Friday, July 14, 2006

Britney's Bazaar Photo- Picture you weren't meant to see

This is a picture of Britney from Harper's Bazaar photo shoot that just didn't make the cut. Anyone know why? I thought maybe some of you would be interested to see.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pregnant Bellies!

Bazaar: Britney Opens Up

In August's issue of Harpers Bazaar Britney Spears opens up about being a mother and being pregnant for the second time. You would think someone who posed nude on the cover of a magazine would be very confident in their appearance. But Britney mentioned when pregnant, "You don't feel the most beautiful all the time." She admits to Bazaar that, while pregnancy is "empowering," she felt unprepared and "paranoid" the first time. But with "this one, I was like, I've just got to wing it," she continues. "It was weird for me at first because of who I am. Wherever you go, they expect you to look a certain way. I'm not supposed to be this big huge pregnant superstar." Spears says that her son, Sean Preston, who is 10 months old inspired her to start her line of baby clothes. She describes her son as a "rocker kid." She is looking forward to having a fashion show and displaying her new baby clothes line. "Hopefully, next year we'll have a fashion show, maybe at Disney World," says Spears. A place that she feels comfortable, because she began her career as a Mousketeer. Britney talked about getting into shape and back to work after the birth of her next baby, "After this baby," she says, "I'm going to get really intense with it." She "can't wait" to perform again, "but I really have to take my time and do it right and be safe," she says. "Actually, not that safe. When you perform, you have to be dangerous." Britney says that she is ready to head back to work. Doing what she knows best, recording music. Spears is looking foreward to working with her hubby, Kevin Federline, 28. "I'm so proud of Kevin," she says. "He's been working so hard on his own album since I got pregnant with Preston. I'm so lucky. He's a doll; he's adorable."

Study finds aspirin does not boost miscarriage risk

A new study has found no increased risk of miscarriage with aspirin use. But more research is needed, the study's lead author told Reuters Health, to establish that aspirin is indeed safe for pregnant women. "The findings of this study indicate that taking aspirin may not be risky, but women should really talk with their doctor before taking aspirin or anything else if they are pregnant," Sarah A. Keim of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland, said in an interview. Recent studies have linked nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include aspirin and many other painkillers, to a greater risk of miscarriage, Keim and her colleague Mark A. Klebanoff note in their report in the journal Epidemiology. While aspirin is no longer widely used as a painkiller, they add, some physicians recommend it to women who are trying to become pregnant and have had several miscarriages, based on the possibility that the drug could treat underlying inflammation or clotting abnormalities that may be responsible for pregnancy loss. "But that's controversial," Keim said. To further look at whether aspirin might have any relationship to miscarriage, the researchers analyzed data from a study of 54,000 pregnant women conducted between 1959 and 1965, when aspirin use in pregnancy was more common and other NSAIDs were not available. They compared aspirin use among 542 women who miscarried and 2,587 who delivered healthy babies. Twenty-nine percent of the women who miscarried and 34 percent of those who did not reported using aspirin while pregnant, Keim and Klebanoff found. They found no link between taking aspirin during months two and three of pregnancy and miscarriage, while taking it during the fourth and fifth month of pregnancy was actually linked to a lower miscarriage risk. "Future research on the effect of aspirin use before and at different times during pregnancy is needed to assure that its deliberate use in assisted reproductive technologies is not deleterious to pregnancy and to assess ongoing risk from incidental use unrelated to pregnancy," the researchers conclude. "Even though aspirin might be an old drug and many people don't take it anymore, it's readily available and might be worth taking a closer look at, especially with recent studies that have pointed to some of the newer NSAIDs having unintended side effects," Keim added. Source: Reuters Health

