The Baby Quote That Got Carrie Underwood in Trouble Makes Perfect Sense

The Baby Quote That Got Carrie Underwood in Trouble Makes Perfect Sense

Carrie Underwood is all over the tabloids this week now that she's unveiled her baby bump, but the singer has had a rough few days. She got massively trolled for saying this to Redbook:

"I'm 35, so we may have missed our chance to have a big family. We always talk about adoption and about doing it when our child or children are a little older. In the meantime, we're lucky to be a part of organizations that help kids, because our focus right now in our lives is helping as many kids as possible," Underwood said in her recent Redbook interview.

Twitter didn't miss a nanosecond to start railing at her, and comments got nasty. Here's one: 

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Fertility Education Needs to Start Early, But When's the Right Time?

Fertility Education Needs to Start Early, But When's the Right Time?

Sex-ed classes in schools tend to steer clear of a topic that most people will face at some point in their lives: Do I want kids, and if so, when? 

That question is thorny enough for adults, so it's no surprise that sex-ed curricula ignore it, or barely skim the surface. But considering that in a recent study of college students, less than half of women, and even fewer men, didn't know when women's or men's fertility starts to decline, it's time

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Hospitals Can Prevent More Than Half of Maternal Deaths: Why Aren't They?

Hospitals Can Prevent More Than Half of Maternal Deaths: Why Aren't They?

Two of the most common causes of death during and after childbirth are blood loss and sharply rising blood pressure. Hospitals can reduce deaths by fatal hemorrhages by up to 90 percent, and deaths by stroke and other blood-pressure-related conditions by 60 percent. They know what to do, but they aren't doing it. Why?

Following up on ProPublica's groundbreaking Lost Mothers series, USA Today's "Deadly Deliveries" report this week analyzes data from 75 hospitals around the U.S. to figure out when and if hospital staff are following basic protocols. Reporters found that dozens aren't doing two basic things: weighing bloody pads to measure blood loss, and giving medication for high blood pressure within the crucial 60-minute timeframe after it's detected. 

Those two basic protocols would dramatically reduce the rates of maternal death in the U.S.. Incredibly, "there are no requirements that U.S. maternity hospitals follow best practices," the article notes.  

California is the only state where hospitals across the board are implementing best practices. The initiative has had stunning results: California chopped its maternal death rate by half in recent years.

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How to Know If You're Having a Heart Attack While Pregnant or Giving Birth

How to Know If You're Having a Heart Attack While Pregnant or Giving Birth

By Salma A.

It's not exactly shocking that pregnant women who have a heart attack often can't tell they're having one: The symptoms are hard to tell apart from all the discomforts that spring up normally in those nine months. But keeping in mind that heart attacks, of all things, can actually happen to pregnant women—especially pregnant women older than 35—is at least one step toward recognizing them in time, and getting help. 

A newly published study of 55 million women by the NYU School of Medicine notes that heart attacks in women who are pregnant, giving birth, or up to two months postpartum went up by 25 percent between 2002 and 2014. That's a huge jump in a relatively short time.

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New Autism Findings Are Couched in "Don't Blame Parents" Rhetoric, but Critics Say Report Points Fingers

New Autism Findings Are Couched in "Don't Blame Parents" Rhetoric, but Critics Say Report Points Fingers

By Salma A.

A new report about a potential cause of autism points to clues in a baby's teeth. In children who later develop autism, researchers can see "records of what exposures occurred during fetal development, and when they occurred, in a manner similar to the rings on trees." says a New York Times column headlined; "In Baby Teeth, Links Between Chemical Exposures in Pregnancy and Autism."

Author Peri Klass, M.D., a regular contributor to NYT's Checkup column, takes pains to note that the findings should NOT in any way suggest that mothers, and parents in general, are responsible for kids' early exposure to those factors, but many readers aren't buying the sincerity of the "don't blame parents" approach. 

In the intro to her column, Klass writes that "so many different exposures have been linked to problems in the developing fetal brain that parents can sometimes feel both bewildered and, inevitably, at fault for failing or having failed to take all possible precautions" to prevent autism in their child. Her piece, which has ignited a controversy,

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Moms 40-Plus Are Outpacing Younger Parents in THIS Category, Says NYT

Moms 40-Plus Are Outpacing Younger Parents in THIS Category, Says NYT

By Salma A.

In case you missed it, this New York Times article about the declining rate of childbirth in the U.S. is fascinating for so many reasons. Here are just a few:

The only demographic in America with a rising childbirth rate nowadays is...women ages 40-44, says the NYT report. Survey participants in every other age group are having fewer babies than they thought they would. Here at Crunch Time Parents, one of the main reasons we exist is to explore—and celebrate—the fact that people have more options than ever before if they want to become parents later in life. But it's still a sobering surprise to see the childbirth rates plunging for every other age group. 

So, why are Americans having fewer babies these days?

So, why are Americans having fewer babies these days?

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Mama and Papa, Don't Preach

Mama and Papa, Don't Preach

By Salma A.

I just came across a terrific Salon essay titled "Mama Don't Preach." I'd printed it out and saved it 15 years ago, back in the days when I used to collect essays about the pros and cons of having kids. At that time, I felt 85 percent sure I'd never have children. The lifestyle, as far as I could understand it at the time, wasn't for me. But the to-breed-or-not-to-breed debate intrigued me (and still does), and I wanted to mentally play out as many possible scenarios as I could before it was time to make a decision.

