30 June 2009
Reebok recently realised that they had been failing the pregnant market (more like they realised that pregnant women should be duped into spending money on shirts that say stupid things). So, like everyone else with the ability to silk screen, the athletic company has decided to release a line of football-inspired maternity tops replete with team logos (um, ew) and bad puns about pregnancy like 'kicker' and '#1 draft pick' *puke*.
Hasselbeck, now pregnant with her third child and married to a former NFL player, is modelling the line due out in stores during football season 2010. “The NFL has a tremendous amount of female fans,” Elisabeth tells WWD. “Watching a game can be a real family bonding experience, and I can tell you that the women behind the games are truly the most intense of the fans.”
Yep, Liz if I see you, make sure to duck.
29 June 2009
Elizabeth Adeney, Britain's 'oldest mum' has given birth to her first son at the age of 66 back in May to a phalanx of media scrutiny. Criticised for being too old, a divorcee and for accessing IVF in the Ukraine, Adeney refused to talk to the media noting that she felt young at heart.
Now, poor Adeney is being slammed for returning to work 4 weeks after giving birth. Adeney was spotted being driven to work by a friend, leaving her newborn son Jolyon, with a live-in nanny. As Adeney gave birth by caesarean the Daily Mail further criticises her, speculating that her caesarean scars probably have not been given a chance to heal properly:
"Sue Jacob, adviser to the Royal College of Midwives, said: 'Hormonally women are still very delicate after four weeks and caesarean scars will not have healed properly. Babies still need the consistency of a mother's attention at this point and new mums especially will be exhausted.
'There's no reason why women should not carry on with their careers as soon as they are able. But it's only a select few women who are able to get the support necessary to do this. It isn't what we expect normal, ordinary women to be able to do."
As I said in an earlier post, the issue of having IVF at 66 and being an 'older' mum are actually separate issues. Elizabeth Adeney owns her own company, has a fabulous home and the ability to hire the support that she needs in order to help her be a good mother. I don't see why Adeney having a child at 66 is any different from older men like Larry King having young children well into their 70s. What really bothers me is that Adeney's reported 'desperate' desires for children throughout her life is being used against her. It's like, 'How on Earth could this women conceivably return to work *shock horror* when she wanted a child so badly'? GIve me a flipping break. Celebs return to work 2 minutes after they have babies and most of them use nannies and whomever else they can to help them get through the day as career women, wives/partners and mothers. If Adeney wants to go back to work, why is it anyone's business but her own?
27 June 2009
Could pregnancy get any more ridiculous? First it was entertainment ultrasounds set to lullably music. Then it was the Bebescope Ultrasound Belt (sounds like a machine from the future, if you ask me). Now some Brazilian designer has come up with a way to produce life-size plaster models of foetuses from 3D ultrasound scans. Stuart Campbell, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at King’s College London says he wants to use the models to help women who are having trouble bonding with their unborn.
First of all, ew. Second of all, how many more ways can we possibly make women feel guilty for not feeling bonded to a foetus or for even considering the thought of having an abortion. Aside from its potential 'entertainment' purposes (women get to see how big their foetus is at any stage of development with the plaster model), this is just another feather in the hat from the pro-life lobby.
What's next? Plaster models of foetuses that talk?
'Mummy, don't eat that slice of cake or I'll be obese by the age of 3.'
'Put that glass of wine down. Are you trying to kill me?'
'Do you really think horizontal stripes are a good idea'.
Again. Seeing the future. NOT. GOOD.
26 June 2009
Not so long ago, I wrote about the alarming maternal mortality rate in Tanzania.
There are close to 50 million orphans in Africa--notes the New York Times , thanks to unprecedented AIDS, war and pregnancy and childbirth related deaths. In Tanzania, many of the babies abandoned because their mothers died in birth are being looked after in an innovative new orphanage programme in which teenage girls from the children's extended families live with them at the orphanage. The babies are not put up for adoption. Dr. Peter Ngatia, the director of capacity building for Amref, the African Medical and Research Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Nairobi, Kenya said "similar programs for AIDS orphans had worked well in Uganda, looking after the children until age 5 and then sending them back to their families or volunteers in their communities."
