Share the Warmth with New Moms

Autumn is here. Like turning on a light switch, the leaves change colour and a chill creeps into the air.

The annual ritual of rummaging through closets for fall and winter jackets has begun. Luckily we usually find them exactly where they were packed away, ready to be of service again. Canadian weather can hand you almost anything, so most of us own several coats. We hang the ones useful for fickle fall weather in the hall closet, waiting for a nippy morning.

Some young mothers aren’t fortunate enough to have one coat, much less a choice of which one to wear, and are left struggling in the cold. For the past two years, we have collected gently used coats for the Swap Shop at Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women. Jessie’s Centre provides much needed services to help empower pregnant teenagers, young parents and their children. Their programs are well attended throughout most of the year, but attendance drops with cold temperatures. Travelling through winter weather to access services can be difficult without appropriate outerwear.

This year, we’ve decided to support Jessie’s further by donating 5% of our fall coat sales to the Well Woman and Well Baby Clinic. You can also help us not only by bringing a coat to donate but by telling your friends about our Share the Warmth campaign and encouraging them to donate as well. Along with women’s coats (non-maternity as well as maternity coats), we can also take coats for children under 5 years old. As a thank you for your donation, we will give you $25 off a new maternity/baby-carrying coat. We currently have beautiful and practical winter coats from MCoat, Modern Eternity, Seraphine and Noppies.

With gratitude for your help,

Pat, Sarah and Kshama
Carry Maternity

Dressing from the Inside Out: The Right Underwear for Maternity Clothes

 

The Cache Coeur Illusion Brief. Featured in Carry Maternity's blog post on choosing the right maternity underwear.

What you wear underneath is the first step in creating any great fashion look, but especially so when you’re pregnant. As your body changes and grows, you need to have the right support that flatters and shapes you in all the right places. That will give you the confidence to sport even the most figure-hugging maternity fashion and to really accentuate your growing baby bump. Plus you’ll feel more comfortable with undergarments that fit well. There’s nothing worse than underwear that rides up, pinches or sags.

In a past post we looked at tips for finding the perfect bra. Now, let’s sort out the underwear situation and what your options are for achieving a streamlined, gorgeous silhouette that creates comfort and confidence.

There has been a lot of talk lately about trends in underwear – some say the thong is out and granny panties, or those panties that provide more generous coverage, are in. When it comes to underwear, you do have a few options. Let’s take a look.

Go Commando!

The challenge with a very fitted dress is that unsightly panty lines show through the stretchy fabric. Going commando (without underwear) is okay; just opt to wear a Spanx (Power Mama is especially made for pregnancy) or hose instead. This will provide a bit of coverage without the lines.

Thong

As baby grows, your pelvic bones are shifting and you may find your hips becoming a bit fleshier. While wearing a thong usually avoids panty lines, these changes in pregnancy can make wearing a thong uncomfortable and actually create more visible lines under clothing. If you want to go with a thong, be sure to check out how the dress looks overtop – are there any lines? And choose the right size, it may be necessary to go up a size during pregnancy.

Seamless High-Waisted Underwear

This option, often called “granny panties,” is really hot right now. They may not be the most flattering when undressing for your beau, but they are your best bet for wearing underwear that doesn’t create lines. Be careful to select a pair with give at the tummy. If not specifically made for maternity (here’s a great pick that is), you want to be sure there is enough stretch at the top of the panty so as not to restrict or pinch the skin.

Seamless Low-Waisted Underwear

This type of underwear – bikini or boyshorts, or a panty with lace – is best worn under jeans or flowy dresses that do not hug the hips or bum. You can get away with a lower panty line, or a textured fabric, when wearing looser clothing.

Other Things to Consider When Choosing Your Underwear

Smoothing garments also help to create a streamlined silhouette. Spanx has created a product called Power Mama that provides the support and smoothness they are known for, including at the rear and hip, but with a soft mesh panel in the front so there is no compression on the baby.

