Navigating The Not-So-Wonderful-World of Maternity Clothes

Once I hit month 3, getting dressed in the morning became quite the depressing task. I’d stare at my stacked closet and dread the dance of trying to squeeze my growing body into my favorite pair of skinny jeans. You know that bloated feeling you get during your period when you can feel every inch of your waist line and you can’t wait to just shed the water weight? Imagine that feeling but there’s no relief. For the following 3 months you live in a state of limbo when you don’t quite look pregnant but you’re body is expanding. I’d ask my friends who had gone through the changes before  how they handled the wardrobe conundrum and most would say that they managed to not purchase many maternity items; instead, they’d use the belly band and buy larger sizes. I wanted to be one of these women, but I failed miserably. I needed to take the leap and re-stock the closest because feeling good about your body is important during pregnancy (and worth the money). Unfortunately, finding fashionable maternity clothes was a harder task than I expected. So many of the staples made me feel like, well, a future soccer mom. After some serious hunting, I’ve complied a list of brands that are doing it right. I hope you find this list helpful because, if you’re like me, and didn’t ONLY gain belly weight, there’s slim pickings out there.

hatch

Hatch – Versatile, flowy pieces that you can wear throughout all stages of pregnancy (and even after). This brand is on the pricier side but you can find some great items on sale. Plus, they have a nice selection of overalls and jumpers and I’m a sucker for a pregnant lady in overalls.

fillyboo

Fillyboo – The Australia-based brand makes adorable, bohemian maternity clothes; the only downside is finding a retailer in Los Angeles. Ordering online is easy but they only accept exchanges (no refunds) if the items don’t work out.

top shop

TopShop – The TopShop at The Grove has a very tiny maternity section but you can find a much wider selection online. I highly recommend their skinny jeans! Praise be the elastic waist band, these pants changed my pregnant life.

asos

Asos – Pages upon pages of adorable dresses and tops. I prefer the online selection to TopShop’s but I had a harder time finding items that were the right fit for my body. Still, I recommend giving this site a good look-through; there’s a lot of great options.

gap

The Gap – I stocked up on basics at the Gap. Their line of maternity tank tops, athletic/lounge pants, leggings, underwear and jeans are all fantastic and affordable.

gilt

Gilt – If you’re not familiar with the flash sale site, then you might be living under a rock. I was able to find a lot of great items on their “Baby & Kids” page (this is where you’ll find their maternity sales). Plus, you can order some adorable onesies and diaper bags while purchasing a maxi dress on sale.

forever21

Forever 21 – I might be pregnant but that doesn’t mean I have to give up my guilty pleasure, Forever 21. With prices this low, you can find some great tops and dresses in larger sizes that still fit. Just slap on an elastic belt to sinch the waist and show off that belly

Hormonal Breakouts – The Natural Treatment

Bio-K+_02_ProbioticShot

When it comes to pregnancy, I can’t really complain. Besides the constant feeling of exhaustion and the occasional scrambling of words, I haven’t really experienced those terrible symptoms that so many women dread (knock on wood). However, one symptom has been coming and going ever since I first saw those 2 lines pop up on the stick: hormonal breakouts. I always thought pregnancy would bring this beautiful glow and that my skin, hair and nails would look radiant throughout the whole process. Well, apparently that’s not always the case. Cue the flush of hormones and all of a sudden my chin just exploded. A hormonal breakout is incredibly pesky because there really isn’t much you can do. This isn’t a congestion or dirt issue but your skin reacting on a cellular level to the chemical changes in your body.

I’ve always been a supporter of natural skincare but now that there’s a little birdy growing inside of me, I have to be even more conscious about the foods I eat and the products that I put on my skin. (What I would give for a cup of coffee right now!). For those who like Retin-A, Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide, please think twice before using these acne treatment; they’re a big no-no during pregnancy. When my chin starts to reflect the massive changes happening in my body, I stick to a regular routine of cleansing, moisturizing with an oil based serum, sunscreen and exfoliating twice a week. I’ve also had a lot of great luck with the Clarisonic brush. The vibrations of the brush help to clear the congestion and ease any pain associated with the break out. Please don’t use this treatment everyday though, its too harsh – I recommend twice a week.

Now for the secret weapon…PROBIOTICS. If you have eyes and ears then I’m sure you’re aware of the amazing benefits that come with eating foods that are naturally rich in good bacteria or how important it is to take a quality probiotic supplement. Disease begins with inflammation and so much of that begins with your gut, so keep it healthy! Did you know that applying probiotics to your face can actually help combat the bad bacteria that causes breakouts?   A yogurt mask is great for brightening the skin and although there are healthy bacteria strains in the yogurt, for the purposes of this treatment, reach for a liquid probiotic that contains more than 10 strains.

Next time you’re at a natural grocery store, pick up a bottle of Bio-K. Apply the liquid probiotic with a cotton ball, let it dry and continue to layer until you have a nice mask formed. Let the mask sit for 20 minutes and then rinse. This mask is gentle enough to use every night until you’ve achieved the desired results – clear skin. Be sure to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized, so follow the treatment with a good face oil or a moisturizer (all natural!).