Posts Tagged "baby"

4Jul

Royal baby christening: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won’t announce Archie’s godparents – National

by BBG Hub

On Saturday, the newest member of the Royal Family, Archie Harrison, will be christened.

Typically, when a royal baby is christened, his or her godparents are announced in a statement from Buckingham Palace — as was the case for all of Archie’s first cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

READ MORE: Everything we know about Archie Harrison’s christening

However, according to reports, it may not be the same for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son.

On Wednesday, royal expert Omid Scobie shared a statement he had received from Buckingham Palace to Twitter.

READ MORE: Royal baby godparents: Who will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry choose?

In it, the Royal Family confirmed that Archie Harrison will be christened in the private chapel at Winsdor Castle on July 6. They also announced that “the godparents, in keeping with the parents’ wishes, will remain private.”

This isn’t surprising for fans of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — the pair have been notoriously private since getting married last May.

Thankfully, eagle-eyed royal watchers can expect the couple to share photos of Archie at his christening, which will be the first time the world gets a glimpse of the baby’s face.

Markle and Prince Harry have previously shared two photos of the baby, but neither featured his entire face.

The first, shared to the couple’s Instagram account in honour of Mother’s Day, was of Archie’s small feet in Markle’s hands. The second, which the couple posted to Instagram for Father’s Day, was of Archie’s eyes — but the rest of his face was shielded by his father’s hand.

The rules of the Church of England

Despite the couple’s wishes to keep their choices private, it could be that Archie’s godparents are revealed anyway due to the rules of the Church of England.

According to the U.K.’s National Archives, the Parochial Registers and Records Measure was passed in 1978.

It states that “register books or baptisms and burials [are] to be available for research within reasonable working hours in the diocesan record offices.”

WATCH: Did Donald Trump break royal etiquette during UK state visit?





This means baptism records — including the names of godparents — are a matter of public record and can be searched by anyone.

However, the Queen may overrule the 1978 measure if she wishes because the private chapel at Windsor Castle — where Archie is to be christened — is known as a Royal Peculiar.

This means it belongs directly to the monarch and not to any diocese. Therefore, it doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of a bishop.

The top picks for Archie’s godparents

According to royal expert Victoria Arbiter, the role of a royal godparent is to offer friendship and guidance throughout the child’s “spiritual journey.”

“It’s likely we’ll see close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too,” Arbiter said of the royal baby’s potential godparents.

WATCH: Harry and Meghan’s home renovation controversy





The goal is to give the child access to several unique perspectives throughout his or her life.

A clear front-runner is Markle’s close friend Jessica Mulroney, according to Arbiter.

“She has been an amazing friend, and she has an amazing background in terms of her marriage to Ben Mulroney, whose father was prime minister [of Canada]… They would be able to offer wisdom about being in the public eye,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘Any longer and I would’ve been burnt out’ — Former aide to the Queen shares difficulties of job

“If we were to see any Royals, Eugenie and Harry are very close,” Arbiter said. “I think Eugenie deeply appreciated her mother being included in Harry and Meghan’s [wedding] guest list.”

(Eugenie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, divorced from Prince Andrew in 1996.)

Arbiter also expects to see a few of Harry’s close friends, as well as a cousin or aunt from his mother’s side of the family, included in the list of potential godparents.

Alternatively, Harry may pick his childhood nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

“She was an amazing support when Diana died,” Arbiter said.

What we know about the christening

The event will reportedly be extremely private, with just 25 of the couple’s close friends and family members — including Archie’s godparents — in attendance, a royal source told People.

This is typical of royal christenings, which have historically been very private affairs.

At Prince Louis’ christening in July 2018, only 21 people close to the baby were in attendance.

WATCH: Royal baby: 3 things Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s child might endure being biracial





During the ceremony, Archie will probably be christened using the Lily Font, a silver baptismal bowl in the form of a blooming flower.

The font was originally commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1840 and has been used for all royal christenings since.

READ MORE: The feminist significant of Meghan Markle’s post-birth dress

It is one of only two English silver fonts — the other was made in 1660 for King Charles II.

After the ceremony, guests will likely be invited to enjoy afternoon tea hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

According to the Royal Family, it’s customary that guests indulge in the christening cake, which is a tier taken from the wedding cake of the christened child’s mother and father.

WATCH: Prince Harry And Meghan cut ties with Prince William and Kate’s charity





Though unconfirmed, the Sunday Times reported that Archie will wear a replica of the historic royal christening gown originally used for the baptism of Princess Victoria in 1841.

According to the Royal Family, the original gown was commissioned by Queen Victoria and worn by 62 royal babies, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Prince Harry.

In 2008, Queen Elizabeth commissioned a replica by her dressmaker Angela Kelly in order to preserve the original.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry announce first royal tour ‘as family’

James, Viscount Severn, was the first member of the Royal Family to wear this replica gown at his christening at the private chapel at Windsor Castle in the same year.

Archie’s cousins, Prince GeorgePrincess Charlotte and Prince Louis, all wore the replica at their respective christenings.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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10May

‘It shouldn’t have happened’: Baby allegedly strangled to death by teething necklace – National

by BBG Hub

Danielle Morin didn’t think twice about letting her 18-month-old son, Deacon, use the beaded teething necklace she was given as a gift.

She assumed that the accessory, meant to help alleviate her baby’s teething pain, was safe for babies. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

In October 2016, Deacon was placed down for a nap at daycare when the necklace allegedly tightened around his neck and constricted his breathing.

The child was rushed to hospital but he didn’t survive.

READ MORE: Mom left devastated after toddler dies choking on bouncy ball

Now, Morin has filed a lawsuit against Etsy, the retail website which sold the teething necklace. She argues that Etsy is legally responsible for Deacon’s death.

“I want parents to know there is no more Toys R Us… people need to go online to buy products… and these products aren’t always safe,” Morin said in an interview with Yahoo.

