WBEZ | pregnancy http://www.wbez.org/tags/pregnancy Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Say yes to downward dog: More yoga poses are safe during pregnancy http://www.wbez.org/news/say-yes-downward-dog-more-yoga-poses-are-safe-during-pregnancy-113807 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/pregnant-yoga_custom-5687a8c47ca8703dbb1f86dc025c93ac0a4dc661-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455937530" previewtitle="Four pregnant women sit in lotus position."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Four pregnant women sit in lotus position." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/13/pregnant-yoga_custom-5687a8c47ca8703dbb1f86dc025c93ac0a4dc661-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Four pregnant women sit in lotus position. (Thomas Northcut/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>Lots of studies have looked at the health benefits of prenatal yoga for the mother to be. There&#39;s even some evidence that yoga can be potentially helpful in reducing complications in high-risk pregnancies.</p></div></div></div><p>But does yoga have any impact on the fetus?</p><p>&quot;I wasn&#39;t able to find any evidence-based studies&quot; to answer this question, says&nbsp;<a href="https://kosairchildrenshospital.com/provider/rachael-polis-do-gynecology?Directions=403">Dr. Rachael Polis</a>, who practices gynecology at Kosair Children&#39;s Hospital in Louisville, Ky. So she and a group of collaborators decided to conduct their own study. Their findings have just been&nbsp;<a href="http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/publishahead/Yoga_in_Pregnancy__An_Examination_of_Maternal_and.98897.aspx">published</a>&nbsp;in the journal&nbsp;Obstetrics &amp; Gynecology.</p><p>They recruited 25 healthy pregnant women in their third trimesters. All the women in the study had uncomplicated pregnancies; no high blood pressure or gestational diabetes.</p><p>During one-on-one yoga classes, the women were guided through 26 poses &mdash; everything from standing poses, to twisting poses to stretching.</p><div id="res455902432" previewtitle="Child's pose"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Child's pose" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/13/childs-pose-1_custom-96820bc7476f8105a27b63d659cdd4dae58a0029-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Child's pose. (Chris Gahler/Jersey Shore University Medical Center/American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)" /></div><div><p>&quot;We found these postures were really well-tolerated by women in our study,&quot; says Polis, who conducted the research while she was a resident at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. &quot;Women&#39;s vital signs, heart rates, blood pressure &mdash; these all remained normal.&quot;</p></div></div><p>In addition, there were no falls or injuries. And none of the women reported &quot;decreased fetal movement, contractions, leakage or fluid, or vaginal bleeding in the 24-hour follow-up,&quot; according to the study manuscript.</p><p>And very important, the fetal heart rate during all 26 poses remained normal.</p><p>&quot;Because we had them [the pregnant women] on continuous fetal monitoring, we could see that the fetal heart rate remained normal,&quot; says Polis.</p><p>During the study, the women avoided inversion poses such as handstand or headstand to reduce the risk of falls. And for obvious reasons they also avoided lying flat on their bellies.</p><p>But they did try poses that some yoga teachers have advised pregnant women to avoid. These include the downward-facing dog; the happy baby pose &mdash; that&#39;s a pose where you lie on your back and hold your toes like a baby; and the corpse pose, where you lie on your back. Pregnant women are often told to lie on their sides, not their backs, during the final stages of pregnancy.</p><div id="res455902596" previewtitle="Downward facing dog pose"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Downward facing dog pose" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/13/downward-dog_custom-f1ffd73f19a89a34f4e6d97e8dfc4fdc4013c6ee-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 494px; width: 620px;" title="Downward facing dog pose (Chris Gahler/Jersey Shore University Medical Center/American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)" /></div><div><div><p>Polis says her study finds all of these four poses were well-tolerated.</p></div></div></div><p>So, the message here seems to be: Go for it!</p><p>&quot;This is preliminary information, but I think it&#39;s exciting and reassuring to know there were no adverse changes for both mom or baby,&quot; Polis says.</p><p>There is one caveat. Polis says it&#39;s important that every woman check with her ob/gyn to make sure that there are no complications before hitting the yoga mat.</p></p> Mon, 16 Nov 2015 14:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/say-yes-downward-dog-more-yoga-poses-are-safe-during-pregnancy-113807 Justices agree to hear first abortion case since 2007 http://www.wbez.org/news/justices-agree-hear-first-abortion-case-2007-113782 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1846178006_4fed70bfae_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON (AP) &mdash;&nbsp;The Supreme Court is taking on its first&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;case in eight years, a dispute over state regulation of&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;clinics.</p><p>The justices said Friday they will hear arguments over a Texas law that would leave about 10&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;clinics open across the state. A decision should come by late June, four months before the presidential election.</p><p>The high court previously blocked parts of the Texas law. The court took no action on a separate appeal from Mississippi, where a state law would close the only&nbsp;abortionclinic, in Jackson.</p><p>Arguments will take place in February or March.