The Blog all for Mom
Mar 24, 2020 | Preparedness
6 Ways to Get that Elusive Pregnancy Sleep
If you find yourself eyes wide open at 2 a.m., wondering if you should reach for your phone, get up and make yourself a snack, or power up the kindle, you’re not alone. Any parent’s advice to a mama-to-be is, “Enjoy your sleep!” But guess what? Sometimes it’s just not that easy.
Even the soundest sleepers can become total insomniacs once the creation of life is on our to-do list. And there’s a whole host of reasons why. Maybe it’s because you have to get up to pee every two hours, or because your new nightly heartburn makes it impossible to lie down. Or maybe it’s the cramp in your leg, the ache in your back, or the ever-growing belly you’re trying to maneuver every time you want to roll over (or the tiny human inside that’s kickboxing your uterus!).
And it doesn’t stop there. Our mind can be as big of an insomnia culprit as our body. What will labor feel like? How many prenatal vitamins do I have left? Did I remember to put those crib sheets on the registry? Cloth or disposable? Sometimes we can easily spin ourselves out till sunrise. There’s no tried-and-true secret for sinking into a deep, undisturbed sleep while pregnant, but there are a few ways you can set yourself up for greater success.
With your growing belly, stretchy hips, and achy joints and muscles, getting comfy at night can feel like a pipe dream. But a body pillow can be a huge help. And there are so many different kinds—S-shaped, U-shaped, wedge-shaped, and more—so if one isn’t right, don’t let it stop you from trying out another. Find one that gives you support where you most need it, whether that’s between your knees or under your neck or belly.
Lavender essential oil has been shown to alleviate anxiety and up sleep quality. Add a few drops to a diffuser and let that little machine mist you into dreamland. Or skip the diffuser all together and just go straight for the oil: add a couple drops of lavender oil to your pillow case before you go to sleep, or dab a drop or two on your wrists or temple.
When we’re having trouble sleeping, even a little bit of light (from a streetlamp, a bathroom light, or even a smartphone) can feel like a floodlight. If you’ve never been an eye mask person, now might be the time to try it—wearing one is the easiest way to you may just wonder why you went so long without one.
Yeah, we know you know—meditation makes everything better. But it’s kind of true! Especially when it comes to sleep and the mental acrobatics anxiety makes us perform. You can start small, really small, with just a couple of minutes a day. But see if you can keep it up, we swear it gets easier.
Here’s another one you’ve probably heard, but that’s ’cause it truly works—a bit of exercise every day has been shown to improve sleep. We’re not saying to benchpress your weight after you put your PJs on, but getting your body moving during the day will help it slow down at night.
They’re not just for babies! Having some soothing, consistent noise in your bedroom at night—hello ocean sounds!—can help lull you to sleep and then keep you there, by drowning out external noise and keeping your brain in a state of calm.
Aug 2, 2019 | What To Wear
Step One: Start By Canvassing
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to pregnancy, but one thing is certain: your belly’s only getting bigger, and a lot of the clothes you wear now will probably stop fitting over the next nine months. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy a whole new wardrobe! Here’s our gem of a closet curation strategy, so you don’t have to start with an empty rack.
And because every brilliant idea deserves an acronym, here’s ours: CCE or Canvass, Collect, Enhance (...then of course, pass-On)
The first step is canvassing, and it’s actually pretty fun. Set aside some time and take a good look at your closet and the pieces you wear the most. While it’s true that your number one jeans probably aren’t long for this pregnancy life, you likely have a number of items that are, even though they’re not deemed “maternity” clothes. You just need to look at them with your new mama-to-be eyes, and see which items can make room for a little growth.
Here are a few items that make especially good transition pieces:
Maxi dress: The empire waist of most maxis make this type of dress especially reliable for easing into your pregnancy style.
Loose or boxy button-down: These beauties are great for getting dressed early in pregnancy (and you’ll rely on them again, when you’ve got a baby to breastfeed!). Any button-down that’s on the loose or boxy side can probably be worn untucked until you just can’t button it any more.
