Category: Maternity Style
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Five Things Every Mom-To-Be Needs In Her Closet

If you are newly pregnant, you might feel a little overwhelmed by everything you need just for yourself. Well, we've got five essential garments for a stylish 40 weeks.

If you are newly pregnant, you can feel a little overwhelmed by everything you need for baby and for yourself.

1. Jeans: Look for an adjustable waistband, stretch material and a flattering cut, such as a bootleg. This would be a good item to splurge on because you will probably wear these for a bit after the baby is born.

2. Cargo Pants: Pull on these lightweight, fashionable pants for everything from shopping to lounging. These pants look great with a fitted tee or an empire-waist top.

3. Skirt: Look for a skirt in a basic color (black or brown) with a lightweight material and a stretchy waistband.

4. Dress: A wrap jersey dress will look great on your pregnant body, and is a perfect look for a date night with your honey.

5. Tops: Pick up a figure-hugging top with a cute neckline to accentuate your bump. A flirty and feminine empire-waist shirt is also a great look, and you can never go wrong with a fitted tee.

An article from SHEKNOWS.COM.

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Great Pregnancy Outfits Make Your Regular Outfits Work For Your Bump

Your baby certainly has plenty of gear. Now it’s your turn. Shower yourself with Mom-approved stuff that will make those first few postpartum weeks fly by.

You don’t have to get a whole new wardrobe during your pregnancy—just expand the one you have. Literally!

Keep it snug. "Don't be afraid to show off your baby bump in tops that are getting tight on you," says Susan Lazar, a maternity designer whose Egg Maternity and Egg Baby lines are sold in stores around the country. "Fitted clothes that highlight the silhouette are better than loose clothes—you look more sleek."

Love your leggings. "You can get away with a lot in a good pair of black leggings and a large sweater on top," says Lisa Steckler, a mom of three in Needham, Massachusetts. "They’re the most chic, and comfy, pregnancy pants." Pull on cute boots and you’re good to go.

Belt it out. "It looks chic to take a large t-shirt, cinch it above your bump with a belt, and wear an open cardigan over it," says Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt, a New York City stylist who works on photo shoots for magazines like Elle and In Style. "You can basically belt anything that opens in the front, like a button-down shirt worn over a tank, for a more refined look."

Go for a belly band. This inexpensive, wide piece of elastic extends the life of your regular jeans and pants. As your stomach grows, you leave the button of your bottoms open and just slide the band over them to keep them in place. Way better than safety pins.

Think jackets. "For the office, I wear my large-size or maternity shirts layered under my usual jackets and cardigans," says Alice Chan, an expectant mom in Washington, D.C. "Of course, I can’t button them, but I look more professional than if I just wore the shirts by themselves."

Go sporty. Your bump isn’t the only thing that gets bigger during pregnancy. Give your growing (and growing) breasts extra support by wearing a sports bras instead of regular bras. Only you will know!

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

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9 Months of Maternity Style
I am 6 months into my second pregnancy and I am pretty sure I’ve hit the pregnancy style rut. It’s hard to dress your constantly growing belly. Things that fit one day, seem to be to tight the next. What’s a gal supposed to do? Here are my tips to help along the way (and to steer clear of the maternity section)…
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10 Ways To Feel Beautiful During Pregnancy
For the most part, I absolutely love being pregnant. Once I get past the fatigue and sickness of the first trimester, I usually feel pretty good and do indeed feel like I have the “glow” that everyone is always talking about. But once the third trimester creeps in, I start to lose a bit of that glowing feeling and need a little extra help to feel beautiful. Whether you just need some help getting through the last few weeks, or need little pick-me-ups throughout your pregnancy, here are 10 surefire ways I’ve found to help me feel beautiful through all three of my pregnancies.
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How to Lose the Post-Baby Bump
 
  When the Duchess of Cambridge revealed her newborn son to the world, she also unashamedly showed off her prominent post-baby bump. Moms around the world praised her for not hiding what women's bodies look like after giving birth.

"Kate shows what a real mum looks like  and natural is beautiful," Siobhan Freegard of the Netmums website told the Daily Mail.

Unlike many celebrities would lead us to believe, a woman rarely emerges from childbirth free of her extra pregnancy pounds. Even women who gained a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy will have some to lose after going home from the hospital, experts say.

Immediately after childbirth, the uterus is still the size it was when a 20-week fetus was inside, says Dr. Gregory Fountain, OB/GYN at Emory Johns Creek Obstetrics and Gynecology near Atlanta. It takes about six weeks for it to shrink down to its normal size, he says.

Women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy, and a lot of it does come out during birth, Fountain says. Depending on the size of the baby, the amount of fluid and the weight of the placenta, the amount lost in childbirth generally equals 10 to 12 pounds.

But it's common these days for women to gain more weight than they should during pregnancy.

Women who gain too much weight will, as you might imagine, need more time to lose the weight after the baby comes into the world, Fountain says. Everyone's metabolism is different, too, so that will play a role.

Doctors usually recommend women refrain from vigorous exercise until about least six weeks after delivery for noncomplicated vaginal and cesarean births, according to Fountain. Some women take longer, depending on the complexity of the delivery.

After giving birth to her first child, a woman will typically have a laceration, muscle injury or soft tissue swelling associated with the delivery that will take time to heal, Fountain says. He recommends walking as the main form of exercise during this time.

