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  • How Nursing Tops Can Help You Increase Milk Supply + Other Ways to Produce More Breastmilk

    Nursing your little one is a beautiful and yet scary experience. Like pregnancy and giving birth, it is no longer just about you but involves another person completely relying on you to survive.

     

    Parenting in itself is already daunting because no matter how many children you have, all the experiences are different and you learn as you go.

    The same is true with breastfeeding. In fact, breastfeeding is one of the most stressful things for a lot of women especially first time mothers.

    There are many misconceptions and pressures to nursing other than the obvious fear that your baby will starve.

    Firstly and one of the biggest hurdles to breastfeeding is the misconception that it will come out naturally and easily.

    Many will attest that it is not the case. While milk production is a natural process for a woman, it does not always just come by.

    “Even though breastfeeding is often described as “natural,” it is also an art that has to be learned by both the mother and the newborn. Skills in how to hold and position a baby at the breast, how to achieve an effective latch, and other breastfeeding techniques may need to be taught. Not surprisingly, some women expect breastfeeding to be easy, but then find themselves faced with challenges. The incongruity between expectations about breastfeeding and the reality of the mother’s early experiences with breastfeeding her infant has been identified as a key reason that many mothers stop breastfeeding within the first two weeks postpartum. On the other hand, a misperception that many women experience difficulties with breastfeeding may cause excessive concern among mothers about its feasibility,” this was a statement from the Office of the Surgeon General entitled Barriers to Breastfeeding in the United States.

    Another issue women often face is societal pressures from all fronts: that women must nurse their children, else they are bad mothers; another that women cannot breastfeed in public.

    Breastfeeding shaming is usually described as being shunned or frowned upon when you are.breastfeeding in public.

    The journal further states that, “Restaurant and shopping center managers have reported that they would either discourage breastfeeding anywhere in their facilities or would suggest that breastfeeding mothers move to an area that was more secluded. When they have breastfed in public places, many mothers have been asked to stop breastfeeding or to leave. Such situations make women feel embarrassed and fearful of being stigmatized by people around them when they breastfeed.”

    To add to the list of stressors, milk supply issues also play a huge role in the decision of women to discontinue breastfeeding.

    “Frequently cited problems with breastfeeding include sore nipples, engorged breasts, mastitis, leaking milk, pain, and failure to latch on by the infant. Women who encounter these problems early on are less likely to continue to breastfeed unless they get professional assistance. Research has found that mothers base their breastfeeding plans on previous experiences, and resolution of these problems may affect their future decisions about feeding.”

     

    Lessen Breastfeeding-related Stress and Increase Milk Supply

     

    While stress is part of life and nursing, it must be managed.

    Studies have shown that stress can directly influence the decrease of milk letdown. When mothers become anxious and stressed out, milk supply is usually affected.

    There are a lot of ways to lessen stress during breastfeeding. Here are some:

     

    Skin to skin with baby

     

    Skin to skin care or sometimes called Kangaroo care is one of the best ways to help lessen stress. In fact, the method is advised by many pediatrician not only for its benefits to mothers who are breastfeeding but to the babies too.

    “Whenever possible, mothers and babies should be in direct contact for at least the first 1–2 hours after birth. In skin-to-skin care, the baby is naked (a dry cap is okay, as is a diaper), and is placed on the mother’s bare chest, between her breasts. A blanket should be draped over both of them for warmth. If the mother is unable to provide skin-to-skin care, due to labor or birth complications, then Dad can step in. Within minutes, you will see the benefits of skin-to-skin care become evident as both mother and baby relax. The baby’s body temperature, breathing, and heart rate stabilize.”

     

     

    Eat frequently, eat right.

     

    “Making breast milk is hard work for your body. It is estimated that breastfeeding increases your energy needs by about 500 calories per day. You also have an increased need for most nutrients, so it's very important to eat a healthy and varied diet,” shares Healthline.

    So if you noticed being hungry all the time after breastfeeding, it is because your body is working on overdrive.

    Some of the food the health website recommends are:

    Fish and seafood: Salmon, seaweed, shellfish and sardines.
    Meat: Beef, lamb, pork and organ meats, such as liver.
    Fruits and vegetables: Berries, tomatoes, cabbage, kale, garlic and broccoli.
    Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds.
    Other foods: Eggs, oats, potatoes, quinoa, buckwheat and dark chocolate

    Postpartum exercise

     

    Working out after pregnancy has a host of benefits for new moms.

    It not only helps strengthen and tone abdominal muscles which after giving birth needs it, it also gives more energy and vitality.

    Furthermore, because exercise releases the happiness hormone, endorphins it helps prevent postpartum depression, promote deeper and better sleep (which will become a rare gift for you in the first few months) and also relieve stress and create a better mood.

    However, exercise should be kept in a medium level intensity.

    “If you had a healthy pregnancy and a normal vaginal delivery, you should be able to start exercising again soon after the baby is born. Usually, it is safe to begin exercising a few days after giving birth—or as soon as you feel ready. If you had a cesarean delivery or other complications, ask your healthcare provider when it is safe to begin exercising again. Aim to stay active for 20–30 minutes a day. When you first start exercising after childbirth, try simple postpartum exercises that help strengthen major muscle groups, including abdominal and back muscles. Gradually add moderate-intensity exercise. Remember, even 10 minutes of exercise benefits your body. If you exercised vigorously before pregnancy or you are a competitive athlete, you can work up to vigorous-intensity activity. Stop exercising if you feel pain,” shares the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

     

    How Nursing Clothes Lessen Stress

     

    Because people are innately social creatures, public perception will always be important. Because of the social pressures related to breastfeeding and the stigma of nursing in public, many women feel insecure going outside and feeding their young ones.

    Fortunately, with the help of nursing tops and nursing dresses, women can feel confident without having to bare too much in public.

    With nursing clothes these days, moms look like they are wearing regular fashion-forward or casual pieces. Not only that, maternity clothes as well as nursing tops are designed to feed your young ones in a comfortable manner with easily accessible breast openings.

    Confidence in women is a very important aspect of successful breastfeeding. It makes women less worried, therefore less stressed out.

    While it is not required for a woman to wear nursing clothes during the breastfeeding period, it is a great addition that provides ease and comfort plus makes you look stylish and feel confident.

