30 July 2008

Pregnancy madness

I like to keep abreast of the latest scandal as much as the next gal. Whereas scandals used to involve celebrities, an addiction, an affair, an illegitimate pregnancy or a divorce, this week pregnant women around the world have been making headlines for subverting all kinds of cultural norms:

In the Daily Mail yesterday, a debate about freebirthing as 'madness' or 'ideal'. One woman is profiled for flagrantly bucking the British national health system. Apparently the risks she took 'horrified' doctors.
See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1039407/Freebirthing-Is-madness-ideal-way-birth.html

Two American women in the US were featured on Good Morning America after admitting to 'cross-feeding', meaning they breastfed each other's babies. This is apparently controversial and has been featured as a topic for discussion on all the American morning shows and this morning on Australia's Today.
Watch the segment here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/story?id=5459697&page=1

Again, on GMA this morning there is a lengthy feature about women who give birth not knowing they were even pregnant in the first place. This is supposed to be bizarre but actually it happens quite often. The GMA article argues that it is most likely because the women are overweight and do not gain any weight or have physical signs of pregnancy. I tend to disagree. I think that part of the lack of recognition of physical or psychological signs of pregnancy may be attributed to ‘avoidance coping’ mechanisms in which a woman denies the pregnancy if she feels she is not ready to have a baby or has not yet decided whether she will carry the pregnancy to term. For isntance, it's very interesting that the majority of women who have 'surprise pregnancies' (which the show doesn't even mention) are teen mothers.
Check it out: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/story?id=5470808&page=1


29 July 2008

Rebecca Romijn pregnant

It was only about a week ago that Jerry O'Connell mentioned that he and his wife, Rebecca Romijn were trying to get pregnant. Turns out they have just announced she is pregnant with twins. And apparently, this has all come about without any fertility treatments.
Yay! Now, we can all look forward to another big celebrity baby magazine payout.

28 July 2008

Camila Alves: post-baby body

In the true spirit of Hollywood, Camila Alves (Matt McConaughey's girlfriend) is looking positively slender only 17 days since the birth of their first child.
Check a gallery of celeb more baby bumps due in the US 'summer':

25 July 2008

X-files pregnancy

"The only thing I do when I'm pregnant is eat and sit on my butt!"
"I'm not really craving anything, but there's the lazy part of me that thinks, 'What's the point in working out until I have the baby?' Then we'll actually do something!" she said.
Well, clearly that's not true considering Gillian Anderson is flitting around the world promoting X-Files. It seems to me, either celebrities blab on about how active they are and how much they love pregnancy or they do the 'I don't care about weight gain'/'I'm lazy' thing.
This woman is probably working harder now than she has in the last few years!

With a little help from science

The interwebs is all abuzz with word that the new Brangelina spawn were conceived using IVF. It seems that because the pair want to have lots of kids while they are still young, they decided to bank on the 25% chance that they would have twins through in vitro:

The actress chose the procedure (which can cost around $12,000 a pop) so "she wouldn't have to deal with the stress of trying to get pregnant," the source tells Us. "She could just knock it out."
I don't have a problem with IVF necessarily and I think things become very complicated when we start judging what is 'ethical' when it comes to reproductive technology. I'm puzzled, however, because Ange is only 33. If indeed, she conceived Shiloh 'naturally' as everyone seems to assume, I would think she has many more years of viable baby-making time and eggs in order to pump out as many children as she so desires. I think it's kind of odd that she's turned herself into a baby factory. Humans carry one baby at a time for a number of evolutionary reasons. Twin pregnancies are extremely taxing on the body. Why do that by choice if you didn't have to?

24 July 2008

Matthew McConaughey: 'we' or 'she'??

Talk about two slow news days. Matthew McConaughey and his partner Camila Alves are on the cover of Ok! with their new baby, Levi. Not very whiz bang exciting but I am interested in the fact that Matthew is the focus of the article. Sure he's the 'celebrity' but she's the one that had the damn baby and very oddly, he answers most of the questions about the birth. Poor gal ended up with a caesar because the docs told her a cord around the neck was making it too dangerous to give birth 'naturally':

"We ended up having an epidural because, on the large contractions, the umbilical cord was being compressed. They went in and tried the vacuum. This is where I learned — and no one tells you this — but having a baby is a bloody, pukey, sweaty, primeval thing! And I mean that as a beautiful thing. It is wild. But the vacuum didn't work, and the doctor said, 'C-section.'