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Baby Room Basics

From choosing a name to attending birthing classes and stocking a nursery, impending parenthood can be overwhelming. Getting the nursery in order before the baby arrives is a good way to relieve at least one of the big stressors in the lives of new parents. But this process can also be overwhelming. Parents may feel frustrated by the mountains of information, furniture, gear and clothing that make up the $4 billion baby products industry. Start with the basics - crib, changing table, storage solutions and a few other essentials, advises Peter Fougerousse, father of three and principal of Rosenberry Rooms, an online retailer that specializes in furniture and accessories for children and infants. "Start by determining your budget and take care of the basics first," says Fougerousse. "Then, you'll know exactly how much you have left to spend on the extras." Here's what every well-equipped nursery should have, and what parents should keep in mind when shopping: * Crib - Function and style should be your key considerations when choosing a crib. How will you use this crib? For one child only? Or will this baby's future siblings be using the same crib? Most cribs offer adjustable mattress heights and a movable side rail for easy access. But some don't. How important are these features to you? Do you want a style that can also convert into a toddler, twin or even full bed? The crib is the focal point of the nursery, so choose a style that you can build your décor around. Wood and iron are the two main options. Wood cribs really only go with other wood pieces. An iron crib can be paired with either iron or wood pieces. When buying bedding, stick with the same guidelines of style and function that best suit your needs. Finally, be sure whatever crib you buy meets all child safety laws and guidelines. * Changing table with pad - It's essential to have a safe, convenient place for changing your baby. Most modern changing tables can be purchased as a set with a coordinating crib. Open changers feature shelves for storage and decorating accents, and provide the classic changing table look. A dresser/changing table is essentially a dresser fit with a changing station on top. This style provides enclosed storage and the ability to use the piece as a dresser only, once your child is out of diapers. * Storage solutions - Boxes and baskets are easy, decorative ways to address storage issues. Decorative boxes conceal the contents for a clean appearance and can add dimension and character to a room. Baskets can easily store on the open shelving of a changer to hold baby essentials. A large basket in the living room can hide toys and books. A basket under the bathroom sink keeps all baby's bathing essentials and toys tucked away when not needed. * Other essentials - Considering how many sleepless nights are in your future as a new parent, having a comfortable rocking chair in the nursery will be a life-saver. From basic, high-backed rockers to plushly cushioned gliders, you can find a chair that fits your décor and provides the comfort you need. A good baby monitor is also a nursery must - for the parents' peace of mind and baby's safety. To view more baby room options, visit Source:

Stress in pregnancy hits offspring's emotional brain

Stress experienced by a pregnant female can alter the structure of her offspring’s brain, particularly regions vital for emotional development, scientists have discovered. Furthermore, in rodents at least, the effects differ in male and female offspring. That might help explain the different susceptibilities of men and women to emotional and psychiatric disorders, says Katharina Braun, from the University of Magdeburg, in Germany. Braun presented the work at the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies' annual meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday. Braun and colleagues at the University of Jerusalem in Israel studied the effects of stress on pregnant rats. If they become stressed in the last trimester of pregnancy, their offspring developed fewer nerve connections in two brain regions that control emotions – the cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex. In addition, the nerve cells in several other regions show different branching patterns to normal, with different effects on males and females. In the hippocampus, an important region that controls memory and emotion, males show an increase in branching while females show a decrease. In the prefrontal cortex, the males develop shorter nerve branches, while the females do not. Braun has not yet tested the behavioural effects of these changes on adult rats, but the results could reveal a possible mechanism for the development of emotional disorders seen in humans. Boys and girls Boys are more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than girls – a disorder that seems to be related to the brain's prefrontal attention systems, while women are more likely to develop depression, which is known to be related to shrinkage in the hippocampus. “Early experiences, especially emotional experiences, shape brain circuits for later life,” says Braun. The susceptibility to stress continues after birth, with different types of stress and trauma leading to different brain effects, she adds. For example, daily painful stimuli given to young rodent pups, or separation from their mother, each led to changes in the prefrontal cortex. But while separation led to more nerve connections, painful stimuli led to fewer. Further experiments on brush tail rats – which are unusual in that the father helps care for the offspring – showed that removal of the father early in the pups’ life also leads to fewer neuron connections in the brain's emotion centres. The pups grow up underactive and do not respond to the voices of their mothers. Animals that were emotionally deprived seem to develop emotional and social deficits. Frozen emotions Braun compared the results to the sad experiences of Romanian orphans. “Like the animal brain, the human brain needs to learn the grammar of emotions,” she says. “Children after they are adopted catch up nicely on cognitive level, but the emotional side looks like it has been somehow frozen.” (See Orphaned boys and girls react differently to care .) “We are now collaborating with psychiatrists, asking questions such as 'Can these effects be reversed?',” says Braun. Knowing when the adult brain loses the flexibility of the young brain will be important, she says. Some evidence for hope came from work by Igor Branchi, at the University of Rome in Italy. He reported that when rodents were allowed extra social stimulation – the mouse equivalent of kindergarten – a lot of early emotional deficits could be improved. Source:

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Who's Your Hollywood Pregnancy Double?

