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Pregnancy

April 24, 2021

Knock Yourself Up (No Man? No Problem!)

As a book reviewer, I've had fun carrying this hot (shocking pink!) little number around town with me this week, reading a few pages during my son's piano lesson, taking it along for a solo lunch at a favorite little Mexican restaurant — and never knowing who might see the cover and wonder...

Of course, like the just-too-funny promos for the new movie "Baby Mama" (about a woman who enlists the help of a surrogate), which opens today, the title Knock Yourself Up (Avery), by Louise Sloan, is meant to be an attention grabber.

But once I cracked the cover, I found solid information and lots of real stories about single women over 30 who are trying to make the right decision on this life-altering issue by doing a lot of research, doing a lot of soul searching and enlisting the support of family and friends. Sloan shares her (touching and often really funny) experiences and those of many others who've decided not to let being single stand in the way of becoming a mom. 

Got questions? The book answers these and a lot more: When do I decide it's time to go it alone? How do I choose the right sperm? Is this fair to the kid? Can I afford to do it? How do I tell my parents? How do I tell my dates? Have I gone totally crazy? Will I ever have sex — or a life — again?

For those who want to discuss these juicy questions with their book club, there's a guide with discussion questions. For even more info, stop by knockyourselfup.com.

While I had a man involved when I got pregnant, I can't say Randy and I exactly did it the old-fashioned way. Having gone through in vitro fertilization, I could relate quite a bit to the tales of hormone injections, blood tests and waaay too many doctor appointments involving transvaginal ultrasound and stirrups. Trust me, nobody goes through all this stuff on a lark.

As "Baby Mama," Knock Yourself Up and my own IFV experience will attest, there are lots of ways to bring a baby into the world these days. But one thing remains, and you can surely can see it in this melt-your-heart picture of Sloan and her son, Scott: Women are making these decisions based primarily on something that mothers have had in common through the ages: love.

January 22, 2022

Blog of the Week: "My Three Kids"

I first met fellow writer Julie Weingarden Dubin online, years ago, back when I had a terribly sexy e-mail address along the lines on "677653@compuserve.com" (remember those days?) and we were both on a Compuserve-sponsored writers' board.

Some things don't change. Julie was a wonderful writer back then, and she still is. But now she has three little ones and a LOT more to write about! Woman's Day magazine lucked out and recently brought her onboard as a weekly blogger, and "My Three Kids" was born. Every Tuesday, Julie tackles subjects ranging from back labor to first haircuts. Check out her blog. I think you'll like it a lot.

January 02, 2022

Yes You Can(!) Teach Your Baby to Love Veggies

Want your baby to learn to like fruits and veggies? If you’re breastfeeding, you can start by eating these healthy foods yourself, according to new research published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers also suggest offering your baby plenty of opportunities to taste fruits and vegetables as she makes the transition to solid foods, by repeatedly exposing her to these healthy foods — regardless of whether you’re breastfeeding or using formula.

“The best predictor of how many fruits and vegetables children eat is whether they like the tastes of these foods. If we can get babies to learn to like these tastes, we can get them off to an early start toward healthy eating,” says study author Julie A. Mennella, Ph.D.

The researchers studied 45 infants between four and eight months old, 20 of whom were breastfed. The results revealed that breast-feeding confers an advantage for a baby’s acceptance of foods during weaning — but only if the mother regularly eats those foods.

“It’s a beautiful system,” says Mennella. “Flavors from the mother’s diet are transmitted through amniotic fluid and mother’s milk. So a baby learns to like a food’s taste when the mother eats that food on a regular basis.” Babies are born with a natural dislike for bitter tastes, explains Mennella. “If mothers want their babies to learn to like to eat vegetables, especially green vegetables, they need to provide them with opportunities to taste these foods.”

Apparently a look on a baby’s face that says “yuck!” doesn’t mean all that much, the researchers note. They found that babies’ facial expressions did not always match their willingness to continue eating a particular food, noting that infants innately display facial expressions of distaste to certain flavors. They urge parents to provide their baby with repeated opportunities to taste fruits and vegetables, focusing on the infant’s willingness to eat the food instead of on negative facial expressions during mealtime.

December 06, 2021

Enough With the Baby Advice Already!

When I was pregnant, I was sometimes floored by the nerve of the strangers who offered unsolicited advice. I was told how to do everything "correctly" from breastfeeding to Lamaze to epidurals. Seems everyone knew the best way to do everything and insisted on sharing it with me — while standing in line at Target.

I mean, really, do I need to hear about what to do about sore nipples when I'm minding my own business, buying laundry detergent?

Apparently I'm not alone in thinking "hey, butt out!" Now pregnant women can express how they feel with a new line of hip maternity t-shirts called Mommy Trends. The stretchy t-shirts ($36) sport lines such as "Big & Beautiful," but the best seller is a shirt that says "No Unsolocited Baby Advice."

July 20, 2021

What's The Rush?

As the mom of an 11 year old, there's always pressure to enroll my kid in the latest "enrichment" activity... Summer reading, music lessons, sports lessons... Fortunately, after a few years, you realize there are only so many hours in a day — and so many dollars in a budget — and you find a happy balance.

But woe to the soon-to-be new parents out there, who are now being told they need to enrich their child before he even has a chance to take his first breath. I just saw the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System, a product that straps onto Mom's bulging belly, emitting 16 varied sounds that resemble a mother's heartbeat.

For $149, your unborn baby has class twice a day for an hour, and the sonic pattern introduces her to a sequential learning process, based on the natural rhythms of the womb. (So the natural rhythms of the womb aren't enough?) The rhythms of the sounds increase incrementally as the pregnancy progresses. Until what? The baby pops out snapping his fingers, doing calculus and demanding an iPod?


Continue reading "What's The Rush?" »

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