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Vol. 9, Edition 1

What labor is really like Ali Landry shares her pregnancy secrets Click here to get a behind-thescenes peek at our cover shoot!

8 biggest


mistakes new moms make

Expecting a baby makes you think about the future.

“A new baby is like the beginning of all things—wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.” —Eda J. LeShan

Caroline tran Photography



the social


See what’s happening in our community, on boards and Instagram.

we a s k e d O n Face bo o k . . .

Complete this sentence: You know you’re a mom when… yo u to ld u s . . .

“You sway or bounce, and you aren’t even holding a baby.”

–J e ss ic a S .

“The only time you get to yourself is a five-minute shower.”

–M e li ssa F.

“You’re on your lunch break, eating, pumping and Facebooking all at once.”

–Lo r i an n W.

Addicted to Twitter? Yeah, us too. We’re obsessed with baby products and tweeting about the cool finds we see at events and shows. We’re also dishing the latest baby news and celeb gossip.

Our Most-Pinned board Is Called “Healthy Eats.” Yum! We love its delicious and guilt-free meal ideas. We’re also pinning all of our favorite baby gear and creative nursery and baby-shower ideas. Follow us.

Show us your bump! share your pics using #TBMyBump


we’re @thebump

Join your birth month club at

instagram: Jenn Torrance

follow us @thebump

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volume 9, edition 1

c  ontents what’s hot




8 bumpie buzz baby news from dc and beyond 10  trending right now the hottest (and most absurd!) celeb trends 12 what’s in a name? top dc baby names and what they mean 14 baby by the numbers fascinating stats 16 wacky products that work weird, but useful, baby gear 20 how big is baby? weekly growth and development





24 third time around ali landry gets real about pregnancy 34 my pregnancy diary a local mom’s story 36 girlfriend getaways cool prebaby trips to take with friends 42 q+a from decoy baby names to knowing baby’s gender


a shower is just the start unconventional ideas to celebrate baby



48 all the right moves hilaria baldwin’s prenatal yoga poses 54 what’s going on with your skin? help for pregnancy skin issues 56 the pampered pregnancy local spots for a little indulgence 58 four seasons best celeb fashion 62 eat great, feel better foods to ease your symptoms 64 nutrition checklist are you eating the right foods? 66 q+a from stretch mark cream to prenatal massage

82 labor day childbirth basics 86 my birth story a fairfax mom shares 88 q+a from induction to water birth

nest 70 g  et inspired amazing ideas for your dream nursery 76 go ahead, splurge dc’s luxe buys for baby 78 q+a from registry teamwork to gliders

on the cover

basics 92 new-parent survival everything you need to know 98 biggest mistakes new moms make are you guilty? 104 jessica alba gets honest she chats about green living and parenting 106 q+a from growth spurts to gripe water

beyond 110 first birthday basics plan the perfect party 114 7 weird toddler behaviors that are actually normal handling your child’s odd quirks 116 q+a from whining to toothbrushing

Photography by Colette De Barros. Fashion styling by Shayoon Aboo. Hair by Julio Hernandez. Makeup by Davia Matson. Prop styling by Daniele Maxwell for Artist Untied. On Ali: silk blazer: Aidan Mattox; ruched maternity tank dress: Isabella Oliver; Monte Carlo pendant necklace: Tivon Fine Jewellery; Queen Ruby ring: Katherine Jetter, Reinhold Jewelers


part of


know it all

a blast from the past. pregnant with baby #3!

tweet us @thebump!


Congratulations! Finding out you’re pregnant is exciting, but it also can be overwhelming. That’s why we created this clever guide. It boils down pregnancy and baby info into the basics, like what’s safe and what’s not during pregnancy and where to take a new-parent class. (Of course, there’s plenty of just-for-fun and fascinating stuff here too.) But, we know you want more, so head online and check out our Ultimate Pregnancy Calendar at You get know-how every day, are able to track all your to-dos and receive updates on baby’s growth and development. Bonus: It’s also a mobile app.

Carley Roney cofounder PS: Get the conversation started with other moms-to-be at

cofounder Carley Roney

Please note: The ideas, procedures and suggestions contained in this book are not intended as health care or other professional advice, diagnosis or a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. Every baby is different and circumstances vary, so you should consult your own physician and use your own common sense. The author and publisher offer no warranties or guarantees, expressed or implied, in the completeness or advisability of the information contained in this book for your particular situation, and disclaim any liability arising from its use. All product information was supplied by the designers and manufacturers. The Bump has made every effort to portray the products true to their original colors and styles, but we cannot guarantee 100-percent accuracy. Prices and availability may change based on factors including material, regions and season. Nothing contained in this guide should be construed as an endorsement by The Bump of any designer, manufacturer or product featured herein. The Bump Magazine © 2013 XO Group Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is forbidden without written permission from the publisher. and The Bump magazine are trademarks of XO Group Inc. David Liu, Chief Executive Officer; Carley Roney, Chief Content Officer; Carol Koh Evans, Chief Operating Officer; John Mueller, Chief Financial Officer; Nic Di Iorio, Chief Technology Officer; Jeremy Lechtzin, General Counsel; Rob Fassino, Chief Product Officer.

