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Royal baby name bets: Why 'Diana' is the top choice for many Brits

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It seems the bookies in Britain have a favorite when it comes to potential baby names for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (and if we're honest, it's our favorite, too).

Despite recent speculation that 'Victoria' will be the pick, 'Diana' remains in the top spot with 6/1 odds at UK betting site Ladbrokes.

We're not entirely sure what that means other than that bettors in the U.K. seem confident that Prince Harry's child will be named after his late mother. As much as we would love to see that, we're not as confident as the punters at Ladbrokes. After all, Princess Charlotte's full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, so would Harry and Meghan want to use the name as well? Only time will tell.

Following Diana and the runner-up, Victoria, are several other traditional English names bettors feel good about:

Albert (which was the frontrunner back when everyone was guessing what Prince Louis' name would be) is sitting at 12/1 odds, as are Alice and Phillip. Arthur, Elizabeth, James and Mary are sitting at 16/1 odds, and Alexander and Alexandra are tied for the tenth spot with 20/1 odds as of this writing.

If you're wondering why the girls names outnumber the boys, it's because British bettors are putting money on Meghan having a girl, thanks to that time in Australia when Prince Harry replied "so do I!" to a royal watcher who hollered "I hope it's a girl!" at the passing couple.

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Here's more info on the top royal baby name contenders, for those who are expecting their own little (unofficial) prince or princess:

1. Albert

The name of Queen Elizabeth's father, it's easy to see why Albert is a favorite pick among bookies. It was also a very, very real favorite of Queen Victoria, who insisted all male descents bear the name in some form.

As she wrote to her oldest son after the birth of his second child, "Of course you will add Albert at the end, like your brothers, as you know we [Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort] settled long ago that all dearest Papa's male English descendants should bear that name, to mark our line, just as I wish all the girls to have Victoria after theirs!

I lay great stress on this; and it is done in a great many families."

2. Alice

The daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Alice of the United Kingdom (1843-1878) was heavily involved in women's causes and even managed field hospitals during the Austro-Prussian War. Her granddaughter, Princess Alice of Battenberg (1885-1969), continued that impressive legacy by sheltering Jewish refugees in Greece during World War II. She was also the mother of Prince Philip, which makes her this baby's great-great-grandmother.

3. Philip

If Harry and Meghan choose to call the baby Philip they will be honoring both Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip, and Harry's brother William. The Duke of Cambridge's full name includes a Philip in the middle, in honor of his dad's dad.

4. Arthur

According to Nameberry, Arthur is the most popular boy's name in the running that isn't currently assigned to another royal. Besides that, it has a rich history that encompasses the legendary King Arthur as well as Arthur, Prince of Wales, a would-have-been king from the 16th century. More recently, it was the name of Queen Victoria's seventh child, who served as the Governor General of Canada in the early 20th century.

5. Elizabeth

Obviously, the name Elizabeth would honor Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, but (as we've mentioned above) Princess Charlotte's full name is Elizabeth Diana, so Meghan and Harry might feel this name is already being carried on.

6. James

This name can be traced all through the royal family's history, but is also super common in modern times. Only 20 names were more popular than James in the UK in 2017.

7. Mary

In addition to being one of Queen Elizabeth's two middle names, Mary is a thoroughly royal moniker with roots that stretch back centuries. Looking more recently, Mary of Teck (1867-1953) served as the Queen of the United Kingdom during the reign of her husband, King George V. After his death, she served as queen mother when her sons Edward and Albert were on the throne. She died shortly before the coronation of her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth.

8. Alexander/Alexandra

This one seems unlikely to us, even though the Queen's middle name is Alexandra, because Prince George's middle name is Alexander. Parents don't normally name a child after a cousin so close in age (but we could be wrong. We thought Prince Louis would be called Prince Albert, after all).

Oh, and there's a wildcard in the mix here, too.

Everybody is talking about Diana for a girl, but what about Spencer for a boy? We like the sound of that and so do some bettors. The odds are currently 33/1 for Harry's mom's surname as Baby Sussex's first name.

And Doria (Meghan's mom's name) isn't far behind Spencer on the bettor's list, and is quite close to Diana's name. Maybe a Doriana?

And with Meghan recently telling a pregnancy well-wisher that "We're nearly there!" we may be meeting baby Doriana (or Spencer or Victoria or Albert or James) sooner than we thought!

[A version of this post was originally published March 7, 2019.]

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Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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By: Justine LoMonaco


From the moment my daughter was born, I felt an innate need to care for her. The more I experienced motherhood, I realized that sometimes this was simple―after all, I was hardwired to respond to her cries and quickly came to know her better than anyone else ever could―but sometimes it came with mountains of self-doubt.

