Musings About Life... After Birth

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JessicaAlba,Iofficiallyloveyounow.

Posted by Chelsea on August 08, 2011

When it comes to celebrities, I am most opinionated. Obviously, I know them all super-well, so I clearly have all sorts of gounds on which to form said opinions. I mean, doesn't three years of Us Weekly subscriber status offer one the right to judge? Um, I think so.....

Regarding Jessica Alba, I have never been a fan. I find her pretty and all, but my distaste for her comes from the fact that I think she's a really crappy actress who has been in a bunch of really crappy movies and therefore I think she's not so deserving of the fame she's earned. Sorry, Jess.  That's just how I feel.

When I saw Jessica on the cover of the September Lucky magazine, I groaned. She's already not my fave, and there she is, looking not one ounce pregnant despite getting ready to give birth any day now, with the cover touting that she'll share her thoughts "on nudity, hating diets and her secret splurges." Gag all around. Imagine my surprise, then, when I read the story inside and found her comments about losing baby weight (in my opinion, one of the all-time worst task EVER) refreshing, honest and just flat-out awesome. Reading what she said made me want to literally cheer out loud, and I'm not being hyperbolic. Tell me you don't love what she says:

On her post-baby shape-up plans: "I have a hard time with portion control, so I have 1,200-calorie meals delivered. But I also work out, so basically I'm starving  - it sucks." 

Seriously, thank, you, Jessica, for admitting that the way celebrities drop their baby weight in record time is to a) pay lots of money for someone else to make them portion-controlled meals and ultimately, b) work out so much that they literally starve themselves. And, naturally, that that particular course of action sucks. Of course that's what they do, because there is NO OTHER WAY to lose 35 pounds in a freaking month. At all. I just loved hearing someone admit it and not be all, "I just have really good genes," or, "I did a lot of pilates when I was pregnant." Please.

On working out: "Working out every day for even just 45 minutes is good for my mental state. But getting dressed and actually doing it is the worst. It's hard to get motivated...In the gym, I have like five things to distract me "TV, iPod, magazines. Workout partners are good, too, so you can chat and not just drown in your own misery. Sorry, does that sound bad? I just hate working out."

Again, Jessica, I am loving your honesty here. i know the "I hate working out" statement isn't original or particularly Earth-shattering, but again, I love that she freely admits that working out makes her miserable and that essentially, she'd rather be sitting on the sofa watching the Real Housewives than on the treadmill. I feel that way, and I love hearing that someone else  - especially someone who looks like her - admit that they have to force themselves to work out and that they don't just "loooove the endorphins!!!!" it provides them.  A celebrity actually being real  - especially about this kind of thing - just makes me happy. 

  

Jessica, I heart you. 

 

In light of Jessica's comments, I have now decided that I officially love her and will no longer diss or avoid reading stories about her. I will not, however, go and see "Spy Kids 14" or whatever the heck her next movie will be. Sorry, but I still do have some standards. 

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Howtogetanextrafourhoursofsleep(almost)andwinanAWESOMEgiveaway!

Posted by Chelsea on May 05, 2010

One of the most-asked beauty-related questions I get from you guys and everyone out there in radio land is “How do I get rid of these damn lines and bags around my eyes?”. Trust me - I get is. What a drag it is getting old…and having kids who wake up at the crack of dawn.

Today, I’ll be joining Broads Molly and Christine of Sirius XM’s “Broadminded” to highlight the new Clarisonic Opal, which totally gets the job done. If you’d like to listen in to hear our complete review, tune in Wednesday to XM 155 or Sirius 102 at 2:30 PM EST.

The latest product from the wizards that created the Clarisonic skincare brushes, this eye-area age-fighting innovation combines sonic infusion technology with an anti-aging serum to dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around your peepers. Kinda like a vibrator for you eyes, its gentle sonic massage infuses serum into the outer layers of the skin for 30 seconds, immediately rendering visibly smoother, firmer, more hydrated skin and minimized appearance of under-eye puffiness. With repeated use, the claim is that you’ll notice the kind of difference an extra four hours per night of sleep gets you. Sound too good to be true? We’ll be checking it out to see if it is, in fact, that miraculous!

