Maternity Monday: A-Line Convertible Maternity Swing Coat

Modern Eternity A-Line Convertible Maternity Swing Coat | CorporetteMomsFor my money, this is the only kind of maternity coat to get if you’re going to splurge (particularly if you’re having a baby in December/January/February): a convertible coat. When you’re pregnant, the coat has a triangle-shaped insert that helps cover your belly — but once you give birth and start wearing the baby, you can turn the insert upside down, and use it to cover the baby. Lovely. The coat is $210 at Nordstrom. Modern Eternity A-Line Convertible Maternity Swing Coat

Building a maternity wardrobe for work? Check out our page with more suggestions along both classic and trendy/seasonal lines.

(L-2)

News Roundup

news roundup - The Mindy Project maternity wearSome of the articles of interest to working mothers that we’ve seen around the web recently…

  • Bustle admires the maternity wear Mindy Kaling wears — and will be wearing — on The Mindy Project.
  • Working Mother looks at millennial women’s views about career and family in the results of a survey of Harvard Business School alumni.
  • Breadwinning Mama talks about the advantages of having a spouse who stays at home.
  • Fortune shares a “look at the surprising, off-the-radar ways working moms help each other balance families and high-powered careers.”
  • Working Mother shares the 2015 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers 50 Best Law Firms for Women.
  • A Cup of Jo has some detailed tips on camping with kids.
  • For your Laugh of the Week, The Onion has travel advice for families. (OK, one more: McSweeney’s offers “Toddler Discipline Made Easy.”)

Do be sure to check out the news update over at Corporette!

On Corporette Recently…

Did we miss anything? Add ’em here, or send them to [email protected] Thank you!

Finally Friday: ‘Amalia’ Half d’Orsay Skimmer Flat

Cole Haan 'Amalia' Half d'Orsay Skimmer Flat | CorporetteMomsIt’s the final weekend of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, ladies — what were your hits and misses? This ballet flat skimmer looks lovely, and seems to be a hit as it’s selling out in sizes and colors. There’s still a bunch of sizes left in both black and red, though, and for $129 it looks great. (This oxford/sneaker from Cole Haan is getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere — particularly in the gray — as a new, hot way to wear oxfords. To me it still looks like a more geriatric shoe — I actually bought it in black for my mom! This is the sneaker version of the super-lightweight oxfords I posted about on Corporette a while ago — if you can make these work with your personal style, do it, because it’s a great deal and a super, super lightweight shoe.) The ballet flat pictured will go back up to $198 when the sale ends August 3. Cole Haan ‘Amalia’ Half d’Orsay Skimmer Flat

(L-4)

Dealing with SPD Pain During Pregnancy

How to Manage SPD Pain in Pregnancy | CorporetteMomsWhen I was pregnant with my first child, I began experiencing pelvic pain at 28 weeks that seemed to defy Googling, so I thought I’d write up a bit about the pelvic pain (sometimes called PGP pain or SPD pain or even PPGP pain) I experienced, in case it’s of help to other women pregnant women. With my first son it got really bad because I didn’t do anything to treat it — I remember the SPD pain more than the labor pains with my first son.  With my second son, the pain was FAR more manageable because I was very proactive about managing the pain early on.

Note that I am not a doctor or an expert — this is just one mother’s experience.

Mystery Pelvic Pain With My First Pregnancy:

When I was pregnant with my eldest son, around week 28, I started to experience something that felt like I’d been kicked in the groin… hard.  I started Googling things like “kicked in the groin pregnant” and “groin pain pregnant” and so forth, finding nothing on point.  My doctor (who turned out to stink in general) was none too helpful. The best way I could describe the pain was that it was pretty “deep” in me — definitely not a pulled thigh muscle or whatnot.  I finally found the term “SPD pain,” for symphysis pubis dysfunction — also sometimes called “pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain or PPGP,” and that rang the bell — here’s an excerpt from WebMD:

There are several bones and joints that make up your pelvic girdle – the bony arched structure in your hip area that supports your legs – including the symphysis pubis joint, hip joint, coccyx, sacrum and sacroiliac joint. Pain can occur when there is a mechanical problem within these joints – often one joint becomes stiff, causing irritation in the other joints. Discomfort in the pelvic girdle usually occurs in the front or back of the pelvis. This is known as pelvic girdle pain or PGP. It was formerly referred to as symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD. Because PGP often occurs during pregnancy, it is also referred to as pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain or PPGP.

My doctor told me she had never heard of it, and didn’t offer any suggestions for treatment.

The pain, which started out as a dull, omnipresent ache, started to get worse.  By week 36, it had different tiers on the pain scale (of 1-10, 10 being the worst) depending on what I was doing:

  • 4 if I was doing nothing
  • 6 if I had walked or done anything active the day before
  • 8 for any physical exercise like swimming or walking
  • and it shot up to an 11 whenever I had to stand up, roll over in bed, or do other simple things like trying to dress myself.

My doctor, again, was no help — I was already at week 36, she explained.  The baby could come at any minute, and it would take us at least a week or two to get an appointment with a physical therapist.  So we did nothing.  I tried to “be gentle with myself” and stopped walking for exercise, getting to a swimming pool about once a week.

My son arrived at week 42, and fortunately, the SPD pain went away immediately.  My legs, however, felt like jelly — those few last weeks of inactivity had really been a bad idea.  I didn’t trust myself to go out walking with him (either wearing him or in a stroller) — what if I fell, or fainted?  It took me months before I felt like myself again.

