Denise Van Outen says that since having baby Betsy last May, her feet have grown from a size 5 to size 6 and she has had to give away all her designer shoes as they simply don't fit any more!
Apparently this is not unusual for pregnant women to experience a change in the size of their feet once the baby is born. Up to 75% of women experience some change in shoe size. For most it's a half size bigger, but for some its a whole shoe size, so new foot wear is essential.
The phenomenon can be the result of edema, the way in which a mother's body retains fluid while they are pregnant. For most women, the fluids are released gradually over time, and their regular size returns within a couple of weeks. When it comes to feet it can actually be that the feet are just flatter, rather than larger. This is down to the hormone relaxing which occurs during pregnancy in order to expand the body while the baby is growing, allowing the baby to be accommodated within the hips and ribcage...essentially it is so the baby fits in (and can get out!) of the mother's body!
A tearful Holly Willoughby blamed her pregnancy and hormones for bursting into tears on This Morning a few days ago when she was presented with a huge, gorgeous, pink rose-covered cake and birthday balloons live on air. In front of millions of views on BBC’s morning programme, she simply couldn’t hold back the tears when co-presenter Philip Schofield wished her Happy Birthday.
Why should this happen? Why do normally sane and level-headed ladies suddenly burst into tears at the most unexpected moments just because they are pregnant?
Part of the reason is that soaring levels of pregnancy hormones are present in the body when a woman is expecting a baby. There are so many changes going on that you can’t even see or necessarily understand and this can effect the chances of crying or feeling particularly emotional.
What do to:
Research has found that children and babies react as warmly to their mother's voice as to her hugs. American scientists claimed that children who talked to their mother on the telephone when they were experiencing anxiety were comforted becuase of the release of what they called a 'cuddle hormone'. This cuddle hormone produced the same effect as getting a warm cuddle from the mother.
The study was done by researchers at Winconsin University. Levels of the hormone oxytocin surged when children were cuddled and when they spoke to their monther's on the phone. Oxytocin helps mothers and their babies form emotional bonds.
Dr Leslie Seltzer, who was the leading scientist on the study, said that the children who actually interacted with their mothers had practically the same levels of the hormone as those who just had the phone call. It had previously been thought that the hormones were only released when physical contact took place, i.e. an actual hug rather than a phone call. However, these new results contradict this idea and suggest the mother's voice is good enough!
The test was done on 7-12 year olds and it found that after a grueling maths test (which made them all very stressed) the group who had spoken to their Mum on the phone was as calm as those who had received a hug from their Mum. They were all much calmer than those who went to watch a film and had not received cuddles or phone calls.
Of course, this could be relevant too for adults needing comforting! A call to a Mum (or a Granny if you have kids) could make you feel better than reaching for a tub of ice cream to try and cheer you up!
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