07 October 2010

Brit teens clueless about birth

No wonder teen pregnancy rates are so high in Britain.

A new poll reveals that 20% of18 to 25-year-olds think pregnancy lasts one year.

10% believe eating red meat influences the sex of a baby.

Here's my favourite part: 20% thought the umbilical cord was a musical note.

To drink or not to drink....is still the question

A new study released yesterday looks at the effects of drinking alcohol in pregnancy drawing on data from 11,000 children born in the UK between 2000 and 2002.

Several contradictory studies have been published over the last few years and the advice to women has ranged from not drinking at all to having a few drinks with no consistency.

The results of the study suggest that women can have at least one glass of wine per week without harming their foetuses, and that, in fact, children who had mothers who drank a little every now and then have fewer social problems and scored higher on cognitive tests.

Children who had mothers who drank heavily during pregnancy did poorly on cognitive tests and were hyperactive.

Sounds reasonable, right?


1) The study is retrospective which means that they asked women what they drank during pregnancy well after the time that they were pregnant.

2) W0men who are affluent and highly educated tend to drink less during pregnancy anyway so babies are inclined to fare better on cognitive tests based on the socio-economic status of their mothers external to any influence on their development via drinking.

So, the jury is still out on drinking. Do you think avoiding alcohol is the best solution?

Jessica Alba loves...and then hates...the ways she looks post-baby

Jessica Alba has revealed to GQ that she loves her post-baby body: “My breasts are saggy, I’ve got cellulite, my hips are bigger, but I love it.” In the same breath, however, she then says “Every actress out there is more beautiful than me. All better looking than me. I’ve seen them without makeup, so I know.”


05 October 2010

Miranda Kerr walks the runway

Wow. It's been a long time since I last posted. Let me break it down. As an academic, sometimes, I find it pretty hard to find the time to blog. I teach a lot and often find myself getting lose in the world of undergraduates and generally forget about the world of pregnancy for awhile. In fact, sometimes I just need a holiday from pregnancy. It consume my life inside and outside of academia and every year I always take a few months off. So there you go. Sorry if you thought I left you forever...

Well, I'm back now and there's no better way to return this world than with a post about Miranda Kerr revealing..or should I say not revealing her baby bump at Paris Fashion Week.

Apparently, Lady Kerr walked the Balenciaga runway wearing an oversized houndstooth coat which gave no hint of her 5 months pregnant belly. After the show, she wrote on Facebook: "I was so flattered that Nicholas asked me to walk for Balenciaga even though I'm pregnant! He is an artist and a wonderful soul. Guys, I'm off to bed and hopefully I will get a chance to talk to you over the next few days. Lots of Love Miranda xxx"

Image source: Getty Images

21 July 2010

Couples sue doctors for failing to diagnose Down's Syndrome

Two couples in Victoria are suing their doctors for failing to diagnose Down's Syndrome antenatally. They argue that they are suffering 'psychiatric injury' and would have liked to have had the opportunity to terminate their pregnancies had they known about the diagnosis.

This is tricky. At the moment, we live in a time of unprecedented access to foetuses through technology. We are able to 'see' foetuses as early as a few weeks into a pregnancy, doctors can perform surgery on them and there are a slew of prenatal tests that can tell women if their foetuses have chronic ilnesses. Many women who participate in a medical model assume that doctors and technology are fail safe options when it comes to monitoring a pregnancy. But what happens when biomedicine gets it wrong? Or in this case a doctor may have failed to pick up Down's Syndrome? Is it fair that a couple can sue the doctor? Technology has become so sophisticated that we often forget that it is a person that actually has to diagnose and analyse tests results. Who's at fault here? The doctor for allegedly missing the diagnosis or the couples for getting pregnant 'alter in life' when the risk of having a child with Down's increases? What do you think?

16 July 2010

Bethenny Frankel anoints herself Empress of Pregnancy Fitness

Sweet baby Jeebus. Why is that being a reality tv 'star' somehow qualifies you to write books about crap that you don't know anything about?

Case in point: Real Housewives of New York 'star' and celebrity chef Bethenny Frankel has said that she is writing a book called Naturally Fit Pregnancy. If you remember, Frankel was in the media recently for losing nearly 30lbs in 3 weeks following the birth of her first child.

Here's the thing: Frankel recently revealed that she has been anorexic and bulimic in her life. Her mother was also bulimic. I'm not sure that with (some might speculate) unresolved eating issues and who lost a ridiculous amount of weight following her first birth should really be giving advice to everyday preggo gals.

Besides, there's no such thing as 'naturally fit'. Women who are 'fit' working bloody hard to be 'fit'. Let's not kid ourselves here.

13 July 2010

Kourtney Kardashian passes out trying to lose baby weight

Oh Kourtney, silly girl.

Well, it wasn't so long ago that Kourtney Kardashian (KK) was banging on about how quickly she lost her baby weight in Life & Style mag. According to New York Daily News, if you watched Sunday's episode of Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, you would have seen the physical costs associated with her extreme dieting.

In the episode, Kourtney is running and finds herself passed out, having eaten nothing for the day (in anticipation of the upcoming Life & Style photo shoot).

"I've been obsessing about this weight thing a little too much," she says. "I'm so embarrassed that I punished my body for a photo shoot."

