MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD: SARA KAUFFMAN

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This week we are featuring our real mom Sara, who is one of our senior designers. We first met with her last fall when she was expecting her baby girl Rae. Now as a mom of two she tells us about the differences between her first and second pregnancies, how she likes to spend time with her newly expanded family, and why it really does take a village. Read on for some sound advice from Sara!

Motherhood: Tell us a little about your new baby!

Sara: Rae is amazing. She is the happiest and most easy-going baby. Her big brother is the center of her universe. When they are together, she just smiles and laughs at what every he is doing which is usually pretty silly.

 

Motherhood: How has life changed since adding another child into the mix?

Sara: It takes us a while to get out of the house daily and when we go on trips. We are a family that likes to be out of the house and go on little and big adventures. I usually forget a few things. It is all worth it when I see the way Rae and Nate look at the new places we take them.

 

Motherhood: What has been your favorite nursing piece?

Sara: Two items were my ultimate faves! One: I lived in Jessica Simpson Pull Over Side Slit Nursing Top during maternity leave. I hate when tops lift in the back when nursing, but the function on the JS top allowed great access to the front while staying put and down in the back. Two: I wore our Tummy Sleeve over all my pants for the first two months post-partum. I knew very little about shapewear after my first pregnancy. I learned more when I was on a panel to wear-test this very item. It really helped me start to get my waistline back and stabilize my post-maternity belly.

 

Motherhood: As a designer of our jeans, what styles have you kept in your new mom rotation?

Sara: I still wore my smock waist shorts and side panel denim for a while after I had Rae. The shorts were the most comfortable style during and after my pregnancy, and I still felt like I looked put together when I left the house. The side panel denim does not look overly maternity, so I felt like I could get away with them for a while until I got back into my regular jeans.

 

Motherhood: How has coming back from maternity leave been, especially with pumping?

Sara: I knew what to expect this time so it was a bit easier. It was still hard being away from baby at first, but I love designing and really like the people I work with, which is the bright side of it all.

 

Motherhood: What would you say the hardest thing about breastfeeding has been and what advice would you give to a woman considering nursing?

Sara: I could write/ talk about this for hours. Unlike my first child whom would not latch, took hours to eat and would not gain weight, Rae had been a whole world easier. She latched right away and is a fast eater. The hardest thing is finding the right balance for you, your baby and even your family. With Nate, I did my best to nurse him, but he was always supplemented with formula which let my husband help out more with the feedings. Rae got to be exclusively breastfeed or given pumped milk at day care until she was 7 months old. Breastfeeding her is faster than giving her a bottle and my husband gets to spend more time just hanging out with her. I found what was right fit for both kids and was very happy when we found our balance.

 

Motherhood: If you could have given yourself one piece of new mom advice, what would it have been?

Sara: Find your village. They say it takes a village and it does, especially when you are in the weeds of having a new born. You will need support. At night I had my family, but during the day I looked for groups and activities I could do with other mommies with new babies. I joined a nursing group which helped me work through any issues I was having that week with breastfeeding. I learned a lot from the mamas with older babies and got to help out the newbies. I also really enjoyed my time at baby music class and mommy and me yoga where I got sing and get active with Rae.

INSPIRATION TO CREATION // MIMI MATERNITY

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We love looking into the mindset of designers, and it is no different when it comes to our newest collection from MiMi Maternity. Our last featured post discussed the capsule, named Brasilia, and how it was inspired “by the bold tiles and patterns created by architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and collaborating artist, Athos Bulcão.”

We took it a step further to show you how that inspiration became a reality. Brasilia is a very modern city; in fact, it was only inaugurated as the capital in 1960. It’s newness and bold, bright white architecture make it unique when being compared to the historical elements of traditional capital cities we have come to know. We tote our MiMi Mama as the metropolitan girl, so we love that her closet is created with all different types of cities in mind. The fast-paced, everchanging environment is what keeps our customer and her clothing current.

You can see elements of strong lines in the collection’s yellow geometric print, which can be found on this maternity dress and this maternity top. One of the most well-known architectural marvels in the Brazilian capital is the Cathedral of Brasilia. You’ll notice the deep white lines that resemble the sweeping columns on this tiered maternity dress and tie sleeve maternity shirt.

What we really love about the whole collection is that the structured element of design is balanced with flowing, easy materials that allow a carefree look and feel. Shop all MiMi Maternity here.

How does style inspire you? Tell us and tag us @MiMiMaternity #MiMiMaMa #MiMiOnMe

BATHING BEAUTIES

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What is summer without swimming? A warm winter, that’s what! We personally think nothing is more beautiful than a bump on the beach. Call us bias, but there is something so wonderful about a mama relaxing by the pool, digging her feet in the sand, and showing off her best accessory.