Wanna get one for yourself? They’re $245 at sephora.com. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, we’ve got one to give away - as well as one Clarisonic Plus Skincare System to banish your body blemishes, just in time for tank top season! To win both, here’s what you need to do:

I’m in the process of writing a book about the infertility process, and I’m looking for women who’ve gone through it who will share some of their stories about the craziest thing they did or felt while they were going through it (Me, I wanted to shoot Britney Spears after hearing she got knocked up. She was pregnant and I wasn’t? WTF?). If you’ve got a wacky story like that, send it along to me at chelsea@themomtourage.com, and that will be your entry. If you haven’t, no worries! Just send me a story of what it was like watching or supporting a pal going through the infertility process.  Again, email me at chelsea@themomtourage.com and that will be your entry.

The winner will be chosen at random this Friday - good luck!

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Toughtimes=fewerbabyboys

Posted by Chelsea on March 01, 2010

In some oddly interesting news, a recent study has revealed that news of impending large-scale unemployment results in fewer males being born. Here’s the deal:

The economic downturn has spawned a spate of scary statistics. How many jobs have been lost? How many people are unemployed, or underemployed? How large is the national debt?
As pundits pondered those data points, a group of University of California researchers were crunching a different set of disturbing numbers. Their unorthodox measure of how the threat of unemployment affects families is summed up by a disquieting question:

How many boys have not been not born?

To be precise, a research team from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health calculated the number of frail male fetuses that were spontaneously aborted by mothers facing economic insecurity. Looking solely at the state of California between April 1995 and December 2007, they estimate the number is just over 3,000.

Their paper, “Selection in Utero: A Biological Response to Mass Layoffs,” has just been published in the American Journal of Human Biology. The researchers, led by Ralph Catalano and Claire Margerison Zilko, write that the previously reported health effects of economic insecurity may “represent only the tip of a more fundamental ‘adaptation iceberg.’”
Specifically, their research supports the argument that when women receive signals that times are tough, their bodies retain the tendency, shaped over thousands of years through natural selection, to reject offspring less likely to survive.

To our ancient ancestors, those signs would presumably be signals of impending drought or other natural disaster, which would indicate a coming food scarcity. Catalano and colleagues concluded the closest thing we have today is the announcement of mass layoffs at major employers, which impacts “the degree to which the larger population perceives a threat to its economic security.”

Such threats are bad news to small male fetuses because “a relatively large fraction” of them fall near “a critical rank below which gestations spontaneously end,” the researchers explain. If they are born, these small males are more likely to die than larger infants and females of equivalent size.

The researchers examined California’s ratio of male to female births from mid-1995 to the end of 2007 and compared it to the federal Labor Department’s monthly statistics on mass layoffs in the state. The government reports a mass layoff has taken place when 50 or more people file for unemployment insurance from a single company over five weeks.
After doing some complex calculations, they estimated that news of impending mass layoffs “predicted the loss of 3,090 males in utero” during the 61 months (out of the 141 they examined) in which unemployment claims exceeded the expected number.

The male-female birth ratio generally favors boys (who are born at a rate of about 1.05 for every female), but the ladies catch up later in life, since they tend to live longer than men. Catalano’s research touches on that issue as well. “Males from low sex-ratio birth cohorts appear to enjoy relatively longer life spans on average,” he and his colleagues write, “perhaps due to ‘culling’ of the frailest among them in utero.”

So, if these researchers are correct, periods of high unemployment and economic instability —like the era we are currently living through — produce fewer, but healthier, males. That has to be considered an unexpected economic indicator.

So, I guess if my husband and I decide to go for a third, and I really want a girl, the time to get movin’ is now, huh? Recession, schmession! Bring on the pink tutus!

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PregnancyMythsDebunked

Posted by Chelsea on February 17, 2010

Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fifth, it’s nearly impossible to get a clear handle on the rules of which activities, foods and drinks to avoid when pregnant. While there are countless do’s and don’ts swirling around the prego-sphere counseling you on what you should and shouldn’t do during your nine months of gestation, the information isn’t always clear. Some docs okay certain things, while others don’t. Confused? I gathered the latest info for The Family Groove and am reprinting it here on The Momtourage, but if you’ve still got reservations, ask your doctor.

