Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Basketball Wives: Meanest thing said ever about infertility on realityTV (VIDEO)


Last night, on VH1's Basketball Wives LA finale, cast member Sundy Carter ended an argument with her show nemesis, Ovarian cancer survivor Brandi Maxiell in the worst way. 

Back story: Maxiell contracted the deadly disease at age 24, but is healthy now and recently has been struggling to conceive a second child with her husband Orlando Magic player Jason Maxiell. The two have a son. 

After Brandi & Sundy exchanged some harsh words inside a rented home where the two and other cast members were staying, Sundy told Brandi, "I have three healthy kids, go work on trying to get you some!"

She also referenced Maxiell's medicine and infertility shots, telling her to go take them so she "can make a baby."

How horrible!

The spat spilled into social media, with Carter insisting she still hasn't apologized despite knowing how mean-spirited and below-the-belt her statements were and all the tremendous backlash she has gotten. 

Some have called on VH1 to kick her off the show or cancel it 

The show's creator and executive producer Shaunie O'Neal (Shaquille O'Neal ex) felt compelled to issue a formal statement and delivers on her Instagram.


Watch the clip from the show here with the worst statements coming at the end:


Get More: 
Basketball Wives LA

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National Infertility Awareness Week: 10 Myths About Pregnancy in Your 40s


We are acknowledging National Infertility Awareness Week and doing our part to share news, articles, information, products and services about infertility for our audience's edification.

Next up: 
Heidi Hayes of Donor Egg Bank USA shares her personal journey with infertility and debunks myths about pursuing later motherhood.

Like many other young women, she had thoughts of motherhood in the back of her mind. But then she went off to college, and after that joined the Peace Corps. She ended up working in the Ecuadorian Andes. It was in Ecuador that she began thinking seriously about motherhood. "I loved the Ecuadorian focus on family," she says. "It made me start thinking about having children of my own."

After marrying the man of her dreams, they started to build a life together. Finally, it seemed to be the right time to start a family. "I thought I would get pregnant easily, but each month nothing happened." She went to see a specialist, and she and her husband began a heartbreaking four-year journey through a maze of infertility treatments before adopting. Years later, she used donor eggs to have twins.

She didn't consider freezing her eggs, as that wasn't available at the time.

She went the donor egg route to conceive and shares some of the 10 myths about pregnancy in your 40s:

1.     Pregnancy is easy in your 40s and happens all the time. Once you hit 40, there is only a five percent chance you will get pregnant in any given month (compared to 20 percent at age 30). Pregnancy is possible, but women need to know the most valuable and irreversible factor impacting success is time. This is largely due to a steady decline in egg quality that begins when a woman is in her early 30s and then accelerates in the late 30s.

2.     Fertility issues are always with the woman. For men and women in their 20s, there is an equal chance of problems with infertility in either partner. For couples with a female partner in her late 30s or 40s, the chance of infertility due to egg quality rises dramatically.

3.     Celeb moms make it look easy. They are having kids at age 46! There is an endless stream of celebrity mothers who are having kids in their 40s. Halle Berry had her baby at 46, Kelly Preston at 47, and Geena Davis had twins at 48. While it is statistically unlikely that some older celebrities are having children without any assistance, it is important not to compare your experiences to others. Some celebrities share their experiences with infertility, but most do not.

4.     You can only have a baby using your own eggs. According to the respected medical journal, Fertility and Sterility, 40-year-old women treated for infertility have a 25 percent chance of achieving pregnancy using their own eggs. By age 43 that number drops to 10 percent, and by 44 it becomes 1.6 percent. For those who are unable to use their own eggs, the good news is that women can achieve pregnancy success using donor eggs regardless of her age.  Women at 40 using donor egg give birth at a rate of roughly 45 percent, a success rate higher than younger women using their own eggs. The high success rate for recipients using egg donation does not decline with age.

5.     The age of a man doesn't matter when trying to conceive. Age matters for both men and women. A study in Nature found a direct link between paternal age and an increased risk of Autism and Schizophrenia, which experts say may be one of the factors in the rise of autism diagnosis in recent years. The increase in medical problems with advancing male age is very small; the autism increase may be from 1 in 150 in the general population to 1 in 100 for men over 50.  As women age, the chances of chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome increase. These abnormalities typically occur due to a decrease in the quality of the egg with aging.  A 25-year-old woman has a 1/1000 chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome. The chance is 1/30 in a 44-year-old using her own eggs.