“No parent should have to grieve a child. No parent should have to bury their child.”

In response, Etsy released a statement which said: “While we understand the desire to take action, Etsy is a platform and did not make or directly sell this item. We believe the allegations should be directed at the criminally-negligent daycare providers or, if appropriate, the seller of the necklace.”

Unfortunately, Deacon’s death was completely avoidable.

In the opinion of Dr. Dan Flanders, the founder of Kindercare Pediatrics, the baby shouldn’t have had the teething necklace in the first place.

“One completely preventable death is one too many. It shouldn’t have happened.”

In Flanders’ opinion, there are two ways teething necklaces could put babies in danger.

“One, it could cause strangulation,” he said. “The other is that… the necklace could break and then [the child] could put those little beads in their mouth — they could be a choking hazard.”

Dr. Catherine Cox, a resident in the Dalhousie University department of family medicine, agrees.

She recently conducted a case study on a baby who suffered from non-fatal infant strangulation caused by a teething necklace.

While no deaths caused by teething necklaces have been reported in Canada, there have been several cases of non-fatal strangulation. This can cause oxygen deprivation to a baby’s brain and result in serious health consequences.

Despite these risks, manufacturers continue to sell these products — and parents continue to buy them.

READ MORE: Parents, vaping near children is just as dangerous as smoking: study

“The distribution of these products that have warnings have actually increased in the past five years,” said Cox. “So people are using more of these products, despite the dangers.”

According to Cox, manufacturers will try to offset these worries by making erroneous claims about different safety features.

“A lot of manufacturers explicitly counter the intuitive risk of strangulation or aspiration by saying that there’s a knot between each bead that reduces the probability of [them] becoming loose,” she said.

They’ll also claim the necklace has “a clasp break that will break under tension… so the risk of strangulation is minimized, but there’s actually no validity to support that,” Cox said.

Health Canada has actually issued several warnings around these products in the past.”

WATCH BELOW: Keeping your kids safe in the car





The rise of teething necklace sales in Canada is especially concerning because babies may not even need teething aids at all.

According to Flanders, doctors can’t confirm if babies even feel pain during teething.

“For some babies, teeth come in and it’s as if nothing’s wrong — there’s no irritability, no nothing,” Flanders said.

“Then other baby’s teeth come in and they seem really irritable and upset, but we can never really attribute it to teething.”

Accessories like teething necklaces are supposed to help alleviate pain caused by new teeth penetrating a baby’s gums. The baby is meant to chew on the beads as a way to relieve pressure.

However, in terms of a cost-benefit analysis, Flanders sees very little benefit to this method.

“Putting these necklaces on babies is all risk and no benefit.”

“I don’t think teething necklaces do anything to help teething pains, which is the tragedy of this case,” said Flanders.

READ MORE: Are your baby’s ‘first finger foods’ safe? Some may be a choking hazard: study

If you believe your baby is struggling with teething pain, there are other options you should explore.

Flanders recommends doctor-approved teething rings or even the pads of a parent’s fingers.

“Sometimes, it’s better if they chew on a soft texture,” Flanders said. “Sometimes, chewing on cold objects can give them relief.”

For this, Flanders suggests placing a teething ring in the fridge — not the freezer.

WATCH BELOW: Alarms raised over Amazon smart speaker for kids over information reportedly not being deleted





“We advise against frozen things because those can cause low-temperature burns, like frostbite,” he said.

If your baby appears to be in prolonged discomfort, Flanders recommends a dose of Tylenol or Advil.

If that doesn’t work, you should consult your family doctor.

“If the baby is really irritable and upset and you can’t really seem to get it under control — and you know this is a new-ish behaviour (in other words, it hasn’t been going on for months and months) — then something is obviously wrong,” said Flanders.

“It’s always the right answer to seek help from a medical doctor.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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6May

Everything we know about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s new baby (so far) – National

by BBG Hub

The newest royal baby has finally arrived!

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their firstborn son at 5:26 a.m. local time on Monday, May 6.

The Duke of Sussex was by Markle’s side during the birth. The baby weighs seven pounds, three ounces, and both he and the Duchess are healthy.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle gives birth to baby boy, palace confirms

Kensington Palace announced the baby’s arrival via Instagram. In the caption, the Duke and Duchess “thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives.”

An overjoyed Prince Harry greeted reporters shortly after the baby’s arrival.

The birth was “the most amazing experience I can ever possibly imagine,” he said. “How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension, but we’re both absolutely thrilled.”

Prince Harry later added that he’s “so incredibly proud” of the Duchess of Sussex.

WATCH: Prince Harry said Monday he was “excited to announce” that he and Meghan Markle had a very healthy baby boy.





“As every father and parent would ever say, your baby is absolutely amazing, but this little thing is absolutely to die for,” he said.

Prince Harry said the public would see the baby in a few days’ time.

According to Kensington Palace, Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is with their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage, and she’s “overjoyed” by the arrival of her first grandchild.

Markle and Prince Harry have been tight-lipped about the details of the impending birth and how they plan to raise their firstborn. Here’s what we know so far.

The baby’s birthplace remains unknown

The Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital is a popular destination for royal moms, including Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge.

It wasn’t a clear choice for Markle and Prince Harry, as they weren’t thought to be living in downtown London, where the hospital is located.

Royal expert Victoria Arbiter guessed that the couple would choose a facility “closer to their home base in Windsor” — and it appears she was right.

There have been no reports of ambulances coming or going from Frogmore Cottage.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s pregnancy wardrobe cost more than $800K — here’s who pays for it

“The Lindo Wing has seen more royal births than any other hospital, but that doesn’t mean it’s a tradition,” said Arbiter. “I think where to give birth is very much a personal choice.”

Markle wouldn’t be the first to depart from convention if she did, in fact, choose to give birth somewhere other than the Lindo Wing.

“Fergie had her babies at the Portland hospital, [and] Sophie Wessex had her babies at Frimley Park, which is not too far from Windsor,” said Arbiter.