22 July 2008

Why stop at fourteen?

This British mother of 13 is pregnant with number 14 (just 7 months following 13). Oh and she's a size zero. Lost all her weight 5 days after last birth:

'I don't really diet after I've given birth,' she said at home in Guernsey. 'I do have a real weakness for chocolate and like all mums I definitely indulge while I'm pregnant. But I don't put on much weight during each pregnancy as I don't have a huge appetite and afterwards the excess goes very quickly.'

This woman has basically been pregnant with short breaks for the last 20 years...and *gasp* she's not necessarily hanging up the preggo clothes.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1036905/Mother-13-pregnant-number-14-just-seven-months-gave-birth.html

Nicole Kidman: what baby?

Brave be the woman who wears white jeans two weeks following childbirth.

Source: http://dlisted.com/node/27280

20 July 2008

Wordle me this

This post may be vaguely related to pregnancy, but I just came across Wordle. On this free site, you input text and get a word cloud! The prominence of the words displayed depends on their frequency in the text you input. I tried a page from my thesis about pregnancy nutrition. If you want to make clouds and add them to The Baby Bump Project Gallery, save them under: babybumpproject

Source: www.wordle.com

Halle Berry: post-baby body

Halle Berry sporting a very flat stomach 5 months since giving birth. According to the Daily Mail, this is 'several months longer than other new Hollywood mothers'. Give me a bloody break.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1036490/New-mum-Halle-Berry-flashes-flat-tummy-losing-baby-weight-healthy-way.html

19 July 2008

Breast milk jewelry?

Yes, you did read that title correctly. JEWELRY. MADE. OF. BREAST. MILK.

A French design collective, Duende, is displaying a collection of objects that explore the sharing of food between mother and child in France in September.

Objects will include containers for burying the placenta, tableware for the ritual of eating the placenta and conceptual jewellery that could be made from the mother’s breast milk.
The 'milk pearl' shown above is made from solidified casein, the protein in animal/human breast milk. According to the designers:
"The ‘Perle de lait’ range of jewellery imagines a new set of personalized post-natal objects. The breast-feeding mother sends a feeding bottle full of her milk to a laboratory where it is transformed into a gem-like substance that can be mounted on a neck-piece or any other form of jewellery."
The objects in the collection are evocative and beautiful:

Nicole Kidman: with baby, no bump

Nicole Kidman, one week postbaby. Word is she has most (or all?) of the weight she gained during the pregnancy. Was spotted at the gym the day before she delivered too!

18 July 2008

Melissa Joan Hart: on losing weight post-baby

Melissa Joan Hart is featured in Ok! talking about her post-baby weight loss. Hart gave birth to a second son 4 months ago, and now says she is only 5 pounds away from her 'goal' weight'. This time around the actress says she tried harder to drop her weight, although, she is not trying to lose too much because she is breastfeeding. Here are some highlights:

How much extra weight did you put on when you were pregnant?

I probably put on about 35 pounds. Maybe by the end of it, it was close to 40. Whereas with Mason, my first pregnancy, I put on like 55. So it was a big difference.

How much do you have left to lose?
I’m about five [pounds] off from where I started. But I want to drop another 10. So I have 10 more pounds, and I'll do that over the rest of the year. But see, weight's tricky too, because I’m putting on muscle. When I had Mason, I was the lightest weight I’ve ever been, but I wasn’t working out. So I looked skinny, and the scale was reading skinny, but I had no muscle tone to me. This time I want to have muscles, so I’m probably going to weight a little more than I did.

Did you go through stages of feeling "unsexy" while you were carrying the baby weight?
Oh god, I did not like being pregnant. I was just reading a magazine where there were a group of celebrities that loved being pregnant, so they never wanted to stop. And then there was a group of women that were just like, I hated it. And I just hated it.

