Our baby is just a few weeks away (WHAT?!) from making its public debut so I wanted to fill you in on how I’ve been preparing for maternity leave! Bonus, I’m sharing my top 10 favorite mom products that have either been super awesome during pregnancy or that I’m just really excited for using after baby arrives.
If you’re wondering about the products shown in the image, Alex and I handmade the barbell baby rattle and the silicone and wooden teether is from SpearmintLove!
Maternity Leave Preparation
There is just one wedding left for the 2017 Kate & Co. season and once that’s all finished, I’ll be starting a relaxed maternity leave for a few months. Here are steps I’ve taken (and you can too!) to make it as smooth as possible for me and all our Kate & Co. clients.
These are large-scale steps so for smaller, more detailed steps, see this awesome blog post by Nancy Ray Photography!
This one is the foundation of all the other steps. Figure out your game plan, create a really solid backup plan in case things don’t go exactly as expected, and then do as much work in advance of your leave as possible. For me, that has included having another event planning team in the wings for each of our pre-baby weddings that could step in if a baby emergency happened during the pregnancy. Also I’ve been squeezing in as many meetings (venue visits, client meetings, vendor networking) as possible and pre-scheduling everything including blogs, social media posts, emails, event notifications, etc.
Set clear expectations.
An absolute MUST. I sent a carefully planned and worded email to all the then-current Kate & Co. clients to tell them that there was a baby on the way, give detailed information about backup plans in case the worst happened, and explain what they could expect for service throughout the pregnancy. Setting clear expectations with our clients right from the beginning has kept every single one of our clients happy and satisfied and they’ve never doubted that their event would still go off beautifully and without a hitch regardless of what happened with the pregnancy.
Set clear boundaries.
This isn’t just for clients and vendors, this is for yourself too. Decide ahead of time what level of business activity you want to have on your leave and stick to it!! Tell clients and vendors what that will mean, for instance maybe you’ll be available by email only but will need up to 48 hours to respond. Or maybe you’ll have office hours on certain days for 1 hour. Or maybe you’ll be completely off the radar and have arranged for an assistant to respond to emails, phone calls, and handle inquiries. Whatever the case may be, everyone needs to know what your plans are and you need to hold yourself accountable to stick to those boundaries. Better yet, find yourself an accountability partner!
Products I Love/Am Excited About
Belly Belt – I wanted to get more life out of my current wardrobe rather than buying all new maternity-only items, so these were amazing. They’re super durable, wide elastic bands that extend your pants/shorts regardless of closure type. It comes in a set and even have panels you can use to cover up the opening left (I’m lazy and never used them but they seem helpful!) I ended up being able to wear all my non-maternity clothes until about week 35 using these! I had originally purchased the Oopsie Loopsies (the glorified version of the rubber band trick) for the same function but found they just weren’t robust enough and the elastic stretched irreparably after just a few uses.
Pregnancy Journal – OK, call me old fashioned, but I have loved having a paper journal to help me keep track of everything throughout this first pregnancy. It looks a little outdated but as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover! This little gem has sections to record everything from exercise regimen, weight gain, practitioner visits, and general journaling all the way to birth plans, checklists, and so much more! It has already been invaluable to me to be able to flip back and reference test results, practitioner visit notes, and pregnancy moments that I would have otherwise forgotten about already. But what I’m extra excited about is that it’ll be a perfect quick reference for comparing during future pregnancies.
Belly Oil – Since there are still a few weeks left I can’t say for sure whether or not I’ll end up with stretch marks but for now I attribute the lack of stretch marks to this oil. It was given to me by one of my best girlfriends who is a recent mama herself and I fell in love with it. I had purchased a different lotion during the first trimester but when the nausea set in I couldn’t stand the smell. This oil has never set me off! It does have an herbal scent but I think it’s pretty neutral and inoffensive. Also it feels so good after application! Another pro is that it’s made with all natural ingredients by a wonderful company.
Yeti Rambler – Alex reminded me to put this one on the list and he’s so right! I tote mine with me e v e r y w h e r e. I fill it up multiple times a day and I think that staying ultra hydrated has actually kept me from retaining fluids and avoid any swelling. Besides being healthy for you to stay hydrated in general, it helps keep your amniotic fluids at the appropriate levels.
Mobile Applications – I’m not going to recommend a particular application since there are so many good ones but an app or two is a fun way to track pregnancy progress. We have mostly been using BabyCenter. It’s cute to see how the baby is developing every week with really lifelike renderings and a fruit or vegetable size comparison.
Aerie sports bra – This is currently on an amazing sale!! I’d totally be willing to pay full price for it again though because it’s that worth it. When you get pregnant your body changes, a lot. Including the tatas. If yours are painful or sore or enlarged, this sports bra is brilliant because you don’t have to put it on over your head but can comfortably just zip it up the front. Which also makes it great for breastfeeding since it’s really easy front access.
The Everyday Mother journal – In a similar vein to the pregnancy diary, this one is for after baby arrives to keep track of everything going on (feedings, diapers, reminding myself to shower…) From what I hear those first weeks and months are a blur so this will be a great resource for me to take short notes about everything happening so I can fondly reminisce when my brain is fully functional again. It’s created by a mompreneur with such a big heart so of course I fell even more in love with it. In fact, I’m so excited about this journal that I’ve become a brand ambassador and get to share the coupon code BAKATE with you for 10% off!
Mini wallet – I’ve already transitioned to using this mini wallet to prepare for the shift to using a small diaper bag. It forced me to clean out my wallet and purse, purge receipts, and go super minimal. It’s been awesome!! Supposedly it also protects against information theft? Anyway, mostly I like that it’ll keep my mom stuff together and fit into one of the easy-to-access and protected (but small!) pockets of the diaper bag.
Robe & Nightgown – These were probably an unnecessary purchase but I wanted something that would make me feel pretty after birth while being super comfy and practical too. These are made of modal so are really soft and stretchy, are cut in a way that they’ll fit immediately postpartum, and have sweet lace touches that keep them beautiful and sexy.
Hope you find these products just as useful and fun as I have! Leave comments with any essentials I may have missed!!
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