Talk to your doctor about what time frame is best for you, however. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who exercised during pregnancy and had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery may begin again as soon as they feel ready, even within days of delivery.

Stop the exercise that you're doing if you start to feel any pain, experts say.

A realistic goal for post-pregnancy weight loss is somewhere between three and six months, Fountain says, but that all depends on how motivated the woman is and how much time she has to devote to fitness.

There are activities built into motherhood that can help, however.

Breast-feeding burns about 500 calories a day, so it helps women lose weight faster than those who use formula, Fountain says. Some research has indicated physical activity can make breast milk taste sour because of an accumulation of lactic acid, according to the Mayo Clinic. This problem may be avoided by feeding the baby or pumping milk before a vigorous workout.

The baby can also help you stay fit, says Simone De La Rue, a fitness expert and trainer who has worked with celebrities and models.

"We always have a joke  rather than lifting a 3-pound weight, you lift the baby," she says. Rocking or lifting the baby can be great for the biceps and upper body. Dancing with the baby can both soothe the baby and get you moving, too, De La Rue says.

You can also push the baby around in a stroller when you want to go for a walk, notes Desiree Nathanson, a fitness and nutrition expert in Atlanta.

Motivation is hard for new mothers; they're exhausted and often feel like they're the only ones going through this, De La Rue says. Joining forces with other moms can be a big help.

It's important to be patient and ignore tabloid reports of celebrities who instantly bounce back into shape after having a child, Nathanson says.

"It's going to take some time," she says. "It's just going to depend on your body, so you just have be patient and realize that you've just given birth to a human being and that's what you need to focus on."

New mothers also have a hard time fitting exercise into their routines of responsibilities of child care; don't feel pressure to find a large block of time, De La Rue says.

"It's hard to find an hour, so if you can find 10 minutes, do 10 minutes of arms or 10 minutes of cardio, and later on in the day when the baby is snoozing, you can try and take another 10 minutes for yourself," she recommends.

De La Rue tries to ease back into abdominal work with clients who have recently had babies since the area is still sensitive.

She starts them off with low-impact cardio to get the heart rate going, then moves into arms and legs. She often waits until four or five months after a client has had a baby to focus on abdominal work, just to make sure everything has healed.

The "plank" yoga position could be held while your baby is on the floor underneath you lying down, she says. You can try it on your elbows or hands, but if that's too difficult, try it on elbows and knees or hands and knees. Make sure your hips are slightly tilted back so that your abs are engaged and your shoulders are retracted.

Your lower back should also get some attention, Nathanson says. The ''Superman" or "swimmers" position, in which you lie on your stomach and lift your arms and legs a couple inches off the ground, will strengthen your back muscles.

Focusing on how awful you may think you look post-baby is counterproductive, Nathanson says.

"Try to stay positive, and move, and focus on the baby."

Source: CNN

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Infant Development: Milestones from 7 to 9 Months
As your baby becomes more mobile and inquisitive, infant development takes off. It might seem that your baby learns something new every day. Understand your baby's next infant development milestones and what you can do to promote his or her growth.

What to expect

Your baby will continue to grow and develop at his or her own pace. From ages 7 to 9 months, your baby is likely to experience:
  • Advancing motor skills.By this age, most babies can roll over in both directions — even in their sleep. Some babies can sit on their own, while others need a little support. You might notice your baby beginning to scoot, rock back and forth, or even crawl across the room. Some babies this age can pull themselves to a standing position. Soon your baby might cruise along the edge of the couch or coffee table.

  • Improved hand-eye coordination. Most babies this age transfer objects from one hand to another or directly to their mouths. Pulling objects closer with a raking motion of the hands will give way to more refined movements, such as picking up objects with just the thumb and forefinger. This improving dexterity will help your baby handle a spoon and soft finger foods.

  • Evolving communication. Your baby will communicate with you through sounds, gestures and facial expressions. You'll probably hear plenty of laughing and squealing. Your baby might even respond to his or her own name. Babies this age can distinguish emotions by tone of voice. They might repeat the sounds they hear — or give it their best shot. Your baby's babbling is likely to include chains of sounds, such as "ba-ba-ba." You might even pick out an occasional "mama" or "dada."

  • Stranger anxiety. Many babies this age become wary of strangers. Your baby might resist staying with anyone other than you, shunning even grandparents or familiar baby sitters. If your baby fusses when you leave — or melts down entirely — resist the temptation to sneak away. Say goodbye with a hug and kiss and a reminder that you'll be back soon. Chances are, your baby will stop crying as soon as you're out of sight and something else grabs his or her attention. You might even plan ahead of time how the caregiver will distract your baby.

  • Teething. If your baby still has a toothless grin, you can expect the first tooth — likely one of the middle teeth in the lower jaw (a lower central incisor) — to break through anytime. You might notice your baby drooling more than usual and chewing on just about anything. Offer a cool, wet washcloth or teething ring. If you haven't done so already, get in the habit of cleaning your baby's teeth and gums at least once a day. Use plain water and a soft cloth or baby toothbrush.

Promoting your baby's development

For babies of any age, learning and play are inseparable. To support your budding adventurer:
  • Create an exploration-safe environment. Keep only safe objects within your baby's reach. Move anything that could be poisonous, pose a choking hazard or break into small pieces. Cover electrical outlets, use stairway gates, place cords from blinds or shades out of reach, and install child locks on doors and cabinets. If you have furniture with sharp edges, remove it from rooms where your baby plays. The same goes for lightweight objects your baby can use to pull himself or herself to a standing position, such as plant stands, decorative tables, potted trees and floor lamps.