MYTH: Pregnant women shouldn’t take baths.
TRUTH: Lori Albright, a certified nurse-midwife at The Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s Health in Pittsburgh, says a warm bath is a wonderful way for anyone to relax—pregnant or not. “The danger is when the water temperature is too hot,” she notes. “In the first trimester, very hot water can cause developmental problems in the fetus, and later in pregnancy it can cause preterm labor.” In general, a pregnant woman should avoid anything that raises her body temperature above 102 or 103 degrees, whether it’s hot baths, fevers or Jacuzzis. “Also, if a pregnant woman is leaking fluid or bleeding, she should avoid bathing altogether and consult her care provider,” Albright says. Hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas, however, are all off-limits.

MYTH: Avoid caffeine.
TRUTH: Good news: There’s no need to give up Starbucks for the next nine months. According to Dr. K.B. Lim, an ob-gyn at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., there is no proof that small amounts of caffeine—which means one cup of coffee or tea a day—adversely affect a normal pregnancy. However, if you are having a complicated pregnancy, you may want to limit your caffeine intake. If you have questions or concerns about how much caffeine is okay for you and your particular situation, check with your doctor to be sure.

MYTH: You must sleep on your left side.
TRUTH: Often, pregnant women are told that they must only sleep on their left side. However, it’s not necessary to change your sleep habits. “While some women who sleep on their backs can get dizzy or sweaty from too much pressure put on the vena cava, during a normal pregnancy, sleeping on the right side is just as good as the left,” says Trish Woollcott, a certified nurse-midwife in Chicago. However, if you have high blood pressure, if your kidneys aren’t functioning properly, or if the baby isn’t developing well, sleeping on the left side is slightly better than the right, she says. Bottom line: Whichever way you can sleep comfortably at night, just do it.

MTYH: It’s okay to have an occasional drink.
TRUTH: Despite any disapproving looks they may receive, some pregnant women still have an occasional glass of wine. Experts, however, advise that you think before you drink. “No safe level of alcohol consumption has been established—but since there is no safe level, you and your doctor need to decide,” says Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y. Dr. Dolan recommends excluding all alcohol, especially during the first trimester, when so much of the baby’s nervous system is being formed.

MYTH: Don’t color your hair.
TRUTH: Most research, although limited, does show that it is safe to color your hair while pregnant, as the chemicals in permanent and semipermanent hair dyes are not highly toxic. While some studies have shown that very high doses of the chemicals in hair dyes may cause harm, it would take using a massive application of hair dye—we’re talking using enough for a thousand women—to cause any harm.

If you’re still concerned and would prefer to stay on the utmost safe side, wait to dye your hair until after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, when the risk of chemical substances—hair dye or otherwise—harming the baby is much lower. If you’re coloring your hair yourself, wear gloves, leave the dye on for the minimum time, and work in a well-ventilated room. As highlighting your hair doesn’t involve the dye touching your skin and reaching your bloodstream, it poses less of a risk. Of course, semipermanent pure vegetable dyes, such as henna, are a completely natural, safe alternative.

MYTH: Steer clear of soft cheese.
TRUTH: In the past, pregnant women were told to avoid soft cheeses like brie, camembert and gorgonzola altogether during pregnancy. These days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it’s safe to eat soft cheese as long as it has a label clearly stating that it’s made from pasteurized milk. Raw milk and any cheeses or other dairy products made from unpasteurized milk can carry disease-causing organisms, including the potentially deadly bacterium listeria. While raw-milk soft cheeses are thought to be the Martha Stewarts of hosts for listeria, the pasteurization process kills the bacterium and other potentially harmful organisms.

What’s 100 percent safe? As most dairy products made in the U.S. are pasteurized, your local grocery store has a whole range of pregnancy-safe dairy options. Cottage cheese, ricotta, cream cheese, processed cheeses like American, and hard cheeses such as cheddar and Parmesan are fine, as are cultured dairy products like yogurt and buttermilk. Regardless, before you indulge, check the label and make sure that it’s been made with pasteurized milk.

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Howtoprepareyourchildwhenababy’sontheway

Posted by Chelsea on January 14, 2010

If you’re preparing to welcome child number two, you’ll soon be faced with the task of introducing child number one to the subject of his soon-to-arrive sibling—not to mention your changing shape. Unsure of how to do so in a way that will foster sibling love as opposed to loathing? Our on-call child psychiatrist, Dr. Michael D. Kaplan, gave me these helpful tips a while back when I wrote this piece for The Family Groove. I think it bears repeating for anyone who needs help facilitate a child’s transition into siblinghood.

