31 January 2008

Uterus news

Word on the street has it that Angelina Jolie is looking to 'sell' her twin pregnancy story to the highest bidder. Christina Aguilera is set to make $1.5 million from Ok! for the first photos of her son and Nicole Richie is to earn $1 million for photos of Harlow.

An open letter to all of the celebrities who are pregnant or are thinking about getting pregnant anytime soon:

As part of the tabloid reading public, I am sick and tired of you farming out the contents of your uteruses to the global media for millions of dollars before your belly even starts to have a hint of swell. Sure, you say, it's all going to charity, you're doing this 'for the children', blah blah blah. Wake up and smell the new millenium. Everyone loves a good baby cover story but don't you think selling your baby's image before he/she even develops the ability to hold their head upright is just wrong?

You complain that the paparazzi are constantly following you; that you can't go out to the supermarket without having your photo taken; that you feel like a prisoner of your fame and fortune. Yet, you sell the most private moments of your 'perfect' family to every gossip-loving mag hag in the free world! Since when did motherhood become an opportunity to make a cool mill? Has the new baby cover shot become a replacement for paid maternity leave?

Let's face it. Just because you are a celebrity, doesn't mean that motherhood won't be overwhelming. Sure you have nannies and drivers and trainers to help you 'bounce' back but fame will not save you from the baby blues, or even worse postnatal depression or feeling like the person you were before baby is lost forever. Seeing you pose on the magazine covers, so sweet and 'happy' with your 'motherhood is amazing'-isms makes my teeth hurt because any mother will tell you (and you probably know this already), motherhood changes you forever and it's not an easy ride. So forget about posing and preening for the camera. Save your baby's retinas from the blinding camera flashbulbs and just be a mother out of the spotlight. Your children will thank you for it some day.

30 January 2008

Jessica Alba's pregnancy 'not cool' according to young men

Jessica Alba is by far one of the most boring 'A-list' celebrities I have ever come across, and yet her pregnancy has been documented with reckless abandon, as I like to say, since the first moment she revealed her status 'with child'. Nevertheless, in the midst of the glowing admonitions surrounding her burgeoning belly (if I read another interview in which she says the same thing about her body changing or knowing the sex of the baby, I will scream) I was particularly interested to come across a video clip from MTV's TRL thanks to the folks at Defamer.

In this particular clip, Alba is doing another boring interview with the vapid hosts of the daytime video show and of course, as her pregnancy is by far the most popular topic of conversation, strangely enough (or perhaps not?) the male host asks Alba how her male fans have reacted to her pregnancy. Alba of course does her ridiculous 13 yr old girl giggle and says 'I don't know' with a surprisingly puzzled look, clearly missing the point of the question being that her male fans see her as a 'sex' symbol and obviously (*stereotypical cultural assumption*) being pregnant makes her anything but 'sexy'. To add insult to injury, the male host takes an informal poll of the drooling teenage boys sitting in the audience, asking if they think Alba's pregnancy is 'cool', as if their opinions mattered. The teen featured in the clip looks at Alba and says 'Not cool' as if being pregnant was a personal sleight against all of the young men like him who have fervently associated Alba with their every sexual fantasy.

You can watch the clip here: http://www.defamer.com.au/2008/01/male_fans_issue_resounding_not_cool_re_jessica_albas_pregnancy-2.html

I find this intriguing. For all intents and purposes, pregnancy is increasingly being 'sold' through the global media as a desirable and career-changing bodily state for celebrities. From Gwen Stefani to Katie Holmes, a female celebrity's stock will rise considerably in terms of her cultural power as soon as she breaks out 'with bump'. We have been inundated with naked, pregnant cover photos and centrefolds reinforcing the fact that pregnancy is no longer a 'condition' to be hidden; that pregnant women are walking sex and pregnant bodies are objects of desire. One only has to look to the massive market of pregnancy porn to see that flaunting one's fertility is hot. After all, as I discovered in an innocent Google search, Hustler's hardcore fetish magazine Taboo devotes at least a few issues a year to pregnant women in compromising..um..positions.

