Despite the fact that pregnancy has been around since the beginning of time, there’s still so much about pregnancy that we simply don’t know. For that reason, I think pregnancy is the best-kept secret. And while I suspected this going into the experience, I somehow still underestimated just how secretive some pregnancy matters are. It’s almost as if each line of women is sworn to secrecy so that heirs can continuously be produced in the name of capitalism. Whether your position is at the top of the food chain or the bottom (school to prison pipeline), more bodies are always of use and thus American tradition seems to be secrecy.
No one warned me about the endless amounts of mucus and ginormous boogers in my nose (rhinitis) or the fact that for some of us, breathing would stop coming easily in the first trimester. And though this isn’t the case for everyone, you’re made aware that every system in your body is being altered to create lifelines for this growing seed inside of you. And my mom was (or had the nerve to be?) shocked when I told her I purchased a bidet attachment for my toilet because I can no longer comfortably reach my ass to properly wipe it. I need assistance! So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a TikTok comment section with so many other women professing what a pain it’s become to try to reach their ass, much less your vagina when you’re well into your pregnancy journey.
Many people feed you that bullshit line recommending that you get your sleep in now because when baby gets here it’s a wrap, but they fail to mention it’s nearly as hard to sleep throughout your pregnancy. Depending on your symptoms, insomnia can begin as early as the first trimester. For me, it began then because my breasts were so excruciatingly tender that when I would even step forward with too much "pep" in my step, I’d feel nothing but pain. Now imagine trying to sleep like that? No matter what angle you approach it from, it’s not going to work.
In my second trimester, I got hit with sciatic pain thus making it even more difficult to sleep (thank God for magnesium-infused lotion). And then, of course, there's the third trimester – the one that I have received disclaimers regarding – the one where I supposedly will be simply too large and uncomfortable to get adequate rest going into the delivery of my little seed.
While this is all comical, it does make me wonder what more is to come. What else have centuries of women remained mum about in regard to pregnancy, especially childbirth?
Yes, a “think piece” theory is coming! And here it goes: Much like the men seeking to create detrimental laws regarding abortion, the point of it all is to control and reduce the bodily autonomy of women, minimizing their ability to make informed choices (the best decision for them with the information on hand). Up until recent years, many didn't talk about childbirth and pregnancy. Things are changing, but still, I wonder how and why centuries of women remained quiet. As far as I’m concerned the answer is simple: Patriarchy. Isn't it always?
When women, or really people as a whole, don’t know what’s going on with their bodies, they maintain very little autonomy and the ability to make choices for said bodies. And it’s really that simple!
With just 100 days left until I deliver, the one thing my mother has said to me that has been consistently true is that pregnancy impacts every part of your body.
And the worst part of it is, because pregnancy is pertaining to the “lesser sex,” science hasn’t really made it their business to find a way to update the research at hand. I’ll also admit that pregnancy is a difficult subject to research because no one wants to be experimented on while another life is in their hands. I say this to say, in addition to all systems being impacted you’re unnecessarily put out by dated research that states that you can’t eat deli lunch meat because of listeria. Meanwhile, lettuce is recalled daily or damn close to it, and we’re still able to eat that!
Though it may seem small, for a human body that is already limited due to the ever-affected systems that cause food aversions, nausea, and heartburn, it can actually leave you feeling really defeated and hungry. While some things such as no raw meat absolutely make sense, some simply do not! And maybe I’m paranoid and wrong about all of what I’ve said thus far. However, what we have observed in the following seems to hold true:
- Research typically neglects women, especially those of color.
- Capitalism requires people to reproduce in order for things to maintain.
- There was just a memo put out stating how the reversal of Roe v. Wade was necessary to maintain the “domestic supply of infants.”
- When considering gender alone, women are seen as second-rate citizens.
With the information we have at hand, it’s difficult for me to anticipate that motherhood has remained the biggest kept secret for any other reason than selfish gain.
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Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
Feature image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images