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  • Spring Cleaning Fever is Intense for Pregnant Women!

    clean clip artIf you feel the sudden urge to clean out your pantry and re-organize your closet, you are not alone. Spring is in full swing with new foliage on the trees and flowers in full colorful bloom, we often feel the inspiration and indescribable need to re-order our houses, manicure our lawn bushes and change out our winter wardrobe. This time of year we are surrounded by Spring Cleaning and Declutter magazines at every turn of the grocery cart. What you may feel as an expecting woman, however, is this Spring Cleaning incentive is especially super charged as it is coupled with your innate desire for nesting as you approach your due date.

    The nesting urge is a very normal instinct in many animals including cats, dogs, birds and even hamsters. We humans are no exception to this primitive survival instinct to prepare in advance for a safe and thriving environment for our baby to ensure their health and comfort. We intuitively know that we will be completely swamped and physically recuperating from our baby’s delivery in the days and weeks following our baby’s birth. If you have other young children this “nesting” affect may be multiplied to see to it that their living spaces, logistics and meals are all in order as well. There is no accident that pregnant women are often considered a little hormonal or neurotic as their due date approaches and luckily society cuts us a little slack to indulge our cravings and open a few doors for us and smile kindly at our nesting urges, even if our boss thinks we should be doing overtime to make up for the maternity leave we are about to embark on.

    So what do you do to deal with the nesting cravings and elevate your swollen feet at the same time? For one, delegate. There is a lot you can do on the phone and computer to rally the troupes for your days and weeks ahead when you will be busy with your newborn and recovering from your delivery. Go ahead and do that grocery shopping for non-perishables and cook ahead anything you can freeze as you get close to your due date. Soups and stews, chili, meat-loaf and lasagnas are all great choices to make ahead.  It really will make life easier.

    An added benefit is that literally anything will taste good, that’s right, anything. If you were plagued with morning sickness for nine months of pregnancy, you will find it dissipates pretty much the moment you have your baby. Suddenly those scrambled eggs look and taste good and your body is in need to all the protein it can get to strengthen you. If you are nursing, you may find that you have double your appetite but the good news is that you are burning through those extra calories with your milk production. So, enjoy it while you can!

    Dear Johnnie Lucy Dear Johnnie Lucy Delivery Gown

     

    Another bit of advice is go head and tell your friends and neighbors your due date and any specific help you might need to those who offer. If you have younger kids that need carpooling, then by all means get those rides setup and all those contacts on your phone (and on your husband’s phone and emergency list with notes about who does what). Gladly accept any meals offered to you during your recovery and if someone wants to help with the tidying up, check your pride on the doorstep and let them help, particularly if they are not the judgmental type. Generally most people will cut a new mom and dad a lot of slack on pickup and house cleanliness in the weeks and months after a newborn is brought home, particularly if they themselves have kids.

    If you can afford a cleaning service then treat yourself to one before your due date and book one a few weeks after you have your baby (you can even tell them to quote you a price on skipping certain rooms if you don’t want to wake the baby or leave your bed). It is well worth the extra money for your peace of mind.  If you need help on meals, look into a meal service or nearby take out and delivery restaurants, put together a list for yourself and your husband. It’s not your new way of life, just a way to allow you to focus and save energy on what’s important, your baby and your health.

    Olian Maternty Nursing Pajamas Olian Maternity Nursing Pajamas and Baby Sleeper

    Finally have your hospital bag packed well in advance with everything you will need for your stay including an outfit for the trip home and a baby sleeper for your newborn. Remember you will most likely need to wear maternity clothing home as you will not be in your pre-pregnancy state days after having your baby! You will also want something nonrestrictive in case you have a C-Section and plenty of room in the bust as that part of you will likely only get bigger. If you are nursing, you will want to pack a nursing top with plenty of belly coverage as it takes a little while for that postpartum belly to subside.

     

    By all means do your Spring Cleaning with zeal and joy but do not go climbing up any ladders or test your balancing skills to get to those hard to reach places. You can outsource that dusting of the top of the kitchen cabinets to your hubby or any tall person who happens to be visiting your house in the next few weeks, they will understand when they see your nine month belly!