Source: http://www.okmagazine.com/news/view/7933

17 July 2008

Jessica Alba: sappy and sweet

Jessica Alba's $1.5 million Ok! cover has just been released. Apparently, Alba had a 'natural' birth and she 'didn't scream'. She says:

"The labor was more like meditation," she says. "I did yoga breathing. I was focused."

And now, of course, she's back to working out and losing weight:

"I started working out last Thursday, but for 20 minutes. I do cardio on my own. I'm doing it slow," she says. "Now I'm starting to eat more healthy. Because after working out, having fried chicken and mashed potatoes is a little counteractive."


Source: http://www.okmagazine.com/news/view/7881

Contraception = abortion?

There are times when I miss being an American and actually living in the US...but then there are moments, like right now, when I'm happy to be living in another country.

If you thought that George W. was just a 'lame duck', let me tell you...Mr. President is planning to suck every ounce of reproductive freedom from the wombs of American women. Here's why:

A report has been released suggesting that the Bush administration is planning to strengthen their opposition to abortion by redefining contraception as abortion. Under the new regulation, abortion would be defined as:

'...any of the various procedures - including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action - that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation'.

So basically 'pregnancy' is being defined as the presence of a fertilised egg and not an implanted fertilised egg (as most gynecologists and medical dictionaries would argue). Moreover, another niggling detail of this proposed bill is that it strengthens the legislation that already exists that says that federal employees cannot be fired from their jobs if they do not want to perform certain tasks that run counter to their religious/moral beliefs. Why does this matter? Well, because there are a number of federally funded health care services that will be able to refuse treating certain patients or refuse performing certain procedures if a doctor doesn't believe it is right. This means that women (especially poor and minority women) might have their access to contraception or abortion restricted if a doctor thinks its wrong. Health providers would also have the right to share their personal beliefs about abortion, for instance, with patients. Hospitals could potentially have the right to refuse emergency contraception to rape victims.

This is what happens when a President allows a veterinarian to be in charge of the Office of Women's Health (no, really!)

On a lighter note, say Goodnight to Bush: http://www.goodnightbush.com/


16 July 2008

Vertical birthing in Peru

The Peruvian government is encouraging poor indigenous women to travel to birth centres to have their babies as opposed to having them at home. Too many women are dying or suffering from complications. In Peru, 185 die per 100,000 births. As a result, the birth centres are finding ways to integrate indigenous birthing practices into a medical environment, including vertical birthing, which is basically having the baby while standing up.

"Western science is unaware of the priorities and needs of women, particularly rural women, who consider childbirth a natural event and do not think changes to the traditional vertical delivery are needed," the ministry said in a small book extolling the benefits of standing during childbirth.
One photographer has documented the births of a number of Incan women in Cuzco and the images are spectacular:

Charlotte Church: babies are better when they are born at home

Huzzah! Charlotte Church is having baby number 2 at home. Apparently Charlotte has become a spokesperson for breastfeeding and homebirth since having her first baby at home last year. According to the Welsh government, homebirths in Wales have risen to 25% even though the government's target was only 10%. That's 1/4 of all births taking place at home!

Even her rugby playing partner, Gavin, was pretty jazzed with the homebirth:

“The midwife called me when the baby was just coming out and to see that was amazing. You don’t know what people are talking about unless you’ve been a part of it.

“I had so much more respect and so much more love for Charlotte after what she’d just been through. I cut the cord.

“I was just so relieved that the baby looked really healthy. I checked everything and she looked beautiful.”

Source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/showbiz-and-lifestyle/2008/07/15/charlotte-church-opts-to-have-second-baby-at-home-91466-21339878/

14 July 2008

Womb raider spawns two of her own

Oh, in case you're living in bunker, Angelina Jolie has given birth to twins by caesarean section. The world can continue to turn.

Charlotte Church: fighting the fat

Charlotte Church may be happy to be pregnant for a second time, but one thing she's not looking forward to is getting 'fat'. In the latest edition of Ok!, Charlotte says:

'I’m not looking forward to getting a big fat face and arms again. I was just beginning to get my body back and I was doing quite well.'

