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Monthly Archives: February 2011

  • Post Partum Maternity and Nursing Clothes

    After pregnancy one is so busy with the joy and full time requirements of one’s new baby that one often forgets to spend a bit of time focusing on oneself. It is important for you to feel your best so that you can give all your love to your precious baby. Many stars have stepped out recently after giving birth with some great figure flattering options that are functional, comfy, and sure to make you look and feel your best!

    After giving birth, dresses which are not too form fitting but do not add bulk are a great option. They allow room for that extra bit of baby weight while being light and comfortable.

    Miranda Kerr Post Pregnancy

    Miranda Kerr recently stepped out in a gorgeous patterned maxi dress. The pattern creates eye catching detail that pulls the attention away from your post baby belly. However, what really makes this outfit perfect is that she pairs it with a structured blazer. The structured blazer camouflages the post baby belly bump perfectly, creating an incredibly slimming look. For a similar look, try the Japanese Weekend Maternity and Nursing Maxi Dress. With easy and discreet nursing access, it creates a flattering and functional look. Pair it with a cute blazer and strappy sandals and you will look incredible while maintaining a high level of comfort.

    For another casual post-pregnancy look, the gorgeous Penelope Cruz

    Penelope Cruz Post Pregnancy

    looked fabulous in a casual striped top and jeans. A top that is slightly looser allows room for one’s post baby weight but the lightness of the fabric does not add bulk. The 1 in the Oven’s ¾ Length Sleeve Striped Nursing Henley is the perfect choice. A built in frame provides for discreet nursing and the super soft fabric will feel incredible against your skin. Pair it with jeans and sneakers for a casual, mom-on-the-go look and you will look and feel your best!

    By choosing clothing that is functional, easy to wear, yet very flattering, one is sure to be comfy and confident throughout the day.

  • Alyssa Milano Pregnant!

    Alyssa Milano and her handsome hubby Dave Bugliari just announced their pregnancy and we could not be more excited for the happy couple! Alyssa has always had a stylish fashion sense, and just a day after their big announcement she debuted her baby bump on the red carpet in a gorgeous knee-length dress. Designed in the empire waist style, the scoop neck top in solid black worked perfectly paired with the grey tweed skirt. This design is especially flattering as it accentuates the smallest part of one’s body directly underneath the bust while celebrating one’s belly bump. Although Alyssa rocked this look on the red carpet, it is extremely versatile and can be worn for a multitude of occasions.

    If you love Alyssa’s look as much as we do, there are several similar options available! The Cotton Empire Maternity Dress from Maternal America is a fabulous choice. The white scoop neck top in a tank style is paired with the black and white Scotch patterned skirt which hits at the knee. Paired with cute strappy sandals and a long necklace, it is perfect for brunch. For the office, throw a cute black cardigan over it and pair it with comfy flats for a business casual look. So flattering and comfy, you will look and feel your best!

    For a bit dressier look, try the Olian Striped Top Maternity Dress. Keeping the same two toned designed as Alyssa’s dress, it pairs a striped halter bow top against an empire waist solid black bottom. Fresh and funky, it looks fabulous paired with red heels and a cute clutch. Incredibly figure flattering, you are sure to look your best!

    We could not be happier for the expectant couple and we look forward to seeing what other fashionable and gorgeous looks Alyssa will wear!

  • Woman, 61, gives birth to own grandson in Chicago

    By Deborah L. Shelton of the Chicago Tribune

    CHICAGO -- Almost 39 weeks ago, Kristine Casey set out on an unusual journey to help her daughter and answer a spiritual calling.

    Her goal was achieved when she gave birth to her own grandson at age 61.

    Casey, possibly the oldest woman to give birth in Illinois, was a surrogate for her daughter, Sara Connell, who had been trying for years to have a baby. Connell and her husband, Bill, are the biological parents of the child Casey carried, which grew from an embryo created from the Chicago couple's egg and sperm.

    Crying and praying, Connell and her mother held hands as Finnean Lee Connell was delivered by cesarean section at 9:47 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9.

    When the baby let out a cry, "I lost it," said Sara Connell, the first family member to hold him.

    The doctor who delivered Finnean said there wasn't a dry eye in the crowded operating room.

