Long-acting reversible contraception or ‘LARC’ describes contraceptive methods that you don’t need to use every day. This includes the copper intrauterine device (also known as the ‘coil’), progestogen-only intrauterine system (also known as the ‘hormonal coil’), progestogen-only injectable contraceptives (‘depo’) and subdermal implants (‘implant’). I recently mentioned another group conducting research on provision of long acting contraceptives. Looks like it’s a hot topic this year!
LARC is popular as it’s a highly effective method of preventing pregnancy. For some people it can be a positive option, but there are concerns that some may experience pressure to use LARC, or may find it difficult to get removed. Researchers from Lancaster University, working with the British Pregnancy Advice Service (BPAS), are studying LARC in the UK.
If you’ve been encouraged to use LARC, are over 13 and living in the UK, the researchers would love to talk to you!
For more information, please read the attached documents:
Finding fashionable plus-size maternity wear can be a bit of a problem at the best of times, but it’s a nightmare before Christmas! So here are Big Birtha’s picks for festive fashion if you’re plus-size & pregnant.
One of the pluses of being pregnant and plus size is that you often don’t have to restrict yourself just to maternity ranges (whole article on this here). If it’s a loose style with plenty of fabric, give it a try, with the additional bonus that you’ll be able to use it after pregnancy too. Most of the clothes featured here aren’t from the maternity section, so don’t forget to check out the non-maternity lines!
The Killer Christmas Dress
I think this holly print vintage style dress by HellBunny is my favourite of everything I’ve found.
It’s not a maternity dress, but because the style flares out just under the bust line, there’s plenty of fabric at the front. Depending on the size and position of your bump it could be an option. It’s being sold by high street retailer Yours, so with free click and collect and free returns, you can just try it on when you collect and if it’s no good, return it!
Not one, but two options here! I have a slight reservation with the Yours one, in that it’s described as a ‘novelty’ dress. This makes me question the quality, but both reviewers have given it 5 stars. The Shein dress is significantly cheaper, but it does say the fabric has no stretch, and it doesn’t appear to be as full as the Yours dress, so if you’re quite far along, it may not be the option for you…
There’s a plethora of gorgeous shimmery dresses this season, and with plenty of fabric in the pleats, could be perfect for the office Christmas party this year with a bump, and still wearable next year.
(I’d say next year, without a bump, but let’s be realistic!)
I think the glittery gold dress from Shein looks really opulent. It also comes in silver. Just steer clear of that one if you’re planning on wearing it for Christmas lunch, unless you want to invite comparisons with a foil-wrapped turkey!
As well as glorious shimmery sparkle, it seems to all be about the sequins this Christmas!
For many people, Christmas is all about being snuggly in a cosy pair of pyjamas. If so, fear not – there are some festive maternity options which should see you comfy as you open your presents on Christmas morning.
Really interesting interview with Tracey Neville, former coach of England’s gold-winning netball team, about negativity in pregnancy. I’m not normally a follower of BBC Sport, but she makes some good points:
Tracey, at 42, comes under the realm of a ‘geriatric’ pregnancy, i.e. ‘older than we’d like you to be’. While she’s not got a high BMI, she’s still subject to the same alarmist ‘high risk’ labelling. From her perspective as a coach, she points out how this negativity is unhelpful:
The thing that I’ve really found around this is the negativity that comes around older women having children… It creates a real fearful environment; they [the doctors] go down the route of “Well, we’re preparing you for the fail.”
I don’t prepare my team for the fail – I prepare them for the win! And if they’re not successful, we then look at other avenues, or other steps we can put in place…
Tracey Neville, former England Netball Team coach
She knows the pain of miscarriage, having suffered two, including one the day after leading England to Commonwealth gold. But, as she is pregnant again, due in March 2020, she highlights the difference she sees in approach:
I’d come out of a miscarriage and another consultant was giving me these stats again.
No, tell me what can I do…
We don’t sit down [with athletes] and quote stats at them, and quote how many times we’ve lost. We sit down and look at how we can win.
If only there was just a bit more positivity around health and wellbeing.
Why is pregnancy not targeted like that, why is it not given that positivity?
I probably should mention here that if the surname sounds familiar, it’s because Tracey is part of the Neville sporting family. You may have heard of her brothers Gary and Phil, who were reportedly quite good at kicking a ball around.
But she’s absolutely right – why is it in pregnancy, far more than with anything else, we have to look at the doom and gloom angle? Does negativity in pregnancy serve any useful purpose at all?
Social Media is a funny thing. I’ve been on Twitter for years, but I didn’t really ‘get it’ until recently. Maybe it’s since they upped the character limit; I struggled to compress my thoughts into 140 characters! I still often have difficulty with 280, to be honest. But lately, I’m finding Twitter really useful, so I thought I’d share BigBirthas Top 5 Twitter Feeds of 2019.
#1 of Big Birthas Top 5 Twitter Feeds of 2019 = @justsayinmice
If I had to pick just one Twitter feed to tell you about it would be @justsayinmice.
It’s the Twitter feed I didn’t know I needed, until it existed.
If you’ve ever read a long article about a research project which seemed super important and relevant, only to be irritated when a small paragraph near the end mentions it was a rodent study, this is for you.
It’s brilliantly simple. When a report’s title implies a study is about humans, but is actually on mice @justsayinmice retweets saying “IN MICE”. It’s international too; if it’s a Spanish study they write “EN RATONES” etc. instead. Saves a lot of time and frustration. Now I know which studies to ignore, and it’s having a positive impact by encouraging more responsible reporting too!
Following on from @justsayinmice, @justsayrisks takes on the reports which love to misrepresent statistics. You know the ones – “being obese TRIPLES your risk of [insert undesirable outcome here]”. Often these risks are very tiny, and so the increase in risk is negligible, but sounds really bad.
Human beings are, by and large, terrible at understanding risk. But that’s mostly because no one has ever explained it properly.
Author of @justsayrisks Gid M-K
I’ve only just found this one, but it’s already saved me wasting my time on some clickbait headlines!
Obesity UK is a relatively new charity (set up in 2014). It doesn’t even have a functioning website at the moment, just a landing page at https://obesityuk.org.uk/. But it is fighting the good fight against obesity stigma, and tweets and retweets are positive, useful, and relevant.
Often I’m reading an article about pregnancy or labour, nodding along, only to discover it was written by Milli Hill. She’s a freelance writer penning articles for The Guardian, Telegraph, Independent etc.
The WRISK project is interested in the way that risk messages are communicated in pregnancy, particularly to marginalised groups. It’s a collaboration between the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Cardiff University. The WRISK Twitter feed is great because they’re very quick to notice any relevant news stories and comment on them.
And of course, don’t forget to follow @BigBirthas on Twitter too!
Who do you follow? Feel free to comment and share below!