    Every woman’s breastfeeding story is different and there are a lot of stressors that everyone has to deal with during that period. No woman (or man) should judge another but most of all, you should try to enjoy this time and savor the memories and experience because when your baby is all grown up, you will laugh at the stress and cherish the good times.

     

  • Nursing Fashion: How to Look Chic While Breastfeeding

    Look good while breastfeeding? Nope. Not possible.

     

    A common misconception of women is that they cannot look good during maternity and even after. More so, they believe that being chic and fashionable while breastfeeding is not achievable.

     

    While it is understandable why so many think looking good is not a possibility once a woman has become a mother-- with all the changes in the body, lack of time, lack of sleep, stress-- it is by all means still possible to look chic and put together at the very least.

     

    During nursing, there are a lot of changes women make in their wardrobe. Clothes should be “nursing friendly” especially if going outside. Moms should be able to easily feed baby without the hassle of removing layers and layers of clothes.

     

    Fortunately at this day and age, there are so many options for nursing mothers. Nursing bras, dresses, tops and even bottoms now exist-- and they come in tons of different designs, textures, styles. Women can comfortably breastfeed and at the same time look like they’ve put in so much thought in their clothes.

     

    Breastfeeding clothes are impressively made and the best part is, with great quality nursing wear, the breast slits are seamlessly hidden and sometimes even made as accent pieces to the clothing.

     

    Not only that, there are tons of maternity clothes that extends even after giving birth. Maternity clothes that are also nursing clothes not only offer women who are still not back to their pre-baby body more comfort but also helps keep the cost of a new wardrobe lower.

     

    Breastfeeding and Women

     

    Breastfeeding is both a beautiful thing and for many, quite stressful. According to a journal published by the office of the Surgeon General in the United States published a Call to Action to support breastfeeding, there is an undeniable gap in information dissemination when it comes to breastfeeding.

     

    A paragraph of the journal shares, “Mothers are also uncertain about what to expect with breastfeeding and how to actually carry it out. Even though breastfeeding is often described as ‘natural,’ it is also an art that has to be learned by both the mother and the newborn. Skills in how to hold and position a baby at the breast, how to achieve an effective latch, and other breastfeeding techniques may need to be taught. Not surprisingly, some women expect breastfeeding to be easy, but then find themselves faced with challenges. The incongruity between expectations about breastfeeding and the reality of the mother’s early experiences with breastfeeding her infant has been identified as a key reason that many mothers stop breastfeeding within the first two weeks postpartum. On the other hand, a misperception that many women experience difficulties with breastfeeding may cause excessive concern among mothers about its feasibility.”

     

    The stress women feel with breastfeeding their babies come from the gap in expectation versus the reality of breastfeeding. Many nursing moms are told that it will just come to them so they expect it to be straightforward. However true for some, it is not the case for everyone. In fact, most women have trouble with breastfeeding especially on the first few days.

     

    It is already daunting enough to feed another human being, what more a helpless baby. To add to that overwhelm, there has been for the longest time such a controversy and stigma with breastfeeding.

     

    For instance, breastfeeding shaming-- where women are shamed for nursing in public; or the pressure people put on women to breastfeed and how giving formula milk or not breastfeeding your baby is “bad motherhood”.

     

    While all these things can by no means be addressed at this very moment (or maybe even in the next ten years), women can do something about the stresses they have during breastfeeding.

     

    When it comes to the information gap, there are other ways around it thank goodness for the internet. Blog sites like Kelly Mom provide information about breastfeeding. Having a read around the blog helps moms-to-be learn more and manage their expectations and be prepared for the wonderful (yet difficult) world of breastfeeding.

     

    When it comes to societal pressures, it is always best to shut it off your system. Be it a stranger, a relative or someone close to you, let them know that you do not appreciate being called out or pressured for something very personal to you.

     

    In addition, feeling good and looking good are great add-ons to make the road of nursing a happy and enjoyable one. Make sure though to prepare so you won’t have to be caught off-guard.

     

    Nursing Clothes: A Modern Mom’s Best Friend

    While there is truly a lot of hurdles women go through when it comes to nursing, there is a silver lining and the benefits of breastfeeding always, without a doubt, outweighs the social outcasting and the feelings of stress that can often come along with it.

     

    The bond created by nursing is inexplicable and that closeness helps babies develop in an almost miraculous way-- their immune system gets stronger, their muscles and bones develop better.

     

    For mothers, breastfeeding too has a lot of advantages. Nursing signals to the brain that the baby has already been delivered and the ovary shrinks faster. In addition, it also helps women lose weight quicker because breastfeeding burns a lot of calories.

     

    Something women can look forward too is the wide selection of maternity tops, dresses and bras to choose from. When back in day, clothes and bras for breastfeeding looked boring or ill-fitting.

     

    At present, women no longer have to make do with the little available designs for nursing tops, dresses and bras. Nursing tops come in a wide array of designs, styles, textures and can fit any body type.

    Nursing bras too have had an upgrade over the years-- women can choose whatever style they want be it sexy, cute, simple or chic. Textures normally seen in regular bras and expensive lingerie are now options for nursing bras.

     

    Nursing Clothes Sizes

    Nursing clothes, like maternity wear are usually the same size as your pre-pregnancy clothing. Nursing bras on the other hand, are measured a little bit differently than non-breastfeeding bras.

     

    As a rule of thumb, if you’re a size 10 prior to being pregnant, then you will still be the same size unless you have gotten very big (not just belly size) during the span of pregnancy-- the same logic that applies to gaining weight even without a baby.

     

    Measuring for the right bra size has never been easy-- with or without factoring breastfeeding in. There are tons  of misconceptions with bra sizes and it is usually not as simple as getting a big bra cup as breast size increases.

     

    To measure for bra size properly, there are a few things to do that can help:

     

    1. Start by measuring your band size. First off, before going nursing bra shopping, measure yourself so you know exactly what size will fit you. This will save you time and the extra effort and possible frustration. To accurately measure your band size, use a measuring tape and wrap around the circumference of your body below the armpits and above the breast area. Another option is to “measure your band size by measuring your ribcage (directly underneath your breasts). If you choose this option, add 2 inches to whatever your measurement is.”