    "The surgery itself was uncomplicated, and the emotional context of this delivery was so profound," said Dr. Susan Gerber, obstetrician and maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

    Childbirth remains a rare event for post-menopausal women, but the number of such births has risen in recent years because of wider use of in vitro fertilization and other technologies. According to state health department records, the oldest woman to give birth in Illinois was 58 when she had her baby in 2006. But data on births after 2008 are not yet available.

    Older women face greater risks during pregnancy and delivery, and experts say many women would not be good candidates.

    "It's going to be more risky for somebody who's got underlying conditions," said Dr. Alan Peaceman, chief of maternal-fetal medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, one of Casey's doctors. "Because of that, we recommend that patients have a cardiac evaluation."

    The Connells decided in 2004 to try to have a baby, but Sara, now 35, soon discovered she wasn't ovulating. After undergoing infertility treatment at the Reproductive Medicine Institute in Evanston, she got pregnant but delivered stillborn twins, and later she had a miscarriage.

    Casey's previous three pregnancies -- her last was 30 years ago -- went smoothly, resulting in three daughters. After Casey retired in 2007, she filled her time walking, meditating, taking classes and socializing with friends. But she felt she had a deeper calling.

    "At the beginning of 2009," she said, "I decided for once in my life to take some time to think about my life and find something that seemed right for me -- where there was no pressure to do a specific thing."

    During a visit to Chicago -- she lives in Virginia -- Casey participated in a workshop led by Connell, a life coach, writer and lecturer on women's empowerment. In one class exercise, she used pictures cut from a magazine to create a collage depicting a life's goal. One picture grabbed her attention: an ostrich with an expression of wonder and joy.

    Casey wanted to experience the exuberance captured in the picture.

    Around the same time, a walking partner mentioned a story she had read about a post-menopausal woman who gave birth.

    "I thought, 'Wow, three of the happiest days of my life were giving birth to my daughters,' and I thought I could choose to do this for someone I love," Casey said.

    Casey later wrote a letter to the Connells offering to be Sara's surrogate.

    "I found something that would make me feel like that ostrich," she wrote. "What do you think of this?"

    She suggested that they forget about it if they found the idea repulsive.

    "I won't do this just to make me happy because, believe me, I could find other things to do," she remembers writing, laughing at the recollection. At the time, she was 10 years past menopause.

    Several months later, the family discussed the idea with experts at the Reproductive Medicine Institute, where they had sought help six years earlier. The couple said they had considered adoption but preferred to have a biological child.

    "The idea of having a family member being open to doing this for us was so extraordinary for us," Sara Connell said.

    Bill Connell said he appreciated his mother-in-law's offer, though he didn't think it was doable at first. Any further reservations evaporated when he saw she was serious, he added.

    "I just wanted to make sure the science was there," he said. "I didn't want us to subject ourselves to another very risky, possibly devastating, scenario. Infertility is one thing, but putting your mother-in-law in danger kicks it up to another level altogether."

    At first, Casey's husband also wondered if it was even possible for his wife to have a baby in her 60s. Then he worried that a pregnancy could jeopardize her health or even her life. But he set aside most of his concerns after she cleared medical tests and doctors gave a thumbs-up.

    "What made the difference for me was when Kris said it was a calling from deep within herself," Bill Casey said. "You can't get any more compelling than that."

    Casey underwent multiple tests to evaluate her medical and psychological health, as required by Illinois law on surrogate births. The family also drew up a mandatory legal agreement.

    The risks of genetic abnormalities were low because Connell's egg would be the one fertilized. But if any such issues were detected later, Casey said she and the Connells agreed that she would carry the baby to term regardless.

    Then she took hormones to prepare her uterus for pregnancy. She got pregnant on the second cycle of in vitro fertilization with an embryo transfer.

    "If you give the uterus hormones, it will act like a young uterus," said Dr. Carolyn Coulam, a reproductive endocrinologist at Reproductive Medicine Institute. Coulam's oldest patient was in her late 60s at the time she had a baby. She lived in another state.

    "It usually is a function of the age of the egg, not the uterus, whether or not the pregnancy will be successful," Coulam said.

    Still, some fertility programs have age limits for gestational surrogates. At the University of Chicago Medical Center, the upper limit is 55, said Dr. David Cohen, chief of reproductive medicine.

