Victoria’s Secret model Romee Strijd is pregnant after PCOS diagnosis

The Dutch model is expecting her first child with her husband. (Instagram)
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Updated 30 May 2020

Victoria’s Secret model Romee Strijd is pregnant after PCOS diagnosis

DUBAI: Dutch model Romee Strijd revealed via Instagram that she and husband Laurens van Leeuwen are expecting their first child. The model’s exciting pregnancy announcement came with an honest message about struggles with her reproductive health. 

Accompanying a smiling picture of herself, her growing baby bump and her husband, Strijd wrote that she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in 2018. A common cause of infertility, PCOS is defined by hormonal imbalances that affect the ovaries and can cause fertility issues. After researching the condition, Strijd concluded that she needed to make some lifestyle changes.



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WE’RE HAVING A BABY 2 years ago I got diagnosed with PCOS after not getting my period for 7 years. I was devastated because being a mom and starting a family with @laurensvleeuwen is my biggest dream.. I was so scared that I would never be able to because I got told it was harder to get babies in a natural way.. I started to research PCOS and came to the conclusion that mine was not the typical pcos.. Mine was because of my body being in fight or flight mode.. which means my body was under constant stress. I never felt mentally super stressed so it was hard te understand this, but my life consisted of travelling all the time (no biorhythm), working out every day, eating super clean (restricting foods). I think I pressured my body to much, and honestly every body is so different but I think my weight was not good for my body to function properly and couldn’t handle the constant traveling. This was the point where I started to research natural healing for PCOS and came to the conclusion that I should do way less high intensity training, don’t restrict foods, be nice to myself, and take breaks when needed. I also tried some natural supplements, acupuncture and we got a place back in the Netherlands as well, so we could spend more time with Family (since im such a family person). I’m so happy and grateful to say that I got my period back last november AND that WE’RE SOON A FAMILY OF THREE & to the women trying to conceive, believe in yourself and be nice for yourself and your body and don’t let those thoughts get to you to much

A post shared by Romee Strijd (@romeestrijd) on

“Two years ago I got diagnosed with PCOS after not getting my period for 7 years,” the Dutch model wrote in the caption on Instagram on Thursday. “I was devastated because being a mom and starting a family with @laurensvleeuwen is my biggest dream.. I was so scared that I would never be able to because I got told it was harder to get babies in a natural way,” she continued.

“I never felt mentally super stressed so it was hard to understand this, but my life consisted of traveling all the time (no biorhythm), working out every day, eating super clean (restricting foods). I came to the conclusion that I should do way less high-intensity training, don’t restrict foods, be nice to myself and take breaks when needed. I also tried some natural supplements, acupuncture and we got a place back in the Netherlands as well, so we could spend more time with family. To the women trying to conceive, believe in yourself, and be nice for yourself and your body, and don’t let those thoughts get to you too much.” 

Strijd and van Leeuwen got married in 2018.


E-boutique startup launched amid virus outbreak brings touch of Morocco to UAE

Updated 42 min 12 sec ago

E-boutique startup launched amid virus outbreak brings touch of Morocco to UAE

DUBAI: Almost four months ago, as Dubai authorities announced sweeping precautionary measures to combat a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the UAE, a 29-year-old entrepreneur did the unthinkable – and launched an e-boutique.

Rita Bennani’s business venture, Beldi Bazaar, is a platform that celebrates the universally admired artistic craftsmanship of her native Morocco.

“My friends and family told me not to launch, saying that this was not the time to do so. But then I thought that it didn’t matter because I needed to start and see how it went. It was the best decision I made because there was a huge movement to support small businesses during the pandemic,” she told Arab News.

The platform has provided interior design aficionados with understated and earthy colored home decor items. Supplied

Bennani, who has a background in event planning, moved to the UAE in 2017, and recalled how former colleagues often asked her to bring back keepsakes from Morocco, triggering the idea for her startup.

“I found that in the UAE, it’s not really common to find Moroccan products, except carpets. And for me, Morocco is so much more than just the carpets,” she said.

Bringing a touch of Morocco to Dubai, Beldi (meaning “traditional” in Moroccan Arabic) Bazaar has provided interior design aficionados with understated and earthy colored home decor items – including delicate coffee cups and bowls, luxury tagines and orange blossom candles, and hand-stitched textiles designed by the north African country’s traditional artisans.

Shoppers can find everything from hand-stitched blankets to luxury tagines. Supplied

“I have a strong relationship with a group of women who come from remote villages in the Atlas Mountains. Every single hand-woven blanket and cushion that we have in Beldi Bazaar was made by them. Through Beldi Bazaar, I really wanted to empower women,” she added.

Bennani, who was raised in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, prioritized promoting modern brands that “showcased Moroccan savoir faire.”

Portrait of Rita Bennani. Supplied

Through every hand-picked item available on the platform, Bennani aims to embody the pillars of Moroccan visual and social culture, from presenting diverse color palettes of blues and browns to expressing a sense of warm hospitality to all online visitors.

“What makes Moroccan products – such as ceramics, wood, or zelij – really special is the use of techniques that have been passed on from one generation to the next,” she said.