Giving birth under general anesthesia increases your odds of getting PPD by 54%

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A new study published online in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia found a mom's odds of having severe postpartum depression increase significantly when they have general anesthesia for a C-section delivery.

Researchers looked at hospital records for 428,204 women who had C-sections in New York State, 34,356 of whom had the surgery under general anesthesia rather than spinal anesthesia, when the mom stays awake. General anesthesia is used in emergencies where there isn't enough time to do spinal anesthesia because the C-section needs to happen ASAP or when a mom can't have spinal anesthesia because she's had a back injury or something else that prevents it.

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Giving birth under general anesthesia was associated with a 54% increased-odds of postpartum depression. "General anesthesia for cesarean delivery may increase the risk of postpartum depression because it delays the initiation of mother to infant skin-to-skin interaction and breastfeeding, and often results in more acute and persistent postpartum pain," says Jean Guglielminotti, MD, PhD, in the Department of Anesthesiology and the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School, lead author of the study.

According to Guglielminotti, "These situations are often coupled with a new mother's dissatisfaction with anesthesia in general, and can lead to negative mental health outcomes."

This research underscores the importance of postpartum support for mothers and the seriousness of birth trauma. For some women, an emergency C-section under general anesthesia is a very traumatic experience, especially in a culture which, in recent years, has seen an aspirational narrative about "natural childbirth" (all childbirth is natural, mama) take over social media.

Severe depression is not the only mental health complication that can arise from a C-section. A 2017 study examining the relationship between C-sections and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) found that in "patients with a high degree of dissociative experiences during the C-section, or when maternal or anesthesia complications occur, the risk for a postpartum PTSD profile increases significantly. These patients are likely to benefit from a close follow up by members of the obstetrics and/or anesthesia team. If needed, intensive psychological support should be put in place as soon as possible."

No matter what kind of anesthesia a mother has during her C-section a sense of grief may be felt afterward, especially if a low-intervention birth was her plan. It's okay to mourn the experience you wanted to have mama.

Writer Shannon Kelley had a C-section and described her grief in a piece for the Washington Post: "In the immediate aftermath, the loss of the birth I'd imagined felt as acute and traumatic as the one that actually occurred. I'd looked forward to the experience from the same place that sagged with awe at pregnancy—a mind-blowing miracle that, somehow, I'd gotten lucky enough to taste. Yet I'd experienced no labor at all. Plus, now that I'd had one C-section, I'd have to fight and bear additional risk were I to attempt a vaginal birth in the future."

Her feelings were complex and they were valid. It's okay to go through a C-section and be totally thrilled with your birth experience (after all, C-sections can be beautiful) but it is also okay to grieve for an experience you thought you would have.

What is not okay is a medical system and society that isn't prepared to support you in that grief.

New research published in the British Journal of Midwifery in September 2019 suggests, "maternity providers should consider offering a postnatal listening service to meet women's needs in relation to understanding their experience of giving birth. This will also serve to identify women with [post-traumatic stress] symptoms and offer further support."

Mothers need support, and Guglielminotti's research suggests they also need providers to avoid using general anesthesia in the first place. "Our findings underscore the need to avoid using general for cesarean delivery whenever possible, and to provide mental health screening, counseling, and other follow-up services to obstetric patients exposed to general anesthesia," says Guglielminotti's co-author Guohua Li, MD, DrPH, Finster Professor of Epidemiology and Anesthesiology.

The findings also underscore something Diana Spalding, Motherly's Digital Education Editor and author of the upcoming book, The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama (April 2020), has said about birth plans: "Plans do not always... well, go to plan, and the last thing on earth that I want for you is to feel like somehow you failed your birth."

She wants mothers like Kelley to know that it is impossible to fail at birth. Giving birth, whether vaginally or by C-section is not something you can fail at. Having a birth plan can be good so that you can outline your birth preferences ahead of time, but there's got to be room for unexpected detours. Sometimes people have to have C-sections and that can be part of the discussions you have with your provider ahead of time, even if it isn't part of your ideal plan.