</p><p>States have enacted a wave of measures in recent years that have placed restrictions on when in a pregnancy&nbsp;abortions&nbsp;may be performed, imposed limits on&nbsp;abortions&nbsp;using drugs instead of surgery and raised standards for clinics and the doctors who work in them.</p><p>The new case concerns the last category. In Texas, the fight is over two provisions of the law that Gov. Rick Perry signed in 2013. One requires&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;facilities to be constructed like surgical centers. The other allows doctors to perform&nbsp;abortions&nbsp;at clinics only if they have admitting privileges at a local hospital.</p><p>Backers of the regulations say they are common-sense measures intended to protect women.&nbsp;Abortion&nbsp;rights groups say the regulations have only one aim: to make it harder, if not impossible, for women to get&nbsp;abortions&nbsp;in Texas.</p><p>&quot;Texans should have full freedom to prioritize women&#39;s health and safety over the bottom line of abortionists,&quot; said Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Steven H. Aden.</p><p>But Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, disagreed about the purpose of the law. &quot;This law does not advance women&#39;s health and in fact undermines it,&quot; Northup said.</p><p>Texas had 41&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;clinics before the clinic law. More than half of those closed when the admitting privileges requirement was allowed to take effect. Nineteen clinics remain.</p><p>Northup said the effect of the law has been to increase wait times for women in the Dallas area from an average of five days to 20 days.</p><p>The focus of the dispute at the Supreme Court is whether the law imposes what the court has called an undue burden on a woman&#39;s constitutional right to an&nbsp;abortion. If allowed to take full effect, the law would leave no&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;clinics west of San Antonio and only one operating on a limited basis in the Rio Grande Valley.</p><p>The state has argued that women in west Texas already cross into New Mexico to obtain&nbsp;abortions&nbsp;at a clinic in suburban El Paso.</p><p>In its decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in 1992, the court ruled that states generally can regulate&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;unless doing so places an undue burden on women. Casey was a huge victory for abortion-rights advocates because it ended up reaffirming the constitutional right to an&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;that the court established in Roe v. Wade in 1973.</p><p>In 2007, a divided court upheld a federal law that bans an&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;procedure that opponents call partial-birth&nbsp;abortion&nbsp;and opened the door to new limits on&nbsp;abortion.</p></p> Fri, 13 Nov 2015 13:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/justices-agree-hear-first-abortion-case-2007-113782 For some teen girls, surviving a rape can mean losing an education http://www.wbez.org/news/some-teen-girls-surviving-rape-can-mean-losing-education-113698 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/npr_4_3_15_slteens-73f5e54fe48c3617f3dd3844c55e5957a61141d3-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455034458" previewtitle="Maria Fabrizio for NPR"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Maria Fabrizio for NPR" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/06/npr_4_3_15_slteens-73f5e54fe48c3617f3dd3844c55e5957a61141d3-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="(Maria Fabrizio for NPR)" /></div><div><div>Last spring, with the Ebola outbreak under control, students in Sierra Leone returned to school after a months-long hiatus. But absent from the classrooms were several thousand adolescent girls. A law that went into effect in April bars &quot;visibly pregnant&quot; students from school.</div></div></div><p>The consequences of this new law have been heartbreaking, says Esther Major, who researches economic, social and cultural rights at Amnesty International. &quot;A 12-year-old girl I interviewed was five months pregnant. She was raped &mdash; and my heart broke,&quot; Major recalls. &quot;And she told me of her hopes and dreams to help people in the future but now she feels she won&#39;t be able to do that.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Major co-authored&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr51/2695/2015/en/">a report</a>&nbsp;Amnesty published this Friday titled&nbsp;<em>Shamed and Blamed: Pregnant girls&#39; rights at risk in Sierra Leone</em>.&nbsp;We asked her to tell us more about the law and its effects.</p><p>The interview has been edited for length and clarity.</p><hr /><p><strong>Why is Sierra Leone banning pregnant students?</strong></p><p>This official ban occurred in April, but we know that the practice had gone on informally for a long time.</p><p>Moijueh Kaikai, the minister of social welfare, told us that he could not have pregnant girls with normal girls because it&#39;ll encourage other girls in the class to get pregnant. He said, &quot;During the Ebola outbreak children were given clear instructions: Do not touch... These girls could not even comply with basic rules and there must be consequences for their actions.&quot;</p><div id="res455034500"><div><strong>RELATED:&nbsp;<a data-metrics="{&quot;category&quot;:&quot;Story to Story&quot;,&quot;action&quot;:&quot;Click Internal Link&quot;,&quot;label&quot;:&quot;http:\/\/www.npr.org\/sections\/goatsandsoda\/2015\/04\/06\/397272538\/visibly-pregnant-girls-are-banned-from-school-in-sierra-leone&quot;}" href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/04/06/397272538/visibly-pregnant-girls-are-banned-from-school-in-sierra-leone">&#39;Visibly Pregnant&#39; Girls Are Banned From School In Sierra Leone</a></strong></div></div><p>This language is deeply concerning. There is among many the idea that the girls have &quot;chosen&quot; pregnancy and should be punished as a result. But many of these girls are either victims of sexual violence or they didn&#39;t have the information or the health services to avoid early pregnancy. And even if they did choose to become pregnant, they should not have the right for an education taken away from them.