our expert panel Denise Gershwin, CNM, midwife and nutrition expert; Conner Herman and Kira Ryan, sleep experts; Tracey Mallett, fitness expert; Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, nutritionist; Preeti Parikh, MD, pediatrician; Paula Prezioso, MD, pediatrician; Ashley S. Roman, MD, ob-gyn; Andi Silverman, author of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide To Breastfeeding; Cheryl Wu, MD, pediatrician



editor in chief Rebecca Dolgin Deputy Editor Elena Donovan Mauer Managing Editor Kellee Kratzer editorial Team Gabriella Baetti, Maria Bouselli, Ashley Castro, Meghan Corrigan, Lauren Daniels, Jackie DiBella, Kristin Giametta, Shannon Guyton, Kylie McConville, Lori Richmond, Alice Stevens Contributors Renata De Oliveira, Brooke Showell Vice President, Print and Production Frank Dolphens Production Team Susan Berryman, Lois Brunnert, Adrian Hardisty, Jesse Hardy, Katie Hover, Kate Richter, Maria Julie Rodriguez, Kasey Schroeder, Carly Steier, Jennifer Weiland, Daryl Wills, Sheryl Ziegler Executive Vice President, Custom publishing Denise Favorule Publisher Stephanie Nicolet Sales Director Kim Qualls-Bryant Sales and Advertising Team Michelle Elchaak (, 877-819-2578), Kate Buchanan, Danielle Goldman, Jennifer Parliament, Sandy Lemen, Sharon Thomas published by XO Group Inc. 195 Broadway, New York, NY 10007 Phone (212) 219-8555 Fax (212) 219-1929

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honor roll

What’s new for you in DC and beyond. by Brooke Showell

support system

RoundBelly Wellness in Alexandria, VA, offers classes and services focused on fertility and pre- and postnatal care. Cool options include acupuncture for fertility and pregnancy, yoga and meditation, cloth diapering workshops, lactation consulting and baby sign language.

get moving

A recent study in Spain suggests that exercising at least three times a week throughout pregnancy reduces your risk of having a c-section delivery.

Congrats! Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore was one of just 12 facilities on the honor roll of U.S. News & World Report’s 2012–2013 Best Children’s Hospitals. With the recent addition of the 12-story Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center, the hospital’s new look was designed to help babies and kids feel comfy and safe.

safer play

Examine your play yard. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) passed new federal safety standards for infant and toddler play yards (framed enclosures with a floor and mesh or fabric side panels), to prevent babies from getting trapped or hurt. To meet the requirements, products must have side rails that do not form a sharp V when folded, stronger corner brackets and sturdier mattress attachments. If you use a play yard, remove any pillows or thick quilts before you put baby in it.

morning sickness drug Feeling queasy? The FDA has officially given the green light to Diclegis, a prescription medication for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy—it’s the only one approved by the fda. when taken Daily as directed, it poses no harm to baby, according to several studies.


camera-ready In a survey on, 56% of moms said they’ll book a pregnancy or newborn photo shoot.

Up-to-the-minute news at

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right now

The latest, hottest (and just plain absurd) celebrity pregnancy and baby trends. By Brooke Showell


camden craze

Trendy-name alert! Celebs like Vanessa and Nick Lachey, Kristin Cavallari, and Eric Gunderson all recently chose the cute name Camden for their baby boys—and, no, not after the city in New Jersey.

“Hormone pills, and then after that, it is hormone injections. They want to get as many eggs as they can because usually you produce them but they’re not good. They have to be perfect, perfect, perfect ones.” —Sofia Vergara, confessing to Vogue that she’s freezing her eggs

music to their ears

What do you think of shaping baby’s musical taste even before birth? Hilaria Baldwin Tweeted a photo of her growing tummy while wearing Bellybuds, little speakers that play directly to the womb, and announced her baby was listening to the popular Mexican song, “Cielito Lindo.”

say what? New mom Holly Madison shared that she planned to take placenta pills after giving birth—would you? Here’s what Bumpies said on message boards: “I’ve heard it works wonders, but I don’t know if I’m crunchy enough to try it!” —kdjudd “I did it, had a fairly easy recovery and got over the baby blues pretty fast.” —blathnat “It sounds horrifying, but now I’m curious enough to look into it.” —little_bren

“I just feel awful; I’ve been vomiting. The crazy thing is, I never knew that a wiener could actually make me nauseous.” —Jessica Simpson on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, letting the news slip that she’s having a boy

selfie portrait celeb moms and moms-to-be like Jessica Simpson, Shakira and Kim Kardashian have bared their growing baby bumps on Instagram and Twitter. Too cute or TMI?


Dish about baby and mom trends at

clockwise from top left: shutterstock; getty images; shutterstock

oh boy!

Hug everywhere.

The ERGObaby carrier keeps your baby close, leaving you free to move throughout your busy day. The ergonomic design is so comfortable, you can wear it longer, because your baby’s weight is evenly distributed between your hips and shoulders. And the carrier cradles your baby just the way you do when you hug. Hug more. Hug longer. Hug everywhere. visit

what’s in a


Still searching? Here’s the Social Security Administration’s annual list of the top 10 names for boys and girls in DC. By brooke showell

HELLO ng name 1 William Not only is it a stro led -wil ong (it literally means “str is Liam e nam nick the but ”), warrior also super cute and trendy. popes, 2 Alexander It’s been used by ations vari has and s, king and s emperor e. uag in just about every lang back! 3 Henry Grandpa names are upscale. and ld wor oldnds sou Henry ng the 4 John DC parents are embraci ie. ood ut-g e-b classics with this oldi e named 5 James Six US presidents wer Jamie. or my Jim , Jim y bab Call James!

sed all 6 Daniel A fave for decades—u ations. vari of tons with ld, wor the r ove 10 7 Benjamin It’s not on the top celebs. ng amo hit a it’s nationwide, but y have a Brad Tom and en dch Bün le Gise son named Benjamin. brity 8 Samuel Here’s another cele Ben Affleck favorite. Jennifer Garner and named their only boy Samuel. share the 9 David Your little David will iath. name with the defeater of Gol ng, biblical 10 Jacob It offers both a stro e). (Jak e nam nick l name and a coo

MY NAME IS 1 Sophia Pretty but not prissy, classic but not frumpy—we get the appeal. 2 Emma As one of the top names nationwide, it’s pretty fitt ing that one meaning is “universa l.” 3 Olivia This poetic nam e first popped up in Shakespeare’s 160 2 Twelfth Night—who knew? 4 Charlotte This name is sophisticated yet carefree (in fact, it me ans “free!”). And how sweet is the nic kname Lottie? 5 Genesis It’s so approp riate to give a newborn a moniker that literally means “bir th” or “beginning.”