This was especially true when it came to feeding. Originally, I told myself we would breastfeed―exclusively. I had built up the idea in my mind that this was the correct way of feeding my child, and that anything else was somehow cheating. Plus, I love the connection it brought us, and so many of my favorite early memories are just my baby and me (at all hours of night), as close as two people can be as I fed her from my breast.

Over time, though, something started to shift. I realized I felt trapped by my daughter's feeding schedule. I felt isolated in the fact that she needed me―only me―and that I couldn't ask for help with this monumental task even if I truly needed it. While I was still so grateful that I was able to breastfeed without much difficulty, a growing part of me began fantasizing about the freedom and shared burden that would come if we bottle fed, even just on occasion.

I was unsure what to expect the first time we tried a bottle. I worried it would upset her stomach or cause uncomfortable gas. I worried she would reject the bottle entirely, meaning the freedom I hoped for would remain out of reach. But in just a few seconds, those worries disappeared as I watched her happily feed from the bottle.

What I really didn't expect? The guilt that came as I watched her do so. Was I robbing her of that original connection we'd had with breastfeeding? Was I setting her up for confusion if and when we did go back to nursing? Was I failing at something without even realizing it?

In discussing with my friends, I've learned this guilt is an all too common thing. But I've also learned there are so many reasons why it's time to let it go.

1) I'm letting go of guilt because...I shouldn't feel guilty about sharing the connection with my baby. It's true that now I'm no longer the only one who can feed and comfort her any time of day or night. But what that really means is that now the door is open for other people who love her (my partner, grandparents, older siblings) to take part in this incredible gift. The first time I watched my husband's eyes light up as he fed our baby, I knew that I had made the right choice.

2) I'm letting go of guilt because...the right bottle will prevent any discomfort. It took us a bit of trial and error to find the right bottle that worked for my baby, but once we did, we rarely dealt with gas or discomfort―and the convenience of being able to pack along a meal for my child meant she never had to wait to eat when she was hungry. Dr. Brown's became my partner in this process, offering a wide variety of bottles and nipples designed to mimic the flow of my own milk and reduce colic and excess spitting up. When we found the right one, it changed everything.

3) I'm letting go of guilt because...I've found my joy in motherhood again. That trapped feeling that had started to overwhelm me? It's completely gone. By removing the pressure on myself to feed my baby a certain way, I realized that it was possible to keep her nourished and healthy―while also letting myself thrive.

So now, sometimes we use the bottle. Sometimes we don't. But no matter how I keep my baby fed, I know we've found the right way―guilt free.


This article is sponsored by Dr. Browns. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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Beyoncé's new Netflix documentary Homecoming hit the streaming service today and gives us an honest look at how difficult her twin pregnancy was.

"My body went through more than I knew it could," she says in the film, revealing that her pregnancy with Sir and Rumi was a shock right from the beginning, and the surprises kept coming.

In the film she reveals that her second pregnancy was unexpected, "And it ended up being twins which was even more of a surprise," she explains.

Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé | Official Trailer | Netflix

The pregnancy was rough. Beyoncé developed preeclampsia, a condition that impacts about 5 to 8% of pregnancies and results in high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the mother's urine. Preeclampsia poses risks to both the mother and the baby. People who are pregnant with multiples, like Beyoncé was, are more at risk to develop preeclampsia, and the only real cure for the condition is to give birth, which proved to be another medical challenge for Beyoncé.

"In the womb, one of my babies' hearts paused a few times so I had to get an emergency C-section," she shares in the film.

Thankfully, Beyoncé made it through her extremely difficult pregnancy, but the physical challenges didn't end there. The road to rehabilitation for the performer was difficult because, as she explains, she was trying to learn new choreography while her body was repairing cut muscles and her mind just wanted to be home with her children.

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"There were days that I thought I'd never be the same. I'd never be the same physically, my strength and endurance would never be the same," Beyoncé recalls.

We know that becoming a mother changes us in so many ways, and in Homecoming, Beyoncé shows the world the strength that mothers possess, and rejects any ideas about "bouncing back."

Becoming a mother is hard, but it is so worth it, and Beyoncé isn't looking backward—she's looking at a mother in the mirror and loving who and what she sees. "I just feel like I'm just a new woman in a new chapter of my life and I'm not even trying to be who I was," Beyoncé said in the documentary. "It's so beautiful that children do that to you."

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A new study has some people thinking twice about kissing their bearded partners, or maybe even letting those with beards kiss the baby—but there's a lot to unpack here.

According to Swiss researchers, bearded men are carrying around more bacteria than dogs do. A lot more. But read on before you send dad off to the bathroom with a razor and ask him to pull a Jason Momoa (yes, he's recently clean-shaven. RIP Aquaman's beard).