    2. Measure your cup size. Do the same as you did before but instead of around the armpit area, measure the body with the breast included. Make sure that it’s the fullest portion of the breast.Subtract the earlier figures you got from your band size from the figures you just measured. Nursing bra express adds that:

    “ If your band size is 36 and you have a 40 inch mid-breast circumference, then you have 4 inches worth of cup size. Each cup inch stands for a bra cup size…. A, B, C, D, etc. You would be looking for a bra around 36D.  If you are between cup sizes, always size UP.”



    If the Difference is:  Your Cup Size is:

    1/2" - 1"                          A

    2"                                       B

    3"                                       C

    4"                                       D

    5"                                     DD/E

    6"                                    DDD/F

    7"                                        G

    8"                                        H

    9"                                         I

    10"                                       J

    11"                                       K

    12"                                       L

    13"                                       M



    Nursing Fashion Tips to Staying Chic

     

    Thank goodness for nursing dresses and the different styles from nursing tank tops, plus size nursing tops, nursing tank tops with built in bra to nursing dresses and blouses-- that looks great for a sexy, sultry, chic, cute, or casual look.

     

    Remember though to look for good quality clothes, as reminded by the Breastlife. “Hormone fluctuations through pregnancy and during breastfeeding can leave you feeling flushed and overheated. Choose breathable fabrics that will help to keep you cool and comfortable.”

     

    Remember, style should always be partnered with comfort and one cannot be without the other. Quality nursing clothes are not always expensive-- with the right tools and mindset, looking chic is not an impossibility but a goal that is as achievable with the proper research and knowledge on nursing clothes.

     

    Motherhood is a beautiful albeit stressful and scary time for any women and so is nursing. Do not let it become an unsavory experience.

     

  • Baby Shower Maternity Dress: Choosing the Right Dress for You

    Baby showers are the bachelorette parties of pregnancy. It only happens once (at least, per baby) and is remembered by everyone you love dearly. It can either be a memory fondly reminisced or a seeming nightmare that plays back over and over again in your head.

     

    Because the day is so important to you as a mom celebrating the day your baby is to arrive in this world, you want to look as though you feel good and confident about yourself even though you might not feel the greatest.

     

    Most baby showers happen during the last trimester where your bump is at its bumpiest. This period of your pregnancy is the hardest to dress most of the time. Here, you will see the changes in your belly more than ever but also in your arms, ankles, hips and breasts. These developments are usually, if not always, not very flattering. It is no wonder so many women feel the least bit attractive during this time.

    Hope is not lost though. Because despite the body you’re in, there are so many ways to look good during your special day. A baby shower maternity dress can solve your problem easily and you would not have to worry about looking sluggish or bloated and you need not fear going through your baby shower photos years later and feel embarrassed or sad.

    Maternity dresses: your life savior

     

    There are so many maternity dresses baby shower style in the market that you can choose from long maternity dresses for baby shower, white maternity dress for baby shower, plus size maternity dress for baby shower.

     

    Cute maternity clothing are everywhere and the perfect maternity dress is no longer just something you hope for but a reality you totally can sport on your big day.

     

    There are a lot of things that maternity dresses can offer you that other regular dresses cannot. While the latter has way more designs and styles to choose from, not all of it provide function and the right fit as well as comfort that is required while pregnant.

     

    The debate on whether to buy maternity clothes or not is as old as maternity clothing itself and women from both sides of the argument are passionately advocating for or against the need to purchase pregnancy outfits. For some, it is simply vanity but for others, it is a necessity.

     

    Whatever your preference is, pregnancy dresses is out there as an option.

     

    Fortunately, gone are the days of terrible-looking pregnancy clothing. Maternity outfits these days are just as fashionable as regular clothing. There are many styles from cute maternity dresses to sexier pieces. Textures, fabrics, cuts, colors and patterns are also available in such a wide variety it can actually overwhelm you.

    Pregnancy dresses versus regular clothes

     

    The major difference between maternity dresses and regular dresses is how it fits you.

     

    “The key difference between maternity dresses and non-maternity clothing is the fitting. While wearing loose shirts or wider dresses does cover up the bump, maternity clothes does give off better definition. It tapers where it needs to and shapes the clothes to best capture a woman’s figure so that you don’t look bigger than you have to and to emphasize your bump so that it does not look too boxy.”

    This difference is very important for special occasions like baby showers simply because you get photographed a lot and you want to be wearing something that actually complements and even shows off your pregnancy figure.

     

    Here, see the difference:



    Maternity wear fitting and sizes

     

    As a general rule of thumb, “Maternity clothing sizes generally correspond to regular non-pregnant clothing sizes. If you are used to buying a size 8 before pregnancy, typically the same size applies when you shop at specialty maternity clothing stores. If you were “medium” size before pregnancy, look for the same size label at pregnancy stores. When your body changes through pregnancy, the belly and the chest may grow quite a bit but the rest of your body and their proportions such as length of torso, legs, and shoulder widths remain as they are. With maternity clothing, you will see adjustments to measurement only where you expect growth, while keeping specifications remain true to your original size.”

     

    International Size Guide



    S

    M

    L

    XL

    2X

    3X

    4X

    US

    2-4

    6-8

    10-12

    14

    16-18

    20-22

    24

    UK

    6-8

    10-12

    14-16

    18

    22-24

    24-26

    28

    Italy

    38-40

    42-44

    46-48

    50

    54-56

    56-58

    60

    France

    34-36

    38-40

    42-44

    46

    50-52

    52-54

    56

    Germany

    32-34

    36-38

    40-42

    44

    48-50

    50-52

    54

    Japan

    7-9

    11-13

    15-17

    19

    23-25

    25-27

    29

    Russia

    40-42

    44-46

    48-50

    52

    54-56

    24-26

    28



    Further, “Australia and New Zealand also uses the UK size chart. The French sizes are also used in Belgium, Spain and Portugal. Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway also uses German sizes.”



    Cute baby shower maternity dresses

    Different themes, different styles

     

    Baby showers are so much fun and so many women go crazy with the themes, games and gimmicks. Either your best pals organized your baby shower for you or you did it yourself. Some even hire party planners or specialized baby shower planners. The craze is real and mommies to be (especially but not limited to first time moms) take planning the big day and usually the big gender reveal, some start preparations on their first trimester or even after they learned of the pregnancy.