Well, I guess we can all thank Kourney for admitting that her post-baby weight loss wasn't as easy as it is portrayed on the magazine. On the other hand, it makes me so sad that rational human beings can be forced into going to ridiculous lengths to look good for the media. All of the working out and dieting she did was probably for nothing considering so many of the images we see are airbrushed anyway!

Forever 21 launches itself into maternity market, cutout vests, leggings and all.

So it seems that Forever 21 (that shop where everything is sized for a 12 year old) is launching a maternity line.

Questions that spring immediately to my mind:

1) What woman would want to wear maternity clothes from a shop that considers this or this to be 'outerwear'?

Oh, that's right...a 21 year old.

2) Why on earth is Forever 21 stepping so clearly outside of their market?

Oh, that's right...they're not.

Let me explain. The maternity duds are only available in Arizona, Alaska, California, Utah, and Texas.

Why these states? Well, the girls over at Gloss point out that three of these states (Arizona, California and Texas) have some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the US. Utah and Alaska are otherwise a mystery to me.

So there you have it. Forever 21 can see dollar signs in tragedy. Natch.

11 July 2010

If only actresses could get a clue..

Once upon a time, I used to really like Gwyneth Paltrow. She maintained some semblance of down-to-earthness in spite of her elite family and private school upbringing.

Then one day, the lovely actress who wore the bubblegum pink Ralph Lauren gown to the Oscars, had children and got married. The down-to-earth girl became this evil, warty Mother Superior. As if overnight, everything Gwyn did was better than everything else. She started an arrogant Martha Stewart wannabe website called GOOP with the goal of trying to 'enrich' the lives of everyday people (but let's face it, she's writing for women), most of whom don't have a clue what a macrobiotic diet is and buy their clothes at K-Mart.

Gwyn has been in cohoots with trainer to the stars, Tracy Anderson, herself under fire for her spouting her mouth about why being skinny is the only path to happiness. But that's another story for another day.

Today, Gwyn blabbed to the Associated Press about working out post-pregnancy. While she admits that getting the weight off was no small feat (back in my good books), she immediately says that women should 'make time' and have no excuse not to exercise (oh Gwyn, back in my bad books). Specifically:

"Every woman can make time - every woman - and you can do it with your baby in the room," she said. "There've been countless times where I've worked out with my kids crawling around all over the place. You just make it work, and if it's important to you, it'll be important to them."

Hmm. Gwyn, let's just focus on the fact that you had Tracy Anderson come to your house everyday to exercise with you. You did not have to actually go anywhere with your kids to exercise or find a gym with a childcare or a willing grandparent/friend to look after your kids so you could exercise. That's right. YOU HAVE A GYM IN YOUR HOUSE.

What pisses me off even more is that you undoubtedly have had a hand in the new Tracey Anderson Post-pregnancy workout DVD.

1) Tracy Anderson is hardly a role model for post-pregnant women who feel crap about their post-pregnancy bodies 2) Neither are you.


05 July 2010

Disney to make maternity clothes even Minnie wouldnt want to wear

Hmm. Just when you thought that maternity clothes were moving into 'fashion' as opposed to 'frumpy, Disney has announced it is creating a new range of maternity clothing.

What better way to say I'm pregnant, than with Mickey Mouse...

All I can say is YIKES.

Alicia Keys, working her bump in satin

Could Alicia Keys look any hotter in this magenta satin maternity frock?

P.Rad, in the news again

Paula Radcliffe just ran the Jane Tomlinson 10k and while she ran 15 minutes slower than her world record time, the 7 months pregnant elite runner looked the picture of relaxation as she strode to the finish line with her 3 year old daughter, Isla. Old P.Rad has been coming under a bit of fire lately, considering her training regimens have been the subject of public discussion as there are many folks who are still a bit freaked out by pregnant women running right up until they give birth.

The Telegraph, however, recently published Paula's 'Day on a Plate' listing what out what she eats by the hour:

"7.45am Fresh lemon juice and coffee (decaf because I'm pregnant), and a bowl of porridge with water instead of milk as I'm a bit lactose-intolerant.

8.30am Drop off my daughter at school then do my first run. Normally, I do 10 to 23 miles, but while I'm pregnant I stick to eight miles. I trained all through my first pregnancy, and was running the day before I gave birth!

10.30am A big brunch – cereals with soya milk and fruit – then weights in the gym.

12pm Half an avocado and a tin of salmon. Sleep for a few hours.

5.30pm Toast with Marmite or honey and a banana. More running, but a shorter route.

7pm Nibble on almonds while I stretch.

7.30pm I try to eat within half an hour of training. My husband makes pasta with vegetables. Fruit and soya yogurt afterwards. I love to eat adventurously, but before a marathon it's simple brown rice or grilled chicken."

While I'm no dietician, I wonder how ethical it is to publish the diet of an elite athlete in a mainstream newspaper considering lots of women might take this as 'advice'.

What do you think of Paula's diet?

24 June 2010

Keepsake pouch for your positive pregnancy test: awesome or icky?

Hmm. According to e.p.t. (you know, the makers of those preggo tests) one of the 'most beautiful' moments in a woman's life 'occurs in the bathroom'. In a survey commissioned by the company, 67% of women said that they kept their positive pregnancy test and many women expressed the desire to have a keepsake pouch to store it in for all of eternity.

