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Writer suggests society bans ‘Bump Watch’

Jennifer-Lopez-Absence-in-2014-World-Cup-Ceremony

In 2007, I wrote a blog post about the “Bump Watch” phenomenon, generally, discussing it in context of when the tabloids, public and media are wrong. In 2010, I wrote about how Jennifer Aniston is the most bump watched female celebrity even though she’s never been pregnant. At the same time, I was one of the early blogs that speculated in a post as to whether Jennifer Lopez was pregnant given her choice of dress during a concert. (I was right).

I am in that space so I get the fascination. And we here at Bellyitch have a long-standing ongoing “bump watch” tradition of following and covering celebrity preganancies.

I do, also, recognize that people hate the term “bump watch” as well as “bump” and “baby bump.”  It’s cool. No scene.

However, I think writer Rachel Kramer Bussel was going a weeee bit too far in her recent Salon commentary where she called bump watch anti-feminist and suggested we, as a society, should ban bump watch.

*Clutch the pearls!*

Bussel’s piece was a bit rambling and read like a stream of consciousness rant but I understand her thesis:  the incessant watching of and obsession over a woman’s pooch is offensive and reductive of her value to society outside of procreating.

In her post, Bussel bemoans how insulting it is when women are asked if they are pregnant when they may have just had one too many chicken wings the night before.

I can dig it, right.  I support women’s liberation and rights. I am a woman after all and I do and have benefited from all the work that my feminist and womanist sisters have done over the years.

Notwithstanding all of that…. I still think Bussel goes overboard in her rant.

I dunno. Head over to Salon and have a read and let me know your thoughts.

 

The Pregnancy Test Hack that May be giving TTC women false hope

pregnancy-test

So…the new thing in women’s online parenting and pregnancy forums is a practice called pregnancy test “tweaking”.

It entails a woman who is trying to conceive posting an image among other members of the online or bulletin board community of a recent pregnancy test that doesn’t’ definitively indicate she is pregnant. There is usually a very faint second line or indicator that could be perceived to be indication that she is pregnant.

Afterwards, members of the community use digital imaging tools to enhance the photo so they can decipher better if there is a second line.

The “tweaking” process give women false hope, some critics say. They worry it could be a damaging practice that toys with the emotions of  women who are struggling to conceive.

Some tweakers defend the practice.

“We can NEVER bring something out that IS NOT ALREADY THERE,” says Brandy Linex, who says she tweaks photos on BabyCenter.com  “We do not create positive tests out of negative ones. It’s either already positive or it isn’t and we are VERY up front and honest about that.

There is a common explanation for the faint line that is seen after the tweaking: It could be residual indication of an early miscarriage.

Doctors warn that some tweaked photos may actually reveal a chemical pregnancy, which often times go undetected and women recognize them only as a late menstrual period.

Only a follow up test at a doctor’s office, usually a blood one, can confirm the home-based test.

The tweaking process is just an exercise that lasts only until the obvious is confirmed a few days or weeks later when there is either positive confirmation of an active pregnancy or not.

What are your thoughts about “tweaking”?

h/t Dr. Drew at HLN

Brenda Song clears up ancient pregnancy rumors, her ex Trace Cyrus claps back

Post break up with long time beau Trace Cyrus, actress Brenda Song is clearing up a pregnancy rumor that even Bellyitch reported.

In an Instagram message (that has since been deleted), Song responds to the years-old rumors:
“I usually never speak of my personal life, but I’d like to clear up some rumors. A few years ago there were rumors that I was pregnant and/or had a miscarriage. I just want to say that those rumors were not true. They were just lies and fabrications. I apologize for not clearing this up sooner and for the continual damafe (sic) that these lies have caused @TraceCyrus.”
She continued, “We may no longer be together but I hope he can forgive me and I wish him nothing but the best.”
Not good enough for the rocker brother of Miley Cyrus who broke up with Song in the summer of 2012. He clapped back to her post:
“Yes they were lies THAT U MADE UP and told me, my entire family and all our friends.” 
Um….
Well..we in the blogsphere had reason from Song to believe she was pregnant too.
On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, the Disney Channel child star tweeted to her fans after getting engaged to Cyrus, ” I won’t be tweeting so much these next couple of days! My stomach is full of excitement! Big plans..big plans. You’ll soon see ya’ll! xo BS.”
So…

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Celebrity, Surrogacy & Vanity controversy

                 Bellyitch Rewind
 
Surrogacy, pregnancy and Vanity are controversial topics this sometimes go hand in hand. 
E! Entertainment hostess Giuliana Rancic went through infertility, several failed in vitro fertilization attempts and at least one miscarriage before opting on a gestational carrier. The surrogate pregnancy of their son Edward Duke was the subject of her Style channel reality TV show Giuliana and Bill


Camille Grammer, the ex wife of Kelsey Grammer and Real Housewives of Beverly Hillsreality TV star reportedly suffers from irritable bowel syndrome which prevented her from being able to carry her own kids and forced her to bring her two children, Mason and Olivia, into this world via a carrier.