As the BBC reports, scientists swabbed the beards of 18 men and the necks of 30 dogs. When they compared the samples, they learned beards have a higher bacterial load than dog fur.

Dudes who love their beards are already clapping back against the way the science was reported in the media though, noting that the sample size in this study was super small and, importantly, that the scientists didn't swab any beardless men.

The study wasn't even about beards, really. The point of the study, which was published in July 2018 in the journal European Radiology, was to determine if veterinarians could borrow human MRI machines to scan dogs without posing a risk to human patients.

"Our study shows that bearded men harbour significantly higher burden of microbes and more human-pathogenic strains than dogs," the authors wrote, noting that when MRI scanners are used for both dogs and humans, they're cleaned very well after veterinary use, and actually have a "lower bacterial load compared with scanners used exclusively for humans."

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Another important point to note is that most bacteria aren't actually dangerous to humans, and some can be really good for us (that's why some scientists want us to let our kids get dirty).

This little study wasn't supposed to set off a beard panic, it was just supposed to prove that dogs and people can safely share an MRI machine. There is previous research on beards and bacteria though, that suggests they're not all bad.

Another study done in 2014 and published in the Journal of Hospital Infection looked at a much larger sample of human faces (men who work in healthcare), both bearded and clean shaven, and actually found that people who shaved their faces were carrying around more Staph bacteria than those with facial hair.

"Overall, colonization is similar in male healthcare workers with and without facial hair; however, certain bacterial species were more prevalent in workers without facial hair," the researchers wrote.

A year after that, a local news station in New Mexico did its own "study" on beards, one that wasn't super scientific but did go viral and prompted a flurry of headlines insisting beards are as dirty as toilets. That claim has been debunked.

So, before you ban bearded people from kissing the baby (or yourself) consider that we all have some bacteria on our faces. Dads should certainly wash their beards well, but they're not as dirty as a toilet.

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From toddlers to teens, most kids love Easter Egg hunts. But the traditional Easter game can be a bit challenging for small ones and those with disabilities—especially kids with mobility disabilities or children who struggle with social interactions. Sadly, as much as you try to nudge them in the right direction, your efforts are often in vain.

Thankfully, there's a brilliant hack that helps kids of all ages find the colorful eggs without the stress. The best part? It's also great for parents and hosts that can't remember where they hid the eggs (yup, been there, done that!)

We're thankful Facebook page Noah's Miracle had moms in mind when he shared an image of helium-filled, colored balloons adhered to plastic eggs to give attention to the location of each egg.

"Great idea for children with mobility challenges so that they can participate in Easter egg hunts easier and remain in wheelchairs & gait trainers & walkers," says the caption in the post that's garnered thousands of Facebook comments and shares since its posting two years ago.

Now we can't control if April showers will put a damper on your hunt, but this hack is a surefire way to get the whole crowd involved.

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If you've had a baby in a hospital you know that those first few nights can be really hard. There are so many benefits for babies sharing rooms with their mamas (as opposed to being shipped off to those old-school, glassed-in nurseries) but tired mamas have a lot of conflicting messages coming at them.

You're told to bond with your baby, but not to fall asleep with them in the bed, and to let them rest in their bassinet. But when you're recovering from something that is (at best) the most physically demanding thing a person can do or (at worst) major surgery, moving your baby back and forth from bed to bassinette all night long sure doesn't sound like fun.

That's why this photo of a co-sleeping hospital bed is going viral again, four years after it was first posted by Australian parenting site Belly Belly. The photo continues to attract attention because the bed design is enviable, but is it real? And if so, why aren't more hospitals using it?

The bed is real, and it's Dutch. The photo originated from Gelderse Vallei hospital. As GoodHouskeeping reported back in 2015, the clip-on co-sleepers were introduced as a way to help mom and baby pairs who needed extended hospital stays—anything beyond one night in the maternity ward.

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Plenty of moms stateside wish we had such beds in our maternity wards, but as but Dr. Iffath Hoskins, an OB-GYN, told Yahoo Parenting in 2015, the concept wouldn't be in line with American hospitals' safe sleeping policies.

"If the mother rolls over from exhaustion, there would be the risk of smothering the baby," she told Yahoo. "The mother's arm could go into that space in her sleep and cover the baby, or she could knock a pillow to the side and it's on the baby."

Hoskins also believes that having to get in and out of bed to get to your baby in the night is good for moms who might be otherwise reluctant to move while recovering from C-sections. If you don't move, the risk of blood clots in the legs increases. "An advantage of being forced to get up for the baby is that it forces the mother to move her legs — it's a big plus. However painful it can be, it's important for new moms to move rather than remaining in their hospital beds."

So there you have it. The viral photo is real, but don't expect those beds to show up in American maternity wards any time soon.

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