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    fashion, style and more; bump & beyond blog

    Tips for Post Preg: The Trip Back Down

    Tips for Post Preg: The Trip Back Down

    The Trip Back Down

    As far as we know, no one goes home from the hospital, baby in their arms, looking anything less than 4 months pregnant. Just the facts mom.

    What to Expect After Delivery

    What will you look like after delivery? We get to look like Duchess Kate for once in our lives!  And at least there won't be quite as many cameras for us?;) Poor Duchess Kate(words we don't usually put together), everyone was merciless to her when William was born. Yes world, that's what we look like with a newborn-still pregnant!

    But she got over it. And did it again.  We respect that. Thank you Kate.

    OMG, how long will this last?!

    Unlike a duchess, you may not have day nurses, night nurses, chefs, housekeepers and trainers available 24/7, so, whatever you do, do not start on the compare and despair track. Try to just rest, relax and stare at your perfect baby as they stare at their perfect mother. Yes, you are perfect.

    How long the trip back down is varies from mom to mom. Be patient with yourself. How quickly you will return to you pre-preg body depends upon a multitude of factors.

    1. Genetics.  Yep, some of us get our body back-ish with relative ease.  Some, not so easy.

    2. Weight gain. Even if you gain very little weight(which is not recommended) your uterus takes time to shrink back down.  If you gained more than is recommended, well, yeah, it will take a little longer, but, you knew that.  You can get there.  When you want to. This is not a race.

    3. Breastfeeding.  Nursing can help some women lose their pregnancy weight.  Some.  Not all.  For some it's like magic, for others, it's not.  

    4. Your pre-preg body.  We're all different before pregnancy, and that is still the case. 

    As a general rule, here at the shop, we suggest 9 months on/ 9 months off as a guide.  Some will get it back sooner, some later, but giving yourself that time is a solid plan.  

    Realistic expectations will help you stay sane, even if they don't help you get your body back in record speed. The sanity will serve you and baby well.

    What can I do to speed the process?

    There are some things that may help.  And, remember, every body is different, so, these are suggestions-no rules, not promises.

    • Drink plenty of water.

    You're used to gong to the bathroom all the time, why stop now?!  Fluids hydrate you and fill you as well, meaning that you may not snack as often. There are some theories that say that drinking water may speed up your metabolism. So, can't hurt eh?
    • Breastfeed. 

    Again, the jury is still out on whether this actually helps lose weight, but if you can breastfeed, it's good for you and baby-the jury is not out on that.  If you can't breastfeed, then skip this one, baby needs food, if you can't nurse, that's okay, baby will be fed. Don't stress yourself-that can just lead to stress eating!
    • Don't diet, but do eat

    While you were pregnant you were life support.  After delivery?  You are still life support for that amazing tiny human and you need to continue to eat well so you can support baby emotionally and physically.

    Eventually, if you're struggling to lose the weight, you can start counting calories and focus on weight loss.  The first few months after having a baby is not probably, in our humble opinion, the time to do that. 

    Keep plenty of fruit, water and nuts around to grab when hunger strikes. 

    • Wrap and Tuck 

    Wrapping with a postpartum band and wearing other compression garments really does help. The number of women who IRL swear by the Belly Bandit has made us believers.  Just putting it on someone and seeing their reaction is an awesome feeling.  So, it slims and sucks and helps shrink the uterus.  You're worth it.

    Most of our moms use the BFF, some like to layer or alternate with the Mother Tucker leggings.  These beauts are the best- sip them on and feel a little more put together-and no, tey are not the least bit sheer, so, go ahead and bend over without fear.  The PM of NZ has been known to layer Spanx on Spanx (I didn't make that up) and not just a few of our clients wear a pair of Mother Tuckers over their BFF. 

    • You got to move it move it.

    Getting out of the house and moving is beneficial physically and psychologically.  It is good for you.  Period.  Do it. 

    Um, what else do I need to know?!

    Reality is pretty good-you've got your little perfect baby.  Don't lose sight of that.  There will be moments when it's really important to just focus on that. 

    Realistically?  Objects may have shifted during pregnancy and the odds are pretty good that your body, like everything else, will never be exactly as it was before this whole pregnancy thing- without a surgeon's help. 

    Many of us are also nursing during the trip back down, and nursing or not, sleep is not a thing that you are getting much of. So, be kind and gentle, and dress to feel good, because it does help you feel better, and it may feel like the one thing that you can control. 

    What to wear?

