Welcome, Guest!

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Monthly Archives: January 2010

  • Take Control of Your Birth

    As you due date approaches you may gaze longingly at the calendar hoping to fast-forward time to that magical date that your doctor and every online due date calendar has bestowed upon you for the “big day.” Although only about 5% of babies are actually born on their due date, it’s nice to have a target in mind so you can at least organize your life and feel some control over your body and your future. As you get increasing closer to your due date in the last trimester, oftentimes the due date anticipation can become overshadowed by due date anxiety, particularly for first time moms. We all hear the birth horror stories of long hours of pushing, last minute c-sections and the overall agonizing pain of labor which can hit anytime in those final weeks and days. We hope and pray we will have some control of the details surrounding our babies introduction to the world and that it can be as pleasant of an experience as possible if not a joyful one.

    Well, it turns out we do have more control than we think. Women’s bodies are actually designed for childbirth and for having a child naturally, should we choose to do so. If we opt in advance, or even last minute, for some additional medical assistance in the way of labor induction or painkillers, that’s ok too.  The nice thing is that we do have options; we can plan a homebirth, a birthing center birth or a hospital birth. We can opt for a midwife, a doula, and/or a doctor and whatever company we want in the room. Our husbands can be trained as a birth partner to share in the experience and help us through our hardest moments as well as share in the triumph of our baby’s birth. We can train in Lamaze, yoga, hypnotism and any number or breathing, self-visualizing and relaxation techniques. Gyms have countless classes for expecting women, salons have special prenatal massages and yoga classes have created an industry around expecting and postpartum mothers and their newborns.

    The biggest obstacle for most expecting women is themselves and not trusting in their bodies for labor and delivery. Doctors are there to help and monitor us through labor if we go with a hospital birth, but they cannot birth our baby. It is our bodies that nourish and birth our baby and perform the contractions necessary to carry out this process. It is easy to feel that once we put that hospital gown on and get hooked up to monitors that we no longer own our bodies or our birthing process, but we do.

     The best way to seek control over the birthing experience is to create a Birthing Plan. Know and map out in advance what your ideal birthing scenario would be. Decide who you would like present at your birth, obviously where you would like to give birth. Should you opt for a home birth you will need to make those preparations with a midwife well in advance. You should know exactly what essentials are needed for that for a home birth down to the details of bedding and clean-up and a back-up hospital plan should you need more help as our labor progresses and in case any emergency that should arise.

    Many women planning hospital births are further helped by a Birth Plan that they can review in advance with their doctor and loved ones who will support them during labor. Your husband or birthing support members may need to help communicate their needs during the labor process, so having your “team” on board with your exact wishes will provide your with further assurance and emotional support. It will also help you relax as you approach your due date and enable you to visualize and anticipate your labor in a positive way.

    The next important step is to pack your hospital bag well in advance. Pack all the props your need for labor support including your favorite CDS and music mix, tennis balls for back message, change of clothes for during and after labor, a camera for those first newborn photos, nursing bras and possibly nursing pajamas or nighties to wear at the hospital for after you have or baby.  Also pack for your baby including the baby sleepers, socks and blankets (as well as your carseat!) so your can feel your baby is your own and not the hospital’s and also to make those first pictures all the more personable and memorable.

    Overall, the more action you take in advance to plan your birth and your early postpartum days from readying your baby’s nursery to “coaching” your doctor, midwife and loved ones on your preferred birth plan, the more in control and relaxed you can be for your big day. Remember, your body is your best friend, so set the stage for it to do what it is designed for in the most relaxing, personal and friendly setting possible and you will be rewarded.

  • 8 Essential Maternity Clothes Items

    When you think about all the clothing you need when you are pregnant, it can be overwhelming. What fits one day may not fit the next. Seasons change, your belly changes daily, but your life continues on and you need clothes to wear. Well you don't have to dress frumpy just because you are pregnant and you don't need to break the bank in stocking your wardrobe for the year. Here are 8 essentials for every pregnant woman's wardrobe to get you started:

     

    1. A great pair of jeans. The most important factor in maternity jeans is that they are comfortable with plenty of stretch. If you wore jeans frequently before you were pregnant, chances are you will want to wear them while you are pregnant. You don't have to sacrifice comfort for style and settle for "mom jeans" just because you are expecting. There are some very fashionable maternity jeans on the market today which not only look great; they don't look like maternity jeans or "mom jeans." Personal favorites include Maternal America's Megan Jean. This jean was voted by Fit Pregnancy as the Best All Around Style Jean on the market out of 280 jeans they tested.
    2.  

    3. Maternity Leggings. Yes, leggings really are back. Many of us who grew up in the 80s didn't trust this trend last year, or even the year before that. Well, leggings are here to stay for a while anyway and frankly they are great for maternity and are super comfortable to wear. Bella Band makes some of the best fitting and durable leggings around with a stretch panel front. These leggings go great with a tunic, skirt, dress or extra long maternity top. They are very comfortable and warm in cool weather. Leggings come in a wide variety of styles including side ruching, lace, and cropped varieties along with an array of colors. I suggest buying at least one pair of black maternity leggings. If you find you are grabbing them every week, then branch out with a few more styles and colors.
    4.  

    5. A short black dress. Everyone needs a versatile black dress in their wardrobe, pregnant or not because there are always events that come up which call for one. Pick an easy jersey or rayon/spandex blend fabric that does not need ironing and can easily stretch to fit your ever changing figure. Dress it up with a jacket or dress it down with leggings. Jazz it up with some necklaces and heels or wear it casual with boots. A versatile black short black dress is more wearable than a maxi and it is easier to move and work in as well.
    6.  

