Macy’s has a number of cute maternity tops right now, including this chic butterfly print tunic. I like that you probably can get away with leggings or tighter pants with it on more casual days, but you can also wear it with a pencil skirt (or even hem it if you just want a blouse). It’s nice that the butterfly pattern is interesting but not cutesy — from a distance it doesn’t even read to me as “butterflies!” at all. The top is $34.98, and available in sizes S-XL. Motherhood Maternity Twist-Front Butterfly-Print Tunic Top
Ladies, which are the best maternity leggings you’ve found? I bought one maternity-specific pair during this last pregnancy and HATED them with a fiery passion — they fell down AND were see-through. Score. I’m not a big leggings-wearer, but when I did wear them I just wore my regular Hue denim leggings until late in the pregnancy (week 35 maybe?).
I have a pair of leggings from Old Navy that I purchased (and wore to death) during my last pregnancy and they are still going strong. I find them to be thicker, more comfortable, and better quality than others I’ve tried (from Target and Gap), though they do sag a little. In fact, I fell on the sidewalk during my last pregnancy while wearing my leggings. The leggings showed no signs of wear from the fall, but my knee underneath was BADLY skinned. The science behind how this could possibly happened is impossible for me to fathom, but it only goes to show the leggings’ strength.
Agree with FBB on the quality of Old Navy leggings (especially for the price!).
Any C-moms out there have a recommendation for a well-built, long-lasting lunchbox brand? I’m sending my 4-1/2 year old off to Montessori school for the first time (sniff!) and I have to pack her lunch. Was about to pull the trigger on a lunch bag from Garnet Hill but figured I’d crowdsource this one first. Needs to be washable/wipable and easy for little hands to maneuver. Bonus points if you throw in a bunch of good lunch ideas!
Kat G says
SO interesting that y’all liked the ON leggings — that was the big brand that I was talking about hating in the post. :)
Re lunchbox stuff — we’ve just used this one (with nice new flat ice packs): http://corporette.com/2012/06/25/coffee-break-freshpocket-insulated-mans-lunchbox/ — but my son is young enough that someone else is opening/closing for him.
HelloBee has had some killer bento roundups… I’m not organized enough to do that, but we did buy a ton of silicone cupcake liners to use for small portions of little things (dried fruit, cereal, grapes, cut-up hot dogs, etc). Everything else we use and love (our thinkbaby Bento boxes and our Thermos food jars) may be a bit hard for a 4.5-y-o by him/herself…
So I basically feel as though I’m having a celebrity encounter b/c Kat responded to my comment!
/tries to act cool/
Love the silicone cupcake liner idea and will definitely check out HelloBee — I’m an occasional reader over there anyway.
hoola hoopa says
I like the wildkins box at amazon. Easy to clean, great size, cute pattern options, and is ready for it’s second school year. Easy for little hands to use and carry. I really love the elasticized water bottle strap, which keeps food safe from rollover and fits a sigg or funtainer perfectly. Major disadvantage is that it does not have a freezer thing to keep it cold. The insulation does fine for what we normally pack, and lunch is only about 3 hours after school starts, but it may not work for others.
We normally pack a sunbutter sandwich or yogurt cup, a vegetable (ie, carrot sticks), a fruit (ie, applesauce pouch or orange wedges), and something extra (pretzels, cookie, etc). We pack 1-2 extra things for after care snack.
We use the glad containers. We’ve had surprisingly good success at having the containers returned instead of accidentally thrown out, but I like that it’s not much of a loss if something doesn’t come back.
You didn’t ask, but I highly suggest an auto-closing water cup (contigo, funtainer) rather than a sports cap (sigg) because the sports caps are easy for kids (particularly that age) to not get completely pushed down, and then you have a wet mess.
We use the lands end hard shell lunch boxes. Have lasted a couple of years so far, and are easy to clean out. We got a set of stainless steel cups (with tops) to go inside. Oh, and a lands end water bottle (stainless steel) and we throw in an ice pack to keep stuff cool. The thermos has lost a lot of its decoration, but they all still work.
