31 December 2008

Forget the altar, the key to catching a man is pregnancy

If your male partner is involved in your pregnancy, according to a new study, he is more likely to hang around following the birth and better bonded to the baby three years on.

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.

Closing the baby factory?

According to Ok!, Angelina Jolie aka the human baby factory is risking her life if she plans to have another baby within the year.

"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?

Source: http://www.okmagazine.com/news/view/11022

Another bouncing baby Palin

Alongside his uncles Track and Trigg, newborn Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston was born to Bristol (Sarah Palin's 18 year old daughter) and Levi, her boyfriend of three years yesterday. As a high school drop out, Palin caused quite a stir during the election campaign for not only being a pregnant teen but for also being unmarried. The drama hasn't stopped for the young couple, however. Levi's mother was recently arrested on felony drug charges.

I don't know what bothers me more, naming a baby Tripp or the fact that he's a Republican.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/9q3szc

30 December 2008

Heelarious? I don't think so.

Yeah. I nearly choked on the vestiges of my mum's xmas biscuits when I saw these 'Heelarious' HIGH HEELS for baby girls. The style above are described thus:

"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?

Source: http://heelarious.com/ava.php

28 December 2008

Hey Facebook breastfeeding is NOT obscene

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.

Read more:

27 December 2008

Hold on to your jobs ladies.

If you are pregnant in Australia, beware: a new government report reveals appalling holes in the job protections supposedly afforded to women taking maternity leave. Pat McDonough, a co-author of the report called A Pregnant Pause, said a "'culture of antagonism' towards pregnant women workers and women on maternity leave is alive and well". In the economic downturn, these women workers would be more vulnerable than ever. "They're a soft touch," she said, "especially women on maternity leave who are out of sight."

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."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/8n6b3d

A Jungle Book Christmas

Pete and Ashlee have posted a first photo of their new baby on Wentz's website. Surprising that Ashlee is still talking to him after a week's worth of embarrassment and blabbermouthing.

Sources: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20249106,00.html

Avoid caesars with vitamin D

According to a new study from the Boston University School of Medicine, women who have a deficiency of vitamin D are four times as likely to have a caesarean birth. The authors of the study think that vitamin D deficiency has an effect on muscle strength which may contribute to difficulties giving birth.

"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

Prepregnancy body image counts!

A new study out of Temple University tracking 1500 women has found that prepregnancy body image influences the amount of weight gained during pregnancy.

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.

Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUKTRE4BM4MS20081223

Wentz sour on breastmilk

Leave it to Pete Wentz to warm your heart on Christmas.

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."

Ya think?

Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=7&entry_id=33953

23 December 2008

Gestational paintings...

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.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/9dzn4t

Follow celebrity parenting styles in new book

As if People magazine hadn't elevated celebrity motherhood to a new stratosphere of cultural importance, a new book slated for release in March 2009 claims to provide its readers with the inside secrets of Hollywood pregnancy. Entitled The Black Book of Hollywood Pregnancy Secrets, the authors interviewed a number of celeb mums including Angelina Jolie, Kate Hudson,Tina Fey and Katie Holmes about 'real' celebrity motherhood (whatever that is). While the thought of having an even closer look inside the uteruses of America's most famous mothers (and considering my book about celeb pregnancy will be much better....*hiss*!), I did find one great tidbit from Helena Bonham Carter, 42, an actress known more for her sartorial mishaps than her stellar parenting skills. Upon being chastised by a stranger for drinking coffee she said to the man:

"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?"

Sources: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7013492495

Vindication for fat?

I've spent a lot of time on this blog attempting to highlight the discrimination and resounding medical bias against obese pregnant women. A new Scottish study perhaps vindicates overweight pregnant women who have been denied access to IVF without losing weight prior to treatment. According to the study, maternal age is a more important factor than weight when it comes to the success of the procedure. Dr Abha Maheshwari, clinical lecturer in reproductive medicine at the University of Aberdeen, said they had expected costs to be higher in overweight and obese women. "Everybody should be encouraged to lose weight, but treatment shouldn't be declined on weight alone." Although there are still significant risks associated with maternal obesity (obese women have more miscarriages than women of average weight), some doctors argue that fertility drugs can help to overcome the negative effects of obesity on fertility.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7790561.stm

21 December 2008

Stripping off aint no thang

I think I'm now officially sick of Kate Winslett. Sorry, call me cynical but I get really annoyed with the suggestion that when women have babies somehow they don't care about how they look anymore, as if bodies are no longer important. As a celebrity, I would think that Winslett would be inordinately body obsessed. After all, she has said a number of times in the media that the way she looks is important and that she is frustrated with emphasis placed on weight in Hollywood. She told The Sun:

“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?

Source: http://www.entertainmentandshowbiz.com/kate-winslet-kate-winslet-thanks-pregnancy-for-making-stripping-off-onscreen-comfy-200812217245

20 December 2008

And baby makes 18...

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.

Source: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20247340,00.html

Pregnancy = career suicide?

Poor Lindsay Davenport. Following the happy news of a second pregnancy, the sports media has gone into overdrive claiming that by 'pulling out' of the upcoming Australian Open, the American tennis star's career is ultimately over.

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?

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SPORT/12/18/tennis.davenport/

A December rant

For those of you that have been sad for my lack of posting this month, I apologise. I was in LA again last week being interviewed for a Candadian documentary about celebrity motherhood and then in San Fran taking a much needed holiday. Whereas I used to be somewhat in awe of Hollywood, even an up close and personal encounter with Keifer Sutherland outside of my hotel (the Hollywood Roosevelt), couldn't snap me out of my current celebrity malaise. Hollywood has become Hollyweird. Although celebrity gossip still makes me wiggle a little bit, I think my views on motherhood have gotten a little more radical in the last year and Ive become much less willing to accept tabloids/blogs that are so sickeningly praiseworthy and reverential of Hollywood mothers that actually do manage to spend time with their kids. I think the whole celebrity motherhood machine is ultimately destructive and often I feel like I'm the only one who thinks this considering most mainstream publications have a close and personal relationship with certain celebrity mums because Hollywood pregnancy has become the bread and butter for tabs like Us and People that depend on the good will of celebs for revenue in an industry that is ultimately dying thanks to the Internet.

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

Kelly Rutherford still breastfeeding *shock*

Us Weekly is currently freaking out that Gossip Girl star, Kelly Rutherford has brazenly admitted to continuing to breastfeed her 2 year old son Hermes (um, is your son a handbag?)

"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.

Source: http://www.usmagazine.com/news/kelly-rutherford-still-breastfeeding-2-year-old-son

Ashlee: Wentz you gonna leave him?

Sometimes people dont know when to shut the %&$# up.

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!

Source: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tvguide/392598_tvgif17.html

Kickbee or kick me?

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.

Source: http://www.gearlog.com/2008/12/kickbee_pregnancy_belt_starts.php
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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.