Monday, June 29, 2009

Pregnancy Blog Spotlight: Mon Petit Amour

This belated pregnancy blog spotlight, we head north to visit Mon Petit Amour, in Canada. This is a very artsy, visually appealing pregnancy blog that covers all topics related to getting ready for the chic baby by the chic mama...the author writes:

I am a maman-to-be, due in November 2009, who loves all things baby. From maternity clothes to nursery decor, join me as I find all the gems that the internet (and my hometown) have to offer. I especially love finding great Canadian companies, as well as international companies that ship to Canada.
I'm adding this one to the blog roll.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Belly Wraps!!! Post-Partum Belly Shrinker

Actress Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon talks about post-twins "issues" including the baby belly

WebMD did a recent article discussing the benefits of the abdominal wraps, those sometimes lycra, sometimes elastic, wraps that are sold in maternity stores that promise to help shrink the tummy after giving birth.

Any woman who has given birth knows about the other surprise after effect is that you continue to look between 4-6 months pregnant for like weeks after the baby. Totally nothing like the moms on TV and the movies! Ugh!! Because I had a C-Section, it was recommended that I do not exercise until at least 8 weeks post postpartum. The vain woman in me didn't want to live through the experience of someone asking me when I was due!

I asked my mom and she showed me how they do it Africa style! The trick they use in our native Sierra Leone, West Africa is to "Bind the Belly." Essentially, it is taking two "lapas" or large drapes of cloth and tie them tight around the midsection. It has the effect of helping shrink the belly over time. In Africa, moms wear the wraps every day, all day and even at night. I did it and sure enough after only few weeks, I could feel my tummy getting smaller and I'm sure it did so faster than if I just let my jelly belly hang out and go back on its own.

By the time I had my second son, I discovered that commercial companies were selling an equivalent of the Bands!! I purchased one and it had the same effect I think. Targetwoman described the different types of wraps:

Velcro-Belt belly wrap: Made of cotton, this belly wrap is best suited for women who have undergone c-section since it is soft enough to wear over the wound. The main advantage of this wrap is that the Velcro can be fastened anywhere around the wrap. However, being cotton Velcro-Belt belly wrap might look bulged below the clothes and the chances of the same being noticed are high. Complete Pull-up wrap (with underwear): As the name suggests, this belly wrap comes with underwear and is best suited to wear underneath clothes. Few disadvantages of this wrap include size and adjustability. The wrap is not adjustable and the size matters a lot since the butt should fit in as it comes with the underwear. The ideal thing is to buy this wrap as and when needed, because if you get little slimmer the wrap will not be so helpful.

Half pull-up wrap (no underwear): Considered as one of the most comfortable belly wraps, half pull up wraps come with expandable cotton. However, it does not have underwear and hence is not shown under clothes. Sizing is not an issue since the stretchable cotton provides support in all stages.

Button-up Waist Cincher: This is a button-up wrap made of cotton lining and rubber on the outer side. It is generally very tight and is not advisable for women who have undergone c-section. Sizing is also an issue since it is very tight. Before you consider buying this, check with your gynecologist and try the same as well.

Post-Surgical Girdle: One of the most expensive wraps, this is generally prescribed for post-liposuction. However, it works well for postpartum too. The wrap is not seen under clothes and is highly comfortable when going out. Apart from quicker effect, the main advantage of the wrap is that it works around the entire torso section instead of stomach alone.

Full Body Post-Surgical Girdle: This is similar to the post-surgical girdle only difference being the size. As the name suggests, this wraps covers a larger portion of the body. The wrap comes with an opening in the crotch area that enables you to go to bathroom without pulling off the entire belt.

Of course nothing will get your belly back like exercise as is argued in the WebMD article. However, when you aren't in the position to work out right away because you are restricted from having a c section, are too fatigued or can't prioritize exercising because aren't sleeping much at night just having had a baby, the next best thing for the Narcissistic mom is a good old fashion Belly Binding/Wrap!