I liked my leggings from Japanese Weekend and Pea in the Pod. I lived in them the last month or so before I gave birth to my giant baby because even maternity pants didn’t fit at that point.
Have any of you read “How to be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran? I found a lot of it to be not that relatable (although still amusing), but the chapters on childbirth and parenting were spot-on for me and had me guffawing aloud on the metro.
anon eagle says
+1 Pea in the Pod leggings–so soft and comfy.
First Timer says
I’m due in about a month and haven’t been to a birthing class yet. I’ve read about labor and childbirth in my Mayo Clinic book, and just feel like there is not much a birthing class could do to prepare me for childbirth, and would probably just scare me and freak me out. My current plan is to get an epidural and do whatever the nurses/doctor tell me to do when the time comes. I don’t have any strong feelings about things like whether or not I have a C-section, and I don’t have a vision of any particular experience as being “ideal”. I’m just very laid back about it.
Here’s my question: is this insane? Should I go to a class? Do I need a plan? What did you take away from a class that was helpful?
Have you done a hospital/birth center tour so that you know where to go, where to check in, etc? Things can get a bit intense during labor, so being familiar with the facility is a help.
Will there be a support person with you during delivery (spouse, friend, whoever) and how familiar are they with the birth process? My husband probably learned more during the class than I did. Example: I fell asleep between contractions (for about 30 seconds) and my husband remembered from class that this is normal and didn’t worry or try to wake me. This was helpful for us both when it was 5 am, we were exhausted, and he was the only one in the room.
My birth plan was pretty simple: yes to epidural and I wanted my husband to cut the cord. Both went as planned. As for the rest, I trusted my hospital and medical team. You may also want to have a conversation with your support person about whether they stay with you or go with baby in the case of a c-section or baby having to go to transitional nursery.
I was a lot like you with my first pregnancy. Pretty laissez faire about the labor ordeal and didn’t care one way or the other about how it went down, as long as the baby and I were healthy. We ended up doing a birthing class, but only because I felt like it was something that we “should” do. I know my husband hated every minute and maybe still hasn’t forgiven me for making him go (3 years ago). In retrospect, I didn’t learn anything in that class that I had not learned from my books or the materials that my doctor gave me. After 12 hours of back labor, I ended up with an unplanned c-section because the baby was wedged transverse behind my hips. No amount of birth class or education would have prepared me for that, and no amount of hypnobirthing or natural interventions were going to make that baby come out without surgery.
All that to say with pure anecdata, the only people I know that truly cared about birthing classes were those who had very specific visions of how they wanted their births to be. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it wasn’t important to me.
Edited to add: touring your hospital or birthing facility is a good idea. It’s nice to know where to go and who to talk to when the moment arrives.
+1 for me — I knew that I didn’t have a whole lot of control over what my body/baby was going to decide to do once labor was underway, so I had what I like to call “Birth Preferences” instead of a Birth Plan. B/c goodness knows nothing with babies/kids ever happens the way you think it will!
That said, I’m glad we did the class. You’re right, you yourself may not learn a whole lot from it, but the tour/what to expect when you’re at the hospital part is super helpful. Plus I know my husband learned a lot from being in the class — not sure how much reading your SO has done on the topic of labor and delivery, but it might be more for him/her than for you.
I didn’t find my birthing class all that helpful, but it turned out to be extremely helpful to my partner who didn’t really have any sort of idea exactly what was going to happen. I will also say this – I had a medical problem that ‘advised against’ me getting an epidural that we didn’t see coming until I was in the hospital. I had an insane delivery though, and I did finally get that epidural around the 29 hour mark, thank goodness. And, my very best friend in the entire world got an epidural and it only worked on one part/half of her body. Which I can’t even imagine.
Finally, even in normal labor, here at least it’s fairly standard practice to ask the mother to go through as many hours of labor as they can comfortably stand before giving the epidural because it can delay labor and make a c-section more likely. YMMV, though.
So I’m just gonna throw that out there. I’m not a ‘birth plan’ type of mom, but totally not judging them, but even so, it was so helpful for my partner to really understand the stages of labor and how things where changing from one stage to the next.