My question to you: Did you save your pregnancy test?

Click here to record your response

22 June 2010

Poor Kim, only wants to look at boobs if their her own.

Gotta love the Kardashians....

So the other day Kim tweets (above) that she's disgusted by another gal breastfeeding her baby at a restaurant. I was disappointed to read this considering her sister Kourtney recently had a baby so you would think that Kim would have been sensitive to such things.

As it turns out US magazine has been doing a poll as to whether readers agree with Kim and her ridiculous comments. Honestly, I'm amazed that almost 3000 people agree with her. Whilst the vote is split almost 50/50, I'm stunned that people still think that women need to cover up their breasts when they feed a child.

Considering the amount of skin that Kim displays as part of her 'job' of being a corporeal vessel for advertisers, it is amusing that she doesn't see that boobs are boobs whether they are feeding babies or hanging out of some skanky dress.

Looks like we all know what Kim is buying Kourtney for Christmas this year....


18 June 2010

Stop whining and 'man' up

Oh dear...it appears that men are getting a little sensitive about being 'overworked and underappreciated' for not being recognised enough for all of the hard work their doing in the domestic realm. A recent article from The Age suggests that male partners and husbands are feeling angry because they too are just as overworked as women. The article cites that a 2006 study into how Australians used their time found that men spent a combined average (over seven days) of 11.44 hours per day performing professional, childcare and domestic tasks. And women? They came in at a combined average of 11.35 hours - nine minutes less than the men.

Now, I may get slammed for this (or maybe not?) but I have to say, that I really can't feel too badly for men on this front. Whilst I think it is brilliant that men are stepping up and sharing in the domestic load with their female partners, the truth is that no one should get a gold star for cleaning the bathroom. The only reason women have been banging on about having their work recognised for so long is because WOMEN, for the bulk of human history, have been doing the caring and cleaning work for the family almost exclusively. It is only recently (I mean broadly, since the early 20th century) that women have had real opportunities to be in the paid workforce.

So what if men are doing are feeling overworked? SO THEY SHOULD.

Truth is (at least according to a new study), most men are lying about their 'work' in the household. According to an article in Slate:

"Social psychologists call this aspirational lying—the unconscious shading of the truth to make us appear smarter, more generous, and closer to the person we want to be."What you want leads to what you do. If you say you're doing more, it really is a measure of the societal change," said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute. "If it were not OK to be doing things with your kids and to be nurturing them— not just bringing in the money—you might lie in the other direction."

Pregnancy is almost never recognised as 'work' in itself. Ask any gal who's had kids and she will tell you that the work begins at conception and doesn't end until the kids go off to university (and even then, statistically, lots of kids are living with their parents until well into their 30s...yikes). Even without children, I still struggle with my partner when it comes to sharing the domestic load. Inevitably, I always end up doing more and I can't imagine what it would be like (and honestly, I worry about it) when we do have kids. I really struggle with this as a feminist.

Now that educated middle-class women are reaping more of the benefits of feminist movements and greater access to the paid workforce, I hardly think the time is ripe for men to 'blame' women for their achievements. I don't think any woman needs to feel guilty if the tides are turning in her favour.

Seriously, guys, if you're partner carried your child for 9 months, the least you can do is man up and do 9 more minutes a week of cleaning. Yeah, that's right. MAN UP (besides, you're probably lying about it anyway *snigger*)

17 June 2010

Japan: the best place to give birth?

Japan is one of my most favourite places to travel. After this morning, I feel a little more in love with the country upon reading an article about the increase in pregnancies among 'older' women. When I first started reading, I expected that the article would turn into a rant about why 'older' women are 'high risk' and need to be managed medically more so than other women. But then I read something that caught my eye: Japan has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world: 6 per 100,000 births (lower than the US, Britain, Finland and Canada).

Why is it so low?

Well, the picture is complicated. Much like other developed countries Japan has a technologised/medicalised approach to pregnancy and birth. Women who are 35 years + are seen as 'older' mothers. Birth choices for women are still circumscribed by the limitations placed upon them by health professionals in hospitals, however, not to the same extent as in other countries like the US.

Surprisingly, use of epidurals is much lower in Japanese hospitals. This is in part due to the more practical reality that there is a shortage of anesthetists. As you might know, the use of epidurals has been linked with an increased risk for caesarean section.

While most Japanese women give birth in hospitals, there is a small proportion of women who give birth in birth centres, called josan-in. These centres are set up like a traditional Japanese home and offer women care by a team of midwives. Centres offer maternity yoga, cooking classes for post-birth diet and nutrition counselling as well as a pool for water births.

What I found most interesting, however, was that this article, whilst couched in the language of 'women over 35 are high risk' blah blah blah, in fact, the piece ended up being about the importance of women over 35 being IN CONTROL of their pregnancies. As one obstetrician notes, the worst thing women can do is let a doctor be in control of their decision making. This is vastly different from what I perceive to be the perception of health professionals in other parts of the developed world. Women ('older' or not) are so often viewed as incapable of making decisions when it comes to birth that in a conservative environment like Japan, it is refreshing to see that obstetricians do not shove tests on women and whilst operating in a medicalised system, see the importance of women doing pregnancy and birth on their own terms.