Commercial Wraps in the market:

Brooke Burke swears by the Taut Belly WrapThe Belly Bandit was featured on Ellen and a bunch of other American shows for being the miracle post baby belly shrinker.

made the one I used and cost about $25.00.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Bellyitch Salutes the King of Pop

He will be sorely missed. Despite all the turmoil, pain and anguish of his later years, no one can doubt his genius or his effect on music and pop culture. He is and was one of the GREATEST ENTERTAINERS in the WORLD. Rest in Peace , Michael!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Song Dedicated From Mother to Child

This Song and Video is Dedicated to my eldest, the most phenomenal, smart, witty, fun, caring, devoted, mama's boy a mom could ever wish for! I'm so lucky to have been blessed with him. Seven years ago today, he came into this world and I haven't stopped smiling yet!


If I could
I’d protect you from the sadness in your eyes
Give you courage in a world of compromise
Yes, I would

If I could
I would teach you all the things I’ve never learned
And I’d help you cross the bridges that I’ve burned
Yes, I would

If I could
I would try to shield your innocence from time
But the part of life I gave you isn’t mine
I’ll watch you grow, so I can let you go

If I could
I would help you make it through the hungry years
But I know that I can never cry your tears, babe
But I would If I could

If I could
In a time and place where you don’t wanna be
You don’t have to walk along this road with me
My yesterday won’t have to be your way

If I knew
I’d try to change the world I brought you to
Now there isn’t much more that I can do
But I would If I could

If I could
I would try to shield your innocence from time
But the part of life I gave you isn’t mine
I’ll watch you grow, so I can let you go

If I could
I’d help you make it through the hungry years
But I know that I can never cry your tears
But I would If I could

If I could


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's GG Up to Now?

GG and her daddy on Father's day (click photo to enlarge)

These days, my little butter bean is, I mean she's climbing everything. My husband and I do not recall the boys this active and into gymnastics as this little girl. She tumbles like gets on her head and rolls over. Who taught her to do that? Beats me! Perhaps she was a gymnast in a former life because home girl has excellent balance. And she's braver than anything.

And yes. I feared this time would come. I'm losing her to my old man. She's slowly but surely becoming a daddy's little girl. *sigh* All Father's day, she followed him around everywhere like a little duckling. It was cute!

I know I've said it before, but I do declare that she has my middle child beat in the mischiefmaking category. Look, she even has his signature snarl down pack in the photo below with her cousin KD! Oh yeah, KD was in my baby sister's belly from Tuesday's post!
Cousins: KD and GG (click to enlarge photo)

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick's Twins arrive

Modern Mom Reports:

sarah and matthewSarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's twin girls were born via their surrogate today, according to local news reports in Martins Ferry, Ohio.

A spokesperson for the East Ohio Regional Hospital tells PEOPLE "everything's good."

Parker, 44, and Broderick, 47, have a 6 1/2 year old son James. The couple have been married for 12 years.

So glad the rumors aren't true and these two are still going strong. Nothing like a pair of kiddos to keep your marriage together? That is a question, not a statement. God Bless em!

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Dear Pregnancy Magazine: Please Diversify!

My running club includes several professional African American, Caribbean American and African women (and men) of all ranges of running pace and ability. During our weekly Sunday 6:30am runs, we break off into pace groups. While we run, walk, or jog, (depending on your pace group), we chat about our lives. It’s all good. Being able to run and talk is a good way to make sure we aren't over exerting ourselves. My pace group includes myself and two doctors who I went to college with and thankfully so because often times I find myself breaking a sweat trying to keep up with them and am comforted in knowing if pass out doing so they could resuscitate me! I jest!

Anyway, one of the awesome fast runners in my group, we nickname Sergeant Leggs , yes with two "G"s because she has these long lean and toned legs that look awesome in a pair of short running shorts. Many of us have admitted to running just so we can eventually, one day "fit into her shorts"!

On one particular run, we were talking about our experiences during our first pregnancy and Sergeant Leggs announced that she was inside one of the top three pregnancy magazines when she was pregnant! Inside? Yeah, as in inside an issue! Whoa! How cool is that?

