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It's time to retire 'gender reveals', says the woman who started the trend

Gender reveals are problematic and can be catastrophic. Can we stop doing them?

It's time to retire 'gender reveals', says the woman who started the trend
@msagardi.nc /Twenty20

The images coming out of California's El Dorado wildfire were shocking enough—but nothing could top the shock when authorities revealed the cause of the devastating blaze.

A gender reveal that went terribly, terribly wrong is being blamed for the flames that have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes. Now, the blogger credited with popularizing the gender reveal trend is saying it's time to stop with the dramatic—and potentially dangerous—displays. And it's time to stop saying gender reveal when these parties are really sex reveals and leave gender assumptions behind in favor of focusing on kids as individuals.

Jenna Karvunidis, of High Gloss and Sauce, took to Facebook with a rant against gender reveals, saying in part, "Stop it. Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid's penis. No one cares but you." She says she's now getting hate messages for speaking out about the trend, but that isn't changing her mind. "Just because I'm the gEnDeR rEvEaL iNVeNtoR doesn't mean I think people should burn down their communities," she wrote. In a separate Facebook post, Karvunidis revealed that her own family is under evacuation right now, so the issue is doubly personal to her.


Incredibly, the El Dorado fire isn't even the first blazed linked to a gender reveal. In 2017, a dad fired a gun at an explosives-packed target, which revealed a blue cloud of smoke—and then went on to spark a fire that burned an astonishing 47,000 acres and caused 8 million dollars in damage. Mercury News detailed other mishaps as well, from a car accident to a plane crash and even the death of a woman killed by a homemade gender reveal pipe bomb.

Even setting aside the chance that a gender reveal could accidentally lead to massive devastation and destruction, the trend has been the subject of debate in recent years.

Karvunidis alluded to the issue herself in a 2019 post, writing, "Who cares what gender the baby is? I did at the time because we didn't live in 2019 and didn't know what we know now—that assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what's between their legs."

Not every family will agree with that sentiment, of course, and it's totally possible to be excited to find out your baby's sex without boxing them into a stereotype forever. But cutting into a cake with specially colored filling is one thing, while gunshots and explosions are quite another. Hopefully, we can all agree that a little common sense goes a long way and leave catastrophic sex reveals in 2020.

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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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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What went viral this week: Pregnant Disney Princesses + an airline nightmare

Now, more than ever, we need to hear those good news stories.

Last week was a week.

We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world—we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .

And right now both kinds of stories are going viral.

Here are the viral stories you need to read right now:

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