     

     

     

  • Feature Product - Maternal America's Convertible Maternity Dress/Skirt

    TummyStyle’s product of the week is Maternal America Convertible Maternity Dress / Skirt . This beautiful strapless maternity dress is super flattering and super versatile! It features layered ruffle crocheted detailing that hugs your curves while not being clingy and providing some mystique. It can be worn as a skirt of varying lengths depending on how high over the belly you would like to wear it.

     

    This super stylish maternity dress can also be casual chic and worn as a swimsuit coverup. It is breezy and easy to wear, and you may find yourself grabbing it months or years after you have your baby. It also comes in a variety colors including turquoise, olive and black. Grab this one while you can!

     

    Bella Bank Ruched Maternity Tank

     

    The Bella Band Ruched Tank is a great maternity tank to pair with this item when it is worn as a ruffle maternity skirt. The Bella Band Ruched Tank is a seamless maternity tank made from an ultra-soft two layer knit blend that will easily stretch over your belly throughout your pregnancy and can be worn postpartum as well. The pleats in this tank are perfect for camouflaging a recovering post maternity belly without being too loose or too tight!

     

    This tank provides subtle pleating around your belly in early pregnancy and it provides a smooth, supportive silhouette on a full term belly which you will love. It is also cut extra-long to allow plenty of room for you to grow and recover with a seamless look. This tank is available in both white and black which make for perfect year-round staples in your maternity clothes wardrobe!

    It's worth it to invest in some good maternity pieces that you truly love, especially if they are versatile. You can't beat a dress that can be a skirt that can also be a maternity swimsuit coverup. You also can't beat a perfect ruched white or black maternity tank that can also be worn after pregnancy. So choose wisely and choose well to make the most of your maternity clothes wardrobe!

     

     

  • Spring Maternity Trend -- Floral Prints

    As the weather heats up and Spring approaches it is time for a maternity wardrobe shift into lighter fabrics, lighter colors and spring themed prints. One print that never goes out of style for the Spring Season is florals. The floral design is a perfect addition to your ensemble whether worn as an addition or accessory to your outfit such as a shoe, purse or light scarf or as the main statement as in a gorgeous floor length maxi dress, florals are designed to bring a light hearted positive mood to all you represent.

    Maternal America Asymetric Ruffle Dress

    Pregnancy is the perfect time to experiment with fashion and prints that you might not normally wear in your everyday life. Florals patterns also happen to be in style and in full bloom this spring, just as you are in your pregnancy! Now is a great time to try out a fluttery floral blouse or Babydoll dress. Check out the beautiful maternity swimwear floral patterns that are a great way to add some flowers to your wardrobe.

     

    Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a floral print:

    1) Choosing the right size is most important when it comes to maternity clothes, especially when dealing with floral prints. A simple rule to remember is to keep the size of the print in proportion with the size of your body, allowing a little room to bloom when you are expecting. If you are petite, look for smaller flower sizes so that you will not look overpowered. If you are taller or have a larger build you can go larger on your floral prints and look great.

    Prego Maternity Betsy Swimwear

    2) When choosing to wear a floral print dress, top, or skirt, keep the accessories simple to keep the look balanced. A floral maternity maxi dress looks stunning when paired with simple sandals or espadrille and non flashy jewelry. You can pull your favorite color from the dress and find a great necklace, bracelet, or shoe in that color. If you choose to wear a colorful floral maternity top, pair it with a neutral bottom or vice versa. By keeping the pattern only on the clothing and accessorizing with complimentary colors, a polished sleek look is created.

     

    3) If you are really concerted about looking frumpy in florals or can't get Kim Kardashian's infamous Met Gala maternity dress out of your mind, then go for the more abstract paisley patterns. This also gives a fresh look for spring while sure to be modern and a far cry from your mother's curtains or your grandmother's wardrobe.


    Japanese Weekend Red Sun Maternity Dress4) Break it up with the flowers. You can make florals edgy by your shoe and jewelry choice and simply by pairing a floral top with a pair of solid leggings. A great pair of flats, a large ring in the shape of a flower, or a floral print scarf all make great additions to your maternity outfit if you want to go light with the flowers while giving a nod to the flowers.