Yet, in this moment on TRL, the seemingly antiquated theoretical representation of pregnant bodies as abject and monstrous and inherently asexual creeps right back into our cultural dialogues. The message is clear: now that Alba is pregnant, she can no longer be 'sexy'. She has been tainted by a maternal body. She is the property of a man (with the very unfortunate name of 'Cash') and in spite of the market value of pregnancy for a young celebrity, one can see why it is now so pressing for postnatal celebs to get their bodies back into shape in order to keep their position on the sexual cultural mantlepiece. Women like Alba are seen as the epitome of heterosexual desire of which the approval of men, perhaps more so than women, shapes their popular appeal. If Alba can no longer attract young men to her movies, the message seems to be, she is no longer valuable no matter how talented she may be.

29 January 2008

One to one midwifery changing Australian pregnancy

Just as the British government is admitting their maternity system is crumbling as thousands of midwives flee to greener pastures (e.g. Australia!) for better pay and working conditions, it seems Australia is finally doing good by their midwives and pregnant women in one of the largest trials of one-to-one midwifery care in Victoria.

It seems midwives have finally gotten the message across: when women are looked after by one midwife from the start to end of pregnancy and beyond, birth outcomes are better and the caesarean rate goes down and women are supported better postnatally. Midwives have a more manageable workload with more midwives on staff, women feel more secure having a familiar face when they give birth and there is less of a strain on the medicare system as less women are interfacing with obstetricians unless absolutely necessary. In the Victorian trial, 1,000 women are paired up with one midwife and hopefully the system of having midwives on call will be implemented more widely in Australia as it seems to work quite well in Europe and New Zealand. Now, if only the American government could be persuaded to think about the welfare of its pregnant women maybe the atrocious birth outcomes in the US would be better with a midwifery system as opposed to the heavy emphasis placed on obstetrics.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/onetoone-midwifery-aims-to-cut-complications/2008/01/28/1201369037407.html

28 January 2008

Angelina Jolie's 'twins' spark rumours of twin pregnancy

According to Star magazine (a highly reliable source), Angelina Jolie is not only pregnant...but pregnant with twins...because Angelina's breasts apparently are a dead give away for pregnancy.

I don't know about anyone else, but I think it's creepy and weird that women have their bellies surveilled constantly for any hint of pregnancy in the first place. Now that bump watch has expanded to 'cleavage' watch, isn't this just another excuse for the paps to perv on celebrity lady lumps? I mean hasn't anyone heard of a push-up bra?

Source: http://www.starmagazine.com/celebrity_news_gossip/entertainment/13791?cid=RSS

27 January 2008

Nicole Richie postbaby body

I've been wondering when someone would snap new mum Nicole Richie since she gave birth 2 weeks ago to her daughter Harlow. She's looking very svelte as expected...check her out:


25 January 2008

Too 'fat' to give birth in hospital

Melbourne mother, Lisa Graves, has been told she is too 'fat' to give birth at her local hospital. At 100kg, Lisa will have to pay for private medical care and travel far from her home to receive the prenatal care she needs.
Why the shaming of 'fat' mothers is wrong

I've talked to dozens of women in Melbourne, all of whom are pregnant, and all of whom told me they feared if they gained ‘too much’ weight or failed to ‘bounce back’, they would no longer be valued as human beings.

The story of Berwick mother, Lisa Graves, proves that their fears are justified. How is it that the paradigm of obstetrics has changed into one in which Australian pregnant women must be legitimately afraid that they will be rejected for prenatal care if their body weight deviates from medical guidelines?

The shaming of fat people, fat women in particular, is a cottage industry in a culture that thrives on size zero and reality shows like The Biggest Loser. Magazines such as Slimming and Health, Good Medicine, and Oxygen are all designed for the ‘health minded consumer’ (mostly women) wanting to lose weight. Whereas fatness was once a sign of leisure, beauty, and status, in Australia, obesity signifies laziness and poor health. Fatness is no longer just a weight problem; it’s like a full-body cancer.