Angel Care Maternity Support Band is a support garment that is also effective for diminishing muffin top when paired with low waisted jeans. It can be quite comfortable and soothing, as it provides back and under belly support with the added benefit of a smoothing effect.

For light coverage and support, a well-made tank top will smooth out curves and provide back and belly support. Try Blanqi tank tops for your separates and A-line dresses.

It is important to keep in mind that well-fitting undergarments will not only improve your look, and make you feel more comfortable, but make your clothes fit better as well. When shopping for maternity clothing, have your undergarments on hand or in mind for the best look and fit (this is especially important when buying dresses for more formal occasions).

Here’s a good tip to live by: Pretty on the outside starts with functional on the inside. So get your pretty on – inside and out!

Shop our lingerie and support garments.

Or chat with us for more options.

Shown: The Cache Coeur Illusion Brief.

How to Find The Perfect Bra During Pregnancy (And Why You Need One)

How to Pick the Right Bra - A blog post for expectant mothers by Carry Maternity

Undergarments are wardrobe staples and everyday essentials, and yet, are the clothing pieces most women pay very little attention to. We often find ourselves guilty of wearing underwear and bras that have been stretched past their natural life, and not the right fit for our bodies. Why? We may feel that investing money in good foundation pieces is a waste, as you can’t see them, or we may feel it is too hard to get the right fit anyway.

In this 2-part blog series, we want to talk about the importance of proper fitting undergarments for the expectant mother. A good fitting bra (which post 1 will find for you), and the right underwear for your wardrobe (post 2’s topic), will transform your confidence, comfortably hug your body  and compliment your silhouette for the best looks in maternity fashion. Let’s begin.

An Expectant Mother’s Guide to the Perfect Bra:

Subtle, or sometimes dramatic, changes happen to the body during the first trimester. The breasts begin to swell and a pre-pregnancy bra can become uncomfortable, too small and unflattering. When women first come in to shop for their expectant frame, one of the first things we want to check is if their bra is properly fitting. An ill-fitting bra can make you look heavier, and make you feel heavier, because your bust is sitting too low. It can also exacerbate already sore breasts.

How to shop for the perfect pregnancy bra

Unless you are experienced with bra-fitting, it can be very easy to get it wrong. Here are some things to consider when evaluating whether a bra (new or the one you currently have) is right for you,

  • Is the band of your bra level or horizontal to the ground?

The band should not ride up the back. It should also not be too large for your ribcage.

A band that is too big, and that rides up the back will cause the breasts to sag.

  • Are the shoulder straps too loose and can easily fall or be pushed off your shoulders?

Adjust the straps until your bust point sits midway between your shoulder and elbow.

  • Has your current bra reached the end of its life span? Is the elastic frayed, broken or poor in elasticity?

The average lifespan of a bra is one year.

  • Is the cup the right shape and size for your body?

Your bust should not bulge over the top of the cup.

There should be enough side coverage so your breast does not spill out.

With a moulded cup, there should be no empty space, especially at the breast point.

  • Does the bra leave marks on the body?

A well-fitted bra will not leave indentation marks on the skin. This is a sign that the bra (back or shoulder strap) is ill-fitting.

You will find that different brands and styles will offer a different fit. Which bra is right for you will only be determined by trying on a variety of styles, and it can be very helpful to work with a style expert who knows how to properly fit a bra (a service we can certainly provide). A last check of whether the bra is right for you always involves throwing a fitted tee over top to see how the bra looks.

Whether your clothing fits well, and compliments your frame, will depend on your undergarments. Take care and spend a little extra time on finding a bra that makes you look and feel great. Dressing well really does start from the inside out.

You might find this video from Cake helpful.
Stay tuned for our next post when we discuss the right underwear for pregnancy.

Browse our lingerie section.

