The Sisterhood of the C-Section Scar

Depending on who you ask, photographer Helen Aller’s photo of a newborn nestled just beneath his mother’s C-section scar is provocative, beautiful, unappealing or an example of social media over-share. The image, uploaded to Facebook on August 11, has gone viral, so far garnering more than 229,000 likes and nearly 66,000 shares.

The pic was born from a photo shoot with a mom who, Aller writes, was “terrified she was of having a C-section.” As is often the case with labor, things don’t always go as planned, and the woman ended up requiring an emergency C-section due to complications. “She asked me to come over this morning and shoot this particular image, as her worst nightmare proved to be what saved her and her child’s lives.”

On her blog, Aller says 7.5 million people worldwide have seen the image so far. Comments range from supportive (“The journey of pregnancy is a beautiful road that can also be a bumpy one, for us who carry the scar know and understand more than anyone else the meaning behind this beautiful pain. Because of emergency C-section both me and my little girl are alive and I can tell the tale of my journey that night.”) to practical (“All women should be proud of the way they birth. Babies can sometimes come into the world under some very stressful circumstances and we are lucky to live in an age that when it is needed, a C-section saves lives!”) to nasty (“Sorry, I can’t find this beautiful … Will you and your ilk post pictures of baby spit-up and call it beautiful because it contains breast milk?”)

Keep reading at Fit Pregnancy dot com…


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This is your face on motherhood

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Yes, I allowed Parents Magazine to publish the photo of me for millions to see. Yes, I am brave. The story is getting terrific reception on Facebook – almost 3,000 Likes and 320+ shares in the past few days alone. Here’s a teaser, plus a link to the full piece:

Just before turning 7 months old, our little girl—normally a champion sleeper—revolted, suddenly adopting the nocturnal habits of a grandpa with an irritable prostate: waking up multiple times a night, and peeing all over the place. One day while she slept on my shoulder, I got a text from my friend Ali: “Is now a good time to chat?” I held my phone up to snap a pic of the babe and me, to wordlessly convey my Occupied status. The look I was going for: serene, soft-focused mother-and-child selfie—the kind that Victoria’s Secret models post to Instagram.

What I got: Beetlejuice, only less rested and with bigger boobs. The circles under my eyes were cavernous; my scalp was playing peekaboo through my hairline. If my skin tone were a crayon, its name would be Pallor. I looked like a lactating Steve Buscemi.

Most women would hit the Delete button faster than your teenage barista can judge you for the two pancake-size milk splotches on your nursing tank. Not me. I hit “Send to Facebook,” along with the caption, “Isn’t new motherhood beautiful?”

Keep reading my essay in the August edition of Parents Magazine: What Motherhood Really Looks Like: One Mom Shows Her True “Selfie”

FYI Here's what I look like on a good day...









And my accompanying quiz - Do You Overshare on Social Media?




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Oh, Boy: Is This the Era of the Designer Baby?

North West may have a designer wardrobe, an overflowing passport and a bigger bedroom than you do, but one thing she hasn’t had is a sibling. This week, though, mom Kim Kardashian announced that she and husband Kanye West are expecting a baby boy. Before Nori could start hiding her toys, rumors swirled that K & K—who have been open about their fertility struggles—used genetic-based technology to choose the sex of their baby-to-be to ensure they had “an heir.” The couple denies this. But now everybody and their mother are talking about the controversial process.

Keep reading my story on gender selection on Fit Pregnancy dot com

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How much is this gonna cost me, doc?

WHEN KERI GLICKSMAN took her family to the circus in 2013, she became the main attraction as she fell down a set of stairs, breaking her right ankle. Within a few days, she began experiencing a painful burning sensation in that leg. Fearing a blood clot, she called her orthopedist’s office. “The doctor on call wasn’t concerned,” says the 38-year-old mother of two, who lives near Chicago. “He said I could get an ultrasound if I wanted, but that it was very expensive. And since he didn’t seem worried, I figured why spend the money? With a $5,000 deductible, I would have been on the hook for nearly the whole thing.” Yet five days later, Glicksman was in the ER with chest pain and labored breathing; a blood clot had indeed traveled to her lungs, requiring her to spend a week in the ICU.

Keep reading my story in O: The Oprah Magazine, on comparison shopping for health care, here.

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Has Breastfeeding Jumped the Shark?

Hell, no.

Breastfeeding is everywhere these days. It seems you can’t swing a nipple shield without hitting a headline about a mom being shamed for nursing her baby in public; Alyssa Milano is tweeting about her milk being confiscated at Heathrow Airport while Olivia Wilde poses with her newborn son, Otis, in Glamour; a hauntingly moving image of a post-mastectomy mom nursing her newborn went absolutely viral; and Kourtney Kardashian posted this kickass “After the show it’s the after party” shot of her pumping in a Vegas hotel room:





And then there’s the rise of the brelfies. A Who’s Who of celeb moms have shared pictures of themselves breastfeeding their little ones, including Gwen StefaniPinkJulie Bowen (impressively tandem nursing twins) and basically the entire lineup of Victoria’s Secret models. (Doutzen Kroes just posted this one of her feeding 10-month-old daughter Myllena, garnering 92k ‘likes’ and counting.)

When Time published a photo of Jamie Lynne Grumet nursing her 3-year-old son on its cover in 2012, along with the somewhat incendiary headline, “Are You Mom Enough?” it ignited a blaze of controversy. Attachment parenting and extended breastfeeding advocates applauded; others cried foul at the thought of a preschooler still drinking milk straight from the source. A year later, Gisele fueled the fire with a glam-squad image of her simultaneously breastfeeding, having her hair styled, nails manicured and makeup applied. “Supermom!” some women hailed. “Unrealistic!” plenty of other moms cried. “That’s not what normal breastfeeding looks like.”

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