Thinness is admired and important especially for women, defining what is ‘normal’. A toned and contained stomach is unequivocally positioned culturally as the only pathway to happiness. In a culture bursting with ‘skinny’ pregnant celebrities, it is no surprise that pregnant women are no longer immune to the battle of the bulge. In fact, medical concern over ‘fatness’ in pregnancy began in the 1930s in America and is arguably at its height today as ‘fat’ pregnant women like Lisa Graves are told that they will be unable to give birth in a hospital if their body size is outside of ‘normal’.

It’s no wonder that pregnant women are confused by the definition of ‘normal’. In one respect, pregnant women are encouraged to eat big in order to have a healthy baby. ‘Dieting’ during pregnancy is tantamount to child abuse in some cultures. How many times have you mentioned to a pregnant friend that she should have another piece of cake or an extra biscuit simply because she’s ‘eating for two’? After all, pregnancy is quite possibly the only time in a woman’s life when being ‘fat’ is acceptable.

However, doctors also encourage women to vigilantly survey their eating and not gain too much weight. Recent research has shown obesity to be a legitimate medical concern in pregnancy. Babies born to overweight women are more likely to be overweight by the age of three. Obese women have a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes and are more likely to have complicated births.

However, this 'anti-fat' mindset and the moral panic surrounding ‘fat’ pregnant women is ironic considering thin women requesting elective caesareans are heralded as 'smart' for avoiding the agony of childbirth but ‘fat’ women who want to give birth in a hospital are accused of failing to recognise the ‘risks’ associated with their body size. It has become painfully clear, especially if you are ‘fat’; birth is no longer seen as a ‘normal’ life process. Rather, it is an accident waiting to happen.
The arrogance that informs this contradiction is precisely why coming to the defense of 'fat' pregnant women is important and necessary. To turn pregnant women away from hospital and tell them to stop eating and lose weight or to just move on to another facility is as ridiculous as it is patronising. Reducing birth to a problem of body weight grossly oversimplifies a complicated physical process.

Now, it seems ‘fat’ women are worse than ‘teen mothers’ when it comes to winning the title for ‘most ill-equipped’ in managing their own pregnancies; it is these women who are seen as calculating, callous criminals who have little concern for the welfare of their unborn children simply by virtue of being ‘fat’. Lisa Graves should be applauded for being unashamed in her demand for the same compassionate treatment that thinner pregnant women are given. Is too much to ask that doctors stick to the Hippocratic Oath and accept that mothers in all shapes and sizes instead of continuing to demand perfection?

24 January 2008

A model of motherhood?

Most of us spend alot of time (okay, maybe just me) thinking about how all of those celebrities and models manage to bounce back faster than you can say 'liposuction'. New York magazine has picked up on the trend as Russian model Natalia Vodianova is set prance on the catwalks of New York Fashion Week for the third time post-baby. Yes, she is 25 and has given birth three times and returned to the catwalk in record times.

Child: Viktor
Born: September 13, 2007
RTR (Return to Runway): October 3, 2007
DOR (Duration of Recovery): Twenty days

Child: Neva
Born: March 24, 2006
RTR: September 14, 2006
DOR: Five months, 21 days

Child: Lucas
Born: December 21, 2001
RTR: March 11, 2002
DOR: Two months, 21 days
Fast metabolism? Or the lure of millions being waved in your face to shrink down in the name of fashion?

Source: http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2008/01/natalia_vodianova.html

22 January 2008

Best cities to give birth

Fit Pregnancy magazine has just released the top 10 US cities to have a baby. If you go to the website, you can check out the rankings all 50 US cities surveyed.

Caffeine: birth control in a cup

Caffeine is the latest form of ‘birth control in a cup’. It has been suggested that coffee drinking both before and during pregnancy primes fetuses for a cascade of physical problems later in life but in the last few days a new study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology suggests that just two cups of coffee per day can double the risk of miscarriage.