So my vote is yes for a one-day or watching videos or something. I would not have wanted to go into it blind.
anon eagle says
I think your relaxed attitude is great, but I think the lack of preparation is insane. My first job in the military I was a medic and they sent me to a Labor and Delivery ward. I was 19 years old and had only attended 14 weeks of medical training and the only childbirth education was watching a 20 minute video of a woman giving birth on her sofa. I helped with hundreds of “regular” births and C-sections. Even though I helped the RNs teach the childbirth classes, I still attended childbirth classes when I was pregnant.
I think it is important to take a class, preferably at the hospital you will deliver. This class will give you some basic info that will be important to you when it’s time to have the baby i.e., which door to enter after hours or check in through the ER, whether or not the baby will be rooming in with you (this is huge for me, I always wanted to send the baby to the nursery so I could attempt to get a few hours of precious sleep before I went sent home), meal expectations and epidural expectations. At my old military hospital, they would usually not give an epidural or even admit you unless you were 5 cm dilated (we did not accept any high risk patients, those ladies were sent to the “big hospital in the city”).
I think you need a plan, but no need to draft up an elaborate birth plan to present to your nursing team if you don’t want to. I did not use a birth plan. I just informed my nurse upon check in that I would like an epidural. I’ve seen it all on the birth plans y’all…….. One woman’s birth plan requested that I massage sterile olive oil into her perineum for 15 mins on the hour. Zikes!
Be sure you discuss emergency plans with your partner or support person in case –God forbid– sometimes terrible happens.
Geez, I could talk about this all day. Let me know if you have any specific questions. I’m by no means a medical professional but I will try to offer advice that can help you form your decisions.
omg that perineum massage request is insane… that’s the kind of person who should definitely hire a doula.
To the OP: Yes to hospital tour (I actually hated the hospital tour, but in retrospect it was much more useful than the birth class), but I think birthing class is optional. My husband hated it, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know from other research, and my labor wasn’t long enough that I needed to use any of the coping techniques. I did make a very loose birth plan, but I realized quickly it was irrelevant. What happened, happened. I didn’t want an epidural, and didn’t get one… but more because I couldn’t have gotten one anyway – see also: fast labor – I definitely changed my mind when I was actually at the hospital and not just sitting around romanticizing the “birth experience.” I will not be doing any of it the second time around. The only reason I would recommend a birth class is to make sure your husband/partner is informed, on the same page as you, and knows what you want as far as support… but you can definitely accomplish that without the class.
My birthing class didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know, but it was extremely helpful for my husband who didn’t know much about the mechanics of how it all happened. He had no idea what was meant by “dilation” for example. I was very glad he was up to speed on things during my (absolutely disastrous) labor and delivery so he knew what was going on and could help make decisions.
Carrie M says
I also loved my Old Navy leggings that I bought last year. I wore them to death, and they did start to appear a little thin as I got bigger, but not so bad that I stopped wearing them! The J.Crew Minnie pants are almost like thick leggings, though I bought them 2 sizes up so that I could wear them more like normal pants.
First Timer – I would at least do a hospital tour. The most helpful things I took away from the class were hospital-specific: e.g., this is the kind of medication we offer, this is what we’re going to do when you show up thinking you’re in labor, this is our policy re visitors, this is our policy re having your baby room in with you, policies re cord clamping and first baths and first meds. I liked knowing what was “standard” procedure and what I would have to specifically ask for (e.g., I wanted to wait a while for the first bath).
I also think the class was more helpful for my husband. I had read a ton, but he hadn’t read much of anything. So the class was really eye-opening for him in terms of what to expect and what’s normal. It taught him how to count contractions, what it meant to be effaced versus dialated versus the baby’s position (plus 1, minus 1 etc.), that it was okay if I vomited, etc. I had talked with my husband about all this stuff, but I think it really helped him understand it when it came from a professional and in a class setting. He took notes that he kept with him until the birth, and he actually referred to them when I first thought I was going into labor!