6 Sofia This lesser-used version of the ultra-popular Sophia me ans there will be even more little girls with the name than the ranking sug ges ts. 7 Ava It fits right in with today’s popular names—girly but stro ng. 8 Chloe Maybe today it’s inspired by Khloe Kardashian or Ch loë Sevigny, but this lyrical name is a Gre ek classic. 9 Madison It’s been a hit since Daryl Hannah’s character in 198 4’s Splash chose it after spotting it on a street sign. 10 Zoe When it starts wit h a Z, baby’s name is one people wo n’t forget!

Get a new name idea every day at

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baby by the


The must-know (and just for fun!) baby stats. By Brooke Showell



percentage of births that are twins


US Department of Agriculture’s recent estimate of how much parents spend on their child over 17 years



number of diapers you’ll go through in baby’s first week

crying sessions during baby’s first year (we’re talking about you, Mom, not baby—including happy and sad tears)



babies conceived on Valentine’s Day in 2012 (New year’s Eve also ranks high)

32,400 minutes you’ll spend breastfeeding in baby’s first six months (if you exclusively nurse)

percentage of babies born today who will live to be more than 100 years old in major industrialized nations

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that work

These crazy finds can make your life easier.

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Looks like a lunch box, but My Carry Potty is really, well, a potty that you’ll want to stash in your car, just in case. $30, RegalLager .com for stores

ease of use

Forget snaps. Magnificent Baby’s footie with magnetic closures makes changes simpler. $30, MagnificentBaby .com for stores

breast friend

Freeze your breast milk in Milk Trays; then take out as many one-ounce sticks as you need to fill baby’s bottle. No annoying bags! $22 for set of 2 trays and lids, for stores

call me baby

Keep baby from handling your cell and give him his own jChews smartphone teething toy. $15, JellystoneDesignsUSA .com for stores


On the go? Yoomi heats baby’s milk wherever you are. $33 for 8 oz. bottle and warmer, Yoomi .com for stores


tune in

Why go classic, when you can go rock? Play lullaby versions of popular songs by Rockabye Baby! $17,

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big is baby?

See how she matches up to common fruits and veggies (and what the heck she’s doing in there) week by week. by paula kashtan

week 5

apple seed Baby is starting to form her major organs, including the heart, kidneys, liver and stomach.

week 3

poppy seed Sperm met egg and—voilà— conception! Now your zygote sets off on a six-day trek through your fallopian tube to your uterus.

week 6

blueberry With joints starting to appear, baby is forming arms and legs—and growing new brain cells each minute. Wow!

week 8

raspberry Continuing to straighten in the trunk, baby can move those little arms, legs, and (slightly webbed) fingers and toes.


week 9

olive The former embryo is now officially a fetus, and an ultrasound device may be able to pick up a view of her beating heart.


week 7

sweet pea As blood begins to circulate, baby is beginning to develop eyes, ears, a nose, cheeks and a chin.

week 14

lemon Your fetus is busy with thumb sucking, toe wiggling, making urine and breathing amniotic fluid.

week 15

orange Finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your fetus squirms and wiggles like crazy, though you probably still can’t feel it. >

i’ m not fat. i’ m pregnant! week 12 week 13

peach While the intestines make their way from the umbilical cord to the fetus’s tummy, baby is developing teeth and vocal cords.

week 10

prune Arm joints work, bones and cartilage are forming, and baby’s vital organs are starting to function.

plum As you get ready for the second trimester, almost all of baby’s systems are fully formed. From here, they grow and mature.

week 11

lime Now baby’s fingers and toes are no longer webbed, and her hair follicles, tooth buds and nail beds are forming.



week 17

week 16

avocado Tiny bones are now forming in the ears and eyebrows, and lashes and hair are starting to fill in.

onion Baby’s skeleton is hardening, and those little fingers and toes are now defined with one-of-a-kind prints.

week 18

sweet potato Baby has become amazingly mobile. She yawns, hiccups, rolls, kicks, punches, sucks, twists and swallows.

week 19

mango Vernix caseosa, a greasy white goo, now coats baby’s skin. Some of it could remain at birth.


week 20

banana Your baby is gulping down amniotic fluid for nutrition and to practice swallowing. Her taste buds work!

weeks 33–36

honeydew Baby can recognize and react to simple songs and may even remember them after birth. She now pees about a pint each day.

week 37 to delivery

watermelon Your full-term (yay!) baby gains about half an ounce a day, and her brain continues to develop rapidly.

are we there yet?

weeks 29–32

squash Baby is going through major brain and nerve development, and her energy is surging. Her irises react to light, and all five senses work.

weeks 22–24

papaya Settling into sleep cycles, baby snoozes 12 to 14 hours a day. Skin is becoming more opaque, and it’s taking on a pink glow.

weeks 25–28

eggplant Baby is getting her immune system ready by soaking up lots of antibodies. Her eyes are forming too.

Get baby updates at


third time around

Ali Landry gets real about expecting baby #3. By Elena Donovan MaueR Photography by colette de barros


Actress and model Ali Landry (you probably recognize her as the Doritos girl) isn’t just a pretty face. She’s a passionate mom, an entrepreneur and even a certified car seat technician. She dished to us about her maternity fashion secrets, her favorite products and what it was like shooting a movie as her due date neared (hello, pregnancy brain!).

The Bump Did anything surprise you about pregnancy the third time around?

Ali Landry During my other two pregnancies,

my skin glowed. But this time around, I got melasma [aka the mask of pregnancy]. I learned it’s really important to have a great sunscreen and protect your skin as much as possible. I wear a hat whenever I’m outside with the kids now.

