Pregnancy puts a person’s body through a lot of changes. Some moms experience symptoms of their pregnancy before they even get a positive pregnancy test, whereas others don’t feel very different until later in their pregnancy. Most pregnancies happen without any major issues, but as many as six to eight percent of all pregnancies are considered high risk or complicated pregnancies. While several problems are unavoidable, with the proper care, most high-risk pregnancies are managed thanks to the dedication of trained medical professionals.
Just like the rest of us, celebrities face challenges in their pregnancy. While most regular folk don’t have millions of followers online or paparazzi and news media to report on their comings and goings (and illnesses) throughout their pregnancy as well as speculation about their baby bumps, when celebrities share these ‘regular’ moments, it helps their fans. Sometimes it creates awareness of lesser known pregnancy ailments, whereas other times it helps humanize them. The good news is that there is treatment for all these issues faced in pregnancy. Here are 10 celebrities who dealt with various issues in their pregnancies, as well as products that can help anyone better cope when facing them in their own pregnancy.
22 Amy Schumer – Extreme Morning Sickness
Amy Schumer is known for being real, and that also applies to how vocal she’s been about her first pregnancy, which has been rough. The star, who is 37, has been experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum, which is an extreme form of morning sickness. After cancelling a number of tour dates because she was feeling so unwell, she was hospitalized so she could be monitored and be kept hydrated via IV drip. Schumer has kept up her sense of humour about her situation and even posted a photo on social media of herself lying on the sofa asking fans, “Am I glowing?”
21 What Helps -Essential Peppermint & Lemon Oil
While more severe morning sickness should be tackled through monitoring and support of a licensed medical professional, those experiencing run of the mill, albeit miserable morning sickness can look for other alternatives to alleviate their symptoms. Numerous studies have shown that inhaling various scents and oils can help reduce nausea. Some people find that peppermint oil can reduce feelings of nausea. Perhaps Amy should take a page out of Jenna Dewan’s (formerly Jenna Dewan Tatum) book when it comes to healing with essential oils. Jenna says, “Today, I’m feeling run down from all the traveling, so I’m rubbing these eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils all over my throat and it’s helping a ton. If I’m feeling like I’m getting sick or my immune system is at all compromised, I put thieves oil [a combination of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils] under my tongue. I also use it when I travel. On every … plane, I put a little on my finger and I rub it on the air vent to purify the air. I also use it to wash my hands. That’s my go-to hack.”
20 Kim Kardashian West – Preeclampsia
Since Kim Kardashian likes to document just about every minutia of her life via Keeping Up With The Kardashians and her very active social media presence, we were all aware that the star suffered from both preeclampsia (leading to swelling in both her face and body) and placenta accreta (where the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall).” Kim posted on her website after giving birth that, “It was the most painful experience of my life! I still had a piece of placenta attached inside of me and I had to have surgery to remove it. Then I had another surgery to remove the scar tissue. This was all preventing me from getting pregnant the second time around.”
19 What Helps – Bed Rest & Casper & Talalay Pillows
While the most effective cure for preeclampsia is delivering your baby, sometimes moms are diagnosed before it’s safe to welcome baby into the world and need to allow some time to pass. In addition to additional visits to the doctor, tests, and ultrasounds to monitor your safety, you may also be recommended to go on bed rest. Moms who go on bed rest often find they can get sore from extended periods laying down or seated, but moms like Kim Kardashian have favourite pillows to help them get through. When she was having neck pain back in 2016, Kim explored a number of pillows to help with her pain and her favourite choices were Casper and Talalay pillows readily available for purchase on Amazon.
18 Kate Hudson – Acne
After a relatively easy pregnancy with her first son Ryder in 2004, Kate Hudson was expecting another easy run, then she had her second child, and was faced with both acne and hair loss, making the pregnancy significantly more challenging. Kate told Redbook Magazine, “When I had Ryder, I was 24 and didn’t really experience any changes to my hair or skin, but with my second child, I got acne, all my hair fell out after he was born, and I definitely had to work out to drop the weight. No pregnancy is easy to bounce back from.”
17 What Helps – La Mer Cooling Gel Cream
There is an old myth that when a mom has acne when she is pregnant it means that her ‘beauty’ is being stolen by the baby, and that she is presumably having a little girl. Kate keeps her skin glowing by drinking a lot of water and following a regular beauty routine. Hudson told InStyle Magazine, “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that washing my face every night and using toner is a game changer. In the morning I just rinse with water and follow with moisturizer and sunscreen.” Kate has been a lifelong fan of La Mer Cream, thanks to her mom Goldie, and recently became a spokesperson for their cooling gel cream which gets her official stamp of approval.