A different kind of royal baby announcement

Typically, in anticipation of a new royal baby, the media is alerted when the expectant mother is admitted to hospital.

“It’s very difficult for a royal to sneak into hospital so … with Kate [Middleton], we got the notice when she was already in hospital,” Arbiter told Global News. “That way, had anyone spotted her going in, [the Royals] were still ahead of the story.”

This wasn’t the case for Markle and Prince Harry — the baby announcement wasn’t made until Markle was at the hospital.

READ MORE: ‘We’re in uncharted territory’ — Royal expert shares everything she knows about baby Sussex

According to Arbiter, this was not a break with tradition or protocol.

“They’re just doing what works for them,” she said.

As tradition dictates, the easel announcing the newest royal baby landed at the gates of Buckingham Palace at 4:45 p.m. local time.

It says the baby’s time of birth, that mother and baby are doing well and is signed by the attending doctors. The easel usually stays up in front of the palace for 24 hours.

The baby will likely be named in honour of another royal family member

In conversation with reporters after the baby’s arrival, Harry added that the couple was “still thinking about names.”

However, eagle-eyed fans of the Royal Family have been speculating about the likely choices.

According to betting platform Ladbrokes, Arthur (5/1) is the current favourite.

In second place is the posh Alexander (6/1), which may be a nod to the Queen’s middle name, Alexandra.

Albert (8/1) is another possibility, as it is the name of Queen Victoria’s husband. The name was also a top pick for Kate Middleton and Prince William’s son Prince Louis, who was born in April 2018.

Philip is also a leading contender (10/1) after the child’s great-grandfather Prince Philip.

The newest royal baby is seventh in line to the throne

This baby will be seventh in line to the throne, right behind dad Prince Harry.

From closest to the throne to farthest away, the line of succession will be as follows: Charles, William, George, Charlotte, Louis, Harry and then baby Sussex.

“It’s very unlikely that this baby will ever be monarch. It would take a catastrophe of unforeseen circumstances if we were to wipe out Charles and the entire Cambridge clan,” said Arbiter.

READ MORE: Royal baby succession — Where does Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son rank?

That said, once Charles is king, the newborn will still be the grandchild of the sovereign, at which point he and his father will take on “very significant roles.”

There’s been much speculation about why the baby is not eligible for a royal title, but Arbiter said this rule goes back to George V.

“People who don’t know better are using it as an opportunity to say the Queen is angry with Meghan… which is nonsense,” Arbiter said. “[George V] just didn’t foresee a future in which there would be four generations alive.”

Had the Queen already passed, this baby — as the grandchild of the sovereign in the male line — would be HRH Prince or Princess. Since the Queen is still alive, this baby is not eligible for the title of HRH Prince or Princess.

“If a boy comes along, he will likely be the Earl of Dumbarton, one of Harry’s subsidiary titles. If a little girl comes along, she will be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor,” Arbiter said.

The potential royal godparents

The role of a royal godparent is to offer friendship and guidance throughout the child’s spiritual journey.

“It’s likely we’ll see close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too,” said Arbiter.

A clear front-runner is Markle’s close friend Jessica Mulroney, according to Arbiter.

WATCH: Royal baby — Fans gather outside Windsor Castle to celebrate the birth





“She has been an amazing friend and she has an amazing background in terms of her marriage to Ben Mulroney, whose father was prime minister [of Canada] … They would be able to offer wisdom about being in the public eye,” Arbiter said.

If Prince Harry and Markle wanted to go the Royal route, Princess Eugenie is a likely choice.

Arbiter also expects to see a few of Prince Harry’s close friends, as well as a cousin or aunt from his mother’s side of the family, included.

Alternatively, Prince Harry may pick his childhood nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

“She was an amazing support when Diana died,” said Arbiter.

The Royal Family’s first American citizen

Markle is a U.S. citizen, which means this baby has dual citizenship.

He is both American and British, and the first American citizen with a direct line to the British throne.

This presents some anomalies when it comes to money.

“Meghan, as a U.S. citizen, does have to file a tax return. I’m not a tax expert but as I understand it, you’re charged a percentage of taxes while you’re outside of the country,” said Arbiter.

READ MORE: Royal protocols — Why Meghan Markle always carries her purse in her hands

This was confirmed by David Treitel, founder of American Tax Returns Ltd., in an interview with CNN.

Despite living in the U.K., Markle will be obliged to file a U.S. tax return and to report any foreign accounts, assets over $200,000 and gifts valued at more than $15,797 “regardless of whether it is actually in your possession,” Treitel told CNN.

This means Markle has needed to declare items like the diamond in her engagement ring, taken from Princess Diana’s jewelry collection, for example.

LISTEN: Alan Carter talks new Royal baby

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Baby Sussex will be required to do the same with all of his or her assets and income until they are 18 years old.

The Royal Family is “notoriously private” about their finances, said Arbiter, so this is sure to cause some issues.

“It becomes a huge financial nightmare… and the Royal Family will try desperately to keep their finances private,” she added.

With files from Laura Hensley

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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6May

Meghan Markle gives birth to baby boy, palace confirms – National

by BBG Hub

The newest addition to the Royal Family has arrived!

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their son on Monday, Kensington Palace confirmed on social media.

“We are pleased to announce that Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their firstborn child in the early morning on May 6th, 2019,” the palace said on Instagram.

“Their Royal Highnesses’ son weighs 7lbs. 3oz.”

“The Duchess and baby are both healthy and well, and the couple thank members of the public for their shared excitement and support during this very special time in their lives,” the palace said.

“More details will be shared in the forthcoming days.”

WATCH BELOW: Prince Harry says he and Meghan Markle had a baby boy





The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not yet revealed the name of their firstborn, but anxious royal onlookers have been placing bets.

The newborn is seventh in line to the throne. They’re behind Prince Charles, Prince William and his children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and then Prince Harry.