    Being life support is exhausting. Clothes help.  We see new moms walk out in new clothes feeling SO much better.  We're not just saying that. Schlumpy makes no one feel good.

    How do you find styles that feel good for the trip back down? 

    Some moms want looser for the trip back down, others just own the body that they're in-and to heck with all those foolish folks who ask you when you're due-just watch them squirm knowing that hopefully you've done some other postpartum mama a favor and they won't ask that question of anyone every again. 

    Tips for dressing for the trip back down

    • Our Hide-a-Bump styles are faves for the trip back down and naturally, nursing styles are designed for postpartum.
    • Cinching up your tops, rather than pulling them flat after delivery will make you look slimmer in the midriff.  Try it. Put on a top and pull it down.  Now tszuj/gather up the sides creating horizontal gathers.  Better!
    • Tying looser tops at the waist is one way that many of our moms feel really works for them-it creates a waistline where there might not be the old waistline yet.

    • Jeans-yes, wear your maternity jeans.  Women come in all the time for a new pair of maternity jeans after delivery.  No, it's not weird.  The proportions warrant it, and, if that's what makes you feel good? Who cares!  Black on black under the bump are the most popular for this.
    • Make sure that you are wearing a good, well fitting bra-getting the girls up, slims you down.
    • Cardigans or button downs left open create a visual vertical line. Not a bad thing.

    You gave your body over to make this perfect creature.  You can get it back. Some of us have it easy, some it''s harder for.  The first few months after delivery are NOT the time to be stressing or worried.

    You take care of you.  You're body by baby may not be so much fun after delivery, but like the pregnancy, the trip back down will pass.  And then, you might even do it again!!

     

     

     

    How To Get The Best Sleep While Pregnant

    How To Get The Best Sleep While Pregnant

    It's downright exhausting to make a baby. You're making an entire other person -- or two, or more -- and that's no easy task.

    Your body works overtime, around the clock, to build this tiny person, and that, along with pregnancy hormones, means you're likely to be tired all the time while you're pregnant. And you need all the sleep -- the best sleep -- you can get while you're pregnant.

    Of course, even though you need sleep, that doesn't mean you're going to get it. Pregnancy hormones could trigger insomnia, and when your belly starts growing out of control, you might feel like you'll never be comfortable enough to sleep again. There's heartburn, nausea, restless legs, and more. And let's not get started on the multiple bathroom trips each night that can completely disrupt your sleep.

    At the same time, you need sleep to stay healthy and keep your energy up. So what can you do in pregnancy when you need sleep, but it can feel impossible to get the rest you need? It's not always easy, but there are some steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep.

    Ways to Improve Pregnancy Sleep Quality

    How can you improve the quality of your sleep while you're pregnant? Use these tips to support healthy sleep in pregnancy and beyond.

    • Prioritize sleep.

    Pregnancy is surprisingly busy. You've got a lot of appointments to make it to, nesting, organizing a nursery, and more -- and that's on top of your normal life commitments. It's easy to let rest take a backseat to other needs, but that's a mistake. Make sleep your top priority, so you can be well supported with a night of good rest as you go on about your day. Schedule your day around sleep, planning what time you need to go to bed to wake up on time well rested.

     

    • Give yourself good sleep habits.

    Make sure you're sticking to a regular bedtime schedule and sleep routine, which can help your body fall into a predictable schedule of rest. It's easier for your body to know what time to go to sleep if you do it at the same time each night -- and walk through the same routine before you go to sleep, too. Stay away from sleep pitfalls that could keep you up too late, like late night screen time, drinking coffee late in the day, or even exercising late at night.

    Mom's the Word note: This will serve you very well when you have your baby and are trying to  get  them to sleep! Schedules help-you and baby!

     

    • Create a healthy sleep environment.

    Pregnancy sleep is challenging enough. Make it easier with a comfortable place to sleep. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool, and you may have additional needs in pregnancy. For example, a pregnancy pillow could offer support for your body as you go through the changes of pregnancy. Keep in mind you may need to modify sleep positions as your body changes, too.

     

    • Don't be ashamed to nap.

    If there's ever a time when you need extra sleep, it's pregnancy. You might feel like you hit a wall midday and just need to lie down. And if you can, you really should. If you're suffering from exhaustion, you need the rest, and sometimes, you're just not going to get the sleep you need at night. It's ok to make it up during the day, but keep in mind that naps should be short (usually 20 to 30 minutes in length), and not too late in the day that you won't be able to get down to sleep at night.