  • Keep chatting. You've likely been talking to your baby all along. Keep it up! Narrate what you're doing, and give your baby time to respond. Say something to your baby and then wait for him or her to repeat the sounds. Ask your baby questions that involve more than a yes or no response. You might not be able to pick words from your baby's babble, but you can encourage a back-and-forth conversation.

  • Teach cause and effect. Push the button on a musical toy and dance to the tune. Open the door on a toy barn and listen to the cow say "moo." Help your baby do the same. Self-confidence will grow as your baby realizes he or she can make things happen.

  • Take time to play. By now, you and your baby might be old pros at classics such as peekaboo, patty-cake and itsy-bitsy spider. Get creative as you add to your repertoire. Crouch behind a chair or the dresser, leaving a hand or foot within your baby's view, and prompt your baby to look for you. Or make an obstacle course. Arrange cushions and pillows on a carpeted floor. Encourage your baby to creep or crawl over the mounds. Stack blocks and invite your baby to knock them down.

  • Pull out the books. Set aside time for reading every day — even if it's only a few minutes. Reading aloud is one of the simplest ways to boost your baby's language development. Make it more interesting with facial expressions, sound effects and voices for various characters. Store books within easy reach so that your baby can explore them whenever the mood strikes.

  • Turn on the tunes. Music can help soothe, entertain and teach your baby. Try calming lullabies, upbeat children's songs, classical music or your own favorites.

  • Encourage experimentation. Toy box aside, help your baby's imagination and creativity take shape. If you're up for a mess, smear applesauce, pudding or another pureed food on the highchair tray and let your baby "paint" with the mixture. Give your baby measuring cups for stacking or clapping together. At bath time, provide small containers and plastic utensils for pouring and mixing.

  • Offer a comfort object. Babies this age often form an attachment to a blanket, stuffed animal or other comfort object. Although holding, rocking and cuddling your baby remain important, a comfort object can help your baby feel secure when you're not in sight or when your baby is tired, frightened or upset.
When something's not right

Your baby might reach some developmental milestones ahead of schedule and lag behind a bit on others. This is normal, and usually no cause for concern. It's a good idea, however, to be aware of the signs or symptoms of a problem.

Consult your baby's doctor if you're concerned about your baby's development or your baby— Isn't interested in rolling over, sitting or other types of movement

 — Isn't interested in reaching for objects or putting objects in his or her mouth
 — Doesn't respond to sounds or visual cues
 — Resists making eye contact
 — Doesn't babble, coo or imitate common sounds

Trust your instincts. The earlier a problem is detected, the earlier it can be treated. Then you can set your sights on the milestones that lie ahead.

©1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved.Terms of Use.

Source: Mayo Clinic
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Choose Joy. Join the Happy Mama Movement.

From Everyday Family


When 2013 came to a close, and I did the whole how-to-be-better-next-year thing with myself, I discovered that I’m not the happiest camper at the campsite. For the record, I would never be caught dead at a campsite. Unless there were cabins. Or a camper. Or, oooh! a shiny RV with air and heat and comfy chairs and electricity and a shower with warm water and scented soaps.

Anyway. 

Don’t get me wrong. I. Am. Awesome. The blog name came from somewhere, after all. I just feel like, after facing a serious illness with my kid last year, I should probably be more rainbows and unicorns because he is able to wake up and give me the standard type of kid grief every day. 

So, I decided a new baby was in order!

Kidding. Sorta.

I have officially shut down human production up in here, but I did give birth to a movement.

The Happy Mama Movement — a movement designed to inspire me and moms everywhere to choose joy. 

I want to focus more on cherishing the small moments of motherhood that are often overshadowed by the pukey-whiney-ugh-are-you-people-fighting-again moments that infiltrate our everything.

I know how hard those moments are, and I know how easy it is to make your entire existence as a parent about making it from one catastrophe to the next, especially when you’re at home. Constantly parenting. Day after day. With three kids ages five and under. During a snow storm. And with one diaper? 

I. Have. Been. There.

I sat on the bottom of my stairs with spit up, mashed carrots, and something yellow,which I’m certain was poop, covering my shirt, with my baby wrapped in a dish towel while my toddler and my 5-year-old dropped Legos in the fish tank. And I cried. Hard.

Every mom has a story like that — probably a book’s worth. And those are important parts of the mothering experience. They’re worth being remembered and told. But they aren’t the only part, and they certainly aren’t the part you want to remember most when you look back on what raising your child felt like.

It doesn’t involve pretending that mommying isn’t hard (it is and always will be). It doesn’t mean that I won’t allow myself a bad day or ten. (Um, how else will I get my heck-yeah-I-just-ate-a-whole-box-of-chocolates days?) All it means is that on days when things are running smoothly — kids are smiling, the tooth fairy is remembering to actually show up, and dinner isn’t being boycotted — I will breathe that in and enjoy it.

Want to join the revolution?

Join the Happy Mama Movement on Facebook and be inspired by stories of joy in mothering from myself and the entire Happy Mamas Team. 


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The Pregnant Ballerina

From EveryDay Family

Forget the controversial CrossFit mama-to-be.