WATCH BELOW: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their son on Monday





The baby is the Queen‘s eighth great-grandchild. The 92-year-old monarch also has eight grandchildren, and four children.

Markle, 37, and Prince Harry, 34, announced they were expecting a child in October.

READ MORE: What Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may name their child?

The couple wed in May 2018.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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5May

Baby bumps aren’t the same size — here’s why – National

by BBG Hub

Pregnancy, like any other health-related experience, differs for every woman — and this includes bump size.

“Between pregnancies, (bump sizes) are going to be very different as well,” said Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Women’s College Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto.

READ MORE: How safe is it to take medication during pregnancy?

Kirkham points out that the first trimester differs from the third and that the further a woman is into her pregnancy, the larger a bump usually gets. But why do some women show their pregnancy earlier than others, and why are some bumps big while others look small?

Here are some factors that affect baby bump size.

Core strength

Core muscles are an important muscle group and are vital to things like posture and balance. Our core also affects how far a baby bump comes out.

“If someone is very fit and does a lot of sit-ups or Pilates and has a strong core, then their rectus muscles — which are the abdominal muscles in front — are tight,” Kirkham said.

WATCH: One-third of pregnant women think cannabis is OK to use during pregnancy, review says





Strong abdominal muscles mean a growing uterus is going to stay closer to the core of the body, Kirkham explained, making a bump appear smaller.

On the other hand, if core muscles have been stretched out from a previous pregnancy, a second or third pregnancy baby bump may look larger.

“Your muscles are a little bit more elastic at that point,” Kirkham said.

Weight and height

Women’s bodies are all different, and varying bump sizes reflect that.

If a woman is taller and has a longer torso, their pregnancy may not show as early as someone who is shorter, Kirkham said. Later in a pregnancy, a shorter woman’s belly may also seem wider because there is less room for the baby to move “up and down.”

READ MORE: How fertility apps are changing the way women conceive

A woman’s pre-pregnancy weight can also play a role in the size of their bump. While Kirkham says doctors usually encourage about 25 to 35 pounds of pregnancy weight gain, this amount varies across body sizes.

People who are underweight typically need to gain more, Kirkham says, recommending between 20 and 40 pounds.

“People who are underweight … have very little for the baby to utilize so your body actually has to make more energy stores and fat stores,” she explained. “Women that are overweight actually gain less — or sometimes even lose weight — because they have a little bit more (that) the baby can take from.”

READ MORE: University study says stress experienced while pregnant has lasting health impacts for children

Kirkham says a woman can determine their recommended weight on the government of Canada’s pregnancy weight gain calculator but should also talk to their doctor.

Hormones and stage of pregnancy

Typically, a bump grows as a woman’s pregnancy progresses.

“Most people don’t show before around 16 weeks or so, but everyone is going to be different,” Kirkham said.

WATCH: Women should wait a year before getting pregnant again — study





In the first trimester of pregnancy, a woman may experience morning sickness, which can include nausea and vomiting. If she has a hard time keeping food down, she may lose weight.

On the flip side, if someone starts gaining weight at the beginning of their pregnancy, the stomach area can look larger faster. There can also be bloating from progesterone hormones, which can cause a change in the belly’s shape as well, Kirkham said.

Visit your doctor

It’s important for pregnant women to have regular checkups with their doctor to monitor their pregnancy. A health-care provider does weight measurements as well as symphysial fundal height (SFH) measurements, which monitor fetal growth.

READ MORE: New Canadian pregnancy guideline shows exercise cuts odds of major complications by 40%

“That’s where we measure from the pubic bone up to the top of the uterus, and we only do that after 20 weeks,” Kirkham said. “At 20 weeks, your bump is usually up to your belly button, and then each week after that, (it grows) about a centimetre.”

Because of all the factors that can affect the size of a baby bump, Kirkham said it’s important to avoid commenting on a woman’s size. It can be upsetting and can also cause unnecessary worry or anxiety for the mom-to-be.

READ MORE: Monkey see, monkey do — Teaching your kid to love their body starts with you

“Because of all the variations, it is very hard for anybody to know and compare (bump sizes) properly,” Kirkham said.

“One of the worst things you can tell a pregnant woman is that her bump is too big or too small because … somebody on the street is not going to be able to tell that.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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1May

‘Bachelor’ stars throw ‘ultrasound party’ to let loved ones meet baby in the womb – National

by BBG Hub

Arie Luyendyk and wife Lauren, who married in January after meeting on season 22 of The Bachelor, are expecting their first child sometime in June.

To celebrate the baby’s impending arrival, the couple had a typical baby shower — complete with fresh fruit, a rainbow cake and cheesy games — save for one unique activity: a live ultrasound.

During the party, Lauren laid down on a bed in the middle of her living room so a technician could show partygoers the baby in real-time.

READ MORE: Skip the baby shower: Why some moms need postpartum parties after birth

After Lauren was finished, two of her pregnant guests were also given impromptu ultrasound screenings.

The exams were provided by an obstetrics clinic in Arizona (where the Luyendyks live), but it’s not the only place that offers mobile ultrasounds. Clinics across the United States now offer in-home ultrasound services, with the cost starting around $150.

Dr. George Arnold believes an “ultrasound party” could be a great way to connect with your unborn baby.

He works as the chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Markham Stouffville Hospital.

READ MORE: Expectant couple angers neighbours after asking them to do their chores, cook their meals

“I think that it really does help with just further establishing that connection with your newborn prior to actually being able to physically see or physically hold [them.] There’s something special about that for sure.”

Arnold also advocates for the use of 3D and 4D ultrasounds to produce even more detailed pictures and videos of your baby.

“With a traditional 2D image, you see these black holes and you wonder, ‘Is something wrong with my baby?’ [With] a 3D or 4D ultrasound, you can get some phenomenal pictures,” said Arnold.

“There is something special about not only feeling your baby move but being able to see what your baby’s like.”