In the next breath, however, she back pedals and says:

'It’s what women are made for. If you can’t indulge yourself during pregnancy, when can you?’

13 July 2008

Civil rights movement for foetuses

In November, it looks like Colorado voters will be asked when life begins. The Human Life Amendment is being put forward to voters to ensure that personhood starts from the moment of conception. If voters agree, fertilised eggs will have the same rights as those people with the gross motor skills, a fully formed brain and obviously, the ability to walk.

Although the measure is not directly aimed at putting limitations on abortion, Colorado Right to Life is all over it for obvious reasons.

"The goal is to restore legal protection to preborn babies from the moment they are conceived, which is the only way we're going to stop abortion," said Leslie Hanks, vice president of the group.

If passed, this could have dire consequences for the progress of medical research, the rights of mothers, the continuing availability of contraception, and of course abortion. Some critics are suggesting that if this amendment passes, this could be the start of another battle against Roe v. Wade. Also, if pregnant women are categorised as 'two' people instead of one, her ability to access medical care will also be compromised.

This measure may protect the 'human' rights of foetuses, but what about protecting the mother's human rights?

What do you think?


Fat and Pregnant

I don't know about you but I'm pretty sick of reading about obesity. Australia was recently crowned the 'Fattest Nation' just edging out the United States and let me tell you, every second article in the papers lately is about the 'ticking timebomb' of fatness.

It comes as no surprise then that there is now a new genre of obstetric care emerging to accommodate pregnant women who are more generously proportioned. A new Centre for Bariatric Obstetric Care is opening in Ann Arbor, Michigan outfitted with special equipment to 'manage' the pregnancies of morbidly obese women.

Contrary to what seems to be logical, obese pregnant women are advised not to gain any weight at all during pregnancy, and instead, are encouraged to lose weight. Whilst it is clear that there is an impressive list of legitimate risks associated with obesity and pregnancy outcomes, one gynecologist has noted that pregnancy is effectively 'obesity's ground zero'. If anyone else has noticed, a range of headlines lately have been about how eating junk food, for example, in pregnancy can causes 'irreparable' lifelong damage to foetuses, predisposing them to being overweight by the age of 3. Now, it seems, it is okay to blame overweight women for obesity in the next generation. This is worrying. As much as fat is something that has come to be feared, my concern is that 'fat' has come to be a scapegoat for the privileging of foetal rights over maternal rights. For a while it was just women who smoked and drank that were blamed for foetal abuse, will having an extra piece of cake now carry the same moral weight?

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/magazine/13wwln-essay-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

11 July 2008

Orgasmic birth?

Sheila Kitzinger is famous for writing about orgasmic birth. Now there's a movie about it. Orgasmic Birth is screening around the country, debunking the idea that birth cannot be pleasurable. Check out www.orgasmicbirth.com

Jessica Alba: never felt less sexy

Jessica Alba is on the August cover of Cosmopolitan (UK) bleating on about how 'unsexy' and fat she felt when she was pregnant *sigh*

"I never felt less sexy. I mean, I wouldn't have changed it for the world...but I wanted to get rid of all the weight."

And of course she's nearly back to her pre-baby weight. Alba is normally a 26/27, and she is a size 28 right now.

Source: http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/b145967_jessica_alba_weight_almost_over.html

10 July 2008

Jamie Lynn: on the cover of Ok!

The photos are in. In the midst of a raging moral panic about teen pregnancy in the US (hello, Gloucester!), Jamie Lynn Spears has come out of hiding to pose with her baby Maddie for Ok! She was induced but had a 'natural' birth in about 4 hours. She says:

"Once I got in there, my doctor was just so calm and so good it was not bad at all," she says. "I was just talking to Casey. And you know what's so weird? I was asking him if he was okay. He was like, 'Yeah.' We were both so excited."

Hmm. This Casey is clearly a man of few words. And what is with her hair? It looks like a blue rinse!

