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Months After Giving Birth I Still Looked Pregnant And I Didn’t Go To The Gyno ASAP In Fear Of Being Seen As Vain

Pregnancy creates some unknown residuals. The women in my life are thankfully brutally honest about the challenges pregnancy can sometimes create; hardcore exhaustion, weight gain in places you didn’t know could swell, calcium deficiency, teeth decay — you name it.

Such like-mindedness creates a sense of community and understanding. Very much a, “Girrrl, I know how you feel” and a warm blanket feeling without feeling judged.

But there was one post-partem side effect no one warned me about: Diastasis Recti.

After giving birth to my second baby, who is now seven months, I noticed my tummy hadn’t retracted the way it did after giving birth the first time. Four months after Eli’s birth, I still saw myself looking down at my non-deflating tummy.

I began judging myself.

Yolanda Lopez

I would look at myself in the mirror, assess my progress, wonder why my stomach hadn’t deflated and I would pick it apart like a game of Operation.

It is my genes? Generations of women on both sides of my parents are not “thin” and certainly don’t stem from a clean-eating diet. Is it my hormones? Isn’t nursing is supposed to aide in losing weight at a faster pace? I’m Latina, I’m curvy, so I tried to convince myself that it’d take a while. I forced myself to accept that I am not supposed to “bounce back” in weeks like celebrities do — with the help of trainers and chefs, of course.

Rather than visit my gynecologist right away, I rationalized all the reasons why my tummy was still rock-hard and inflated after four months. Honestly, I was also worried that she, too, would cast judgment on me and tell me “it’s normal” or that I was just being vain.

I began eating lighter, smaller portioned meals because I thought shifting my eating habits would prove successful and my stomach would return to normalcy. I was looking to be able to say that my stretch marks and small kangaroo pouch would be the worst of my post-partem look and my “looks like you still have a baby, mommy” bulge would dissipate.

I waited another month but when the dull pain became more intense, I finally went to see my doctor. I lifted my blouse and surveyed her reaction.

“Diastasis recti and possible hernia,” my doctor said.

I had no idea what that meant.

Diastasis recti is a medical term that basically means separation of the abdominal muscles. This is common in 2/3 of women who have been pregnant, apparently. If left untreated after eight weeks, the core is severely affected and all muscles in the ab areas are compromised; this lack of stability and protection affects the whole body functionally. As for my hernia, it was an umbilical hernia to be exact. There was also a possibility that my previous C-section stitches came undone.

I was both relieved for finally knowing the traumas are repairable, but upset that I hadn’t listened to my intuition and gone to see my doctor sooner. Early detection and a simple two-second measurement test would have indicated muscle damage. A few weeks of physical therapy could have corrected the muscle damage. I could have avoided surgery and not interrupt the nursing routine I now have with my baby. But because I waited for some time, my doctor suggested surgery since I’m confident I’m not having any more children.

Even after I found relief in knowing there was something to be done to get rid or the pain, the judgment continues.

I casually told an acquaintance (and someone who I thought might relate because she’s also a mom), about it all and she snidely quipped, “Oh, that’s a tummy tuck.”

Damn. Can a woman catch a break?

I’m not sure why I felt the need to defend myself by clarifying it was medical. And it’s painful. So painful sometimes that I can’t carry my baby and have to sit down with him.

Still, my warm-blanket friends understand and fully support me. “Heck, if I were you I’d get a tummy tuck. They’re already going to open you up.” I laugh at the thought but simultaneously know I’d be judged for the silver lining.

Rather than dwell in my disappointment, I accepted what I cannot change and embrace health and what is. I remind myself that I just had a baby because positive affirmation helps. So does surgery.


READ: So Many People Thought She Was Pregnant, That Even Her Mom Called To Ask If It Was True

What was your pregnancy experience? Let us know in the comments below. 

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

There’s no denying that the world looks a lot different now than it did in 1947. And while the list of all of the positive changes that the decades stretching between now and then have done for the world and minorities, a recent campaign is also highlighting the ways in which our current president could take some notes on certain values the United States held dear during this time. Particularly ones that had been pressed for by one of our former presidents.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” effort, he worked to promote positive and healthy relations between the United States in Latin American countries.

At the time Rooseveltaimed to ensure that the North, Central and South American countries avoided breaking under the influence of Axis countries during World War II. As part of this campaign, Roosevelt comissioned a Spanish and a Portuguese version of the U.S. national anthem. According to Time Magazine he also “recruited Hollywood to participate in this Good Neighbor Policy; Walt Disney went on goodwill tour of South America, hoping to find a new market for his films, and ended up producing two movies inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). The Brazilian star Carmen Miranda also got a boost, and her role in The Gang’s All Here made her even more famous in the U.S. And alongside these cross-cultural exchanges, the U.S. government decided it needed an anthem that could reach Spanish speakers.”

According to NPR, Clotilde Arias, wrote wrote the translation at the end of World War II, was born in the small Peruvian city, Iquitos in 1901 and moved to New York City to become a composer when she was 22-years-old. Her version of the anthem is now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Now in an effort to support Latino communities affected by the coronavirus, the non-profit We Are All Human Foundation’s Hispanic Star campaign commissioned the a remake of the song.

Hoping to raise awareness of its Hispanic Recovery Plan and efforts to help to connect Hispanic small businesses and workers with resources during the pandemic, the campaign brought the old recording from obscurity.

For the song, the 2019 winner of the singing competition La Voz,  Jeidimar Rijos, performed “El Pendón Estrellado.” Or, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The song has already received quite a bit of comments and support on Youtube.

Hang in there, fam. We can only get through this together.

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More Undocumented Women Are Having Miscarriages While Being Detained Under The Trump Administration

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More Undocumented Women Are Having Miscarriages While Being Detained Under The Trump Administration

Conditions inside an immigration detention center are far from pleasant. They can also be worse than a jail cell. For the countless of undocumented immigrants seeking asylum or waiting to be released from these so-called hieleras (which means ice box in Spanish for their freezing temperatures) can unfortunately be the difference between life and death.

Last week a 24-year-old immigrant from Honduras had a stillborn baby six months into her pregnancy inside an immigration detention center. Politicians and organizations are now seeing that stillborn causalities and miscarriages is not isolated incidences but rather a problematic trend that has affected a number of pregnant detained women.

A new report shows that undocomunted women are experiencing more miscarriages while being detained has doubled under the Trump Administration.

Congressman Joaquin Castro and Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus said in a press release made available to us that “Medical experts have stated that detention centers do not have the necessary medical facilities to properly care for expectant mothers and that they should be released in a timely manner.” However, that hasn’t been the case. Pregnant women are detained for longer periods of time rather than be released.

Rep. Castro said that because the Trump Administration continues to detain pregnant women instead of releasing them, that is resulting in higher number of miscarriages.

“Last year the Trump Administration announced that it would detain most pregnant migrants instead of releasing them as the previous administration chose to do,” Rep. Castro said. “As a result of this cruel policy change, we have heard several alarming stories of pregnant women receiving inadequate medical care and even miscarrying while in DHS custody. These tragedies make one thing very clear: ICE and CBP should not be detaining expectant mothers in poor conditions, and the practice of detaining these women is inhumane and inconsistent with our values as Americans. We must examine the circumstances of the unfortunate and disturbing loss of this mother’s child. These agencies should reverse the policy changes that are hurting expectant mothers and instead work to protect the health and safety of all immigrants.”

To show the increase of miscarriages under the Trump Administration: 10 undocumented women had miscarriages between  October 2016 and September 2017. During the same review the following year, 18 undocumented women had miscarriages, the Daily Beast reports. That means the number continues to increase.

In 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and seven other organizations filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and its Office of Inspector General detailing the conditions for all detained people.

“There is a troubling pattern of medical negligence and disregard for humanity in the way ICE and CBP are allowed to operate under the Trump Administration,” Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, and the Hispanic Caucus Women’s Task Force Chair said in a statement made available to us. “I fear this tragedy could be a consequence of that negligence. I call on the Administration to be transparent and perform a thorough investigation, so we can know what exactly happened and what can be done to prevent this from happening in the future.”

READ: A Woman Who Had A Miscarriage Was Denied Access To Her Prescription Because Of A Pharmacist’s Beliefs

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