Photo credit: Béatrice de Géa for The New York Times
25 June 2009
While I'm no advocate of drunk breastfeeding, am I crazy in thinking that a potential sentence of 5 years is just a little bit harsh? How about rehab? Who will look after her baby? It seems counterintuitive to me to take a mother who did something stupid away from her baby and put her in prison instead of getting her help. Not clear if she made drunk breastfeeding a habit but what if it only happened once?
An eye-opening story about stillbirth from a midwife in the New York Times:
"She was a low-risk patient. No complications. No warning that this might happen. Just a previously healthy baby who stopped kicking and died. One day, a heartbeat. The next day, none."
24 June 2009
The IQEHC says that weight gain is normal in pregnancy and that "women are exposed to many unrealistic images of female body size, and body size around pregnancy or after birth is no exception."
While it is nice to hear that at least one government will actually be taking steps to unacknowledge the undue pressure many women experience when it comes to body size after having children, at the same time, I think that this kind of proclamation is pointless. Merely stating that women shouldn't feel pressure to lose weight is not necessarily going to improve a woman's body image. It is unrealistic to think that the world will get rid of tabloids or stop publishing news stories about pregnant celebrities and skinny post-baby bodies. What I would really like to see are practical measures that could easily be implemented by maternity services and hospitals around the world including free counseling services for women, free exercise classes and supportive mothers' groups. Acknowledging that the focus on celebrity bodies and slenderness is dangerous for women (pregnant or not) has been long established by feminists. It puzzles me as to why the idea that skinny celebrity mums set a bad example is like a revelation. If anyone had bothered to ask everyday women what they thought about body image it probably could have been established this a long time ago.
If all children's shoes looked this cool, we'd all be having babies just to dress them up. The latest range of New Balance kids runners featuring favourite scenes from Charlie Brown are classic and adorable. The new skips will be available in infant, preschool and grade-school sizes in October. Retail prices will range from US$38 to $60.
23 June 2009
According to Italian Vogue, wealthy women suck at being mothers. In fact, they would rather drink, smoke and ignore their children.
Are the photos breaking down the myth of perfect motherhood or are they just offensive?
22 June 2009
As if preggos need to invite people to touch their bellies.....And seriously, what 7 months pregnant woman wants to be pay US$42 to have her belly compared to a big old Buddha?
19 June 2009
Under the draft Health Practitioner Regulation Law released last week, homebirths will effectively become illegal.
How does it work?
According to the new law, all health practitioners (such as midwives) must hold indemnity insurance in order to legally practise. Considering the government and insurance companies have thus far been unwilling to include homebirth in the indemnity scheme, therefore, any midwife that attends a homebirth (even if qualified) will be subject to a fine of AU$30,000.
Homebirths will now be forced to go underground as Australian women are being stripped of their choices in childbirth. Now, it seems that a hospital is the only sanctioned venue for birth to occur.
Australian College of Midwives executive officer Dr Barbara Vernon said the Government's intentions were obvious.
"Even though only less than half a per cent of women have home births, they should have the same rights as a woman who chooses to have a caesarean," she said. "Home births won't stop."Vernon touches on an important contradiction. Why is that women can still elect to have caesarean births which arguably carries much risk and the small proportion of women (about 2%) who want to give birth at home cannot do so even if the birth is attended by a qualified health professional?
I think unfortunately, the tragic death of Joyous Birth founder, Janet Fraser's baby in April during a homebirth has unfairly placed the blame on the venue of birth rather than any other medical factors that could have been integral to her baby's death. It is not clear how Janet's baby died other than it suffered from cardiac arrest and could not be revived.
