When having kids means losing your job.
Because my worth as a woman shouldn’t be based on what I do with my womb.
I have never once wondered if I should have had that baby.
All you can do is increase the rate of life-threatening unsafe abortions.
Contrary to popular opinion, women don’t use abortions as a form of last-minute birth control.
Time to ditch diet drinks for good.
I feel like I’m the only sane person here.
Does being in love excuse the inexcusable?
There are things that happen during pregnancy that we love to talk about, like how you have a mother’s nurturing glow, how the baby is kicking, and how perfectly round your belly is getting. On the negative end, we also love to vent to our friends about the heaviness, the swollen ankles and those surprising bouts of morning sickness that happen in less than ideal situations.
After the pregnancy is over and the beautiful bubba is born, the conversation switches to how the baby is sleeping, debates over breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, and quick snaps at anyone who asks you how your weight loss is going post-pregnancy. One thing that isn’t talked about a lot is what actually happens to the body after birth, especially sensitive areas like the breasts.
A recent post on Vogue about what happens to breasts after pregnancy and breastfeeding had me thinking about this even more. I’ve always joked to my partner that after we’ve finished having kids, he’ll have to buy me a breast lift to make up for the soccer team he wants, but for a growing number of women out there, getting a breast lift is no joke; it’s a way to feel like yourself again after giving your body to your children.
While stretch marks are newly taking some focus after birth, it’s still not a popular conversation to have about what happens to a woman’s most intimate places on her body; namely her breasts and vagina. Vaginal rejuvenation has become a popular topic, especially in Hollywood, but it seems that we are still hiding what our breasts are like after birth.
Every woman and her body are completely different, and our bodies react differently to child birth and breastfeeding, but for those who happen to sag significantly, it can affect self esteem and happiness. If you’re thinking that it’s shallow to want a breast lift after pregnancy, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But we should all have the right to feel great about ourselves, even if it means having a little help to get your breasts back to what makes you feel fantastic.
Women are slowly getting there in terms of what is socially accepted to speak about, but I think that what happens to a woman’s body after she nurtures a life is very important. This shouldn’t be a deterrent from breastfeeding; quite the opposite. Women should be empowered to feel great after having given birth to new life. They shouldn’t feel ashamed for not feeling happy with their bodies and shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting a little extra to feel great again.
It’s a new era, a new time; women can talk about these things. And we should be talking about these things and letting each other know that we are all beautiful and we all have the right to define beauty the way we want to, without judgement or critique. Let’s start being open about what giving birth is actually like and start being more open about the way women feel, and are allowed to feel.
Image via welladjusted.co
Did you ever watch What To Expect When You’re Expecting? And think, I’m going to be Elizabeth Banks, who has the awful pregnancy experience while Brooklyn Decker is still wearing stilettos and going to pre-natal yoga classes. Everyone’s pregnancy is different, but staying fit and healthy during a pregnancy is good for you and your baby. However, there are certain things that you should take into consideration when you’ve got a bubba growing inside of you.
There’s a certain false impression that working on those abs is going to help you push out the baby when the (terrifying) time comes but accredited exercise physiologist Kate Faber from Precision Physio is here to bust that myth, saying it’s just not going to help in the way you think it is.
Kate Says, “Many women (and some medical, health and fitness professionals) believe there is great need to strengthen the abdominal muscles during pregnancy, in order to assist in pushing the baby out during delivery. While this may seem logical, the abdominal muscles are not directly involved in delivering the baby – the uterus and pelvic floor are responsible for that!”
And if you’re thinking that’s not a problem, but you’ll continue to do crunches to make it easier to get that flat belly after your pregnancy, you should definitely think again about that one.
Pregnancy exercise is a great way to keep yourself fit and minimize the extra weight gain that isn’t pregnancy weight but just ‘I can eat whatever I want weight’. Everyone gains weight during pregnancy, but let’s take a tip from Jessica Simpson to put down the deep fried Oreos and Southern spiced wings and keep it healthy for the baby. Eating a healthy diet and engaging in some pregnancy-friendly exercise is a great way to keep yourself fit and not have to shock your system once you’ve given birth and you’re looking to get your pre-baby bod back.
Kate also has some great pregnancy tips for the type of exercise you are looking to do. You should always take your baby’s health into consideration and see your body as a place that you are nurturing a life. Women don’t need to be completely wrapped in cotton wool when they’re pregnant, but there are safety tips to follow when considering how you’re going to work out.
Let’s take a look at Kate’s top pregnancy workout tips:
- Include a gradual warm-up and cool-down pre and post exercise.
