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The Independent

Social Media Helps Celebs Keep It Real About Pregnancy and Early Motherhood

The Independent explores the shift in celebrity pregnancy coverage being more authentic and real about the trials of pregnancy, labor, delivery and early motherhood and credits social media for it


Years ago, a pregnant starlet might drop out of the spotlight for a while – only to reemerge in a magazine looking well-rested and snuggling with an angelic infant.

See various People magazine covers: Jennifer Lopez in 2008, resplendent in a floor-length gown with an infant nestled in each arm, above the headline “TWIN BLISS!”; Angelina Jolie in 2006, gazing adoringly at Brad Pitt, as baby Shiloh snoozes away; Julia Roberts, looking dewy and fresh-faced in 2005 as she cradles her twins.

Now fans are starting to see a different side of postpartum celebrities: Model Chrissy Teigen shares an Instagram story that features her stretch marks and confesses that she’s “super insecure” about her body; actress Olivia Wilde posts an Instagram photo of her messy bun with the caption, “I call this hairstyle, ‘keep the kid alive’ “; tennis legend Serena Williams tweets about balancing work and her daughter: “She took her first steps . . . I was training and missed it. I cried.”

The common denominator in all those examples, naturally, is social media. The advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat made stars realize that they could connect with the public on a deeper level about personal subjects – and that fans appreciated honesty about the less-than-glamorous aspects of their #blessed lives.

“Social media has been such a game changer. . . . Celebrities are speaking directly to the fan base. Once they started doing that, things just got a lot more real,” said Kate Coyne, executive editor of People magazine. “One evolution of that concept has been celebrities sharing the realities of pregnancy, infertility, child-rearing, infancy, toddlerhood. It goes hand in hand with what social media is all about.”

Lately, celebrities have also been spilling details about serious medical issues surrounding childbirth. In January, Williams told Vogue that she had a potentially fatal complication during labor, including blood clots in her lungs.

Read the entire piece The Independent:


Viagra Given to Pregnant Women Study Ends After 11 Infant Deaths

A drug trial that saw pregnant women given Viagra has been halted after 11 babies died of complications linked to the drug.

As part of the scheme led by Amsterdam University Medical Centre, pregnant women whose placentas were underdeveloped in the womb and had a high likelihood of giving birth prematurely took sildenafil, the medication sold under the brand name Viagra.

Viagra is a treatment for erectile dysfunction in men that dilates blood vessels. The drug is also prescribed to treat high blood pressure.

The hope was that Viagra would encourage blood flow to the placenta, subsequently promoting increased growth of the child – as backed by experimental research conducted on lab rats.

However, the trial, carried out across 10 hospitals in the Netherlands, was terminated when an independent committee discovered that more babies were dying after birth as a result of lung problems compared to the babies born to women taking the placebo.

According to Marc van den Broek, a spokesperson for Amsterdam UMC who spoke to The Independent, all of the women who participated in the study had a “very low birthrate” and the children would be in intensive care after they were born.

Of the 93 women given Viagra as part of the trial, 17 babies developed lung problems, 11 of which have since died. A further eight died from unrelated conditions.

In comparison, of the 90 women in a control group who took the placebo, just three babies developed the same lung issues. No babies died from conditions that were linked to the Viagra, however nine did die from unrelated problems.

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