Sack dress: You probably rock a sack dress when you’re going out for a big meal, right? Which is what makes it absolutely perfect for dressing a brand-new bump, especially if you want to keep it under wraps for a while.
Drapey tee/knit: Tees that aren’t tight or knits that have some stretch to them will be some reliable go-to’s as your belly starts to grow.
Aline dress: Cute, comfy, and usually with just enough room for a belly that’s popped.
Loose jumpsuits: A one-piece makes dressing for the day so easy, which is exactly what you want during pregnancy. A loose or flowy jumpsuit fits this bill to a tee, and depending on the cut, you might be able to wear it right through to the end!
See? You probably have more maternity options than you thought, and now you know exactly what you need. But you still don’t have to hit “add to cart” yet. The next steps in CCEP are just as important, so click here to read about them!
Jul 31, 2019 | What To Wear
Step Two: Collect From Other Mamas
Now that you’ve canvassed your closet and figured out which of your items will work with your growing belly, it’s time for the next step in the CCE plan: Collect. Because here’s the thing about maternity clothes—you don’t need them forever! Mamas are always unloading items, most of which are in excellent condition, it’s simply the nature of products made for pregnancy (and babies, tbh). Even mamas who plan on having another kid pass pieces along, because they’ll surely come back around and who wants to store them in the meantime?
So tap the mamas in your life to see what you can borrow, which will leave you a bigger budget for the fun stuff (like your dream baby shower dress) and the regular use items (like a nursing bra and your everyday activewear).
What to ask for?
There are a few key items that nearly every new mama will have worn during her pregnancy that she probably doesn’t have a need for anymore. Maternity jeans and work pants don’t have much of a closet shelf life after the fourth trimester, so see if anyone has a pair or two to give away. Certain tops and T-shirts are also pretty pregnancy specific, so see if you can collect a few of those too. Once you ask for one item though, be prepared to be offered others!
Who to ask?
Start with your friends who have recently had babies. They’ll be the ones most likely to still have these items on hand. But don’t stop there. Tap any family members too (a sister-in-law, a second cousin, a young aunt perhaps?). From there you can hit up any co-workers who’ve returned from maternity leave, and guess what? Even strangers will be happy to hand over their pregnancy clothes, sometimes you just have to ask.
How to ask?
When it comes to friends and family, you might not even have to ask—mamas might just offer! But of course you can ask via text, email, or just the old-fashioned way, in person. The magic of the internet is great for putting your requests out there. Join a mom group or two on Facebook and post there, or simply use Instagram and Twitter, and don’t be surprised by unexpected responses, the sisterhood of motherhood is powerful!
Okay, so now that you’ve canvassed and collected, what’s next? Read on for the second half of our closet curation strategy, CCE. Click here to learn how to Enhance your maternity wardrobe.
Jul 30, 2019 | What To Wear
Step Three: Enhance (Then Pass On)
You might be an expert at canvassing and collecting (good job! And more on CCE here), but you’ve still probably got a few needs in your maternity wardrobe. Here’s where the enhance part comes in. Take a look at what you have, what you “found” (thanks friends!), and make a note of additional items you can get to fill in any holes for the nine months of pregnancy (and those first few months afterward).
We’ve got some suggestions, depending on the size of your belly, and the needs that go along with it. But here’s a sampling to get you started.
Bellaband®: If you buy only one maternity-related thing, it should probably be a Bellaband®. Here’s why.
Babymoon pieces: With all the items you already have and then collected, it leaves a little flexibility for getting a babymoon piece or two that will make your last couple’s-only vacay even more cute and comfortable.
Baby shower look: Your baby shower is the one day where it’s extra important to feel like your best self, wearing your best possible outfit, so you don’t have to worry about tugging or pulling or feeling self-conscious and you can instead focus on soaking up all the love and support for you and your coming babe.
Work wear: Even if you’ve got a couple of work-friendly pieces on hand, considering how much time you spend at work, you’ll probably need a couple more. We got you.
Activewear: With the sweating you do during prenatal yoga, and the regularity with which you’ll need a nice pair of leggings, adding some activewear (especially with the support of our Crossover Panel) is a good move.