    "The issue comes up because as a woman gets older, the risks she takes in pregnancy clearly go up -- everything from high blood pressure and diabetes to premature delivery and infant death," Cohen said. "So one has to be clear about what those risks are."

    The medical center evaluates cases involving older surrogates in an ethics consultation.

    "It's not written in stone," Cohen said. "One is left with deciding each case individually, and those decisions are made after a very serious discussion with everybody involved. I personally would not throw stones at somebody who decided to go ahead in this situation as long as she clearly understood her risks."

    Peaceman described Casey's health as excellent throughout her pregnancy, but he emphasized: "It takes a significant commitment to be a surrogate in any circumstance. To take on this type of physical burden at this age is not anything anybody should take lightly."

    After her C-section, Casey had a complication with her kidneys.

    "After delivery, her urine output was lower than we expected and there was no discernible cause," Gerber said. "We wanted to be extra careful, given her age, so we gave her close attention. With relatively little intervention, it turned around."

    Josephine Johnston, a research scholar at the Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute, had no ethical objections to the idea of a 61-year-old having a baby, as long as she had undergone a thorough medical and psychological evaluation.

    "It seems like an unquestionably loving and generous thing for a family member to do," she said.

    "It's a great story to tell the child," Johnston added. "It's one of those situations where outsiders might wonder if it's OK or healthy. But the experience of that child and his family will be that it's good. . . . If they treat it as good, it will be experienced that way."

    Casey, who has a quick wit and laid-back manner, plans to return to her Virginia home with her husband in about two weeks, where she is ready to adopt a more conventional grandmother role. Finnean is her first grandchild.

    "From the very beginning, the moment I've wanted is the moment the baby is in their arms," she said at her daughter and son-in-law's home weeks before the birth. "I've been clear since after my third child that I didn't need to have any more children, and as much as I will be delighted to be a grandmother, I don't want to take a baby home."

    Sara Connell said she was grateful for her mother's loving, generous spirit and what she called "her special gift."

    "It grew beyond the two of us having a child," Connell said. "It was about the closeness with my mother, and our family having this experience that was unique and special."

  • Disney enters maternity wards

    From Kristen Gerencher's, Health Matters

    As if there aren’t enough people coming in and out of your hospital room in the hours and days after you’ve just given birth, add one more from the corporate world this time. The New York Times has a story on how the Walt Disney Co. is sending representatives into more than 550 hospital maternity wards through May to hand-deliver a free Disney Cuddly Bodysuit, a kind of Onesie, to new mothers in connection with a photo company that offers bedside pictures. In a bid to extend its brand and enter the lucrative newborn market, Disney is apparently asking new moms to sign up for email alerts from its new baby-product venture as well.

    It’s hard to turn down free things, and some moms may like the bodysuits and appreciate the email offers that arrive after they sign up for the alerts. But there is something creepy about making such a sales pitch to customers who are first and foremost patients. They’re trying to heal from wounds sustained in childbirth and at the same time negotiate a constant stream of visits from relatives, nurses and a host of specialists that attend to them and their newborns at regular intervals. Allow me to state the obvious: They’re also learning to breastfeed in many cases — some for the first time — and that is often a sensitive time. Most new moms are sleep-deprived and yet filled with the adrenaline rush that comes from having a baby. In other words, they’re often too overwhelmed to be their own best advocates.

    I only speak for myself, but if a Disney rep would have arrived shortly after my daughter’s birth, both Disney and the hospital would have gotten an earful: Disney for arriving uninvited and the hospital for failing to protect my privacy, not to mention my time. There are plenty of opportunities to grab new moms’ attention and discretionary income after they leave the hospital. Dropping by while they’re still being cocooned and when their babies’ umbilical cords are still freshly severed doesn’t sound like a winning strategy to

  • Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon are having a twins

    The incredibly talented singer, actress, and producer Mariah Carey and her comedian and actor husband Nick Cannon are due to give birth in less than two months! Recently announcing that they are expecting twins, we could not be happier for the beautiful couple. Mariah and Nick have long wanted to have children, so we are looking forward to seeing their gorgeous babies!