     

    The baby shower madness does not only happen with regular folks, even celebrities go all out organizing baby showers.

     

    There are tons of themes for this welcome celebration-- some more conservative while others go all out and extreme. Anything can be a theme for the party: whatever you can think of under the sun (or even out in the universe).

     

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/wrap-long-sleeve-maxi-dress-black

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/athena-day-dress-acorn-brown

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/elemental-maternity-kaftan-tee-dress-turquoise-snakeskin

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/elemental-maternity-kaftan-tee-dress-black

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/wrap-sleeveless-nectarine

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/dana-3-4-sleeve-dress-woodviolet

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/lola-mae-dress-harbour-blue

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/elemental-ruched-maternity-bateau-short-sleeve-dress-black

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/caminurse-banded-dress-dutch-blue-3750

    https://mothersenvogue.com/shop/maternity-dresses/nikki-maternity-nursing-dress-jara-print




    Baby shower dresses tips

     

    Deciding what to wear for this special gathering depends on a few things: budget, the theme and what complements your current body.

     

    Because there are so many different themes and way too much options for special occasion maternity dresses, the best way you can find the perfect baby shower dress is by being strategic.

     

    Show off your bump

    The reason you are celebrating this special day is because of that bump of yours who will soon be a living, breathing person! Be proud of it and show it off. With the right fitting, you’ll be able to accentuate the curves of your body while emphasizing your bump.

     

    According to Motherhood Closet, “Choose a light dress that flows over your curves and gently highlights your bump, such as a maternity maxi dress. To make it more figure-flattering, choose a maternity dress that is ruched which will cinches your waist above your bump, but again avoid anything too tight.”

     

    Choose the right accessories

     

    Pregnant or not, the rules for accessorizing remain the same.

     

    According to Chelsea Jackson, fashion stylist and buyer, one way of accessorizing is to mix different metal pieces. “Pick your favorite metal, make that your base, and introduce a few contrasting pieces to master mixing in an effortless way.”

     

    Contrary to common belief, Courtney Hammonds, a fashion stylist, author, and the program coordinator for The Art Institute of Atlanta's Fashion Marketing & Management & Fashion Design programs says that matching bags and shoes are actually no longer the trend now, so get a little experimental with matching shoes and bags together.

     

    O’s Creative Director, Adam Glassman also advices to wear longer necklace when you are unsure what to accessorize with. “Your necklace should be working for you—a long strand that hits just below the bust makes you look taller and leaner.”



    Prioritize comfort

     

    While looking great on your baby shower is important, it is far more essential that you give special consideration to being comfortable. This does not mean though the you’ll opt for leggings and oversized tees instead. There are many comfortable options like a flowy maxi dress or a maternity wrap dress that accentuates your curves and bump but does not create a rigid environment for movement.

     

    This exact advice also applies to wearing heels. If you can skip it and feel that you look good enough, skip heels. The weight of your body makes you more prone to become imbalanced which might lead to accidents that can cause unfortunate consequences.

     

    Choose clothes that are comfortable enough for you to move around and can keep you either warm or cool enough depending on the location and season.

     

    Know your style

    Only you can know what you want to look like or how you want your style to be like. Always bring your personality to your outfit even if it just a piece of accessory or a color you’re most comfortable in.

     

    Pregnancy is not a time to feel bothered too much about the things going on in your body-- it is best enjoyed by looking forward to what those nine difficult, weird and exciting months will give you: a precious human being.

     

    You can make those three trimesters special and memorable by adjusting to all the changes and getting the help of things like maternity dresses. These small things make such a huge difference in the months to come. Small comforts add up to a happy pregnancy!

     

  • Maternity Dresses 101: A Guide to Everything Pregnancy Wear

    There is a lot of pressure for women during pregnancy to look and feel good. Expecting women are supposed to have that “pregnancy glow” wherein women suddenly look refreshed, younger, more radiant and irresistibly beautiful.

    While pregnancy glow can be true at times and for some people, but beautiful is the last thing most women feel like especially later in the pregnancy. In fact, many women feel unattractive during those three trimesters of pregnancy. Most feel huge, bloated and swollen in all the wrong places.

    Because of the many changes in a woman’s body (not only in the belly area) many clothes that feel right for them no longer fit which adds to the disappointment and even despair.

     

    Maternity dresses: the key to feeling good in your pregnant body!

    There’s nothing much one can do with the body they have during pregnancy. Dieting without the approval of an OB-Gyn is highly unrecommended because of the effects it may have on the growth of the baby. Sometimes too, despite proper exercise and eating just right, pregnancy weight can translate in places that are least desirable such as in the arms, thighs and ankle areas.

    The only way to go around pregnancy is acceptance: to be able to feel good and happy during those nine months. It is essential to find a way to feel attractive or at the least bit, put together enough not to break down in misery.

    Depression during and after pregnancy is real. In fact, according to womenshealth.gov “About 13 percent of pregnant women and new mothers have depression.”

    While it is true that dressing up can be very hard when pregnant especially when all your favorite clothes do not fit anymore. Plus, there are only a number of ways you can sport your significant other’s oversized clothes to fit yours-- especially if you go to work.

    While it is indeed possible to go through the entire pregnancy with just regular clothes, maternity clothes still make pregnancy a more pleasant experience. Maternity dresses, for instance offer style, functionality and fits as if it was tailored especially for you.

    Indeed, maternity dresses can be expensive at times but if you do it right, the few extra bucks you shell out will be well worth it. Inexpensive maternity dresses and multi-purpose pieces are the way to go if you are on a budget. You can read this article for some tips in saving money on maternity clothes.

     

    What is a maternity dress?

    Collins Dictionary very simply puts that a maternity dress is “a dress worn by a pregnant woman and which is designed to allow for the changes in body size which take place during pregnancy.”

    The second portion of the definition, “designed to allow for the changes in body size” is what makes pregnancy clothing, not just dresses, different from regular clothes. They have been tailored keeping in mind that a woman’s body especially the belly changes all throughout the pregnancy. This is the most important quality a piece of clothing has especially when your body is changing in size and shape almost by the week. That, too, is the reason maternity dresses is worth the investment. 