The small proportion of instances where homebirth goes horribly wrong pale in comparison to the staggering complication and caesarean rates that women in the developed world are continually subject to as a result of needless intervention in hospital.
Seriously, K. Rudd. Leave the business of birth to women.
On that note check this uplifting tale of homebirth...
18 June 2009
Why, oh why, does your 2 YEAR OLD need a STYLIST for a birthday party?!
I'm sure you did it all just for her...and all of the photos you could sell to People.
I think I need a little lie down.
17 June 2009
Heidi Klum is looking very um...shiny? Sort of looks like tin foil and I'm not sure that's a good look. Love it or hate it?
P.S. Have you joined The Baby Bump Project Facebook group? Big contest coming up soon --- only fans are eligible to enter!
16 June 2009
A controversial article in the New York Times suggests that sex selection is happening in the US among Chinese, Indian and Korean American families. Researchers argue that they have found significant statistical evidence to show that there is most likely a preference for sex selection, IVF and sperm sorting or abortion:
"In those families, if the first child was a girl, it was more likely that a second child would be a boy, according to recent studies of census data. If the first two children were girls, it was even more likely that a third child would be male."
Now, it is dangerous and potentially racist to suggest that certain groups of people are deliberately using abortion for to have more baby boys. But, according to Columbia University economists, among American families of Chinese, Korean and Indian descent, the likelihood of having a boy increased to 1.17 to 1 if the first child was a girl. If the first two children were girls, the ratio for a third child was 1.51 to 1 — or about 50 percent greater — in favor of boys.
While sex-selection is not illegal in the US, it is surprising to find that some fertility clinics actually target Asian Americans in their advertisements. For example, The Fertility Institutes, with clinics in California and New York, which does not offer abortions, has openly advertised its services in Indian- and Chinese-language newspapers in the United States.
15 June 2009
This, my friends, is a machine from the future and I'm not sure it is good.
In effect, the thing allows you to look after your baby without having to go into its room. It has a temperature/humidity sensor, it plays lullabies, has a nightlight and allows you to talk to your baby through the in-built microphone. If your baby makes a noise, the mobile unit lights up and your are promised 24hrs of continuous cordless monitoring. I don't know about this. Sure, baby monitors are a nice convenience of the modern world but I think we have come to a strange place if parents are now totally satisfied that their children are safe and sound as long as they know the temp/humidity in the nursery are appropriate or if the baby isn't making any discernible noise. How busy can you possibly be that the 'demands of parenting' (as the advert suggests) prevent you from checking in on your baby?
14 June 2009
nstead of hitting the gym, Landry, 34, relied on a home-delivery meal service to drop her pregnancy pounds. "I lost the majority of the [post-baby] weight pretty fast doing that," Landry said at Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS A Time for HeroeBlogger: The Baby Bump Project - Create Posts Celebrity Carnival in L.A. recently. "But I have to say, it was that skinny fat when you don't work out, and you're not toned."
Her feelings changed, however, when she was cast to appear on the celebrity sports competition show, Superstars:
"When I got the paperwork for Superstars, and I saw they asked what size swimsuit I wear, I had a hot flash, nearly broke into cold sweats and hired a trainer immediately."
"They, I think, put me in the best shape of my entire life. I am in shock that I have [definition] in my stomach after having a baby – I didn't even know that was possible," she says. "Hopefully, that will be encouraging to all the women out there who don't feel so good about their body after a baby."
Not sure why her story would be inspiring. In fact, it just reconfirms that even though Landry was happy not rushing to 'get her body back', as soon as she was going to go back to work she was pressured to drop her weight.
12 June 2009
You may as well give up on life now.