TB What are your best maternity fashion tips? AL Part of me wants to wake up in the morning

and throw on a big pair of pants—probably my husband’s—and a sweatshirt. But when I do that, I look in the mirror and I just don’t feel good about myself. So I really try to pull it all together, and I do feel so much better. It’s important to get a great pair of maternity jeans. Right now, skinny jeans are all the rage, so find a pair that’s flattering and really comfortable. I buy a lot of non-maternity tops that look stylish with my skinny jeans. This time around, I got some shirts that button down for easy access for nursing, so I can get plenty of wear out of them after the baby arrives. A well-fitted maxi dress with a great statement piece of jewelry is always really comfortable—and it looks flattering and put-together.

TB We heard you’re working on something to help moms find the best products. Tell us about it.

AL Yes! What people really want to know when

they’re buying something—myself included—is “What is your favorite product?” I want to know what your ultimate favorite thing is, so I can go out and make an educated decision and possibly buy it. I’m always putting together emails recommending all of my favorite things to friends and asking them what great >



products they’ve found, so we can learn from each other. I wanted to create a seamless way for people to do that. So my business partner and I created It’s a mobile app that lets you poll people on their number one favorite booster seat or jogging stroller and sort those results by either a community or people you follow, maybe like-minded people or celebrities. Eventually, we’ll expand beyond parenting and include a wider range of products.

Even a thirdtimer like Ali gets pregnancy surprises!

TB Are you nesting for the new baby?

AL We’re in the process of putting

our home on the market and buying a new one, because we’re bursting at the seams! My kids, Marcelo and Estela, are sharing a room, and I want all the children on the same floor as me. I have a feeling the nesting is going to come in when I’m packing and unpacking. Fortunately, I know that this baby is a boy, and I’ve saved everything from Marcelo, so I’ll be able to reuse a lot of his things. >

ali’s favorite products Amber Teething Necklace by Momma Goose “They really worked for Marcelo, and they’re just too cute when he wears them!” $19, MommaGoose .ca for stores


Sage Spoonfuls by Liza Huber “This cookbook made preparing homemade baby food so easy. I think that’s why Marcelo is such a great eater.” $25, SageSpoonfuls .com

Baby Björn Travel Crib Light 2 “We took this portable crib to the beach and on all our vacations. It’s so light and easy to bring along!” $300, for stores

Nuna ZAZZ High Chair “This high chair is beautifully designed, and it’s made to grow with your child, so it’s longlasting. Even an adult can sit in it.” $260, for stores

fashion styling: shayoon aboo; hair: Julio Hernandez; makeup: Davia Matson; prop styling: Daniele Maxwell for artist untied. on Ali: Dress: Zayan; Earrings, Necklace, Bracelet, pinky ring: Trina Turk; Ring on middle finger of right hand: River Bed Fern Ring, Reinhold Jewelers



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Ali, Marcelo and Estela hang out on the family’s patio.

TB We heard you can install a car seat professionally. Why is car seat safety so important to you?

AL I’m certified as a child passenger

safety technician by Safe Kids Worldwide. Going through the course opened my eyes, and now I want to shout about car seat education at the top of my lungs. It’s not necessary to move your child up to a larger seat or a booster as quickly as many parents want to. I know all parents want the safest option for their child, but when you don’t educate yourself, sometimes you make bad choices.

TB How was it filming the movie Little Boy when you were nine months pregnant?

AL It was hard. We shot the movie in

Mexico, and they actually had to have a helicopter waiting just in case I went into labor, to fly me to a hospital in San Diego. And I had pregnancy brain. I couldn’t remember my lines to save my life! I was very emotional. I had a crying scene—it was very easy for me to cry.


TB And what was it like wearing maternity clothes from the 1940s?

AL It was hilarious. I wore a skirt that had a

cutout for my belly and tied at the top. The lengths of the skirts were all in the wrong places. Maternity clothes have come a long way in the last 70 or so years!

TB Are your kids ready for the new baby? AL I think Estela’s ready because she

already has a little brother, so she knows what she’s in for. We were at the doctor’s office, and the doctor said, “How do you like your little brother?” She said, “He pulls my hair.” Then the doctor asked, “So what do you think about having a new brother?” And she’s like, “I’m going to be bald.” So I think she knows that double-trouble is coming. Marcelo might be tougher to get ready. He wants to be with me all the time, and he’s very much still a baby. When I’m around, he clings to me. I might have to call in some of my expert mommy friends to help navigate our way through this.

Get the scoop on celeb pregnancies at

on ali: Robyn Maxi dress, Riller and Fount; earrings and bracelet: Kyle By Alene Too. on marcelo: outfit: gap kids; shoes: converse. on Estela: top: gap kids: Hood and blanket: Spirithood

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Storks bring more than just cute babies—they bring unique gifts too! From name puzzle stools and piggy banks to apparel and room décor, StorkGifts has the perfect personalized presents.


product spotlight Great products for pregnancy and beyond.

better body after baby

Hips widen for delivery but don’t have to stay that way. Shrinkx Hips is ob/gyn-recommended and clinically proven to help guide hips back into place when worn in the first eight weeks following baby’s arrival. After wearing Shrinkx Hips, 95% of moms returned to their pre-pregnancy hip size or smaller.

the perfect gift for the expecting dad

Soft, comfortable, and easy to wear, DaddyScrubs® is the perfect gift for the new and expecting daddy. With hoodies, T-shirts, hats and even The Daddy Diaper Pack™, you are guaranteed to find something Dad will love! For fast and secure shopping, order online at


get your healthy glow on

Expect beautiful skin and enjoy peace of mind during and after your pregnancy with Belli Skincare products—physician formulated for concerns like acne, dry skin, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. Allergy tested. Free of artificial dyes, phthalates and parabens. OB-GYN recommended.

the healthy way to gain pregnancy weight? steadily If you started out at an average weight, here’s how much you should aim to put on:

1st trimester 1–5 pounds

2nd trimester


Wondering when your bump will start to show? It could be as early as 12 weeks.