    Now that does not mean that regular clothes would not fit pregnant bodies-- just not the same. It is like wearing a coat you bought from a boutique versus one you had tailored for you. The first one can very well fit you but the second one fits you better.

    Maternity dresses vs regular dresses

    To wear maternity clothes or not has been a long-standing debate argued about by”experienced” and passionate women. Since everything about pregnancy is very personal-- from the food you eat to the clothes you choose to wear-- it is normal for many women to have strong opinions about it.

    When it comes to pregnancy clothing, some say that wearing maternity clothes is unnecessary and that you can just use your pre-pregnancy clothes or even your partner’s loose shirts. Others are strongly advocating pregnancy dresses. Again, because pregnancy is very much personal, these choices are also yours to make.

    The key difference between maternity dresses and non-maternity clothing is the fitting. While wearing loose shirts or wider dresses does cover up the bump, maternity clothes does give off better definition. It tapers where it needs to and shapes the clothes to best capture a woman’s figure so that you don’t look bigger than you have to and to emphasize your bump so that it does not look too boxy.

    Though most of choosing maternity clothes over regular clothes has to do with aesthetics, some functions like provision for nursing in maternity dresses help make it more justified as a purchase.

     

    Maternity dress size guide

    During pregnancy, a woman’s body size changes by trimester. Because of the shift of mass in your belly and other parts of the body, it can feel confusing when buying maternity dresses. Fortunately, there is a way to make sure a dress fits your bump and the rest of your body just right.

    International Size Guide

    S

    M

    L

    XL

    2X

    3X

    4X

    US

    2-4

    6-8

    10-12

    14

    16-18

    20-22

    24

    UK

    6-8

    10-12

    14-16

    18

    22-24

    24-26

    28

    Italy

    38-40

    42-44

    46-48

    50

    54-56

    56-58

    60

    France

    34-36

    38-40

    42-44

    46

    50-52

    52-54

    56

    Germany

    32-34

    36-38

    40-42

    44

    48-50

    50-52

    54

    Japan

    7-9

    11-13

    15-17

    19

    23-25

    25-27

    29

    Russia

    40-42

    44-46

    48-50

    52

    54-56

    24-26

    28


    According to Size Guide, Australia and New Zealand also uses the UK size chart. The French sizes are also used in Belgium, Spain and Portugal. Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway also uses German sizes.

    Maternity dress sizes ideally correspond to non-maternity wear sizes. So, if you used to be a size 8 before pregnancy, then the pregnancy apparel will still be the same size. 

    When buying maternity clothes, look for the same size you were before. So if you fall under medium size, look for the same size at stores. This also holds true when shopping online.

    Good maternity clothing expands in the right places where a pregnant body also expands.

    Body types during pregnancy and how to style them

    There are four body types women usually have during pregnancy. Knowing which shape you are or how you carry your bump helps determine what style looks best for you. The same as how certain shapes and cuts help lengthen your legs or accentuate your curves when not pregnant, fashion rules differ too during pregnancy depending on these four body types.

    1 . You’re big everywhere.

    While some women only gain weight in the belly and bust area, others gain the weight everywhere. If this is you, don’t feel discouraged because you seem bloated from your feet to the face. There are so many styles and ways you can still look great while carrying the weight.

    According to Babycenter, “Soft fabrics and longer lines are the best ways to help you feel great while still accentuating your beautiful bump.”

    wrap-maxi-dress_0162_chevron-print_1.jpg

    WRAP LONG SLEEVE MAXI DRESS - CHEVRON PRINT

    Look for patterns and lines going vertically to help create length instead of width. Wrap styling dresses has proven to be exceptionally flattering for almost any body shape and size, during and after pregnancy. 

    Choose form-fitting fabrics to emphasize the baby bump. However,make sure the clothing does not restrict you from moving. 

    sequana-cocoon-tunic_53200_blue-green-snakeskin-print-_without-belly__2.jpg

    SEQUANA COCOON TUNIC-DRESS-BLUE-GREEN SNAKESKIN PRINT

    Leggings and a statement dress

    Leggings are some of the best fashion inventions ever. They provide comfort and coverage as well as emphasize shape.The darker bottoms elongate the legs. This is best matched with a flowy dress or top with interesting details and add a nice color to make the style pop.

     

    2. Your baby bump is low

    If your belly is sitting lower, styles that look well with your belly are below the bump types of cuts. For these types of bellies, form-fitting and simple styles complement better as it does not overwhelm the figure and emphasizes the bump. 

    dana-3-4-sleeve-maternity-nursing-dress_0936_black.jpg

    DANA 3/4 SLEEVE MATERNITY NURSING DRESS - BLACK

    Deliberately choosing dresses that are fitted around the bump area helps accentuate the shape of this body type. Select dresses that fit the bump well and look simple. Bold colors work well but be careful of heavy patterns.

     

    3. If your bump is in the higher part of your belly

    “Separate bust from bump with high belts, ties, and color-block separates. Get creative and do quick, easy alterations to pieces you may already have in your closet.”

    The key to body types like these is to separate the bust area from the bump because in the wrong clothes, the body will look too top-heavy.

    athena-day-dress---acorn-brown02_1.jpg

    ATHENA DAY DRESS - ACORN BROWN

     

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    LOLA MAE DRESS - TEABERRY

     

    4. If you look small everywhere

    Some women are just small even when they are pregnant. For this types of body, women can be a little more experimental and play with different textures, cuts and patterns. Simple designs can also work well with this body type given that you accessorize and layer it up. 

    nikki-maternity-nursing-dress-jara-155521-alternate-crop-view-non-pregnant.jpg

    NIKKI MATERNITY-NURSING DRESS - JARA PRINT

     

    Pregnancy dresses styles and functions

    Cute maternity dresses… Is that even possible?

    Technology is not the only thing that has changed drastically over the years. Maternity clothing has transformed from the once baggy, ill-fitting and tasteless designs to stylish designs you’ll want to wear even after pregnancy.

    Designs vary from evening and formal maternity dresses, maternity dresses for baby shower,  maternity bridesmaid dresses, dresses for work, maxi dresses, maternity lace dresses, cocktail dresses, summer dresses and even sexier pieces.

