Monthly Archive for April, 2013

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Maternity Clothes Of Women In 1595

Here’s a painting by Marcus Gheeraerts II called “Portrait of an Unknown Lady.” It’s a nice example of a royalty in a maternity dress. The woman’s outfit is elegantly embellished in pearls on top of embellished lace. A structual bodice most likely provides a puffout of the sleeves. It was likely made out of silk or a fine cotton and took months to sew.

It is interesting to see a bit of uplift on the bra and the lady obviously needed a bit of extra support as is evidented by the four thin straps that likely go over the shoulders.

The Dutch style collar would have been uncomfortable but stylish for the period. The hairband pushed the hair into a heart shape. Her hair has added jewels most likely pearls and a rubies. Since there was no lipstick at the time, she would have used crushed red coral, but, seeing as the artist could make any modifications, he would have painted her lips a brighter red.

Guessing by her size, she’s probably third trimester and would have had an awful time standing for such a long time. More likely is that her dress was put on a form  (or a stand in person) and she sat on a chair when the time came to paint her face and hands.

The artistry is very magnificent and shows a skill of white on grey to express depth and contour. Overall, it’s a really beautiful dress but probably not all comfortable. A really nice show piece.

Breastfeeding Can Extend Your Life (New Research!)

If you are wondering where to stand on the breastfeeding v. formula debate, some new research may make that decision a little clearer.

A mass study published that past Wednesday in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that exclusively breastfeeding your baby for at least six months could cut your chance of dying from cancer and all other diseases by 17%. This includes an 8% reduction in dying by heart disease alone.

Previous studies on breastfeeding have primarily looked at the affect on the baby or the short term health benefits to the mother, such as weight loss.

“No previous study has investigated the association between breastfeeding and mortality in the mother,” lead researcher Anne-Claire Vergnaud said. She added that “failure to breastfeed” related to an increase in premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and diabetes.

The study also confirmed previous findings on health benefits to the baby from breastfeeding including less likelihood of adult obesity or even being overweight, which reduces risk for seven different types of cancer as well as diabetes.

AICR Director of Research, Susan Higginbotham explains the connection between breastfeeding and longevity, “Physical changes in breast tissue that accompany milk production provide some protection as well.” Since breast tissue cells are shed during lactation, the cancer risk is decreased. She adds, “Because cells have potential DNA damage get shed before they can spark the cancer process.” Also, longer breastfeeding helps by reducing menstrual cycles and the lifetime exposure to hormones such as estrogen that can increase the risk of breast cancer.

Only 16% of US women exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months and 36% breastfeed exclusively for three months, so many American women are clearly missing the health benefits for themselves and their babies that exclusive breastfeeding has to offer. 47% of women in the U.S. breastfeed the first six months while also supplementing with formula.

Clearly the breast is best not only for your baby and for helping with your pregnancy weight loss, but also for your long-term health, reduced chance of cancer and overall longevity. That’s a powerful reason to breastfeed your baby!

Eat Your Protein When You Are Pregnant Or Nursing!

We all know that foods Salmon that are packed with Omega 3s fatty Acids are a go-to for women of all ages. Salmon has the added benefit of mood stabilizing your hormones by boosting your serotonin levels in your brain which helps you to feel-good. Higher levels of this naturally occurring feel-good chemical can help ward off depression or baby blues. Salmon is easy to make and throw on a salad for a great and healthy left-over meal. Health experts recommend having salmon at least once a week for optimal benefits.

What you might not know is that high protein foods like eggs and spinach are really important for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The Institute of Medicine recommends eating 425 mg of choline for all women, 450 mg if you are pregnant and 550 if you are breastfeeding. Both spinach and eggs with the yolk contain choline which is a nutrient that helps your baby’s brain develop.

Spinach has the added nutritional benefit of folate which helps prevent birth defects. The National Institute of Health recommends women eat 600 mcg of folate when pregnant and 500 mcg when nursing. One half cup of spinach, or similar green, provides about 130 mcg of folate, so about one-third of what you need. You can make up the difference by taking a supplement recommended by your doctor. However, just cooking a daily spinach omelet can give you and your baby the nutritional boost you need each morning.