Weekly News Update for May 23, 2014

bad mothersSome of the articles of interest to working mothers that we’ve seen around the web recently…

  • The New Yorker criticizes the New York Post’s recent (and rather judgmental) profile of NYC’s First Lady Chirlane McCray and her past decisions as a mother.
  • How do you know when you’re trying to do too much in your life? How much you’re able to take on is partly due to the way you’re wired, says the Wall Street Journal.
  • The New York Times’ Motherlode blog talks about playing the Mom Card. (Do you ever play the Mom Card?)
  • Daily Worth looks at why women are still doing more housework than men (and taking fewer breaks at work, too). If this article inspires you to “outsource,” check out these tips on Corporette for hiring a housecleaner.
  • Working Mother magazine offers busy working moms some tips on boosting your energy throughout the day
  • Work That Bump looks at some essential items to keep in your diaper bag.
  • Just in time for the unofficial start of summer, PopSugar Moms rounds up some sunscreens that are safe for kids.

Make sure to check out this week’s news update over at Corporette!

On Corporette Recently…

Open Thread May 16, 2014

Something on your mind? Chat about it here. But first, our reccs for professional maternity wear and beyond…

Pictured above:

Liz Lange® for Target® Maternity Sleeveless Ponte Dress – Black ($29.99 @ Target) / Maternity Coral floral tunic ($39 @ Dorothy Perkins (but take 25% off sitewide through 5/18 with code DPFW25)) /  Gentle Souls Osaka Park, $119 at 6pm (also available in mustard; was $195) / Burnout stripe T-shirt infinity scarf (on sale for $14.99 @ Gap) /
Majestic Paris for Neiman Marcus, Linen and Silk Blend Blazer ($285 @ Neiman Marcus)

Happy Friday! I’ve had great luck with Gentle Souls being low heels if you’re pregnant or building up your “heel” muscles again (the pictured pumps have a 2.5″ heel with a hidden platform of .5″, making it a 2″ heel), and this burnout stripe scarf from Gap looks great for pregnancy, nursing, and beyond.  The linen and silk sweater blazer is pricey, but looks like an amazing investment piece for just about every stage (including beyond nursing) — I’d wear it over sheath dresses, with jeans and trousers, and more.  Get more of our best maternity style tips in our eBook, A Guide to Dressing Professionally While Pregnant — which you get free by signing up for our newsletter.

What’s on your mind this week, ladies? Anyone have fun plans for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend?

Weekly News Update for May 16, 2014

Cache CoeurSome of the articles of interest to working mothers that we’ve seen around the web recently…

  • Pregnant Fashionista recommends a source of reasonably-priced maternity swimwear, Cache Coeur.
  • Wondering what to wear when not at work? Ain’t No Mom Jeans pulls together a seasonless capsule starter wardrobe for moms.
  • The Washington Post’s On Leadership blog discusses a study that looked at flexible work arrangements and their benefits. (You can probably guess what the researchers found.)
  • This needs to be a longer discussion here, so stay tuned — but check out this BigLaw partner’s message of “it gets better” to parents of young kids everywhere (at Above the Law).
  • After looking at factors such as quality of childcare, work/life balance, and the gender pay gap, WalletHub recently published a list of the best/worst states for working moms. The Balancing Act column in the Chicago Tribune criticizes the study for focusing only on moms and not dads. How did your state do? And what’s your take on Heidi Stevens’ column?
  • Scary Mommy explains some key mom tricks to have up your sleeve (some language NSFW).
  • Forbes rounds up some money lessons to teach your daughters.
  • Working Moms Against Guilt wonders if it’s ever ok to comment on the parenting choices of others.

Make sure to check out this week’s news update over at CorporetteAlso, come enter the giveaway to win a $200 shopping spree with Shop it To Me!

On Corporette Recently…

The Best Prenatal Exercise and Workout DVDs

The Best Prenatal Workout DVDs | CorporetteMoms

2018 Update: We still stand by these DVDs for prenatal exercise — but you may also want to check out our most recent discussion on the best free YouTube workouts for working moms

While pregnancy is not a time to obsess over your figure, prenatal exercise is great for both you and your baby.  In my humble opinion, you don’t need to get too fancy with your pregnancy workouts — walking for 30-60 minutes a day is a great way to get exercise (wearing proper shoes and sun protection like a hat and maternity-friendly sunscreen, of course!); near the end you may want to swim.  (You may be that rockstar who can run up to week 38 — if so, good for you!)  For me personally, running was out of the question early on because breathlessness was one of my first pregnancy symptoms, and many of my favorite aerobics videos didn’t seem best for every stage of pregnancy. (You can do them up to a point, but the American Pregnancy Association guidelines caution you to be wary of step aerobics or other exercises that challenge your balance, and in general avoid lying on your back for long periods of time.)  In my first pregnancy my solution was to get a ton of pregnancy DVDs, so I thought I’d give my $.02 on them.