Where Does the Time Go? Celebrating Mother’s Day and Memory-Keeping

Happy Mother's Day from Carry MaternityThere are many things we love about working at Carry Maternity. One thing is meeting expectant mothers, many of whom are just beginning their journey through motherhood. They’re filled with so much excitement for what is to come. As mothers ourselves, we understand this anticipation and about all of the moments of joy to come: first cries, first steps, first words, first kisses … the list goes on.

How can we find a way to hang onto those moments? How do you preserve memories?

  • Create stunning scrapbooks;
  • Create photo-books of photography and school artwork;
  • Take pictures and videos … lots of pictures and videos. Use photo editing tools like PicMonkey and Canva or video sharing tools like Vimeo.
  • Start a treasure chest or memory box to store tokens from special moments, including drawings and reports from school.
  • Write down the things kids say. It entertains you today, and will warm your heart tomorrow.

Keeping tokens of the years gone by is a great way to remember how you saw your kids then, and how you looked through their eyes. Pat recently came across this charming report her daughter did in grade one. She wrote about what her mother did for a living. It’s lovely to see Pat through the proud eyes of her daughter when she was only six years old.

Take a look at this beautiful report; a memory Pat will cherish forever. Start preserving your own memories today: take a belly photo this Mother’s Day and hang onto that precious moment.

View the report.

Pat’s teenaged daughter Katherine recently found this report she did when she was in grade 1. Katherine thought it was funny and couldn’t even remember having done it. More importantly, it led her and Pat to have a conversation about Pat’s memories of Katherine as a child.

Preserve memories this Mother's Day and enjoy each precious moment. From Carry Maternity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maternity Fashion for Every Body Type

While you love what’s happening inside of your body, you may not always love what is happening to your body. Growing as baby grows can leave you feeling anxious about how to dress your pregnant frame.  Clothes should accentuate the gorgeous body you have, and looking and feeling fabulous depends on finding the fashions that suit you best.

Most of us obsess about certain parts of our body, whether it’s our arms, hips, or in my case, knees. Because we don’t like that particular aspect of our body, we think everyone else only sees that “fault” too. It’s really about bringing proportion and balance to your body and seeing yourself as a whole, not just parts.

The best place to start is to identify your pre-pregnancy body type. Below you will find three common body types. Don’t worry if it is not a perfect match, it is just a starting point.

The Petite Body: Maternity Fashions that Fit

This Isabella Oliver Richmond Dress Available at Carry Maternity is great for a petite frame.

Petite definition:

Any body shape under 5’4′. Petite clothing addresses the issue of shorter proportions.

Tips:

  1. Wear figure-conscious clothing. This does not mean skin tight. The clothing should skim your body, showing your figure, but not tight enough to stress the fabric. Too much fabric will swallow up your body.
  2. Dresses elongate the body, especially smaller prints and solids.
  3. When wearing separates, keep colours tonal.
  4. When wearing colour, use the 1/3 rule. Put the brighter colour on the top 1/3 of your body to bring the eye up and to not chop your body in half.
  5. Heels, even a 1/2 inch one, are better than flats.

A few  style picks for you ….

 

The Curvy Body: Maternity Fashions that Fit

Our Carry Maternity Wrap Dress is perfect for a curvy frame. See blog for style tips.

Curvy definition:

Rounder bust and hips with a small waist

Tips:

  1. Fit is extremely important for a curvy gal. Look for fitted clothes that accentuate curves; oversized or baggy clothing will add the appearance of weight.
  2. Emphasize your small waist with a belt or pieces that nip in at the waist.
  3. Keep necklines open without being overly revealing.
  4. Darker wash denim is recommended to create a slimmer, longer-legged look.
  5. Don’t avoid colour and prints. Prints are great to camouflage areas that can get fuller with pregnancy.
  6. Seamless underwear and well-fitting bras will create a smooth silhouette..

A few style picks for you …

 

The Straight Body: Maternity Fashions that Fit

This Carry Maternity Shift dress is perfect for the straight body type. Learn more on the blog.

Straight definition:

Bust and hips are approximately the same width and there is little or no waist definition.

Tips:

Pregnancy will give you some of the curves you did not have before.