The story goes that when she was pregnant with her first child a little over two years ago, she was very excited about the experience and had a wonderful pregnancy. She loved being pregnant she said and enjoyed reading all she could about pregnancy, but when she would go to her obstetricians office and flip through the pregnancy magazines in the waiting room while waiting for her turn to be seen by her doctor, she said she was disappointed to discover that the magazines rarely had women of color or women who resembled her in them. She shared her sadness about that with her husband who, being the wonderful supportive husband he was, did not like to see his beautiful glowing otherwise upbeat and positive wife distressed. The good chap wrote into one of the magazines sharing with its editors a photo of his beautiful wife. The editors, perhaps shamed by the slight and acknowledging their malfeasance, decided to include her husband's letter in their magazine along with the beautiful photo of his wife showing off her baby bump. He had sent in the photo with his letter.

I am awaiting a scanned copy of the magazine from the Sarg to share. (*clears throat for the Sarg if she is reading this*). I assume in that "Dear Pregnancy magazine" column the editors vowed to be better and reflect more diversity in their magazine. I thought that was the case and felt they deserved “kudos” for acknowledging the issue. I haven't been pregnant in nearly over two years myself, so I wondered if given recent times, (we’ve got an African American president for God’s sake) if the pregnancy magazines on store shelves have indeed stepped up their game and started featuring diverse pregnant models.

The former journalist in me decided to run over to my local drug store to scan all the current pregnancy magazines on the shelves. Interestingly enough, I found a dearth of diverse models in them. Hmm. The Curiouser and Curiouser. Well, that’s just one or two months. Certainly, there must have been a good mix of diverse cover models at least over the past year? I went home and did an internet search. (Thank God for Google and Bing and the thousands of online magazine services out there, I found quite a few past covers) Click to Enlarge
Hmm. As research would have it, NOPE! Not so lucky. I guess that magazine didn't learn too much from Sargeant Leggs' husband. I kidded to the Sarg that maybe it was time she and her husband to conceive again so they could put her back in the magazine.

In fact, of the three main pregnancy magazines, only ePregnancy had a decent pattern of diverse covers including one cover of Wayne Brady and his then Asian American wife, Mandie; another with a Japanese American woman on the cover and one with a woman who could be a Latina. I don't know if it was all the orange on the cover, but she did look Latina to me. In all fairness, Boxer/Actress Lailah Ali and Actress Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon graced past coversof Pregnancy magazine. Thank goodness celebrities are hot commodoties that can push magazines.
Even Fit Pregnancy Magazine is guilty of this trend (Click to Enlarge)
though I admire this April/May 2009 Fit Pregnancy Magazine cover. Interesting....
And I get it! I realize that pregnancy magazines want to sell magazines and sometimes are challenged to respond to and keep pace with the types of models that mainstream non-pregnancy magazines for women put on their covers. That begs the question, “Is the standard of what a beautiful pregnant woman looks like supposed to be so monolithic?"

I mean, if it's about keeping up with what drives the mainstream fashion magazines, last I checked, Michelle Obama, is and was once considered a fashion icon. According to several sources including the New York Times, she was touted to be the savior of the American fashion industry. These days, magazines with her on the cover sell faster and more issues.

Further, statistics reveal that as soon as the year 2050, America will be majority Hispanic. I guess that means at any given moment on any given day in the year, there are most likely more Latina women pregnant than any other race of women in America. I suppose they aren't the target market for pregnancy magazines, then, huh? hmmm. Curiouser and Curiouser.

I know we all don't look as good as the models in the magazines when pregnant. Notwithstanding, I know there's a good selection of "model perfect" models and I know that not just because I am enamored by the pregnant women and am one of those people who take notice of pregnant women walking around in my daily life. Surely, it couldn’t just be me, so lookey here! I was able to find these while doing an internet search:
Look, even the stock photo companies have pretty generous samples of pregnant models of diverse ethnicities. So they do exist!
I even found an elusive image of a pregnant Native American model on the net!
Even, in my circle of personal friends, in real life and on the internet, there are gorgeous model perfect preggo babes! They include, first
my aspiring actress and model baby sister...