"I am a huge fan of you feeling empowered and actively involved in the decision of your birth." Spalding says.

Bottom line: Birth is beautiful no matter how it happens, but mothers deserve to be supported to ensure their birth is as close to their vision as possible—and supported after their birth occurs, too.

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There are few kids television shows as successful as PAW Patrol. The Spin Masters series has spawned countless toys and clothing deals, a live show and now, a movie.

That's right mama, PAW Patrol is coming to the big screen in 2021.

The big-screen version of PAW Patrol will be made with Nickelodeon Movies and will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.

"We are thrilled to partner with Paramount and Nickelodeon to bring the PAW Patrol franchise, and the characters that children love, to the big screen," Spin Master Entertainment's Executive Vice President, Jennifer Dodge, announced Friday.

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"This first foray into the arena of feature film marks a significant strategic expansion for Spin Master Entertainment and our properties. This demonstrates our commitment to harnessing our own internal entertainment production teams to develop and deliver IP in a motion picture format and allows us to connect our characters to fans through shared theatrical experiences," Dodge says.

No word on the plot yet, but we're gonna bet there's a problem, 'round Aventure Bay, and Ryder and his team of pups will come and save the day.

We cannot even imagine how excited little PAW Patrol fans will be when this hits theatres in 2021. It's still too early to buy advance tickets but we would if we could!

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Chrissy Teigen is one of the most famous moms in the world and definitely one of the most famous moms on social media.

She's the Queen of Twitter and at least the Duchess of Instagram but with a massive following comes a massive dose of mom-shame, and Teigen admits the online comments criticizing her parenting affects her.

"It's pretty much everything," Teigen told Today, noting that the bulk of the criticism falls into three categories: How she feeds her kids, how she uses her car seats and screen time.

"Any time I post a picture of them holding ribs or eating sausage, I get a lot of criticism," she explained. "Vegans and vegetarians are mad and feel that we're forcing meat upon them at a young age. They freak out."

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Teigen continues: "If they get a glimpse of the car seat there is a lot of buckle talk. Maybe for one half of a second, the strap slipped down. And TV is another big one. We have TV on a lot in my house. John and I work on television; we love watching television."

Teigen wants the shame to stop, not just for herself but for all the other moms who feel it. (And we agree.)

"Hearing that nine out of 10 moms don't feel like they're doing a good enough job is terrible," she said. "We're all so worried that we're not doing all that we can, when we really are."

The inspiration for Teigen talking publicly about mom-shame may be in part because of her participation in Pampers' "Share the Love" campaign. But even though Teigen's discussion coincides with this campaign, the message remains equally important. Advertising can be a powerful tool for shifting the way society thinks about what's "normal" and we would much rather see companies speaking out against mom-shame than inducing it to sell more stuff.

Calling out mom-shame in our culture is worth doing in our lives, our communities and yes, our diaper commercials. Thank you Chrissy (and thank you, Pampers).

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Gabrielle Union + Dwyane Wade have been blended family goals, an inspiration to those struggling with infertility and now they are an inspiration to parents of trans kids and supporters of trans rights.

Earlier this month Wade appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and spoke about his 12-year-old daughter Zaya coming out as transgender and Union posted a beautiful video + caption to Instagram, inviting fans to "meet Zaya."

This week Wade appeared on Good Morning America, explaining that Zaya has known she was transgender since she was 3 years old.

"Zaya has known it for nine years," the proud dad said on GMA, adding that he credits Zaya (who was assigned as male at birth) with educating him and helping him grow.

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"I knew early on that I had to check myself... I've been a person in the locker room that has been a part of the conversation that has said the wrong phrases and the wrong words myself," he told GMA's Robin Roberts. "My daughter was my first interaction when it comes to having to deal with this conversation...Hopefully I'm dealing with it the right way... Inside our home we see the smile on my daughter's face, we see the confidence that she's able to walk around and be herself and that's when you know you're doing right."

