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Blogging moms share their experience, advice, and inspiration.

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Racism At Play? Serena Williams Nearly Dies After Childbirth

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Serena and Baby Alexis cover Vogue. Photo: Vogue

Everyone is talking about the new Vogue cover story that details Serena Williams’ six-day ordeal after giving birth to baby Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Williams had a c-section and afterward felt short of breath. The tennis star assumed her continued issues with blood clotting were at play. She told her nurse about her thoughts and her nurse thought the pain medications were “making her confused” in her thoughts.

But “Dr. Williams” was right. She needed a heparin drip to help dissolve the pulmonary embolism in her lungs. She wound up having three surgeries to correct the issues and when she finally got home to be with baby, was too exhausted to do anything but stay in bed. The ordeal sounds horrific. It also sounds like Williams, because she knows her body very well, was able to articulate what she needed and push for what she needed even though she initially wasn’t believed.

Vogue’s cover story on Serena Williams and her birth story.

 

What does this mean for mothers who are about to give birth or just a few days beyond labor? It means that you are your best advocate. If the world’s greatest tennis star -who is in great health and has the money to pay for the best doctors – has to remind hospital staff how to take care of her how much more important is it for the rest of us to speak up when something is wrong?

Doctors and nurses are certainly the experts. But if you suspect something is not right, you absolutely have to speak up. In the United States, black women are three to four more times likely to die after childbirth than any other race.  Also, generally speaking, women in  the United States are more likely to die from childbirth- or pregnancy-related causes than other women in the developed world. Half of those deaths could be preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To be clear, the excessive rate that affects black women in the U.S. is not new. It’s been known about for decades but is making headlines right now.

NPR, the LA Times and Pro Publica have written extensively on this newest incarnation of this old epidemic.

But back to Williams. Here’s how the Twitterverse responded to the story.

 

 

And this.

 

It’s more important than ever to be your own advocate, and to show your partner and friends these stories so that they can advocate for you if you cannot. Mamas are selfless and put everyone else first but us. But these stories are worth contemplating when it comes time to remember that we all have to fight as hard for ourselves as we fight for our babies.

 

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Birth Control Causes Breast Cancer? There’s More To The Story

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In December 2017, the New England Journal of Medicine released this statement:

“Women who use hormonal [contraceptives] for more than a year are at a 20 percent higher risk for breast cancer, [though] the overall risk remains low,” and is called “safe and effective.”

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7 Reasons People Favor One Child Over The Other

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We were on a routine trip to the grocery store when I realized how my 20-month-old noticed how much more his younger sister was favored. When people would look their way, instead of his bashful “hi” like he would sometimes say before his baby sister, his greeting became, “Baby cute?”, “Sissy ad-o-ble!”. People usually only complimented her, and he had conformed to this new routine…and adopted their script.

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The trouble with Santa… Should I let my kids believe?

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My husband and I grew up believing in Santa. In my home, my parents let us believe until about 3rd grade or so. I remember the excitement of Santa; writing a letter to ask for the toys I wanted (knowing that I’d get some things but not all and being ok with that), baking cookies for him, and seeing his bite marks the next morning along with the gifts he left for my brother and I. How’d he do it? What time did he come? Were there really reindeer on my roof?!?!

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Moms Making Moves: Founder of Brownskinbeautiful!

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Who is Ebony?

Known for her flawless brown skin, chic fashion and hair that never sleeps, MielleOrganics model Ebony Jamison tackles motherhood while giving us life as a beauty, lifestyle, and fashion content creator. She is the founder of Brownskinbeautiful!

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Why I Don’t Teach My Kids Santa Claus

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The Christmas season is in full force! Everywhere I look I see red velvet bows, decorative houses bright with lights, the classic Salvation Army rep spreading cheer and ringing bells at our local grocer entrance, and one of my favorites, the Holiday seasonal drinks from Starbucks!

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Special Delivery! An OB/GYN’s Own Birth Story

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I was a resident physician and had just finished performing a c-section. We had helped bring a new life into the world. That usually puts me right on cloud nine, even to this day, but this day I went straight to the desk and put my face down on the cold table.

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I Was Ashamed To Admit To Breastfeeding Beyond A Year

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Holding my daughter

I’ve always been an advocate for breastfeeding….but let me be clear, I had my limits. I used to give a major side-eye to moms that breastfed for unimaginable lengths of time, like beyond a year. Ugh! I didn’t understand it. It seemed weird, unnatural, and like some strange mother-child dependency thing that just went on way too long. Clearly, a breastfeeding mother carrying on for this length of time needed some sort of intervention to end this inappropriate behavior. 

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Moms Making Moves: A Doctor AND Fashionista!

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Doctor by day, a ton of fashion on the side, and mother 24/7. Meet Dr. Kiarra King! She is a Board Certified Obstetrician Gynecologist, trendy fashion blogger, and a mother of a beautiful daughter! She is also one of Sassy Plum’s fashion/lifestyle contributors.

