One Dress, Three Looks

Never buy something if you can’t wear it at least three different ways; this is what my fashionable yet very practical mother would always say. This bit of advice has served me well in building my wardrobe and as a clothing designer.

It is definitely a very valuable tip when buying maternity clothes too. You don’t need a different dress or blouse for every occasion; you can create a variety of looks with a good foundation piece. This is where the right dress combined with the right accessories is your best friend for six months.

Look #1: Work
A slim belt and a jacket or cardigan will easily carry you through any work situation. Classic accessories, such as understated earrings, a long chain necklace or a cuff bracelet, do the trick of giving the dress a polished look. Heels, even low ones, always make clothes look more professional.

Look #2 Work

Look #2: Off-duty
Nothing could be simpler – put on your most comfortable shoes with a denim jacket or light cardigan and you’re ready to run errands or search for a crib or stroller. If you’re meeting friends for brunch, add your favourite accessory and apply lip gloss and mascara.

Look #2

Look #3: Evening
Lipstick, a dramatic eye and an elegant belt will take your dress from day to evening. Strappy sandals are perfect for a night out but consider If you’re going to be standing or sitting for the evening when choosing heel height.

Look #3 Evening

Investing some time to find key pieces that fit you well and suit your style will make the daily process of “what to wear” easy. And with a variety of accessories and shoes, you will never feel like you’re wearing the same old dress. These little tips can make your key pieces the foundation of your maternity wardrobe. My mom’s advice still applies – change the accessories, change the look and get your money’s worth.

5 MUST DO’s for exercise and pregnancy

Seems to be that most often you hear about the all things to avoid once you become pregnant. “Don’t do this, don’t do that”, but no one ever tells you what you CAN do during pregnancy when it comes to exercise. My personal opinion?; the information out there is so out-dated and doctors….well let me ask you, how “healthy and fit” does your doctor look?

Nuff said.

So let’s just start by saying that although most doctors are still very far behind with their information, we all do agree that it is now a risk factor to not exercise during pregnancy. This is not the time to hover, put your feet up and “protect” the baby. On the contrary, you are doing more harm than good as the most recent research shows that being sedentary will only increase your chances of developing gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and gaining too much weight, which is a another issue all it’s own.

Having said that, when do you know whether it’s too much or not enough? You can only be the best gauge of that but there are 5 MUST-DO’s when exercising during pregnancy to ensure the healthiest possible results.

1. If you are just starting to exercise and are newly pregnant, start slooooooww. No, pregnancy is not an illness and I will be the first one to yell it from the rooftops, BUT this is no time to sign yourself up for the first boot-camp you find without knowing what you are doing. Your body is going through A LOT during that first trimester (hence why you feel so “lovely”) so baby steps is your best bet.

2. If you are a seasoned exerciser, please please PLEASE continue doing what you are already used to and enjoy doing. If you are having a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, there is no evidence to support that you should suddenly stop and do “gentle” exercise throughout. If you do, I guarantee you will feel like crap as you’re biting at the bit wondering why you stopped.

3. Make strength training part of your exercise routine! Well this is nothing new coming from me but I stand my ground in defence of building strong pregnant women everywhere! How else do you think you are going to be able to carry around another 25+ pounds without pain or injury?

4. Focus on relaxation and breathing techniques. Although with training clients in building strength, there is always a strong focus on breathing properly through a particular exercise. However, breathing for relaxation is also very important and where yoga and meditation compliment any exercise regime. You will need this type of training to guide you through a (hopefully) speedy labour and delivery.

5. Listen to your body! Believe it or not, there will be a time when you step into the gym and those 10 lb dumbells feel like 50 lbs. It’s amazing the amount of energy that pregnancy requires and it will eventually catch up to you. Don’t push yourself when this happens but don’t stop either! Just scale back your weights and/or repetitions and continue with your exercise routine.

When you’re exercising during pregnancy, the goal to maintain as much strength and cardiovascular training as you can. This is not the time to sign up for a marathon or jump out of a plane – have you ever read my previous post about extreme exercise during pregnancy?

The only “marathon” you’re training for is labour and delivery my friend, so train smart!

Guest blog courtesy of Samantha Montpetit-Huynh from Core Expectations.
Meet Samantha at Carry Maternity on June 4th and June 18th. See our Upcoming Events for more info.

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