  1. Can wear a wide variety of styles.
  2. Wear clothes that will create a waist – belts, wrap & side-tie dresses.
  3. Clothes with flow and some volume are good;  think pleats, tucks, and gathers.
  4. Emphasizing the bust can slim down the waist – scoop, sweetheart and v-shape necklines help achieve this.
  5. Enjoy wearing colours, patterns & details such ruffles, ruching and gathers

A few style picks for you …

The key principle, no matter your frame, is to bring balance to the figure. You know you’ve fitted the body right when you look in the mirror, happily and confidently, and see the whole body and not just a body part or two. Clothes are supposed to make you feel good; that is what is so fun about fashion! If you aren’t having fun with your maternity fashion, come and see us. You deserve to look your best.

We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to maternity fashion. Our job is to provide you with the designs that compliment your expectant frame, and our matchmaking service – bringing women like you in touch with the fashions that fit – is our specialty. Whether you are shopping online or in-store, shopping with your pre-pregnancy frame in mind will accentuate your best assets, giving you confidence in a time when you aren’t always feeling your best.

And if we might say, in closing, … bodies come in all gorgeous shapes and sizes.

Embrace yours.

 

Celebrity-Inspired Maternity Dresses to Suit Your Personality

No matter if you are a confessed celeb watcher, a closet admirer of the rich and famous or an occasional curious cat, celebrities can inspire our fashion choices. It can be fun – and even affordable! – to be led by the wardrobes of some of our favourite public personalities. So feel inspired! Match your personality with each of these expectant celebrities and find out what our designer Pat has created, just for you. That’s what makes us different at Carry Maternity; we help you to choose the clothes that say “you” best. Because clothes that express “you-ness” are the most fun to wear, fit the most comfortably and make you feel amazing – even with morning sickness, water retention and heartburn! Take a look at these celebrity inspired maternity dresses and match your style.

Celebrity Inspired Spring Fashion - Look 1 on Carry Maternity

 

Celebrity Inspired Style 1: A Pregnant Zooey Deschanel

Buzz-word: Retro-Chic

You are: Confident, quirky, with a fun and flirty style

You like: Prints, black and white

Pat has designed this gorgeous black and white print dress with twist knot detail at the waist to accentuate your feminine curves. It plays up your flirty style, while being breezy and effortlessly beautiful.

 

Celebrity Inspired Spring Fashion - Look #2 on Carry Maternity

Celebrity Inspired Style 2: A Pregnant Keira Knightley

Buzz-word: The New Romantic

You are: Graceful, old world with a new world, modern edge

You like: Florals, hand-crafted details like lace and ribbons

This floral dress brings a pop of colour into the romantic’s wardrobe and is perfect for the girl who straddles the old and new world of fashion; classic but with a modern refinement. This dress would soften the angular and waif-like character of Keira’s body, but looks stunning on any woman who loves feminine style in her wardrobe.

 

Celebrity Inspired Spring Fashion - Look #3 by Carry Maternity

Celebrity Inspired Style 3: A Pregnant Jessica Biel

Buzz-word:  Glamorous Leading Lady

You are: Sexy and polished. A classic hollywood beauty that belongs on the red carpet.

You like: Sophistication and sparkle, shape and sex appeal

Reach for this high-waisted, curve-flattering dress in the ultimate feminine shade of soft pink. The detail on this dress elevates it; a empire waist emphasizes the baby bump while offering a figure-flattering cinch. The ruching along the side draws the eye to the curve of the hip and is flattering on all body types. This look is glamorous, sexy and polished.

Let’s face it, celebrities inspire us. And sometimes it is fun to steal a little something from their style book and replicate it in our own wardrobe.

While celebrities make for great muses for our designer Pat, it really is the customers that determine the styles we end up creating. It can be a gorgeous dress to look at, but if it doesn’t fit your life, it just isn’t worth it. We work to match your personality with the clothes that bring you alive. A woman wearing the perfect dress is confident, happy and a celebrity in her own right.