Source: http://www.okmagazine.com/news/view/7750

09 July 2008

The interweb: pregnant with possibility

Here's a little tidbit:

'Am I pregnant?' is the top Internet search among British web surfers, followed by 'How do I work out how many weeks pregnant I am?' and 'What does morning sickness feel like?'

Apparently, life's most pressing questions (and those that are too embarassing to be asked in person) are being saved for the Information God that is Google.

And I believe this too. Lots of people who end up here use 'Am I pregnant' as their search query.

Source: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Technology/Internet-Questions-Am-I-Pregnant-Tops-Poll-Of-Most-Searched-Terms/Article/200807215027867?lpos=Technology_1&lid=ARTICLE_15027867_Internet%2BQuestions%253A%2BAm%2BI%2BPregnant%2BTops%2BPoll%2BOf%2BMost%2BSearched%2BTerms

Drinking during pregnancy: a criminal offense?

New Zealand police found a pregnant woman, due to give birth this week, heavily intoxicated after what police think was allegedly an 8 hour drinking 'binge'. One detective says:

"It's gravely concerning that anyone would consume large amounts of alcohol while pregnant, placing the welfare of their own unborn child at risk. We will certainly be investigating the circumstances and if there is any criminality involved, we will consider whether charges should be laid against her."

This story comes hot on the heels of a recent push to change labelling on alcohol bottles to indicate that women should not drink at all during pregnancy.

What do you think?

Source: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23981494-23109,00.html

08 July 2008

Javine Hylton: post-baby body

British singer, Javine Hylton has dropped most of her baby weight since giving birth in February of this year. She says, however, it hasn't been easy (motherhood and losing weight). I rate this woman. Not only does she admit that losing weight is bloody hard, she also acknowledges the absolute shock that is having a baby for many first-time mums. She says in Closer magazine:

“I’d always thought of myself as a fit, athletic person, but I’d spread everywhere! My bum was enormous – it came round on all sides and stuck out behind me! I’d put on four stone while pregnant – going up to fourteen stone – and although I’d lost some of the weight, my pre-pregnancy jeans wouldn’t fit. I’d cover up in Harvey’s biggest T-shirts and tracksuit bottoms.”

Six weeks post-birth, she hired a trainer, ramped up her fitness and started to eat well. Javine has gone from 14 stone (88 kg) in pregnancy to about 10.5 (65 kg) in the photo above.

Source: http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1032969/Javine-Hylton-shows-post-baby-figure.html

07 July 2008

Nothing says 'I love you' like a big, fat diamond

Looks like Nicole Kidman is getting a 'push' present, you know, the new, very consumerist version of a very old American ritual in which women get gifts for giving birth.

Except, Nic is getting a $73,000 Cartier Trinity band which is apparently 'very symbolic'.

Is there a pair of diamond earrings waiting in the wings for an extra long labour?

Source: http://www.sofeminine.co.uk/w/star/n433100/news/Keith-Urban-s-labour-ring.html

I'm turning electromagnetically Japanese

An electromagnetic analysis of a 26-week pregnant Japanese woman. The grey area on the left is the foetus. It's called a numerical model and it's used to see behaviour over time. The researchers are currently developing models of pregancy in periods other than 26 weeks.


Men: your collective biological clocks are ticking

Finally. According to a French study of 12,000 Parisian couples, male fertility drops significantly after the age of 35. For so long, 'older' women and their supposedly shriveled ovaries have been the primary sources of blame when it comes to conception difficulties. Women who were artificially inseminated with their male partner's semen fell pregnant less often when their partner was over 35. Men, it seems, also have a ticking biological clock. As soon as a man hits 40, his semen becomes more abnormal. Overall sperm count declines as well.

It seems that the myth of the eternally virile 'older' man may be put to rest.

Source: www.news-medical.net/?id=39777

06 July 2008

The most valuable babies in the world

Word on the street is that Ange and Brad are demanding are being offered £11m for the first pictures of the twins. In a revealing article in the Daily Mail (not the most reliable source, but nevertheless...), Ange is holed up in her French hospital making demands and trying to maintain her 'tranquility quotient' which basically means her days are focused on being calm and getting massages and making obnoxious celebrity demands. She apparently travels with a coterie of doctors, midwives and has a pregnancy 'coach'. What does one do with a pregnancy coach if you are not actually in the midst of giving birth? Oh and she's already trying to adopt a boy from the same orphanage where she found Zahara. That would bring her brood up to a whopping 7. Egad.