At what time are kids truly able to grasp the concept of pregnancy or that a new baby is about to enter the scene?
DR. MICHAEL KAPLAN: Parents typically assume that young children have a more fully developed sense of pregnancy and the impending arrival of a new child than young children are actually capable of. Parents are usually excited for themselves and anxious for their current children, and often respond to this anxiety by giving their under-5s more information than they need or can process. Children under 5, and especially those under 3, respond much more to parents’ emotional states than to the information. They are observers and will notice how the parents talk to them more than what they actually hear.

There is a difference between how kids understand pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby. Children have a very limited understanding of pregnancy and a limited ability to plan for the sibling rivalry that is on the way. This is due to the fact that kids don’t start to grasp a firm understanding of the concept of the future until they are about 5 years old. While kids under 5 can talk about these things—especially precocious children—it is only around age 5 that it truly hits them.

What a child can connect with, however, is the reality of his or her mother’s growing belly and her potential preoccupation with the changes in her body and life. Children under 5, as we all know, are very needy of their parents’ physical attention. When the pregnancy proceeds into the final trimester and mom can’t lift as much or as frequently, is tired more, and is moving very slowly, kids pick up on that. In their egocentric worlds, they may experience pregnancy in its later stages (and even more so if mom is on bed rest) as a withdrawal from them. Try as best as you can not to be overly concerned about this stage; it is a completely normal developmental phenomenon. In fact, it actually helps to prepare your child psychologically for the decrease in attention he or she will need to manage when the baby comes.

In what kinds of ways can parents help their child feel like a part of welcoming a new family member and not an outsider to the process?
MK: Parents can do a lot of things to help their child through this period. I recommend parents invite the child to help set up the nursery and pick out new toys and stuffed animals (as long as they get a new one each time, too). I also advise making sure that the child gets extra time with parents prior to the birth. As mom gets tired, dad and other family members need to pick up the slack. In fact, dads can do a lot at this time in terms of expanding their role with the first child. I encourage parents to take a child under 5 on a hospital tour for siblings, if the hospital where you’re giving birth offers one. Today’s hospitals are much more welcoming of siblings than in the past, and it will help your child feel secure once he or she visits mom and the new baby there after its arrival.

A key bit of advice: Have extra presents for the first child in the closet. Many friends and family members will know the protocol of bringing two gifts—one for baby and one for your first child. In case anyone forgets, mom or dad can run to the closet and choose a pre-wrapped gift. Additionally, allowing the child to open all the gifts for the baby will make him or her feel like an important part of the process.

Parents should carefully plan for arrangements for when mom goes to the hospital, taking care to make everything as similar for your existing child as they generally are. For example, the child should go to school or day care on that day. Keep his or her routines as familiar as possible.

What should parents avoid doing or saying to their existing child about the new baby before a baby arrives?
MK: Again, the biggest risk is in going overboard. Many parents tell kids under 5 that a baby is on the way the moment they know—all in the service of “being open” with their child. I would advise waiting until mom is fully out of the first trimester and the pregnancy is a sure thing. My feeling is that for young kids, they should be told when they have something concrete like a big belly to help them. Once mom’s belly is big enough to notice, it’s probably a good time to introduce the concept to a child under 5. Until then, keep it quiet, being especially careful of loud conversations on cell phones to friends, etc., because the kids will always be listening.

Parents should avoid going overboard with guilt-reducing comments, such as “We will still love you just as much.” As with everything else, you don’t want to put those ideas into your child’s head if they are not already there. Once you tell your child about the pregnancy, tune into what they ask about, and avoid putting adult ideas into their heads. Remember: The ways in which we handle these big events set the stage for how we handle informing our kids of other big changes down the road.

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GreatBabyNameBooks

Posted by Chelsea on January 11, 2010

So, after the piece we ran on picking a good name for your baby, we got tons of requests for baby name book recommendations. Here are our favorites:

The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby, by Laura Wattenberg
($12.99, www.amazon.com)

This book, our absolute favorite for baby name ideas, offers narrative and humorous commentary on each name, with the name’s popularity history, potential nicknames, variants and correlative sister’s and brother’s names. Check out the groovy computerized baby name popularity tracker inspired by the book at www.babynamewizard.com/voyager.