There aren’t any known medical risks

There is no known risk to having an ultrasound while pregnant, nor is there any evidence of cumulative risk which increases with each ultrasound performed.

“This makes sense because ultrasound is basically using sound wave technology,” said Arnold.

“We’re exposed to sounds every day of our life, bouncing off our bodies one way or another. From a safety point of view, there is no concern.”

For Arnold, the only real risk you run by having an ultrasound party is that the technician might see something of concern with your child.

His concern is that you might need to have what’s typically a private moment between parents while surrounded by your friends and family.

“God forbid you haven’t felt the baby move for a few days and an ultrasound shows that your baby’s no longer alive… There’s always the chance that something could be seen or misinterpreted,” said Arnold, though the likelihood of this happening is very slim.

READ MORE: ‘Fertility isn’t funny’: Why you shouldn’t pretend to be pregnant on April Fools’ day

Alternately, Dr. Ori Nevo, who works as a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Sunnybrook Hospital, warns that there may be risks not yet discovered by the medical community.

“We don’t know if there’s any issue we haven’t picked up with studies [on ultrasounds during pregnancy],” said Nevo.

“That’s true for many other interventions, interactions, medications — pretty much anything because studies are always limited to some degree.”

Nevo doesn’t believe there to be any risks, but he admits that doctors don’t know everything. He recommends you err on the side of caution and only have the recommended number of ultrasounds to be safe.

The typical ultrasound schedule

The average low-risk pregnancy will see three to four ultrasounds, though doctors haven’t reached a consensus on the exact number and schedule that’s best for tracking the baby’s development.

In Arnold’s practice, he recommends most women have the “dating ultrasound” somewhere around the seven- or eight-week mark.

“That’s the most accurate way of determining your due date,” said Arnold.

The next ultrasound is usually around week 12, as part of genetic testing. The third ultrasound is typically done around the 19-week mark.

“That’s the one that will tell you the gender, if you’re interested,” Arnold said.

After that, it’s not clear if another ultrasound is necessary — especially in low-risk pregnancies.

“A lot of caregivers will do an ultrasound somewhere around the 30-week mark just to confirm growth,” said Arnold. “I do that and I find it’s helpful. Occasionally, you’ll pick things up that have been missed at the earlier [19-week] anatomy ultrasound.”

WATCH BELOW: Baby appears to flash ‘rock on’ sign in ultrasound photo





Nevo’s practice differs slightly. He recommends the mother have her first ultrasound between 11 to 14 weeks.

“Some people do a dating scan early on, although it’s not completely necessary if you’re doing the 11 to 14 weeks ultrasound,” Nevo said.

During this checkup, Nevo assesses the basic fetal condition and he screens for Down syndrome. The second scan comes between 18 to 22 weeks.

“It’s a long scan in which we check all the different organs. We check the placenta location… we’re pretty much seeing if there are any fetal disorders,” said Nevo, who calls this “the big scan.”

He usually performs a third scan on or around the due date, to make sure the baby is ready for birth.

According to Nevo, this schedule will look very different if you’re pregnant with twins or if it’s a complicated pregnancy.

A way to bond

In Arnold’s view, if there’s no risk to mom or baby imposed by having an ultrasound, why not have one or two?

“I think patients benefit from seeing their baby move before he or she is born,” he said.

It’s been Arnold’s experience that patients love every chance to see their growing baby, and he’s happy to provide that opportunity.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry break tradition with ‘private’ birthing plan

Nevo is less supportive of the trend.

“When we don’t know something, we think it’s better not to expose the patients for unnecessary testing,” he said.

Arnold doesn’t know of any Canadian clinics that provide in-home ultrasounds yet, but he’s sure the service will travel north soon enough.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it does exist [in Canada] and if it doesn’t, I’m sure it will very soon.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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24Apr

Expectant couple angers neighbours after asking them to do their chores, cook their meals – National

by BBG Hub

A Philadelphia couple is facing backlash after asking their neighbours to give them free meals and clean their house for them once their baby arrives.

The request was shared online, first to the crowdsourcing platform Meal Train and then on Nextdoor, a private social network for neighbourhoods.

Both posts have since been deleted, but not before snippets were shared to Twitter by neighbour Jack Jokinen.

In his request, father-to-be Jim Burns writes that he is “teetering on a fence of emotions” about the impending birth of his first child.

READ MORE: ‘Snowplow parenting’ is preventing young people from learning ‘basic life skills’

“On one side is joy and excitement, of course. But on the other side, is a great deal of fear!” said Burns.

“One of the things I’m most afraid of is not getting a great deal of sleep and as a result not being in the best frame of mind to offer my wife the support she needs to recover from the child-birthing process.”

Burns asks his neighbours to participate in what he refers to as a “meal train” or “mental-health check-in train” or “do you need any help today train.”

He then proceeds to list recipes for dozens of meals, including things like banana oat bars, salmon sweet potato cakes and chicken soup with white beans and kale.

Burns also shares the couple’s specific dietary restrictions (“we try to avoid sugar whenever possible”) as well as their favourite and least favourite meals.

“Alex really dislikes mashed potatoes,” Burns said of his wife.

Neighbours who can’t cook are asked to instead drop by and offer to walk the dog or clean some dishes. Burns also notes that in the event the couple doesn’t want to be disturbed, neighbours can drop meals off in the white cooler in their yard.

READ MORE: Edmonton woman quits Claire’s job after refusing to pierce crying 7-year-old’s ears

According to the Twitter user who shared the thread, the first response from a neighbour was a positive one.

Someone living nearby wrote, “hey neighbour! We live across the street with the crazy dog and three-year-old… we certainly know how tough this time can be and what a big transition it is so count on us for support!”

However, the response from the larger online community was not nearly as warm.

Twitter user @jasondunn wrote, “meal trains are great! Supporting new parents is great! But, uh, normally it’s the *friends* of the new parents that support them with a meal train. I have never, ever, seen anything as bizarrely entitled as this.”