Good luck!! It’s such an exciting time for you – enjoy!
First Timer says
Thanks for all the advice, everyone!
I just discovered that my hospital has an online birthing class that I think I’ll sign up for, mostly to get my husband on the same page. The hospital doesn’t do tours unless you take a class, but the online class involves a video tour of the hospital, so that will be good.
Just jumping in to say that I did take a 6-week class, and I found it useful. But the most useful parts of the entire thing were the two classes when they talked about what happens AFTER delivery. I had no clue about anything to do with baby care, nursing, etc. So if you aren’t doing a class that includes these topics, and if you haven’t been much involved with baby care before, I highly recommend at least reading up on newborn care before the day arrives. Seeing a few br**stfeeding videos ahead of time helped me SO much.
First Timer says
We have actually been to a newborn care class, and my husband is going to a “daddy bootcamp” class. Not entirely sure what they’re covering in that, but I think its mainly post-partum stuff as well.
DH and I are signed up for a slew of classes at the hospital I’ll be at, but I just realized the “Baby Nutrition” class is actually a two-evening br**stfeeding class. Hum. I’m open to bfeeding (if it works) while I’m home on maternity leave, but baby will be on formula after that (at about 3 months of age). Would you still recommend bfeeding class or videos in this case?
Yes, no matter how long you decide to BF I think it helps to have as much advance help as possible! I was totally shocked that for something that’s supposed to be 100% natural, BF’ing actually didn’t come naturally to me at all. I think it’s worth the time investment if you’re willing to do it.
+1. There is a learning curve for both mother and baby.
+2 million. It is totally a learned skill and the more information you can suck up (no pun intended) ahead of time, the better.
Anon for today says
I would, because the classes are usually taught by the Lactation consultants at the hospital, and its good to get to know them if you have trouble bf in the early days, you’ll know who to call.
hoola hoopa says
I work in a medical-related field, I physically worked inside the hospital where I delivered, and I had studied birth and delivery academically. However, I still appreciated the birth class that we took through the hospital. Agree that it was most helpful for my husband, but I also found it helpful. I prefer a lecture to a book, though.
We had the opportunity to hear about the hospital specific intake, flow, and options in greater detail than the tour alone. We had a great presentation on the various levels of procedures. There was a class session spent on breastfeeding, which was helpful. Plus, it was really great to connect with other expectant couples. We could commiserate about pregnancy and the hospital billing system, and connected with them a few times after delivery. In particular, another mother and I met every couple of days for walks during our maternity leave.
Most likely, something unexpected will happened during your labor, delivery, or recovery. I know you think you have low/no expectations, but you do at some level. Everyone who walks into a hospital does. (For example, your labor may go so quickly that you cannot get an epidural). Having the various options and procedures explained in advance will help once you’re in the moment.
At the very, very least, take a tour. You’ll need to know which entrance to use at which times, etc.
hoola hoopa says
I just realized that you’re due in month. FYI, you’re probably too late for a class anyway. Sign up for a tour asap.
Great pick says
Also, this is a spot-on great recommendation. As someone who has been pregnant before and is pregnant again, it is hard to find real non-casual, work appropriate tops that you can wear not just in cute month 6, but in beluga month 9. This one looks perfect and I’m going ahead and buying it even if I am not wearing it for five more months. Great pick!
Ha! This made me both laugh and cringe: “it is hard to find real non-casual, work appropriate tops that you can wear not just in cute month 6, but in beluga month 9”.
I’m dreading the move from “cute” to “beluga” (currently starting month 8) and I keep thinking (foolishly, I suspect) that buying new maternity clothes will help. What do other people do to keep feeling nice when “cute” has become “beluga”? I’m doing pedis once a month, and am considering a haircut soon.
When I was in the beluga phase, I really didn’t care about looking cute. See my comment above re: wearing leggings every day. All I cared about was comfort, and to that end I got a lot of massages.
Get your nails done and buy fun statement necklaces and scarves!
hoola hoopa says
“buy fun statement necklaces and scarves”
x1000! They will always fit!