Nursing: With leakage, and spit up, and diaper disasters, you can truly never have enough nursing bras, tanks, and camis. Adding one or two will save you some laundry days.
The Very last step, after you are done with all of your maternity clothes: Pass-On. Consider it the “pay it forward” part, where you can thank the mamas who gave you items, by giving yours to the next pregnant friend in your social circle (once you’re done with them, of course!). This works especially well when it comes to Ingrid & Isabel pieces—these are quality items made to last for probably a lot longer than you’ll want to wear them (and we’re taking the postpartum period into account as well). So hang on to your items, and pass them on to a mama-to-be! What goes around comes around, in the best possible way.
Jul 28, 2019 | What To Wear
Curating a Bump-Friendly Closet: Workwear Essentials
Chances are you’re going to be working until your due date is just around the corner, which means you’re going to have to professionally dress that belly from now till maternity leave. Dressing for an office environment can seem a bit tricky—your around-the-house outfit of ultracozy leggings and XL sweatshirts might look out of place. Plus there’s some truth to that ol’ dress for success adage.
Here are some classic, easy-to-wear pieces that will make you feel profesh and comfy at every stage of pregnancy and beyond (cause maternity leave won’t last forever).
Every working woman should have a power blazer, especially a pregnant working woman. Our Adjustable Waist Ponte Knit Maternity Blazer fits that bill, and thanks to a hidden, adjustable back piece, you can work this look from the early days of pregnancy through the days of major belly. The jacket’s ponte fabric is soft, but still structured so you get a tailored style that’s still totally comfortable. Pair it with a nice dark wash denim (see below!) for something more casual, or our Ponte Pencil Skirt for the ultimate maternity-friendly power suit. Click to Shop!
Dark Wash Jeans
Dark wash jeans can pull double-duty: casual enough for weekends but classic enough for everyday work looks. Our Maternity Skinny Jeans with Inset Panel is the perfect maternity pair—they sit just under the belly and the panels stretch as your body grows. Wear them with booties and a sweater or top for a reliable Monday-through-Friday go-to. Click to Shop!
Throw on a button-down and you look instantly put together, especially if it’s our Pintuck Woven Top. Pretty pintuck detailing in the front gives this classic piece a feminine flair, and you can wear the cuffed sleeves rolled up or long and buttoned. It’s got plenty of room for a growing belly but is tailored up top for a flattering fit. Wear it to dress up denim or with our Adjustable Waist Ponte Knit Maternity Blazer and Ponte Maternity Pencil Skirt for an unstoppable combo. Click to Shop!
Our Ponte 5-Pocket Maternity Legging with Bellaband Panel have a classic skinny fit and are made from our soft and stretchy ponte knit, but have the more structured, pocketed look of pants. They also feature a comfy seamless panel that can go over the belly or be folded down and it offers a bit of support for your lower back as well. These pants will be your best workplace secret: they feel like leggings, but are polished enough for the office. Click to Shop!
When you’re ready to show off that bump, our Pleated Maternity Tank Dress is another weekday staple, especially because it’s so dang versatile. Wear it on a Monday with a blazer and clogs, then wear it again on Friday with a heels and a statement necklace. Ruching around the belly and back make sure that there’s always room for your growing belly. Click to Shop!
Long Sleeve Top
An everyday top—one you can throw on with just about anything and feel comfortable but presentable—is another office must. Our lightweight Long Sleeve Smocked Woven Maternity Top has a relaxed mock collar with cute smocked detailing. French cuffs give it a little something extra. Click to Shop!
Of course it’s helpful to have a versatile bottom that isn’t pants or denim. Our Ponte Maternity Pencil Skirt sits just under the belly and can be dressed up with a blazer and heels for client meetings or dressed down with a sweater or top and mules for Monday through Friday. Click to Shop!
