Designer Spotlight: Maternal America

I am so in love with some new Maternal America inventory that just came in that I can’t help but start off the “Designer Spotlight” series talking about them …

It’s hard to find any history re Maternal America (I’m always curious to know when the company started, how it’s run, etc.) but their products are Made in the USA and that’s one of the first things I love. Second? The trendy styles and comfortable fabrics. Maternal America is one of those brands that’s made for pregnant fashionistas and I can’t get enough of it (for both myself and my clients). With classic styles, bold prints and bright colors, you can’t help but feel beautiful and glamorous while in their clothes. Absent designer information, I can almost guarantee you that their items are designed by women who have been pregnant before because everything they make looks flattering and the fabrics are cut in ways that create maximum room for growth.

So what’s the new inventory that just came in? Check out these sequin pieces!

pink

orange

I was so excited when they came in, I couldn’t help but try them on … check out how awesome the pink top is!

MApinktop

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Another DHA Option while Pregnant

Most pre-natal vitamins out there have a DHA component to them. Some doctors might even prescribe a pre-natal vitamin with DHA. During my first pregnancy – I tried them all. Then I’d be burping a lingering hint of fish all day (and I don’t particularly like fish). If fish burps aren’t your thing, I wanted to point out another DHA Option that I didn’t find out about until recently – Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA + EPA Purity:

dha

As with all things that you ingest (especially while pregnant), check with your doctor before adding this item to your daily supplement routine. I am not a doctor, I am not paid to endorse this product and I don’t know anything else about Dr. Fuhrman other than I personally like this citrus DHA option. I put my dose in with some juice in the morning and voila – I’ve gotten my daily DHA – and it was painless.

Resources for a Natural or Unmedicated Birth in Pittsburgh

For pregnant Mamas – especially those who are giving this a go for the first time – all the questions surrounding birth can be very overwhelming. (What kind of birth do you want? Have you fully prepared? Where are you going to deliver? Have you taken a tour? Have you written a birth plan? etc). There is no 1 way, or right way, to have a baby and as many of you will come to realize, both in planning and outcome – having a baby is kind of like an art – not a science. Yes, it’s biology – but with all the options out there, you might find yourself picking and choosing as if you’re in a cafeteria.

For the pregnant Mama that has resolved to have an unmedicated birth or if you’re trying to avoid as much medical intervention as possible, here is a list of resources in the Pittsburgh area to help you achieve your birth goals:

1. The Midwife Center for Birth & Women’s Health – if you’ve ever thought about having a home birth, then this location might just be for you. The Midwife Center is southwestern Pennsylvania’s only licensed and accredited freestanding birth center offering well-woman gynecological care, prenatal care and childbirth in a warm and supportive birth center. Their staff is guided by the philosophy that a woman should be in control of her own health care, including her birth experience and they have a “Birth Center Birth Option” that you will not find anywhere else.

2. Midwives at Magee – The centuries-old word “midwife” describes a woman who is “with women” at birth. Today, the term means a philosophy that focuses on the specific needs of women, offering a variety of care options to minimize unnecessary interventions. I have talked to many women and doctors, as I’ve navigated the birthing options myself here in Pittsburgh, and everyone I talk to has said nothing but good things about the Midwives at Magee.

Now, if you’re a healthy expectant mother, having a normal pregnancy, and you have no medical or obstetrical risk factors, then I think the first two resources will put you off to a great start. And of course, they can give you more resources from there. But in case you’ve by-passed the midwife option because you really love your obstetrician and you’re thinking “I can do this without drugs” I would recommend that you increase your chances of obtaining that goal by adding in an extra layer of preparation in the form of a birthing class – perhaps The Bradley Method® kind.

The Bradley Method® teaches natural childbirth and views birth as a natural process … mothers are encouraged to trust their body and focus on diet and exercise throughout pregnancy; and it teaches couples to manage labor through deep breathing and the support of a partner or labor coach. Dr. Bradley believed that women, like the non-human animals he had observed growing up (Dr. Bradley grew up on a farm), could give birth without drugs or distress. Based on observations of perspiring mammals during labor and birth, he developed a childbirth method to teach women to do the things that animal mothers do instinctively.

Wikipedia has a great summary of Dr. Bradley (and some of the concepts behind this method) which you can find by clicking here.

3. If you think the Bradley Method may be for you, I have personal experience with the following instructors (who serve Allegheny County) and highly recommend them: Samantha & Brett Booth.

4. The Bradley Method® will give you all the tools and preparation that you need leading up to game day (it’s kind of like hiring a personal trainer for your birth), but after that you’re on your own. If the thought of that scares you or leaves you still feeling a little unprepared, then you might also consider hiring a doula.

Now you’re probably wondering what the heck is a doula? The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. I have highlighted and italicized the word “continuous” because that is what will separate a doula from a midwife (not necessarily always – you may find a midwife who acts as a doula; but for the most part, a doula is someone who will be by your side, potentially rubbing your back and more, while in labor).

5. If you’re looking for a doula in Pittsburgh, the greatest collection of them can be found here: Blessed Arrivals.

6. For those of you who enjoy reading, the book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” is  a great find. The book starts off with the experiences of women who have had natural, at home, childbirths and then continues on to talk about medicine, maternal care in the United States and more. Everything discussed or inasuggested in the book might not be for you, but the information is interesting, easy to read, and perhaps you’ll find a thing or two to help you on your baby’s birthday (for example, did you know that stimulating your nipples during labor can help progress a ‘stalled labor?’) The Amazon reviews for this book speak for themselves; at the time of this writing, 579 people, out of 675, give the book 5 stars.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that giving birth can be overwhelming. So this list of resources is going to stop here because I’m trying to be comprehensive and not overwhelming (there’s a fine line). If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to click on the little envelope to the right and send me an email (or find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MaternityGirl and send me a message). As I tell all my clients: I’m sending you warm wishes for a fast and healthy delivery!

Keeping Track of Milestones

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 will be wonderful for you all. As the new year gets started and new resolutions begin, here are a few ways to keep track of those incoming 2014 memories:

1. The dry erase board method:

board

2. The same accessory, new month method:

hamper

3. The letter (or you can use wood blocks) method:

letter

4. The memory in a jar method (works particularly well if you have several children; basically you keep a jar and a notepad next to the jar in a place in your house that is convenient and accessible. When someone does something you want to remember, you scribble it down – don’t forget the date! – and toss in the jar. You can either sort through later or at the end of the year, etc.):

jar

5. Pregnancy and Baby Stickers! This is a Maternity Girl favorite since they are always in stock (cute, easy, consistent, and make for adorable pictures!):

chalk hand holiday preg

If you’re looking to purchase these stickers, please send me a message. They are available for $18 (includes shipping) over the phone. If you live in the Pittsburgh area, they are always available during appointments and they are only $15! I have more styles available too.

Happy New Year! For those of you with incoming babies, I know you will have a lot of fun in store.