Pregnant women should try to give up caffeine for at least the first three or four months, said the lead author of the study, Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

Whereas earlier 200mg of caffeine was deemed to be 'safe' in pregnancy, now pregnant women are asked to completely avoid caffeine to miminise their risk. I hate this. The advice to pregnant women is just another instance of social control: either follow medical advice or risk your baby’s life. I would take this study lightly, at best. Interviewing women following a miscarriage is sketchy and also just bad science. Moreover, the causes of miscarriage are still largely unknown and 'good' mothers are supposed to be altruistic, putting the needs of the fetus above their own.

Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and epidemiology, at Columbia University Medical Centre sees this study as another scare tactic:

"Moderation in all things is still an excellent rule,” Dr. Westhoff said. “I think we tend to go overboard on saying expose your body to zero anything when pregnant. The human race wouldn’t have succeeded if the early pregnancy was so vulnerable to a little bit of anything. We’re more robust than that.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/21/health/21caffeine.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

19 January 2008

17 January 2008

Trista Sutter bounces back...only to bulge out?

Oh Trista Sutter (T.Sutt, in the spirit of J.Lo)....she's back in the 'news' (and I use that term lightly) in an Us magazine 'Exclusive' splashing her bounced-back-from-baby body on this week's cover. It was only in October that I wrote about Trista's mission to be slim by the new year. Here's a little reminder: http://babybumpproject.blogspot.com/2007/10/trista-sutter-wants-to-be-skinny-sigh.html

Wanting to be 'two sizes smaller' and back into her size 26 Hudson jeans, it looks as though T.Sutt has dropped 30 lbs of her baby baggage and is proud to tell everyone that she can't go to sleep at night until she's done about 5,000 sit ups. Blah Blah Blah.
This is the kicker. Us, in their infinite and highly unethical wisdom (just consider that yesterday breaking news' headline' was that Britney Spears was drinking orange soda), has decided to publish T.Sutt's 'exact' diet and exercise program for all of those mothers who can't wait to beat their bodies into submission because they are afraid their husbands will be forever repusled by a little belly fat.
I find it even more amazing that given the whole 'exclusive' is about how happy T.Sutt is about getting back to her 'sexy' self, the story ends with the mention that she is already trying for a second baby! Honestly! What is the point? I'm sure she's is happy being a mother but what why on earth would she go to such extreme lengths to lose weight if she is just planning on being pregnant immediately following her miraculous transformation?! T.Sutt also goes on about how happy Ryan is with her 'new' body...so if she was so worried before about her relationship won't getting pregnant again bring her back to the same body anxious place?
I don't get it.

16 January 2008

Caesareans: preventing the 'trauma' of natural birth

If this isn't the most irresponsible tidbit about caesars I've read in awhile...

"Tim Wilson, a colorectal surgeon at Sydney Hospital and Mona Vale Hospital, said vaginal birth caused serious problems for women that were often only unmasked later in life. "I see sphincter disruption after vaginal delivery as well as tears in the immediate post-partum period, but most commonly we see the effects of that damage … when women are in their 50s and 60s.

Many women who had a caesarean section were "saving themselves a lot of discomfort and pain later in life", he said. "The birth process is anything but optimal. It is tearing, bruising, and very traumatic - a lot of women do not come forward about it [incontinence] because they feel shamed."

Right. And what were the risks of caesarean again? Oh that's right. I think DEATH is on the top of the list. I think I'll take a little incontinence (which can be remedied with exercise!) over a casket.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/caesareans-unlikely-to-spare-mothers-grief-of-incontinence/2008/01/15/1200159449402.html

15 January 2008

A little bump in the road.

I never thought I would say this.

I feel saturated. Fully and utterly saturated. As of this week, it feels like pregnancy and birth are the only things left for the media to talk about. Whereas I used to get a little rush reading about the latest pregnant celeb, seeing the snaps of her belly in a tight maternity top or delighting in stories about weight gain, for some reason this week, pregnancy in the news is no longer exciting. From someone who lives and breathes pregnancy (without actually being pregnant), this is a very bizarre turn of events.