Every work wardrobe needs a wrap dress, and this is one you’ll wear throughout your pregnancy and post-baby too, like our Flutter Sleeve Knit Wrap Maternity Dress. It’s made from super soft fabric so it’s extra comfy, and the adjustable tie waist means it’s a flattering fit at every stage of pregnancy. (And the crossover neckline will make for easy pumping access post–maternity leave, too!) Click to Shop!
Kimono Sleeve Dress
Speaking of pumping, our Kimono Sleeve Pleated Front Nursing Dress is a new working mom’s dream. Hidden zippers in the front panel mean you can discreetly pump without having to take anything off. But you’ll want to grab one early on in your pregnancy; cinching just above the belly makes this dress cute and comfy (not to mention totally professional), and kimono sleeves are universally flattering. Click to Shop!
Jul 28, 2019 | What To Wear
Maternity Must-Haves from Just Pregnant to Motherhood
While assessing wardrobe requirements on a month-by-month (or week-by-week!) basis is fun for some, you may just want to stock up on all your maternity style needs now, in a single swoop, and know you’re good to go for the months (and growth) to come. We’ve curated this simple list that will get you through your entire journey, from that first belly pop to holding that babe in your arms. Of course you may find you want a little something extra when it’s time to pack for your babymoon, or if you need some additional work attire, but these are the go-to pieces that will cover just about every need you’ll have during the next nine-plus months into motherhood. Consider it an all-encompassing kit for looking cute and feeling comfy throughout your pregnancy.
You won’t want to go through pregnancy without it! This maternity style superstar will help keep you in your favorite pre-pregnancy jeans for months to come. Click to Shop!
If the Bellaband® is your prized possession during pregnancy (it will be!), the Afterband® is the new mom equivalent. It’s designed especially for postpartum use—soft and stretchy with just the right amount of snug. Use it to make your pre-pregnancy and maternity pants fit, for extra coverage while breastfeeding in public, and for super comfortable compression as your belly recovers. Click to Shop!
This supersoft basic will comfortably stretch as your belly grows, so you can use it for layering throughout your pregnancy. Click to Shop!
Seamless Drop Cup Pullover Nursing Bra
Our drop cup pullover bra offers awesome and comfy maternity support, plus you’ll be able to wear it right on into motherhood for the wild ride that is breastfeeding.
Click to Shop!
Essential Tees Set
This essentials set is a basics jackpot. These three buttery soft tees—a tank, a short-sleeve V-neck, and a long-sleeve scoop neck—will cover your casual everyday needs. Click to Shop!
Cross Front Jumpsuit
This might just be the most versatile piece in your maternity wardrobe—dress it up for work, events, and a romantic date night, or pair it with sneakers and a sweater for everyday errands. You’ll especially love the flattering cross front neckline for ease of breastfeeding and/or pumping. Click to Shop!
Pleated Tank Dress
Side pleats make this dress a perfect fit through every stage of pregnancy, and it’s just the basic you need for dressing up or down, on workdays or weekends. Click to Shop!
Distressed Maternity Skinny Jeans with Crossover Panel
A pair of skinny jeans are a maternity must, and this pair’s got the perfect wash plus our patented Crossover Panel, which feels so good on a growing belly (and even supports your lower back). Click to Shop!
Seamless Maternity + Nursing Sports Bra
Our seamless sports bra is the perfect activewear foundation. It’ll support you through all your prenatal activities, and you’ll love its nursing functionality post-pregnancy too.
Click to Shop!
Active Knee Pant with Crossover Panel
These are the bottoms you’ll practically live in. Stretchy but opaque, these pants will get you through yoga and your errands. The Crossover Panel is just icing on the comfort cake. Click to Shop!
You’ll want to be cozy throughout your pregnancy, and even moreso after baby arrives—this wrap is the perfect fit no matter your belly size, and its snuggle factor is through the roof. Click to Shop!
Flutter Sleeve Knit Wrap Maternity Maxi Dress
You need a shower-worthy dress and this one will make you feel flawless—flutter sleeves, an adjustable tie-waist, plus maxi length with maximum movement. Click to Shop!
Jul 28, 2019 | Preparedness
Go-Time Clothing: Pieces to Pack in Your Hospital Bag