- Exercise at an intensity that is comfortable for you – avoid unsupervised high-intensity exercise during pregnancy if you weren’t doing it before you fell pregnant.
- Stay well hydrated and avoid over-heating.
- Avoid any activities (e.g. very heavy lifting) which cause you to hold your breath or alter your posture.
- Beyond 16 weeks, be careful when lying on your back – you may be more comfortable in a seated or incline position.
- Avoid activities which increase the risk of physical injury (e.g. contact sports).
- If you do develop abdominal separation, seek guidance around exercises you need to include or avoid.
- Get moving – reduce time spent sitting and get regular exercise in!
- Maintain good bowel habits – go when you need to go!
- Practice safe manual handling techniques – whether it be at work or home.
Keeping it gentle is key and activities like walking, swimming, yoga and pilates are low impact activities that keep your body fit and build a strong cardiovascular system, which makes mum and bub healthier.
For more information about Kate Faber and Precision Physio, you can visit their website.
Images via myrtylebeachbirthservices.com and precisionathletica.com.au
If you’ve been trying to have a baby, there’s that time every month when you wonder: is this the month? Or perhaps you haven’t been trying, but you have a feeling that something is a little different. Could you be pregnant? Your body may be giving you a few hints. Look out for some of these early signs of pregnancy.
One of the strongest signs that you could be pregnant, of course, is that your period hasn’t started when you expect it. That’s because once the egg is fertilised it embeds itself into the uterine wall. Instead of shedding the lining as your body does each month, the lining builds up even further to support the embryo. If your period is very regular but now it’s late, this is a good indication that you may be pregnant. However, if you are not regular, this is a less reliable indicator.
If you feel sick to your stomach and are not sick, this could be a sign of pregnancy. Many women feel nauseous in the first weeks of pregnancy. This is called morning sickness, and for some women the queasiness is strongest in the early hours of the day, but for others it can hit at any time. Morning sickness is often accompanied by a heightened sensitivity to scents. Many women suddenly do not like the smell of certain foods, perfumes or other odours.
This can be a rather vague symptom, but a symptom nonetheless. Many women feel unusually tired in the first trimester of pregnancy. Unfortunately, exhaustion can also be a sign that you are getting sick or that you simply aren’t getting enough rest. Therefore, it is not a strong indicator of pregnancy on its own. Fatigue is not something to ignore, however. It is something to consider if you are experiencing it along with other common pregnancy symptoms.
If you are feeling an unusual soreness in your breasts, you may be pregnant. Many women feel very tender early in their pregnancy. This may be one of the pregnancy symptoms that get your attention the most, especially if you do not usually feel breast tenderness at certain times of the month. If your bra feels uncomfortable or your breasts are tender to the touch, take note.
When a woman is in her early pregnancy, her uterus begins to grow and can put pressure on her bladder. This is something she is not used to, which can make her feel like she has to use the toilet more frequently. It is one of the earliest changes in your abdomen, starting when the embryo itself is very small. If you suddenly need to urinate more urgently than you usually do and you do not have an infection, you may be pregnant.
If you experience any of these symptoms and there is a chance you could be pregnant, take a pregnancy test. These tests, which use a small amount of urine, are simple to carry out yourself at home. Then, if your results are positive, it’s important to follow up with your doctor as soon as possible. They will confirm the pregnancy and get you on track with a proper course of prenatal visits. If your home test is negative, give yourself another few days. If your period still does not start, consult with your doctor.
What other signs of pregnancy did you experience?
It’s often a mystery whether you’re pregnant or not and it can be difficult to know 100 percent until you get a pregnancy test. There are actually a number of early signs that will quickly indicate that you’re expecting. Look out for these 5 signs of pregnancy to see if you might be pregnant before getting a pregnancy test.
1. Morning sickness
If you’re tempted to run to the bathroom throughout the day, then you may be pregnant as a majority of women suffer from morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, and can even be sparked with the sight or smell of certain foods or fragrances.
Although it is often considered one of the worst parts of pregnancy, it usually only occurs in the first trimester as your body begins to change. This can occur as early as three weeks into your pregnancy and is often caused by an increase in oestrogen and progesterone levels.
To prevent suffering from nausea, try to eat consistently throughout the day and drink at least three litres of water each day. Motion sickness bands have also proven to be effective for pregnant women.
Even if you’re getting an average of seven to eight hours of sleep, you may still feel fatigued and tired throughout the day. This is one of the most common signs of pregnancy as your body is going through the early stages in the first trimester that makes it feel as if you always need a nap. Don’t be afraid to sleep more and allow your body to gain enough rest.