    Before officially announcing their pregnancy, Mariah was seen wearing many maxi dresses. Spotted in a rich brown dress paired with a soft sweater, she looked absolutely beautiful. Although maxi dresses work great as non-maternity dresses, they are a fabulous option for maternity. Very comfortable, they accentuate the smallest part of one’s body directly underneath the bust and flow perfectly over the rest of one’s body and curves. For a casual option, Japanese Weekend’s Maternity and Nursing Maxi Dress is a beautiful and versatile option. The V-neck creates an elongating look while its double layering provides easy and discreet nursing access. With a trendy tribal print, it is eye-catching and flattering. For an evening look in the same style, the Pleated Maxi Dress from Maternal America is perfect. We would love to see Mariah wearing this gorgeous gown. Its wide shoulder straps and V-neck create a sophisticated feel and the empire waist with pleating flows beautifully. Perfect for an evening out with Nick or a red carpet event, it is a stunning dress.

    Over the holidays, Mariah and Nick attended several formal events, giving us an opportunity to see some more of her lovely maternity style. When she sang for the President in December, Mariah chose a deep red dress. Its long sleeves were so elegant and the shape of it hugged her beautiful curves perfectly. Longer sleeves are very popular, as they are sophisticated while maintaining a subtle sexiness. The Beaded Diamond Dress from Maternal America has some of the same similar features as Mariah’s dress, such as longer sleeves, a beautiful V-neck, and a flattering empire waist. The beading at the bust is the focal point of this dress, which is very slimming along the sides. Perfect for an evening out, a longer sleeve dress is a stylish option. Congratulations to Mariah and Nick and we are looking forward to meeting their twins!

  • Gorgeous Pregnant Melissa Rycroft from Dancing with the Stars

    After following the gorgeous Melissa Rycroft on Dancing with the Stars and watching her career blossom, we were so excited to hear about her pregnancy with husband Tye Strickland in July. Several months later they found out the sex of their baby, announcing they would be welcoming a baby girl into their family! With her due date just around the corner now, (mid-February!) we have greatly enjoyed seeing her fashionable maternity style. From casual chic to red carpet fashion, Melissa always looks stylish yet comfortable.

    Throughout her pregnancy, Melissa’s casual style has been superb. Fashionable yet comfy, relaxing yet pulled together, she always looks great. In December, she and Tye posted a cute picture on their Facebook, showing her growing baby bump. A long sleeved striped tee paired with flared jeans created the perfect casual look. For a similar look try the ¾ Sleeve Striped Nursing Henley from 1 in the Oven. Super soft and cut with extra length for your baby belly, it is extremely comfortable. Maternal America’s Megan Blue Jeans complete the look. With a wide elastic waistband and flare cut bottoms, they are figure flattering. That same month, Melissa was spotted at LAX looking super cute and comfy in leggings, a long tank, and soft sweater. Flying can be stressful, so it is important to be as comfortable as possible. For a similar look, try the Essentials Everyday Cami from BellaBand. This ultra-soft cami is lush, seamless, and has a perfect crepe finish. Pair it with their Over Belly Maternity Leggings for head to toe comfort. To finish the look a beautiful, loose sweater is needed and the Hold Me Close Nursing Jacket from Japanese Weekend is perfect. Cut in a very flattering shape, this soft wrap will keep you looking your best while staying incredibly comfortable.

    From the airport to the red carpet, Melissa looked gorgeous at the Dancing with the Stars 200th episode event. In a loose, radiant blue cocktail dress, her figure was perfectly emphasized. The jeweled neckline added gorgeous detail, creating a simple elegance. With its deep blue color and intricate neckline, Maternal America’s Embellished Dress creates a very similar look. The empire waist design is incredibly figure flattering and the jewels around the neck are lush and beautiful. Pull your hair back into a low bun, and the perfect evening look has been made. From day to night, Melissa’s maternity style has wowed us. We so look forward to welcoming her and Tye’s baby girl!

  • Sex while pregnant is generally safe


    Research has shown that having sex while pregnant is generally safe.

    Published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the study showed that there are few complications involved in the practice.

    Using current evidence, the team from Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto explained that the uncommon, but potential, risks involved in sex in pregnancy include premature labour, pelvic inflammatory disease, haemorrhage in placenta previa and blood clots.

    Dr Clare Jones and her co-authors wrote: "Sex in pregnancy is normal.