    Most important is to follow your personal style. Choose a floral print that is truly you and that represents your personality. It can be a dainty abstract pastel floral pattern to a large statement floral maxi skirt with strong fuchsia colors and black contrast.

    Find and wear what makes you happy and have some fun with your maternity fashion this Spring!

  • Guilt-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Chip 1

    Some healthy recipes can taste, well, too healthy. Dessert should taste like dessert, but it shouldn’t leave you feeling sick, particularly at time when you are sensitive to morning sickness! Your meals shouldn’t hurt your body, they should help it, especially during pregnancy when you are literally eating for both you and your baby! Food can either be the slowest form of poison or the most powerful medicine to fuel your body and improve your health. When you supply your body with the right nutrition you will see feel the difference with more energy for your day. Healthy food can definitely be delicious, and here is one recipe where you the taste is as good as the nutrition it provides.

    These cookies are the reward for lots of experimentation in the kitchen. They have the classic taste of chocolate chip cookies but are a far healthier version than the classic store bought cookies or grocery store cookie mix we all know and love, but also know is not the healthiest choice for our bodies. This chocolate chip cookies recipe supports your pregnancy health while still satisfying your sweet tooth pregnancy cravings. They are chewy, soft, and slightly crispy on the edges. The sweetness of the agave is perfectly complimented by the nuttiness of the hazelnut oil and balanced with a bit of sea salt. No one will ever know these are free of white flour, butter, or white sugar!

    Chip 3

    These cookies are a bit high in fat, but it is from high quality sources (avocado and hazelnut oil), aka guilt-free fat! According to a study published in the March 2005 issue of the "Journal of Nutrition”, avocado oil increases the absorption of carotenoids (organic pigments that act like antioxidants within the body) from your food. Fat-soluble carotenoids rely on dietary fats to be properly used, but most foods that are high in carotenoids (think red, orange, and dark green veggies) are low in fat. Avocado is unusual because it contains high quantities of unsaturated fatty acids as well as generous amounts of carotenoids. In the study, “both high and low doses of avocado oil enhanced alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein absorption from a salad by as much as 15 times compared to a salad without avocado oil.”

    Hazelnut oil has a similar composition to olive oil, but it contains less saturated fat per tablespoon. It is a bit on the expensive side, but it only takes a little bit to add complexity and flavor to baked goods.

    Chocolate ChipIf you don’t have avocado or hazelnut oil, try mixing whatever oil you have on hand (like grape seed, coconut, sunflower--maybe even try olive oil and add some orange zest!). You can also experiment with adding shredded coconut, nuts, extracts, and different spices to customize. Have fun and make healthy cooking something you look forward to!

     

     

     

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    2 ½ cups almond flour

    ¼ cup sorghum flour

    ½ tsp baking soda

    ½ tsp fine grain sea salt

    ½ cup agave syrup

    ¼ cup hazelnut oil

    ¼ cup avocado oil

    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F on convection. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

    Whisk the almond flour, sorghum flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

    In a separate medium bowl, combine the agave, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, and vanilla.

    Fold the wet and dry mix together. Bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating the pan about 6 minutes in.

    Nutrition Facts: (per cookie)

    Calories: 223

    Fat: 17

    Carbs: 16

    Protein: 5

    Sugar: 8

    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2015, All Rights Reserved.

  • Benefits of Broccoli!

     

    We knew broccoli was good for us but we had no idea just how good. Broccoli is an excellent vegetable choice to add to your prenatal diet as it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals.

    One cup of cooked broccoli has about…

    250% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin K

    40% the recommended daily amount of folate

    140% recommended daily amount of Vitamin C

    Vitamin K does not receive a lot of publicity and is sometimes referred to as “the forgotten vitamin” but it is important for many functions, including preventing blood clots. It is also a key partner to vitamin D in building strong bones. If you are deficient in vitamin K, then vitamin D does not work optimally in your body. These two vitamins complement one another and you need to have a sufficient amount of each vitamin for them to work effectively in your body.