According to our friends at What to Expect, there are a lot of benefits of swimming during your pregnancy as well. “Swimming is a gentle way to work toward your goal of 30 minutes most days of prenatal exercise — without aggravating your loosening joints. In addition to resulting in plenty of fitness-related benefits for your body and your baby along with reprieve for your tired muscles and joints, swimming during pregnancy can also help:

  • Relieve ankle and foot swelling. Submersing your limbs in water helps push fluids from your tissues back into your veins.  It also boosts your circulation, which keeps blood from pooling in the lower limbs.
  • Ease sciatic pain: Baby’s floating right along with you (instead of pressing down on your sciatic nerve).
  • Reduce morning sickness: Many women report that the cool water provides welcome relief from nausea.
  • Keep you cool: It’s a hard thing to do when those pregnant sweat glands are on overdrive — but a dip in a cool pool can help, especially when the temperatures soar outside.
  • Improve your labor & delivery experience: Swimming maintains muscle tone and increases your endurance — both of which you’ll be thankful for when it comes time to push baby out.”

And per Motherhood®, we know how to look good while swimming. Shop the post:

HAVANA OH MAMA

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For the newest Style Guide, we were inspired by the heat of the night, Havana nights. Cuban flair, pops of color, and the city’s architecture became the inspiration for the collection that is making us dance our way through the season of sun and fun.

An intense red is quickly becoming the color of summer, popping with deep florals and a form-fitting finish. This maternity dress moves with you mama.

With blocks of exposed skin, we took the bright notes of street style and channeled them into this new take on the cold-shoulder top, finished with thick and bold stripes.

Tasseled and tiered, the orange flounce maternity top adds to your pregnancy glow, while the black tiered maternity maxi channels the city scape, moving waters, and the endless nights.

MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD: KATIE GRAF & KELLY GRAF

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Our Motherhood® gets real on motherhood campaign allowed us to meet back up with Katie Graf, our Manager of Store Operations. The last time we did a photo shoot with Katie she was pregnant, it was her birthday, and we learned that her twin sister was also expecting! Needless to say, we wanted both Katie and her sister Kelly to sit down with us and discuss life as new moms, new aunts, getting back to work and navigating life with a new baby. Read on for the sisters’ advice and more.

Motherhood: Tell us a little about your new baby!

Kelly: My daughter’s name is Vivienne Lucille and she was born on October 12, 2017. It’s the only name my husband and I agreed on after reading every single baby book. We went with my husband’s grandmother’s name, which is Lucille. I wanted Daisy and no one liked it…

Katie:  My daughter’s name is Margaret Reed and she was born on September 14. Her middle name comes from the first letter of my husband and my great-grandmothers’ and grandmothers’ names (Rosa, Elizabeth, Ellen, Dorothea). Both Kelly and I were in labor for 12 hours, but then we both had to have emergency C-sections!

 

Motherhood: How has life changed since becoming a new mom?

Katie: All things that were deemed important change. Priorities shift and you forget what it’s like before. Everyone says it, but it’s so true.

Kelly: I am more organized than I have been in my entire life, which is weird, because usually I am so scatterbrained and all over the place. I flew by the seat of my pants, but now I am routined and make sure everyone else around me is too, especially when it comes to my daughter.

(Editor’s Note: Katie agrees that she was disorganized. Kelly says that it’s because Katie is not only Type A, but Triple A.)

 

Motherhood: What has been your favorite nursing piece?

Kelly: Tanks and camis for maternity leave, because you can just whip one out and you’re good to go.

Katie: The nursing sweatshirt with the zippers on the side. Would buy it all year ‘round, because it was the best piece. I also wear button ups and the nursing dresses for pumping at work.

 

Motherhood: We last saw you on your birthday! And… it was your twin sister’s birthday too. Luckily we got both you ladies here, so tell us how being pregnant together was, and how being new moms and new aunts has been.

Katie: It was awesome, because we got to bounce things off each other. We told each other in a parking lot. I was like 10 weeks and Kelly was like, “I’m pregnant too.” She was brand new at 6 weeks. She only told me, because she was scared to tell anyone else! This has been a big change for our family, obviously. Our mom wanted to have just one baby for a while, because she never just had one kid to dote on! She was of course happy, but felt the memories of when she had us.

Kelly: That’s true. She was happy, but also overwhelmed! For me, work has been different too. I am the Director of Communications at University of Delaware. Of course, balancing work and motherhood is hard, but working on scheduling and making sure everything goes as planned is what I try to do to stay in control.

