Style during pregnancy – It’s important to your mental health

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I’ve always been keen on my personal style. Not just because I like pretty things, but because it feels good to look good. How we feel on every level (our body, our mindset, our emotions – all of these parts of ourselves) works together. A funny thing can happen when we enter pregnancy. Our hormones kick in and even before our belly and hips start to swell and we start to wonder if we “look good” anymore. Our clothes don’t fit like they used to and we question if it makes sense to invest in our style because pregnancy is so “temporary.”

Why should we invest in our pregnancy style?

During my first pregnancy I took the “I’ll use what I have” approach. I used leggings, big tops, and dresses that had wing span. When I needed to look nice, I began to sweat. What in the world could I wear that would not only fit, but make me look like the “glowing” pregnant person I thought I was supposed to be? I kept seeing all these maternity styles popping up in boutiques, but I couldn’t justify spending the money on them. And the funniest thing happened. By the time I reached seven months, I simply couldn’t take the makeshift wardrobe anymore. I broke down and bought myself some pretty, properly fitted maternity dresses and pants. I felt the best in my last few months because of those few simple purchases.

When my second pregnancy came around, I didn’t hesitate to invest in a “capsule” of cute, seasonally-appropriate items I could turn to any day of the week.  It was obvious that I felt more confident, less anxious, and more “myself”. The difference being that I knew it was important to invest in myself during this temporary but very powerful time.

You see, how we “dress ourselves” is how we navigate any moment in our life. It’s not simply the clothes. It’s how the clothes represent our inner life….and how our inner life is made better when we’re willing to love on ourselves a bit more.

I’d like to offer that our willingness to invest in ourselves on the outside and inside is a practice that will take us through pregnancy way into motherhood. Motherhood is only balanced and happy, if we know we must be a whole individual too. These early moments are simply the beginning of navigating that reality.

As the founder of BeyondMom.com and the author of Going Beyond Mom, I’ve had the opportunity to befriend some amazing women who are stylists, designers and entrepreneurs all in the motherhood space. Here are some of my favorite insights and tips from their experience….handed with love, to you.

Insights and Tips for Investing in Yourself

  1. “Even the most stylish among us can feel overwhelmed by pregnancy. Your body is changing constantly which can really do a number on your emotional state, and it doesn’t help that all of those pregnant women you follow on Instagram always look so put together! Instead of trying to stretch your regular clothes or sizing up in non-maternity, treat yourself to a few “real” maternity pieces that fit properly and make you feel confident and beautiful. It will be worth every penny when you have that “go-to” outfit at the ready all pregnancy long.” – Jessica Pallay, Co-Founder, WellRounded NY
  2. “Women go through many transitions throughout life, but motherhood is one of the most profound. There is a (re)birthing process that occurs for mama too so it’s critical to stay aware of the shifts to ensure self-expression is authentic to the growth and evolution. This means taking care of your personal style. While it may be more complicated to dress a changing body, feeling beautiful from the inside out is vital for a healthy sense of self and confidence. Self-care is a key element to being a strong role model for your child and motherhood begins the moment you conceive.
    TIP:
    Invest in your personal style though the changes. And that means financially too. While your body may be flexing in shape, ensure you have items in your closet that help you feel like your most beautiful self. You don’t need to break the bank for the temporary shifts, but there are strategic ways of shopping for pieces that work with a changing shape.” – Jenny Greenstein, Founder, Your Soul Style, personal wardrobe stylist
  3. “Embracing your style during pregnancy is all about accepting your body, being comfortable with change and going though your journey with self confidence. Our body physically and hormonally changes so much during the 40 weeks. It’s easy to feel scared or uncomfortable, but remember, this time is to celebrate the life you’re creating inside you! I would remind every woman whether pregnant or postpartum that when you feel lost, uncomfortable or scared, to take time to go to your happy place. Take time and focus inward and find your authentic self through your style, projects, exercise, whatever it is that gives you back your balance. Validate you and who you are.” – Shelley Suh, Founder of Loyal Hana, clothing for maternity, nursing and beyond.
  4. “Don’t skim on spending money on yourself. Once you become pregnant, all the thoughts and money focus is on the baby – what stroller, crib, baby outfit, monitor to buy and before you know it, you are ‘surviving’ your pregnancy feeling fat, ugly, and not like yourself. Postpartum is even worse – you have no time to think about yourself. You can ‘survive’ wearing what you have but make sure to invest in some key pieces that cater to different stages of your motherhood journey – pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond. Clothes that are designed by moms who have gone through the journey have little tricks that just make your life a lot easier and make you feel beautiful and like yourself! People often dismiss fashion as vanity, but it actually has an important place in people’s lives, not only as a means of self-expression but also as an important factor in instilling confidence and empowerment.” – Yoko Shimada, founder of Mitera- Elevated and Easy to Wear Essentials for Modern
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