6.     If you’re healthy, fit, and look great, having a baby won’t be a problem. You do yoga, run half marathons, eat organic and fit into a size six. But do your ovaries do yoga? The truth is that eating nutritiously and maintaining a healthy weight can boost fertility and help balance ovulatory disorders, but it does not affect your ovarian supply and the health of your eggs.

7.     If I’m starting menopause, I can’t have a baby. There is about a 10-year phase of perimenopause that precedes the complete cessation of menstrual function, known as menopause. The quality of a woman’s eggs during this time is significantly reduced and the chances of conceiving decline sharply.  The chance of a miscarriage, for those who do conceive, is significantly increased. For women beginning perimenopause, which includes the months or years preceding menopause, a pregnancy may still be possible. A pregnancy will depend on where your body is at in the perimenopausal process. To increase the chances of success and save time, both parties should undergo basic fertility testing.

8.     Older mothers are less likely to have twins. Surprisingly, older mothers have a higher likelihood of conceiving twins. As a woman ages, her follicle stimulating hormone increases. FSH develops eggs inside the ovaries prior to being released into the fallopian tubes. High FSH levels can cause two or more eggs to release, which can result in twins.

The likelihood of spontaneously conceived twins rises from 1/80 in a 25-year-old to 1/40 in a 42-year-old.  Higher FSH levels are also associated with declining fertility, which means follicles may work overtime and release more eggs to compensate for lowering fertility. Twin rates have also increased due to general fertility and IVF treatment and patients choosing to transfer multiple embryos. The latest data shows that twin rates are declining as many women choose to transfer one embryo.

9.     Your family has a fertile history, so you shouldn’t have any trouble. There is a genetic component to ovarian function and a correlation between your mother’s and grandmother’s ability to conceive at an older age. However, this is a very limited factor and cannot provide significant reassurance. Conversely, if there is a history of early menopause in your family this will raise the likelihood of a problem. Your fertility potential and egg supply is individual. If your grandmother had her last baby at 43 and your mother had infertility at 41, this does not make your chances of conception any higher or lower.

10. Having a baby with donor egg doesn’t make you the biological mom. The egg donor is a genetic donor who provides the egg cell and half of the DNA in the creation of each baby, but the woman who carries the pregnancy provides the biological environment to allow the embryo and baby to thrive. The woman who intends to parent is the true mother of the child.   Motherhood is a conscious choice, regardless of how a baby is conceived or born.

Author Bio: Heidi Hayes is a mother of three through adoption and donor egg. After her personal experiences with infertility and professional experience in the infertility industry, she now helps others achieve their dreams of having a family as the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA, a national frozen donor egg bank.  
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week: Enter to Win FertilityBlend ($39.99)


For National Infertility Awareness Week, Daily Wellness, makers of FertilityBlend , the first nutritional product to synergistically combine key natural ingredients to prime the body for conception, is offering three Bellyitch readers a chance to win a bottle of its formulas (tailored to the different needs of men and women.)

According to the makers: 

FertilityBlend For Women and FertilityBlend For Men were developed based on published scientific literature on nutritional components that benefit fertility and have a safe history of usage. In studies conducted with Stanford University Medical School, each formula has shown excellent results in both efficacy and safety.

Key ingredients in FertilityBlend For Women: Chasteberry (natural herb that supports good hormone balance and normal ovulation);  L-arginine (amino acid that helps maintain healthy uterine lining) and Green tea, vitamin E, and selenium (antioxidants that help enhance reproductive health by repairing oxidative damage due to aging and environmental toxins)


Key ingredients in FertilityBlend For Men: L-carnitine (amino acid that has been shown to be critical to the formation of healthy sperm);Vitamins C and E, green tea and selenium (all potent antioxidants that help improve sperm counts and quality)

OPEN until April 30. US ONLY

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Ciara poses with Easter Bunny with darker hair, About pregnant women and hair dye myth


Instagram/Ciara

Mom-to-be Ciara posted pics on Easter Sunday of herself posing up with a giant Easter bunny and another after getting ice cream on the holiday.

The photo also revealed that she has gone back to her original darker hair color. It also reminds us of an old wives tail about pregnant women and hair dye. There is a prevailing thought, which may be based on fear and myth, that dye may impact negatively on a growing baby.