    Not only are cute maternity dresses everywhere, women from different walks of life can now afford quality pregnancy clothes. There are many ways to save up on maternity clothes and different techniques to style them.

    Maternity work outfits

    Looking good while pregnant can be a challenge especially if you are working and are expected to look presentable while at it. Though it can be a little bit harder than when you are not pregnant, it is not impossible to put together a corporate attire, well appropriate for work while pregnant. 

    Dresses come in handy especially for these occasions.  Choose dresses you can mix and match with other pieces of accessories and outfits you have. Be mindful of the length and neckline of your dresses.

    There are many ways to work maternity clothing especially when in a job. Apart from the obvious choice of appropriate work clothing, you can get expert tips on dressing up for work in our other blogs. Simple things like accessorizing and mix and matching makes such a huge difference in the way you look at work.

    Special occasion maternity dresses

    Attending special occasions or going to formal gatherings can feel daunting if you’re pregnant especially if you don’t feel as comfortable or stylish during this phase. Many moms to be opt instead to not attend these gatherings to avoid having to go through the struggle of trying out outfits that just don’t cut it.

    Fortunately, there are tons of maternity clothes that can be used for formal events and many more that are a mixture of casual and dressed-up for social gatherings. More importantly, these special occasion maternity dresses account comfort and functionality so you don’t have to feel any discomfort when attending these events.

    A lot of women look for dresses that can be used for their own baby showers, weddings and parties. Though there are great selections for pregnancy dresses, there are some factors you need to consider when dressing up for special events.

    • Check the weather during the day/s of the event

    Make sure to check first the weather that day. Weather is one of the deciding factors for what you will choose to wear that day. Whether you will want to wear a short cocktail dress or a maxi dress when it is raining or a layered long-sleeved dress versus a sundress when it is reported to be a hot and humid day.

    Always keep in mind too the season you’re in so you can prepare layers or lessen the fabrics you’re wearing. This does not only apply to the dress itself but also whatever you’re accessorizing it with and the shoes you are wearing. Weather and temperature also plays an important role in wearing make-up. If it’s going to be humid, make it light. If it is really cold, add some moisture to the make-up.

    • What kind of event are you attending? Check if there are dress codes.

    Not all events require certain types of dresses. Some, you must attend with a complete formalwear, others can be dressy casual. What is the event you’ll be attending? Do they have dress codes?

    Knowing this will help avoid awkward situations wherein you’re either too dressed up or under-dressed for the special occasion you’re attending.

    Also, ask the host about the location of the event. Whether it is indoors or an outdoor event can affect your clothing choices. You would most likely want to avoid thin heeled-shoes when you are in an outdoor event. 

    • Know your body’s “problem areas” and “assets”

    There’s always going to be an area in your body that you’re not very fond of. It might be that you’re having swollen ankles or your arms look twice as big. At the same time, you must have one or two things you really like about your new body. Maybe it’s your bump and the way it looks or a new-found appreciation with your breasts.

    Identifying the areas you like and dislike will help you when deciding which types of dresses you would rather wear. Everything about pregnancy is personal, including your perception of your own body.

    Casual maternity dresses

    Dressing up for special events is one thing, but the real challenge usually comes with the everyday uneventful stuff. A casual maternity dress should be able to cater to the everyday demands of your life and should be built for wear and tear. Durability, functionality and style in addition to comfort are the qualities a good everyday pregnancy dress should have. Plus, it would not hurt if the pieces are reversible or can be dressed up in a variety of ways. 

    For this, it is always best to opt for more simple styles of dresses with less busy prints that you can mix and match with other pieces of clothing.

     

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    ESSENTIAL MATERNITY TANK DRESS - SPARROW

     

    What maternity dresses do I need?

    Most women’s hesitation in buying maternity dresses is that you only use it for a couple of months. Since it is true that many maternity dresses are only good when you are pregnant, some serve their purpose postpartum. That’s the key: to look for maternity dresses that can be used after giving birth and best yet, have nursing functions or at least are breastfeeding-friendly.

    In addition to that, there is really no need to splurge on maternity dresses. There are maternity clothing essentials in the bare minimum that you can use up for different occasions and trimesters.

    Maternity clothing basics

    Maternity leggings

    This is a staple item every pregnant woman must have in their closets. Not only do they match everything you have, leggings especially maternity ones are so comfortable you would just want to live in them.

    live-in-em-leggings-long_53475_black.jpg

    Comfortable camisole or tank tops

    You want clothes that can be used on an everyday basis and is flexible enough to mix and match with other pieces of clothing. What’s more comfortable and easy to play around with than a simple camisole or tank top that is built and designed for your ever-growing bump?

    These types of clothes can be layered with shirts and cardigans or matched with jeans, leggings or even skirts for a cute pregnancy outfit. Accessorizing is also easier as it will not overwhelm the simplicity of the top. Most importantly, it is easy to wear and easy to remove. Two things women tend to struggle with when in the last trimester of pregnancy.

    To save money on these tops, go for nursing tank tops that are long enough to cover your bump so you can use them after giving birth to your baby. 

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    ORGANIC VALUE NURSING U-NECK TANK - ECRU

     

    Cardigan and nursing cover wrap

    Look for a loose cardigan that fits well on the arms and back but gives allowances around the front area of the body. These cardigans are great because they double as a nursing cover when you have the baby. 

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    SANGHA MATERNITY-NURSING WRAP - DARK SPRUCE

     

    Maternity lounge clothing

    Look for comfortable maternity sleepwear that can easily double up as nursing pajamas after giving birth. Being comfortable when pregnant feels impossible sometimes especially later in the pregnancy. That is why wearing the right sleepwear that you can use as lounge clothing is a necessary part of your pregnancy wardrobe. 

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    CHIFFON TRIM BAMBOO PJ SET - DUSKY GRAPE

     

    What to have in the closet

    Apart from the essential pieces you must have for your day to day pregnant body, there are pieces you can simply mix and match to look great any day or at least decent enough so you can go outside and have some fun without feeling sluggish.