You can check out Kendra's burgeoning baby bump here
11 June 2009
Looks like one of the girls next door is knocked up, Kendra Wilkinson, 23, one of the stars of the Girls Next Door set at the Playboy Mansion. She now has a new show called Kendra which is a show about her relationship with her fiance, NFL star, Hank Baskett:
The ex-bunny from Hef's harem has announced on her blog that she is pregnant:
"hi everyone!!!! so the rumors are true…i am pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hank and i were beyond excited when we found out the news and ive been dying to tell all of you but we were waiting for the perfect time to do it. im sorry if you heard it first elsewhere…that’s not how i wanted it to happen, but im so glad its out in the open now.
i honestly still cant believe that soon hank and i are going to have a little athlete running around the house. seriously, the first thing this kid is going to see when its born is a football hahahahaha. do you think hank will let me dress the baby in a chargers jersey??? lololol."
According to People, the Hef is 'very happy' that is pregnant.
If any of you have watched the show, KW isn't the brightest bulb but she's highly entertaining. I don't know how she'll make it as a mum but I can say one thing, she needs to relax with the overzealous punctuation.
10 June 2009
Man. Everyday I think of look for things to write about for this blog, I think to myself that pregnancy is getting way too complicated.
Not only can you now find out if you are pregnant about 2 minutes after conception, have 3D ultrasounds set to lullaby music and wear organic cotton birthing wraps during labour, thanks to the brains trust at Intelligender, now you don't even have to wait to find out the sex of your future child at the second trimester ultrasound.
The Intelligender Gender Prediction Test (US$34.95) claims that you can know the 'gender' of your fetus within 10 minutes as early as 6 weeks after your first missed period through a simple urine test.
Firstly, the name of the test is actually incorrect. Sex and gender are two different things. Sex is a biological category* (male or female) and gender refers to the social constructed characteristics that make us male or female (masculinity or femininity). The company has clearly confused these definitions purposely as a way to sell women on the idea of the test as being a "fun, affordable way to discover pink or blue."
The fact that the test even exists says alot about the developed world: not only can we not wait to 'see' our foetuses until they are born given the preponderance of entertainment ultrasounds, now, as the company claims, women 'need' this test because it "bridges the curiosity gap between conception and sonogram." Seriously, since when have women been unable to wait 16-18 weeks?! Considering pregnancy is 40 weeks, 18 weeks seems like a drop in the water.
If this isn't a worrying example of immediate gratification of needs, I don't know what is. What concerns me the most about this product is 1) that if women are testing for 'gender' at 6 weeks, how will this early knowledge affect those women who have pregnancies that end in miscarriage? It seems like this might be another way that women can feel even more devastated and disappointed if their pregnancy ends in loss. 2) What awful things can happen in terms of sex-selective abortions? The fact that this product is not going to be available in India or China suggests that there is already an existing undercurrent of worry about how the product might be misused. In fact, this only gives people more, legal and socially sanctioned opportunities to abort 'undesirable' girl foetuses.
Of the gender test, I say FAIL.
*not according to Judith Butler, but that's another more complicated story.
09 June 2009
Using fake resumes for two equally qualified candidates–one childless, one a mum—the researchers found that the mother was 100% less likely to be hired when she applied for a position. Mothers were consistently ranked as less competent and less committed than childless women.
On the other hand, fathers got higher ratings than childless men. The researchers used more fake resumes to apply for 638 jobs over 18-months. Childless women got 2.1 times as many interview requests as mothers with similar credentials. There was no difference among fathers and childless men, however.
Researcher Shelley Correll is not surprised by the findings:
"I was not surprised to find that mothers were discriminated against, but I was very surprised by the magnitude of the discrimination. With gender or race, we often talk about the subtle ways that stereotypes are disadvantaging. With mothers, the effects were huge, such as being about 100% less likely to be recommended for hire than childless women and being offered much lower starting salaries."
What do you think? Have you experienced such discrimination?
07 June 2009
May I introduce you to 'Mommy Measure', a $15 piece of measuring tape that you can buy when you are pregnant to measure the fundal height of your belly throughout your pregnancy. The 'tape' allows you to write memories and various other tidbits about how you are feeling so you can have a 'treasured keepsake'. You can mark each measurement with a love heart sticker.