The true pregnant athlete has to be Mary Helen Bowers, former professional ballerina in the New York City Ballet for over ten years. If you haven’t seen her viral photographs and the debate about her choice of fitness during pregnancy, you’ve missed out on a lovely phenomenon and a bit of a debate on whether she should or shouldn’t be practicing her beloved ballet so late in her pregnancy.

Bowers is actually one of the ballerinas who helped train Natalie Portman for her famous (or infamous?) role in the movie Black Swan. And that’s not her only claim to fame. She also trains Victoria Secret models so that they are runway ready. (Hey, a little help over here, Mary Helen?)

With dance being such an important part of her life, it’s no surprise that the ballerina wanted to remain active in the art form that she has always known and loved. With her doctor’s clearance and supervision, Bowers continued to practice ballet right up until she gave birth. 

Bowers maintains that pregnancy is one of the best times in a woman’s life to stay active. Not only does she run a ballet-based exercise company for women, but she designed a special prenatal workout specifically for women that are trying to stay healthy during their pregnancies. 

In fact, Bowers says that her ballet routine has actually helped her avoid most of the common ailments of pregnancy like back and hip pain. 

“I’ve really been amazed by how active I’ve been able to be and how much my body has been able to do,” Bowers told USA Today.

“It’s a beautiful time. You feel connected to your body on a level like never before.”

And while I definitely agree with the ballerina on that level, I have to admit there are definitely some times in pregnancy that I feel a little too connected to my body. Perhaps if I could be as graceful as her, I would be singing a different tune, though. Who knows? Maybe I”ll take a turn in my 3-year-old’s ballet class during this pregnancy….

To see some incredible pictures of the beautiful dancing mama, visit her Instagram account at balletbeautiful.



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A Wardrobe that Works: Tips for Making the Most of Your Maternity Wardrobe
 
  From EveryDay Family

You’re getting dressed for the day and decide to pull on your favorite pair of pants; the ones that fit like a glove and make you feel great every time. You slide them up over your hips, but when you try to button them you feel a small problem. Those pants that fit like perfection last time you wore them are suddenly just a bit too snug. You take a deep breath, suck it in, and hope for the best. You wonder at the intelligence of that decision when lunch has come and gone and the pants that were slightly snug this morning now feel like they may cut off your circulation any moment. You suddenly panic, wondering if they are cutting into your uterus. Could this be hurting the baby?

Now what?

Find a rubber band. Loop the band over the button, through the button hole, then back over the button. Saved! Once you make it through the day in your now not-so-perfect pants it is time to start thinking about maternity wear.

The rubber band trick will work for some clothes for a while, but if you are looking for some other ways to transition and wear your regular clothes a bit longer you might also want to consider a belly sleeve, or belly band. Many companies are offering these products now, but the basic idea is the same. It is essentially a stretchy ring of fabric that fits over your stomach and the top of your pants to allow you to wear your regular pants for a bit longer by holding your unbuttoned trousers in place. You can also use them to hold up your maternity pants, which sometimes have a tendency to stretch and sag. Of course, you can also experiment on your own. A stretchy cotton tube top can work the same way. Or you crafty mommas can sew your own bands, choosing the colors and patterns that work for you.

At some point you will probably find that you are ready to give up the buttons and zippers and graduate into the world of maternity wear. Where should you start? Which styles are the best? How much should you spend? A few tips:

Beg, Borrow, and Pass It On

Have any friends with little ones? Often you’ll find that friends who aren’t currently pregnant, but might be again, are willing to loan their maternity clothes out in the interim. Make sure that if you borrow from someone you know what belongs to them and whether they want it back. Some people may be done with their clothes and ready to pass them on altogether. Take what you can use, then pass them along when you are done.

Big Style, Small Cash

Maternity wear has a short shelf life, in the sense that you’ll only use these clothes for a few months. You don’t want to overspend on this wardrobe. Of course, everyone else only wears them a short time as well, so it is easy to find maternity clothes in good condition at consignment stores and the like. If you lack the time or the inclination to shop used, most department stores and major discount retailers stock their own maternity lines. Some carry only the basics, but some work with high-end designers to provide a budget-friendly line of pregnancy wear. You can easily put together a fashionable, workable wardrobe without making a huge investment.

Keep in mind as you shop that you will get bigger. Don’t buy everything early on, because you’ll find that the shirts that seem like massive tents right now may barely cover your belly a few months from now. Just like your tummy, your wardrobe needs room to grow!

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Pregnancy: Fall into Being Fashionable
From EveryDay Family


Whether you are newly pregnant or about to pop, chances are your body is changing, and with that, you are trying to figure out how to keep in style without spending a “boat load” on a new wardrobe. With so many cute maternity fashions, it may be hard to control yourself at times.

However, do remember that this situation is temporary. To keep stylish in an inexpensive way, consider borrowing or swapping maternity clothes with family or friends. Check out local resale shops to find gently used maternity clothing.

When you do head to the mall or local shopping center, think about things that can keep you stylin’ well past pregnancy.

This may include jewelry such as necklaces or earrings, hair bands, and other accessories that will give you a little glitz, glamour, and fashion no matter if you are pregnant or not.

Additionally, look for clothing items whose shelf life may extend beyond pregnancy. For instance, cute and comfy t-shirts may have enough give to take in a growing belly, but also fit enough to conform to your body post-pregnancy.