    We all know folate (aka folic acid) is a top priority for all expecting mothers, particularly in early pregnancy. Once you are pregnant, everyone from your doctor to your next door neighbor is encouraging you to increase folic acid in your diet. It has been proven that folic acid can actually prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida in your baby which is ample reason to increase your intake.

    According to Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, when broccoli is lightly sautéed in oil, it loses almost none of its water-soluble nutrients because it is in contact with oil, not water (as opposed to steaming). They also absorb the phytonutrients in oil and garlic. This is an excellent opportunity to add double your nutritional value by cooking in olive oil, a very healthy fat.

    Indole is also formed when broccoli is cooked. According to research in The Journal of Nutrition, this organic compound helps kill precancerous cells before they turn malignant.  Vitamin K, folate and Vitamin C are all essential for a healthy pregnancy and broccoli is a great source of all of these!

    Basic Broccoli Method:

    2 medium bunches of rinsed broccoli

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    1 tsp thyme

    3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

    Desired amount of salt and pepper

    Put a large pan on medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and chopped garlic. Chop the broccoli and set aside in medium bowl (makes approximately 6 cups).

    Once the garlic has lightly browned in the oil, add the chopped broccoli and stir. Add the thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cover the pan with a lid and check every few minutes until it is as cooked as you like.

    DSC_0030

    You can either eat it just like that, or make a delicious quinoa salad!

    Quinoa Broccoli Salad (1-2 servings):

    1 cup cooked broccoli

    1 cup cooked quinoa

    ¼ cup pasta sauce

    1 cup chopped kale

    ½ cup garbanzo beans

    Toss all ingredients in a bowl and you’re good to go. This recipe can easily be doubled or even quadrupled for a family meal! The addition of raw kale adds even more of those essential vitamins for a healthy pregnancy.

    DSC_0251

    All Original Content. Copyright Athena Byers 2015, All Rights Reserved

  • Product of the Week - Maternal America Eva Maternity Swimsuit

    Maternal America Eva Tankini Maternal America Eva Tankini

    With May officially here, swimsuit season is fast approaching or already here depending on where you live. Now is the time to shop for maternity swimwear that you can wear for the whole summer. There are so many flattering and fun styles out there, shopping for maternity swimwear is not a challenge like it used to be back in your mother’s day. The only confusing part is maybe deciding what style you like best!

    Pregnancy is a fun time to experiment with different styles you may not usually go. There is no right or wrong answer as long you choose a style you are comfortable wearing and that fits with a little stretch for your belly (and the rest of you) to grow as your pregnancy progresses. Now is the time to show off your curves! For many women that means have some cleavage for the first time!

    If you frequent the pool or the beach in the summer, it may be a good idea to get several suits. Tankinis and Halterkinis are a good choice for maternity as they are a two piece suit that allows your belly plenty of room to grow while not exposing your whole belly. They are also super flattering for many different body types and come in a variety of pretty prints and colors. Some can even be mixed and matched for a whole new look.

    A personal favorite maternity tankini is the Maternal America Eva. This pretty classic print suit is a navy and white striped halter tie top with matching solid navy bikini bottoms. This suit features a pretty cris-cross design across the lightly padded bust and adjustable string halter ties which can also tucked in or tied in back for a strapless style. The navy bikini bottoms also have adjustable side ties which give you a perfect fit throughout your pregnancy. This French Nautical theme print is a bestseller and perfect for a vacation get away or a casual pool gathering with friends.

    TummyStyle exclusively carries the Maternal America Eva swimsuit, so grab one today if the style is right for you!

     

  • Happy Mother's Day!

    bouquet.jpg Photo by Angela Sadler

    Mother’s Day is around the corner this Sunday, May 11th. If you are pregnant with your first child, then you qualify as a mother! Let the celebrations begin! Mother’s Day is a day we Moms can all appreciate. It is a time when we think of our own mother as well as scramble to buy a card and appropriate gift her, our Mother-in-Laws and other “mother figures” in our lives.