100,000+ Baby Names, by Bruce Lansky
($12.95, www.amazon.com)

Out of ideas? With Lansky’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink name compilation, including monikers from nearly every ethnic background, including Hawaiian, African, Latvian, Spanish and Chinese, you’re sure to find at least one you like.

Cool Names: for Babies by Pamela Redmond Satran, Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Satran
($9.95, www.amazon.com)

If you’re looking for name meanings and ethnic origins, this isn’t your book, but if you’re seeking a guide to unique, au courant names—plus a little entertainment—you’ll adore it. The only caveat: Trends come and go quickly, so check the copyright date before you consider the timeliness of the trends.

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TheBabyNameGame

Posted by Chelsea on January 06, 2010

Choosing your baby’s name is quite a responsibility; not only will your selection be judged by nearly everyone who hears it, but you’re also making a choice that will literally define your child. Between the pressures of pleasing family, honoring relatives and finding a name on which you and your spouse agree, picking baby’s name is often the stuff arguments between moms and dads are made of. If the name game has you stressed, consider these helpful tips I put together a while back for a piece I did for The Family Groove —they may point you in the right direction, not to mention help your marriage.

1. Beware of the quirky name
You may be tempted to pull a Gwyneth and choose an original name for your baby, but such a move is worth reconsidering. Some names are simply too hard to live with, especially for kids who may not yet have the independent spirit you do or have grown to develop. Plus, “It’s faintly ridiculous being called India, Atlanta or Summer and holding down a steady job as an accountant in Bognor Regis,” says Laura Wattenberg, the author of The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby.

2. Size Matters
If the baby’s last name is long and multi-syllabic, consider a short first name with one or two syllables. Tom Cinnamonson or Matthew Cinnamonson rolls off the tongue much better than Jonathan Cinnamonson. At the same time, long multi-syllabic baby names will often strike a balance with a short last name. If you have a two-syllable last name, you’re in luck—they sound good with virtually any length first name.

3. Consider tease-worthy nicknames or embarrassing rhymes
When choosing a name for your child, remember that all of its connotations—lewd or otherwise—will be unearthed by his or her friends on the playground. Rhea may sound beautiful to you, but be prepared to console a crying little girl who was called “Diar-Rhea” at school. Also pay attention to the first and last name combination. For example, if your last name is Johnson, naming your son Harry, while a perfectly adorable name, isn’t the wisest choice.

4. Consider how it all ends
If your baby’s last name begins with a hard consonant, you may want to choose a baby name that ends with a vowel sound. For example, the name Melissa Karp is much more pleasant than Meg Karp.

5. Don’t be a celeb name-stalker
You may love Oprah, but resist naming your daughter after her. By awarding your offspring with a celebrity’s name, it will not only date the child later on, but you’ll come off looking like a bit of a fanatic. This rule also goes for naming your baby after a celebrity’s offspring, says Wattenberg: “If you name your offspring Rocco, at best it will look like you’re severely lacking in imagination, at worst you will come across like a quasi-stalker.”

6. Classic vs. common
Traditional names that stand the test of time are popular for a reason: they’re timeless, sound good with practically any last name, and are virtually stigma-free (and that’s why there’s so popular). However, classic baby names have their pitfalls, too. If you go with naming your son the proverbially-popular, unquestionably adorable Jake, it’s almost certain that there will be at least one more Jake in his class, which means he may be known as Jake P. for quite some time.

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18isenough.Reallyfolks,it’senough.

Posted by Chelsea on December 19, 2008

The top story on People.com today (yeah, I read it regularly): the birth of Jim and Michelle Duggar’s 18th child - and their desire to keep on havin’ more.

The Duggars, who reside in Tontitown, Ark., have 10 sons and eight daughters, ranging in age from 17 months to 20 years, all with first names starting with the letter J, including the newborn addition, Jordyn-Grace Makiya Duggar. They are featured on the TLC network show “17 Kids & Counting” (which will no doubt have its name updated to reflect the birth of No. 18). I guess Jon and Kate Plus Eight wasn’t hard core enough for some people, so they had to go with another clan of folks who think a house full of kids is a recipe for bliss. I don’t watch either show, but I do know of Jon & Kate. I watched it once, and was so put off by how disgustingly Kate treats Jon, I had to turn it off. I guess if I had eight kids and was with them all day, I would treat my husband like crap too, but still, she’s just too harsh - even for me.