  • The Perfect Pregnancy Workout Vol. 1. By far, this was my favorite video. Not only is Karyne a huge inspiration (the former Cirque du Soleil athlete is 30 weeks pregnant and looks amazingly fit and healthy) but the workout is a solid toning workout. I highly recommend.  (I did not try Volume 2 — yoga — but I did get Volume 3, on “the ancient art of belly dancing for labor”.  I don’t know how much it helped my labor pains, but it was a fun distraction. )
  • 10 Minute Solution: Prenatal Pilates I was also a big fan of this one. While it has Pilates in the name, each 10-minute segment emphasizes a different muscle group. The programmable DVD allows you to create different custom workouts, which is also nice. Finally, the instructor (Lizbeth Garcia), while not my favorite, doesn’t offend.
  • Pregnancy 3-Pack with Bonus Core Recovery, by Lindsay Brin This was the only new one that I got for my second pregnancy (I think I found it through a sale at Baby Steals) and, while I still preferred the top two DVDs when I wanted to do a DVD, I liked that these Brin DVDs were very customizable (you could program it to do cardio, toning, stretching, or all three) and were targeted for each trimester.  Brin herself seemed like a knowledgeable and easy to follow instructor.
  • Suzanne Bowen’s Long and Lean Prenatal Workout. I only did this yoga video a few times because I attended a yoga class, but it seemed like a solid workout — much more toning and less stretching/posing than I normally think of as yoga. I did find that this video was a bit too intense for my final month of pregnancy, though.
  • Denise Austin: Fit & Firm Pregnancy. This one is kind of lame, to be honest. (But: I’m not a huge Austin fan to begin with.) The cardio is so, so simple, but it might work for you in those last, really uncomfortable weeks of pregnancy. I will also admit that this is the first workout video I tried to do postpartum — I thought it would be the gentlest. The DVD also comes with two 20-minute toning sessions (one for your second and your third trimester) — they’re not bad, but they’re nothing to write home about.

Readers, what is your plan of attack for exercise during this pregnancy? If this is your second child, what was your exercise experience like during your first pregnancy? 

Choosing an OB/GYN

interview QsChoosing an obstetrician can be an important part of your pregnancy journey — any number of reasons can affect your decision to find a new one.  (For example: your current gynecologist could be inconveniently located for a lot of appointments, you don’t like the hospital at which your regular OB/GYN has privileges, or you begin to suspect that you and your OB are on different pages regarding important labor/birth issues.)  One of my girlfriends switched OBs halfway through her pregnancy, and had a long list of “interview” questions for the OBs she considered — I think it’s an amazing roundup of questions to discuss with your current or prospective OB.

OB Questions

  1. How many births do you typically attend in a month?
  2. Do you have a limit on how many patients you’’ll accept that are due in the same month?
  3. What is your general philosophy on pregnancy care and birth?
  4. What do you see as your role as a physician in our baby’’s birth?
  5. When do you like patients to go to the hospital after going into labor?
  6. Will you be there when I check in?  If not, when do you come/who will be there?
  7. Do you stay at the hospital throughout a patient’’s labor?
  8. Do you suggest any drug free measures to help deal with labor pain?
  9. How many of your patients go without medical pain relief?
  10. Do you allow intermittent fetal monitoring?
  11. Do you or the hospital require any other interventions routinely?
  12. Can I walk around during labor?  Eat?  Drink?
  13. Can I labor in any position I find comfortable and effective?
  14. Can I push the baby out in any position I find comfortable and effective?
  15. What is your c-section rate?  What percentage of your patients have episiotomies?
  16. Under what circumstances would you perform an episiotomy?
  17. What percentage of your patients have a forceps or vacuum assisted delivery?
  18. How do you feel about inducing labor?  Slow to progress?  1 cm an hour?
  19. Group B strep — how do you handle?

Hospital Questions

20. Will I be separated from our baby after birth?  When?  How long?
21. Can the baby stay in the same room as me?
22. Can my husband stay overnight with me?
23. Breastfeeding support?
24. What is the postpartum ward like? How many times will I see you?
25. What will my experience be like if I have a natural delivery? What if I have a C-section?

Office Questions

26. How often would I see you vs. Dr. ____?
27. What happens if you aren’t available to attend the birth?  How often does this happen?  Who covers for you, and can you tell me about him or her?
28. How long is the average wait in your office?
29. What is the average length of a prenatal appointment?  What do you cover?
30. Can I contact you with questions between appointments? What if I have questions after hours or on the weekend?

(For my $.02: You can only plan so much here!  I loved my first OB/GYN and really felt like we were on the same page and, after so many appointments, that she was a close friend — and we discussed many of these issues before I went into labor.  So I was a bit dismayed when I didn’t see her at all for the three days I was in the hospital — or anyone in her practice, not even after I called her office to complain that we were falling through the cracks because I didn’t “belong” to any of the doctors on shift.  The reasons for this were never explained to me, and I haven’t spoken to her since she told me to head into the hospital — unless you count the four page letter I wrote to the hospital and her office to complain about my birth experience.  But: we’ll get there later when I share what I learned from my first birth experience. The one-line version: I got a healthy baby out of it, and even though my experience was a bit unusual, it could have been a lot worse.)

Readers, what questions have you asked your OB/GYN?  For those of you who’ve been through this before, which are the most important questions?  What did you, or will you, base your decision on?

Pictured: style-photography.de/Shutterstock.

Open Thread May 9, 2014

Pictured above: Japanese Weekend Color Block Dress, was $100, now $40 at Gilt / Theory, Maternity Max Pants, available exclusively at ShopBop for $255 /  Kenneth Jay Lane Gold-plated necklace, $90 at Net-a-Porter / Storksak  ‘Olivia’ Nylon Baby Bag, $198 at Nordstrom / Taryn Rose Bryan flats, $199 at Zappos

Above, some of recommendations for maternity style and beyond!  As explained in our free eBook, A Guide to Dressing Professionally While Pregnant, statement necklaces are a great way to distract from an ample bosom (and extend a basic wardrobe), and comfortable, supportive shoes are a must, like these cute ballet flats with arch support (available in five colors!).  Also, as noted in the eBook: you may want to hold off on buying a fancy diaper bag until the kiddo arrives — but this Storksak baby bag has a ton of positive reviews.   Get the eBook for free by signing up for our newsletter!

Please feel free to use this post as an Open Thread — if anything’s on your mind (mom-related or otherwise), chat about it here!