14 June 2010

Claudia Schiffer bares all for German Vogue

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer is naked and pregnant for the June issue of German Vogue. Shot by Karl Lagerfeld, the photo is reminiscent of Demi Moore's 1991 Vanity Fair cover photo taken by Annie Leibowitz. Schiffer turned 40 this year and the entire issue of the magazine is dedicated to her. She's featured in a number of 'controversial' shots in the centre spread as a pregnant nun and a dominatrix. She says:

"I’m a lot more self-confident than I used to be. To some extent I owe that to my children and my husband. I know what I’m doing and what I want. I have control over myself and that feels good.

"I’ve never hidden the fact that I used to be shy, even when I was 30. However, I might have been self-conscious on the inside, but I was never inhibited about my body. I never had a problem with stripping in front of the camera. Maybe that’s because of how I grew up. Back home we never used to knock at the bathroom door. No, I’ve never been prudish."

Schiffer gave birth last month to her third child, Cosima.

10 June 2010

Forget about buying preggo clothes: RENT THEM

If you're the kind of gal that likes the idea of designer fashion without the price tag, now you can hire boutique maternity gear from a new company that launched on Monday: Rent Maternity Wear.

Featured in the LA Times, the company has a limited collection of designer gear that you can rent starting from $35 per week. They also have lots of formal dresses which can cost up to $70 but in the end, I suppose it's cheaper than buying a formal maternity frock.

Would you hire maternity clothes?

Paula Radcliffe: pregnant and running

As an avid runner, Paula Radcliffe has always been one of my running heroines. I've written about her and running during pregnancy a number of times in the last few years. Well, she's pregnant for the second time around and the Daily Mail recently did a feature on her as she prepares for London 2012.

My girl Paula is still running 14 miles per day in her 5th month of pregnancy:

"I've been running around seven miles in about 45 minutes twice a day, combined with altitude and gravity training on a specially designed treadmill."

American marathoner Kara Goucher is also pregnant and she has been getting tips from Paula on how to proceed with training.

It is generally accepted that running in pregnancy is safe as long as you don't start running when you become pregnant or get too overheated. If you are a seasoned runner, there is no problem with keeping up your normal routines.

What worries me, however, is that in publishing her training regimen (even though Radcliffe is an elite athlete) there are still surely some women out there (who are not elite athletes) that will think that they aren't exercising enough or that they need to keep up with one of the greatest female marathoners in recent history.

What do you think? Are you proud of Paula for being a running queen? Or is it unethical to tell the world about her pregnancy training regimen?

08 June 2010

IVF mothers should not be allowed to have abortions according to one British doc

According to a recent article in the Daily Mail (Daily Fail, if you ask me), "an average of 80 abortions are carried out in England and Wales every year on IVF babies." The author, Mohamed Menabawey, is a consultant infertility specialist at the London Bridge Fertility Centre and he is apparently appalled that women who have IVF abort the foetuses that they do not want to carry. According to Menabawey, if you are desperate enough to go through the pain and effort to conceive through IVF you should be thankful that you have any foetuses at all. 'Aborting' , according to this fertility doctor, is wrong and 'social abortion' (his term, not mine) is much different to 'medical abortion' (where physical abnormality is involved).

OMG this makes me so angry!

If Menabawey is a medical doctor, I find it extremely troubling that he would moralise about the personal choices of his patients in a national newspaper. I have no problem with doctors not agreeing with abortion but I do have a problem with forcing their own beliefs on patients. Under the Hippocratic Oath, doctors agree to do no harm to their patients. Encouraging women to keep foetuses that they do not wish to carry through into a full-term pregnancy or moralising about how these women are 'bad' is harmful and frankly, if a woman chooses to go through IVF and then changes her mind in the end, THAT IS HER CHOICE.

It is stunning that in 2010 we still have highly educated professionals placing limitations on choice. Whether a women chooses to terminate a pregnancy for 'social' or 'medical' reasons is NOT the doctor's concern. Menabawey seems to suggest that his IVF patients are 'bad' women for not consulting him before choosing to terminate an IVF pregnancy!

Thumbs down, no hugs.

Reflections on blogging and the world of mothers

Every wonder how I got into this whole blogging thing? I recently wrote a reflective piece on being a feminist, blogger and pregnancy researcher for Third Space:

"The mass media is a world without footnotes, where a phone call to an 'expert' constitutes 'research' and where using academic language is your death sentence..."

Intrigued? Read on and lend me your thoughts.

07 June 2010

Bethenny Frankel: the ultimate post-baby 'skinny girl'

One of my favourite activities when I go to the US involves catching up on watching the 'Real Housewives' series. While I'm more of an Orange County kind of girl, every so often I dabble with the ladies of the New York crew. Bethenny Frankel, owner of Skinny Girl cocktails and cookbooks is now being slammed for her post-baby body which is featured in the new Us magazine. Apparently, Frankel lost 29of the 35 lbs she gained during her pregnancy in 3 weeks. Frankel had a Caesarean, five weeks early and her daughter Bryn was underweight(duh?).