Where to invest?

Do invest in clothing that makes you feel comfortable and gives your changing body the support it needs.

For example, a new bra (or two) and underwear may be a must. In fact, these undergarments may carry you all the way through those early weeks past labor and delivery.

When it comes to bottoms, don’t settle for sweats. Though comfy and cozy, they definitely don’t scream, “stylin.” Do invest in a pair or two of pregnancy jeans, which are designed to grow with you. These will not only provide the comfort you are looking for, but also keep you looking – and feeling – good. Skirts with stretchy waistbands may provide another fun and fashionable option, and their shelf life may also extend past pregnancy.

To complete your look, don’t forget about shoes. Although you may be subject to swollen feet, you can still keep in style with supportive shoes. You don’t have to settle for tennis shoes 24/7. Shop around, and don’t be afraid to splurge a little in this department. Your feet and back will thank you!

Pregnancy is a great time to show off your figure and celebrate mommyhood. Happy shopping!

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The Mommy Contract
<img src="http://images.newscred.com/57e211c98caeda5e0cf43777c7b62479" height="333" width="500">

<p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">By Dana Brownlee, Working Mother</span></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">One reason I’ve grown to like jogging is that I seem to have the most
 interesting epiphanies while doing it. I had one&nbsp;a few weeks ago. As a 
small business owner, I partner with many other individuals, businesses 
and groups, and typically there’s a contract associated with any 
business transaction — certainly any involving money. Contracts are in 
place to ensure that everyone understands the terms and conditions of 
the transaction and to ensure that boundaries are clearly outlined and 
understood. About a mile into my jog it suddenly hit me like a bolt of 
lightning that I needed to draw up a new contract … this time with 
myself!&nbsp;</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">
</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Like many other busy moms, I juggle many roles simultaneously — wife, 
mother, entrepreneur, friend, sister, keynote speaker, consultant, 
corporate trainer and so on. Trying to fit all those tasks and 
responsibilities into a 24 hour day (with sleep) would be laughable if 
it weren’t so frustrating. While I jogged, I literally felt a gust of 
wind slap me in the face (the universe wringing my neck, I’m sure) as if
 to say, “<em>Stop</em> and make a contract with yourself!<em>&nbsp;</em>Decide what you will and won’t do and let everything else go.”&nbsp;It reminded me of some profound advice I received years earlier: <em>First, decide what’s important. Then, live a life that reflects that.</em> <em>The second is much harder than the first.&nbsp;</em>That
 sage advice nagged at me for years, but I never really embraced it. 
Possibly, the universe was helping me rectify this wrong because as I 
jogged, the covenants of my contract literally took shape in my mind. As
 soon as I got home, I raced upstairs to write them down.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">
</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Hre are the five elements of my “mommy contract”:</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">
</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>1.&nbsp;</strong><strong>I get to have my own identity.&nbsp;</strong>Women
 have long struggled with the choice between having a career or not. 
Fortunately, I started a training business nearly a decade ago that 
provides me tremendous flexibility and also allows me to define an 
identity completely separate from my role as wife or mother. I truly 
enjoy having an identity that is not completely a function of someone 
else, and I’ve decided that’s okay … better than okay, actually. This 
career identity means I won’t always look to my family for a sense of 
worth or validation. Although I’m no mental health professional, this 
seems like a healthy way to navigate life.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">
</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>2.&nbsp;</strong><strong>Family trumps work.&nbsp;</strong>Having 
decided that&nbsp;I get to have my own identity,&nbsp;I also needed to clearly 
decide that I’m not pursuing career success at the expense of family. 
Each working parent needs to figure this out for herself.&nbsp;But for me, as
 an entrepreneur, it’s important to have this value front of mind every 
day. I decided early on to work as little as possible to meet my career 
goals and instead grow my business through various passive revenue 
options. This approach lets me prioritize family over work. For me this 
means, among other things, spending weekends doing fun things with the 
family, minimizing business trips, being actively involved with my 
children’s school and making sure we take vacation time.&nbsp;</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">
</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>3.&nbsp;</strong><strong>I can take care of myself always.&nbsp;</strong>For
 better or worse, independence is extremely important to me. Although 
I’m completely committed to the partnership of marriage and the inherent
 interdependence that comes with that, I am invigorated by the reality 
that I can take care of myself and choose to embrace this. This value 
doesn't necessarily represent actions I wanted to take or things to do 
differently. It's more a matter of holding up a mirror to myself, 
voicing the value, and accepting it.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">
</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>4.&nbsp;</strong><strong>I keep promises to myself.&nbsp;</strong>Women
 in particular can feel a bit guilty when doing things for ourselves 
like jogging, going to the hair salon, getting a massage, even having 
lunch with a friend. Yet we know some of these “personal investment” 
activities help us maintain a sense of balance, happiness and peace. 
It’s important that we consider where we are in career, level of 
financial security and responsibilities as we decide what promises to 
make to ourselves — because we need to keep them, and doing so may mean 
not spending time in other areas. I’m committed to picking up my kids 
daily, taking Ari for a treat after school a few times a week and 
strolling on the Beltline on weekends with the family. But I’m just as 
committed to my pilates class and jogging. These aren’t indulgences for 
when everything else is done; they’re calendar appointments I try my 
best not to miss.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">
</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>5.&nbsp;</strong><strong>I don’t sweat the small stuff.&nbsp;</strong>I
 decided a while ago that I have a limited amount of energy and must be 
very judicious about how I spend it. I use the “don’t sweat the small 
stuff” principle in two ways: First, it helps me decide where to put my 
energy; secondly, it helps me <em>really</em> let go of guilt about 
anything I’m not doing. If I’m not going to join a board or attend a 
holiday party, I don’t want to mentally obsess about it. Instead I 
funnel that energy into whatever I <em>am</em> doing.&nbsp;</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">
</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">The beauty of a mommy contract&nbsp;is that it’s yours, it's personal, and
 it's a reflection of your values, priorities and lifestyle. I plan to 
print and display mine prominently so when I’m faced with day to day 
decisions and options, I can measure them against my contract. My&nbsp;mommy 
contract helps remind me daily that I’m not simply a means to serve 
others, that I get to consciously choose how I use my energy, my time 
and my space.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em>Dana Brownlee is a keynote speaker, corporate trainer and team 
development consultant. She is president of Professionalism Matters, a 
boutique professional development corporate training firm based in 
Atlanta. She can be reached at</em> <em><a href="http://www.workingmother.commailto:danapbrownlee@professionalismmatters.com?cmpid=newscred">danapbrownlee@professionalismmatters.com</a>.</em><em>&nbsp; <br></em></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em><br></em></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Image: Getty Images<em><br></em></span></font></p>