And @taellosse said, “you don’t publicly ask for the kindness of strangers then provide a list of recipes sorted by preference.”

In an interview with the New York Post, Burns said he was shocked and disappointed that his request was being received so poorly.

“I apologize if it was taken the wrong way — and I’m frankly just very surprised and a little disheartened by … the response,” Burns said. “If they are not interested, then they don’t have to check that site or do anything. This is the world we live in.”

However, according to etiquette expert Lisa Orr, it’s understandable that people are irritated by the request.

“It definitely sounded like an entitled young couple who is going to be in for a rude awakening when the reality of parenting sets in,” Orr said. “We do have an etiquette, particularly in North America, around how new parents should ask for help.”

“Typically, the first step is that family and close friends offer, rather than new parents sending out a request for help.”

In Orr’s experience, it’s common for a friend or family member to take the lead, putting together a list of things that need to be prepared prior to the baby’s arrival.

“It almost becomes an extension of a baby shower as a way to support a new family,” she said.

“If expectant parents do ask for help in advance, it’s [usually] a personal request, not some mass email.”

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For Orr, expectant parents need to recognize that their friends and family didn’t make the choice to have a child — they did.

“As such, it’s their responsibility to figure it out,” Orr said. “If they do make a request for help, it should be in a way that shows their gratitude in advance for the support that is clearly above and beyond.”

According to Orr, expectant parents shouldn’t assume that friends, family or neighbours are going to help.

“Any support that they do receive is a gift that they should feel very fortunate to receive,” she said.

According to Orr, there are appropriate ways for expectant or new parents to ask for help — and this is not one of them. Here are some things to keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation.

Help is a two-way street

Showing respect is especially important if you need to lean on people you don’t know well, which can sometimes happen.

For parenting expert Ann Douglas, you should try to build your network in a way that moves beyond your need for help.

“Ideally, you’re going to be making this request of people with whom you already have an existing relationship, but if you’re new to a community, you might have to turn and ask people you don’t know particularly well (or at least not yet),” said Douglas.

“Social media makes it relatively easy to build community with friends of friends, so even if you only know a handful of people in your community, the network you can access via these friends of friends may actually be quite large.”

In Douglas’ view, it’s fine to lean on neighbours, but it shouldn’t be a one-way street.

“Sure, you might benefit from a casserole right now, while you’re trying to adjust to life with a newborn, but that neighbour down the street might benefit from some help with yard work in a few months’ time when they’re recovering from hip surgery,” she said.

Be clear about what you need

In your request, get straight to the point, but be accommodating.

In Orr’s view, the few people who offered to help at your baby shower are the perfect people to ask.

“For example, ‘If there’s any way you might be able to come by the house a few times for a few hours to watch the baby in the first month… that would really help us out. Please let me know if there are times that work for you,’” Orr said.

Working around their schedule shows you’re not taking them for granted.

READ MORE: Should kids wear life jackets or personal flotation devices? What one viral video is teaching parents

Douglas believes there’s a fine line between a request and a demand — and the difference is in the way you ask.

“There’s no point having your freezer full of casseroles that you can’t eat because they contain foods you’re allergic to or that you and your family simply don’t eat, but maybe you might want to give people a little bit of latitude,” Douglas said.

“If you’re too specific in your language, it might sound like you are placing an order rather than making a request.”

It’s as easy as stating your dietary issues but allowing the other person to choose their own recipe.

Be respectful and show gratitude

“The father-to-be suggested people could leave food in the cooler outside for those times when the new parents didn’t want guests… [but] etiquette would clearly require people to say ‘thank you’ when the gift of a homemade meal is arriving at your door,” said Orr.

By suggesting strangers could leave their cooking on the porch [or in a cooler] like a meal delivery service, Orr thinks Burns shows a “complete lack of gratitude.”

Instead of doing this, Burns should have made it an individual and personal request.

“Email, text or call are all fine,” said Orr.

After things have settled down, take them for coffee or write them a note to tell them how much you appreciated the help. If possible, return the favour or pay it forward.

“Every new parent can benefit from support, but if they’re going to ask, they should really ask politely,” said Orr — and Douglas agrees.

“It feels good to be part of a caring community of people who look out for one another. It’s all about nurturing that village along — or building that village from scratch.”

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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8Apr

‘We’re in uncharted territory’: Royal expert shares everything she knows about baby Sussex – National

by BBG Hub

The newest royal baby is due anytime now, and rumours are swirling about when, where and how the little bundle of joy will arrive.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been tight-lipped about the details of the impending birth. Markle wouldn’t even share the baby’s exact due date, though eagle-eyed fans narrowed it down to sometime between the end of April and early May.

Now, as the world waits, here are a few things to know about baby Sussex.

Where will Meghan give birth?

Royal expert Victoria Arbiter calls this the “million-dollar question.”

Many royal mothers, including Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge, have given birth in the Lindo Wing, but whether Markle will choose the downtown London hospital is up for debate.

“The Lindo Wing has seen more royal births than any other hospital, but that doesn’t mean it’s a tradition,” said Arbiter. “I think where to give birth is very much a personal choice.”

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“Harry and Meghan are now living in Windsor, so I think it’s looking increasingly likely that they’re going to be choosing a facility closer to their home base in Windsor,” she said.

As members of the Royal Family, a hospital’s ability to provide adequate security and privacy are also likely of importance to Markle and Harry.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s pregnancy wardrobe cost more than $800K — here’s who pays for it

“I think that’s why a number of royal moms have chosen the Lindo Wing,” Arbiter said. “It’s very well-versed in how to handle those things — security, privacy and discretion.”

Markle wouldn’t be the first to depart from convention, should she choose to give birth elsewhere.

“Fergie had her babies at the Portland hospital, Sophie Wessex had her babies at Frimley Park, which is not too far from Windsor,” said Arbiter. “Really, we just have to wait and see.”