16 Angie Harmon – Anemia
A lot of women complain that pregnancy gets harder each time, and this was the case for actor Angie Harmon. Harmon told Pregnancy Magazine, “This third one has been [very hard]! First of all, I’ve had morning sickness. Hellooo! And then I got anemia, which was also new and [very hard]. And then I tore a disc in my back. So, with this pregnancy I have not had two good days in a row; talk about frustration.” Thankfully the actor gave birth to a healthy and happy child and the woes of pregnancy are now behind her as the star can focus on being a mom.
15 What Helps – Spinach, Iron-Rich Food & Iron Supplements
The human body needs iron to make hemoglobin, maintain a healthy immune system, and to supply oxygen to your muscles, collagen, and enzymes. Women who aren’t pregnant need 18 milligrams of iron each day, while pregnant women need 27 milligrams to support them and baby. There are two sources of iron, heme (found in animal sources), and non-heme (found in plants). Absorbing iron from animal sources is said to be the most effective way to do so. In addition to eating red meat, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetables, and grains, talk to your doctor about the best iron supplements to take in pregnancy and while you’re trying to conceive.
14 Mila Kunis – Extreme Exhaustion
During both of her pregnancies Mila Kunis suffered from exhaustion and morning sickness, which took a toll. Thankfully Ashton Kutcher stepped up to help her out. A source close to the couple said of her first pregnancy, “Ashton has been her rock. He’s been cooking her breakfast in bed. He’s even hired a masseuse to give her daily massages and, at night, he rests his head beside her bump and talks to the baby.” The parents now have two young girls and are balancing life with work and children, which is also exhausting, but rewarding.
13 What Helps – Weighted Blanket
It is extremely normal for women to be exhausted in pregnancy, particularly in the first and third trimester. Alix Bacon, head of the Midwives Association of B.C. says, “We’re looking at a complex hormonal cocktail, and one pregnancy can differ from the next, and the experience can differ from woman to woman.” While a lot of this is normal, you may want to talk to your doctor about testing for anemia or thyroid disease. It’s not unheard of for women who normally need six to seven hours of sleep to need more, so schedule that nap and head to bed a little earlier each night and treat yourself to a new high-end weighted blanket to help you relax and de-stress for your cat naps.
12 Mariah Carey – Gestational Diabetes and Preeclampsia
Twin pregnancy may be double the blessing, but it can also come with the increased caution of a high-risk pregnancy. During her pregnancy Carey developed both preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. The infamous diva told Barbara Walters about her pregnancy in candid detail, “It was a huge strain. I would sit and then someone would have to help me up. I couldn’t even go to the [bathroom] by myself” Because of her high BP, she had a C-Section delivery at 35 weeks. Today her boy/girl twins are happy, healthy and thriving, as is the songstress.
11 What Helps – Diabetic Testing & Medications Including Glyburide & Metformin
Regular testing for diabetes throughout pregnancy is normal, as this common occurrence impacts around six percent of pregnant women. Those with a family history of diabetes or who have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies are of higher risk and will be monitored closely. Treatment through insulin (with oral medication of glyburide and metformin being used more frequently nowadays) and the testing of sugar in the system, as well as eating changes are the most common forms of treatment depending on the severity. Eating changes will include cutting off sugars, including fruit and fruit juices.
10 Melissa Joan Hart – General Malaise
Pregnancy changes us. Not just in the way that we adapt to motherhood, but the way we feel as a baby grows inside us. Melissa Joan Hart told Web MD, “I can’t complain because I’ve had totally healthy pregnancies every time, but I’m just massively uncomfortable. This one is a little bit more hormonal. There was a lot more nausea in the beginning. I got really big really quickly. At three months I felt like I was in my ninth month.” Any of these changes where you just don’t feel like yourself, whether it’s over hormones or losing control of your body can be difficult to process.
9 What Helps – Prenatal Massage With Cozy Bump Pregnancy Bed
Prenatal massage can be an excellent way to alleviate some of the more common aches and pains of pregnancy. While it’s not advisable to lay on your stomach or back, products like the Cozy Bump Pregnancy Bed can allow moms to rest and get massaged safely and comfortably. Regular massage can help alleviate the stress on weight bearing joints and musculo-fascial structures, relieving common pregnancy issues including back pain, leg cramps, stiffness, sciatica, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome. This type of massage can also soothe and relax the nervous system, increase circulation to provide more nutrients to both mom and baby, as well as stabilize hormone levels, and offer a drug-free pain relief alternative.