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Are You Ready to Have Babies? Take the Test
<img src="http://images.newscred.com/55f4e4e9deeced71b1b9452fc55e5240" height="333" width="222">

<h3 class="content-credit"><br><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"></span></font></h3><h3 class="content-credit"><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">By <span class="ng-scope ng-binding">Colin Falconer, The Huffington Post</span></span></font></h3><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 1: Preparation</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em>Women: To prepare for pregnancy</em></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front.<br>Leave it there.<br>After 9 months, remove 5 percent of the beans.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em>Men: To prepare for children</em></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Go to a local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself<br>Go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.<br>Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 2: Knowledge</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Find
 a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of
 discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels and how 
they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they
 might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table 
manners and overall behavior. Enjoy it. It will be the last time in your
 life that you will have all the answers.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 3: Nights</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">To discover how the nights will feel:</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Walk
 around the living room from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. carrying a wet bag 
weighing approximately 4 to 6 kilograms, with a radio turned to static 
(or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.<br>At 10 p.m., put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.<br>Get up at 11 p.m. and walk the bag around the living room until 1 a.m.<br>Set the alarm for 3 a.m.<br>As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2 a.m. and make a cup of tea.<br>Go to bed at 2:45 a.m.<br>Get up again at 3 a.m. when the alarm goes off.<br>Sing songs in the dark until 4 a.m.<br>Put the alarm on for 5 a.m. Get up when it goes off.<br>Make breakfast.<br>Keep this up for five years. LOOK CHEERFUL.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 4: Dressing Small Children</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Buy a live octopus and a string bag.<br>Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hang out.<br><em>Time allowed: 5 minutes.</em></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 5: Cars</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Forget the BMW. Buy a practical five-door wagon.<br>Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.<br>Get a coin. Insert it into the CD player.<br>Take a box of chocolate cookies; mash them into the back seat.<br>Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 6: Going for a walk</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Wait.<br>Go out the front door.<br>Come back in again.<br>Go out.<br>Come back in again.<br>Go out again.<br>Walk down the front path.<br>Walk back up it.<br>Walk down it again.<br>Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes<br>Stop,
 inspect minutely and ask at least 6 questions about every piece of used
 chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way.<br>Retrace your steps.<br>Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you.<br>Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 7: Conversations With children</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Repeat everything you say at least five times.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 8: Grocery Shopping</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Go
 to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find 
to a pre-school child -- a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend 
to have more than one child, take more than one goat.<br>Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your sight.<br>Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.<br>Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 9: Feeding a 1-year-old</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Hollow out a melon.<br>Make a small hole in the side.<br>Suspend the melon from the ceiling and swing it side to side.<br>Now get a bowl of soggy cornflakes and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon while pretending to be an airplane.<br>Continue until half the cornflakes are gone.<br>Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 10: TV</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Learn the names of every character from the Wiggles, Barney, Teletubbies and Disney.<br>Watch nothing else on television for at least five years.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 11: Mess</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Can you stand the mess children make? To find out:</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains<br>Hide a fish behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.<br>Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds and then rub them on clean walls. Cover the stains with crayon. How does that look?<br>Empty every drawer/cupboard/storage box in your house onto the floor and proceed with step 5.<br>Drag randomly items from one room to another room and leave them there.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 12: Long Trips With Toddlers</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Make
 a recording of someone shouting "Mommy!" repeatedly. Important Notes: 
No more than a 4 second delay between each "Mommy." Include occasional 
crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet.<br>Play this tape in your car, everywhere you go for the next four years.<br>You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 13: Conversations</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Start talking to an adult of your choice.<br>Have someone else continually tug on your shirt hem or shirt sleeve while playing the Mommy tape listed above.<br>You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Test 14: Getting ready for work</strong></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Pick a day on which you have an important meeting.<br>Put on your finest work attire.<br>Take a cup of cream and put 1 cup of lemon juice in it<br>Stir<br>Dump half of it on your nice silk shirt<br>Saturate a towel with the other half of the mixture<br>Attempt to clean your shirt with the same saturated towel<br>Do not change (you have no time).<br>Go directly to work<br>You are now ready to have children. ENJOY!!</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em>This post originally appeared in</em> <a href="http://colinfalconer.wordpress.com/%20and%20to%20the%20book%20from%20which%20this%20extract%20was%20taken:%20http://www.amazon.com/THE-BEGINNERS-GUIDE-FATHERHOOD-ebook/dp/B007LVKPGK" target="_hplink">The Beginner's Guide to Fatherhood</a>,<em> which was written under the name Colin Bowles.</em></span></font></p><p><br><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><em></em></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Image: Getty Images<em><br></em></span></font></p>