Anyway, worth a read, if anything just for the salacious gossip:

05 July 2008

Is breastfeeding sexy?

Breastfeeding, for all intents and purposes, is a public issue. In the UK recently, women's groups have been lobbying to have laws changed that allow mothers to breastfeed in any public place regardless of how old the baby is. The prohibition on breastfeeding, it seems, has come from the long-standing view in the West that breasts are solely objects for sex and not for babies (or at least in public).

Perhaps it's no surprise that a man has written in to the Times revealing his fascination with breastfeeding. He says that when he sees his wife feeding his son he has fantasies about being breastfed himself. I don't think this is necessarily uncommon; revealing a desire for your partner's lactating breasts, however, is clearly still taboo.

I started to wonder how it is that breasts somehow became culturally divorced from sexuality particularly in the context of breastfeeding. The funny thing about this taboo about breastfeeding being sexy or sexual is that as much as we would like to deny it, breasts aren't just arbitrary objects stuck on our bodies. From an evolutionary perspective, breasts perform an important function. As soon as we could walk upright, breasts became a primary symbol for sexual attraction.

Suggesting that breastfeeding isn't sexy or that it's gross, for example, that a man is turned on by lactation is actual quite ironic considering maternity is completely sexualised in pop culture. As pregnant celebrities have come to epitomise the meaning of 'yummy mummy' and in light of the naked pregnant portrait, it only follows that breastfeeding should be viewed as 'sexy' too. But for the most part, it is not.

Isn't it bizarre then, that we keep suggesting that breastfeeding isn't sexy, that a mother's breasts are 'tools' serving only a functional purpose, and yet quite often the bans on public breastfeeding are premised on the fact that it is a sensual activity! The interesting thing is that even though Sheila Kitzinger wrote back in the 1970s that women should feel free to experience orgasms from breastfeeding, the idea that women can derive pleasure from lactation is also majorly taboo. The only 'appropriate' context in which women should derive pleasure in lactation is when there is a man involved. Breastfeeding is supposed to be 'maternal' behaviour, not 'sexual' behaviour. Women who breastfeed for children until they are 5 are positioned as freaks and child abusers, yet a woman who allows her husband to breastfeed as part of a sexual fantasy, is only fulfilling his desire. There is, after all, such a thing as 'lactation porn'. I'll let you work that one out for yourself. As Alison Bartlett, an Australian feminist scholar has written in her extensive work on the meaning of breastfeeding:
"If lactating breasts were considered sexy, maybe the value of mothers would increase in our cultural economy."

As she says, I think it's worth considering. What do you think?

Alison Bartlet, 'Maternal sexuality and breastfeeding', Sex Education, vol. 5, no.1, 2005, 67-77.
Fiona Giles, Fresh milk: the secret life of breasts, Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 2003

03 July 2008

A little pelvic thrust for a lot of money

Well, I have now seen the future and as I have said many times before, it is not good.

First, it was the bikini wax. Then it was the Brazillian. My friends, the maintenance of your vagina has just become more expensive.

Welcome to the era of the gyno spa. That's right ladies. GYNO-SPA. We're talking a gym for your vagina. And where else would you find one, other than New York City.

After seeing how successful (and profitable) teeth whitening chains had become, Dr. Lauri Romanzi, a gynecologist, decided to invest in pelvic fitness. In a 'spa' set up next to her clinic, she takes her clients through pelvic exercises which she calls the 'dental floss' of feminine fitness.

"At the spa, the signature treatment will be a $150 gynecological exam — in which a client contracts her pelvic muscles around Dr. Romanzi’s fingers — to determine by feel whether muscle tone is weak, moderate or strong."

The exercise consultation is especially being marketed to new mothers who need to tighten up. You can even get cosmetic laser treatments to tighten up the skin of your vulva *gulp*

Scared. I am very, very scared.

