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Alanis Morissette miscarriages

When it comes to planning pregnancies, many parents choose to have their kids in pretty quick succession in order to have a small age gap. According to data from the CDC, more than half of siblings born in recent years have an age gap of between 18 months (1.5 years) and 59 months (4.91 years). But for Alanis Morissette, it just didn't work out that way.

Speaking on Dax Shepard's podcast, Armchair Expert, Morissette addressed the age gap and how it may not seem ideal, explaining she had "a bunch of miscarriages" between her children (9-year-old son Ever, 3-year-old daughter Onyx and 10-month old baby boy Winter).


Of course, miscarriages are devastating when you want to be pregnant, but unfortunately they happen to so many people. About 10 to 15% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage and 1 in 100 women will experience a repeat miscarriage. It's so hard to lose one pregnancy after another, as Morisette explains: "We were chasing and just showing up and then [experiencing the] surprises and then devastations and all of it."

But she kept holding on to hope: "I'm an optimist who will get depressed and cry, but at the end of the day, there's still that little light, that little star of Bethlehem keeps dangling over there."

And while Morissette and her husband, rapper Mario "Souleye" Treadway, didn't have kids back-to-back, their family dynamics do come with some unexpected bonuses.

According to a 2011 study out of the University of Notre Dame, a gap of at least two years between children is linked to better academic outcomes for the older siblings. Welcoming a baby when your older children are already school-aged means the older child benefits from additional one-on-one time with their parents as a toddler and preschooler, and when older siblings do well, there's a "spillover effect" and the younger siblings emulate the older ones.

Because Morissette does child-led education with her kids (also known as unschooling) that time has been welcomed.

"It's a major commitment," she told Health of unschooling. Explaining that child-led education has meant that her kids come up with questions 24/7.

"I'm constantly watching their eyes and what they're pulled toward, and then we do the deep dive. My husband and I create pods all over the house—here's where the spelling area is, and here's where the fake animals are. There's probably a better definition of unschooling, but there's no rigidity to it."

The unique dynamics of a six year age gap followed by a two year age gap have worked really well for Morissette and Tredway, even if the timing of her pregnancies wasn't what she first thought it would be.

The truth is, there is no "perfect" age gap. Every family is unique and your kids will have a unique bond with each other and with you no matter how many years there are between them.

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

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Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this

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This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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