I've been trying to work out why celeb pregnancy hasn't been doing it for me lately. Is it just the latest crop of preggos that I find to be utterly boring? Is it possible that I have read too many tabloids for one lifetime? Then it occurred to me. Pregnancy is now a career booster for celebrities and the birth of a child is treated like an 'event' rather than a private family affair. More than 400 articles are devoted to the 'birth' of Christina Aguilera's son whom she had by elective caesarean (which is not mentioned anywhere). For someone who claimed she did not want to have the media involved in her pregnancy by sheepishly failing to 'announce' that she was knocked up, that she and her husband sent decided to send out a press release just undermines the 'privacy' she was supposedly trying to achieve. Why would she do that? Because pregnancy and motherhood are clearly boons to the careers of celebrity women and it would be a mistake not to cash in on the tabloid baby showers.

Now that all of these celebs are pregnant (I hesitate to even give a complete list it has grown so spectacularly in the last few months), pregnancy is an PR exercise. No one is willing to say how they really feel and every pregnant celebrity, it seems, feels the need to pay lip service to 'good' motherhood. I swear if I read if one more celeb using the words 'wonderful' or 'amazing' to describe her pregnancy, I think I will hurl. When Halle Berry recently said she wished she could be pregnant 'forever', it was like nails grinding on a chalkboard. Nicole Kidman is 'thrilled' to be pregnant along with the rest of the world as the 600th rumour about her non-existent baby bump has finally come true and no doubt, motherhood at 40 will eclipse all of her independent achievements to date.

I'm just over it. What happened to the frank pregnant confessions of both elation and utter disgruntlement? I'm so sick of celebrity women going on about how great and easy pregnancy is and lapping up the adulation for daring to be naked and pregnant on a magazine cover when only last week it was decided that British mother Louise Manning is set to win up to £200,000
because she was harassed so profoundly at work. Forced to resign when she revealed she was pregnant, Manning's boss sent a memo stating:

"Louise’s pregnancy has quite naturally had an adverse effect on her ability, motivation and dedication."

Mothering is not easy and for many companies, pregnancy is the WORST career move a woman could ever make.

This is the world we live in. It's not all designer prams and expensive birthing suites. Average women, it seems, have to quite literally fight for their 'right' to have a career during pregnancy. Surely the birth of a child is a major life achievement for any woman but quite often it comes at the expense of her ability to achieve a work/life balance. The celebrities who rave about how easy pregnancy is completely undermine the everyday realities that most women face trying to juggle a family with a career or even in staying at home without the luxury of a nanny or a chef.

Source: http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article3176474.ece

09 January 2008

Mothers over 40

If you recall, in October, I wrote about 'Statistics That Piss Me Off'. In particular, it was statement about fertility, that well, pissed me off:

"Fertility Society of Australia spokeswoman Anne Clark warned that the decision to defer motherhood could have serious implications for national population growth: "This is not good news, because fertility levels change for women in their mid-30s and for men after 40, so you are going to have a lot of people pushing it to have more than two children."

In case you have been living in a hole, Nicole Kidman is pregnant. She will actually give birth when she is 41. Whereas the Australian media has been all about flogging mothers over 35 for being selfish and risking their health for no reason, in the last two days, almost every story about 'older' mothers is praiseworthy. For example:

NSW Midwives Association, Hannah Dahlen, said yesterday women should not be deterred.
"Older mothers are more likely to be educated and financially secure, more settled in themselves and more prepared to make the sacrifices required to be a mother," she said. "They are better able to negotiate care for their child, their children often do better in school, and it has also been shown in some studies that women who have babies in their 40s live longer."

Apparently, because Nicole Kidman 'looks' fit and healthy and wants a child so badly, apparently she is immune to any of the 'risks' associated with pregnancy over 40.