    As a Mom of three, I know it’s easy to get lost in the craziness of this time in May with many school activities jam packed into schedules, Teacher Appreciation Weeks, School Performances and Open Houses, Dance and Music Performances, Art Shows and everything else nearly every day of the week and month, not to mention homework! These are the days I feel I need a personal assistant to tell me what to wear, where to go and to point me out the door – but that’s just the service we are providing for our children, right?!

    Although busyness and motherhood seem to always co-exist, with a healthy dash of craziness, Mother’s Day is a time when we Moms should pause, reflect and relax, even for a few hours (or moments) just to savor all that we have. We are blessed to be mothers and to be able to raise and nurture our children. We are one of the most influential people in our children’s lives who they look up to, even if it doesn’t always seem like it in the midst of a toddler meltdown at the grocery store or when hustling them in and out of car seats while juggling diaper bags and snacks. We will always be their mothers, even when they are grown up and maybe someday have families and children of their own.

    My kids get very excited about Mother’s Day and I know I should not take that for granted. They are very proud of their homemade cards and school craft Mother’s Day creations as well as any knick-knacks they may have picked up with their Dad at the store. Those homemade cut out glue-sticked cards and pictures are my favorite (I always promise to laminate them and maybe one day I will!)

    Mother’s Day is truly about being appreciated for all that we are in our children’s eyes (and our Partner’s eyes as a mother to our kids). It’s our time to be open to relaxing and receiving that love for a whole day (even a whole hour!) If you are pregnant, you are on your way to meeting your child very soon, so savor Mother’s Day (while it’s still quiet!) and maybe enjoy a kick in the tummy or a cute ultrasound picture of your baby. Sooner than you think you will have a pile of homemade cards to laminate someday!

  • Maternal America Eva Tankini - Product of the Week!

    With May officially here, swimsuit season is fast approaching or already here depending on where you live. Now is the time to shop for maternity swimwear that you can wear for the whole summer. There are so many flattering and fun styles out there, shopping for maternity swimwear is not a challenge like it used to be back in your mother’s day. The only confusing part is maybe deciding what style you like best!

    Maternal America Eva Tankini Maternal America Eva Tankini

    Pregnancy is a fun time to experiment with different styles you may not usually go. There is no right or wrong answer as long you choose a style you are comfortable wearing and that fits with a little stretch for your belly (and the rest of you) to grow as your pregnancy progresses. Now is the time to show off your curves! For many women that means have some cleavage for the first time!

    If you frequent the pool or the beach in the summer, it may be a good idea to get several suits. Tankinis and Halterkinis are a good choice for maternity as they are a two piece suit that allows your belly plenty of room to grow while not exposing your whole belly. They are also super flattering for many different body types and come in a variety of pretty prints and colors. Some can even be mixed and matched for a whole new look.

    A personal favorite maternity tankini is the Maternal America Eva. This pretty classic print suit is a navy and white striped halter tie top with matching solid navy bikini bottoms. This suit features a pretty cris-cross design across the lightly padded bust and adjustable string halter ties which can also tucked in or tied in back for a strapless style. The navy bikini bottoms also have adjustable side ties which give you a perfect fit throughout your pregnancy. This French Nautical theme print is a bestseller and perfect for a vacation get away or a casual pool gathering with friends.

    TummyStyle exclusively carries the Maternal America Eva swimsuit, so grab one today if the style is right for you!

  • Breastfeeding Tips from Bravado!

    Breastfeeding is the best nutrition and antibodies you can provide your baby during it's first year of life and particularly for it's first 6 months of life. According to a new Study published by Bravado! designs, our top nursing bra brand, breastfeeding is on the rise in North America.

    In 2012 77% of new moms nursing their newborn, up 6% from 12 years ago in 2000 in the United States. In Canada breastfeeding rates also continued to rise with 89% of mothers breastfeeding their infants, up 4% from 2003. This is super news for both babies and new mothers as breastfeeding can improve the bond between mothers and their infants and even improve materal health and aid with postpartum weight loss.

    Here is Bravado's List of the Top 7 Benefits of Breastfeeding:

    1) Breastmilk contains the right balance of nutrients for your baby.

    2) Antibodies in Breast Milk boost your baby's immune system.