    Comfortable flats

    Have a nice pair or two of comfortable flats you can live with. Choose colors that matches most of your wardrobe. Especially later in the pregnancy, you will need more comfortable clothes because your body gets heavier. Skip designer heels for a few months and go for flats that look good and feel great.

    Maternity jeans

    Thank goodness for maternity jeans! You can flaunt your leg shape in skinny jeans while pregnant thanks to maternity jeans. Choose one or two pairs that you really like and can pair with most of your wardrobe. Slacks also come in maternity fitting and are definitely handy for work. 

    Maternity skirts

    As important a pair of jeans are in a wardrobe, the same goes with skirts. They can make any look more put together and cuter or sexier depending on the style. Having one or two maternity skirts can make such a difference in your style.

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    DENIM MATERNITY SKIRT FOLDOVER - WASHED BLACK 

    A stylish tunic

    Have a piece or two of stylish tunics and blouses that keep you covered yet offers style.This kinds of pieces can be bolder in pattern and texture. 

    Little black dress

    Formalwear should be easy. Have one little black dress especially made for pregnant women and you’re good to go. Having a few dresses can also help take the stress off in dressing up during pregnancy. Just pop in a loose dress and you have yourself an outfit.

     

    Where and how to buy pregnancy dresses

    Inexpensive pregnancy dresses

    Finding cute, inexpensive clothing whether or not it is for maternity wear or just regular clothes can be a little challenging. However, it is not by any means impossible. Here are a few tips to finding inexpensive maternity dresses: 

    Find a multi-purpose dress

    Be it for nursing and maternity or a reversible dress, it is easy to find multiple functions in a maternity dress. Look for those instead so you can make the most out of your purchase. 

    Get notified when there’s a sale

    Look for items on sale and ask the stores (or subscribe to online notifications) to let you know when a sale is going to happen. You don’t need to buy items in their original price if you can buy them on sale. 

    Join memberships for freebies and discounts

    Many stores offer membership cards upon a certain purchase. Some of the perks these membership cards have are the discounts you get. Online shops even waive delivery or shipping charges or have special events for moms to be.

     

    Buy maternity clothes online

    Everything is done online these days. Why? Because it is easier and there are tons more options. When buying maternity dresses online, just be mindful of a few things. 

    Your size.

    Know your size and understand how fitting works.Though essentially pregnancy sizes are the same as your previous size, if you feel that you have grown larger maybe you should double check first.

    Learn about their return policies

    Make sure to read the fine print and look for the return policy of the shop in case the item just is not right for you or you don’t feel good in the dress. Usually, once you’ve washed the clothes or removed the label, you cannot return the item anymore. So, make sure to read about it so you don’t do anything to void the return or exchange of your clothes. 

    Make sure the website is legitimate and payment is secure

    According to Google, there are a few things you can do to make sure a website is legitimate such as checking the ratings and reviews of products. Ideally, it is best to steer clear from online stores with no ratings.

    “If the store’s rating is low (somewhere between 0 and 5) then you may want to use caution when buying a product from them. Read the reviews to see what specifically people had problems with.”

    In addition, it is best to use credit cards so that if indeed you were scammed, you can ask for a refund. Talk to your service provider in order to be sure about the refund policies.

     

  • Maternity Wedding Dresses for Bride

    Wedding during pregnancy or more popularly called “shotgun weddings” has been a controversial topic in the wedding sphere. Many people are against the wedding and believe that wedding during pregnancy is not a sign of genuine interest to be married to each other but came about as a result of the unexpected pregnancy.

     

    In the extreme, more often with conservative folks, shotgun weddings are not considered as real weddings and some religion-based weddings even explicitly prohibit or condemn marriage during pregnancy.

     

    Wedding planning during pregnancy

     

    Though the stigma has been lessened over the years, it is still existing today. Organizing weddings while pregnant has, undeniably less available options especially in clothing.

     

    Even at present, women look to forums for help in looking for wedding dresses that would cater to their pregnant body. While there are a lot of dresses that can fit them during pregnancy, it is still difficult to look for dresses that really make the cut. After all, it is a special day to celebrate.

     

    Every woman wants to look their most beautiful during their wedding day. And despite the challenge pregnant women have compared to when they are not conceiving, it is not impossible to look and feel good.

     

    Look at it this way, when you reminisce on your wedding day, you not only remember your partner but a brewing human inside you that has become (as you will find out) a huge part of your life. If you decide to see it as a celebration of so many things-- having a family, tying the knot with the person you love, entering a life of motherhood-- then you can leave behind any shame or guilt you are feeling because of the stereotype people place on pregnancy weddings. Own it and make the most of it.

     

    If you still feel like you might not be able to pull off a pregnancy wedding or that there is shame in getting married while you are knocked up, look at how some celebrities did it proudly. Here’s a photo of Alicia Keys looking stunning and proud to soon be a mom and wife.

     

    Image From @aliciakeys https://www.instagram.com/p/rGn3CmwFn3/

     

    In order to make it happen though, there are a lot of things to be done just like any other wedding. But unlike any other wedding, your’s have some special considerations and a few things to tweak here and there when planning your special day while pregnant.

     

    Make sure the time is right

    Morning sickness is real and it is one of the major challenges women often complain about during the first trimester. According to Heidi of What to Expect, planning your wedding (if you can) during the second trimester is most ideal.

     

    “If possible, try to get hitched in your second trimester. Your morning sickness should be gone by then (or at least eased up enough so you can face the buffet without barfing).”

     

    In addition to that, the second trimester is the safest time for women. While morning sickness usually dissipates during the last trimester, there are other considerations you might have such as backaches, sore ankles and just a general discomfort. Furthermore, you’ll most likely look less bloated during your second trimester than the third one.

     

    Understand your skin

     

    During pregnancy, hormonal changes are on overdrive and your skin which used to be very dry might now be an oily mess or vice versa. Knowing the changes in your skin will help your make-up artist decide which products to use on your skin.

     

    If you are so lucky to be sporting that “pregnancy glow” then use that to your advantage. If not, you’ll always have highlighters and bronzers to create the look for you. Let your HMUA know that you want to look healthy and stick to a lighter, more natural look. Keep it light on the top because you literally have a heavier lower section.

     

    With pregnancy comes along so many changes in your body apart from the obvious belly bump. Your complexion, your energy levels and even your hair goes through a great deal of differences.