Oh baby!

So it seems that Angelina Jolie may not have comandeered an entire country for the birth of her twins but she has comandeered an entire hospital. I can't get over how ridiculous the media coverage of her pregnancy, the longest pregnancy in the history of humanity, has become. Even her French obstetrician is giving press conferences to say that she is doing 'alright' and that the babies are many weeks off:

"This is not an emergency situation," he added. "Her hospitalization at this stage in her pregnancy is totally normal for a patient who had a Caesarean (section) during her first pregnancy."

Pfft! Why in the world would you want to stay in a hospital for weeks? Even if they have booked out 4 rooms in the hospital, I reckon Ange is off for another caesar and it will happen any day now. Moreover, I have never heard of women who have caesars for a second checking into hospital in advance of the surgery.

In other news, Naomi Watts is pregnant again, just 10 months after giving birth to her first son, Alexander. Watts is currently 4 months pregnant.

And! Us magazine has another arresting post-baby body photo gallery..actually this one is quite good (Halle Berry, Jen Garner, Nicole Richie, Tori Spelling, J.Lo, Keri Russell, and many more)

Have a look here: http://www.usmagazine.com/stars_post_baby_bods_021208

Sources: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h2_IyFabYfllWKbrFuPHs6X2nqOQD91LUGRG0

02 July 2008

Baby Spice: on post-baby body pressures

Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice) is featured in UK mag Red talking about how hard it was to give birth and almost immediately after jump on tour with the Spice Girls.

"You have to get back in shape and your fitness has to be up to a two-hour show every night. And there’s the pressure of looking good in your stage costumes. I don’t know if I’d put myself through that again, to tell you the truth."

"It’s tough for any woman returning to work straight after having a baby. I didn’t want to be in the gym 24 hours a day, instead of being with Beau. And, I wanted to breastfeed for the first couple of months. I did lots of walking, but I couldn’t do sit-ups, because I’d had a Caesarean, as I was overdue.

You know, I actually believe her. While in the Spice Girls, Emma was never ridiculously thin and perhaps looked the most 'normal' woman of the whole group. She says:

"The first fortnight of the tour, I did feel self-conscious but, one night, I was up on stage and it just hit me: hold on, Emma, everyone knows you’ve just had a baby, enjoy it.

I wonder if she had a caesar because she was 'overdue' or if she was edging too close to the time she was supposed to join the Spice Girls tour.....

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/showbiz/latest/2008/07/02/in-pictures-emma-bunton-i-like-being-curvy-89520-20628447/

Baby bump round-up

Oh Minnie, gotta love her. Last week the poor gal was dubbed 'pasty' with a 'massive' bump in a white bikini a la Mylene Klass. This week she is praised for wearing a "thigh-skimming, off the shoulder number" as she "sashayed" down the red carpet. As the birth is imminent, the media want to know things (well, 2 things only): who is her baby daddy? and how is she going to lose the weight. Minnie is still mum on dad but she did have this to say about weight loss:

'I don't know what this celebrity obsession of getting your pre-baby body back in the shortest time possible is all about. It's the most unhealthy thing and it's horrifying that you should somehow get back into a size two a couple of weeks after giving birth. So plan on seeing me podgy and fat, knocking around in Malibu and proud of it."

Did I mention I love her?

In other 'news', Ashley Simpson now has a 'baby bump'. You heard it here first. Oh and Angelina Jolie has checked in hospital to 'prepare' for birth a few days before her due date. Sounds suss to me. I think she has scheduled a caesar. Anyone else agree? Who wants to hang out in a hospital just for fun?

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1030810/Minnie-Drivers-baby-bump-steals-spotlight-red-carpet-premiere.html

'Older' pregnancy = caesar epidemic

An 'epidemic of middle-age pregnancy' is apparently sweeping the UK. According to a new study, 4 out of 10 caesarean births are to women over 30.

And the solution? It seems that doctors just want to blame women for having careers, an education and hanging out by themselves before getting married and having babies.