So, which celebrity style best suits you? And where will you be wearing that perfect dress?!

Packing for Your Beach BabyMoon: 5 Tips for Jet Setting Without All the Baggage

Escaping the cold weather, snow and dark afternoons of winter is right on trend this time of year, and so is enjoying some time with your partner before 10 little fingers and 10 little toes change your lives forever.

When you are headed to a warm-weather destination for a beach babymoon, you want the simplicity of easy-breezy clothes that serve multiple purposes. And we’re here to help.

Here are our top tips for what to pack for your beach babymoon.

Always Pack Shoes First

Starting with your shoes first encourages you to think about what you will be doing on your vacation. How does your wardrobe need to perform? I say everyone needs to pack three pairs of shoes. You can’t really do it in less, and more makes you a slave to your luggage:

  • Pack the most fashionable walking shoe you have in your closet. This means you pair comfort, for those long trips into town or sightseeing, with something that has a bit more of a “look” than your dingy runners;
  • Because we are talking about a beach escape, also look for a shoe that can get wet. This is a shoe that is perfect for walking on the beach;
  • Pack something that can take you to dinner, something that you feel sexy in.

A Good Foundation: Pack Your Undies

Pack some good underpinnings. I recommend nude coloured silk seamless underwear that doesn’t create panty lines. Smooth camisoles are great layering pieces: if it is hot or cold, you can take off or add layers. Pack a black plus a light or fashion colour. This sounds so practical (my mother would be so proud), but you really need to make sense of how each piece will work.

Pack a Bathing Suit You Feel Confident In

How to Pack for a Babymoon by Carry Maternity-1
Invest in a good suit and a beautiful cover-up to go from beach to lunch.

Find a good maternity suit that accentuates your growing belly and gives you the coverage you want to hit the beach with confidence. Grab some colour, look for the support and coverage you need, but remember to pick one that makes you feel like a million bucks. Investing in a good maternity suit will help you to feel that confidence.

Don’t forget a cover-up. This will protect your sensitive belly skin, which is stretching thin with a growing baby and therefore highly exposed. Cover-ups are also great because they can help you dress up your suit for lunch. For example, a fashionable tankini looks great with a sarong.

Shown: Striped maxi skirt from Seraphine. Tankini from Indrid & Isabel.

 

How to Pack for a Babymoon by Carry Maternity - 2
A few comfortable dresses make for easy wear and light packing.

Some Easy Wear Dresses

A Tees by Tina dress is a highly fashionable way to look great and be comfortable even in the heat. The fabric is not only moisture wicking but figure flattering as well. This amazing clothing line, loved by celebrities, is one-size fits most and packs easily. The dresses look great with sandals or runners, so you can move from beach, to dinner, to sightseeing.

You might want to pack two Tees by Tina dresses along with a flowy floral dress. Why focus on dresses? Dresses are comfortable to wear when you are pregnant; in hot weather this can be key.

Shown: Lattice maxi dress from Tees by Tina. Floral knot dress from Carry Maternity. Maxi sundress from Seraphine.

Shorts and Capris

How to Pack for a Babymoon by Carry Maternity - 3
Pack shorts and capris to take your swimsuit around town.

Throw in a pair of shorts, and/or a pair of capris that take you from day to night and all around town. A pair of shorts over your bathing sit when heading for lunch makes for an easy outfit, and capris can be worn with a multi-functional shirt (acts as a bathing suit cover-up too).

Shown: Tank from Tees by Tina. T-shirt from Isabel Oliver. Khakis from Seraphine. Shorts (inquire in store).

 

There you have it! Five summer-y staples to take you from the cold of a Canadian winter to the warm sand of a beach destination. Not only will you be in love with the scenery, your partner and your growing belly, but you’ll be in love with the fit and feel of your clothes …. and the light ease of your suitcase as you haul it home. Enjoy your babymoon. Rest and be well.