Sources: http://www.smh.com.au/news/health/the-risks--and-rewards--when-motherhood-begins-at-40/2008/01/08/1199554655649.html

Halle Berry: thrilled to be eating

I've said more than once that pregnancy is often the only culturally sanctioned time of life when women can be 'fat' and are expected to have big bellies (notwithstanding the fact that there are size zero maternity jeans). I wrote about Milla Jovovich and how her somewhat extreme weight gain (reportedly 70lbs) was most probably symptomatic of her inability to have a healthy relationship with food given her career as a model, and in fact, she confirmed this late in her pregnancy http://babybumpproject.blogspot.com/2007/10/more-more-more-milla-j-are-cravings.html

I was sad to read yesterday Halle Berry said this about her 7 months pregnant body:

"This is the first red carpet that I've really walked down where I didn't have to think about holding in my stomach – because I can't."It's the first time I've been to an awards show where they served a meal and I actually ate it – the whole thing," she said. "I was eating off everybody else's plate and that felt very liberating and good."

I think it's great that Halle feels 'liberated' as she says but I'm not surprised that she feels this way. Women are taught to suck in and push up and shove all the extra floppy bits away so no one can see them. When you're pregnant, clearly sucking in just isn't going to happen. But to think that these smart, funny, talented women have never been able to eat a proper meal in public because their dresses are too tight or because an armada of cameras are staring them down, at the ready to splash just how much they ate across the headlines of the tabloids, is just sad. I think most women who read this blog are guilty of indulging in the same self-defeating behaviours at some point in their life but why do we allow that? We should feel liberated to eat whenever we want, not just when we are growing another human life. Halle might feel free to indulge herself now but no doubt when that baby is born, like every other celebrity, she will be back in her jeans faster than she grew out of them.

Source: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20169669,00.html

06 January 2008

When a sonogram is nothing to celebrate

Everywhere you look, fertility is fed to women on a slow drip from the time we are old enough to actually know what it means. Babies smile at us on TV to sell visions of idyllic family life. Pregnancy is used as a 40 week joy ride into the birth canals of celebrity women we don't really know personally, but 'know' where they bought their last latte, who their gynecologist is and when they have scheduled an elective caesar. 3D ultrasounds are marketed as baby's 'first photo' and as the first step to motherhood. The point is that being a parent is a not only marked as the most formative experience in any individual life, it is a market that never dries up for big companies. As much as we love to rhaposodise on the joys of parenting, we often forget that fertility is a privilege and not a given. Sure Hallmark is happy to sell 'It's a Girl' greeting cards, but 'My Uterus is Empty' cards are nowhere to be found. Celebrities are happy to blab to the media about how much money they have spent on the nursery but no one ever wants to reveal how much money they invested in IVF.

Here is a thought-provoking article from the New York Times about one woman's experience of 'failed' fertility:

02 January 2008

Indian wombs for rent

Considering India is well-known for being the mecca of American and Australian call-centres, it perhaps comes as no surprise that young Indian women are similarly outsourcing their wombs as they would their voices for wealthy, but infertile, American and European couples.

In Anand, a city in Gujarat famous for its milk, 15 young mothers live and together harmoniously as incubators for their paying customers. Commercial surrogacy is a thriving industry in India for women who want to help their own families and have a healthy body that can carry a pregnancy to term. The women of Anand are implanted with the in-vitro eggs and sperm from the infertile couples and carry the pregnancy to term, looked after by a staff of doctors, cooks and maids.

Critics of this new method of surrogacy are vocal in their dismay at hiring out poor women in developing countries to carry the risks of pregnancy and birth in countries where maternal mortality rates are alarmingly high. Moreover, in outsourcing pregnancy at 'cut-rate' prices, questions about baby farms and the value of 'Western' versus 'non-Western' women's bodies are at the forefront of ethical and moral feminist debates. However, proponents of the industry argue that women in Anand know the risks of pregnancy and are willing to part with the baby in order to make much needed money that overwhelmingly outweighs any sort of income a woman could achieve on her own. Suman Dodia, a pregnant, baby-faced 26-year-old, said she planned to buy a house with the $4,500 she would receive from the British couple whose child she’s carrying. It would have taken her 15 years to earn that on her maid’s monthly salary of $25.