3. Mood swings
It can be easy to confuse your mood swings with PMS, which often occurs in the week prior to starting your menstrual cycle, but the change in behaviour can occur throughout all nine months of your pregnancy. Although it can be frustrating, it’s one of the earliest signs that you’re pregnant due to hormonal changes as your body begins to prepare to carry a child. Mood swings include anxiety, outbursts, and frequent bouts of crying at a moment’s notice.
Even before the second trimester when the baby begins to become larger in size, backaches can occur due to the ligaments loosening as your body prepares to carry a child. This is caused by increased levels of relaxin, which occurs in the pelvic region as the body begins to prepare for the birthing process. It can mean having difficulty to maintain good posture and feeling as if you have aches throughout your back during the day.
5. Food cravings
Pregnant women are notorious for having food cravings that consist of juicy pickles and ice cream. Although it may be a bit of a cliche, the symptom still rings true as pregnant women are now eating for two and often begin to crave new tastes and textures. Try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and nutrients to promote proper development in your child and also maintain a healthy weight.
Although many women are often nervous that their food cravings will lead to consuming donuts and fried food, a lot of cravings are often healthy. Food cravings can also change on a daily basis and can differ depending on the trimester you’re currently going through. Maintain your portions and opt for healthier versions of the foods you’re craving to avoid drops in blood sugar, which can also contribute to cravings.
What signs of pregnancy were your favourite – and least favourite?
Any woman who’s concerned that she may or may not be pregnant needs to know how to recognise the earliest signs of pregnancy. While obviously nothing is more certain than the results of a pregnancy test, some of the signs that your body gives you can be very good indicators. Here are some of the most common earliest signs of pregnancy.
Of all the pregnancy symptoms, this one is probably the most common – and also the most cliche. Indeed, on any television show or in any film, a character’s pregnancy is typically first revealed by scenes of her running to the bathroom to be sick. There’s a reason for this, however. Morning sickness occurs in most pregnant women and is truly one of the most common early indicators.
While there can be other reasons that a woman may miss her monthly cycle, a missed period is obviously a universal symptom of pregnancy. While pregnant women may experience some scattered spotting, no woman who is expecting a baby will have a regular cycle during the duration of her pregnancy.
Mood swings and fogginess
The phrase “pregnancy brain” exists for a reason. Because of the hormonal changes that occur when you’re expecting, many pregnant women experience mood swings and fogginess, even very early on. If you’ve felt irritable or forgetful, this can be an indicator that you’re pregnant.
Even at the very beginning of pregnancy, women generally experience a tenderness and sometimes a soreness in their breasts. If you’re breasts have felt very tender to the touch as of late, this can be a sign that you are indeed expecting.
What pregnancy symptoms did you experience when you were pregnant? Share in the comments.
Every mother-to-be cares deeply about staying in good health while pregnant. Pregnancy exercise isn’t just crucial for the health of your baby, but for your own wellbeing and vitality as well. If you don’t want to join a gym or sign up for any expensive classes, there are plenty of pregnancy workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Here are our favourite pregnancy DVDs.
Prenatal Yoga with Desi Barlett ($16.36, The Nile)
This DVD contains both floor and standing poses that are designed to help women stay healthy and flexible throughout each of their three trimesters. The gentle yoga exercises are meant to help you stay stress-free, flexible and have an easier delivery.
Preggie Bellies ($44.95, BumpStuff)
Billed as Australia’s most successful pregnancy exercise DVD, Preggie Bellies mixes pilates and yoga techniques to give women the perfect workout through the entirety of their pregnancy. This DVD is designed to alleviate common pains associated with pregnancy, like lower back pain.
Davina McCall: My Pre and Post Natal Workouts ($31.64, The Nile)
The Big Brother star is joined by her personal trainer, Jackie Wren, to lead her viewers through her favourite pre and postnatal workouts. The exercises are fantastic for the woman that wants to invest in a program that will not only keep her healthy during her pregnancy, but give her a way to drop the kilos after she gives birth.
Jane Simmons Pregnancy Exercise DVD ($29.95, BumpStuff)
This DVD is led by one of Australia’s leading physiotherapists. Jane Simmons specialises in prenatal workout techniques, and in this fantastic DVD, she borrows from yoga, pilates and physical therapy to provide women with an easy but effective workout that will ease pregnancy aches and pains.
Have you tried any of these DVDs? Tell us your story in the comments!