It's not entirely accurate that chemicals in hair dye and other hair products that alter the color or texture of the hair may penetrate your skin cells and infiltrate the fetus.

Dr. Roger W. Harms wrote for the Mayo Clinic site about dying your hair when pregnant, "when you use hair dye, a small amount of the dye may penetrate your skin. Generally, however, the dye isn't thought to pose harm to a developing baby.

"Few studies have examined women's use of hair dye before and during pregnancy, "he said. "A 2005 study suggested an association between hair dye and pregnancy and the childhood cancer neuroblastoma — but other studies haven't reached the same conclusion. Most researchers say it's unlikely that maternal use of hair products before or during pregnancy would increase the risk of childhood brain tumors."

The good doctor has suggested that those concerned should talk to their health care provider, who may or may not  suggest postponing any chemical hair treatments.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends for any person, pregnant or not, using hair dyes to:

  • Wear gloves when applying hair dye.
  • Apply hair dye as quickly as possible.
  • Rinse your scalp thoroughly after using hair dye.

For African American and Latina women who sometimes use chemical treatments to texturize, relax or soften their hair, similar precaution can be taken.  Many women when they become pregnant avoid relaxers and switch to wearing braided hairstyles.  The fear there too is the lye in the chemicals may somehow impact their growing fetus.

The styling consists of braiding or twisting their own natural hair or twisting in extensions that match their natural hair texture. 

In the end, women should do what's best for them and within the guidelines of their OB or midwife.

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Earth Day: Innovative online boutique recycles kids' clothes into cash for schools


Just in time for Earth Day, we learn about the launch of an iPhone app for an innovative online consignment boutique that lets parents recycle their children's outgrown, yet gently-used clothes and turn them into cash for their kids' school.

The team behind the service called Schoola does all the work: collect, sort through, clean and put the gently used donated clothes up for sale on its website, then give the proceeds from the sales back to schools where the clothes were donated to. 

Brilliant!

The concept is brainchild of Boston mom, Stacey Boyd, a former teacher and school principal of a charter school who used a children's clothing sale to raise money for the inner city charter school she built from the ground up in 1997. Boyd used the revenue from the sale to support the addition of arts, physical education and foreign language programs for the school. The effort helped improve the math scores of the students at the school which became among the highest performing middle schools in Boston within a year of its founding. 

Since then, the website, which launched in 2012, has grown to support 3,000 schools. The  newly-launched app makes everything mobile.

On the site right now, a $25.99 retail GAP dress is on sale for $7.90. A pair of $25 retail Carters plaid shorts for boys is also selling for about 7 bucks. 

It's a win-win. 

Parents get great designer quality clothing for less and their children's schools can buy new paintbrushes and paints for art classes, purchase new instruments for the school band, and get new books for libraries. 

Sweet Deal! Check out Schoola and download the new App for FREE at the Apple iOS store!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Bump Watch: Christina Aguilera's bump in NYC, Gwen Stefani rumored to sub on The Voice

Twitter

Christina Aguilera looks to be enjoying her pregnancy. The vocal powerhouse tweeted a photo of  herself and fiance Mat Rutler in New York city this weekend with the caption, "Baby Loves NYC <3 bump.="" her="" referencing="" span="">

And with pregnancy comes maternity leave and the rumor mill says a second Bellyitch Bumpwatch alum may be subbing for Aguilera while she is away: Gwen Stefani.



Recall, shortly after having her first child, Colombian-crossover superstar Shakira sat in as a guest judge on the hit NBC show. Stefani would make an excellent fill-in and will bring in that rocker edge!

News of the second pregnancy leaked in February and was confirmed just this month.

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Study: Domestic Abuse increases baby blues risk in victim


Domestic abuse boosts the risk of baby blues and post-traumatic stress disorder in mothers, according to a new study.

The latest findings also reveal that certain types of abuse begets specific mental health problems, according researchers at North Carolina State University, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.

"We wanted to see whether and how intimate partner abuse - physical, psychological and sexual - influenced postpartum mental health in women, including problems such as depression, stress, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and PTSD," lead study author Dr. Sarah Desmarais, an assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, said in a news release.

Source: 
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Lindsay Lohan says she recently suffered a miscarriage, Skeptics don't believe her (VIDEO)


Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan revealed during the finale of her OWN TV reality TV series Lindsay that she suffered a miscarriage during filming the show.

