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Jimmy Kimmel: ‘Please consider this before asking how a sick kid is doing’

Kimmel says this has been a big lesson to him after his son was born with a heart defect. 

Jimmy Kimmel: ‘Please consider this before asking how a sick kid is doing’

When a friend's child is battling an illness, we want to show them we care—but Jimmy Kimmel notes from experience we may want to reconsider the well-meaning question, “How is she doing?"


As Kimmel said in a recent interview with The New York Times, constant requests for medical updates can rip open the wound of grief if a child's prognosis isn't good.

In the interview, Jimmy Kimmel opened up about the public outpouring of support since he revealed his young son's congenital heart disorder. As the late-night host disclosed in a moving monologue last spring, little Billy Kimmel had emergency open-heart surgery as a newborn. Now, Kimmel people constantly ask about baby Billy's health.

“But thank God I can say he's doing well. If that wasn't the case, each day would be very, very painful," Kimmel says, adding Billy likely won't need another surgery until he's at least 8 years old.

But many families aren't so lucky: Congenital malformations, like Billy's heart issue, along with congenital deformations and chromosomal abnormalities are the leading cause of death for infants, and the second leading cause of death (following accidents) in kids between 1 and 4 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

This means that for a lot of families, constant questions about a child's health are constant reminders of the worst possible thing any parent can imagine. Of course parents want to talk about their kids, but they may not want to talk about the illness all the time.

Kimmel's comments remind us that maybe we should be asking about the child—not his or her illness.

Questions about a child's interests, pastimes and personality are ways we can show friends we recognize that their child is not defined by an illness.

As Kimmel notes, all the questions about his son's health are well-meaning and appreciated. But, in retrospect, he wonders if he should have shared so much with the television audience. “What I didn't think through was that, everywhere I went, every day of my life, people would be asking me how my son is doing."

It's a question those of us whose kids are among the 84.8% the CDC considers to be in good or excellent health take for granted. If a friend or family member's child is among the other 15% of kids, they're likely aware of that almost all the time and don't need a reminder.

Instead, consider asking them how they are doing—or even if they caught Jimmy Kimmel last night. When we're dealing with big issues, sometimes small talk is easier than the obvious questions.

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

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