Pregnancy

Eating Avocados and Olive Oil Could Triple Your Chances of Fertility

A diet high in monounsaturated fat has been found to increase fertility in women trying to get pregnant trough IVF treatments, finds a new study.

The results of this study were presented at the annual meeting of ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) by Dr Jorge Chavarro, Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, USA.

“Different types of fat are known to have different effects on biological processes which may influence the outcome of assisted reproduction – such as underlying levels of inflammation or insulin sensitivity. However, it is not clear at this moment which biological mechanisms underlie the associations we found,” said Chavarro in the press release.

The study took place among 147 women having IVF at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center. According to the press release, they had preclinical assessments including oocyte development. They were also categorized into tertiles of fat intake, with outcomes compared in relation to the lowest tertile. Results were controlled for other sources of energy, infertility diagnosis, ovarian stimulation protocol, body mass index (BMI) and smoking status.

The study also found that women who ate polyunsaturated fat or the “bad fat” had more poor quality embryos. The connection of a diet high in saturated fat and lower sperm count has already been discovered. (more…)

Brandi Laughlin Lost 60 Pounds after Baby with Weight Watchers and Running

For most women, postpartum weight can be a tough number to break. In 2009, Brandi Laughlin went to the doctor’s office for her six-week check up after giving birth to son, Tucker. Brandi thought her pregnancy weight would just drop off. When she saw 198 pounds on the scale something hit her, it was a sign, the weight wasn’t going to magically disappear. Brandi knew she had to commit to her weight loss.

Brandi’s husband supported her decision to lose weight, but he’d heard the line “I’m going to lose weight” more than once. He was skeptical of Brandi’s weight loss, but supported her like any good husband would. Brandi said she would be happy at 150 pounds, but set a goal of 135 pounds. She lost 15 pounds the first three months of her weight loss process with the help of Weight Watchers and some running.

She ran her first 5K within the first nine weeks of starting her weight loss. The running that she was doing to lose weight made her realize she actually loved the physical activity. She has a love/hate relationship with running, it’s her favorite exercise. (more…)

Cat Parasite Possible Link to Suicide Attempts in Women

New research finds women infected with Toxoplasma gondii have an increased risk to attempt suicide than non-infected women. Why these two are connected is still unclear.

The study, led by senior study author, Dr. Teodor Postolache, analyzed about 45,788 women in Denmark between 1992 and 1995. Postolache and colleagues found that women infected with T. gondii had one-and-a-half times higher risk of attempting suicide when compared with women did not have the parasite.

Once ingested, T. gondii can plant itself inside the brain and muscle tissues, and once inside cysts they are untouchable from the host’s immune system. Studies looking at this parasite have connected with mental health and brain problems, like schizophrenia and brain cancer. But scientists still are not sure if the parasite is a direct reason for the development of these health problems or if it is more of a side effect. Someone with the mental disorder schizophrenia, for example, might struggle to keep up with their hygiene, meaning the mental disorder could increase the risk for infection and not the other way around. (more…)

Moderate Drinking During Pregnancy May be OK, Study Suggests

I recently wrote a story about caffeine consumption during breastfeeding being practically harmless to children. And of that news, I was in near celebration. Within that article I also mentioned one of the other difficulties I anticipate during pregnancy being forgoing alcohol, as I’m a lover of wine and an occasional cocktail. But according to new research, that may not be as big of a concern.

A collection of Danish studies is suggesting that moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy does not appear to affect the child’s mental abilities.

To conduct these studies, researchers examined children up to the age of five whose mothers drank moderate amounts of alcohol while pregnant. The more than 1,600 Danish mothers involved in the study were an average age of 30 and each drank a varied number of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.

While this type of study is rightfully viewed as dangerous, women in Denmark don’t generally consider slight drinking during pregnancy to be a health concern. A very small percentage of the women involved in the study were actually consuming large amounts of alcohol: almost half were abstaining completely; a small portion was consuming one to four drinks a week; around 175 were having five to eight drinks; and only 20 were consuming nine or more beverages a week. (more…)

Jessica Simpson Gets Paid $3 Million to Lose Her Baby Weight

While the world loves news of celebrity happenings and drama, they especially love stories of post-baby weight loss. And one star our culture has been recently fixated on is singer and fashion mogul Jessica Simpson.

Simpson and her fiancé Eric Johnson just welcomed their 9 pound, 13 ounce baby girl, Maxwell Drew Johnson, into the world on May 1. And what everyone’s wondering now is how long it will take the star to slim down and exactly how she’ll do it.

Simpson made big news last year when she signed a $3 million contract with Weight Watchers to shed her post-baby pounds. This was mostly shocking because the star hadn’t even had her baby yet, which just goes to show how much of a market there is for celebrity weight loss and gains, especially surrounding pregnancy.

Upon signing with Weight Watchers, Simpson was excited about the partnership knowing it would be major motivation to get back into shape as a new mom. But the singer admitted she didn’t count points during her pregnancy because she wanted to enjoy the experience. Although Simpson reportedly ate a mostly healthy diet, she also allowed a few indulgences here and there. (more…)

Jillian Michaels Becomes a Mom to Lukensia and Phoenix

It’s a girl… and a boy! Jillian Michaels is a mom, a job title she’s been seeking for about two years. It was one of the main (or at least most public) reasons for her exit from Biggest Loser last year. And it’s no doubt her main focus from here on out.