I don't know about you, but how many women out there want to remember just how big they got when they were pregnant?
What do you think? Cute or corny?
06 June 2009
Just when you thought standards of beauty for post-baby mums couldn't possible get more unachievable, it seems that new mothers in the U.S. military are subject to pressures that most of us can avoid because our jobs don't demand it.
Enlisted US soldiers have six months postpartum to meet Army weight standards and pass the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). Otherwise, they can be flagged and ultimately lose their jobs. Until recently, women started physical training with their regular units six weeks after delivery, outnumbered by fit and unsympathetic men and commanders with no experience in training soldiers who are also new mothers. "They look down on you, no matter how good a soldier you were before," said Warrant Officer Jacey Martin, a new mother and soldier at Fort Bragg.
According to the Defense Women's Health Research Program, more than half of new mums fail their fitness tests and about one-third don't meet the weight and body fat standards within six months. Apparently, there are some postpartum PT (physical training) programmes, however, many PT instructors have not been trained in techniques for working with new mums.
Um, not so much.
05 June 2009
It's a Spice Girls post-baby body battle according to Closer mag
Round 1: Mel B (Scary Spice) can't believe Mel C (Sporty Spice) needs a personal trainer to lose her baby weight.
The 34-year-old singer was shocked when she discovered her fellow Spice Girls star had hired an expert to help get her figure back after giving birth to baby Scarlet in February.
"I read about Mel C's post-baby fitness regime and thought, 'Good on her! I was surprised she has a trainer though, because she's always been so good at doing her own workouts and training - she is Sporty Spice after all."
Mel B is now famous for her toned physique and her crazy relationship dramas with Eddie Murphy.
She explained: "It's really important to take things slowly when you've had a baby because your body has been through so much. After Angel, I went for long walks and got back into weights and cardio only when I felt up to it. I found breastfeeding really helps the weight fall off too."So does that explain why she had lipo after having her second baby?
04 June 2009
It's called a 'Birthing Wrap' and its made by Kiwi company Womama.
According to the company, "Every pregnant woman deserves a little black dress to give birth in!"
Right. Excuse me while I wretch in the corner. As if women need a reason to look 'hot' when they are birthing another human being.
Anyway, I have a problem with the way this birth LBD is advertised. For example:
"Easy to move in and be monitored in. Feel feminine at home or in hospital knowing you are fully covered when you want to be."
Okay, considering pregnancy and birth are arguably the MOST feminine states of being for women I'm not sure why you need to wear an over priced organic cotton wrap to make you feel that way. I also find it interesting that the manufacturer starts with the premise that most women will be 'monitored' and giving birth in a clinical setting. Besides, how many women actually wear 'dresses' or wraps when they are in the throes of labour. Call me crazy most women I've talked to have ended up naked or wearing relatively little clothing at all by the time the baby comes.
"This gorgeous wrap has a silver screenprinted empowering print on the inside neck line - this will inspire you through the tougher moments of birth"
Give me a bloody break. Seriously. For AU$125, I think you are better off wearing nothing or a hospital gown. They may be ugly but they're free.
03 June 2009
Aw. What's not to love about Molly Ringwald?
Pregnant at 41 with twins, Molly talks to Fit Pregnancy about the impending birth, working out and her growing family.
On carrying twins: "I find it difficult to be restricted in my movements and to feel vulnerable all the time," she says. "I am used to feeling very strong and active."
On working out: She has stopped weightlifting but has remained active, instead using yoga and walking to stay in shape. "The priority for me has been resting," she says. “I try to eat right and be sane about it. I know my body will come back.”
On cravings: "Interestingly, when I was pregnant with Mathilda, I wanted Mexican food all the time. This time around I want Japanese food, which is a lot better. It’s kept my weight down and is definitely a better craving to have. I also want anything with water in it like cucumbers, watermelon and orange juice. The only thing that I can’t stand is the smell of eggs. It’s hard because eggs are one of my daughter’s culinary staples and she is a picky eater, so I am making scrambled eggs all the time. [She laughs.]"