11–14 pounds

3rd trimester 11–16 pounds

total weight gain 25–35 pounds

Gain healthily at


a shower

is just the start

Beyond the gifts and games, celebrate baby with one of these trendy new ideas. by brooke showell

Throw a low-key fete at home a few weeks or months after baby’s birth for friends to stop by, meet the little one and honor the new parents without the fanfare of a shower (though you might get a few gifts). Plan for late afternoon and serve cocktails and light bites. The best part? Baby’s already here!

save the date

No matter what style the soiree, announce baby-party plans with a festive invitation.


gender reveal

This suspenseful party is hosted by expectant parents to announce their baby’s gender. But the trend has gone far beyond cutting a cake to discover pink or blue filling. One couple made a Gangnamstyle dance video; others have sent family members boxes filled with pink or blue helium balloons.

dadchelor party

Your guy’s life is changing too, so a dadchelor party (aka a man shower) isn’t just an excuse for a little man time but also a cele­ bration of baby. This can be a huge blowout—a trip to Vegas or Mexico—or a simple fishing trip or cigar party. Just make sure he plans it for at least a month before your due date.

all invites available on

sip and see

mother’s blessing

This intimate party is inspired by an ancient Navajo ceremony called a Blessingway. The ceremony prepares an expectant mom for her upcoming birth journey—by showering her with love, support and encouragement. It’s typically held at the very end of pregnancy—36 to 38 weeks—and 10 to 20 of the mom-to-be’s closest friends and family are invited. Guests may be asked to bring a poem, song or prayer about birth or motherhood as well as a bead to symbolize fertility. Once everyone has gathered, your guests read the passages they’ve brought and then string the beads together, so you can wear them during labor (or keep them nearby) as a reminder of all their love and support.


Second- and even thirdborns are getting more recognition lately, thanks to the “sprinkle” (as in a sprinkling of gifts, rather than a full-on shower). Secondtime moms are usually well set up with gear, but there’s still reason to cele­brate. At a baby sprinkle, the new addition is honored with a get-together, including small gifts such as diapers, baby lotions or books.

3 tips for the perfect shower Rachel Macias of DC Baby Planners shares her secrets for throwing a truly unforgettable bash. 1 plan early Start thinking about the shower at least eight weeks before the party so you won’t be stressed the day of. Enlist creative friends or family to help. 2 give an experience Instead of obsessing over the décor or favors, create a memorable and relaxing experience. If mom likes party games, play them. If she’s more of a minimalist, encourage guests to give baby essentials as gifts. 3 go green Parents today are into giving baby an eco-friendly start. Ask guests to bring green gifts like organic clothing or non-toxic cleaning products, and have them write their favorite green tips in a journal for the mom-to-be.

More ideas at


y r ia d y c n a n g e r p y m ne rebecca stallo

shington, DC

july 1

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august 15

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october 5

february 6

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february 22

hospital at 7 a.m., We arrived at the rted prepping me sta s rse and the nu re taken into the for surgery. We we ed so fast. Ethan en pp ha all OR and it 8 a.m. 9:2 James was born at

rebecca’s local faves Hospital

Spa Treatment

Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, DC, (202) 537-4000,

Red Door Spa, Washington, DC, (202) 362-9890,


Reiter, Hill, Johnson & Nevin, Chevy Chase, MD, (301) 654-5700,

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Washington, DC, (202) 319-1612,

Baby gear

Tranquil Space, Washington, DC, (202) 328-9642,

Buybuy Baby, Rockville, MD, (301) 984-1123,


Crave-satisfying restaurant

Mom-and-Baby Yoga

More pregnancy stories at

Tara donne

age 30 ; from Wa

Š2013 Destination Maternity Corporation. All rights reserved.

also available at Destination MaternityŽ stores, and Macy’s



getaways You’ve probably thought of taking a babymoon with your partner, but what about escaping with friends? by elena donovan mauer

Monica and Michael Sweet/Getty Images

Your social life has likely calmed down a little since you became pregnant (no parties ’til 2 a.m. anymore!), but it will probably come to a screeching halt, at least for a short while, once baby arrives. That’s part of the reason moms-to-be are planning girls’ getaways—dubbed “mommymoons”—while expecting. “Mommymoons are definitely a trend,” says Anne L. Fritz, founder of TheJetSet, who’s pregnant herself and has gone on three trips like this. “Girlfriend getaways are so important because they help you bond with your friends and get back in touch with your true self, not to mention that they’re fun. Take advantage of the time you have now prebaby and have an escape—nap a lot.” Looking for some cool ideas? Try these. >



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party trip

spa trip

Craving a little extra pampering? Even your nonpregnant friends will love the idea of getting massages and facials. “Everyone will be on the same page—that you’re there to relax and renew,” says Fritz. She likes Canyon Ranch, which has spa resorts in several locales across the country and offers treatments, yoga, fitness and even nutrition and parenting classes.

couples’ beach trip

How about inviting your favorite couples on a group trip? “My husband and friends and I went to the Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya in Mexico,” says Fritz. Choose the right mix of people to bring along. “It was good for my husband to go out with my friend’s hubby, and she was happy to hang out with me,” explains Fritz.

go-nowhere trip

If you need to stick close to home or you’re saving your vacation days for after baby, you can (and should!) still have a girls’ night. Just bring the party to your home—or a close friend’s. Have a movie night, when you rent baby-themed flicks (Knocked Up, Three Men and a Baby, Baby Mama) and serve popcorn and movie candy. Or make it an at-home spa night. “See if a local spa or salon can send over a manicurist or two and have the girls over for manicures,” says Fritz. “If budget is a concern, go for DIY manis.”

fancy sleepover

The other close-to-home option is to rent a luxurious hotel room nearby and have a girls’ pampering or partying trip; this avoids the possibility that someone’s husband will crash the fun. Get adjoining rooms and designate one the quiet room, suggests Fritz, so your friends who stay up and party don’t bother you too much if you head to bed early. Plan lots of fun daytime activities and delicious meals.

staycation Not only does Dupont Circle’s Hotel Palomar have luxe rooms, but it’s also got plenty to do—on-site and nearby. By day, sit poolside in a comfy cabana, then head to your


room for a Mother-to-Be Harmony massage. At night, eat modern takes on classic European dishes at chic restaurant Urbana (from $299, 202-448-1800,

Get babymoon know-how

Chris Gramly/Getty Images

We know, we know, it doesn’t sound like fun to go on a party weekend to a sunny place when you’re not drinking and you’re spent by 10 p.m., but Fritz explains that this is a great option as long as you choose a destination where there’s lots to do, like Miami, San Diego or New Orleans. “Lie by the pool or ocean during the day, opt to go shopping or check out a spa,” she says. Spend the day and go to dinner with your friends, and if they want to go clubbing and you’re beat, say sayonara and head back to your cushy hotel room.