     

    While many hair treatments are not recommended during those nine months of conception due to chemicals that might affect the growth of your baby, there are some upsides to your locks.

     

    According to the American Pregnancy Association, “During pregnancy there is an increase in the level of estrogen hormones.  Estrogen causes hair to remain in the growing phase and stimulates the growth of your hair. While you are pregnant, you should expect a full, luxurious head of hair.”

     

    Like the pregnancy glow, use this to your advantage. Skip the treatments for sleek and straight hair and opt for luxurious locks instead or if you have messy hair naturally, find a creative bun that’s appropriate for your wedding theme and motif.

     

    Find ways to lessen stress

     

    Weddings can be quite stressful. There is so much to organize from wedding motifs, venues, guest lists and invites, flowers, food, dresses, cakes, music and it definitely is not helping that you are pregnant.

    Stress and pregnancy though are two things you should never mix together that’s why it is always best to have someone else organize the wedding for you. If it’s in the budget, hiring a wedding planner is the best option. Wedding planners plan weddings for a living (duh!) and experienced ones know what to do when things go wrong. If you have a tighter room in your budget, ask a friend or relative to do it for you.

     

    Since it is your wedding, you must be thinking that you want to be involved by ALL means. However, if it’s likely to cause you any sort of stress, it is best to steer clear of doing the planning. You can always share your preferences and ideas with whoever is dealing with the wedding.

     

    If you still don’t want to, just do it for your baby. Did you know that chronic stress during pregnancy can cause a lot of scary complications for your baby? Some of them include a certain level of brain function impairment.

     

    “Chronic stress may also contribute to subtle differences in brain development that might lead to behavioral issues as the baby grows.”

     

    Pregnancy wedding dresses

     

    Another key difference between expecting women and those who are not is the wedding dresses. While there are ways to wear wedding dresses that are non-maternity and still fit in it, it would not be as tailor-fitted for the body type you have and options might be limited to gowns that balloon from belly down.

     

    There are different ways to have maternity wedding dresses and a ton of styles available out there. You’ll find one right for you even if you’re looking for size specific types of dresses such as plus size maternity wedding dresses or petite-sized pregnancy wedding gowns.

     

    Maternity wedding dress designs

     

    Some of the popular styles include lace maternity wedding dresses or even a plain white maternity wedding dress. However, “while you can wear almost any style you want, baby bumps look especially elegant in an empire-waist silhouette, which is snug at the bustline and roomier in the belly. No matter which design you prefer for your wedding during pregnancy, you’ll be more comfortable in loose, light fabrics, such as chiffon and crepe. Stiff or heavy materials like satin, taffeta, and tulle can up your odds of overheating and dizziness.”

     

    Prices also vary from designer maternity wedding dresses to cheap pregnancy wedding gowns. When it comes to shoes though, it is always recommended to prioritize comfort. There are beautiful sandals that can pair well with gowns. Some are even bedazzled with swarovski crystals.

    .

    Pregnancy wedding dress sizes and fitting

     

    One of the best ways to get your wedding dress size on point is to get your dressmaker in the loop for when you’ll be needing it and what month or trimester it will fall under. Trust that whoever is making your wedding dress knows what she’s doing. If in doubt, ask first if the dressmaker has experience making maternity dresses for weddings.

     

    “Even if you’re not showing when you hit the bridal shop, let the consultant know how far along you’ll be when you tie the knot. She’ll advise you on which size will be best for your belly-to-be. And don’t let that large number bug you:”

     

    Essentially, the same concept goes for shoes. Especially if you’re celebrating during the last trimester, make sure to give your shoes some allowance. Edema is a common condition during pregnancy where certain parts of your body, usually around the ankles and wrists, are swollen. This is usually because of excess blood flow and goes away well after delivery.

     

    Wedding dress sizes also use general size guides. To learn more about sizes for maternity wear and how maternity dresses work, here’s a 101 on pregnancy dresses.

    Inexpensive maternity wedding dresses

     

    Wedding expert, The Knot made a study on how much weddings usually cost in 2016 and the average cost was more than $30,000.

     

    “After surveying nearly 13,000 real brides and grooms across America, we found that the overall cost of a wedding has soared to new heights, with a national average of $35,329 (and that’s not including the honeymoon).”

     

    Almost $2,000, $1,564 to be precise, was for wedding gowns alone. Now, not everybody has the budget or are willing to shell out $2,000 for a wedding gown and with good reason. You’re (hopefully) only going to use it once.

     

    So, how do you save up on wedding dresses during pregnancy?

     

    Buy used gowns

     

    While it would be definitely more difficult for pregnant women to buy used wedding gowns perfect for their bump, it is not impossible.

     

    Josie Daga founder of PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com shares that “After the economy crashed girls realized they could get their dream dress that was worn for maybe five hours.”

     

    Buying used gowns can help you save a lot of money. Daga adds that “[We’ve] seen dresses go for up to 90% off. There’s a lot of money to be saved.”

     

    Frequent Sample Sale

     

    So, there is a thing called frequent sample sale where brides to be can buy wedding dresses at a much lower cost. According to Fox Business, “Wedding retailers and designers hold sample sales discounting their dresses to make room for new inventory once or twice a year and are prime grounds for finding a big-named label on the cheap.”



    Rent a dress

     

    There are tons of places brides to be (even pregnant ones) can rent wedding dresses. Even the groom, best men and bridesmaids can rent their dresses as well.

    Maternity dress for wedding guest

    It’s not just the brides who are having a difficult time when it comes to meetings.Guests, bridesmaid who are pregnant also have some complications looking for dresses during special occasions such as weddings.

     

    In general, be it weddings or baby shower, special occasions are a little harder to dress. Though difficult, it is not impossible. There are a few things to remember though when doing so like knowing your body type during pregnancy. Another important item is to understand how to style yourself during this time.

     

    You can have a read at our baby shower guide, Baby Shower Maternity Dress: Choosing the Right Dress for You.

     

    Be it  your wedding or as a guest, pregnancy is a celebration and an experience you want to enjoy. It is only nine months of your life but every life event and special occasions you enjoy it with matters. Dress your best and be confident because the best dress always comes from a happy and confident woman!

     

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