     

    • Avoid late night fluids, heartburn, and hunger.

    What you eat and drink before bed can influence sleep. Drink water throughout the day, but cut back at night so you're not constantly going to the bathroom while you should be sleeping. Avoid foods that trigger heartburn and acid reflux, especially at night. And make sure if you're feeling a little hungry that you have a snack before bed. That can help you stave off hunger that could wake you up in the night. You might want to keep a snack next to your bed just in case, too.

      Sleep may feel like an afterthought in everyday life and especially a busy pregnancy. But you need to prioritize sleep for your health and to maintain the energy you need to go on with your daily life.

      Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org.  

      Expectations. Reality. And how to get through.

      Expectations. Reality. And how to get through.

      So much of parenting, from the moment of conception is most definitely NOT what you expect.  Everyone's journey is different, and there will be bumps in the road and detours too.

      As one dad of three, soon to be four, said to a group of first time moms in the shop:

      "What we have learned is that you can get through anything, if you know that it will end." 

      So,you say,  great, they were on their fourth, of course they have it down, how's a first time mama to get through?  We've compiled some expectations, realities and super simple how-to-get-through coping strategies.

      First Trimester

      You expect to glow.

      Reality:

      You're green. You're so tired you can barely make it through the day. And,maybe you'll glow, but 99 out of 100 women surveyed IRL did not feel they were glowing.

      How to get through:

      This is the one-day-at-a-time, maybe one-hour-at-a-time trimester.  It's hard to be grateful when you're nauseous, but we've found that actually making a gratitude list can help distract your brain.  Not just saying "I know that I should be grateful, I'm so lucky, but really?!? I'm NOT grateful!"  We know.  That's why using an app like DayOne App(and this is not an endorsement, just a random pick) can help you discover a useful coping tool for all parents:  a two minute break! Refocusing your brain can help get you through. Try it.

      Second Trimester

      You expect to glow.

      Reality:

      Your clothes are getting tight and you're starting to feel fat.By the end of this trimester you may glow.  At the beginning, you may just be grateful to be not green. 

      How to get through:

      Here is your mantra, are you ready? "I am not fat. I am pregnant."

      Get into properly fitting clothes that not only feel good and loose, but look good! There's nothing like wearing your fat jeans to make you feel fat.  Find a pair of super cute maternity jeans and long enough tops, grab a couple of flattering dresses and maternity leggings and tights and practice rocking the bump.  Go on, do it, be the hot mama!

      Third Trimester

      You expect to be getting ready for baby's arrival, and you might expect that you will be getting big.

      The reality:

      Not this big!

      You're getting tired again. Not tired like the first trimester, but tired like you are carrying a lot of extra weight with every step you take. 

      The reality is that you may be SO ready to have this baby!

      How to Get Through:

      Go back to your app.  More practice refocusing your brain with lists-gratitude, not to-do -can help. Obviously making sure that you have everything that you think you might want for baby is also a good way to focus your time and what energy you have left.  

      Now is also a good time to start practicing radical self care, whether that's a nice bath, a massage, a dinner out with your beloved.  Treat yourself nice.  You and baby are both about to go through an amazing and huge transition; baby from the safety and comfort of the womb and you from being life support inside, to becoming a mother!

      Fourth Trimester

      You expect to be blissful and in love and tired.

      The reality:

      OMG, not this tired!! And then there's sooo much more that you didn't expect!

      Today, in one store alone, moms have described the fourth trimester as "awful", "hell" and "the worst sh*t show"  and yet, they were all here, smiling with their beautiful babies.  And, AND HERE'S THE IMPORTANT THING to note, they were all through the fourth trimester. 

      No their bodies were not all perfect and rock solid again, no their babies were not all sleeping through the night, but they had made it through and they were happy. 

      How to get through:

      Think about that father of three quoted above.  Take those two minutes to yourself, you can find them, we promise. Find help so you can take care of the life support system that is you-either from a relative, a friend, a doula, a neighbor, someone! Find other people, IRL, to interact with, even if that just means getting out to a cafe. Live adult human contact helps. 

      If you start to feel overwhelmed ask yourself how important something is. The dishes can wait.  You need sleep.

      And, the postpartum body...yeah, give yourself time, lots of time. You can and will lose it, but now is not the time tor stress over that.  

      Postpartum depression and baby blues are a real thing that really good moms may experience.  If you even think that you need help, find it. 