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SP Turns 1! A Few Great Reads And Posts Over The Year!

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Can you believe it’s been a year since we’ve began this journey? It’s gone by so fast and we have learned so much from each other! Blogging is a great way to share information with our mama community based on our individual and collective experiences. From stay-at-home moms, to working moms, to many other stories along the way, we try to bring you a collection of voices that sing motherhood in many tunes. We hope you stick around because our voices are growing, and the best is yet to come!

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New Sassy Blogger Alert: Mother, Doctor, Singer, Writer!

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Hey y’all, it’s Dr. Wendy Goodall McDonald here! I am a board certified Obstetrician Gynecologist in practice in Chicago. My hospital affiliation is with Prentice Women’s Hospital, but I am a partner in a private practice.

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Quick, Healthy Recipe: Thai Curry Vegetable Soup

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This recipe was first shared with me about two and a half years ago by a friend who, like me, likes to have healthy, easy weekday dinner options that are low fat and low sodium. This Thai Curry noodle soup is light yet filling, and it’s a meal you’ll feel good about eating. 


If you’re looking to save time (ok, who isn’t?), prep your veggies and garnishes ahead of time. 

Another easy time saver: instead of grating fresh ginger, you can use ginger paste. It’s sold in a little squeezeable bottle in your fresh produce section. I sub with this all the time and it works great!


Check out the finished product! Click here for the original recipe and let us know how you like it! 

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Black Friday Came Early: A Mom Ditch Day Party!

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Welcome to Mom Ditch Day, where moms take a break from it all to celebrate ourselves!

Three years ago I started a mom group on Facebook. It wasn’t just any Facebook group, but a group that would be carefully crafted and tailored to moms that were the upmost supportive on all of our motherhood journeys.

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Halloween Lessons Learned

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Wiped Out: BrownBaby#1 trick-or-treated himself into a passed out stupor on Halloween. Time to break out the wine! Image copyrighted by Adrienne Gibbs. Permission required for all reprints.

I’ve been doing Halloween my entire life, but now that I have two kids it’s taken on a whole new angle. When I had one kid, and he was a toddler, Halloween was simply dressing him up and answering the door. Maybe we went by the neighbors to introduce him to the idea of saying “trick or treat.” When that Brown Baby 1 turned four, it got more serious. We were invited to go trick or treating with a bunch of other kids, and that was my first experience with the mom wagon, the beers, the drinks, the parents passing out flasks of wine and stopping at Starbucks to use the bathroom and regroup.

But now I have two and BrownBaby2 is just about two and not quite old enough to be out and about in a 27-degree Halloween situation. My oldest is five. I live in Chicago. Trick or treating ends at 7 p.m., per the laws of my particular South Side neighborhood. Last year we only were able to trick or treat for about 45 minutes because of the location I drove to and because I went to work and had to fight traffic to get back home in time. So this year I got hip. I took the day off of work so I could do all the Halloween things and you know what? I STILL ran out of time!

I’m also exhausted.

Hopefully you all aren’t wiped out like I am. But if you are, here are my newly-learned Halloween-with-two-kids-under-six Halloween lessons, or tips.

  1. Take the day off work or try to take a half day. Get up early and get ready. No sleeping in.
  2. Prep Halloween dinner two days before the big day or cook Halloween dinner before lunchtime and set it up.
  3. Don’t be like me and wait until Halloween to buy candy. *runs and hides * Thank goodness there’s a Sam’s Club near me.
  4. If you take the kids by your office or your partner’s office, do it early, like at 2 or 3. That way, you can trick-or-treat at 4.
  5. If you do go with a group, try to keep it within walking distance of your own home. I’m no longer going to try to drag little bitty kids to blocks where we have no respite from the cold, no bathroom and nowhere to change a diaper.
  6. If it’s too cold for your baby/toddler, then split duties and have one person stay home and the other go out with the oldest.
  7. Carry band-aids. Whew. All the kids I saw who fell face first on concrete steps was appalling.
  8. You might need help if you want to trick-or-treat and pass out candy at your own home. Enlist a cousin or a babysitter. Several of my neighbors use their nannies for this purpose, plus the nanny watches the smallest kids. I don’t have a nanny, so my husband got off work a half hour early to pass out candy/watch our house.
  9. Bring juice boxes and healthy snacks for your kids to eat and keep said snacks in the wagon that you will inevitably use to cart them back home because they will be pooped.
  10. Go with furry, head-to-toe suits if in a cold weather climate. And stuff the suit with layers of t-shirts and sweatshirts and long underwear. It’s warmer that way.
  11. Always carry a thermos full of hot tea and whiskey or hot tea and rum. Or… coffee and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Again, it’s warmer that way.

Here’s to a bigger better Halloween next year.  Meanwhile, drop your top tips below for things you plan to do differently next year. Only 365 days to go….

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