Naturally, I have all sorts of thoughts on the Duggars. Here they are, broken into categories:

Michelle

1) Sister Michelle has been pregnant for 162 months. That’s 13.5 years. Jesus. Can you imagine all that heartburn? With all the Tums she must have consumed in her lifetime, I bet her bones are like iron.

2) I wonder if she just perennially shops in the maternity department. I mean, she must, right?

3) Does she even try to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight? Does she know what it is?

4) Her hormones must be yo-yo-esque. I would hate to be her husband - or her kids.

5) I bet her nails are kick-ass. With all those pregnancies, they must be killer.

Jim

1) Initially, I thought he must be really lucky in the sex department - with all those pregnancies, it seems like he and Michelle must get it on all the time. However, after more careful analysis, I have come to the conclusion that this poor dude actually has the worst sex life in America. He wife is always pregnant AND they have a messload of kids. Think she’s in the mood often? You catch my drift.

2) I’m thinking the “J” names of the kids are all to honor him, some weirdo narcissistic George Foreman kinda thing. If so, dude, that’s lame. I mean, you’ve spread your seed 18 times, Jim. Your genetic material is all over the place. There’s really no need to brand all of them with your initial to seal the deal, is there?

Jim and Michelle

1) These people are, without a doubt, on freaking crack. 18 kids? And they want more? I’m sorry, but that’s just flat-out weird. Even if you absolutely adore kids, when you have that many, you can’t really develop these deep, meaningful relationships with each of them. It’s just impossible. I guess the kids will end up having them with each other (or at least the ones closest in age to them), and that is of value, but that’s with each other, not Jim and Michelle. So why, people? Really? Are they just gluttons for punishment? So socially awkward that they have no friends and therefore had to create a whole community of people who had to hang out with them? Members of a weirdo religious cult? I think the latter. Michelle has that horrendous cult hair (read: unnaturally long and worn in some bizarre Little House on the Prairie ‘do), as do her teenage daughters. Definitely cult.

2) What do they drive to cart around all of those kids? I know having three kids means getting a minivan, and you all know I cringe at the thought of that. But seriously,  do they own a schoolbus?

3) Do you think they find out the sex of the baby before it’s born? I doubt it. I mean, with 10 of one sex and eight of another, do they really care? If they like to be surprised, when the baby comes out and the doctor announces its sex, do you think they’re like, “Oh, okay, cool. Whatever.”?

Things that make you go hmmmmmm….

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Askthefertilityspecialist:Howmany“tries”shouldittakebeforeIgetpregnant?

Posted by Chelsea on July 15, 2008

Rachel from Grosse Point, MI writes: My husband and I are both in our early thirties and are in good health. We’ve been trying to conceive for about four months now, with no luck. Neither of us have any reason to believe we’d have trouble getting pregnant. Is there a certain time you recommend “trying” before seeing a specialist?

Our on-call Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Eve Feinberg, answers:

The classic definition of “infertility” is the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse.  With that being said, however, 80 percent of couples will conceive within four months of trying and an additional 10 percent will conceive between months four to six.  In other words, 90 percent will achieve pregnancy within six months.  If you are under the age of 35, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist, a fertility specialist, after six months of “trying” without success, though traditionally, the recommendation is to wait a full year.  If your menstrual cycles aren’t regular or you have reason to suspect fertility issues, I advise seeing a specialist sooner rather than later regardless of your age.