 

You might also like to read:

One Dress, Three Looks

Getting to Know Yorkville’s Carry Maternity

 

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014

An expectant mother often forgets to stop and pamper herself. So, if there’s a special mom-to-be on your shopping list this holiday season, save the baby gifts for next year, and treat her to something that’s all about her. Whether she’s in her first trimester or the final countdown, she’s sure to appreciate a bit of indulgence. In that spirit, we’ve pulled together a gift guide to help you find just the right thing to spoil the mom-to-be this holiday season.

$50 and under: the Stocking Stuffer gift

Skip Hop Grab & Go stroller organizer $25, Bella Band $35, Mama Mio Pregnancy Essentials kit $49, Shupeas baby shoes $35, Blueberry Hill baby hats $18-$35

 

$100 and under: the BFF gift

Mamalicious Blazer $89, Mamalicious Sparkly Dress $69, Elari diaper wallet $65, Blanqi support tank $85, Mamalicious denim $79, Isabella Oliver scoop neck top $75, Bola necklace $85

 

$150 and under: the Under-the-Tree gift

Carry Sweater dress $149, Queen Mum sweater $169, Boob panty/nursing bra set, Skip Hop Chelsea diaper bag $125, Cache Coeur Lisa Nursing Nightgown $110

 

The Splurge gift

Mayana Genevière bra $90, Carry Ruched dress $149, MamaMio package: Boob Tube, Lucky Legs,Tummy Rub Butter $137, Paige denim, gift card, Mcoat $379

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.

Sam-Headshot-2A-edited copy

5 Tips for Rocking Your Maternity Photo Session

 

Photo credit: Toronto Maternity Photography by ÜmlaPhoto
Photo credit: Toronto Maternity Photography by ÜmlaPhoto

Guest post by Toronto Family photographer Adriana Villela of ÜmlaPhoto

Having photos taken can often seem so intimidating, especially when it comes to maternity photos. Pregnancy is a beautiful gift, but many women are self-conscious about how they look, and are therefore very hesitant to have their photos taken during this special time in their lives.

Many moms-to-be are eager to book their maternity photos, but are still very nervous about the session itself. If you’re considering booking a maternity session, I’ve put together a few tips to help make your maternity session a wonderful experience, with images that you will treasure for years to come!

1. Decide on the Type of Session that You WantMaternity photos can be done in so many different ways.
Here are just a few different styles to choose from:

  • Traditional Posed Studio Photos – think studio lights and backdrops
  • Boudouir Bhotography – i.e. sexy photos
  • Themed Photography – e.g. storybook theme, ‘60s theme, medieval – anything goes
  • Lifestyle Photography – i.e. casual, candid, day-in-the-life. This is the type of photography that I do

2. Find the Right Photographer
Photography is an investment. Which means that just choosing the first photographer that pops up on a Google search or offers the lowest prices would be doing you and your memories a grave injustice. Get the names of a few photographers from friends, family, and local businesses that deal in maternity or baby products/services. And then check out their web sites. Call them. Make sure that you gel with the photographer that you choose, that you like their work, and that they do the type of photography that you’re looking for (see #1).

3. Just Roll With It
Relax! Seriously. This is a chance for you to have fun! Don’t worry about having to look at the camera and smile. It’s unnatural and doesn’t do you justice. The best photos you can get are when you are genuinely laughing or smiling. That goes for your partner too (if they choose to be in the photos). Remember that you, your partner, AND your child will cherish these images down the road, and your child will LOVE seeing how happy and relaxed you were in these photos!

4. Trust Your Photographer
Again, I repeat that photography is an investment, And if you’ve invested in a good, experienced photographer with whom you click, then TRUST IN THEM. They are professionals and have done this before. That doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to say, “Hey, I really wanted a photo of me with this blanket that my grandmother knitted for the baby.” A good photographer will accommodate that request. They will also help you relax and give you direction during your session, so that everything feels as natural as possible.