How will the royal baby be announced?

“It depends on whether or not we even know if Meghan’s in hospital,” said Arbiter. “That’s even not certain at this point.”

In the past, the Royal Family has alerted the public to hospital admittance in the past. “It’s very difficult for a royal to sneak into hospital, so… with Kate, we got the notice when she was already in hospital. That way, had anyone spotted her going in, [the royals] were still ahead of the story.”

However, since Markle and Harry like to do things their own way, this may not be the case when Markle goes into labour.

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“They’re not breaking tradition, they’re not breaking protocol — they’re just doing what works for them. We’re in… uncharted territory.”

According to Arbiter, the baby’s arrival will be announced in two ways: with a ceremonial easel on the forecourt at Buckingham Palace, and via social media.

The easel will say “the baby’s time of birth, it will be signed by the doctors attending [and] it will say something along the lines of ‘Mother and baby are doing well,’” said Arbiter. The easel usually stays up in front of the palace for 24 hours.

READ MORE: ‘Any longer and I would’ve been burnt out’: Former aide to the Queen shares difficulties of job

“Of course, in this modern age, the news will [also] be beamed around the world with social media,” Arbiter said. “I think Harry and Meghan will definitely make use of their independent Instagram account.”

Arbiter thinks the announcement will first land on the Sussex Instagram page, then it will later be shared to the Royal Family’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Where will baby Sussex fall in the line of succession?

This baby will be seventh in line, right behind dad Prince Harry.

From closest to the throne to farthest away, the line of succession will be as follows: Charles, William, George, Charlotte, Louis, Harry and then baby Sussex.

“It’s very unlikely that this baby will ever be monarch. It would take a catastrophe of unforeseen circumstances if we were to wipe out Charles and the entire Cambridge clan,” said Arbiter. “But he or she will still be the grandchild of the Sovereign, and him and Harry will take on very significant roles once Charles is King, in particular.”

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There’s been much speculation about why the baby is not eligible for a royal title, but Arbiter said this rule stems back to George V.

“People who don’t know better are using it as an opportunity to say the Queen is angry with Meghan… which is nonsense,” Arbiter said. “[George V] just didn’t foresee a future in which there would be four generations alive.”

Had the Queen already passed, this baby — as the grandchild of the Sovereign in the male line — would be HRH Prince or Princess. Since the Queen is still alive, this baby is not eligible for the title of HRH Prince or Princess.

READ MORE: As racist abuse towards Meghan Markle grows, Royals amp up social-media monitoring

“If a boy comes along, he will likely be the Earl of Dumbarton, one of Harry’s subsidiary titles. If a little girl comes along, she will be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor,” Arbiter said.

That said, baby Sussex’s title may change once Charles becomes King.

“Under the current rules, an upgrade would be in the offering,” said Arbiter. “[When Charles becomes King,] this baby would technically become HRH Prince or Princess… the thing is, Charles has been clear he wants to slim down monarchy. He may issue new letters patent and so this baby wouldn’t be eligible.”

It’s also possible Markle and Harry don’t want their baby to have a royal title, as it comes with more rules, responsibilities and a life more in the public eye.

Ultimately, this will need to be discussed by Charles, William, Harry and Meghan down the line, said Arbiter.

What responsibilities will this baby have as a member of the Royal Family?

It will ultimately depend on the child’s official title.

“Let’s say there’s no royal title,” said Arbiter. “There will be no need for he or she to have military service, or carry out royal engagements, to have royal patronages or to do work on behalf of the Royal Family. It would follow the same model as Princess Anne’s children.”

However, regardless of title, the Sussex children will have a fair amount of flexibility in the work they do because they’re several steps away from the throne.

Arbiter believes that given Markle and Harry’s own philanthropic efforts, they will be keen to have their children give back to the community.

How will the child’s U.S. citizenship change things?

Meghan Markle is a U.S. citizen, which means this royal baby will be the first in the history of the Royal Family to have U.S. citizenship, and this presents some anomalies when it comes to money.

“Meghan, as a U.S. citizen, does have to file a tax return. I’m not a tax expert, but as I understand it, you’re charged a percentage of taxes while you’re outside of the country,” said Arbiter.

This was confirmed by David Treitel, the founder of American Tax Returns Ltd., in an interview with CNN.

READ MORE: Royal baby godparents: Who will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry choose?

Despite living in the U.K., Markle will be obliged to file a U.S. tax return and to report any foreign accounts, assets over $200,000 and gifts valued more than $15,797 “regardless of whether it is actually in your possession,” Treitel told CNN.

This means Markle has needed to declare items like the diamond in her engagement ring, taken from Princess Diana’s jewelry collection, for example. Baby Sussex will be required to do the same with all of his or her assets and income until they are 18 years old.

“The Queen has got to sit there and her advisers have to sit there thinking, ‘Well if I lend Meghan a tiara, if I have the baby use a beautiful silver rattle that was used by Queen Victoria, how much is that worth? What’s the value of it? How much is to be reported to the states? It’s a tough question, it’s not easy,” Treitel said.

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And the Royal Family is “notoriously private” about their finances, said Arbiter, so this is sure to cause some issue.

“They also don’t own a lot of what they have,” Arbiter said. “[For example], Harry and Meghan have been gifted Frogmore Cottage, but it’s not theirs to sell. It belongs to the state.”

“It becomes a huge financial nightmare… and the Royal Family will try desperately to keep their finances private.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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21Mar

Danish politician told baby ‘not welcome’ in Parliament — should kids be allowed at work? – National

by BBG Hub

Do babies have a place in Parliament? According to a ruling in Denmark this week, the answer is no.

Danish politician Mette Abildgaard was told her five-month-old daughter was “not welcome” in Parliament by speaker Pia Kjaersgaard. Abildgaard, 30, wrote in a post on Facebook that she had not brought her daughter to work before, but a vote required her to be in the chamber early.