There are many reasons why men and women in good health may not be getting pregnant, most of which a Reproductive Endocrinologist could discover with testing.  Common causes of fertility issues are ovarian dysfunction, blocked fallopian tubes, uterine issues and male-oriented issues like low sperm count, irregularly-shaped sperm and motility issues (meaning, how those guys swim).  “Ovarian dysfunction” issues can include things like problems with ovulation and problems with your ovarian reserve (a marker of how “old” your ovaries are acting).  If you have regular menstrual cycles every 28-34 days without the pill, there is a high likelihood that you’re ovulating.  If the interval between your menstrual cycles is longer than 34 days, chances are you’re not. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a very common cause of not ovulating, and is present in six to ten percent of reproductive-aged women (Chelsea’s note: I’m one of them!).  If you have irregular or non-existent periods, PCOS could be your issue. Problems with ovarian reserve are much harder to diagnose, as there are no outward symptoms that a woman might experience.  Smoking is a common cause of diminished ovarian reserve, so if you are still smoking, this is one additional reason to quit! Blocked fallopian tubes are also a common cause of fertility problems that also have no outward physical signs. If you have or have had endometriosis, pelvic inflammation or prior pelvic infections, this may be what’s giving you trouble. The thing is, many women are not aware that they have any of these issues, so they go about “trying” not knowing there’s actually an impediment there. Additionally, the majority of couples with male factor infertility (which accounts for 35 percent of all causes of infertility) also have no symptoms.  Therefore, it’s never a bad idea to get yourself and your partner “checked out” if you or he suspect something might be up.

On a good note, once a diagnosis is established and treatment begun, the odds of becoming pregnant are greatly increased!  The mistake many couples make is waiting too long to be seen by a specialist. Seeing a specialist will not only improve your chances of pregnancy, but will make that dream come true faster.

Got a fertility-oriented question for Dr. Feinberg? {encode="info@themomtourage.com" title="Click here to contact her!"}

Tags dr. eve feinberg, fertility

MondayMomMust-Haves(andGiveaway!):twistWatersandBALANCEBarBareSweetandSaltybars

Posted by Chelsea on July 14, 2008

I am so sick of seeing stories about how celebrities lost their baby weight that if I read one more, I think I’ll puke until I lose all of mine. It’s neither original nor all that funny anymore to complain about how unrealistic the rates as which celebrities lose their baby weight are. Obviously, it’s their job to do so, and because they’re multi-millionaires whose job is to look amazing, they literally spend all day and millions of dollars ensuring that within 4 or so months after popping out their kids, they’re lean and mean again.  Certainly, if you and I had Jennifer Lopez’s money, we’d have nannies caring for our kids (b.s. to her and Skeletor’s claims that they don’t employ nannies, by the way) while our personal chef, trainer and nutritionist (according to this week’s US Weekly) literally worked our butts off. And then, of course, we’d be rocking bikinis four months after having twins, just as she was recently seen doing.

Okay, so not totally perfect, but well on her way. I hate you, Jennifer.


For us real gals, the real way to lose weight is the un-fancy “eat less and exercise” program. I’m no health expert, but I know (and, naturally, hate) the simple truth that when you burn more calories than you consume, weight comes off. When I finally decided to lose my weight after Big Bro was born, I lived on BALANCE Bar Bare Sweet & Salty bars. They come in Chocolate Almond and Peanut Butter flavors, but my favorite was Yogurt Nut. What I like about these bars is that unlike other nutrition bars, they actually taste good and not all artificial and cardboard-y. They’re the perfect combo of salty and sweet, and they really do keep you satisfied for hours (note to Weight Watchers devotees: they’re four points each).

$14.49 for 15 bars, drugstore.com. Yum.


This go-‘round, I’m still on the bars, but I’ve added Momtourage member Alicia’s not-so secret secret: drink lots of water. Because I find drinking loads of plain water rather boring and therefore somewhat painful to actually do, I’ve been guzzling this new water beverage called twist. I’m freaked out by most things artificial in my drinks (my food, not so much - see above), so this stuff has none of it. Essentially, it’s an organic, low-calorie (less than 10 per serving), preservative-free water flavored with juice and organic agave nectar for just a touch of sweetness. They come in six fruity flavors: Lemon, Mandarin White Tea, Mango Acai, Pomegranate Blueberry, West Indies Lime and Peach (my favorite, because I’m from Georgia like that).

I kinda bet these would be good with a little vodka, but that would defeat the purpose. Sigh.


Seriously - these drinks are awesome. If you need inspiration to drink yourself come water - you must try them. You can get these waters for around $1.29 for 19-ounces at specialty grocery stores (like Whole Foods) around the country. If you’d like to try them, I’ve got a set of all six flavors to give away to 10 winners each. To be eligible to win, you must be registered for The Momtourage’s mailing list, so if you’re not, click on the green “Join Our Mailing List” box at the top, right-hand corner of this page to register. 

15 (okay, 20) pounds to go…...

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