"Professor James Walker, spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said it should be a 'real worry' for society that women were less likely to have successful pregnancies as they got older. 'The prime time to have a baby is in your 20s,' he added.

Uh huh. And in this study, how do they control for factors like obesity, fear of pain during birth and elective caesars?

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1030911/Four-Caesarean-births-women-delaying-child-birth-late-30s-say-researchers.html

Jessica Alba comes out of hiding

The photo you've been waiting for (okay, maybe not, but it's hard to be exciting at 7:45am on a Wednesday): Jessica Alba one month post-baby

According to the Daily Mail, her figure is fabulous and she has lost all of her pregnancy weight.

What do you think?

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1030740/Oh-baby-Jessica-Alba-shows-fabulous-post-pregnancy-figure.html

01 July 2008

Dara Torres: insane body at 41

Some of you might remember Olympic gold medal swimmer, Dara Torres. She was one of the first athletes to pose alongside models in Sports Illustrated and has been known for her amazing comebacks, first retiring at 25 and then coming back 8 years later at the Olympics in Sydney to win more medals. Now, at 41, and with a 2 year old daughter, she is trying for a spot on the American squad for Beijing.

Her body is amazing (and slightly unsettling). Having to compete with much younger athletes has caused her to devote obsessive attention to her physique. She kept up her insane fitness regimen even when she was pregnant and very soon post-baby:
"At the time, she began swimming again for exercise, because, she says, she had terrible morning sickness and she’d “rather throw up in the pool gutter than next to the StairMaster.” But predictably, Torres soon found herself racing “whoever the middle-aged guy happened to be in the next lane,” even when she was noticeably pregnant. Three and a half months postpartum, she raced at the Masters World Championships. Fifteen minutes after nursing Tessa in the bathroom, she swam the first leg of the 50-meter freestyle relay in 25.98 seconds — fast enough to qualify for this week’s Olympic trials. "
While Torres is an athlete and understandably, she has to train to succeed and her body needs to be conditioned, a recent article featuring Torres in Women's Health says in it's opening sentence:
"This diehard Olympic swimmer is proof that (1) your body can be rock-hard at 40; (2) a baby doesn't have to slow you down; and (3) when it comes to any goal, it's all about how bad you want it"
I think Torres' regimen is pretty unreasonable for the average mum who is just getting back into shape and should in no way aspire to look like her. I don't think the article emphasises enough that Torres is a professional athelete; that she HAS to be lean to do her job. I mean who cares if your body is 'rock hard' at 40 if you don't depend on your body for your livelihood (like a celeb or an athlete)? Go for your life if that is important to you but seriously, it's just another not-so-subtle message that if your body is flabby or you're 'old' then you suck as a woman and a mother.

Gwyn Paltrow: off the list!

Oh man. Gwyneth used to be on my 'celebrities who appear to be down-to-earth' list until I caught a preview of the latest issue of American Bazaar on my favourite fem/media website Jezebel. Anyway, in a feature on 'Beauty at Every Age', the normally self-deprecating mum of two is quoted as saying in the photo above:
"I don't want to look like a mother who doesn't care."
Well Gwyn, the mothers of the world out there who 'don't care' about how they look would like to clear a few things up:
How many stylists did it take to get you all spruced up for this photo shoot? Do you normally wear 5 inch stilettos when you are playing with your kids? Since when did sequins become daywear?
And another thing. I assume you also normally wear trousers because, girlfriend, that is not a dress.
I vaguely remember you mentioning that in order to look like that (you know, like you care) you spent hours and hours with Madonna's trainer kicking your arse into gear before your last movie, Iron Man, premiered. I think you also mentioned how you had to start 'listening to your body' because living on macrobiotic food isn't fun for anyone.
So Gwyn. Here's the thing. You're a hypocrite. You complain about celebrities being held to unreasonable standards as mothers (especially when it comes to the size of your bodies) and yet, you have, in one linguistic sting, merely reinforced that same awful proposition that mothers are only 'good' enough when they look fabulous at all costs. Kids don't care what outfits their mothers are wearing.
Sequins or tracky-daks, mate, it's love that counts.
Creative Commons License
The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.