Advice to other mums: “It’s important to eat right and take care of yourself. You don’t need to run a marathon but don’t stop working out if it feels good. You have to listen to your own body. And trust that you can give birth.”
02 June 2009
I have seen the future... and it is not good.
Case in point: MoBoleez 'breastfeeding hats' (WTF?!).
In case you were wondering, these are also called 'Modern Bonnets for Breastfeeding Babes'.
These are supposed to be 'fun' hats that you are supposed to stick on your baby during feeding. What kills me the most, aside from the fact that the inventor uses the word 'fun' (somewhat inappropriately) in every other word of the product description, is that it is claimed that these hats are not meant to shield a woman's breasts from public view:
"The "stay on head sideways" design means that once the hat is on, it'll stay on, and no more fussing with dropping blankets or awkward, bulky 'nursing covers'. While the big brim gives mom a little privacy, it doesn't cover up the breastfeeding, it celebrates it in a fun sort of way!"
Okay, this description makes breastfeeding sound like a trip to an amusement park.
I don't know about you, but I don't see how a creepy looking oversized baby hat 'celebrates' breastfeeding.
Even more annoying is this:
"MoBoleez hats come with illustrations for the top of baby's head (visible when breastfeeding of course!). The cute pictures on top with their lighthearted messages ("Milky Way", "Bee-licious", etc) all convey the message that the MoBoleez mom is a proud breastfeeding babe, with a sense of humour and style!"
Right, so I'm seeing some contradictions here: 1) In my mind, calling a mother (or any woman, for that fact) a 'babe' invokes sexuality (e.g. a 'hot' or sexy woman). Yet, the product itself completely and utterly desexualises women's breasts by firstly covering them up and secondly by shielding them with a hat that has cartoon figures of teddy bears and kittens and other infantilising statements
2) The outside of the brim of the hat is printed with "YUMMY MUMMY". As we all know, that phrase has very specific, highly sexualised connotations in the media when it comes to mothers and particularly celeb mums. Therefore, to throw this around on a baby hat is weird. The creator says this:
"Is MoBoleez part of the “glamourization of motherhood” that the term ‘yummy
mummy’ signifies? At MoBoleez, we like to think of our products as contributing to the idea that that term needs to be re-appropriated by real mums, not the glamourized perfect bodies, perfect lives, sex-ification that is sometimes implied by the term. At MoBoleez, our products are about the “real meaning of Yummy Mummy”: breastfeeding."
If this product was all about 'reclaiming' the term YM for everyday mums then women wouldn't have to feel like that needed to cover up their boobs when they were feeding their babies. The implicit association of breasts with sex/sexuality is fundamentally why socially, people still think it is inappropriate to see women's breasts outside of sex. Thus, merely stating that by shoving 'yummy mummy' on a breastfeeding shield is going to de-sexify motherhood is absolute rubbish. After all, the creator, Diane Sam goes to great lengths to say that her product 'covers the breast, not breastfeeding'...Well, what's feminist about that?! So women should be proud to breastfeed but still worry about how their boobs look to other people or whether they can get away with it in public.
I don't think so.
01 June 2009
Apparently, People mag forgot to mention the most important part of her post-baby weight loss:
"Hi all, Just want to explain a little more about things discussed within the People article. While the article is correct and properly quoted, I want to point out that I naturally have a small-frame body, being only 5'2" tall, so 155 pounds was an unhealthy weight for me, even with a baby. My "normal" healthy weight should remain under 120 lbs. More importantly, what was left out of the article was my body fat percentage, which is currently just under 18%, which I am extremely proud of right now. I am also fitting into my size 27 jeans. Stepping on a scale means nothing to me since muscle weighs more than fat. What matters is how I feel on a day-to-day basis. Thats it, just wanted to get that off my chest."
Um, narcissism much?