Elizabeth Banks’ two kids were birthed via gestational surrogate. Her last was also.

And before Nicole Kidman finally settled on a carrier given her advanced maternal age, she had two miscarriages trying to conceive the traditional way. 
After having her first child “naturally”, Sarah Jessica Parker struggled to conceive again and turned to surrogacy to deliver her twin girls in 2009.  
After 7 years of failed attempts to conceive, actress Angela Bassett and husband Courtney Vance welcomed twins Brownyn and Slater in 2006.
Irrespective of the reasons, there remains a stigma and unspoken presumption among many that women who conceive this way are trying to save their bodies from the stretching out, pigmentation and other trauma and stresses of carrying a child, including excessive weight gain in some cases. Camille Grammer‘s co-stars reportedly went on record saying that was her true reason for not having her babies through conventional methods. 
Former cast member Adrienne Maloof was under a similar controversy after castmate Brandi Granville revealed during a dinner party that was taped for airing on the Bravo TV show that Maloof’s two children were born via a carrier. Apparently, Maloof had previously spoken about actually carrying her babies herself.  I don’t know if this is true. Don’t sue me, Adrienne. Read this post from Tamara Tattles which covers it well.
It’s a tough route to go especially considering that no matter how you explain your reasons for using a carrier, there will always be a cloud of suspicion that they were truly for vanity sake. 
And when a star does admit that she is afraid of the effects pregnancy  would have on her body, she is harshly criticized over it. 


Biggest Loser star Jillian Michaels got a lot of heat and flak after saying that she had decided to adopt a child rather than try to get pregnant because she worked too hard to have the body she has and was not willing to let pregnancy ruin it.
The New York Times has a wonderful, but a bit lengthy, piece, “Her Body, My Baby” written by a woman who welcomed a child via a surrogate. It’s a worthwhile read for anyone thinking of going that road to have a child. 

Dad whose wife died after quadruplets delivery will raise babies alone

New dad to quadruplets Carlos Morales has the most heart-wrenching story of the week.
“I went from having the best day of my life,” speaking about the January 15, 2015 birth of his four children, “to the next morning experiencing the worst day of my life.”
His wife since 2007, Erica, died of excessive blood loss during the C-section delivery and never got a chance to even hold the babies she and Carlos wanted so badly to have. The couple had endured miscarriage and IVF to conceive the children.
Erica Morales pregnant with the quads.
Fortunately, the three girls and one boy, born at only 7 months gestation at between 2 to 3 pounds each, are all healthy.
Morales is left to raise them alone.  Before the birth, he and Erica hadn’t decided on what to name one of the girls and fittingly, after Erica’s death, Morales chose to give that child her mom’s name.
The one she will never get to meet. How utterly sad. 
A GOFUNDME page has been created to help Morales cope with the cost of raising his babies. As of this posting, it has raised $228, 000 of its $500,000 goal.
Read the complete story at PEOPLE.
photo courtesy Carlos Morales
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Tips on getting pregnant after using birth control

Getting pregnant after birth control can pose a number of challenges. The most technically difficult of the lot is the pill that play around with your hormonal balance. So if you are using contraception and the pill or anything else, you need proper guidelines on how to conceive after they stop using contraception. You may be disappointed if you start trying for a baby without knowing the appropriate time frame to conceive.
Here is how you should go get pregnant after using birth control.
Tips for getting pregnant after birth control:
1. You can not be entirely sure what to be on birth control pills do to your reproductive system. When you are taking these pills do not ovulate at all. Yes, the hormone suppresses ovulation and periods obtained are due to the sudden drop in hormone levels when they stop taking the pill.
2. Usually, the last 3 tablets are placebo because they have little or no hormones in them. So you get your periods of 2 to 4 days to stop the pills. Now, after giving your body this dose, however small, of the hormone, it takes time for your ovaries to return to normal.
3. The body of every woman and the system is different. Some women can get pregnant a few days after stopping birth control pills, while others have to wait for some circles. Ideally, you should wait for your natural cycle to happen first before trying to conceive.
4. Sometimes you can not get your periods after stopping the pill, because the eggs are taking time to mature after a long sabbatical. Basically, the body’s hormonal balance has to get back on track after using birth control.
5. If you have a history of miscarriages or other abnormalities, then it is better to wait for 3 normal cycles before conceiving. This eliminates the risk of bleeding during pregnancy unnatural.
6. Other birth control methods such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) allow you to design faster. The copper IUD as using the base metal must be removed physically in the chamber of physicians and takes only a few minutes, you can get pregnant after using birth control of this type immediately.
7. The patches are also hormonal IUDs, but you may have to wait for a normal cycle before you start thinking about how to conceive. Although not affected as much as the pills that have an impact on hormone balance.
8. Barrier methods like condoms and diaphragms are best when trying to conceive quickly. You can get pregnant as soon as you stop using them!
Follow these tips to understand the process and the science behind birth control. You can get pregnant after using the methods of birth control once you understand the workings behind it.