8 Camilla Alves – Painful Pregnancy
Although Camila Alves (McConaughey) is private about her family life, the former model admits that her pregnancy and birth of their third child was not a piece of cake. She told the hosts of The View, “I had a really tough pregnancy. I had all kind of things happen. Throughout the whole pregnancy I had really strong pains and I kept telling the doctors. We kept trying to figure out what it was, what was happening. Nobody could figure out what it was.” and added, “So, we ended up having to do a C-section. I told the doctor right before, “Once I’m there, just take a look because I know something’s wrong.” They ended up finding all kinds of things in there that we had to take care of. This recovery has been extremely hard because I had a C-section and then I had all these extra procedures.” Although she didn’t reveal exactly what they found, what she went through is relatable to many new moms.
7 What Helps – Belly Band Support
Back pain is common in pregnancy. A study in the Spine Journal found that 71 percent of pregnant women experience lower back pain, and 65 report pelvic girdle pain. Wearing a belly band increases support for your back and can lower overall pain. Belly bands, like compression socks, provide a gentle compression for moms during activities, help mom practice improved posture, and allow her to better go about her regular activities. Belly bands can also be worn in the early postpartum days to compensate for decreased core strength in the few weeks following birth. Consult with your doctor before purchasing a support product and discuss with them about how often you should wear this garment, as many experts believe that wearing it for more than two or three hours at a time can cause an over-dependence.
6 Brooke Shields – Postpartum Depression
Brooke Shields was one of the first public figures to speak out candidly about mental health and postpartum depression. Despite seemingly having it all Shields admits that because of her PPD she was disconnected and at one point found herself pondering dark things. Shields says, “I really didn’t want to live anymore. (and thought) ‘I just want to leap out of my life,’ but then the rational side of me [would say], ‘You’re only on the fourth floor. You’ll get [really harmed] and then you will be even worse.'” The star says both friends and family dismissed this as just the baby blues, but coming out the other side she set out to work to create awareness so other moms could seek help when they needed it.
5 What Helps – Support, Therapy & Medication Including Zoloft or Celexa
Support is key to getting through PPD. In addition to support from friends and family, and your doctor, there are other ways to help with postpartum depression. Seeking out regular contact for individual therapy or marriage counselling can be helpful. Continued depression where function of mom and her ability to properly care for baby can often be tackled through hormone therapy or antidepressants. New moms can also benefit from self-care that includes taking some time for yourself and seeking out help from others when you are feeling like it’s all too much, and out of sorts, including getting medical treatment or advice without pause.
4 Kelly Clarkson – All Day Sickness
Anyone who has been sick during pregnancy knows that the term ‘morning sickness’ isn’t accurate, we really need to come up with a new name for this condition. Kelly Clarkson told Gayle King on CBS This Morning, “I’m familiar with all-day sickness. I have to get IVs and fluids because I get so dehydrated. It’s really bad.” The star, who was already mom to her daughter River at the time of the interview, knows that the end result is worth it and added, getting to “pop out magical unicorns” makes the nausea worth it for a lifetime of lovely and wonderful children.
3 What Helps – Acupressure Bracelets & Rings
Acupressure points can help people who are feeling nauseous in pregnancy. Pregnant women may find they can better cope with morning sickness through regular use of sea sickness bands or acupressure massage rings and bracelets (many available for sale through Amazon or your local drug store). Those who want to look for acupressure points themselves can find the area known as Pericardium 6 or Nei Guan is located the distance of three fingers below the wrist, on the inner forearm between the two tendons and pushing down using your thumb or forefinger for two to three fingers pushing in a circular motion and repeating on both hands. This will help ease both nausea and vomiting.
2 Salma Hayek – Geriatric Pregnancy
Anyone who gets pregnant after age 35 is considered to have a higher risk, Geriatric Pregnancy. When Salma Hayek became pregnant at 40, she knew she might experience a tougher time in her nine months, than say a mom in her 20’s. Hayek told People Magazine, “I thought I wasn’t going to be able to and it was such an important thing to me,” Salma later dished on Oprah about the challenges of her pregnancy, “I gained a lot of weight. I had gestational diabetes. The pregnancy was really difficult for me.” But it was all worth it, today her daughter Valentina, who is now 11 years old, is the light of her life.
1 What Helps – Prenatal Vitamins (Even Before Conception)
Those who are attempting to conceive when they are 35 years old (or older) will need to be aware of a few specific things that impact older women in pregnancy. It might take longer to get pregnant than for younger women, they will be more likely to have a multiple pregnancy, and they will need more regular prenatal care. Staying active is key for older women in pregnancy, as is eating a healthy variety full of folic acid, calcium, iron, and Vitamin D, and taking prenatal vitamins, even before they conceive, to make sure that they are in the best shape possible face labour and life as a new mom.