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celebrate Decoy baby names, knowing baby’s gender, datenight ideas and more…

Should I use a decoy baby name? Maybe. Using a decoy baby name means telling everyone you’re planning to give the baby one name (say, Angelique), when all the while you know it’s going to be something else (Sophia). This trend has been picking up steam. A decoy name is one way to dodge pesky (and overly personal) naming criticisms. If you don’t want anyone pooh-poohing your favorite name, keeping it to yourself is one way to go, but going so far as to create a decoy name will keep curious people from continually asking. It’s not for everyone, though, so weigh your situation carefully. Why am I so clumsy now? It’s because your center of gravity is shifting, says Sharon Phelan, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Univer­ sity of New Mexico School of Medicine. Think about it: You have to compensate for your growing belly somehow. Your body—and center of gravity—is going to keep changing throughout your pregnancy. It might be hard to keep up. So the best thing you can do is stay safe. Wear sensible shoes—pregnancy is probably not the time for stilettos! You may also want to avoid clogs, because they compromise your ability to feel and sense the ground beneath you, says Phelan.


What are the chances the ultrasound technician will get my baby’s gender wrong? If you wait until 20 weeks, which is when the anatomical survey is done, the technician should be able to tell baby’s gender with about 95 percent accuracy—maybe even 100 percent—says Yvonne Bohn, MD, ob-gyn and coauthor of The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. One exception is if baby isn’t in a position so that the technician can get a good look at what’s between baby’s legs. I think baby has the hiccups in utero! What’s going on? Baby is constantly drinking amniotic fluid, and if a small amount enters his lungs, his diaphragm will contract to get rid of it, explains Michele M. Hakakha, MD, ob-gyn and author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy. Sounds weird, but it’s totally normal. Baby won’t choke on the fluid because he receives all his oxygen through the placenta. If baby is hiccupping in utero, you’ll notice some small, repetitive jerks, and it can go on for an hour or more. Hiccups are most common in the third trimester, as baby grows larger and is more developed. It can be a reassuring sign that things are progressing as normal and that he’s getting ready for life outside the womb. >

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“Make a beautiful moment last forever.”



I want to plan a last date night before baby arrives. Ideas? Make the most of your final few evenings together before becoming parents. Catch a flick See a blockbuster on the big screen before you’re doomed to Netflix. Have a candlelit dinner Cook together or order in and cuddle in the living room. Double-date Go out with your childless-couple friends and pack in adult interaction before the little one takes over. And try not to talk about the baby.


Surround yourself with a

support team Ask a family member to go to appointments with you and plan low-key girls’ nights with your friends. Find single-mom friends

Knowing other women in the same situation as you can help you feel less left out— and you can get lots of great advice from them. Check out the Single Parents board at Be brave about being alone If you’re newly single, practice being independent—you might find you actually enjoy it. Soon, you’ll realize, you really can do this, and you’ll feel empowered to be a fantastic mom.

What’s the difference between an embryo and a fetus? Baby is an embryo until the end of the eighth week, when it becomes known as a fetus, says James A. O’Brien, MD. During the embryonic period, the brain, heart, lungs, internal organs, and arms and legs begin to form. Once baby is a fetus, it’s more about growth and development to prep for life on the outside.


The thought of certain foods really grosses me out. Why? “At the beginning of pregnancy, you’re already nauseous because of high levels of hormones, and you’re hypersensitive to smells,” explains Laura Riley, MD, director of

I’m single and pregnant, and I feel a little lonely. How can I get more excited about pregnancy? Remember, your pregnancy should be celebrated just as much as anyone else’s. Make it special Take a babymoon with friends (aka, a mommymoon—see page 36) and have maternity photos taken by a professional, suggests Christine Coppa, a single mom and author of Rattled!, a memoir about her own experience being pregnant and unattached.


How can I help my partner feel baby kick? Once you start to feel baby’s little knees and elbows jabbing the surface of your belly, you can give your partner a headsup on times that baby is particularly active, like just after you drink a glass of cold milk or when you lie down at night. Cuddle up with his hand resting gently on your tummy and, sooner or later (he’ll have to be patient, of course), he just may feel a little thump.

labor and delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of You & Your Baby: Pregnancy. The aversions will subside as the nausea goes away, usually at the end of the first trimester. Until then, avoid the offending food. “You’re not doing harm if you’re not getting perfectly balanced nutrition,” says Riley.