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‘Hart of Dixie’s Jaime King expecting second child

Congratulations to actress Jaime King who announced today that she and hubby Kyle Newman are expecting their second child. 
The Hart of Dixie star shared a fun photo of her son with a creative caption to announce the news on her Instagram account:
“So excited to announce THE SEQUEL Coming later this year!! … #BabyTown2 – Created by @kyle_newman and @jaime_king. Also starring #JamesKnight,” she wrote.

“I’m Gonna be a BIG BROTHER! Who da boss Now I’m so excited!!!!” a note near son James read.
The former model opened up last year about how it took 5 miscarriages, 5 rounds of in vitro fertilization and 26  rounds of intrauterine insemination to conceive her son James. 

She and Newman were married in 2007. Congrats!

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FDA cracks down on ultrasound parties, commercial 3D imaging centers & in-home dopplers

The US Federal Drug Administration released a new update to its policies warning against the purchase of over-the-counter sale fetal heartbeat monitors which rely on Doppler ultrasound technology to listen to a baby’s heart.
Apparently, it has become trendy for parents-to-be to pay commercial companies to conduct 4D and 3D ultrasounds in their home at gender-reveal parties and to charge for the 3D images, but the FDA says these outfits are exploitative and ultrasounds should only be used by trained medical staff. 
The oversight agency also warns the excessive and repeated ultrasound imagery for non-medical reasons can be dangerous to the growing fetus and mom. 
This is interesting because while the trend perhaps is to get a better visualization of what the baby to look like, many women who purchased portable dopplers may like having the comfort of being able to monitor their baby’s heartbeat anytime. We imagine women who have had repeated miscarriages and fetus loss too may use the in-home devices so if there is a drop in heart rate, they could act. Granted, all of this probably contribute to increased false positive anxious calls from moms. 
What are your thoughts?
Read more about the new policy in the Huffington Post. 

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Attitude of The New Social Media Era of Expecting Moms (INFOGRAPHIC)

Believe it or not, December launched conception season! 
It’s the time of year that most babies are conceived given that 10 of the most common birthdays are in the month of September. 
In particular, December 17th thru 31st  are  the most common conception date with being December 24 being the most common. 
And we are in the era of the social media pregnancy as a recent survey by Wakefield research for Natera, a leader in non-invasive genetic screening, found that 83% of the 500 expecting moms surveyed planned to share all their baby moments with friends online. 
About 47% of them plan to post updates 2-3 times a week to keep their Facebook friends up-to-date on their baby-baking journey.
The survey also found that 3/4ths or 79% of those surveyed will find out in advance their baby’s gender. 
And for older moms like the 40 plus celebrities who gave birth after 40 (above), genetic testing is even more important given the increased risks for birth defects in their babies. Knowing as far in advance as possible can be essential 
Companies like the new Panorama™ NIPT, which sponsored the survey, have created genetic screenings that can test for abnormaliites as early as 9 weeks via a routing blood draw and without all the invasive screenings like with amniocentesis which carries a miscarriage risk. 
There is a bonus in that this new test can screen for gender at an accuracy rate of >99%! That is super early in the pregnancy! Amazing! Would you do use the screening? 

Learn more about the new new Panorama™ NIP from its Homepage: http://www.panoramatest.com; Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PanoramaPrenatalTest or follow on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PanoramaTest





And in the meantime, check out this great infographic:

*note: compensation was paid for sharing this post with you but my opinions on how awesome this option would be for new and expecting moms is the same.

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October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month

Approximately one million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, still birth and death of a newborn.  In 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month
Nationwide, at health centers, women and patient support initiatives hold events in memory of those lost and to raise awareness, and aide women and their partners dealing with loss. 
Here are some stats to consider and share:
  • One in four pregnancies ends in the loss of a baby 
  • The loss of a child is recognized as the most intense cause of grief 
  • Parents never “get over” the loss of a child – no matter the age 
  • Parents experiencing grief without supportive care can have debilitating consequences such as post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) , depression and anxiety that could further result in job loss, divorce, difficulties in daily living, or impediments with parenting of living children 
Getting support through grief is key to recovery, according to Missouri-based Perinatal Bereavement Care. This month, search for a support event near you and spread the word.  Start with Hearthside Perinatal Bereavement Care and go from there.