Her husband was not able to look after their daughter, she wrote, so she decided to bring the child with her.

Abildgaard said her baby had been in a good mood and “had a pacifier in her mouth” while she was in the chamber. The new mom also said she advised her secretary to take the child out of the room if she started making noise.

Still, 72-year-old Kjaersgaard asked for the baby to be removed, and later defended her move on Twitter, writing that it’s “not good” to bring infants into the chamber.

The event caused a heated debate over whether or not parents should be allowed to care for their kids at work, and if preventing mothers from bringing their babies to the workplace is setting back women’s rights.

Should babies be allowed in the workplace?

“I think children should be welcome as long as the work can continue the way it should be continuing,” Kathy Lynn, a parenting expert and author, told Global News.

“We shouldn’t be putting parents — particularly mothers — in a situation where they end up not taking a job or running for office simply because they have a child.”

READ MORE: Should the rich kids involved in the U.S. college scam be punished?

Lynn says being suddenly called for a work-related duty, as in the case of politician Abildgaard, often means not having enough time to find childcare. Workplaces should be understanding of this, she says.

“Thinking that you can always organize your life so that you have childcare on no notice, is ridiculous. It doesn’t happen,” Lynn said.

There are also instances when a mother needs to be with her child, like when they’re breastfeeding, Lynn says. In June, Canadian Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould openly breastfed her son in the House of Commons on camera.

“We know that that relationship between mom and baby is very, very important when they’re newborns, and quite often what happens, particularly for politicians, [moms] can’t afford to take the whole year off, but they really do need to be close to their baby,” Lynn said.

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Lynn says as long as arrangements are made for the child to be moved out of a shared space if they are crying or making a fuss, there’s no reason why a baby shouldn’t be allowed in a workplace — even Parliament.

Plus, Lynn says it’s important for workplaces to remember that when someone has a child, they’re going to need accommodations from time to time, regardless of whether or not the child is on the job with them.

“We can’t think that you just have a baby and the next day, you don’t think about that job [of parenting],” she said. “The reality is there has to be a situation where the child can be accommodated.”

When kids should not be allowed in the workplace

Lynn says if a child is being disruptive and preventing others from doing their work, it’s not a good idea for them to stay in the office. When kids are old enough to be mobile, that’s when they should be in daycare, Lynn says.

READ MORE: ‘Snowplow parenting’ is preventing young adults from learning ‘basic life skills’

Plus, not all workplaces allow employees to bring their kids to work, and many jobs are not safe environments for children, either. Jobs in the service industry, for example, are not baby-friendly, nor are retail or factory jobs.

This means that many parents have to rely on childcare — which is often incredibly expensive.

Affordable childcare is a problem

In Canada, affordable childcare is an issue many families face.

A recent report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives think tank found that daycare costs were the highest in Toronto and the surrounding area, where fees for children under 18 months average $1,685, and $1,150 a month for older preschoolers.

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Cities in Quebec had the lowest fees for full-time, regulated spaces across the country, followed by Winnipeg and Charlottetown — in the three provinces that have had fixed fees for years.

Lynn says workplaces should work towards being more child-friendly, and understand that not being able to take care of your kid causes stress.

“If you can’t bring [babies] with you and have to leave them somewhere you don’t feel comfortable with, you’re going to be distracted,” Lynn said.

With files from the Canadian Press

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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27Feb

Royal baby godparents: Who will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry choose? – National

by BBG Hub

The new royal baby is well on his or her way, and expectant parents Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have some choices to make.

According to royal expert Victoria Arbiter, the role of a royal godparent is to offer friendship and guidance throughout the child’s “spiritual journey.”

“It’s likely we’ll see close friends of Harry and Meghan, close friends of Diana and her family, and, perhaps, close friends of Prince Charles, too,” says Arbiter.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle due date: When will the royal baby be born?

The goal is to give the child access to several unique perspectives throughout his or her life.

A clear front-runner is Markle’s close friend Jessica Mulroney, according to Arbiter.

“She has been an amazing friend, and she has an amazing background in terms of her marriage to Ben Mulroney, whose father was prime minister [of Canada]… They would be able to offer wisdom about being in the public eye.”

WATCH BELOW: Stars arrive at Meghan Markle’s baby shower





“If we were to see any Royals, Eugenie and Harry are very close,” Arbiter says. “I think Eugenie deeply appreciated her mother being included in Harry and Meghan’s [wedding] guest list.”

Eugenie’s mother, Sarah Ferguson, divorced from Prince Andrew in 1996.

Arbiter also expects to see a few of Harry’s close friends, as well as a cousin or aunt from his mother’s side of the family, to be included.

Alternatively, Harry may pick his childhood nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke. “She was an amazing support when Diana died,” says Arbiter.

READ MORE: Prince Philip to give up driver’s license following crash last month

Godparents to the family have historically been European royalty or members of the extended family. Arbiter says this is no longer the case.

“I think we’ll see a cross-section in terms of generations and we’ll see people who have been deeply loyal to the couple,” says Arbiter.

The role of godparent is increasingly given to close friends of the mother and father — regardless of status.

For example, Prince George, the eldest of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children, has seven godparents. Four of them — Oliver Baker, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Julia Samuel and William van Cutsem — were cited by Kensington Palace as being chosen for their close and long-lasting friendships to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

WATCH BELOW: Meghan Markle’s NYC baby shower





There is no expectation in terms of how many godparents a royal baby should have.

“Edward I had 12 godparents, Charles has eight and Charlotte has five,” says Arbiter. “It really depends on who they want to include, but there isn’t a set number that’s required.”

Last week, Markle and baby Sussex were being showered with gifts at The Mark Hotel in New York City. According to Harper’s Bazaar, 20 of Markle’s closest friends were in attendance, including Mulroney, Serena Williams and Gayle King.

In January, Markle revealed that she was six months pregnant, and due at the end of April or the beginning of May.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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