The question now remains as to whether Frankel is sending a 'bad message' by being the ultimate 'skinny girl' two minutes after giving birth. This is my take: I don't think it necessarily sends a 'bad message' that women lose weight after giving birth. Some women shed weight quickly post-birth and to be honest, we have no idea how Frankel lost her weight. She is a small woman to begin with so it's entirely possible that the weight just fell off. Thus, I don't think it's fair to judge her straight away. On the other hand, given that her career as a chef has moved her into the market for diet cookbooks and various other bizarre 'skinny girl' recipes, I think it would be hard to say that Frankel isn't a little obsessed with how she looks and would probably go to great lengths to maintain her 'skinny girl' image. According to the New York Post, Frankel wrote in a blog post, "Growing up in an extremely dysfunctional and toxic series of households bred me for an obsession with food and diet and weight," Frankel wrote in a blog post on Bravo.com.

So if anything I guess I feel sorry for her. It sucks to live your life worried about what other people think of you. I hate that so many women get weighed down by all of this crap.

03 June 2010

Pregnancy = no housework. Hooray?

A new study suggests that when women do 'boring' tasks like housework,
they are 25% more likely to give birth prematurely.

Apparently, such 'mindless' chores raise their level of stress hormones.

Maybe we can see this as a great way for women to heap all of their
undeserved housework on their partners.

Or maybe this suggests that it is problematic for women to be active
during their pregnancy and that they are too fragile to move around and do

Or maybe it just means that foetuses are feminists and trying to save mum
from menial labour?

Kelly Preston: Having a baby at 47

So it appears that Kelly Preston, actress and wife of John Travolta (age 56), is pregnant AT THE AGE OF 47.

Today they have released a statement to People describing the pregnancy as a 'miracle'.

'Miracle', my arse.

Aside from all of the gay rumours circulating lately about JT, everyone with half a brain cell could probably figure out that they have probably been undergoing fertility treatments for quite some time now. As reproductive specialists suggest, it's a rarity for a woman to become pregnant on her own after age 45." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008 there were 0.7 births per 1,000 women ages 45 to 49, compared with 9.9 births per 1,000 women ages 44 to 40.

As much as Celine Dion makes my skin crawl, at least the gal has had the guts to be open and honest about her age and the fact that women over 40 don't get pregnant miraculously. I mean, seriously, that's like suggesting storks drop babies on your front porch.

What do you think? Are Kelly and John too old to parents again?

01 June 2010

Celine Dion: her heart will go on x 2

Weeeelllll folks. What a long, strange two months it's been.

And what better way to re-enter the world of blogging than by posting about my favourite person in the entire world: CELINE DION.

No really, she's the devil but the lady has finally gotten herself pregnant after six attempts with IVF. And she's pregnant with TWINS.

"It's stressful but I'm relaxing. I look at my little belly. I do almost nothing," she says. "If you tell me I have to stay in bed, I will stay in bed until November, when the babies are born. To bring them into the world, there's nothing more important than that. It's incredible."

What I find interesting about the whole situation was this:

"My doctors had to constantly reassure me. I [wanted] to see the babies," she says. "Each week I had sonograms. I heard their heart beats."

Considering ultrasound still has not been proven totally safe (One or two is okay. Ten? Not so much), it is odd that she would have an ultrasound every week. It's all very Tom Cruise, if you ask me.

Anyway, glad to be back

10 March 2010

Kendra Wilkinson has stretch marks *shock* *horror*

In an epic revelation, it appears that Kendra Wilkinson is starting to come to grips with the fact that motherhood changes your body. According to Us, in the second season of her reality show on E!, Kendra reveals that she has stretch marks and claims that she doesn't look 'sexy' anymore.

"What the hell is this?" Wilkinson asks her husband, as she lifts up her suit top to reveal her stretch marks. "I want to look sexy for you again!"

What bothers me the most about this is 1) she is feeling badly about herself after having given birth only three months ago (this is so sad!) and 2) she wants to regain her figure for her husband and not for herself.

While I rag on Kendra a lot, it's moments like these that I wish that average women saw more often. Celebrities are not 'perfect' and they work really hard to achieve slender bodies. What is particularly interesting about this snippet is that for someone so unfailingly vacuous, you have to feel a little bit sorry for her. I think there is genuine disbelief; for someone so used to managing her appearance and relying upon diet and exercise to keep herself thin, the very idea that somehow your body can change totally outside of your control is actually probably very difficult for someone like her to cope with. I wouldn't be surprised if the next thing we hear from her is that she's going to have plastic surgery.

It's bad enough to have your post-birth body judged when you are not a celebrity; it's even worse to feel horrible about yourself with the world watching your every move.

05 March 2010

Shiloh Jolie-Pitt: 'gender bending' debacle

This is outrageous. We have definitely gone to the bad place if it is now appropriate 1) to make 3 year old children the subject of tabloids and 2) to attack 3 year old children publicly who have no means of understanding or responding to the things that are being written about them. If anything we should all be applauding Shiloh for her desire to look different than most girls her age (*cough* *cough* Suri Cruise).

"Shiloh is pushing the boundaries of a tomboy look and crossing over to cross-dresser territory," Alana Kelen, senior fashion stylist at VH1, tells Life & Style. Celebrity stylist Gili Rashal-Niv agrees. "I get that times are tough but does Angie really need to have Shiloh sharing clothes with her brothers? Hopefully we won't be seeing Maddox in one of Shiloh's dresses any time soon."

Cross-dressing? Are you f-ing kidding me?! What pisses me off even more is that Angelina is being blamed for her wardrobe. Anyone with a 3 year old knows, children are more than capable of choosing their own clothes at that age and most parents also know that it is almost impossible to force a 3 year old child to wear something that they don't want to wear.