“No one knows this - I had a miscarriage for those two weeks that I took off. It's a very long story,” the Mean Girls actress said emotionally on the episode that aired yesterday, April 20.

"That’s why on the show when it says she doesn’t want to come down, she doesn’t want to come down, I couldn’t move. I was sick. And mentally that messes with you,” she said."Watching this series, I just know how I felt at that moment and I can relate to that girl, which sounds kind of crazy, but I'm like, 'Oh my god, this is really sad. Who's helping her?'"

She said an emergency left her immobilized. She could have been referencing the dilation and curretage (commonly called D&C) that is performed to remove tissue from a failed pregnancy following a miscarriage.
LiLo said the medical emergency left her immobilized.

“I couldn't move, I was sick,” Lohan added. “Mentally, that messes with you.”

And that is quite true. After suffering a miscarriage myself in 2001, it took months to move forward and it is a mentally distressing thing to go through, especially if you were looking forward to carrying the child to term. Imagine how much additionally mentally traumatic it could be if you're also overcoming addiction, filming a television show and having the pressure of trying to revive your career at the same time?

Lohan did not reveal who the father of her child was, but following the episode, multiple sources revealed that her mom Dina tweeted at Oprah Winfrey to call her. She soon thereafter deleted the tweet. 

Very traumatic and from screening the clip (see below), it looks convincing, although many people are saying she is acting and making it up, perhaps to revive the show. It received only 700,000 viewers upon debut and has been suffering in the ratings since then. 

It came off as genuine to me. 

But based on what people saw on the show, her history of substance abuse and negligent and reckless behavior, and considering how many chances she's been given, the hesitance of the public to believe the tragic event occurred or show her sympathy is understandable. 


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National Infertility Awareness Week: 7 Common Misconceptions Fertility Docs Hear


It's  National Infertility Awareness Week and we will be sharing articles, resources and information all week about the fertility, infertility and for women and their spouses and partners who are trying to conceive.

First up, a national study released in Fertility & Sterility, infertility among reproductive-age U.S. women is widely misunderstood. While 40 percent were concerned about their ability to get pregnant, one-third didn't understand the adverse effects of obesity on infertility and 40 percent weren't familiar with the ovulatory cycle.

To combat this nationwide lack of awareness, Fertility Centers of Illinois is sharing the biggest misconceptions they hear from patients in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week on April 20-26, and hosting events to build infertility awareness.

“The individuals and couples that we see are educated, hard-working, and focused on to having a family. However, many have planned their lives with a vast misunderstanding about their fertility,” explains Dr. Angie Beltsos. “The more couples and individuals know earlier in their lives about the realities of fertility, the more effectively they can achieve their family dreams, often without our help.”

Here are the 7 most common misconceptions that the doctors at the Fertility Centers of Illinois hear from their patients:

1.    “He had kids in a previous marriage, his fertility is fine.” Paternal fertility decreases with age, particularly after age 40. A study found a direct link between paternal age and an increased risk of autism and schizophrenia, with fathers passing on as many as four times more genetic mutations when compared to mothers. With age, there is a decrease in the concentration of healthy, mobile sperm as well as semen volume.

2.    “My mom had a baby in her 40s and I have a child, I am fertile.” Previous fertility and genetic fertility history doesn’t ensure prevention of secondary infertility, which is defined as a couple with a child being unable to conceive again after a year. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 11 percent of couples experience secondary infertility.

3.    “Smoking doesn’t affect our chances of getting pregnant.” Smoking as few as five cigarettes per day is associated with lower fertility rates in males and females. The British Medical Association found smokers may have a 10-40% lower monthly fecundity (fertility) rate, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine estimates up to 13 percent of infertility is due to smoking.

4.    “We always have sex right after ovulation.” Once ovulation is over, pregnancy is not possible. Ovulation, when an egg drops from the ovary into the fallopian tubes, occurs once a month roughly 7-10 days prior to a woman’s period. To become pregnant, a sperm must meet the egg during this 24-48 hour timeframe. Couples should have sex prior to and during ovulation as sperm can survive in the reproductive tract for 72 hours.

5.    “I know my biological clock is ticking, but my eggs are fine until 40.” Women are born with seven million eggs, which is reduced to 400,000 at puberty. In a woman’s lifetime approximately 400-500 eggs will ovulate. Ovarian reserve declines as a woman ages, with egg supply taking a rapid decline in the late 20s and again in the 30s, particularly after 35. Pregnancy rates in the early 30s are 15 percent, then decline to 10 percent after 35 and 5 percent over 40.