Undeniably, questions of outsourcing pregnancy are just as uncomfortable as the more recent trends in outsourcing breast feeding (wet nursing). However, it is also uncomfortable for feminists to deny the agency of these Indian women in suggesting that they don't know what they are getting in to or are being forced to become surrogates. Clearly, this is an issue of voluntariness and how much risk these women are willing to accept for a specific sum of money (much like feminist debates over prostitution or stripping). There is a sort of funny Western moral panic surrounding women and the commodification of their reproductive bodies. Prostitution is still taboo despite the explosive porn and stripping industries in the US on the basis that women should not 'sell' their bodies for a profit, coupled with antiquated notions of femininity and chastity. Pregnancy outsourcing is no different; if women have wombs that can be 'sold' like a product and a woman's quality of life rises exponentially as a result of her better financial position, who are we to say that she is not allowed to outsource her womb?

Source: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080101/jsp/nation/story_8731116.jsp

01 January 2008

New year, new pregnancy woes?

Now that I'm back in Melbourne and quite literally melting on the first day of the new year, perhaps it's only appropriate to celebrate the 10 best moments in celeb pregnancy in 2007:

10) Lily Allen: luckily avoided tabloid spectacle for her unplanned, out-of-wedlock pregnancy as a result of making her announcement at the same time as even bigger trainwreck, Jamie Lynn Spears (we'll get to her later). Announced just yesterday she will not be adding a maternity line to her new collection of clothing as it would send a 'bad message' to young girls.

9) Halle Berry: having wanted a baby for as long as anyone can remember and after a string of loser husbands, Halle is finally pregnant to a man who is quite possibly more beautiful than she. How's that for revenge?

8) Bridget Moynahan: made the mistake of getting knocked up at the same time she and Patriots frontman Tom Brady were just calling it quits. He shacked up with Brazillian supermodel Giselle Bundchen and Bridget ended up popping out his baby alone. The word on the street is she 'bounced back' so quickly just to show him what he was missing (I assume that's in addition to being a responsible father?)

7) Jennifer Lopez: played the 'I'm not pregnant' game for longer than anyone was willing to withstand and as a result, even I lost interest. 'Freaking out' over having gained 50lbs to date according to the latest Internet rumours, J.Lo is either have twins or a small mammal (I'm guessing it's twins, so why don't you just tell us already?!)

6) Christina Aguilera: same deal, feigned non-pregnancy for too long only to bust out naked and knocked up for Marie Claire magazine this month. *Yawn* Last I heard she has scheduled a caesar for the first week of January because pushing just isn't her thing.

5) Milla Jovovich: is there anything more delicious than seeing a waifish stick-figure model gain upwards of 70lbs in a single pregnancy? Milla literally ate her way through 9 months of baby-growing and has not appeared in many photos since in the birth of her daughter.

4) Jessica Alba: international sex symbol gone maternal and marrying a guy named 'Cash'. Seriously, I hope they don't name the new baby 'Money'.

3) Britney Spears: was not pregnant but 'accused' of pregnancy so many times in 2007 we might as well include her on the list. Dealt with dysfunction, K-Fed, and the loss of custody of her children. No wonder she decided to shave her head, attack a paparazzo with an umbrella and get kicked out of almost every decent hotel in Beverly Hills.

2) Nicole Richie: formerly drug addicted, eating disordered and struggling with family dysfunction, hooks up with tattooed rocker and does complete 180. Starts eating, becomes the poster child of good motherhood and reignites her friendship wth Paris Hilton. Need I say more?

1) Jamie Lynn Spears: 16 years old and shares the same genes with Britney Spears. Priceless.
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The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.