Ivillage has a new quiz! Yes, I love these. Even though they are a bit silly, I still get a kick out of it!
"As the paparazzi capture celebs' every nauseous moment and crazed fans bet on the gender of their babies, expectant stars can make us feel extremely thankful to be mere non-famous mortals. But that still doesn't take away our obsession with their extremely high-profile nine-month journeys. Take this quiz to figure out which Hollywood mama's pregnancy yours most resembles -- then be grateful it's not your name on the results page!" My double is Jennifer Garner. Ha-Ha! Take the quiz to see who's yours. Leave a comment and share!

Pregnancy nutrition: Foods to avoid

Eating healthy foods is only part of pregnancy nutrition. It's equally important to avoid harmful foods. You want what's best for your baby. That's why you slice fruit on your fortified breakfast cereal, sneak extra veggies into your favorite recipes and eat yogurt for dessert. But did you know that what you don't eat and drink may be just as important as what you do? Start with the basics. Knowing what to avoid can help you make the healthiest choices for you and your baby. Seafood Seafood can be a great source of protein and iron, and the omega-3 fatty acids in many fish can help promote your baby's brain development. However, some fish and shellfish contain potentially dangerous levels of mercury. Too much mercury may damage your baby's developing nervous system. The bigger and older the fish, the more mercury it may contain. Don't eat:
  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • King mackerel
  • Tilefish

So what's safe? Some types of seafood contain little mercury. According to the most recent guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you can safely eat up to 12 ounces a week (two average meals) of:

  • Shrimp
  • Canned light tuna (Limit albacore tuna and tuna steak to no more than 6 ounces a week.)
  • Salmon
  • Pollock
  • Catfish

In July 2006, a popular consumer magazine raised questions about the safety of any type of canned tuna for pregnant women. The FDA continues to support the safety of up to 12 ounces a week of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury, including canned light tuna.

To avoid ingesting harmful bacteria or viruses, avoid raw fish and shellfish — especially oysters and clams — and anything caught in polluted water. Refrigerated smoked seafood is also off limits, unless it's an ingredient in a casserole or other cooked dish.

When you cook fish, use the 10-minute rule. Measure the fish at its thickest part and cook for 10 minutes per inch at 450 F. Boil shellfish — such as clams, oysters and shrimp — for four to six minutes. Meat and poultry During pregnancy, changes in your metabolism and circulation may increase the risk of bacterial food poisoning. Your reaction may be more severe than if you weren't pregnant. Rarely, your baby may get sick, too. To prevent food-borne illness, fully cook all meats and poultry before eating. Look for the juices to run clear, but use a meat thermometer to make sure. Skip medium or rare burgers and sausages. The Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria commonly found on the surface of meat may be distributed throughout the whole product during the grinding process. Unless you cook ground meat to an internal temperature of 160 F, you may not raise its internal temperature enough to kill E. coli. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the meat is done. Be careful with hot dogs and deli meats, too. These are sources of a rare but potentially serious food-borne illness known as listeriosis. Cook hot dogs and heat deli meats until they're steaming hot — or avoid them completely. Dairy products Dairy products such as skim milk, mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese can be a healthy part of your diet. But anything containing unpasteurized milk is a no-no. These products may lead to food-borne illness. Unless these soft cheeses are clearly labeled as being made with pasteurized milk, don't eat:
  • Brie
  • Feta
  • Camembert
  • Blue-veined cheeses, such as Roquefort
  • Mexican-style cheeses, such as queso blanco, queso fresco, queso de hoja, queso de crema and asadero
Caffeine During pregnancy, moderate caffeine intake — 200 milligrams or less a day, about the amount in two cups of coffee — seems to have no adverse effects. But that doesn't mean caffeine is free of risks. Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect your baby's heart rate and breathing. Heavy caffeine intake — 500 milligrams or more a day, about the amount in five cups of coffee — may lower your baby's birth weight and head circumference. Because of the unknowns, your health care provider may recommend limiting caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams a day. Herbal tea Although herbal tea may be soothing, avoid it unless your health care provider says it's OK. Large amounts of some herbal teas — including peppermint and red raspberry leaf — may cause contractions and increase the risk of miscarriage or preterm labor. Alcohol One drink isn't likely to hurt your baby — but no level of alcohol has been proved safe during pregnancy. The safest bet is to avoid alcohol entirely. Consider the risks. Mothers who drink alcohol have a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Excessive alcohol consumption may result in fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause facial deformities, heart problems, low birth weight and mental retardation. Even moderate drinking can impact your baby's brain development. If you think you might need help to stop drinking alcohol, talk with your health care provider. Source:

TomKat's Baby Blunder

When you've just had a baby, your hormones are all over the place and all you can think about is breast-feeding and nappies. But surely you wouldn't forget all about your little bundle of joy's birth certificate? If you're Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, you would. They left it over a month to register little Suri's birth with the LA County Register Recorder? and now the document has been leaked on the internet. According to, which obtained the birth certificate, a source at the hospital where baby Suri was born claims that TomKat didn't come in to sign the document themselves. In Los Angeles, births are normally registered within 10 days but the 'friend' who eventually turned up to verify Baby Cruise's birth left it for over a month. The source at St John's hospital also revealed that the 'friend' explained to staff that the document was needed to get a passport for Suri. Interesting... very interesting. Things that make you go hmmm... Source: SkyNews

Monday, July 10, 2006

Voice Your Opinion!

Are You Caught Up In Hollywood's Celebrity Baby Craze? It seems that now more than ever Hollywood tabloids are obsessed with celebrity babies. At times it seems that tabloid magazines are all about celebrity babies! "Babies of the year" headlined People Extra's summer 2006 issue. Gossip columns are full of stories of perceived and real baby bumps, and babies in danger. This makes me wonder if people are tired of hearing about celebrity babies. Since I am currently 31 weeks pregnant, I'm absolutely caught up in it. Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman have all been rumored to be pregnant. On a recent tabloid Jennifer Aniston was said to "look pregnant." Give me a break! She is so skinny! Maybe they took a bad pic. Anyway, the only actress to take legal action is Reese Witherspoon. And now that Nicole Kidman is officially married, no one will get off her case about being pregnant. Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani all Katie Holmes all have had their babies, but the paparazzi has not let up. The paparazzi are constantly following them while snaping shots of their babies. A bit of an invasion of privacy, don't you think? So, where do you stand? Are you like me, absolutely caught up in celebrity baby craze and buying into the tabloids? Or are you tired of hearing about celebrity pregnancies, "what's the big deal it's all gossip?"

Benefits of the Birth Ball

A birth ball is a professional physiotherapy ball designed for use in low impact and strengthening exercises. Its use is ideal for women during pregnancy as an excellent exercise tool for non-impact workouts and birth. There are various benefits including relieving stress on joints and maximizing exercise while pregnant. Parents can also soothe babies by gently moving in rhythmic motions while on the birth ball. Typically, the following sized balls fit these heights accordingly: The 53cm birth ball is suggested for heights up to 5' 2". The 65cm birth ball is suggested for heights 5' 3" to 5' 10". The 75cm birth ball is suggested for heights 5'11 and over. * It’s recommended that when you’re sitting on the birthing balls, your feet are totally flat on the floor and your knees are at a 90 degree angle. If you have the correct ball for your height, simply add or release air as needed to achieve the correct size. The ball should be inflated until firm but still gives somewhat and rolls easily. Some tips on taking care of your birth ball:
  • Inflate to 80% capacity for first week of use, allowing time for the birth ball to "warm up". After that you can inflate it to full firmness. This will help extend the life of the birth ball.
  • Make sure not to store your birth ball in high temperatures or next to items with intensive heat.
  • Keep sharp objects away from the ball.
  • Never patch a birth ball because it will not be able to support the weight it was designed for. A professional birth ball will hold over 300 lbs (136 kg). Check for weight recommendations before purchasing.
  • To clean your birth ball, simply set ball in tub or shower, wipe clean with a soapy cloth and rinse. Disinfect by spraying a germicidal surface cleaner, let stand as recommended and rinse.

As with any exercise, always consult your physician before you start a program with the birth ball, as these balls can add fun as well as true benefits to any fitness program.

*(Please be aware that the balls discussed here are professional and not the toy balls used by children.)

World's first test tube baby expecting child

THE world's first test tube baby, Louise Brown, has fallen pregnant. Louise, 27, who married former bank security officer Wesley Mullinder, 36, two years ago, is due to give birth in January. The former postal worker from Bristol said it was a "dream come true". The couple started trying for a child after their marriage in September 2004. Her husband reportedly said: "We are overjoyed that Louise is expecting. We are so excited about becoming parents, and I know that Louise will make a fantastic mother." Louise's birth on July 25, 1978, created headlines throughout the world after a decade of research on finding ways to fertilise human eggs outside the body. She was born by Caesarean section at the Royal Oldham Hospital thanks to the efforts of Dr Robert Edwards, who jointly invented the IVF technique that led to her birth, and the late Dr Patrick Steptoe, a gynaecologist at the hospital. Source: