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Exclusive: Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins shares her journey to motherhood through IVF and faith

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Ashley Nguyen

Although actress Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins is understood for her role as Joelle Brooks on the Netflix series “Dear White People” and is a famous podcast host on the OWN network, she often describes herself as a vessel of faith for others, as she openly shares her faith with her audience on social media her journey to motherhood, how she maintains her mental health, and the intricacies of marriage. Recently online, Featherson-Jenkins detailed her IVF journey because she hoped to get pregnant after several years of infertility and was diagnosed with unexplained infertility after over a yr of trying to get pregnant naturally. In two Instagram videos, she highlights her pursuit of parenthood by sharing the seemingly intimidating technique of in vitro fertilization. The steps she discussed included pre-transfer acupuncture, PIO injections (progesterone injected oil, which helps thicken the liner of the uterus to prepare it for fertilization), and transfer of the embryos, which ultimately led to pregnancy.

During one among her Reels, she expressed disappointment with the transition to IVF. “I felt like my body was failing me and no one could tell me why.” But as she and her husband, Darroll Jenkins, delved into IVF, Featherson-Jenkins began to appreciate her body again. She said: “I did what I believed I could never do. I actually have endured countless injections, medications, surgeries, brain MRIs, and now to be on the opposite side and living within the midst of a miracle. The miracle she is talking about is her unborn daughter, who is predicted to be born in August. Featherson-Jenkins shares her journey in hopes of inspiring other women fighting infertility to know they are usually not alone, that there are such a lot of options available, and to keep the faith. She believes that being moms is our birthright and that it’s achievable.

Featherson-Jenkins is true; Black women are usually not alone when it comes to infertility and in search of additional options to get pregnant. In fact, according to the most recent data from Pew Research Center4 in ten adults (42%) say they’ve used infertility treatment or know someone who has. The survey shows that this percentage is up from 33% five years ago.

We talked to Featherson-Jenkins about her journey to motherhood, her experience with in vitro fertilization, and her advice for other women fighting infertility.

BEING: Tell us about your journey to motherhood.

Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins: It was a protracted journey. I call my journey in motherhood the pursuit of parenthood. You tend to go after what you wish.

We were open to having our first child after Darroll and I got married in September 2021. We had been trying to have a baby for 13 months with no success. We couldn’t understand why. During this time, several things were happening to me that doctors believed could have caused my infertility. I actually have hyperprolactinoma, which is a benign brain tumor that originates within the pituitary gland, which in a way tricks my body into considering that I would like to change into milky. I actually have had the tumor for about ten years, so my endocrinologist speculated that this may be the cause. Then I had PCOS. Finally, I had fibroids, but people have fibroids and get pregnant on a regular basis, and I also had fibroids removed. So my gynecologist, whom I really like, finally, after about 15 months, suggested making a change and seeing a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility specialist. She really useful one to us, so we went to see him and that was in November 2022. And then I used to be diagnosed with what is known as unexplained infertility. We contacted a fertility specialist and he thought we were great candidates for IVF. At the height of 2023, I began hormone injections to prepare for egg retrieval.

It can be vital to keep in mind that men also suffer from infertility. It’s not all the time women. So my husband underwent semen evaluation to be sure he was OK.

Tell us in regards to the egg recovery process.

Our egg collection was successful. We received a lot of eggs and immediately began creating embryos. We also got a lot of embryos, about 17, which was a shock for us because we couldn’t get pregnant before, but my body responded positively to in vitro fertilization. So after we heard about embryos, we had to provide you with a comprehensive plan that included a break. I wanted to proceed working on myself, which meant losing a few pounds, managing my PCOS, and trying to come off medication for my brain tumor. I wanted to find a while to proceed working on myself. This was a bit an excessive amount of.

How does it feel to be pregnant and about to give birth after several years of trying?

My close friend Teyonah Parris participated in my Trials to Triumphs podcast. She talked about being pregnant with her daughter and how she couldn’t deal with it since it was such a miracle that she asked, “God, is this really happening to me?”

We have been within the parents’ travel zone for a few years. I remember saying this and telling myself, “I will do everything in my power to believe in a miracle once I am in it.” Pregnancy is the best miracle that has happened in my life.

I had to go through a variety of things that felt unnatural to me, whether it was all of the medications, brain scans, myomectomies, or countless doctor visits. There are so many things that felt unnatural to me because in some ways they were just so I could have a really healthy pregnancy. I now feel like my body is of course performing at its best and I’m so impressed with it. I’ve been through lots when it comes to my reproductive system. I’m incredibly grateful. I feel pleased with my body. There were so many things that doctors or people said that my body may not give you the chance to do.

I feel probably the most blessed I actually have ever felt right after my wedding day.

What excites you most about motherhood?

What excites me most is raising someone to be a incredible human being. I’m excited to meet my recent favorite person. I’m excited to connect with my mother differently and gain a good deeper understanding of her journey, who she is, and all that she has done for me.

What is your advice for Black women fighting infertility?

My advice to Black women fighting infertility is to know that you just are usually not alone. It’s easy to want to isolate yourself, but you are not alone. The smartest thing you possibly can do for yourself is to discover a community, even when it isn’t personal, or do what I did and go to TikTok to discover a community. I might also say that you’ve gotten a right to reply. Look for them, go to your doctors, see what your insurance covers, what specialist you possibly can see and what tests you possibly can do to discover what is happening. The best armor we are able to have within the fight against infertility is to know as much about ourselves as possible.

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Health and Wellness

Here’s how to plan a successful girls’ trip to the 2024 ESSENCE Cultural Festival

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Getty

The ESSENCE Cultural Festival could be considered a pilgrimage for Black women to the mecca of the South, New Orleans, every summer, and for good reason. This 12 months marks the festival’s thirtieth anniversary and is anticipated to boast hot acts, an enticing program including insightful panels, and delicious, mouth-watering food and spirits. However, the opportunity to connect, bond, and strengthen relationships along with your best friends excites groups of ladies across the United States. Like Will Packer’s 2017 film, ESSENCE Cultural Festival is a hotbed of fun-filled adventures, mischievous shenanigans outside the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans (after all), and once-in-a-lifetime loving memories shared along with your closest confidantes, your girlfriends.

Below we have included some suggestions to assist you prepare to your upcoming girls’ trip. See you in NOLA!

Budget: While ESSENCE Fest programming is free, flights, hotels, live shows, food and beverages aren’t! Connect along with your best friends to develop a financial wellness plan that can reduce stress and any future trauma. You should all take part in budgeting and planning.

Close nice hotel: While New Orleans has loads of fun, attractive, and exciting boutique hotels to stay at like Ace Hotel and The Pontchartrain, we have now access to equally great hotels now that our 2024 FESTIVAL block is open! Check out our list of really helpful hotels Here. Contact your hotel of selection to reap the benefits of our exclusive festival weekend rate.

Make a list of NOLA attractions: While we have now the whole lot you might think or dream of at ESSENCE Fest, NOLA is stuffed with beautiful places to visit and fun activities like steamboat tours, Bourbon Street bar crawls, City Park walks, and distillery and cocktail tours. Talk to your girls to see what is going to pique your group’s interest and create a tour plan.

Download the EFOC app to select your itinerary: An incredible way to enhance your ESSENCE Fest experience is to download our EFOC app upfront! The app allows you to plan every day of the festival, starting with panels, performances and free giveaways. You can share your itinerary with friends to see in the event that they want to take part in programs with you. Find out about the official EFOC app here.

Determine the purpose of your trip: A really successful girls’ trip at all times starts with a positive intention to guide you throughout your time with the girls. Brainstorm along with your girls how you desire to to feel at the festival after which make it occur!

Be flexible in your plans: Even though a few of us love to plan, have a budget and a travel itinerary, sometimes things just don’t work out or can go in a different direction and that is okay! Try to stay flexible while the girls are traveling. Even in case your plans fall through, keep in mind that you might be there to rejoice along with your girls!

Schedule a while for yourself: I really like a good day at the spa, a solo brunch, or a solo date at a museum on girls’ tours. It is essential to energize yourself for the right day and even a few hours.


This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Health and Wellness

Keeping astronauts healthy in space is not easy – new training programs will prepare students to practice medicine thousands of kilometers from Earth

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In the approaching decade, more people will go to space than ever before as human spaceflight enters a new era. NASA, the European Space Agency and other government agencies are working together develop manned missions beyond the Moon. At the identical time, these agencies are working with private corporations to use new technologies to lower the costs of space exploration.

Companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Sierra Space have developed vehicles with reusable amplifiers, automated flight systems and light-weight materials support these space missions. Some even have their very own ambitions to construct private space stations, lunar bases or mining operations in the approaching many years.

However, as these technologies and partnerships rapidly expand the supply of spaceflight, new challenges arise. First, maintaining the health and performance of the astronaut crew. My team researchers and educators on the University of Colorado and others around the globe want to solve this problem.

As spaceflight expands, astronauts will need access to medical care on longer journeys and business flights.
Katya Arquilla

New medical challenges in space

NASA astronauts are some of essentially the most sensible and healthiest people in the world. In one study, astronauts undergo extensive medical and psychological tests disqualified 26% of candidates from the ultimate round. This rigorous inspection and testing process effectively reduces the chance of a medical incident occurring during a mission.

However, as spaceflight becomes more accessible, astronaut crews on business missions will likely make up the bulk of people traveling to space in the approaching years. Private missions will be short and will remain in close Earth orbit for the foreseeable future, but this will likely be done by private crews less training and more chronic health conditions than skilled astronauts currently living and dealing in space.

One sec experiments on the International Space Station have extensively studied the conventional physiological changes that occur in the human body in weightlessness, there is no data on the behavior of common chronic diseases, akin to diabetes and hypertension, in the space environment.

Mars shown from space.
During a mission to Mars, astronauts will be away from Earth for a very long time, with limited access to medical resources.
CU/LASP EMM/EXI ITF/Kevin M. Gill, CC BY

This industrial development also creates opportunities for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. Due to the length of the mission and the gap from Earth, professionally astronauts participating in these missions will experience long-term weightlessness leading to bone and muscle loss, communication delays ranging from a number of seconds to 40 minutes, and extreme isolation lasting months or years.

Crews must operate autonomously while being exposed to new threats, akin to lunar and Martian dust. Due to the fuel needed for these missions, resources will be limited to the bottom possible mass and volume.

As a result, mission planners will have to make difficult decisions in advance to determine what supplies are really needed, with limited or unavailable options for resupplying food, water, and medicine. For example, in space there could also be radiation and humidity contained in the spacecraft cause medicines to spoil faster and change into unavailable and even toxic to crew members.

The space station crew has already done this access to the flight surgeon at Mission Control to help manage health care in the identical way telehealth is used on Earth. However, crews on distant planets will have to perform medical care and procedures themselves.

In the event of a medical emergency, crews may not have the opportunity to evacuate to Earth. Unlike a space station, where medical evacuation to Earth can occur in lower than 24 hours, lunar evacuations could take weeks. Evacuation from Mars may not be possible for months and even years.

Put simply, the present approach to spaceflight medical care will not meet the needs of future business and skilled astronauts. Scientists will need to develop new technologies and novel training approaches to prepare future service providers to treat conditions in space.

Current aerospace medicine leaders are either experts in aerospace engineering or medicine, but rarely do experts have formal training or full knowledge of each fields. And these disciplines often cannot speak their very own language, neither literally nor figuratively.

Training the subsequent generations

To meet the changing demands of human spaceflight, educators and universities are looking to train specialists who understand each the restrictions of the human body and the restrictions of engineering design.