...the beautiful Yakini, blogger over at The Prissy Mommy Chronicles. She was working her photo shoot eh? Click Here for the larger images and the full gallery.
...another friend, Kristina, who I featured on the blog previously. Click here for full photos

During my research for this post, I discovered Canadian based Black Woman and Child magazine, which, according to its publisher, was created as a direct answer to the absence of diverse models and topics for multi-ethnic audiences in pregnancy magazines on shelves in Canada. In college sociology and psychology classes, I vividly recall some of my classmates challenging the need and importance of things like a "Miss Teen Phillipines USA" pageant or for Black fashion magazines or Black Entertainment Television or the ALMA awards recognizing the achievements of Latinos in the music industry. They wondered why and how one would even come up with the idea to create such things. Hmmmm??? Inquiring minds want to know. Could it be that they were fed up waiting for someone else to acknowledge their talents, beauty and skills and positive non stereotypical imagery?

So with that, I challenge these magazines to step up to the reality that is 2009, present time, and embrace the modern Multiethnic times and do a better job reflecting the diversity of their subscribers and readership. All readers, regardless of race and ethnicity deserve to see their images represented fairly in their magazines. It only makes sense, and cents. I know it sounds cliché, but the color of money is Green. Well, still mostly green anyway!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Expectant Celebrities Round up

Actors Golden Books and D.B. Woodside are Expecting a Baby

Golden Brooks and D.B. Woodside are expecting a child together, the actress’s rep tells PEOPLE exclusively. The former Girlfriends star, 38, is due in September. WHAT A GREAT MONTH TO HAVE A BABY! I say that not just because I am a September baby. What?
The actress recently wrapped the indie film Polish Bar, while D.B., 39 — best known for his role as President Wayne Palmer on 24 — is currently appearing on HawthoRNe. Golden and D.B. began dating in 2008.
Expectant mom Kelis attended Samsung’s 8th Annual Four Seasons Of Hope Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on June 16, 2009 in New York City. The singer is due next month and is expecting her first child with rapper Nas. She told TMZ recently that she's run out of money and her estranged husband Nas has yet to pay for any pre-natal expenses , even though he is well-off.
As a result, the expectant mom has hired a lawyer and is asking a judge to order Nas to pay spousal as well as child support. In addition, Kelis and her lawyer are demanding that Nas pay all pregnancy-related expenses, and one-half of all medical expenses after the child is born. She has also requested that $3,500 be allocated for the baby nurse after the child’s birth, and $20,000 for strollers, cribs and other baby supplies.
Kelis says, “My survival is based on [Nas'] will at this time. If he does not want to pay for an expense, it does not get paid.”
The singer filed for divorce from the rapper in April of this year. The couple married in 2003 and are expecting the birth of their baby boy next month.
I am not feeling this look though. Ugh. I think it's the red lipstick. No, the silver prom heels. No, the Blue peacock hair. I think that's it. What happened to the motto, though shall be natural and not dye thy hair when preggers? EEk!

Judy Reyes, who stars as sassy nurse Carla on Scrubs, is expecting her first child with her boyfriend, director George Valencia, her rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.
The Alma Award-winning actress, 41, who appeared on HBO’s Oz, recently starred in the Lifetime movie Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story. She also appeared in Glow Ropes: The Rise and Fall of a Bar Mitvah Emcee, a Los Angeles Latino Film Festival award winner written and co-directed by George. source

Molly Ringwald plans to deliver her Twins due this August naturally
Courtesy Fit Pregnancy
According to Celebrity Baby Blog:

Molly Ringwald is striving for a natural birth with the boy/girl twins she expects in early August, but her choice has been greeted with resistance from some.
“It’s not easy to find an OB who won’t immediately schedule a C-section when you have twins,” she explains in the June/July issue of Fit Pregnancy. “It feels like our country has gone a little crazy on that front.”
That said, the 41-year-old The Secret Life of the American Teenager star will keep her eye on the prize — two healthy babies! — and adjust her birth plan accordingly.
“I really do feel that giving birth the natural way is important. Of course, if they tell me I have to have C-section because it’s dangerous for the babies not to, I won’t say no. But I don’t want to discount it as a possibility.”
Although Molly and husband Panio Gianopolous never envisioned such a large age gap between their daughter Mathilda Ereni, 5 ½, and her younger siblings, it turns out that the timing couldn’t have been better. Read More here
Lil Wayne is Reportedly Expecting sons with Actress Lauren London & Singer Nivea

Rumor has it, Lil Wayne has two babies on the way. It is already reported that Actress Lauren London is six months pregnant with Wayne’s son and Weezy’s fiance (in photo ) Nivea, an R&B singer who had one semi-hit but hasn't really been on the map in ages, is rumored to be having a boy as well. She has children with her ex husband, super producer turned singer Dream. source

This dude is such a slut! This will be like um, 4 baby mamas. Didn't I report about another woman giving birth to his child less than a year ago!? Eww!

Tracy Mourning, wife of former NBA player Alonzo Mourning, is pregnant with the couple’s third child. The couple made their announcement at the SoBeFit magazine cover party on Thursday night. Tracy was asked whether she works out with her husband now that he has retired and in response, Tracy coyly admitted that she is pregnant. 

Tracy and Alonzo are already parents to Alonzo III,12, and Myka Sydney,8.

File this under Missed!
Candace Parker, the reigning WNBA Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year, gave birth to a baby girl May 13 at 11:29 a.m. in Los Angeles. It is the first child for Parker and husband Shelden Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

The baby girl weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 20 inches in length. 

“Shelden and I are thrilled,” said Parker. “This is such a life-changing moment for us, we feel blessed to have a healthy and beautiful baby girl.” 

The couple has chosen a name for the baby, but have decided not to disclose it at this time.
Parker plans to rejoin the Sparks once she has received clearance from her physician.
File this one under interesting conception

Cat Cora and Wife Each Pregnant With a Boy!

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty
Iron Chef Cat Cora is cookin’ up a baby — and so is her wife Jennifer! Both expecting boys, Jennifer, 37, will deliver in April, while Cat, 41, is due in July.

The couple’s new sons are from the same sperm donor as their older boys, Caje, 23 months and Zoran, 5. Zoran and the baby Cat is carrying are from Jennifer’s eggs, while Caje is from Cat’s. In Jennifer’s current pregnancy, both women’s embryos were transferred, so the biological mother is unknown. The couple do not to plan to conduct DNA testing to determine this.

“[Jennifer] carried my embryo and I carried hers,” Cat explains. “It’s like surrogating, but obviously all of our kids are equal.”
“It’s really crazy! We decided that having them a year apart is harder than having kids as infants together.”

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

For wonderfully funny, strong, supportive, engaging and phenomenal Dads like mine and my husband...


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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Best Powder for a Baby Rash

My sister, who is a mother-baby nurse in one of the best delivery hospitals in our region, told me to put Gold Bond Medicated powder on my son's heat rash despite my Pediatrician's advice to let it be. Sure enough, after like just two applications, his rash went away. Naturally then, when my daughter was diagnosed with having pityriasis rosea, our pediatrician told us nothing can be done about it and to let it go away on its own naturally. Well, me being a vain mom, was not cool seeing those splotchy marks all over my baby's body. After 1 week of Gold Bond, the marks disappeared. Every last dot! Yay, Gold Bond!

I know this sounds like a commercial, but I swear this stuff works. No joke!

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The Bump: Online Community for Expectant Parents

One thing first time pregnant parents can't get enough of is information. When I was pregnant with my first child, I scoured the internet in search of communities of women with my due date to befriend. While I did have some real life friends to share the journey, many of them were not yet in the stage of their lives of having children so I didn't have too many resources of humans to exchange stories, fears and photos with...that is until I found a wonderful bulletin board community.