5. Dress for Success
If you’re doing boudoir or themed photos, the photographer will usually have a stylist and/or makeup artist on hand. If you’re going for studio or lifestyle photos, however, you’ll want to keep the following points in mind. Even if you’re going for a casual feel/look for your photos, you’re likely not going to show up to the session in yoga pants and flip-flops. I always tell my clients to dress up like they would dress for a casual Friday at the office – casual, but dressy. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Wear fun shoes
  • Wear fun and bright accessories
  • Choose clothes that define and flatter your belly

Just remember that the ideal time for booking your maternity session is when you are between 31 and 35 along, and to remember to schedule your sesison well in advance. So if you are 20 weeks pregnant, and want photos done at 32 weeks, book now, because chances are, if you wait too long to book, the photographer you want to use may be booked solid.

So go forth, and rock your maternity session. You deserve it!

Toronto maternity photaographer Adriana Villela of ÜmlaPhoto
Photo credit: PinkleToes Photography

Adriana Villela of ÜmlaPhoto specializes in custom boutique Toronto family photography, including maternity and newborns. Sessions are shot on-location and in natural light, to capture fun, genuine, and candid family moments, and turn them into lasting memories for years to come. Adriana a mother of a very feisty and creative 5-year-old, and a wife to a man who manages to be a bigger computer geek than she is. When she isn’t capturing the beauty of life through her lens, you can find her zipping along Toronto’s streets on her pink kick scooter, on family bike adventures, or hitting her favourite climbing gym with her family.

Craving

They’re among the most unusual and (sometimes) dreaded side effects of pregnancy, and once one of them grabs hold, it can be impossible to shake. Cravings, both run of the mill and cringe-worthy, are as mysterious as they are varied, leading some women to pine for strange snacks and leaving others with no unusual hankerings.

In the past, there was no shortage of theories surrounding what cravings for certain foods might mean. One popular old wives’ tale led mothers-to-be that the sweet tooth they developed during pregnancy meant that they’d give birth to a girl.

Today, those beliefs have been widely discarded, even as cravings continue to be an issue for women. Although those cravings are as diverse as the women who have them, there are some that are particularly common, including salty snacks like chips, fries and pickles, and treats like ice cream. One sweet item that always tops lists of most-craved items, though, is chocolate.

It may seem obvious (who needs to be pregnant to long for chocolate?), but the rich confection perennially tops lists of the treats most sought-after by expecting women. Some practitioners of alternative medicine believe that cravings for chocolate might be triggered by a shortage of magnesium, which you can normally find in whole grains, nuts and seeds, and leafy green vegetables.

However, nutritional experts are divided in their opinions on the meaning of women’s pregnancy cravings – or if they have any meaning at all. Many believe that there’s no link between the foods women want, and what their body (or baby) actually needs.

That said, once a pregnant hears the siren call of chocolate-y treats, it can be hard to overcome. While nutritionists discourage women from caving to all of their impulses, sometimes the best way to combat cravings can be to indulge them once in a while.

At Chocolate Brunette, pastry chef Micol Corno knows just how satisfying a small treat – made with only the finest ingredients – can be. Each of her artfully crafted chocolate creations, from her Nutella-based, melt-in-your-mouth Heavenly Bite cookie, to her array of bite-sized truffles, is petite but packed with flavour. The result is a small, but satisfying answer to the chocolate cravings that so often plague soon-to-be mums.

Although absolutely decadent (Micol uses only high grade Belgian chocolate and an exceptional selection of nuts like cashews, pistachios, and hazelnuts), her products aren’t over-the-top. Micol eschews trendy toppings like buttercream, and opts instead for ganache and chocolate drizzles.

Whether you’re expecting, or simply have a desire for chocolate that you just can’t shake, Chocolate Brunette’s ever-changing assortment of freshly baked goods is an easy choice for anyone with a sweet tooth. And, with top of line coffee and espresso playing a supporting role to Micol’s chocolate-based creations, it’s also an ideal spot for new mums to recharge and re-caffeinate.