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Pregnancy can be a roller coaster of emotions. Of course there's happiness, even elation and giddiness. There also can be fear and anxiety. Peg Moline, editor-in-chief of FitPregnancy shares some insights from their current Hollywood Issue about how well-known celebrity moms such as Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Garner prepared for pregnancy and motherhood:
What women often experience is that their emotions are very close to the surface; they might tear up at a movie or even a greeting card; then have heart-clenching anxiety about their upcoming responsibilities as a mother. And more and more we are realizing that some women experience depression during pregnancy. After the baby is born, the same feelings -- joy, fear, even sadness -- arise, and they also are intensified by exhaustion. Most new mothers experience some form of baby blues, or mild postpartum depression, simply due to sleep deprivation and the feeling of being overwhelmed by this new territory.
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In domestic dogs, sexual maturity (puberty) begins to happen around age 6 to 12 months for both males and females, although this can be delayed until up to two years old for some large breeds. Adolescence for most domestic dogs is around 12 to 15 months, beyond which they are for the most part more adult than puppy. As with other domesticated species, domestication has selectively bred for higher libido and earlier and more frequent breeding cycles in dogs, than in their wild ancestors. Dogs remain reproductively active until old age.
An Australian Shepherd Puppy Red MerleMost female dogs have their first estrous cycle between 6 and 12 months, although some larger breeds delay until as late as 2 years. Females experience estrous cycles biannually, during which her body prepares for pregnancy, and at the peak she will come into estrus, during which time she will be mentally and physically receptive to copulation.
Dogs bear their litters roughly 56 to 72 days after fertilization, although the length of gestation can vary. An average litter consists of about six puppies, though this number may vary widely based on the breed of dog. Toy dogs generally produce from one to four puppies in each litter, while much larger breeds may average as many as 12 pups in each litter.