In this particular community, we were divided by due dates and we would join and regularly post comments and respond to other commenters who were moms in our due date month. It was a wonderful experience. The women from our group have remained friends. We stayed communicating together until we each had our babies and believe it or not a couple of moms formed off shoot communities and we still keep in touch daily; some of us weekly and deadbeats like me ever so often. We even had a reunion in Ohio to meet each other in person. My husband was apprehensive at first, but eventually let me board a plane with my six monther to Columbus to meet with my Internet mom friends", he called us. Well really, he called us a "cult" because of how much influence we had on each other, the fact we exchanged holiday and Christmas cards, and photos; and were always on the computer chatting with one another.

While scouring the net recently looking for content to add to the new layout, I discovered,

From the creators of The Knot and The Nest, The Bump gives first-time parents the lowdown on fertility, pregnancy, birth, and babies with stage-by-stage advice, stylish ideas, local resources, and interactive tools -- all in one savvy online community. At The Bump, we aim to connect new parents and parents-to-be, as well as offer them personalized advice using a wide variety of user-generated content and up-to-date community features, including baby blogs, local reviews, checklists, personal profiles, photo galleries, topic-based message boards, and more...

Nice! I do know that BabyCenter and other similar communities have cropped up over the past decade and it is nothing new about commensurating with other parents in similar situation, your first pregnancy. I highly recommend all new moms seek out, visit and settle in with a group of preggers moms in one of these communities.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Bellyitch Pregnancy Library Guide

...testing...testing... do not adjust your browser! This is the new and improved Bellyitch Layout!! I hope you like it.

Also, HAVE YOU NOTICED WE HAVE A NEW NAME? Please adjust your reader...

We now return to your regularly scheduled blog post!

While doing research on a topic for a future post, I uncovered this gem from a Pan-African Parenting website which talks about the fact that the birth rate among women of color is substantially higher than white women, world-wide.

When I was pregnant with my first baby, and desperate for answers, I pored over pages of smiling, bulging-bellied blondes, brunettes and redheads alongside articles from using mayonnaise to moisturize my hair to using candy to toilet-train my child; exalting drugs my mother never used and food my grandmother never heard of. Where were my beautiful sisters in these magazines? Where were the nappy heads of my children? Where were MY issues, MY values, the wisdom of MY ancestors for expectant and new mothers?
the article ends by introducing a new magazine, Black Woman and Child. According to its publishers,
It is a publication for women who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant and/or have a child or children aged seven and under. That's the "official" target market. Informally, Black Woman and Child is for women like us. Women who eat yam, green bananas, injera, callaloo, foofoo and other delicious food not included in the so-called "typical" pregnancy menu. Women with afros, twists and dreads. Women who like a little zouk, soca, highlife, jazz and ska in their workout. Women who put the words "African-centered" in front of "education." Women who wear boubous, kente, mudcloth and headwraps. Women who boil herbs. Women who say "back home." Women like me. Women like you.
This brings me to the subject of today's post: revealing the books that were in my library when I was pregnant. Some of these I purchased for myself. Others were gifted to me. I don't recall specifically seeking out books that relayed some of the unique cultural issues that I probably wouldn't be able to find in a mainstream book. I didn't really "see color" until it was time to pick a name and we decided we should consider African names. I being from Africa wanted to explore names beyond names from my home country. Ironically, none of my children have traditional African names. A shame. Oh well! Too late now! Though I think I may give them traditional names and allow them to decide if they want to take those names. I digress. Behold, my library list...

The books I relied on when I was pregnant including some targeting women of color include:

Mama's Little Baby, 1998, Created specifically for the needs of the AfricanAmerican mother-to-be, this comprehensive reference contains everything the pregnant woman needs to know about conception, prenatal care, labor, delivery, and baby care. Wonderfully conversational in tone, this intuitive step by step guide provides the latest information on: Health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes and sickle cell anemia, which blacks suffer from disproportionately. The book adapts traditional down home cooking recipes to provide healthful eating for mother and baby; deals with the special needs of single mothers. It explores spiritual, emotional, and mental health during pregnancy;l cultural information passed down from generation to generation.
What to Expect When You're Expecting
They had sold only 9 million copies of this book when I purchased this book when pregnant with my first child in 2001. It's up to over 10 million sold now. The revised third edition of the popular pregnancy guide offers the authoritative yet reassuring advice that parents have come to rely on from all the titles in the What to Expect series. The book is arranged by month, from pregnancy test through labor and delivery. Each section offers answers to frequently asked questions, along with features such as "What You May Be Feeling" and "What You May Be Concerned About."