Some schools and hospitals, e.g University of Texas Medical Branch, conduct training programs for medical school graduates in the sector of aviation medicine. Others, akin to UCLA AND Massachusetts General Hospitalthey’ve specialized training programs in aerospace medicine, but these are currently geared toward fully trained emergency medicine physicians.

My team on the University of Colorado created a program that integrates human physiology and engineering principles to educate medical students to think like engineers.

Two dome tents connected by long pipes in the desert.
The University of Colorado takes students to the desert to simulate a lunar base. Students work together to solve simulated medical problems which will arise during a space mission.
Katya Arquilla

This program goals to help students understand human health and performance in the spaceflight environment. He approaches these topics from engineering design and limits the prospect of finding solutions to the challenges astronauts will face.

One of our hottest classes is called Mars in simulated surface environments. In this class, students explore engineering and medical scenarios in a simulated Martian environment in the Utah desert. Students navigate the challenges of working and caring in a space suit and in a desolate, Mars-like landscape.

The stress of simulations will be real for students, they usually learn the way to use their combined skills to take care of other crew members.

Educational programs like these and others are designed to produce trained professionals who understand each patient care and the procedural nature of engineering design and may mix the 2, each for space tourists in orbit and as a pioneer to the surface of one other planets.

A new era of spaceflight is upon us, and these programs are already training experts to make space accessible and secure.

This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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Health and Wellness

why do you feel tingling in your legs when you sit on them?

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That’s a fantastic query, Bonnie.

There are several reasons why we may feel tingling in our body. Sometimes this sense appears when we get sick or hurt yourself. It also can occur for another excuse health conditionsor due to our genes (we inherit our genes from our parents).

We can also feel tingling when we sit in the identical position for too long or when we squeeze a selected a part of the body, reminiscent of our legs. That’s what you asked and that is why we’ll speak about it in this text.

The tingling sensation, which will also be called “pins and needles”, comes from our body nervousness.

Nerves are made up of special cells that send electrical signals – mainly messages – to one another our brain and our body. So nerves help our brain communicate with muscles and other parts of the body to regulate things like: movement.

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at nerves and the role they play in giving us tingles.

Nerve cells allow our brain to speak with other parts of our body.
Giovanni Cancemi/Shutterstock

Crushing our blood vessels

The nerves in our body need many things to operate properly, reminiscent of nutrients (the nice things we get from the food we eat), oxygen from the air we breathe, and plenty of blood. Our blood helps carry oxygen, nutrients and other useful things throughout the body.

The heart pumps blood to all parts of our body blood vesselswhich resemble small tubes.

If we sit on our feet for too long, it could possibly crush among the smaller blood vessels in that a part of our body. This signifies that the blood can not flow properly. And then the nerves that need blood supply from these vessels not receive the nutrients and oxygen they need.

This causes your nerves to decelerate in an try to conserve energy. It’s sort of like they fell asleep. The area will turn out to be quite numb and you won’t feel much.

You may feel this sensation when you sit in one position for too long or have your arm or arm crushed under your weight for some time. Have you ever woken up in bed with a dead arm?

Boy playing with toys on the floor in the bedroom.
You can have felt a tingling sensation when you sat on the ground for a very long time and played.
Lopolo/Shutterstock

Then, when you finally move, the blood vessels immediately open and blood rushes to the world and awakens the nerves.

The nerves can then start firing electrical signals. When they get up, we’ve an odd feeling. It’s a tingling sensation. Often this area can also cause a sense of numbness or difficulty in moving.

There isn’t any must worry

The medical term for tingling, pins and needles, blistering or numbness is “paresthesia“.

Some people may find this sense a bit scary. But there’s often no reason to fret. If you have simply sat on your feet for too long or slept on your arm, this area will fill with blood again as soon as you move somewhat.

Then the nerves will get stronger again nutrients and oxygen they need, and shortly all the things shall be back to normal.


This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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