Life and Style you should be bloody ashamed of yourselves.

04 March 2010

Pregnant women banned in Vegas

Talk about hypocrisy!

Bravado, the manufacturer of cleverly designed breastfeeding bras, has recently run into some trouble when it comes to showing off their wares. Since 2008, the company has been entering trade shows in order to expand their market. Their 'booth' at the trade show features a runway with pregnant models wearing the bras. The 'models' however are not 'models' in the traditional sense; they are the company's typical customers at various stages of pregnancy. In an interview with the NYT, Kathryn From, chief executive of Bravado, noted that every so often a small percentage of people complain about their decision to feature pregnant women. Ironically, the company was recently prohibited from staging their runway show in Las Vegas at Blush Boutique Nightclub, owned by Wynn:

“We did not feel it appropriate to feature a very pregnant model in a nightclub, at midnight, where alcohol was being served,” Jennifer Dunne, a Wynn spokeswoman, wrote in a statement responding to questions. “Our team made a judgment call which we feel was correct given the environment and circumstance.”

In a city where day and night collide, where prostitution, gambling and inebriation are the orders of the day, one wonders how on earth a nightclub in the city of sin could possibly get on their high horse about a few pregnant women flogging some maternity bras.

I am consistently amazed by the ways in which pregnant bodies continue to cause moral panic in spite of the fact that it would appear that we are so inundated with naked female bodies in general.

25 February 2010

Octomum dropping bombs: not good

Geez Louise.

We haven't heard much from Octomum lately but she's back in full force on two fronts 1) admitting to Us mag that she lost all 145 pounds of baby weight 'for the money' and also saying that she's not ruling out another baby in the future and 2) showing up on The View acting crazy like she hadn't taken her meds. She's so hyper on the show that Whoopi Goldberg asked: “Do you understand that some people think… maybe you’re not quite all there?” The audience applauded.

“I love your question,” Suleman responded.


23 February 2010

Leather leggings, maternity unitards and stilettos OH MY.

Okay so as many of you know, following in the footsteps of Nicole Richie, Heidi Klum is doing a maternity line for A Pea in the Pod called Lavish. Now, Klum was quoted recently in Us mag as saying that her pieces would be a bit edgier and she was including, among other things, leather pants and glitter tops. But seriously, while I'm all for looking stylin hot when you are preggers, can you seriously envision yourself wearing LEATHER LEGGINGS when you are knocked up?! Or what's worse, could you picture yourself wearing a maternity unitard? I mean it's like if you don't have an absolutely flawless figure without an ounce of fat on you, how on earth could you possibly wear either of these pieces? And by the same token, leggings/leotards DO NOT (I repeat, DO NOT) qualify as being fully attired. Leggins are not trousers, by any stretch of the imagination. Leotards cannot replace tops/dresses without some kind of bottoms. So if you stay with me and my logic, a unitard is not a suitable replacement for a top and trousers. In fact, I'm not sure a unitard should be seen anywhere outside of a dance performance, and even then I think we're skating a fine line between 'too much information' and camel toe.

I rest my case.


22 February 2010

Keep the egg timers in the kitchen

As if there aren't enough women in their mid-late 30s with a biological clock the size of Big Ben....

And now we have something called the 'egg timer', a simple blood test provided by IVF Australia that will allow women to know just how fast their biological clocks are ticking....for $65 you can find out how many eggs you have left...

"I think this is a big step forward," medical director of IVF Australia, Assistant Professor Peter Illingworth, told The Sunday Mail.

"For a woman who is facing decisions about how active they should get about chasing her fertility in one way or another, it's information about what the future may hold for her.

"For a 30-year-old woman, it gives her an idea of whether she's at risk of having an early menopause or she's got plenty of time to carry on and have a baby."

I'm not impressed..or at least I'm of two minds about this. For women who have been struggling with infertility, knowing exactly what kind of situation you are facing in trying to get pregnant can be extremely useful. What worries me is that this sort of 'fertility alarm' only contributes to the cautionary tales fed to women at increasingly earlier ages about having children (which perhaps coincidentally comes at a time when more women are being educated and are working in the paid workforce than any other time in history).

Researchers say that this test relieves women of the 'anguish' of 'uncertainty'. Yet, isn't this what reproduction is fundamentally about? Lots of social commentators have been banging on about how this tests gives women 'choices'. Well, as you all know, 'choice' for me, is a big yay. But, on the other hand, what kind of 'choice' is this really? You either get pregnant because you are 'running out of time' or you have to live with the knowledge that your clock is ticking sooner than you may be ready to shut it off. I think it's a loaded 'choice' and puts a lot of pressure on women who are already feeling it without having a test tell them they are getting older.

11 February 2010

Chiarakruza lands at Target!

Guess who's landing at Target stores on 15 Feb?

That's right. Chiarakruza, maternity designer to all the celebs. This is the first time that Target is branching off from Liz Lange (the doyenne of celeb maternity fashion).

So hurry up and get knocked up because these pieces will be going fast!

Kendra does Ok! (again), debuts post-baby bod

Okay so I have a few things to say:

1) Surprise, surprise. Kendra is on the cover of Ok! again. I think she must be on contract with them.

