Trends: Celebrities Pregnant with Twins

Steven Yeun Instagram post (Steven Yeun)

Steven Yeun Instagram post (Steven Yeun)

Single births are so 2016. This year, it’s all about the multiples. (Births, duh.)

Seriously, this year has started off with a bang regarding celebrity birth announcements. First up, superstar/icon/QUEEN Beyonce announced that she’s pregnant with twins in an Instagram post that dropped February 1st. Naturally, the world went crazy (and that Instagram post is now the most-liked post ever). Beyonce also released photos from her pregnancy photoshoot, and later performed at the Grammys in a tribute to motherhood. As you do.

Not even two weeks later, it was confirmed that Amal Clooney (you know, George’s wife) is expecting twins. And the twins will be a boy and a girl.

There’s another couple that might be expecting twins. It’s confirmed that “The Walking Dead” actor Steven Yeun and his wife Joana Pak are expecting a child. One of Yeun’s recent Instagram posts was a series of photos of he and his pregnant wife, of which one photo features him holding up two fingers. The photo’s caption is two bee emoji.

So either they’ll also be welcoming twins this year, or Yeun is part of the Beyhive. I don’t know. We’ll find out.

It’s crazy that all these celebrities are having twins right now. No idea if any of them are through IVF and don’t want to speculate, but it’s interesting how all the pregnancies are syncing up.

 

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#ThrowbackThursday: Angelina Jolie’s Pregnancy, 2008

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Cannes 2008 (Bella Naija)

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Cannes 2008 (Bella Naija)

Throwing it back nine years (?!) this week to Angelina Jolie’s pregnancy in 2008. She’s pictured here at the Cannes Film Festival premiere of her movie “Kung Fu Panda,” with the-partner (and now-ex-husband) Brad Pitt. At the time, Jolie was pregnant with twins.

Jolie gave birth to her twins, son Knox Leon and daughter Vivienne Marcheline, in July 2008.

China’s (Now Ended) One-Child Policy: By The Numbers

Chinese One-Child Policy poster (The Galloping Beaver)

Chinese One-Child Policy poster (The Galloping Beaver)

Most people have heard of China’s infamous one-child policy. it’s exactly what it sounds like: each married couple is only allowed to have one child.

Now the policy has ended. Actually, it ended on Jan. 1st, less than a week ago.

A lot of people don’t know the story behind the concept, and why it was initially implemented. Here are some numbers that made the one-child policy look like a sensible idea at the time:

China’s total population:

1960: 667.1M

1970: 818.3M

China’s population grew 151.2M in 10 years, or at the rate of 15.12M per year. The government was worried that the population would continue growing exponentially at the same rate, with the country eventually becoming unsustainable.

Fertility rate:

1960: 5.76 births/1 woman

1970: 5.47 births/1 woman

The fertility rate stayed stable (and strong) throughout the 1960s.

Crude birth rate:

1960: 20.9

1970: 33.4

This metric shows the “number of of live births occurring during the year, per 1,000 population estimated at midyear.” The number hit a high in 1963 with 43.4, no doubt sending the Chinese government into a full-fledged panic.

With the above stats as historical context, it’s a bit easier to see why the Chinese government implemented the One-Child Policy, and kept it for the 35 years they did.

How Many Children are Born on New Year’s Day?

baby after bath #11

Baby (Dermatique UK)

Happy 2016! I hope it’s off to a good start for everyone, and your resolutions are intact so far.

In the spirit of the season, I was curious to find out how common New Year’s Day births are. No more auspicious time for a baby to make its debut, right?

The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics kept records of popular birthdays from 1995 to 2014. As you can see below, New Year’s Day sees around 200 fewer births than any given day in England:

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 5.52.01 PM

U.K. Average Daily Births (The Telegraph UK/Office for National Statistics)

If you absorb best by color-coded blocks, here’s every day of the year plotted out:

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 6.00.03 PM

Birth registrations in England and Wales, 1995-2014 (The Telegraph UK/Office for National Statistics)

Click on the link to go to the whole table (it’s interactive). Jan. 1st can only claim 1,574 births, which makes it the 364th most-popular birthday.

I don’t know enough to hypothesize if birth patterns are the same in the United States, but I’d love to find out.

“Mother of Lamaze” Elisabeth Bing Has Died

Elisabeth Bing (The New York Times)

Elisabeth Bing (The New York Times)

Elisabeth Bing, credited for bringing Dr. Fernand Lamaze’s childbirth techniques to American women, has died at age 100 in New York.

The Lamaze method emphasized relaxation during childbirth, and posited that a mother’s pain during giving birth stemmed from fear. Having studied natural childbirth since 1942, Bing first encountered Lamaze’s technique in the 1950s. In 1960, she and a colleague founded Lamaze International, then known as the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics.

It’s estimated that 25% of expectant mothers and spouses attend a Lamaze class at some point during pregnancy. For context, almost 4M babies were born in 2010. This would put the number of Lamaze-attending parents-to-be around 1M. (But this wouldn’t be completely accurate because it assumes that every mother only gave birth to one child.)

Bing’s goal was to help empower women to make their own decisions regarding how childbirth would go for them, and she certainly achieved that.

How Many Countries Offer Paternity Leave?

Dad with newborn baby (Babble)

Dad with newborn baby (Babble)

Happy Friday! Last month, Massachusetts passed a law requiring businesses to give eight weeks of paternity leave. That’s right, paternity leave. For the fathers. The U.S. doesn’t have a paid paternity leave policy (come on, we don’t even have a paid maternity leave policy), though the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act offers 12 weeks of protection, but only if the employee has been working for the company for over a year and the company contains over 50 people. The new law would include companies with a minimum of six employees.

Work-life balance is increasingly becoming more of a concern for men as well as women, and the concept comes sharply into focus with the addition of children. The U.S. lags behind other countries in our paternity leave policies. A 2013 Pew Research Center study examined 38 countries, and found that 25 of them have guaranteed paternity leave for new fathers. Time off can range from less than one week to over eight weeks.

Several countries that offer paternity leave are within Europe. Norway, Ireland, Iceland, Slovenia, Sweden and Germany have protected paternity leave, which would allow a new father time off secure that he’ll be able to return to his job without being fired or let go. At least a portion of this time off is required to be paid, except in Ireland.

South Korea also has a paternity leave policy, in which new fathers can take up to five days off. But parents with children under three years old can request to work part- or full-time for one year to care for their child. It appears that this policy applies to both mothers and fathers.

Hopefully this new law will push policy towards a national paid leave policy, for both mothers and fathers.