Blog Posts by Mira Jacob, Shine staff

  • On Lisa Ling's new website, women find ways to cope with tragedy

    Getty ImagesGetty Images"I felt more like a failure than I'd felt in a very long time," Lisa Ling explained on the View last Friday, regarding the miscarriage she suffered six months ago. "We actually [hadn't] been trying that long. I don't know that I took it as seriously as I should have because it happened so fast. But then, when I heard the doctor say there was no heartbeat, it was like bam!, like a knife through the heart."

    To help deal with her grief, and to help others dealing with similar issues, Ling recently launched the website The Secret Society of Women, a sort of online confessional space, where women can share everything from hidden feelings of grief to secret addictions, and find understanding and consolation from fellow members along the way.

    [Slideshow: 5 ways to get rid of morning sickness ]

    Though enduring a failed pregnancy is a seldom-discussed situation that can feel extremely isolating for women, it's not at all uncommon. According to the American Pregnancy Association,

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  • Angie Harmon on the best parenting advice she ever got (and then passed on to us)

    It's that time of the year when the little people have the sniffles and give them to the rest of us. Advil's solution? Teaming up with actress Angie Harmon for the Relieve My Fever campaign, where you can go online to and enter a video of you and your child, or children, singing the new lyrics to Fever for a chance to win $15,000. The bonus: Children's Advil has teamed up with the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and will donate $5 for every entry of a video and $1 for every vote, which can help 170 children's hospitals throughout their network and millions of children each year. Translation: You having your American Idol moment can actually help someone feel better.

    This week, Shine caught up with Harmon, star of TNT's hit show "Rizzoli & Isles," and mother of three girls.

    As part of the "Relieve My Fever contest," you've teamed up with Advil to invite moms and their kids to sing a new rendition of the iconic song, "Fever." On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being

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  • First ever MRI scan of live birth

    Baby traveling down birth canalBaby traveling down birth canalCharité Hospital in Berlin has taken the very first MRI images of a baby being born, reports The Local.

    The full set of images, which show the baby traveling down the birth canal, crowning, and then the placenta and afterbirth, are a culmination of a two-year collaboration between doctors and scientists, who built a special "open" MRI scanner big enough to fit a laboring woman in it. The idea is that by understanding the birth process better, they will also be able to understand why certain complications arise, and specifically, why 15% of pregnant women need Caesarian sections due to problems that arise in the passage through the birth canal.

    For those who are curious, the baby who made this journey was apparently not harmed in any way by the MRI. Unlike x-rays, which use ionizing radiation to obtain images, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a really strong magnetic field and radio waves, and is generally thought of as a low risk way to obtain an image. Apparently the

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  • The absolute best holiday advice of all time, no joke

    Psst! We don't have to wear these ridiculous hats. Seriously. Psst! We don't have to wear these ridiculous hats. Seriously. Who better to tell moms how to keep it together than other moms? This month, Shine's Parenting Gurus blew us away with their totally helpful, sometimes snort-worthy advice on getting through the holidays with most of our brains intact. Here's a short list of our favorite suggestions:

    1) Annoying family? Get a strategy! Meagan's great "Dealing with parent critics over the holidays" is a perfect start, while RRG Mama offers up this genius tidbit: "Before you see someone you know will push your buttons, make a list of all the things you think they'll do to raise your blood pressure. Then, when Uncle Fred tells the same old hideously embarrassing story, pats all the female guests on the rear, and teaches the kids how to belch "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," remind yourself that it's nothing new. It cannot consume you - it was on the list."

    2) Skip the latest, greatest, hottest toy. That stuff they say about the box being better? Manic Motherhood has lived through it, and has

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  • Reality television jumps the bear: "Kate Plus 8" goes camping in "Sarah Palin's Alaska"

    Kate Gosselin gets tight with the Palins before setting off into the Alaskan wilds.Kate Gosselin gets tight with the Palins before setting off into the Alaskan wilds.In the downward spiral that has taken reality television audiences from semi-plausible storylines to "what the hell am I filling my head with" shows, news like this shouldn't be surprising. And yet here we are, mouths agape, wondering which TLC executive was raised to demigod status after producing this piece of television, er...history.