Which turned out to be a full decade later. As I reread that Salon essay now, the writer's leave-women-the-hell-alone argument feels as spot-on as ever. (By the way I'm reading it on the hard copy I printed out, because back in 2003, who knew if that whole "Internet" thing would survive? Ahem). Author Amy Reiter wrote it as a mom who'd had enough of other parents pontificating to kid-less adults about the joys of parenthood. And now that I have two kids of my own (who bring me boundless joy, especially when they're not busy wrecking our sleep and our walls and furniture), I couldn't agree more with Reiter.

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Why Do Articles About Brigitte Nielsen's Pregnancy at 54 Sound Oddly Familiar?

Why Do Articles About Brigitte Nielsen's Pregnancy at 54 Sound Oddly Familiar?

By Salma A.

The 54-year-old Danish-Italian actress Brigitte Nielsen—known in the States mainly for her roles in Beverly Hills Cop II, Cobra, and Rocky IV, and partly for her former marriage to Sylvester Stallone—just announced she's pregnant. This is Nielsen's first pregnancy, and the father is her 39-year-old husband Mattia Dessi.

That's just about all the media knows now, or needs to know. But why just publish a one-page article about a celebrity's pregnancy news, when you can pad it out instead with a Mad-Libs-worthy piece on the likelihood and unlikelihood, the ins and the outs, the cliches and the eye-rollers, about pregnancy at "advanced maternal age"? 

To wit: Newsweek's article about Nielsen's pregnancy news, headlined "Risks of Pregnancy for Women Over 50? Brigitte Nielsen Announces Pregnancy at 54," starts off with a couple of brief paragraphs about the announcement, then launches into this:

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Here's the Latest Idea for Renaming the Dreaded "Advanced Maternal Age"

By Salma A.

An article on NBC's 9News.com headlined "Can I have Kids After 35? And Other Mom Questions Answered" doesn't have much to offer in the way of insights. Spoiler alert: The answer to the headline question is, "Research has shown that women are having babies later in life." So... this gives you a sense of the level of hard-nosed, ear-to-the-ground reporting we're dealing with here. But there are two intriguing takeaways from the article:

1) "Women with more children have less teeth." This is weird. But it's apparently a "FACT" (all-caps), according to the aforementioned 9News.com.

2) There's a better alternative to "Advanced Maternal Age," and it's... are you ready? "Waited Until I Could Handle It Moms." Not entirely accurate, since certainly not everyone waits on purpose, but we could get used to this one. WUICHIM is the acronym, and it's already growing on us. Bye forever, AMA?

Photo by Maurice Schalker via Unsplash.

Single Mothers' Day Is Saturday, and Yes, It IS a Thing

Single Mothers' Day Is Saturday, and Yes, It IS a Thing

By Salma A.

Happy Single Mothers' Day to single moms who are kicking so much ass every day, everywhere on earth, making a life and a home for their kids and themselves against so many odds. Wait, Single Mothers' Day is a thing? Yup, it’s on the Saturday right before Mother's Day.

But, and here's why you probably don't know about it: Single Mothers' Day only happens in South Korea. At least, it did for the last few years. There's no mention of Single Mother's Day 2018 anywhere, as far as we can tell, but we're celebrating the day anyway, and toasting all the single moms we know and the ones we haven't met yet. I first heard about Single Mother's Day in this NPR report

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This InStyle Article on "The Diet That Cured" Infertility Sounds Like an Ad, But Is It the Real Deal?

This InStyle Article on "The Diet That Cured" Infertility Sounds Like an Ad, But Is It the Real Deal?

By Salma A.

Spoiler alert: We don't know if the infertility diet promised in the headline above is the real deal. But we're linking to today's InStyle article anyway, because the writer's story about her journey from hormonal issues and infertility to a healthy pregnancy at age 37 is potentially useful for anyone struggling with the same symptoms.

At age 20, Alisa Vitti, author of the InStyle piece, suddenly put on more than 50 pounds and started getting her period only twice a year. Doctors couldn't figure out what was going on, but Vitti, a medical-school hopeful, researched her symptoms on her own and found out she had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).  

"As I aged, I could expect to gain more weight, get diabetes, and develop heart disease and cancer," Vitti's doctor told her. '"And I would likely never be able to have children naturally—even with IVF."

VItti decided to attack the issue with dietary and lifestyle changes, and at age 37 she got pregnant after only trying for a few months. So, what were those diet and lifestyle changes?

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Where Were You in the Summer of '78?

Where Were You in the Summer of '78?

By Salma A.

Summer 1978 was my own version of the Summer of Love. I was six, and instead of weed and psychedelics I had chocolate ice cream (did the trick back then). Instead of cruising around in a VW van, my brother and I crammed into the back seat of a Buick station wagon as our parents road-tripped our family around America.

A photo of me in San Francisco, fudge popsicle drippings covering my chin, is all I need to bring the trip flashing back: camping near the Big Sur cliffs (magical), getting kicked out of a casino in Reno for being under 18 (scary) and eating syrupy mangoes in Miami, the best I'd ever had, before or since (sadly unrepeatable).

Where were you in the summer of 1978? If you happened to be in New York City, maybe you're in one of the photos the New York Times just discovered from that summer.

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