    7. Extra long short sleeve tops. Shade makes a great fitting maternity Baby Tee. This top is extra long, hugs your curves and stretches where it needs to. You will want one of these great pieces in every color. Wear it alone in warm weather with shorts, capris or jeans. Layer it in colder weather under a cardigan. Wear it to work with a blazer. You will even want to wear this top postpartum as the extra long length hides your postpartum belly.
    8.  

    9. A Stylish Henley is another must-have. This is a great casual everyday go-to item. One in the oven makes a comfortable extra long maternity Henley in long sleeves. They also have a 3/4 sleeve waffle weave nursing Henley that is long enough to be worn for maternity as well.
    10.  

    11. A lightweight scarf is a must for your winter maternity wardrobe. A scarf can add both warmth and style to your ensemble. Check out Maternal America's Nursing Scarf. There is a multitude of different ways to wear this scarf which works as a nursing cover as well.
    12.  

    13. A Wrap Top. The Wrap Top style has been around for years, springing from the Wrap Dress. This style works so easily with a blossoming belly while still offering an attractive neckline and overall style. Japanese Weekend's Stripe Wrap Maternity/Nursing Top is an urban chick 3/4 sleeve charcoal wrap maternity and nursing top with an accent stripe along the neckline and sleeves. You can wear this top to the office with black trousers or casual with jeans.
    14.  

    15. A Maternity Hoodie. Both 1 in the Oven and Japanese Weekend have adorable maternity hoodies which double as nursing hoodies with easy and discreet nursing access. This is a great top to grab on colder days when you just need an extra layer. Most pregnant women find sweaters too contricting, unflattering and hot. Hoodies are a great way to get some added warmth without putting on a heavy sweater. They also give an effortless trendy casual look for any day of the week.

    So get yourself some wearable and fashionable maternity essentials to get yourself through the next 9 months with ease and style.

  • Maternity Clothes For Your Body Type

    When you are pregnant, suddenly your shape and size are changing daily. What looks used to work well and flatter your figure may suddenly look ridiculous or unflattering on your evolving frame. This can be particularly challenging around the Holiday Season or for more dress-up occasions when you really want to look your best and not let pregnancy get in the way. Here are some general guidelines to dressing when pregnant according to you shape:

    Generally When Pregnant
    When you are pregnant don't be afraid to show some skin. A pregnant body can be very sensual and you still have great assets. So don't be shy about showing off great legs or pretty arms, shoulders or going strapless. Be sure to define your shape the way your like it. You want some definition to you pregnant belly without going uncomfortably skin tight. Grecian can be flattering as it can drape over your curves to show off the gist of your belly without showing your belly button in detail. However, too big equates to baggy which only makes you look bigger. An empire waist looks that are more contained look great on almost any pregnant body type. Belting dresses beneath the bust can create this look. Deep shades like teal and plum that are popular this season are flattering on pregnant shapes, particularly if you are further along than busy patterns or metallics

    Busty
    If you are the busty type you are probably three times more busty when you are expecting. Your body has taken on new dimensions and everything you try on seems to be accentuated by your pronounced cleavage. A good look to try to de-emphasize the chest is a flirty dress in one shade. By sticking to one shade of color your figure becomes elongated and you look much leaner and slimmer.

    Also going with a more tailored or structured dress that gives you a clear silhouette, you better define your shape. For example, instead of going hippie chic, go with better bust support and strong vertical pleats. A hemmed and pleated knee length flirty dress with a structured chest and wide straps will do wonders for your figure. Finally, always look to support and lift. Forget strapless or backless dresses as you will never find the level of support you need. Always look for a dress or top with wide enough shoulder straps for a supportive bra.

    Hippy
    A skirt or dress with inverted pleats keeps hips looking narrower. An A-line skirt is also a good choice for camouflaging hips. Even just a flared hem de-emphasizes the hips. Again choose structure in defining your silhouette so you show off a small empire waist and don't get swallowed in something loose and baggy. Remember to show off your best assets, so if you have pretty shoulders, flaunt them with a sleeveless bodice dress, strapless or one shoulder style. Draw attention to your best body parts up high - look for a jeweled neckline or brighter colors around the face or neck. Even wearing some bling jewelry will keep the gaze upwards.

    Petite
    If you are petite and you don't want to tower in platform shoes or stilettos when you are pregnant, there are some other tricks to add some length to your frame. If you have great legs, then show them off. Go for shorter hems and sheerer hose to elongate your shape. Show off some skin somewhere- arms and necklines are a great place to start. Pleats and bubble hem can work well if its not overdone - you want to add some volume without looking like a powder puff. Accessorize smartly. A few well chosen pieces that don't weigh you down is all you need to add some height.

    Tall
    If you are tall, then you have a lot of choices. Tall frames can get away with prints and patterns, horizontal stripes and all the usual hazards most women need to avoid can actually be more flattering when tall. Do make sure your clothing fits you well. Beware of cuts that tent out and make you appear bigger than you are or that miss your curves. Sleek and fitted always looks better no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy. Do be careful with super short hemlines and minis as they can make you look like a giant whose clothes got shrunk in the dryer. Otherwise, have fun with accessories as you can get away with more to wear as you have more space to fill!

    So whatever your shape, find some maternity clothes that fit and flatter your figure and make you feel as beautiful and sexy and as you truly are. Bottom line, if you feel great in the clothes you are in, then you will project that to those around you.

3 Item(s)

per page