    "There are very few proven contraindications and risks to intercourse in low-risk pregnancies, and therefore these patients should be reassured.

    "In pregnancies complicated by placenta previa or an increased risk of preterm labour, the evidence to support abstinence is lacking, but it is a reasonable benign recommendation given the theoretical catastrophic consequences."

    They concluded that comfort level and readiness to engage in sexual activity should be used as guides by the couple involved.

  • Jane Krakowski Maternity Look

    The hilarious and gorgeous star of 30 Rock, Jane Krakowski, and her handsome clothing designer fiancée Robert Godly have recently announced that they are expecting their first child together! Although no due date has been given, Jane’s baby bump has been seen from the beach to the red carpet, and she could not look more beautiful. With her designer husband’s input and her own great fashion sense, we are sure her pregnancy style will continue to be spot on. So far, we have loved what we have seen and we cannot wait to see more!

    Earlier this month, Jane was spotted frolicking in the waves at a Caribbean beach in a stylish, black, one piece swimsuit. Looking amazing, the suit hugged her baby bump perfectly while providing her with comfort and ease to be active. For a similar look, try Maternal America’s 1 Piece Keyhole Swimsuit. Its adjustable tie neck in a v-cut design culminates at the bust with a stylish metal ring and the slight ruching is very flattering. Prego Maternity’s 1 Piece Black Halter is another great option. Wide adjustable halter straps provide excellent bust support and the empire waist design accentuates the smallest part of one’s body while hugging one’s baby bump beautifully. For a day at the beach, Jane made a great choice by choosing a super stylish yet functional swimsuit option.

    From the beach to the red carpet, Jane does not miss a beat. At the Golden Globes this month she looked stunning in a bluish/gray gown. Its sweeping one shoulder design created a beautiful face-framing look while the empire waist accentuated directly underneath her bust and flowed gently over her baby bump. Jane created the perfect balance of fabric and skin, as the high leg slit was balanced perfectly by the length of the gown and the gathering of the fabric. Paired with stunning blue earrings and beautifully curled hair, Jane rocked her maternity style perfectly. She shows that no matter what the occasion, style and comfort can be easily combined to create that effortlessly chic maternity style. As awards season continues, we look forward to seeing her next red carpet looks. Congratulations Jane and Robert!

  • Jewel Is Pregnant!

    Congratulations to Jewel and hubby Ty Murray on their pregnancy! The talented singer and her champion rodeo cowboy husband had been trying to conceive for two years before announcing their pregnancy this month. Due this summer, they finally found out the sex of their baby, with Jewel telling PEOPLE, “"We would have been happy either way, of course, but we are so excited to be having a little boy”. Jewel’s effortlessly fashionable style has always been right on point, and we look forward to seeing what her maternity style will be as well!

    Often spotted in beautiful dresses, Jewel knows how to be perfectly stylish while still maintaining her comfort. With a slight bohemian detail to many of her outfits, we love the idea of seeing her carry this already effortlessly gorgeous style into her maternity wardrobe. The Choloe Kimono Tunic from Maternal America is a fabulous option, which Jewel can wear out to dinner, singing at a gig, or out to brunch with friends. Hitting just above the knee, it is designed with a draw empire waist to accentuate the smallest part of one’s body while still allowing room for one’s baby belly to grow. The square shoulders and rounded neck are very stylish, and the swirling purple, orange, and black pattern is immediately eye-catching. Easily paired with strappy flat sandals for a casual lunch or with gorgeous black heels for an evening out, it is a comfy yet beautiful option for a variety of occasions. With its beautiful pattern, it definitely emulates a bit of that free-spirited look which Jewel so beautifully wears.

    For a casual day running errands around town or grabbing tea with her cute hubby, Jewel needs something comfortable yet stylish. Patterns are very popular this spring and they definitely stay true to her free-spirited look, making them a stylish and eye-catching option. Maternal America’s Crochet Top paired with their knee-length Denim Shorts are a great casual option. The top, with its black crocheted neckline and flowing colorful base, pairs perfectly with the streamlined shorts. With sandals or flats, a gorgeous outfit has been instantly created. Congratulations again, Jewel and Ty, and we look forward to seeing your beautiful little boy!

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