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mom knows best

When it comes to baby and pregnancy products, the most innovative pieces come straight from moms. Here are our faves!

preserving milestones

What it is: Sticky Bellies Milestone Stickers Invented by: Carly Dorogi Sticky Bellies are removable stickers that help parents capture baby’s amazing growth with style and convenience. Simply peel, stick and snap a pic. A variety of styles are available for pregnant mamas, baby boys, baby girls and toddlers!

baby’s buddy

What it is: Paci-Plushies® Pacifier Buddies™ Invented by: Stacy Dallman

Paci-Plushies® combine baby’s favorite brand name pacifier with a soft, light stuffed toy, making the pacifier nearly impossible to lose and easy for baby to manipulate.; (888) 530-6601

breathe a psi of relief

What it is: Psi Bands Invented by: Romy Taormina, a mom who

suffered from debilitating morning sickness These cool acupressure wristbands are the stylish way to quell the queasies due to morning sickness, motion sickness, anesthesia and chemotherapy. They are FDA-cleared, drug-free, adjustable, reusable, waterproof and affordable.


lose postbaby belly

What it is: Wink Postpartum Bikini Invented by: A mom looking for an

extremely effective and comfortable way to lose postbaby belly, yet provide support for the uterus after delivery and help the body return to its original shape. WinkShapewear .com; (866) 954-9779

poncho baby™

What it is: Nursing cover Invented by: Carolina Toro-Gerstein, mom of two

Poncho Baby™ Nursing Cover is an original ponchostyle nursing cover that allows the mother to see the baby while feeding with complete front and back coverage. It’s USA-made with premium imported muslin cotton fabric, ensuring privacy and comfort.

car-seat-safe coat

What it is: The Cozywoggle Invented by: Cherlyn Jenkins

Keep your child warm and safe in the car seat with the Cozywoggle. It looks and functions like a traditional coat but is designed to be worn safely with the car seat. It’s comfortable, convenient and cozy in sizes 12 months-size 6. Kids and parents love them!

multitasking magic

What it is: Windel, the diaper cabinet Invented by: Sarah Tamilarasan

Windel is the stylish solution to cleverly storing your diaper changing supplies anywhere in your house behind a lovely picture or work of art! USA-made of solid wood, the interior compartments hold creams and lotions, plus dispense a package of wipes and up to 40 diapers.


all the right moves

Yoga expert Hilaria Baldwin (yup, she’s married to Alec) shows us some pregnancy-safe yoga poses to keep you feeling your best all nine months. by Elena Donovan Mauer photography by Christa Renee

Hilaria invited us into her New York City yoga studio to give us the scoop.


expecting a celeb baby

The day before The Bump invaded Hilaria Baldwin’s New York City studio, Yoga Vida, for a photo shoot, she had her 20-week ultrasound, where she and hubby Alec caught glimpses of her baby-girlto-be. “We counted 10 fingers and 10 toes,” she gushes. “You see everything. It’s such a beautiful experience.” You may recognize Hilaria from the red carpet, where she often accompanies Alec, or from her gig as an Extra correspondent, but the Spanish beauty’s first love is fitness. She’s been teaching fitness and dance for more than a decade, and she cofounded Yoga Vida in 2005. Once pregnant, she has focused on her own health and nutrition and was inspired to create a prenatal yoga DVD.

staying fit while pregnant

If you think super-fit moms-to-be don’t have aches and pains, think again. “I get leg cramps and restless legs,” says Hilaria. “I accidentally kicked Alec in my sleep. I woke up and he was on the floor with blankets and pillows.” And, she admits, she’s had plenty of those off-days, when she needed extra rest. But exercise, she says, can give you a boost. ”When I don’t work out, I just don’t feel good,” says Hilaria. “If my legs hurt, even if I just stretch, I feel so much better.” Many pregnant women worry about exercise and that they may overdo it. “Listen to your body,” she says. “It will tell you when you need to stop.” And stick to pregnancy-safe moves like these yoga poses, which can help with discomfort. >

drink plenty of water!




ankle-to-knee pose

put your hands behind you. This pose helps with hip pain and preps you for delivery.

pigeon-toed downward dog To relieve leg cramps and restless legs, get on all fours, with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Walk your hands forward two to four inches. Press back and up into an upside-down V shape. Reach your armpits toward your ankles. Drop your neck so your head can move freely. Hold for five breaths. >


point your toes inward

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1 Sit with your left leg straight and right ankle crossed above your left knee (but not on your kneecap). Stretch and breathe. 2 For a deeper stretch, bend your left knee and

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side stretch Sit with your right knee bent and left leg extended. Reach your right arm up and over to feel a side stretch. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. This helps with back and hip pain.

repeat on the other side

straddle forward bend Relieve aches and ready your hips for birth. Sit and straddle your legs far enough apart that it’s challenging—but don’t overdo it. Flex your feet hard, stretching your calves. Walk your hands forward until you feel a deep stretch. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. If your muscles are tight, prop yourself up with a pillow or blankets.


More get-fit moves at

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Apple Seed Maternity and Baby Boutique is a charming destination in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. We specialize in fashion-forward, fun and useful items to celebrate the joys of pregnancy and motherhood. We offer the latest styles in designer maternity dresses, fun tops, work wear, jeans and gear for the active mom-on-the-go. 115 S Columbus St, Alexandria, VA • 703.535.5446 •


what’s going on with

your skin?

Probably a whole lot. And it might not be that “pregnant glow” everyone’s always talking about. By Elena Donovan Mauer Photograph by Elizabeth Messina

newfound sensitivities

Many moms-to-be switch to lotions, washes and other products that are unscented and have fewer chemicals to cut down on redness and irritation. Skip the scrubs and exfoliants; instead, use a loofah or a soft, textured washcloth. “You don’t want to make micro-tears on your skin,” says Melissa Schweiger, coauthor of Belli Beautiful: The Essential Guide to the Safest Health and Beauty Products for Pregnancy, Mom, and Baby. “Stay away from triclosan, parabens and fragrance,” she says. These ingredients are potential irritants, and some believe they pose risks to baby.

breakouts (sorry!)