 

Motherhood: Now that the warmer months are coming up, do you have any family vacations planned?

Katie: In June we are going to Ocean City. It’s great being new moms together, because our daughters are like sisters now. They are starting to notice that the other one exists.

Kelly: I’m Margaret’s Godmother and want to be called GoMo. Just saying.

 

Motherhood: Let’s get real. What advice would you give to someone about those first 6 weeks after baby is born. It’s not all cuddles and kisses, right?

Kelly: The first 4 weeks are so hard. I read a lot of pregnancy books, but nothing about life after the baby comes. It’s a lot of learning. I read somewhere you should incorporate baby into your life and not change life for baby and I think it makes a lot of sense. We take her everywhere with us, because that’s how babies learn and grow and life can continue moving smoothly.

Katie: I am not into books really, because you can read or listen to anyone, but in the end, you have to listen to the baby and your gut. The baby tells you what she needs and you, in turn, know what to do from that.

 

Motherhood: If you could tell your sister one thing about how she’s doing as a new mom, what would it be?

Katie: She’s amazing. I am not great with words; Kelly is better at that. Honestly, she is so strong. Not that she doubts herself, but she is so strong and even more so as a mother.

Kelly: This may sound selfish, but watching her as a new mom she inspires me. She has had her $#!+ together since day one. Can I say that?

 

MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD: ERIN DOWNING

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This story begins back in February 2017, when we got to throw our very first Gender Reveal party for an expecting mom in our corporate office. Erin was just finding out that she and her husband were having a baby boy. Pregnant and glowing, we threw them a sock monkey reveal party. Fast-forward to spring 2018, and this first-time mom has been back to work, raising baby Hudson [who is now almost 1!], and navigating the world as a working woman with a family. Erin is definitely the go-to girl for post-pregnancy style recs, as she is the one calling the shots! Read on to see how life has been for our Lead Merchandising Manager.

Motherhood: It’s been over a year since we threw you a gender reveal party. Obviously, you had your little boy. Tell us a little about him!

Erin: His name is Hudson, he’s 9 months old and the cutest little boy ever!  (Maybe I’m biased) He’s very active – crawling everywhere, pulling up to stand, walking might not be far off.  He loves animals, especially our cats and his nanny’s dog.  His favorite food is avocado.  He loves music and dancing.  Not a big fan of diaper changes or sleep!

Motherhood: How has life changed since becoming a new mom?

Erin: How hasn’t it?  I definitely get less sleep, I’m way busier, I spend a lot of time playing, and I have an adorable baby boy!  Priorities are the biggest change, I think. Life isn’t just about me and my husband anymore – it’s about Hudson and our family, but it’s been amazing and I’ve loved every minute (except maybe some of the sleepless nights.)

Motherhood: What has been your favorite nursing piece?

Erin: I never would have survived without our clip-down camis.  I have them in every color. I wore the seamless bras through my entire pregnancy as well – they are beyond comfortable.  BounceBack has also been a must for me.  I wear the tank and legging ALL the time.  Perfect for camouflaging any baby weight still sticking around!

Motherhood: As the Lead Merchant Manager of Motherhood®, what “maternity” styles have you kept in your closet and continue to wear?

Erin: I still wear my BumpStart and Secret Fit Belly® leggings, plus now of course my BounceBack ones that I bought after having the baby.  Also, my French Terry shorts, I fully intend to wear all summer and I lived in them before I had Hudson.  They are underbelly and are still great without a bump.  My baby shower dress was Rachel Pally from A Pea in the Pod. [Editor’s Note: This is Motherhood’s sister brand.] I actually just wore it on vacation in Mexico.  I had done my own little before and after!

Motherhood: You have since come back to work. Any suggestions on the styles you like for pumping at work?

Erin: I highly recommend our seamless bras and clip down camis.  They go under everything and are so easy to use.  I also think our dress assortment is so amazing. I wear a lot of dresses and it’s difficult because if you pump in a regular dress, you basically have to get naked in the pump room.

Motherhood: Where has been the weirdest place you’ve nursed or pumped?

Erin: Oh, man!  The strangest was probably the dressing room floor at Bloomingdales in Soho (NYC).  I had to go shopping for work for the day and had to carry the pump around with me and figure out where to pump. There is an amazing app I discovered called “Moms Pump Here” – it helps you find places you can nurse or pump based on your location.  I’ve also pumped on multiple airplanes.  And also, I had a wedding to attend 3 weeks after I had Hudson. We didn’t offer any special occasion dresses yet, so I had to strip down to pump in a friends hotel room at the wedding venue. I so wish we sold the black lace nursing dress I wore in the photoshoot then; it would have made my life so much easier and it’s so flattering on!