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8 Maternity Fashion Myths — Busted!
<img src="http://images.newscred.com/fffad538a78387fb962bcba335ac9b7c" height="333" width="500">
<p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">By Heather Levine, TheBump.com</span></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">The Bump expert Liz Lange, founder of Liz Lange for Target Maternity,
 offers her advice about these style rules that were made to be broken.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Myth No. 1: You can get by with clothes you already own.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Reality: Go ahead, shop from your closet (and your hubby’s) for the 
first two months but, at some point, maternity clothes will just fit 
better. Of course there are exceptions. For example, leggings and loose 
cardigans (worn unbuttoned) will work for most of trimester two.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Myth No. 2: Expensive maternity clothes are a waste of money.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Reality: We’re all for bargain buys, but since these items are pretty
 much the only things you’ll wear over the next nine months (read: 
they’ll take a beating), it’s a smart idea to invest in a few well-made,
 quality pieces.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Myth No. 3: You can’t wear sleeveless.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Reality: Self-conscious about your arms? Don’t be. This is the best 
time to bare them. Your baby bump creates an optical illusion — the 
bigger your tummy gets, the smaller your arms will look.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Myth No. 4: A long dress will look like a muumuu.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Reality: If showing a little leg isn’t your thing, you can pull off a
 strapless or sleeveless maxi dress (yes, even if you’re petite). To 
avoid a bulky look, choose one in a lightweight fabric.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Myth No. 5: Empire waists are always flattering.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Reality: Sure, this waistline works for lots of moms-to-be but, for 
some, loose tops just add extra heft. Form-fitting styles (we love 
side-ruching) will hug your new curves and actually make you look 
smaller.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Myth No. 6: Bold patterns and bright colors are a bad idea.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Reality: You can still wear most prints. Add them in small touches, 
like a striped cardigan over a solid cami, or a graphic top with plain 
pants. And subtly work little pops of color into an all-black wardrobe.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Myth No. 7: You must make over your look.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Reality: Don’t ditch your personal style just because you’re 
pregnant. If you usually wear casual jeans and T’s — or sexy black 
dresses — you should definitely continue to rock those looks while 
you’re expecting.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Myth No. 8: Flats are your only footwear choice.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Reality: Teetering in 4-inch stilettos is never a good idea (plus, 
high heels can cause serious back pain), but don’t be afraid to sport a 
small stacked or kitten heel for a little extra height. Just remember to
 choose a delicate pair. Chunky heels can make your legs look bigger.</span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">For pregnancy and parenting advice, tools, photos, and more, visit&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thebump.com/">TheBump.com</a></span></font></p><p><br><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Image: Getty Images<a href="http://www.thebump.com/"><br></a></span></font></p>