2) ALLEGEDLY, she's lost 25lbs in 8 wks (that is, she gave birth 8 WEEKS AGO) after gaining 55lbs during her pregnancy AND having a caesarean.

How has she done it?

Kendra says she’s doing “45 minutes of hardcore training and weightlifting” followed by running and walking on a treadmill until she’s tired.

How has she really done it?
Crash dieting and ridiculous eating regimens (or perhaps by eating regimens I should say not-eating regimens). Everyone knows that you're supposed to wait about 6 wks post-caesar before exercising, which she clearly hasn't done. And hello? What about breastfeeding? If in fact, she is breastfeeding, losing that much weight so quickly can't be good.

Is anyone else sick of this? FOR REALS. I haven't even had a flipping baby and already I'm feeling the pressure.

10 February 2010

Say bye bye to bras?

OMG. So I went to Phuket, Thailand in 2008 for a story that I writing for a magazine here in Melbourne. I watched some Aussie mums have post-baby breast implants and, let me tell you, it looked pretty gosh darn painful.

Apparently, there's a new surgery using Breform which is a breast enhancement that functions like a sports bra under the skin or as the manufacturer says it's an 'internal bra system' (yikes, a 'system'...sounds like a machine from the future). The benefit of this new technology is that it prevents the skin from stretching or sagging unlike traditional implant surgery. The Breform is made of a special mesh which, upon being placed underneath the skin, will over time become incorporated into the breast tissue.

The Breform has been licensed in Europe but the USFDA says it will be about 10 years before Breform is approved; it needs to undergo lots of testing but preliminary studies show that it's pretty safe thus far. In spite of the good results, some experts are concerned that the Breform will be dangerous or present a cancer risk for pregnant or breastfeeding women whose breasts might outgrow the internal bra.

Hmm. Impants that leak or mesh that you can potentially outgrow? Can you think of anything worse?

Photo credit: www.Breform.com

09 February 2010

Feeding tops that are fabulous

Stop what you're doing.

I just found a breastfeeding top with FLUTTER SLEEVES.

Oh so stylish, not too expensive and with hidden slits for easy feeds.

In a word, awesome.

Duggars need to invest in the Pill

So this week in People, the Duggars are back and talking about the 'emotional' birth of their 19th child (as I type this, my heart stops for a minute...NINETEENTH CHILD! O.M.G.). Born at just 25 weeks, this latest addition, Josie, was so premature she now is suffering from a cascade of health problems.

What kills me is that in spite of the fact that this little baby has been teetering on the brink of death and considering Michelle herself suffered from preeclampsia in this pregnancy, the Duggars are still going on about how Josie isn't necessarily going to be their last child. According to People:

"[The Duggars] remain committed to their belief that "each child is a gift from God" and are open to having more. Michelle knows how their position is likely to be viewed, particularly following Josie's arrival. "When I say we would love more children, we open ourselves up for attack," she admits.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Aside from the fact that having 19 children is insane (I'm sorry, it is. End of story). All of the stories written about her bang on about her being a 'miracle baby' yet no one has even bother to question the mental health of a couple who would potentially risk the life of another child in this way. I mean how selfish can you be? And while all of us are reeling and even a little giddy with the prospect of the Duggars becoming parents to a 20th, no one seems to even care about the fact that Baby Josie is barely hanging on to life in a bad way.

19 children = EPIC FAIL.

03 February 2010

Tips for young players

Gisele Bundchen: if you're out there, read this.

Seriously, you've been a mum for 5 minutes. Just because your birth was 'painless' and you supposedly didn't gain any weight during your pregnancy and your baby is a 'little angel' doesn't mean you have to be so smug. We know you're a supermodel, you have shiny hair and you get paid to put your clothes on (and ironically, more often to take them off).

Motherhood is not a competition.

27 January 2010

Kourtney Kardashian calls Ok! fake

It's not everyday that I want to give mad props to Kourtney Kardashian. For those of you who may have forgotten, she gave birth to her first son Mason in December. Kourtney has come out with guns blazing, stating publicly that the Ok! magazine cover which features she and her new son with an accompanying story about her post-baby weight loss secrets is all talk and no truth.

Kardashian told WWD that not only was she never interviewed for the Ok! story in the first place, the photo that appears on the cover is actually a photo taken seven days after Mason's birth by Albert Michael of StarTraksPhoto.com. The cover image has been touched up to make Kardashian appear thinner on OK’s cover than in the original photo, which first appeared as part of the Jan. 11 issue of Life & Style.

As the original image (on the left) shows only Kardashian's upper body, Ok! clearly took it upon themselves to reconstruct the lower half of her body for the cover photo. Kourtney even tweeted about the retouch:

"One of those weeklies got it wrong again...they didn't have an exclusive with me. And I gained 40 pounds while pregs, not 26...But thanks!"

I'm really happy that a celebrity actually has admitted to the absolutely ridiculous body abominations that are regularly appearing in the tabloids. It's bad enough that new mums feel that they have to compete with celebrities to drop their baby weight, but when the post-baby bodies that are slapped around the weeklies are also being re-touched (and literally fabricated) to the hilt, it makes you realise that it actually is impossible to achieve the body shapes featured in the magazines.

Good on you Kourtney for coming clean!