I also buy fun cardigans (if weather appropriate) since I’m usually down to a couple of boring (or by that time, boring to me) tops, but I don’t want to buy any more maternity clothes that will only last a month or two.
anon eagle says
I used my 3rd trimester as an excuse to upgrade my accessories wardrobe– earrings, scarves, necklaces etc. I also upgraded my robe, a few makeup items and toiletries, and purchased comfy glam PJ’s. These new purchases did help me feel a bit more human during the first few weeks post partum. It was nice to wash off my sweat and baby vom with luxurious soaps.
hoola hoopa says
I’m a repeat mom and thought the same thing regarding fitting at beluga stage. I also like that there aren’t any f’ing bows. What it up with maternity clothes and bows? I like bows at all at the right place and right time, but I need to look like an adult at work.
Re Kat’s question about maternity leggings: I had a pair from Seraphine, and I absolutely adored them. Near the end of my pregnancy I was wearing them probably about 3 times a week. They were also a very comfortable staple in the first few weeks after I gave birth. They were excellent quality, did not stretch out, and have now gone on to my cousin, who is expecting her first baby in October. Highly recommended.
First timer says
Anyone care to share their recommendations for stroller & car seat (system or separate)? Stroller only needs to accommodate 1 baby, hopefully from infancy (with full recline or carseat insert). We are semi-urban; don’t need a super-compact stroller but something relatively streamlined for city sidewalks etc. As for car seat would not mind investing in something that can go from infancy through toddlerhood.
We had the Uppa Baby stroller with the Peg Perego infant car seat (which fit on the stroller with an adapter). I love, love, love the stroller. The basket under the seat is so big and useful, the handle is adjustable enough for short and tall people alike, and thr stroller is very manueverable. Also, we easily converted it to a double stroller with the attachments when our second son was born.
Not a fan of the Peg Perego infant seat. It was one of the safest, yes, but it was markably heavier than all the other infant car seats. When you combine that with a baby who is large for his age, it’s very cumbersome. Full disclosure: I am 6′ tall, a former college athlete, and very strong. And I still struggled to carry that thing long distances.
Loved the Uppa Vista, great basket and sunshade. We had a Graco bucket (the lowest weight limit/ lightest seat) that we used until 6-7 months and used the Uppa adapter. Then we started using Britax Blvd convertible carseat that we still use today (child is 4 and average height/weight).
We also had an Uppa umbrella stroller that held up very well.
Oh, we have the Uppa umbrella stroller as well. We’ve taken it to Disney and have checked it on many flights and it’s been reliable and help up very well. I recommend all things Uppa Baby.
First timer says
Was your full-size the Vista also?
The full size was the Vista. I forgot to add that we bought the stand and used the bassinet that comes with the stroller in our room for the babies’ sleeping bassinet for the first few months of their lives. And then bought the laundry bags for the stand and it’s now a dirty-clothes hamper in the nursery. So handy.
hoola hoopa says
Snap and go! When I had my first, I thought it was the stroller for people who couldn’t afford better… so wrong. It’s convenient, lightweight, compact, and has a great under basket. If you go over a lot of cobblestone or gravel, then the wheels are sadly too small, but otherwise I adore it so much. I actually miss it once the babies out grow strolling in their carseat.
It also frees you to pick out whatever stroller you actually want, without having to consider what works with your infant seat, etc. For semi-urban, I’d recommend the city mini or bob revolution. The city mini was our ultimate choice primarily because the bob didn’t fit well into our compact car. I really love the city mini, but we do miss the cupholder on the bob. The bob tires are larger, which is nice, but they are also pneumatic which is great for shock absorption but not when you go over broken glass. The city mini tires were fine for typical city use, though.
Yep, ditto this recommendation. I loved the snap n go and then you don’t marry your “real” stroller choice to your selected infant carseat.
We live in the burbs but travel fairly often and have spent our fair share of time in various cities. We bought a BOB revolution and I love it oh so much (especially b/c now we have two kids and our older can ride on the front in a pinch) — however, it’s not very compact when folded and the under basket leaves something to be desired.