</p><p><strong>Can these girls go back to school once they&#39;ve had the baby?</strong></p><p>Because they don&#39;t have the support and finances to have child care, the likelihood of their returning to school after giving birth is very, very slim.</p><p>Girls talked to us about their desire to contribute to their country and how they wanted to be nurses, doctors and lawyers, and would love to go to school if given the chance to do so. In particular one girl said how humiliated she felt when she found out she was pregnant and her school bag and books were given to her younger sister.</p><p><strong>Pregnant girls are also banned from taking national exams coming up this month, right?</strong></p><p>Yes. These two sets of exams on Nov. 23 are crucial. One set determines who can go on to senior high school. And the other set is for graduating seniors, in rough American terms similar to a high school diploma.</p><p>Some girls in desperation inevitably are going to try to hide their pregnancy in order to be able to sit these crucial exams. In our interviews, we heard that girls were strapping their stomachs down in order to pass for non-pregnant in order to be able to sit the exams.</p><p><strong>So &quot;visibly pregnant&quot; students are banned. But do schools actually check to see if girls are pregnant?</strong></p><p>We spoke to girls who had their breasts and stomachs touched and some were being forced to give urine tests.</p><p><strong>Your report recommends that pregnant girls should be allowed back in school and allowed to take exams. What else do you and your colleagues recommend?</strong></p><p>Schools should be prohibited from the treating girls in this degrading way to ascertain their pregnancy status.</p><p>One of the girls said to us, &quot;Instead of banning us from school, why didn&#39;t they give us sex education?&quot;</p><p>Instead of punishing the girls they should be punishing rapists. And giving the girls the information, health services and support they need to go forward.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/11/09/455012815/for-some-teen-girls-surviving-a-rape-can-mean-losing-an-education?ft=nprml&amp;f=455012815" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 09 Nov 2015 12:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/some-teen-girls-surviving-rape-can-mean-losing-education-113698 Know the signs: for some, post-pregnancy is anything but magical http://www.wbez.org/news/know-signs-some-post-pregnancy-anything-magical-113596 <p><div id="res453735737" previewtitle="Paige and Bjorn Bellenbaum pose while on a skiing trip with their two kids, Max, 9, and Ella, 7. After Paige sought help for what she learned to be postpartum depression, the Bellenbaums say they feel stronger now."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Paige and Bjorn Bellenbaum pose while on a skiing trip with their two kids, Max, 9, and Ella, 7. After Paige sought help for what she learned to be postpartum depression, the Bellenbaums say they feel stronger now." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/01/bellenbaum_wide-a70e33efc73fd1d2d761ac57086122b8e11f856c-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Paige and Bjorn Bellenbaum pose while on a skiing trip with their two kids, Max, 9, and Ella, 7. After Paige sought help for what she learned to be postpartum depression, the Bellenbaums say they feel stronger now. (Courtesy of the Bellenbaum family)" /></div><div><div><p>The definition of postpartum depression is broad. The symptoms can range anywhere from feeling exhausted and disconnected from your baby to paranoia that someone else might hurt your child or, even worse, that you yourself might do your baby harm.</p></div></div></div><p>While this wide-ranging spectrum makes it hard to diagnose, the CDC says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/depression/">between 8 and 19 percent of women</a>&nbsp;suffer from postpartum depression.</p><p>A decade ago, Brooke Shields kicked off a national conversation when she talked publicly about her own depression after the birth of her first child.</p><p>And it&#39;s still news every time a woman in the public eye talks about it. Drew Barrymore wrote about her experience in a new memoir and actress Hayden Pantierre recently checked into a treatment center for postpartum depression.</p><p>Since then, the stigma around postpartum depression has lessened. But when Paige Bellenbaum and her husband, Bjorn Bellenbaum, had their first son, now 9, there was not as much awareness.</p><p>This week on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/399382645/for-the-record">For the Record</a>: The battle with postpartum depression.&nbsp;Click on the audio link on this page to listen to the full conversation.</p><div><hr /></div><p>A few months after an easy conception, Paige and Bjorn were excited to find out they were having a boy. And while Paige stressed out a lot during the pregnancy, she didn&#39;t overthink what would come after giving birth.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1.JPG" style="height: 205px; width: 300px; float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" title="" />&quot;What I thought, which is what I think most women think, unless told otherwise, that having a child was going to be a magical, wonderful and beautiful experience,&quot; she says. &quot;But I think Bjorn was actually more of the practical person who was thinking about the aftermath more than I was.&quot;</p><p>In fact, Paige says the birth was terrible.</p><p>&quot;It was the most traumatic physical experience I&#39;ve ever had in my life.&quot;</p><p>The one thing that softened it, she says, was Bjorn&#39;s opposite reaction.