Friday, February 08, 2013

Batch of links

- What to eat if pregnancy has made you too queasy to cook, on The Kitchn. There are some great suggestions in there. Personally, I found that I liked crackers (saltines and Nilla wafers), natural ginger ale, fruit sorbet, raw fruits and vegetables (apples, clementines, carrots, veggie rolls in rice paper), brothy soups and, unexpectedly, plain pasta. The Engineer also picked the weekly menu once when I really couldn’t stomach doing it. As far as your health and that of the baby are concerned during the first trimester, as long as you’re taking your prenatal vitamins and anything else prescribed by your obstetrician, any food you can keep down is good; your body probably already has all the reserves it needs to grow an embryo. If you’re like me, you’ll have other periods when you’re starving all the time, so then anything goes. I found that I did best if I had small snacks throughout the day (eating too much in one sitting was a mistake, and going too long without eating was just as bad). Bon Appétit also had suggestions for Kate Middleton. Which brings me to…

- Please stop saying that Kate Middleton had “morning sickness.” What she had was a medical condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). As this article points out, “morning sickness […] resembles hyperemesis the way a twisted ankle resembles a compound fracture with two bones sticking out through the skin.” Here’s Prue Clark’s account of how she experienced it. In the Western world, women could die from HG before medicine advanced to what it is today. And even today, in areas where the population doesn’t have access to quality medical care, women STILL die from HG! No one ever died from morning sickness.

- Your hormones might be out of whack during pregnancy, leading to mood swings. I will not say that I have or have not been more emotional than usual, but I WILL say that this video made me cry, at the very end.

- Ultrasound parties: New frontier in pregnancy oversharing. This seems so over-the-top to me! As much as I love seeing our baby at an ultrasound, there’s NO WAY I’d send out invitations and do this in my living room with a bunch of people, regardless of how close we all are.

- The Engineer and I form a dual-language household. I do speak in English with him more often than not, but this is just the knee-jerk reflex of any bilingual Montrealer. I will definitely raise the baby in French, though, to make sure he/she can speak it and write it properly. Babies raised in two languages start speaking later than unilingual babies, but once they start speaking, they have vocabulary in both languages. I was pleased, however, to read articles like this one explaining how bilingualism gives babies “cognitive advantages”, including in their senior years. (That article says it makes babies smarter, but I’d caution that this depends on how you measure intelligence.) Plus, even if babies don’t understand the words one says to them, they are able to distinguish between several languages based on the sounds they hear. Here’s a fascinating TED Talk about the ways our brains form around language acquisition.

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