Motherhood: We’re getting real on motherhood. What has been the hardest part about being a new mom?

Erin: At first, breastfeeding was actually the hardest part.  It didn’t come as naturally as I thought it would; Hudson had a tongue tie that had to be corrected, I felt like I was permanently attached to the breast pump, and it was tough.  Being a new mom can be really overwhelming and emotional, but with the help of supportive mom friends, family, and an amazing lactation consultant we got there.  I can’t stress the importance of support enough – it truly does take a village! I think now it’s just the lack of sleep and the never-ending to-do lists (both at work and at home) that are the hardest parts… but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

MIMI MATERNITY: NEW SUMMER CAPSULE

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We cannot be more excited to announce the arrival of fresh fashion from MiMi Maternity. The newest capsule is based on the post-modern architecture of Brazil’s capital, and aptly named Brasilia. We were inspired by the bold tiles and patterns created by architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and collaborating artist, Athos Bulcão.

Shown in the prints and geometrical lines, the MiMi button front dress and embroidered maternity cami echo and pay homage to both men’s work. For a warm-weather effect, the print story also features tropical pops, seen in the printed maternity dress.

The deeper colors for summer are a refreshing shakeup from the usual brights and bolds. This modern palette is comprised of, “rich vegetal shades – bright rose violet and ochre punctuate, deep thyme green and fired brick.”

To offset the heat of the season, the pieces are crafted from breezy, double-cloth gauzy cottons. This fabrication runs throughout the collection from shirts to dresses. We created a dress capsule featuring an easy tank maternity dress in jersey knit, a linen maternity sundress, a special occasion maternity dress and so much more.

Stay tuned all week as new pieces arrive!

MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD

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May doesn’t just bring us flowers, it’s also the month that lets us celebrate our favorite holiday: Mother’s Day! Instead of limiting our love for moms to just Sunday, May 13th, we are dedicating the entire month of May to strong and beautiful ladies. So, to honor the women that keep us going, we are highlighting our real moms like you all month long.

Back in September 2017 we did photo shoots and one-on-ones with some of our pregnant employees featuring our Five Fundamentals. We wanted to come full circle with their journey, because it doesn’t stop when baby arrives… it just begins! We welcomed them back into the studio, this time with their babies and all their new mom wisdom in tow.

From maternity leave to crazy nursing stories, we wanted our real moms to get real on motherhood. It’s not always pretty, but their babies further convinced us that it is pretty cute! Make sure you stay tuned all month long to meet our moms. And, as always, show us your mom-in-the-making and new mom looks @motherhoodmaternity #thisisgoingtobefun – we want to hear your stories, your advice, and of course see your babes. We’re ready for the good, the bad, the truth… come what MAY!

PAMPER HER PRETTY 

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we took an office poll and the number one wish for our moms and moms-to-be is SLEEP! With that in mind, we pulled together a few of our favorites that might help give your favorite mama few extra winks.

Sleep may be harder to come by with an actual bump in the night, but there is no reason not to prep with pretty pajamas. Our gorgeous spring sleepwear features everything from pregnancy panties, to maternity sleep bras, to nursing separates. We want you cozy from head to literal toe with comfy socks and slippers too.

Speaking of head to toe, safe skincare is a necessity for pregnant women. Your body is going through so many changes. It needs the extra pampering. Soothe and smooth your skin with products that work hard to soften you up, without harsh chemicals.

Looking for something more? We’ve got you covered with baby gifts, necessities for new moms and , of course, you can’t go wrong with the Motherhood® Gift Card. An e-Gift Card is quick and reliable, and comes in Mother’s Day designs. The choice of giving the gift of choice is yours.

NEW WAVE OF EXPECTING STYLE

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Spring is fleeting and we are ready to fade into summer. Our newest collection is channeling blue skies and blue waters mixed with sandy-hued prints and nautical stripes. In short, we got inspired by beach days for this new wave of style.

Making memories is what the warm weather demands. And as much as we want to live in the moment, we want to capture it too. So, dress like your photo is going to be snapped; pose like you’re going to post; and feed your feed with the cutest clothes.

Want to get your beach bump ready? Shop the blog:

Chiffon Maternity Dress in Pink Florals

Button Front Maternity Tunic in Denim Chambray

Side-Panel Skinny Jeans in a Destructed Medium Wash

Off-the-Shoulder Maternity Top in Navy/White Stripe

Side-Panel Maternity Shortalls in a Medium Wash

Ruffle Front Maternity Dress in Polka Dot Chambray

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