lo is featured in the latest edition of Elle in which she reveals a bit about her pregnancy:
On being pregnant and commissioning a book of photos of herself for Marc two weeks before giving birth: “I was like, How am I going to rock this moment of my life?... I felt very womanly. Marc was in a dream. He loved it.”
On not being able to get pregnant right away: “We knew nothing was wrong with either one of us—I had been checked, and he had kids already. I knew Something’s not ready here, in my head or in my life, and when it is, I know it’s going to happen.”
On first realizing she was pregnant: “I was sitting down doing hair and makeup and I felt a flutter. The weirdest little…flourish. My makeup artist said ‘What’s the matter?’ I didn’t say anything, but in my head, I was like, I have life inside me!”
On her pregnancy: “We came off tour and I said ‘I did the superwoman thing, I finished the tour—now I need you to take care of me. I love doing things for you; if I’m not cooking, then I’m picking out a shirt. But this is the first time in my life where I’m just going to be a little bit selfish. I don’t know if I’m going to have kids again, so I want it to be a beautiful experience. I don’t want to have any drama. I want to just be smiling every day.’"More photos from the shoot: http://www.elle.com/coverstory/14295/jlo-fashion-jennifer-lopez-favorite-fashion-designer.html
03 September 2008
A woman in the UK is planning to sue her hospital for failing to give her proper pain medication during an emergency caesarean. After an epidural, Sarah Carberry, 27 says she could still wiggle her toes and feel her legs but her doctors said that was 'normal'. When they started to cut into her womb, she was quite understandably in agony.
Note to self: wiggling body parts before major surgery = not good
02 September 2008
Atomic Kitten singer, Jenny Frost has shed all of her baby weight and then some but says she misses her pregnancy 'curves':
'I put on four stone when I was pregnant and had this great bottom. I loved it - for once, I had curves! I wanted to lose my baby weight , but I hoped I’d keep my bum. But that went and now I’ve got nothing to fill my jeans.'
And apparently she lost the weight through nutrition alone and 'never works out'.
31 August 2008
My size 0 jeans...by Ashlee Simpson-Wentz
Today I read on a blog that I went to the doctor and he said I was overweight and I cried and went to Planet Blue (because I was blue) and bought 6 pair of size 0 jeans. Now it is ridiculous to read such nonsense about oneself so I thought I would address this one...
1. My doctor says I am right on target with my weight gain
2. Have not been to Planet Blue in at least two years
3. Love my maternity jeans ..they have stretchy tops it is awesome!
4. My closet full of size 0's are being worn by Pete right now and he looks hot in them :)
So now that I have cleared that up let me tell you...carrying a child is the most inspiring, emotional, amazing experience of my life. My weight and my pant size are the absolute last thing I am concerned about. I am only concerned with having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. People who talk and judge pregnant women's weight need to get a life!!!
Peace and Love,
29 August 2008
This is what they found:
|Why would you?||60%|
|Within 2 weeks||22%|
I'm amazed. Well, I guess I'm not amazed but more surprised. For all intents and purposes, Driver looks pretty 'slender' in the sense that she has no excess 'fat' anywhere on her body. Her arms and legs are very slim. She only has a large belly obviously because she's heavily pregnant. 60% of voters thought she looked unattractive. Yet, everyone seems to love it when preggo celebs pose naked on magazine covers. Weird.
28 August 2008
Looks like I'm writing a story about post-baby plastic surgery holidays for one of the Melbourne weekend magazines. So. If you you or anyone you know has had a mummy makeover (or is thinking about it) or gone overseas to have a bit of a post-baby nip and tuck, please email me.
27 August 2008
‘I’m trying hard to regulate what I eat,’ she tells the Sunday Mirror. ‘Indulging yourself is the down side to pregnancy.’
Her daughter Ruby is 11 months old. Charlotte is due in November.
26 August 2008
Brits are all up in arms because TV presenter Kate Garraway appears to be breastfeeding a calf in a promotional poster for a documentary she is promoting about cross-feeding.
'I'm on a journey to find people who believe milk has to be from the breast, people who buy it, sell it, people who give it away and people who even feed each other's babies,' said the 41-year-old.
'To many this might seem weird, but they challenge us that it's actually much weirder to give our babies cows' milk than it is to drink milk from another woman.'Other People's Breast Milk, one in a series of female-led documentaries, will be broadcast on Channel 4 on September 9.
Apparently Brad Pitt shot a series of photos of her and the brood for the November issue of W. He last collaborated with W in July 2005 for a series of photos of he and Ange dressed up as a 1960s married couple, very sensitively released shortly after he and Jen were splitsville.
Porn queen Jenna Jameson, 34, is pregnant. The 'devout Catholic' says she is still in a state of shock but she and her martial arts fighter boyfriend, Tito Ortiz, are ecstatic. Strangely, there was a fake news report last month that she was pregnant after she appeared in the PETA ad above. She says she wasn't pregnant at the time but it prompted to her to have a test and she was actually pregnant.
25 August 2008
"Society tells you, 'You get pregnant, you go to the hospital,' and that was just naturally what I was going to do, but once I saw that there was another option, it just fit me," she explains. "I want to be fully present. I don't want any medications. I just want to be in control of the situation -- as much as I can be anyway."
Of course she's working out four days a week and trying to eat well:
"I always thought I was going to gain a lot of weight because I'm a big girl naturally. I walk around at 175 lbs, I'm 5'11", and I love to eat," Laila reveals. "I thought, 'Oh God, I'm going to be like 250 lbs and huge.' I know a lot of women have that fear. But because I'm already a big girl, I was just imagining myself to be a giant."
"I haven't had any problems, no cravings or nausea," she says. "I have gained 25 pounds, but I'm going to go back to that gym and work it all off so I'm not really worried about it."
22 August 2008
Celebrities can get away with a lot these days. Wearing outfits that don't match. Washing their hair with Evian. Having personal umbrella holders.
Gwen Stefani had another baby boy by caesarean on Thursday. And she named him......
Zuma. That's right Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale.
21 August 2008
Christian Siriano, the designer from Project Runway, is designing a maternity line called Fierce for Moody Mamas slated for production in Spring 2009. Siriano "thought it would be great" for a gay man to partner with two women who haven't given birth to create a maternity line.