I picked up a Bumbleride Indie Twin when we had our second child and WOW do I love it — even more than the BOB, which I thought was impossible. I’ve never used or tried a Bumbleride single stroller but based on the Indie Twin I’d recommend investigating. Folds fairly compactly (for a double), has an adjustable handlebar for adults of different heights, and rides/steers like a dream.
We have the Bumbleride Indie and I really love it. When we were deciding what to purchase, it was between that and the BOB, and I’m really glad we got the Bumbleride. I think it has better back support than the BOB, and it reclines completely which is fantastic for an infant, plus the foot support/rest is infinitely adjustable. Maneuverability can’t be beat. When my baby was really tiny, we used the Graco Snugride with the Bumbleride and it worked fine.
We also lucked into a free City Mini, however, and I will say that while overall, I prefer the Bumbleride, we keep the City Mini permanently in the car as it folds up much smaller and more easily, and is much lighter. When we went travelling in Southeast Asia earlier this year, we took the City Mini, not the Bumbleride.
We have a Jolly Jumper Stroller Caddy for each stroller which I highly recommend.
Meg Murry says
Another +1 for the Snap and Go if you have a car – love that it folds down small to fit well in the trunk. We had a “fancier” stroller for neighborhood long walks once baby was old enough, and the Snap and Go lived in the trunk of the car until baby outgrew the infant seat when we switched to cheapie umbrella stroller for the “always in the trunk” stroller.
hoola hoopa says
Haha, we do the exact same! We have four strollers (+snap and go), but the one that gets used by far the most is the $20 umbrella stroller that lives in the trunk. Our children actually request it specifically. ::face palm::
So maybe I should have just recommended this: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=23843426 no cup holder, no basket, but it does have a cool ratcheting canopy
Just had my first prenatal appointment today. The practice to which I was referred assigned me to a newly-hired doctor. At first, I thought, great, this will be so much easier for scheduling appointments. But then I looked the doctor up and realized that the doctor is brand spankin new – just coming off residency, not even board certified yet. The doctor has a commendable residency (and from the educational history, I can tell the dr is really smart) and the practice has a good reputation, and I also know that medical training actually prepares doctors (as opposed to legal training), but a part of me is kind of hesitant. So far, everything is fine and I hopefully won’t turn high risk, but I’m a bit nervous about having someone so young. And I say that as a lawyer who suffers from “but you’re just a baby” syndrome even after close to a decade in practice. I’m overreacting, right?
(FWIW, I haven’t actually met the doctor yet – just the PA today.)
Meet him or her first, and see how you feel afterward. Within a practice, you should be able to switch doctors fairly easily if you feel uncomfortable for whatever reason (and I think it’s totally okay to want someone with more experience; we had a similar experience with/reaction to one of the newly-minted doctors at our pediatrician’s office). But, you should also find out if you will see all the OBs over the course of your pregnancy. I think most practices encourage/require this, because you can’t predict who will be on call when you go into labor. If you’re rotating among all doctors within the practice, I’d be less concerned that the inexperienced doctor was “your” doctor, because that typically has no bearing on who will deliver your baby.
Well, presumably this doctor is in a group with more experienced practitioners so they can seek guidance if something comes up. And you do traditionally rotate between doctors in an OB practice for the reason that FVNC mentioned.
Purely as an anecdote, I saw a new doctor for my gyn care and actually preferred her to previous doctors I had seen. She didn’t have as full of a patient load so she was able to take more time to answer questions and her bedside manner was very good and very gentle.
Good point — I was thinking a new doctor might be extra careful and accommodating of all the questions that come along with a first pregnancy. However, and I forgot to mention this above, I’d make sure she was at least in the process of becoming board certified. Lack of board certification would make me a bit nervous.
I personally like young doctors. I feel like they spend more time with you and double check that every “t” is crossed and “i” dotted. Plus, as pp said, they are working with more experienced doctors in the practice who they can go to if something out of the ordinary occurred. Meet him or her, but ultimately you need to feel comfortable with the decision.