It sure seems like Wade and Union have been doing it right. When Union posted a video to Instagram earlier this month introducing Zaya it was clear the tween's dad and step-mom have her back.

In the video Zaya is riding in a golf cart with her dad and dropping wisdom. She says: "Just be true to yourself, because what's the point of even living on this earth if you're going to try to be someone you're not?...Be true and don't really care what the 'stereotypical' way of being you is."

Union was so impressed by her step-daughter, captioning the video: "She's compassionate, loving, whip smart and we are so proud of her. It's Ok to listen to, love & respect your children exactly as they are. Love and light good people."

Later in the week Union addressed criticism of Zaya's transition on Twitter, writing: "This has been a journey. We're still humbly learning but we decided quickly w/ our family that we wouldn't be led by fear. We refuse to sacrifice the freedom to live authentically becuz we are afraid of what ppl might say. U have the ability to learn & evolve."

Zaya's big brother is also on her side. Newly 18-year-old Zaire posted the cutest throwback pic from when he and Zaya were just little kids, noting how the siblings were and are best friends.

"Man, I remember bugging my mom as a kid telling her I wanted a brother so bad. I was the only child looking for company and someone to look after and take care of," Zaire began his caption. "I have been blessed to have my best friend, Zaya with me for 12 years. We did everything together … we fought, we played, we laughed and we cried. But the one thing we never did was leave each other behind."

Zaire continued: "I've told you that I would lay my life down to make sure you are ten toes down and happy on this earth," he told his younger sibling. "I don't care what they think Z, you are my best friend and I love you kid, and if it means anything, just know there's no love lost on this side ✊🏾"

We are so impressed and inspired by the love Zaya's family is showing her (and other kids by sharing this story publicly). You've got this Zaya!

[A version of this story was posted February 12, 2020. It has been updated.]

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Back in August the the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Contigo announced the recall of millions of Contigo Kids Cleanable water bottles—about 5.7 million of them.

Now, the CPSC and Contigo are recalling millions of water bottles and the replacement lids that were given to consumers as part of the August 2019 recall.

"Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled water bottles and the replacement lids provided in the previous recall, take them away from children, and contact Contigo for a free water bottle. Consumers who received replacement lids in the previous recall should contact Contigo for the new water bottle," the CPSC states.

Millions of Contigo Kids Cleanable water bottles were originally recalled after it became clear the silicone spout could pose a choking hazard.

"Contigo identified that the water bottle's clear silicone spout in some cases may detach from the lid of the water bottle," Contigo stated in a notice posted to its Facebook page back in August.

According to the CPSC, "Contigo [had] received 149 reports of the spout detaching including 18 spouts found in children's mouths" before the original recall.

Now, the CPSC reports "Contigo has received a total of 427 reports of the spout detaching including 27 spouts found in children's mouths."

All of the recalled water bottles have a black color spout base and spout cover.

This week Contigo expanded the recall. The original date range was for Contigo Kids Cleanable Water Bottle from April 2018 through June 2019. Now it is for bottles purchased through February 2020, and all the replacement lids.

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If you are looking for some alternative water bottles, here are a few of our favorites:

Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask features an easy-to-drink (and clean) top, a silicone bottom that won't scratch your furniture.

Motherly has tested these with a two-year-old and an eight-year-old and found these bottles are perfect for Pre-K to elementary school.

$29.95

CamelBak

The CamelBak is a big hit with little kids as it is easy to maneuver and it's a big hit with moms because it is easy to clean in the top rack of the dishwasher. CamelBak Eddy 12 oz Kids Vacuum Stainless Water Bottle

$14.99

Skip Hop

The designs on the Skip Hop stainless steel bottle keep kids happy and the silicone sleeve keeps the bottle from falling out of little hands! Bonus points for a flexible straw that is easy to clean!

$17.99


Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

{A version of this story was originally posted August 27, 2019. It has been updated.]

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