      Nursing

      You expect that you and baby will bond and life will be peaceful.

      The Reality:

      Hey, that hurts!

      Baby's not gaining enough weight!

      Is it my milk supply?

      I feel like a failure.

      Even if nursing comes easy to you and baby, you may find yourself attached to a baby 24/7.  Yep, they need to eat a lot!  think of how much they are growing and their brain is developing. In the first 6 weeks you really are life support, which is why making sure that you have proper support is key to sanity and to baby's well being!

      How to get through:

      If nursing isn't working, you are NOT a failure. Focus on the gratitude, not the *feeling* of failure. This article in the NYT on bottle feeding addresses beautifully how important it is to let go of expectations. What felt like defeat was not that at all, it was actually a wonderful gift to this family.  

      In Summary:

      The truth is that we have hopes and dreams and that is wonderful.  If things don't go exactly as expected, then they are still going. Just like a traffic app, sometimes you just need to reroute, Panicking and fretting don't help, they just make you miss the exit. It may take two minutes longer, but at the end of the day, you get there.  Relax and enjoy the ride. 

       

      What we Care About and why

      What we Care About and why

      Supporting Moms. That's what we care about.  Looking and feeling good is more than skin deep.  When you shop with us you are shopping with a small business that cares, and does the best that we can to be good and kind, to take care of our clients, staff and the planet

      Here's a little of what that means to us:

      We support Made in the USA.

      We carry high quality pieces that can and should be worn long after baby is born-that's why "bump & beyond" is our registered trademark.It's more than a tag line, it's our core belief-buy clothes today, wear them forever.  Women walk in literally daily telling us or pointing out pieces that they still adore-up to 10 years postpartum! That makes our day.  It's why we're here.  Sure, with the next pregnancy you won't have to buy them again, but, our mission is to make you look good, not to sell you cheap, fast fashion, trendy pieces that you'll want to never look at again.

      We strive to carry styles made in the US and when we produce styles we always make them here!  Why?  Here's why:

      Made in the USA Protects Humane Working Conditions

      Maybe it's because we're moms, maybe it's because we're human, how people are treated matters to us.  Monitoring working conditions outside the USA is difficult- at best.   Things have only gotten worse as the demand for fast fashion increases. Workers are often subject to unfair wages and unsafe working conditions and despite regulations, in the name of profit, the big guys find it easy to "manipulate the data" as reported by the NYT

      "An extensive examination by The New York Times reveals how the inspection system intended to protect workers and ensure manufacturing quality is riddled with flaws. The inspections are often so superficial that they omit the most fundamental workplace safeguards like fire escapes. And even when inspectors are tough, factory managers find ways to trick them and hide serious violations, like child labor or locked exit doors. Dangerous conditions cited in the audits frequently take months to correct, often with little enforcement or follow-through to guarantee compliance.and totally avoid all regulations." 

      Consumer Reports states that 90% of all clothing sold in the United States is made elsewhere. Here at Mom's the Word we flip that, 80% of what we carry is made in the USA. 

      Made in the USA Protects the Environment

      Here in the US  we still have stringent regulations which limit adverse environmental impact in manufacturing. Production elsewhere often produces high levels of pollution and contamination that have adversely affected the air, water, and soil of communities across the globe. Another place that major corporations value the dollar over the health and well being of our children and the world we leave for them, and these moms will not abide by that in the clothes that we offer. 

      We haven't done the actual calculations, but the carbon footprint of producing things within 30 miles of us and running to pick them up vs. producing over 6,000 miles away?  We don't have to do the calculations, it's a difference!

      Are we into shaming?  No we are not.  Everyone has their own budget and we respect that. But, buying top quality pieces that you love and wear forever ends up being more cost efficient than buying disposable style.  The dollars per wear of your average maternity jeans ends up making them the least expensive pair of jeans that you ever owned-because you wear them SO much more!  Having a hard time justifying a mom-centric piece?  Will you wear it and be happy and feel good?  Great, do it.  Will you wear it and feel great in it for years?  Then it is so worth it mama! 

      How important is it?  It's important to us.  We make less money.but we can sleep at night knowing that we are being the best moms that we can be-for our children and for the planet. And, at the end of the day, THAT matters!

       We believe in Health Care.

      So we pay 100% of health insurance costs for all staff and their families. Not much more to say.  If it's important, we do it.  And the people who help our clients deserve to know that they and their families are covered.  

      We believe in style that lasts.