Everything Else You need to Know Expect When Expecting was re

Yet despite all of its helpful information about nutrition, bodily changes, and fetal development, the pregnancy bible "What to Expect When Expecting" glosses over vital questions that enter every pregnant woman's mind: "How should I tell my husband, my family, my boss that I'm expecting?" and "Can I park in the handicapped spot?" or even "Can I cut in line at the public restroom?" Author Paula Spencer expertly faces the challenge of answering these and many other serious and comical questions that pop up during pregnancy in this equally smart and entertaining look at etiquette for the new mom--and does so with plenty of sense and sensibility.

Proud Heritage. Two of three of my children's names were selected from this book which includes popular names, traditional names, African Names, names of famous African-Americans. I liked that they explained the origins of the names. So no, they weren't filled with the stereotypical interesting and colorful names African Americans are sometimes known to name their children.

You're Pregnant!! A Guide to the Longest nine months of your life, 1995 is a very humorous, quirky fun quick read.

The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy, 1995 This was an equally humorous and very fun book. It captured a lot of the serious topics found in "What to Expect When Expecting" but infused with a very real and fun twist. I like this Amazon.Com review of the book because it is on point:
Beginning with the "10 Greatest Lies About Pregnancy" (number 10: Lamaze works), and ending with postpartum dementia, Vicki Iovine's Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy has fast become the laywoman's mouthpiece for the American pregnancy experience. Iovine is irreverent, sassy, and incredibly reassuring as she exposes the "truths" of pregnancy and childbirth, from sex to cellulite to cesareans. Iovine birthed four kids in six years, none of them twins, which certainly qualifies her as an expert. The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy does reveal Iovine's particular cultural biases (pregnant or not, most of us don't have record-producer husbands, hang out with supermodels, or wear size-four pants) and philosophical beliefs (she's not a particularly strong proponent of natural childbirth or nursing), but, taken with a grain or two of salt, she provides many hilarious moments, acres of advice, and honest reassurance readers will find nowhere else.

For my husband, I purchased
My Boys Can Swim: The Official Guy's Guide to Pregnancy, 1999. This is a quick read and is totally from the regular guy's point of view. It is a refreshing take on the dude's perspective. We hormonal lactating cranky moms don't normally understand what is wrong with them when they aren't answering our beck and call with a smile. My husband found it a good read.

Here's a couple of recent books I never owned, but they appear to be fun and have gotten great response from reader comments on

Your Pregnancy Quick Guide: Women of Color, 2006
From the authors of the best-selling "Your Pregnancy" series, these are medically sound and succinct guides for the pregnant woman who needs detailed information on specific topics. "Your Pregnancy Quick Guide for Women of Color" is written for the women who need to know more about their colour and genetic background will affect their pregnancy. The only book written specifically for women of colour, it contains vital information on issues such as Tay-Sachs disease, sickle cell anaemia, Thallesemia, giving birth to multiples or low birth weight babies, hypertension and gestational diabetes - all of which are more prevalent in women of colour.

The Mocha Manual for Pregnancy Fabulousity, 2005
The "Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy" meets "What to Expect When You're Expecting" for today's professional black woman. "The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy" is a straight-talking handbook to pregnancy with contributions by doctors and personal stories from black women and celebrity mums. Kimberly Seals-Allers offers candid advice on specific health concerns affecting black women such as high blood pressure, sickle cell disease, diabetes, and low birth weight, as well as information about how to get your finances in order, how to cope with embarrassing pigmentation and hair texture changes, single-parenting, maternity fashion, how to deal with demanding jobs and hormone-induced meltdowns. Hip, funny, and refreshingly frank, this book is a must-have for all mothers-to-be.

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