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10 Easy Ways to Make a First-Time Dad Feel Involved
<img src="http://images.newscred.com/cfc3397becd53b16ffb9ea9f8d15667d" height="333" width="500">
<p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">From The Bump</span></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><br></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">While you’re busy scheduling ultrasounds and having a shower thrown 
in your (and baby’s!) honor, your guy may be feeling like he’s watching 
from the sidelines. But there are some tricky (and not-so-obvious) ways 
to make sure he feels appreciated, important and involved during this 
whole crazy process.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Before baby’s born</strong></span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Make sure the announcement is about&nbsp;<em>both</em>&nbsp;of you.</strong>&nbsp;It’s
 not like you weren’t planning on including him in announcing your 
pregnancy, but if you’re the one deciding how to do it, and he’s barely 
mentioned, he won’t be into it. So Skype together with him when you 
break the news to your parents, tag him on Facebook when you share it 
with cyberspace, or schedule a photo shoot of you two together for a 
printed “We’re expecting!” card.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Put OB appointments on his calendar.</strong>&nbsp;Obviously it’s most important to plan your&nbsp;<a href="http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/prenatal-checkups-tests/articles/prenatal-tests-checklist.aspx">doctor’s </a><a href="http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/prenatal-checkups-tests/articles/prenatal-tests-checklist.aspx">visits</a>around&nbsp;<em>your</em>&nbsp;schedule,
 but the easiest way to get your man feeling like he matters is by 
getting him to hear that heartbeat and see that sonogram. Since some 
appointments are bigger than others (like your first ultrasound and the 
mid-pregnancy ultrasound, when the gender is usually revealed), make 
sure to schedule those for when he can make it. Heck, send him an iCal 
or Outlook Calendar invite, so he knows it’s important he’s there too.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Make sure he gets a dadchelor party.&nbsp;</strong>Your girlfriends may be planning a baby shower for you, but what about him? This is where the&nbsp;<a href="http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/baby-showers/qa/man-showers.aspx">dadchelor party</a>&nbsp;comes
 in. Give some of his closest guy friends some not-so subtle hints that 
they should throw him a man-centric event. It can be in a backyard, his 
man cave or at his favorite pub. Let them plan whatever it is they like 
to do, whether it’s playing poker or watching their favorite football 
team. No women allowed.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Register together.&nbsp;</strong>Make sure you’re a&nbsp;<a href="http://pregnant.thebump.com/baby-registry.aspx">baby registry</a>&nbsp;team
 -- and don’t act like a control freak! While there are some big, 
important purchases that you may have strong opinions about (the crib, 
car seat and stroller come to mind), there are some registry items that 
are really no biggie. For example, say he wants some baby mittens you 
don’t think are cute (and you may never need), but what’s the harm in 
letting him put them on the list? Register for them regardless, so he 
doesn’t feel like his wants are always getting shot down.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Let him make decorating decisions.&nbsp;</strong>Even if you think
 your guy has a horrible sense of style (like those Bob Marley posters 
and hanging high school football jerseys), you should still let him in 
on the nursery decorating process. After narrowing it down to a few 
prints or patterns that you love, ask him which he likes best. We can 
totally picture him bragging to his friends about how he designed the 
nursery!</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>After baby’s born</strong></span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Tell him what to do.</strong>&nbsp;We don’t mean that you should 
boss him around, but some first-time dads feel a little unsure of what 
exactly their new role is supposed to be. So if you want him to change 
more diapers, tell him. If you’re dying for him to take over the cooking
 tonight, hand him the mixing spoon. Who cares if you’re not crazy about
 his meatloaf?</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Avoid hovering.</strong>&nbsp;We know you’re cringing every time 
your guy holds, feeds, burps or bathes baby differently than you would. 
But as long as he’s not doing anything that could be dangerous, keep 
quiet. He won’t ever get the chance to figure out how he’s comfortable 
caring for baby if you never give him the chance to try things out. 
Congratulate and help him along -- don't coach.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Give him some of the fun duties.&nbsp;</strong>We know there are 
certain things you loathe doing (like changing the 4 a.m. diaper) but 
resist the urge to stick him with every single one of them. Instead, 
give him a fun activity, like singing baby a lullaby or giving her a 
bath. These aren’t just things he’ll enjoy doing, they’re things that 
will help him and baby bond.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Get a manicure.&nbsp;</strong>This is a win-win -- you'll be 
treating yourself, and he’ll get time alone with baby, without deferring
 to you on the tough stuff. You’ll come back feeling refreshed (with 
gorgeous nails, to boot!), and he’ll be one step closer to feeling more 
confident in this daddy thing.</span></font></p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">

</span></font><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"><strong>Take a class.&nbsp;</strong>We know, it’s tough to find time to 
get away! But if you’re taking a regular drawing, swimming or fitness 
class, you’ll have a regular schedule of getting out of the house (and 
feeling like your old baby-free self for a little bit). And your man can
 have some quality time with baby.</span></font></p><p><br><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;"></span></font></p><p><font size="4"><span style="font-family: Arial;">Image: Getty Images<br></span></font></p>


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Looking HOT in Maternity Clothing

From Everyday Family


Pregnancy is a time when you go through a wide range of changes. One of the most noticeable changes will be your figure. There is no avoiding it – you will get bigger. While it is hard to look “hot” when you are feeling like a blimp, choosing the right clothes and accessorizing can make you look sexy, instead of frumpy.

Jeans

The days of blue, ugly, stretchable bands at the top of maternity jeans are long gone. Most maternity retailers offer a skin-colored, thin band that doesn’t leave a line across your tummy. There are also low-rise jeans, which are great for the very beginning of your pregnancy, as well as jeans that have side panels, which extend as you grow. Picking jeans that flatter your belly, butt, and legs, is important. Visit maternity stores that offer a belly pillow, to see how you will look as you get bigger.

Shirts

Your shirt does not need to look like a circus tent, draping over your belly. Pick shirts that are stretchy and form-fitting to accentuate, not hide, your bump. If you are uncomfortable with the rolls you may have developed in your back and sides, chose fabrics that have ruffles or a bias cut to camouflage the flaws you see; you can also layer a cardigan or open sweater to cover your back and sides. Another side-effect of being pregnant is larger breasts. Choose a shirt that accentuates your new breasts, but make sure it doesn’t look like you are about to pop out of your top.

Dresses

Wearing a dress while you are pregnant can make you feel pretty, and offers a light clothing choice during the hottest months. Make sure the dress still fits well in the front and back as you get bigger (the front may become shorter and unflattering). Empire waists are flattering on most pregnant women, because they fit tightly around the bust and flow out over the belly.

Accessories

The great thing about accessories is that they can be used again, after you have had your baby. Choose scarfs, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that make you feel good, and can mix with your pre-pregnancy wardrobe.

Save Money

Some of your pre-pregnancy clothes may still fit while you are pregnant. In the beginning of your pregnancy, stretchy shirts and elastic waist skirts will likely still fit your growing bump. You can also add a belly band over your jeans and pants, to get more use out of them, until you can’t fit into them any longer.

It is important to remember that pregnancy is a time to embrace your new body, not hate it. You are not getting fat – you are growing a baby!

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