    That's right, Kate and her eight have apparently made a trip to Alaska, where they hung out with "Mama Grizzly," her hubs, and her cubs. Needless to say, what happens in Alaska does not stay in Alaska. According to the TLC press release: "To prepare for a camping trip with the kids, Sarah takes Kate to a bear safety class for rifle practice. Then Kate and the kids experience the wilderness braving the challenges of camping in Alaska." According to the Huffington Post, "Kate proves to be a bigger pill than a horse tranquilizer," complaining about the cold, worrying about the bears, and generally freaking out until, just a few hours in, she pulls the

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  • Girl goes from 0-10 in 85 seconds

    Oh, viral videos and the funny feelings they unleash! This morning's clickfest comes in form of "Natalie"--an infant who becomes, via (almost) daily photographs, a toddler, then a kid, then a pretty girl on the verge of the hell that is preteendom. Okay, the last part is totally my version of reality (and specifically, fifth grade), but a funny thing happened to me over the 20 times I watched this particular 85 seconds: I got sad.

    Is it because my own boy seems to be growing up too fast? Because Natalie's smile seems to change from the one you have for yourself to the one you have for other people? Because if we expanded this format to 340 seconds, we'd have me staring in wonder at the recent patch of white that has started to sprout from the middle of my head? I can't tell for sure, but I can tell you this: Unlike the time-elapsed beard growing dude, this one hits a funny place in my heart and makes me want to pull my son out of school so he can sit on my lap for the next decade.

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  • Santa: harmless fantasy or horrible lie?

    Okay, a confession: My biggest job perk, not counting working from home, comes from all of you. When I see trouble coming up the road, or in this case, down the chimney, I have an instant focus group to tell me the pros and cons of what I'm looking at. And what I'm looking at right now is the chubby guy.

    That's right, Santa. While my two-year-old has yet to learn the bearded one's name or station in life, I can sense that this time of innocence is about to come to a close, and with it, a whole lot of what's right/ what's wrong will be let loose in our small apartment.

    So, my good people, I ask you: What do you think of this Santa guy? Is he a bold lie that will lead to no good? A sweet fantasy that brings the magic of childhood to life? Something in the murky middle ground?

    I can see both sides, of course. In its most basic form, the Santa myth is just that--a lie dressed up to suit an occasion. Sure, it's for a good cause (those wide smiles, those eyes dancing with expectation,

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  • Sports training for 6-month-olds?

    Good job, baby! Now can you dribble and keep an eye out for your right wing?Good job, baby! Now can you dribble and keep an eye out for your right wing?Well, parents of newborns, don't say you didn't know better. While those of us with "older kids" (like my two-year-old) might have squandered our chance to turn those chubby thighs into the future hamstrings of the next Beckham, a new parenting trend reported by the New York Times has you right in line to begin Johnny's sports training. Yes, you read that right, sports training. But Johnny can barely walk, you say? No matter. Between baby gyms and DVDs that introduce your 6-month old to baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis by way of an animated monkey, Johnny will be making the Kindergarten A-string in no time.

    Sound like satire? If only. At least then we'd be laughing instead of shaking our heads, wondering when someone is going to invent the in utero treadmill.

    "I start working [the babies in my family] out in the hospital," Doreen Bolhuis, fitness coach and founder of Gymtrix-a company which offers exercise videos for those as little as 6-month-old-told the Times

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  • "Eats on Feets" helps moms share breast milk

    What do you get when you combine Facebook, newborns, and good ol' fashioned supply and demand? Welcome to "Eats on Feets"-an organization launched to help moms who have trouble producing breast milk find other mothers with milk to spare. Recently taken global by mother and "lactivist" Emma Kwasnica, the network now spans across all 50 states in the U.S. and into at least 22 countries. According to an article published last week in Time, "more than 70 matches have been reported so far, with milk coming not only in bags and jars, but also sometimes directly from the source."

    While the idea of a woman breastfeeding another's child has been around forever (see: wet nurse, or more recently, milk bank), it's also one that is known to American audiences squeamish. Just a quick glance through almost any breastfeeding article on Shine shows a vocal amount of ambivalence toward moms feeding their own kids breastfeeding (with posters opting for the "do what you want but I don't want to see

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  • Woman who asked strangers to "vote" on her abortion loses job

    Pete and Alisha ArnoldPete and Alisha ArnoldRemember Pete and Alisha Arnold, those not-quite-bright lights who posted pictures of their growing fetus online and asked strangers to vote on whether they should abort it? Well, things have taken a turn for the sadder. No, Alisha did not lose her baby, despite two previous miscarriages and a seeming lack of sense, but she did lose her job.

    According to ABC news, the software firm TempWorks terminated Alisha's employment with a company-wide memo which stated that her conduct is a "grave risk to the reputation of the company."

    "I'm just completely shocked by this. To get something like that out of the blue is pretty overwhelming," Alisha told reporters. The company refused to make a public statement about their decision.

    So is this legal? According to University of Minnesota Labor Law Professor, William McGeveran, yes. "If an employer thinks that a speech you're engaging in reflects badly on the employer, then they can terminate your employment," he told ABC news. He also said that

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