6.    “I am healthy, my age won’t affect my fertility.” Being healthy and fit can aid in pregnancy, but the age of your eggs is unaffected by your fitness and diet regimen. Age is the most critical component of fertility potential.

7.    “His weight or my weight doesn’t affect our chances or pregnancy.” Extra weight causes hormonal shifts that can affect ovulation and semen production, and can make pregnancy more difficult to achieve. It is estimated that 70 percent of women with infertility are also obese. Losing 5-10 percent of body weight can boost fertility in men and women.

This week the center is hosting a series of events for patients and area residents for National Infertility Week. Check out some of the online resources HERE for yourself even if you do not live in Illinois.


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

How Celeb moms spent Easter (PHOTOS)


This Easter some of the celebrity moms we've Bumpwatched in the past and others shared some photos of their Easter celebrations and other holiday wishes on their respective social media accounts.  

Here is a photo synopsis of some:


























 









































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10 Easter Activities and Projects


Easter brings images of bunnies, jelly beans, crosses and spring to mind! Most families do the traditional Easter basket, egg hunt and church routine, but this Easter shake things up a bit by thinking outside of the box and incorporating a few more meaningful activities into your Easter traditions.
  1.     Natural egg dyes – Did you know that you can dye your eggs without chemicals? Annie’s Eats provides a list of different colors that you can easily create at home by using food to provide the color. You can find recipes for grey-blue, blue, yellow, pink and lavender.
  2.     Egg dying techniques – Why not make egg dying an artistic process? Spoonful has various techniques to use for your egg dying experience, including using tin foil, string, bubble wrap, thumbprints and tissue paper.
  3.     Easter egg hunts – Egg hunts are a traditional Easter activity for most Christian families. A lot of towns or churches will host an egg hunt, but if they don’t you should consider arranging one for your neighborhood or family! You can use real eggs (make sure they are hard-boiled first!) or use plastic eggs filled with various items, such as money, candy or other small trinkets.
  4.     Tissue paper egg art – Egg art is an easy way to decorate your house for Easter. This simple project requires some poster board, tissue paper, a pencil and a bit of glue. Have your child cut out an egg shape from poster board, draw a design on the egg with pencil, and then, using small squares of tissue paper, the eraser end of the pencil and a bit of glue, fill in the spaces with the tissue paper to create your Easter egg!
  5.     Stained glass crosses – You can easily create a stained glass cross to hang in your window with your child using tissue paper and clear contact paper. Cut the tissue paper into small shapes (have your child help, if it’s age appropriate) and cut out a sheet of contact paper. Draw a cross on the non-sticky side of the contact paper, remove the paper, and have your child fill in the cross with the tissue paper shapes. Once they are done, place another sheet of contact paper over the tissue paper and then cut inside the lines of the cross you drew on the first sheet of contact paper. Hang your creation in the window for the entire family to enjoy!
  6.     The jelly bean story – The jelly bean story is a great way to represent what Jesus gave his people and why Easter is celebrated. There is a short story to print out to go along with the project and each jelly bean color represents different things, such as the sun, grace or sorrow.
  7.     Envelope bunnies – Envelope bunnies are a great way to welcome guests to your home during the Easter season. Have your children help create them and then fill them with treats!
  8.     Egg chickens – Egg chickens are a cute way to spruce up a hard-boiled egg for a centerpiece at your table! You can create other animals too, so let your imaginations go wild!
  9.     Egg relay races – If you live in a climate that makes it possible to head outside on Easter day, consider doing some active outdoor activities with the kids. Who doesn’t love an egg relay race? You can place the eggs (hard-boiled!) on spoons and run with them (if they fall, you have to stop and pick it up). You can also pass off the egg to each other or pass the eggs down the line using only your elbows! The possibilities are endless, and the entire family can get involved!
  10.     Egg bocce ball – Use your leftover hard-boiled eggs to play a game of egg bocce ball. You’ll need one white egg (the pallino) and each player will need two of the same colors of eggs to play. Roll the pallino in the grass and have players take turns trying to roll their eggs as close to the pallino as possible. The closest egg wins!
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Happy Easter from Bellyitch- 13 Creative Egg (PHOTOS)


Wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter and now a vintage post featuring 13 creative Easter eggs.





































Image Sources, Images Source
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