</p><p>&quot;It was incredible,&quot; Bjorn says. &quot;It always makes me sad, you know, to hear your side of it, that it was such a traumatic thing.&quot;</p><p>This was the beginning of the gaping hole that would develop between Paige and Bjorn and the vastly different way they experienced early parenthood.</p><p>During the first few weeks, Paige vividly recalls wanting to feel that unconditional love only described to her, but says she only felt physical pain and emptiness after the physical trauma.</p><p>&quot;I found myself thinking in those first few weeks, &#39;I wish I could stuff him back up there,&#39; &quot; she says. &quot;I feel like he&#39;s safer there than he is out here.&quot;</p><p>Bjorn took a week off from work after the baby was born, but even then he was still on email and not completely present. They didn&#39;t want any family to come in to help so after that first week, Paige was all alone with the baby. And it started to overwhelm her.</p><p>&quot;I kept thinking there was always something wrong,&quot; she says. &quot;He was sleeping too much ... He&#39;s not eating enough ... and I was always trying to convince Bjorn in the beginning that there were problems and we needed to go to the doctor and take care of it.&quot;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2.JPG" style="height: 198px; width: 300px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: right;" title="" />Bjorn says it took him time to realize Paige needed help because he lacked perspective.</p><p>&quot;I didn&#39;t know what was normal, what was not normal,&quot; he says. &quot;It was clear that Paige was really nervous, but that also seemed not uncommon.&quot;</p><p>And he had his own stressors of fatherhood and finances that intensified the disconnect with his wife.</p><p>All the while, Paige&#39;s depression got worse.</p><p>&quot;I did not feel any love attraction for my son,&quot; she says, and she would sit crying throughout the day.</p><p>Paige even found herself staring into the medicine cabinet and contemplating suicide.</p><p>It&#39;s worth noting that she&#39;s a social worker and part of her job is to be able to spot signs of depression in other people.</p><p>&quot;Even I, as a trained clinician, was unable to notice the symptoms,&quot; she says, &quot;because I was so far gone.&quot;</p><p>Then, a turning point came for Paige when she took 5-month-old Max for a walk.</p><p>&quot;Everything around me felt gray,&quot; she recalls. &quot;I noticed that I just, I didn&#39;t know who I was. I was walking toward the corner with Max in the stroller, and I looked to the right and I saw a bus coming. And I looked at the bus and I had this impulse out of nowhere to throw myself and Max in front of the bus and just end it ... as the bus passed, I remember looking at my reflection in the windows of the bus and the faces looking back at me, but seeing my face, and being like &#39;Who is that person?&#39; ... I had to do something to save myself and to save my son.&quot;</p><p>So she took a cab to Manhattan&#39;s Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic, where she was diagnosed with severe postpartum depression. A team of medical professionals suggested she get on medication immediately.</p><p><img alt="When Paige and Bjorn Bellenbaum had their second child, they knew the symptoms of postpartum depression — and were able to push back against it." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/01/bellenbaums2_custom-45a71667017299740497f65918d785aa5ec14844-s400-c85.png" style="float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 452px; width: 300px;" title="When Paige and Bjorn Bellenbaum had their second child, they knew the symptoms of postpartum depression — and were able to push back against it. (Courtesy of the Bellenbaum family)" /></p><p>She did and eventually she got better. The darkness lifted and she started to see her baby boy in a different way.</p><p>Then, less than a year later, Paige got pregnant again. It wasn&#39;t planned, and she didn&#39;t know if she could go through with it again.</p><div id="res453742338" previewtitle="When Paige and Bjorn Bellenbaum had their second child, they knew the symptoms of postpartum depression — and were able to push back against it."><div><div><p>&quot;That was a big blow,&quot; she says. &quot;And I considered not having the baby. I remember one afternoon ... [Bjorn] looking at me and saying &#39;I love you, I&#39;ll do whatever you want, I just don&#39;t want to lose you.&#39; And that I will never forget. Because I knew in that moment that I didn&#39;t want to lose you either, and that we were going to figure out a way to do this together.&quot;</p></div></div></div><p>They had a baby girl and everything was different this time. They knew the signs of postpartum depression and they knew how to push back, but only because they had been there before.</p><p>Paige thought if more people knew what signs to look for, more moms could get help earlier. Last year, she helped write a new law in New York state aimed at educating more families on symptoms of maternal depression. It also gives pediatricians a process to screen and refer new mothers who might be struggling.</p><p>Postpartum depression can pull some couples apart and they never find their way back. Paige and Bjorn did, and they say they&#39;re stronger for it. Their daughter Ella is rambunctious, they say, and Max is the sensitive one.</p><p>He&#39;s just like her, Paige says.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/01/453618924/know-the-signs-for-some-post-pregnancy-is-anything-but-magical?ft=nprml&amp;f=453618924" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 02 Nov 2015 12:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/know-signs-some-post-pregnancy-anything-magical-113596 Chicago-based film takes on two very different people in same situation http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-24/chicago-based-film-takes-two-very-different-people-same-situation <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Unexpected_(2015_film)_POSTER2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Poet Robert Burns perhaps summed up life&rsquo;s surprises best when he wrote, &ldquo;the best laid plans of mice and men go awry.&quot; That about captures the story in the film, &quot;Unexpected&quot; when two people from very different backgrounds come face to face with the same situation: unexpected pregnancy. Filmmaker Kris Swanberg takes viewers along for the journey of Chicago public school teacher Samantha Abbott and one of her star pupils &mdash; Jasmine &mdash; as they deal with their pregnancies and each other. Along the way, characters make assumptions based on race and class. Unexpected premieres tonight at the Music Box Theater. Director and co-writer Kris Swanberg joins us for more on the story of &quot;Unexpected.&quot;</p></p> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 11:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-24/chicago-based-film-takes-two-very-different-people-same-situation The worst pregnancy books (as determined by formerly pregnant people) http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/worst-pregnancy-books-determined-formerly-pregnant-people-104190 <p><p>Hey, Kate Middleton! Congratulations on your pregnancy! I bet that&rsquo;s sort of a relief, now that all the pressure of getting pregnant is off.</p><p>I know you read this blog so I wanted to help guide you as you peruse baby books. There are <em>so </em>many out there, and what&rsquo;s useful to you probably depends on what type of mother you want to be. So instead of recommending books, I figured I&rsquo;d present to you a list of the <em>least </em>helpful baby books, according to myself and some other moms I know.</p><p><strong><em>The Happiest Baby On The Block</em></strong><br />The premise of this book is a fine one: Your baby isn&rsquo;t sleeping because it&rsquo;s operating from its weird quasi-formed lizard brain, but there are five ways you can help coax it back to sleep when it awakes to terrorize you. However, a whole book doesn&rsquo;t need to be written about this. I would have gladly paid the same amount of money for a brief pamphlet detailing the &ldquo;Five S&rsquo;s&rdquo; (swaddling, shushing, side/stomach position, swinging, sucking) but felt like I was going insane as this message got repeated over and over again in book form.</p><p><strong><em>Your Pregnancy, Week-by-Week</em></strong><br />My friend Stevie said, &ldquo;This book informed me during week 32 that green tea was something to stay away from. My problems are a) I am not sure that&#39;s true, and b) WEEK 32 is not the time to tell someone avoiding caffeine to avoid green tea.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/What_to_Expect_When_You%27re_Expecting_Cover.jpg" style="float: left; height: 450px; width: 300px;" title="" /></div><p><strong><em>What To Expect When You&rsquo;re Expecting</em></strong><br />Annie had it up to <em>here </em>with the diet this book presented: &ldquo;You know, bring a package of wheat germ along on your vacation because restaurants may only have white bread and white bread does not have the best odds for your baby! Oh, and you need to watch your weight so you stay sexy for your husband. And, once a week, give yourself a really decadent treat, like a small fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt! Bleah.&rdquo; Kate (not you, Duchess, another Kate) agreed: &ldquo;The whole back third of [the book] was full of horrible things that might happen to your baby. I mean, it&#39;s good to be prepared, but this was like reading &lsquo;Doomsday Baby.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p><strong><em>The Baby Book</em></strong><br />Annie didn&rsquo;t like this one, either. &ldquo;I threw the Dr. Sears book across the room one day. He was going on about the evils of rice cereal and said something about how babies don&#39;t have teeth, but mine cut teeth at two months (early, but not freakishly so) which was a Major Pain when nursing. My beef was: a) the assumption that all babies are the same, and b) you are turning your kid over to the heroin dealer unless you follow the rules exactly.&rdquo; Stevie added, &ldquo;Dr. Sears is a little preachy and routinely pushes his family&#39;s privilege (like his sons&#39; wives being able to sleep whenever because they stayed home).&rdquo; Annie pointed out, &ldquo;I also liked how he slipped up and mentioned how his wife worked after going on about how mothers shouldn&#39;t work.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Babywise_2007.jpg" style="float: right; height: 477px; width: 300px;" title="" /></div><p><strong><em>On Becoming Baby Wise</em></strong><br />Kristen found this book &ldquo;Judgy, religiousy, awful. I remember being INCENSED by the religious aspects of the system they lay out in the book. The system is, basically, you need to have a schedule on which you feed your kid and let him or her sleep. There&#39;s a three-hour cycle: sleep, eat, play, sleep, eat, play. There was a lot of judging of parents who didn&#39;t do this as immoral or deficient, and I remember at one point the authors compared letting your kid cry because he or she is hungry to Jesus suffering on the cross. It might have been the post-pregnancy hormones, but the whole thing made me sick. It struck me as very harsh and used conservative Christian ideas to justify its harshness. I couldn&#39;t believe the friend who recommended it to me had really read it and thought it a good idea to pass it on.&rdquo;</p><p><strong><em>Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child</em></strong><br />The author of this book works at the practice we take our son to, and my friend Elizabeth requested that I kick him in the shin for her if I ever ran into him. &ldquo;I found the entire book to be descriptive rather than prescriptive. It tells you what babies do, not what you should do with your baby or how to encourage your baby to do what is being described. And practically every page says, &lsquo;Never wake a sleeping baby.&rsquo; Well, thanks, that&#39;s just so helpful. In all fairness, I was trying to read this book in a sleep deprived state, which is just a bad combo. I have since given up on all parenting books and try just to follow baby&#39;s lead or ask my pediatrician when necessary. Otherwise, you could drive yourself nuts!&rdquo;<br /><br />There you go, Kate. What <em>can </em>I advise you? Don&rsquo;t drive yourself crazy. Eat what you want but try to exercise when you can because it&rsquo;ll be good for your digestive system. Order three sets of sheets and three sets of waterproof sheets and layer them all on the royal crib (this will make sense in the middle of the night). Otherwise, you got this. Good luck!<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/worst-pregnancy-books-determined-formerly-pregnant-people-104190 List: Things you may need if you’re going to be massively pregnant during a hot season http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-07/list-things-you-may-need-if-you%E2%80%99re-going-be-massively-pregnant-during <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/friends.jpg" style="height: 246px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="The author flaunting a Belly Dance dress, lots of jewelry and an even more pregnant friend. " />Congratulations! You&rsquo;re an idiot like me who either figured you probably wouldn&rsquo;t get pregnant anytime near your first few tries or just didn&rsquo;t do the math. Now you are (or will be) large and in charge during one of the hottest summers on record. Here are some things I&rsquo;ve found help you feel a bit more like yourself while you&rsquo;re glowing your butt off. Warning: there is a complete abandonment of feminine mystique below.<br /><br /><strong><a href="http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/fashion-forms-soft-back-bra-extenders-2-hook-6-pack-p222?ID=589464&amp;cm_mmc=Froogle_pla_pe-_-adtype-pla-_-target-21882504424-_-kw-&amp;gclid=CKWFidHrwbECFQZtKgodThcAKQ">Bra extenders</a>. </strong>I LOVE these things. I&rsquo;m a bit of a snob when it comes to bras and don&rsquo;t like to rely upon cheap stuff that I fitted myself. The problem was, even after I went to <a href="http://www.myintimacy.com/">Intimacy</a> around my fourth month and got some new bras, I kept growing a bit, but I didn&rsquo;t want to drop another hundred bucks or two on some new intimate wear. Meanwhile, my carpal tunnel made it harder to put on my bras than ever. Then I found these babies, which both make my bras easier to wear and also simpler to put on.<br /><br /><strong><a href="http://www.spanx.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3026777">Maternity Spanx</a>. </strong>Hear me out. First, if you&rsquo;ve gained weight, your thighs have probably gotten a bit bigger and a symptom of big thighs plus summer skirt-wearing equals thigh chafing. A handy solution for this are Maternity Spanx, which keeps everything flowing smoothly and actually provide some nice support for your belly/back.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/powermama.jpg" style="float: right; height: 364px; width: 300px; " title="" /></div><p><br /><strong>Sandals you don&rsquo;t hate that you can put on without bending over. </strong>After a certain point you won&rsquo;t want to deal with laces, buckles, zippers or anything that involves leaning over or even looking at your feet. I lusted after <a href="http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/donald-j-pliner-fifi-sandal/3001836">these slides</a> for many years and decided pregnancy was a fantastic time to indulge. I love them, although a month or so ago I realized that if it&rsquo;s super hot and my feet are super fat and I&rsquo;m trying to walk for exercise during the day, leather sandals without a ton of give aren&rsquo;t my best bet, so I moved onto <a href="http://www.zappos.com/reef-stargazer">these Reefs</a>. Normally I try to avoid relying upon flip-flops as everyday footwear but I am not normal right now. Also, these have a little bit of sparkle on them so they are &quot;fancy.&quot; I wore them to a wedding recently with no shame.<br /><br /><strong>A small jar of Vaseline.</strong> For if your sandals are chafing or if it&rsquo;s too hot for your maternity Spanx but you need something to keep your thighs moving. Just be careful not to get it on your clothes.<br /><br /><strong><a href="https://www.buyeasyfeet.com/?MID=1021529&amp;gclid=CKqe4-XqwbECFQa8KgodvF4AIQ">This foot washer thingie</a>.</strong> I actually don&rsquo;t own this and I used to mock it in my pre-pregnancy days as a sad invention for sad people who are incapable of washing their own feet. But after flip-flopping around the dirty streets of Chicago day in and day out, if somebody had bought me this as a &ldquo;joke,&rdquo; I would &ldquo;jokingly&rdquo; use it each and every day.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Regular(ish) pedicures. </strong>See above. It&rsquo;ll just make you feel better. Don&rsquo;t be shy about encouraging the technicians to really go for it in terms of the foot massage.</div><p><br /><strong>Maternity shorts. </strong>I don&rsquo;t typically wear shorts during the summer months but for casual days, your thighs might like a break. <a href="http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=80277&amp;vid=1&amp;pid=896410&amp;scid=896410012">Old Navy maternity jean shorts</a> (or as I like to call them, &ldquo;m-jorts&rdquo;) worked for me.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/mjorts.jpg" style="float: left; height: 401px; width: 300px; " title="" /></div><p><br /><br /><strong>Nice maternity clothes: </strong>Just because you&rsquo;re gigantic, hot and sweaty doesn&rsquo;t mean you shouldn&rsquo;t look and feel good about yourself. I relied upon Old Navy and hand me downs until my mom took me shopping for some fancier gear and it made all the difference. Getting dressed in the morning was more fun once I had dresses and pants that were somewhat fashionable and actually fit me and would last awhile and I could even see myself wearing for a little while after baby is born. After an extremely frustrating experience shopping for maternity swimwear at a Pea in the Pod (re: swimsuits, the only advice I have for you is to go patient and to not go hungry), we shopped local and I was very happy with <a href="http://www.kickinmaternity.com/index.html">Kickin&rsquo;</a> and <a href="http://www.bellydancematernity.com/">Belly Dance</a>.<br /><br /><strong>A heavier hand on makeup and jewelry:</strong> Someone sent me <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Bump-It-Transform-Pregnancy-Statement/dp/0345514475">this book</a>, which is 98 percent useless since it advocates that giving up your high heels means giving up in general, which is just nonsense. However, one tip I learned was that since you have more flesh when you&rsquo;re pregnant, it&rsquo;s wise to go for larger accessories. I&rsquo;ve gotten a lot of compliments on the big chunky turquoise, wooden and flashy plastic necklaces I&rsquo;ve worn this summer. That, plus taking a little bit of time to put on some makeup apparently gives the impression that I Haven&rsquo;t Given Up Entirely, which earns you lots of compliments as a pregnant lady. I know I should say something here about how looks aren&rsquo;t important when you are creating a life within!!! But I don&rsquo;t care, when it&rsquo;s 100 degrees outside and I just want to lie down on the sidewalk (despite the fact that I&rsquo;d probably never get up again), it makes me feel slightly better to think I look okay.<br /><br /><strong><a href="https://www.cottonelle.com/cottonelle-fresh-care-wipes.aspx">Flushable wipes</a>: </strong>Switching gears wildly from the pretty to the not-so-pretty, just do yourself a favor and buy some. They&rsquo;re a waste of money and probably not good for the environment but when you&#39;re in your third trimester, at the end of a long hot sweaty day they&rsquo;re outrageously soothing and will make you feel like a human again as opposed to the filthy animal you felt yourself turning into.<br /><br /><strong>Pregnant friends:</strong> Pregnant gals need to stick together, but not because childfree women will never understand the special spiritual journey we are embarking upon. It&rsquo;s because being pregnant involves a lot of disgusting stuff and people who aren&rsquo;t going through it probably &mdash; and rightfully &mdash; don&rsquo;t want to hear every detail. It&rsquo;s very helpful to have friends who won&rsquo;t blink an eye if you check to make sure what&rsquo;s going on with your boobs, butt, vagina, armpits and facial hair sounds normal. If they&rsquo;re really good friends, they may even one-up you.</p></p> Tue, 31 Jul 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-07/list-things-you-may-need-if-you%E2%80%99re-going-be-massively-pregnant-during The problem with pregnant women today is that their placentas don’t taste good http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-05/problem-pregnant-women-today-their-placentas-don%E2%80%99t-taste-good-99197 <p><p>Last night I reviewed the TV show <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/pregnant-in-heels,74037/"><em>Pregnant in Heels</em> for the <em>A.V. Clu</em></a><em>b</em>. As I mention in my review, there was a woman on the show who revealed a plan to eat her placenta after she gave birth to her baby.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/206930221_b60cbc3c04.jpg" style="float: right; height: 450px; width: 300px;" title="(Photo by karindalziel)"></div><p>I believe that it’s been well-established by this point that eating your placenta is standard practice. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/03/26/mad-mom-january-jones-eats-her-own-placenta/">January Jones did it</a>; <a href="http://nymag.com/news/features/placenta-2011-8/"><em>New York</em> magazine did an article on it</a>; Christine on <em>Pregnant In Heels</em> did it. So, basically, &nbsp;it's <em>de rigueur</em> at this point. If you have to ask why, I just feel embarrassed for you.<br><br>However, looking at Christine’s face as she choked down her placenta smoothie, I was struck by a problem that afflicts way too many pregnant women: We are growing gross-tasting placentas.<br><br>To address this problem, I have carefully developed a diet plan that will result in a tasty placenta that you will enjoy eating after you give birth. It goes a little something like this:</p><ul><li>Candy all day long</li><li>Occasional cake and cookie supplements</li><li>Pie for dessert</li><li>Ice cream snacks</li><li>Milkshakes for hydration</li><li>Fruit chew vitamins</li></ul><p>Now if you’re wondering whether this diet is approved by doctors, the answer is a resounding yes!! Just trust me on this though and don’t be uncool and go asking a doctor to back this up. She’s busy! Leave her alone.<br><br>If you stick to this plan, after you give birth, your placenta will come out looking something like <a href="http://pics.livejournal.com/gnine/pic/0003eg0s">this</a>. Meanwhile, your baby will look adorable, like <a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XU9x8G7khv0/SmimwkJDPJI/AAAAAAAAHmc/Ly32dbIsWUE/s400/fatbaby.jpg">this</a>. Best of all, everyone will want a piece of your nutritious, healthful placenta, so not only will the father of your child adore you for bringing new life into the world, he’ll appreciate you “baking” him a tasty treat! (The placenta, not the baby. )</p></p> Wed, 16 May 2012 10:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-05/problem-pregnant-women-today-their-placentas-don%E2%80%99t-taste-good-99197 Bad cravings http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-04/bad-cravings-98657 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/dorito%20tacos_flickr_JSLander.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="There’s something about Doritos that just brings out my inner 13-year-old boy. And this? It’s like one huge Dorito as opposed to a million little ones. (Flickr/J.S. Lander)"></div><p dir="ltr" id="internal-source-marker_0.42594820678757384">Some friends have asked me whether I’ve developed any weird food cravings since I’ve become pregnant and the answer is, maybe? I’ve started entertaining the idea of indulging (once or twice, not all the time) in the type of junky garbage food that, not-pregnant, is completely invisible to me, the kind of stuff Michelle Obama is trying to take away along with the rest of our freedom. It’s hard to tell whether I actually want to eat this stuff or whether, in my current state, I just think “Now is the one time I can try this stuff and feel slightly less guilty about it.” These are the top three culprits so far:</p><p><strong>The <a href="http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/Doritos-Locos-Tacos">Taco Bell® Doritos® Locos Tacos</a></strong><br>I’ve eaten at Taco Bell twice, maybe three times in my life? It’s just never been a part of my fast food routine. I will occasionally crave a bad-for-you burger or bad-for-you milkshake or bad-for-you fried chicken but never a bad-for-you cheap taco. However, I have a secret lust in my heart for Doritos. Doritos are junk heroin to me and I typically stay far, far away because I know if I got anywhere near a bag of them (regular or Cool Ranch), I’d come close to eating the whole bag. There’s something about Doritos that just brings out my inner 13-year-old boy and I want to eat them while lying on the couch when I should be doing something else, like homework. Maybe what I’m interested in in re: this taco is the portion control of the shell. It’s like one huge Dorito as opposed to a million little ones. I’ve even heard some friends who have tried it say it’s “not bad” and they “don’t regret” eating it.<br><br><strong>Cinnabon at Burger King</strong><br>I vaguely recall that the last time I ate Cinnabon, I thought to myself, “I never need to eat this again.” The smell is more enticing than the taste. But for some reason Burger King’s <a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-4CAths9NUOg/T56YBocMDoI/AAAAAAAAAlo/V5JmBjpTH3Y/s800/2012-04-14_11-38-45_925.jpg">billboards</a> advertising the 730 calorie bombs have got me thinking, “Now that’s a breakfast/snack/dessert I need to try!” My husband has suggested that maybe I’m not so much craving crap in my pregnancy but just extra-susceptible to advertising.<br><br><strong>Pizza Hut’s Dinner Box</strong><br>Oh Chicago pizza gods, forgive me but I want to sin. It’s been over ten years since I’ve eaten a nationwide chain’s pizza (Domino’s in college) but I really want to order Pizza Hut’s <a href="http://nrn.com/article/pizza-hut-targets-value-10-dinner-box">$10 Dinner Box</a>, which consists of bad pizza, and then bad pizza remainders in the form of breadsticks and cinnamon sticks which I think are actually <em>the same thing</em>. I know it must not be very good but sometimes bad food can kind of be secretly good. Perhaps you need to be in your 20’s or drunk or stoned in order to enjoy this but still, I kinda just want to hunker down over this box of cheap carbs. I want to eat it the day before I’m due so I can jump right into my post-baby health kick with a vengeance.<br><br>If anybody has tried any of these foods and can tell me definitively that it’s not worth it, or have any that I should add to my temporary shopping list, please let me know. Please also refrain from telling me that this food is not good for me, because I know. That’s its appeal.</p></p> Mon, 30 Apr 2012 09:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-04/bad-cravings-98657 What is up with 5:30 a.m.? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-04/what-530-am-97901 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blowing nose_flickr_Mo.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/4014611539_bfdaef47d5_0.jpg" title="(Flickr/Mcfarlandmo)"></div><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.1963471648272329">I need a scientist to explain this to me. So, I have been happily living my life relatively unhindered by seasonal allergies, thanks to a long relationship with allergy shots, Allegra and Nasonex. I ceased the shots a few years ago and learned, once I became pregnant, that Allegra is on the Do Not Take!!!!! list. “No problem, I’ll just take Claritin instead,” I thought, (since Claritin is on the You Can Take This And Not Ruin Your Baby list, plus Claritin sounds more like my name than Zyrtec does, although Zyrtec isn’t too far off.) </span><br><br>Claritin isn’t cutting it, however. And now the issue that’s bothering me isn’t so much my watering eyes and snotty nose but the rhyme and reason for when my allergies act up.<br><br>Every morning at 5:30 a.m. I wake up and my sinuses begin tickling, and then (sorry, this is gross), begin filling up with fluid, which also makes my eyes tickle. I try to keep my sneezing to a dull roar and begin the Sisyphean task of trying to blow my nose to completion. I'll go to the bathroom and try to fix things by taking a useless Claritin and then flushing saline solution up my nostrils, which is never fun, but especially at 5:30 a.m. I'll head back to bed and lie on my back in an attempt to just send everything down my throat.</p><p>Then, as if on cue, this one stupid bird outside my window starts yelling.<br><br>I would just like an explanation as to a) why the allergies kick in exactly at that time each morning? And b) what kind of bird IS that and why does he have to start going at such a dumb time? Clearly all the other birds are still asleep in their holes or caves or whatever, sleeping until a more normal time.<br><br>Is there possibly a conspiracy theory afoot, like the bird is just "helping" me wake up and flush my sinuses in case my own discomfort isn’t a good enough wake up call? Or the bird has also been awakened by pressure in his own beak?<br><br>Help me out, environmental geniuses. I need to know what's going on in the atmosphere at that time of morning to awaken both my nose and that damn bird.</p></p> Wed, 04 Apr 2012 09:10:02 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-04/what-530-am-97901