    3) Breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies.

    4) May lower baby's risk of SIDS.

    5) May protect your child from obesity.

    6) May boost your child's intelligence.

    7) May reduce your stress level and risk for post-partum depression.

    Although breastfeeding can seem a like perfectly natural thing to do, it may not always feel natural or be easy in the beginning. For many moms (and babies) it can take some time catching onto, breastfeeding every baby can be a different experience. Do not hesitate to get the help you need to get you and your baby on the right track with breastfeeding. Hospitals provide nurses and lactation consultants to guide you in feeding your baby. You can also to nursing support groups, La Leche Leagues and local Moms groups to seek out the help you need for breastfeeding.

    Here are some Basic Breastfeeding Tips (as provided by Bravado!)

    1) Ask for help right away

    The first time you breast-feed your baby - preferably within a few hours after delivery, ask for help. The maternity nurses or a Lactation Consultant can offer breastfeeding tips, stating with how to position the baby on the breast and make sure he or she is latching on correctly.

    2) Let your baby set the pace

    For the first few weeks, most newborns feed every two to three hours around the clock. Watch for signs of hunger such as restlessness, sucking motions with lip movements.

    3) Give it time

    If breastfeeding is tougher than you expected, don't get discouraged. Don't let a rough start turn you off from breastfeeding. The more your breastfeed your baby, the more milk your breast will produce and the better you will get at it. But do  not hesitate to get the help you need if you do hit a rough patch (back to Step 1 when all else fails!) You will get there with time, patience and practice.

    Breastfeeding is a job, but it is so worth it for your baby. It can be exhausting feeding your baby around the clock, so make sure you are getting the nutrition and support you need from friends, relatives, neighbors and anyone else who offers to cook you a meal, help with baby or household chores! Be sure to pat yourself on the back for doing a very good deed for your baby that will reap rewards for your both now and for years to come.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Exercise During Pregnacy to Make your Baby Smart!

    As Holiday Season approaches many of us find ourselves munching on more cookies, eating more pie and indulging in bigger meals. It’s easy to do as the weather is cooler and you may be surrounded by friends and family and lots of yummy goodies. Although pregnancy is not a time to diet, it is perfectly ok and even recommended to exercise, especially when you need to offset some extra helpings of stuffing or pumpkin pie.

    Not only is exercise good for maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight, it’s also good for your brain, nerves and self-esteem. More recently researchers are uncovering new benefits of exercise to the developing fetus. Two studies presented a few weeks ago at the Society of Neuroscience suggest that exercise during pregnancy gives unborn children a neurological advantage with “more mature and effective brain patterns.” Dave Ellemberg, a neuroscientists at the University of Montreal says active moms can give their kids “a kickstart even before they are born.” He continues, “What we found is that there’s this amazing transfer from what the mother does onto her child.”

    What better motivation is there to exercise since not only are you improving your own body and mind during pregnancy but that of your unborn child’s at the same time. Another recent study performed at Dartmouth University found similar results with the potential for exercise to leave “long-lasting effects on the behavior and cognitive function of the offspring.”

    Even as little as thirty minutes a day of moderate exercise can help with weight gain, mood and prepare mothers for labor, says Laura Riley, Director of labor and delivery and obstetrics and gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She continues, that pregnant women who exercise are more mobile throughout their pregnancy and report less aches and pains during pregnancy.

    How much you exercise and the type of exercise you choose to do should depend on your fitness level. In general it is recommended that women should continue the exercise they already do and just adjust the level to their weight and abilities as the pregnancy progresses. Even just walking will do wonders for your body and your baby.

    There are obvious safety precautions such as staying clear of contact sports or those that require advanced coordination, such as biking (maybe consider a stationary bike). Also steer clear of exercise that involves flat on the back positions that can cause back strain or cut off the blood flow. Also you should not do abdominal work since those muscles are stretched to support your baby.

    Most importantly stay in tune with your body and take more frequent breaks. Also, be sure to hydrate more often as your body will need more liquids when you are pregnant. Finally be sure to be in close communication with your doctor on all exercise you pursue to make sure it is recommended and safe.

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