Just announced today by People Magazine, Michaels’ adoption of a two-year-old girl from Haiti, Lukensia, has finalized. The adorable little girl is seen in a photo snuggled in her mom’s arms. And sitting in Jillian’s other arm is her newborn son Phoenix, born May 3 to she and partner Heidi Rhoades.

“We’re swimming in babies over here,” Michaels told People.

The fitness star and former Biggest Loser trainer hasn’t been shy about her adoption proceedings, letting everyone know she was in baby mode for quite some time. The latest update came back in January when her adoption referral came through. It was then that Jillian learned that Lukensia would soon be calling her home in Los Angeles home, too. It was previously thought that she would adopt from the Dominican Republic of Congo (DRC). (more…)

‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’: 5 Lessons Learned

If you’ve ever been pregnant, dreamt about being pregnant, or been slightly terrified about what to expect while being pregnant, then the film “What to Expect While You’re Expecting,” is a must see for you.

With a star-studded cast with such famous names as Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Brooklyn Decker, Dennis Quaid and Chris Rock, this film is sure to be a big hit.

Surprisingly, it’s based on the best-selling book ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting,’ which at first glance seems like a traditional guide to pregnancy. But film producers have managed to bring the pages to life and even poke a little fun at the experience from the standpoint of both mothers- and fathers-to be.

(more…)

The Benefits of Breastfeeding and the Attachment Parenting Controversy

When it comes to motherhood, everyone has an opinion on how it should be done. So it was no surprise when 26-year-old model Jamie Grumet caused a near-cosmic stir when she posed on the cover of Time Magazine, breastfeeding her nearly 4-year-old son.

Grumet’s approach to motherhood is attachment parenting, which is a concept developed by Dr. William Sears, 72, as outlined in his 1992 book, “The Baby Book.”

Sears, raised by a single mother himself, believes that moms should be in near constant contact with their child, wearing their baby if possible, letting them sleep in the same bed with them, and tending to their every want and need.

Of the many benefits of this practice, Sears argues that attachment parenting produces children who are physically, emotionally and psychologically healthy, stating that children who are a product of this kind of parenting rarely – and possibly even never – turn out to be bullies or have other developmental issues.

One of the other prongs of attachment parenting is breastfeeding until the mother  – and child – feel the time is right to stop, which explains why Grumet still breastfeeds her almost 4-year-old son.

Grumet, who told The Today Show that she knew full well what she was getting into by posing so provocatively on the Time Magazine cover, says she was breast fed herself until she was six years old, and believes 100% in the concepts of attachment parenting. (more…)

Aishwarya Rai Pressured by Bollywood Fans to be Skinny after Baby

Celebrity pregnancies are a very popular topic right now. More than the new baby is the trending topic about the mother’s weight gain and her return to her previous figure. Jessica Simpson has been criticized for her weight gain while Beyonce has been praised for her red carpet figure just a few weeks after delivery. While inquiring minds like to dig into celebrity lives in America, the tabloids are mild here in comparison to those in Bollywood.

Aishwarya Rai is a famous Bollywood star. She’s been praised for her beauty and her perfection throughout her career. Rai, who is called Ash by fans, recently gave birth to her first child. Her fans and the press have been brutal towards her regarding her post-baby figure.

One commenter stated that, “She is a Bollywood actress and being a part of showbiz, it is her duty to look good and fit. Till now she has been praised for her beauty, so it is only fair that she should also be criticised if she is not able to live up to it.”

This and other even harsher comments are spread across the media regarding the new mother’s larger frame. Those who defend Ash have pointed out the unrealistic standard that the masses expect her to live up to. (more…)

Know Your Birth Control Options after Weight Loss Surgery

With the risk of blood clots and other complications following weight loss surgery, women are having to find other options than a typical estrogen-based contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. Estrogen-based contraceptives, like Ortho-Tri-Cyclen, that contain ethinyl estradiol are more likely to cause blood clots and increase blood pressure. But don’t fret, there are a lot of options available.

Estrogen-free birth controls, or progestin-only birth controls, only contain one form of hormone but are still effective in preventing pregnancy. These are a good option for those who are overweight, have high blood pressure and are at risk for blood clots. Weight loss surgery patients probably have at least two of these three issues.

Oral contraceptives include Jolivette, also known as Ortho-Micronor, which is taken daily; the Depo-provera shot, which is administered in a doctor’s office every three months; and Mirena, the intrauterine device or IUD. One concern with progestin birth controls is the increase risk of weight gain. This is usually pretty minimal and can be controlled with proper nutrition and exercise. (more…)

Sarah Michelle Gellar Stays Healthy During Second Pregnancy

Another Hollywood pregnancy congratulations is in order for former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar, 35, and husband Freddie Prince, Jr., 36, as the couple announced they’re expecting their second child.

The couple’s first daughter, Charlotte Grace, is now 2 years old, and arrived seven years after Prince and Gellar wed in 2002. Of her first daughter’s birth, Gellar says, “You need to be at a point in your life where you can give up anything and everything for a child. Every day I look at her I am in awe.”

Not only does Gellar see the importance of being a good mother in an emotional sense, but in a physical sense as well. After her first pregnancy, Gellar reportedly began ordering a meal delivery service to help shed her post-baby weight. And since giving birth, has raised her daughter into quite the health food lover, more recently turning her onto sushi.

In an interview with Health Magazine, Gellar said, “We’ve already taught her to love healthy food. We took her to sushi on Saturday night and everybody couldn’t believe what she inhaled,” she said. “I think it’s important at a young age to enjoy different tastes.” (more…)