      Again, that's what "bump & beyond" means. We believe that you should buy clothes that you love, and they should last long after your pregnancy.  Fast fashion is not only bad for the planet,  it falls apart, isn't good quality and generally speaking most folks don't feel good in it. When you're pregnant, feeling good in your clothes is more important than ever! We love love love that day in and day out women walk into the shop talking about the many styles that they still wear 2,4,6,8 even 10 years later!!

      How to Dress Pregnant: Barely Bumped / the In-Between Stage

      How to Dress Pregnant: Barely Bumped / the In-Between Stage

      Stage 1: Barely Bumped AKA the In Between Stage

      In between

      "I had a body!" and "I look pregnant!" 

      In between

      "I feel fine" and "I finally am not sick morning noon and night".

      In between

      "I have energy all the time" and "Oh thank God I finally feel like I might have an iota of energy ever again in my life!"

      Welcome to the wonderful world of making a human.

      Your pants and your bras don't fit.

      You don't really look or feel pregnant and you aren't telling people that you're pregnant. 

      You are bone tired fatigued in a way that an OB/GYN client of ours said "was beyond anything I had imagined". 

      If you are extra "lucky", you have regularly scheduled appointments with the porcelain bowl or you just feel seasick morning noon and night. 

      And, you are super happy and excited. 

      Thank goodness!  If this wasn't the case it might be the end of the species because why would you do this again!?  Oh,right, because at the  end of it, you get a teeny tiny human!  Totally. Worth. It.  We promise.

      What to wear to feel at least a little bit human, while making a human?

      Essentials for Stage 1

      Jeans

      Yes, maternity jeans.  Why? You will wear these though the pregnancy and for the trip back down. Women come in daily saying that they're not sure why they waited because jeans that feel comfortable make all the difference.


      Wear a long cami and/or a longer top and no one will be the wiser for it-and you will be sooo much happier! The great thing about side stretch jeans is that in the hide-a-bump stage you just do a little front tuck! Bam! Pregnant people do not tuck in their tops.  Almost hardly ever. Therefore, folks will assume that you must not be pregnant. 

      Start with black or white so the size stretch is even less noticeable. Or go for those with a panel and with a waistband which expands as baby grows but with a cotton panel that just looks like you've got a cami tucked into your pants.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Long Draped Jackets and Cardigans

      These create a vertical line which distracts and de-emphasizes any perceived bump.

      Unstructured Structured Dresses

      Does that make no sense?  What we mean is dresses that have some weight to them.  Draped and loose dresses can work, but especially if they are solid colors and knits they can actually magnify the bump when you move.  This one has enough weight that it doesn't grab the bump.  That's what we mean.

      Tie Front Pieces/Pieces with Front and Center details

      Nothing like a knot at the natural waistline to totally hide-a-bump.  If it's a tie it must be wide and forgiving.  We are not suggesting that you throw on a belt! But tie something like the Tahoe sweater a little lower than the below image and bump be gone! 

      the draping in the piece below totally is not maternity or nursing; works brilliantly for both, and the drape totally distracts and masks an early (or postpartum)bump.

      Lastly, a new bra!

      The girls can be the first thing to grow, and spillage is a dead give-away. Keep the girls in check.  People may think that you're bigger, but if your not pouring out of the center or sides they probably won't ask, so, don't let the girls tell.

      Get a nursing bra if you're planning on nursing, or just get a bigger, properly fitting good support bra until you're ready for a nursing bra, if you're planing on nursing. If you're not yet 12 weeks, don't go get an expensive bra, wait until after 12 -14 weeks for that, because, yes, we're sorry, they might grow more.  After 14 weeks you can safely get properly fit, just make sure you are on the tightest hook, because your rib cage will continue to get pushed out by baby.  Good times. 

      -----

      If your pre-preg style is all very waist centered-think high waisted jeans with top tucked in, or very tailored suits-then this transition could alert the folks around you.  Our suggestion is this: ease on into this. The minute that you find out that you're pregnant, or, heck, even when you're trying to get pregnant, try untucking those tops, or, start by doing a front tuck.  Start leaving your jackets and cardigans open-it creates a vertical visual line which counteracts the burgeoning baby bump.  Note how the top above creates the illusion of a waist with the draping at the bottom?  

      These are just a few tips and tricks.  Check out our top selling Hide-A-Bump pieces, or, best bet, stop into a shop and let us help you find the styles that work on your body by baby from barely to beyond.