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
Exciting celebrity baby news: Scarlett Johansson is pregnant!
Johansson, 29, is expecting her first child with fiancé Romain Dauriac, 31.
The couple became engaged last September after dating since November 2012.
“I’m very happy,” the Her actress said in January about Dauriac, a French journalist who manages a creative agency. “He’s my buddy.”
But she’s not in any hurry to walk down the aisle.
“Being engaged is an exciting time to enjoy and to really savour. I’m not doing any wedding planning.”
Congratulations to the happy couple!
When you are expecting, it’s important to establish a healthy pregnancy diet so you and your baby receive the best nutrition. Remember, everything you consume is also consumed by your baby.
The more you know about prenatal food choices, the easier it is to maintain a healthy pregnancy diet. Incorporating a better diet and understanding nutrition more in-depth allows you to take complete control of your body and baby’s development throughout your pregnancy. Follow these guidelines to ensure you’re eating the right foods.
Your daily diet
Make sure you are enjoying at least three servings of dairy products each day to support your baby’s bone structure and keep your strong throughout your pregnancy. Eat at least three servings of food with a high iron content, allowing you to reach 27mg of iron each day. Foods high in iron include beef, lamb, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach and berries.
It is also important to get at least 70mg of vitamin C each day. Skip the bottled OJ which is high in sugar and opt for a glass of freshly-squeeze juice, and top it up by eating papaya, broccoli, grapefruit and strawberries. Get your daily dose of vitamin A by eating pumpkin, carrots, turnip greens and apricots.
Folic acid is essential for baby’s development, helping to deter against any potential neural tube defects. Load up on leafy green vegetables, chickpeas, black beans and humanely-raised veal.
Foods to avoid
Throughout your pregnancy, there are a few foods you should stay away from to avoid potential health risks to your immune system or to your baby. Do not eat raw fish, soft cheeses and deli meats during your pregnancy, as this can lead to bacterial infections. It is also highly advisable to stay away from seafood during pregnancy to avoid a high mercury level in your blood as well as food poisoning.
Also limit your caffeine intake, as it increases your blood pressure and heart rate and can lead to dehydration. Remember that caffeine is found not just in your morning latte, but tea, soft drinks and chocolate.
Eating a variety of foods throughout your pregnancy is highly recommended, but may still not be enough to give you all the vitamins and minerals you need. Speak to your doctor about any multivitamins and prenatal vitamins that you may be lacking.
Increasing your weight
If you are a healthy weight during your first trimester of pregnancy, it is not always necessary to eat more to increase your caloric intake, unless you are underweight. Your doctor will be able to tell you how many calories you should be eating to get to a healthy pregnancy weight.
During your second trimester, it is important to increase your overall caloric intake by about an extra 300 calories to help with gaining weight and providing enough nutrients for your baby.
By the third trimester, increasing your caloric intake by an extra 450 calories is quite common as the baby reaches its final stages of development before birth.
Make sure you discuss your pregnancy diet with your doctor.
What foods did you love (and love less) during your pregnancy? Share them in the comments!
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?