Looks like the secret to post-baby weight loss isn't diet and exercise. It's Photoshop

25 January 2010

Another one bares her bump

So, you might not know who this lovely lass is but she's the latest wife of Flavio Briatore, the same man who inexplicably has gotten with the hottest women in the world, including Heidi Klum (he is the father of her daughter, Leni). Anyway, his new wife, Elisabetta Gregoraci, 28 (and 30 years younger than Flavio), the former Wonderbra model recently posed preggo and in lingerie for Italy's Chi magazine.

Gregoraci said she decided to pose in order to 'stand up for other mothers'...um, whatever that means.

21 January 2010

More things you don't need

Just when you thought that manufacturers couldn't come up with anymore ridiculous products for this generation of mums-to-be....Then there was Ritmo, a prenatal music player described as an 'advanced sound system for you and your baby'. Basically it's a soft belt with speakers that you wear around your belly so you and your foetus can listen to the same music. While there has been a lot of buzz lately about the premature babies gaining weight by listening to Mozart, there is little evidence that foetuses will become smarter or more coordinated as the makers of Ritmo seem to claim. "There is no evidence that playing music for a baby to hear before birth boosts either music ability or intelligence,” says, Tracy Dennis associate professor of psychology at Hunter College.

Verdict? Save your money and worry about improving your baby's intelligence after its born.

Thumbs down.

Octomum flaunts her post-baby bod

Wow! So we all know that Star isn't the most reliable of sources but in this cases, pictures don't lie. Nadya Suleman (aka Octomum) is looking unbelievable since giving birth to her babies just one year ago. She claims there was no plastic surgery involved and apparently has no stretch marks in spite of going from 270 lbs to 120 lbs post-birth. Can't say I love the idea of parading around in a bikini for a crappy tabloid photo shoot but if she really did it without surgery, well...dang!

20 January 2010


So it comes to my attention that Lionsgate Films has acquired the films rights to the classic pregnancy guide, What To Expect When You're Expecting. I don't know about you, but I think this is very strange and wonder if anyone at Lionsgate has even looked at the book. It's basically a list of everything you shouldn't do during pregnancy, replete with long lists of ways in which a woman can potentially kill her foetus.

Alli Shearmur, Lionsgate president of motion picture production, said:“‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ is a brand that knows no boundaries, and millions of readers can attest to the warmth, wisdom and humor of its voice.”

Uh, humour? Warmth? Are we talking about the same book? I think Heidi Murkoff relishes in scaring women into thinking that even looking at certain foods will result in the termination of their pregnancy.

Thumbs down.

11 January 2010

South Korea abortion debate heats up

If there is one thing I love about being in the US, it's being able to read the New York Times in its paper form and not staring at the 'pages' on a screen.

Anyway, I was intrigued by an article about abortion in South Korea, an issue that has rarely come to the fore as a topic of public interest. Abortion, whilst illegal in all but exceptional circumstances, has long been practised by obstetricians and gynecologists on the sly for cash payment for willing patients considering abortion is not covered by health insurance. In the face of an impending fertility crisis, abortion is coming under closer scrutiny as government officials worry that more aborted foetuses will put the nation at risk. According to the NYT:

"For decades, the South Korean government tended to look the other way, seeing a high birthrate as an impediment to economic growth. In the 1970s and 1980s, families with more than two children were denounced as unpatriotic, with official posters in South Korean villages driving the point home. Until the early 1990s, men could be exempted from mandatory army reserve duty if they had vasectomies."

With medical professionals now banding together against illegal abortions in light of their own guilt surrounding their participation in performing the procedures, there is increasing concern that women who are forced to have unwanted babies will either travel abroad to have an abortion or abandon their babies. Cash bonuses are now available for families with more than two children as well as greater financial aid for single mothers in need and vouchers for couples seeking help at fertility clinics.

Not unlike Costello's urge for Australian families to have one baby for mum, dad and the nation, South Korea looks to be on a dangerous road where women's reproductive rights are infringed upon. Whereas a foetus was just a foetus, now a foetus is implicitly a son or daughter.

10 January 2010

Too many ultrasounds

A recent Canadian study suggests that women with uncomplicated pregnancies are having too many ultrasounds. According to the study, out of 1.4 million cases of pregnancies studied from 1996 to 2007, 37 percent of the pregnant women were having three or more ultrasounds. 20 percent of women were having more than four tests.

How many ultrasounds have you had in a single pregnancy?

Love you, want to be you

And more from the annals of 'must be nice':

Leap Year actress Amy Adams is rocking her first pregnancy with a custom wardrobe from style queen Carolina Herrera. Herrera has been reworking her current collection to suit Adams and let me tell you, it sure beats shopping for maternity at Target.

Oh no you didn't!

Oh no you didn't!

Guess who is launching two new maternity lines?

The Kluminator's newest project is pregnancy fashion. She's designing two lines for A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity named Lavish and Loved *groan* respectively.

Heidi explains the cheeseball names thus: "I chose to call my collection for A Pea in the Pod Lavish because there is no grander name to express everything you want to give yourself and the child growing within you," Klum said in a statement. "For Motherhood Maternity, Loved is a celebration of new life and the love around you and your baby."

Wonder what Christian Siriano thinks considering the Project Runway contestant just launched his own line of maternity wear called Fierce.
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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.