SPD Pain with My Second Pregnancy

I had heard that the pain would start earlier with baby number two, and so, around week 20 when I started to feel that dull ache, I started to freak out.  It felt like a pain cliff was lurking in my not-too-distant future.  I had switched doctors, and my new one didn’t know too much about SPD pain either, but a) at least I knew what the ailment was called this time, and b) I knew I wanted to be really proactive with it.  After a lot of Googling, as well as seeing an MD who specialized in pregnancy rehab issues (usually postpartum, but she agreed to see me while pregnant), and seeing physical therapists every two weeks, this is what I wound up doing:

  • Wear belts — I wore two:
    • I wore one belt to help distribute the weight of the baby more evenly, such as the Gabrialla belt
    • I wore a second belt to stabilize my hips — the MD suggested the Serola belt, which stabilizes your hips. I wore BOTH belts on long walks from week 30 on, and both on a daily basis as the pregnancy got farther along. (I tried wearing it at night but it didn’t make that big of a difference for me.) I think the Gabrialla belt may have caused some back pain issues with me (the PTs said something about my sacrum?) but in the end it was worth it
  • See a physical therapist.  I knew I would be going often, so decided to go with a PT who was very local to me — but I learned that PTs who specialize in pregnancy do exist.  The PTs suggested some basic posture/alignment improvements, as well as exercises for me to do as “homework.” They also helped me to review some of the exercises and suggestions I found online and in the book Relieving Pelvic Pain During and After Pregnancy: How Women Can Heal Chronic Pelvic Instability (below), which I appreciated.
  • Get this book and discuss it with your doctor or physical therapist.  The author has a lot of helpful illustrations on how to move better (such as how to pick up a child, or how to stand up from a sitting position) — she also suggests exercises.  I wouldn’t recommend doing the exercises without talking to your physical therapist about them and how they might work with your particular situation.  My PTs went through the book and put stickers next to the ones they thought were good.
  • Personal body improvements/adjustments:
    • Keep your knees together when doing things like rolling over at night, getting out of cars, etc…
    • STOP CROSSING YOUR LEGS. I’m really bad about sitting without my legs crossed (or folded beneath me) — if you are as well, just quit it now.
    • Get a pillow to sleep with between your legs at night to keep your hips level. I got the Boppy pillow but if space had allowed I’d have gotten one of those full body pillows (such as this one).
    • If you do swim avoid the breast stroke — the frog kick isn’t best for SPD.
    • Wear shoes everywhere. I’m not proud of it, but Crocs became my house slippers during the pregnancy. (Rec’d by my podiatrist, not, obvs, chosen for style.)
    • If you can, stop carrying a shoulder bag or diaper bag — switch to a backpack instead to better position the weight. Lighten the load as much as possible. I really got into my Mosey backpack during my pregnancy.
  • Ergonomic improvements around the house:
    • Put a banker’s box (filled with books or papers — or something fancier, but that height) under your feet at your desk. Something about the height helped and it also helped me keep my legs uncrossed.
    • If you have a choice of seating choose the one that puts you at a 90 degree angle or less, not more than that.  I stopped sitting on my couch and switched instead to a chair that felt better.

With all of these changes, my pain never got above a 4 during my second pregnancy. It probably also helped that I gained much less weight with this pregnancy than with my first (20 pounds versus 35 pounds). (There was the exception of one awful weekend where we traveled to my parents’ house — I blame the fact that I didn’t have any of the ergonomic improvements, wasn’t wearing shoes in their house, was getting into and out of their SUV, and didn’t have the best choice of seating in general.)  Something got out of alignment and was tortuously painful the entire weekend.  I tried sleeping in my belts , but it felt like it was preserving the misalignment.  Fortunately, things popped back into place when I got back home.  The specialist I saw also said that a good PT would be able to work with me if it popped out of alignment again — something about pushing and pulling my legs to help the pubic bone pop back into place.)

Whatever your pain level, try to walk for exercise as long as possible — at the end, my PTs suggested I break them up into smaller but more frequent walks (10-20 minute) if that was all I could do.

I’m glad this is a rare condition, because pregnancy is hard enough without all the extra SPD pain — but on the off chance my story could help some people I thought I’d write out my experience and my tips.

SPD Pain: You probably haven't heard of this if you haven't been pregnant! When I was about 25 weeks with my first, I suddenly felt like I'd been kicked in the groin. Googling failed me, so I wrote a whole post about it if you're pregnant and feeling like you were kicked in the crotch (but weren't). These are the best tips I learned about managing SPD pain -- and how I handled my second pregnancy knowing I'd been in so much SPD pain with my first! The symptom is also known as symphsis pubis dysfunction, pelvic girdle pain, PGP, and PPGP.

Everyone Thursday: Jersey Blazer

Old Navy Jersey Blazer | CorporetteMomsI always like these simple jersey blazers from Old Navy, and the new season’s blazers are out — navy, black, and a lovely heather gray with a nice red lining. Love. They’re machine washable, available in regular (XS-XXL), tall, and petite sizes — as well as plus sizes — and only $40 full price. Today you can get 40% off if you use promo code YESPLEASE. Old Navy Jersey Blazer

(L-3)

The Best Blogs, Newsletters, and More for Working Moms

best blogs for working momsWe’ve already rounded up some of the best pregnancy books and the best blogs for moms-to-be — but that is a far cry from all of the blogs and more that you can read as a working mom. Which ones do you read regularly? Which ones do you go to for “destination searching” — you’re looking for the answer to something specific and want to do it in the archives of that site? Which ones do you click on first if they appear in Internet search results? Note that a few of these are worthy repeats from our pregnancy resource list. These are a few of my favorites — I’d love to hear yours.

[Read more…]