Some acne products are unsafe to use during pregnancy, so before you try anything, check it with your doctor. Prescription medications Accutane, Retin-A and tetracycline are definite no-nos. And the jury’s out on over-the-counter creams, since they haven’t been tested on pregnant women. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid have been linked to growth problems and birth defects in animals, so they might not be worth the risk; talk them over with your OB. “You can safely use lactic acid, tea tree oil or sulfur to treat acne,” says Schweiger. Don’t touch, pick or squeeze pimples; wash with a mild cleanser twice a day; and use steam to clear pores.


dryness and the itchies

If you’re dealing with dry skin, make sure to drink lots of water—you need more now that you’re expecting—and try running a humidifier in your bedroom at night. Use a gentle lotion or moisturizer. And if you get nasty itchy sensations because of your dry skin (and all that stretching), try a warm (not hot) oatmeal bath.

sun sensitivity

Stay out of the sun as much as you can while you’re pregnant. Your surging hormones make you susceptible to dark patches on your skin triggered by sun exposure, called the mask of pregnancy. So pull out the big floppy hat, find a beach umbrella and be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. “The sun protection that is safest to use during pregnancy is the physical or mineral blocks—the ones made with either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide,” says Schweiger. “Chemical sunscreens, such as oxybenzone, homosalate and avobenzone, may enter the bloodstream and potentially affect the fetus.” It’s annoying to decipher labels, but you’ll feel good knowing you made a safe choice for you and baby.

stretch marks

Not every mama-to-be winds up with stretch marks. “For most people, whether or not they get stretch marks has to do with genetic predisposition,” says Glenn Kolansky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New Jersey. Do your best to try to head them off by gently exfoliating and thoroughly moisturizing your belly, boobs, stomach, hips and thighs often. Drinking plenty of water may do the trick, too.

weird and freaky rashes

If you’ve got red, itchy skin, don’t ignore it. Itchy feet and hands can be a sign of cholestasis of pregnancy, a scary complication that can cause liver problems for baby. Your doctor can do a blood test to make sure that’s not causing your rash. Another common rash is PUPPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy), which often starts on the abdomen and spreads. PUPPP is harmless to baby, but it will be aggravating for you. Fight the itch with oatmeal baths or anti-itch cream. Your doctor may prescribe an oral medication.

label reading 101 Which skin care ingredients are safe to use during pregnancy and which should you completely avoid?


The jury’s out on

BHT Butylparaben Dimethicone Disodium EDTA Glycolic acid Palm oil Polysorbate 20 Propylene glycol Sodium lauryl sulfate

Instead, stick to

Allantoin Beeswax Glycerin Lactic acid Lavender Olive oil Shea butter Sweet almond oil Tea tree oil

Titanium dioxide/zinc oxide Tocopherol Vitamin C Source: Belli Beautiful

Not on the list? Check it at



pampered pregnancy

Shopping, spa treatments, gourmet meals and more. These nearby spots offer a little indulgence.

retail therapy

At Apple Seed Maternity & Baby Boutique in Alexandria, Virginia, the diaper bags are just so stylish you’ll want to carry them whether you’re toting diapers or not. Plus, you’ll find plenty of chic and comfy (read: frump-free) maternity pieces to last even after baby arrives (703-535-5446, Consignment goes upscale at Bellies & Babies (also in Alexandria), where you can shop tons of secondhand maternity clothes and handmade baby décor (703518-8908,

stay fit

If you’re nervous about working out, or you just want a fitness regime customized to your needs, check out private yoga at Lil Omm. An instructor will create a mindbody session to leave you more relaxed and toned (202-248-6304, Channel your chakra, stay fit and prepare for labor with the prenatal yoga classes at Tranquil Space. Bonus: The center offers a Baby and Me Yoga program to help you two bond after baby arrives (202-328-9642,

prep for baby

Need help with your endless to-do list? Capital Baby Planners can step in to guide you through organizing and stocking the nursery, starting a registry, shopping for maternity clothes and even setting up pregnancy photos. Score! (301-580-1531, Think there are no baby boutiques in the burbs? Think again. Dawn Price Baby has two Virginia locations—in Reston and in


Merrifield. Find cool gear from brands like Aden + Anais, Skip Hop and Baby Jogger (866-934-2229,

satisfy cravings

Forget takeout. Momme Meals offers DC-area home delivery of freshly frozen organic meals that are nutritionally developed for moms and moms-to-be. Dishes like soups, chili and muffins are all approved by a registered dietician so they’re sure to meet your pre- and postnatal needs (

treat yourself

Relieve aching muscles at Spa on the Hill, which offers prenatal massages, plus a postpartum massage designed specifically for the postbaby body—genius! (202-525-7684, Designed just for moms-to-be, The Pregnancy Massage Center promises to soothe muscles, improve circulation, help with back and hip pain and lessen swelling. And it’s oh-so relaxing (571-3231900,

beauty booty

Head to Ulta for pregnancy-safe products, such as Belli All Day Moisture Body Lotion, which helps with the itchies (Ulta .com for locations).

nail it

Don’t want to sit in a fume-filled nail salon? Call Manicures–n–Motion and your own personal manicurist will come right to your door. Invite a few of your friends and have a mani-pedi party without leaving home (888-541-4410,

Secrets to look your best at

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Our guest editor, maternity-fashion-guru Liz Lange, lets us in on her favorite celeb looks to steal during each time of year.

summer: claire danes

fall: malin akerman

“In the fall, practice proportion. If you’re wearing something loose on top, wear something tight on the bottom and vice versa. Malin Akerman did this well. Other celebrities who have sported effortless, yet proportional, fall looks include Penelope Cruz and Jenna Dewan-Tatum.” The takeaway Skinny pants and leggings are your maternity BFFs. They’re cozy on cool days too. >

from left: shutterstock; getty images

“One of my favorite summer pregnancy looks of all time was Claire Danes at the 2012 Emmy Awards. She rocked effortless elegance in a canary-yellow strapless Lanvin dress. The color screams summer and looked amazing on her. She was seven months pregnant, and she looked better than many of the nonpregnant celebs on the carpet.” The takeaway Don’t be afraid to sport a bright color as the temperature rises.


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every season: kate middleton

“Just as she does when she’s not pregnant, Kate Middleton has done a fantastic job of mixing high- and low-priced items: She wears brands like Topshop and Zara as well as more expensive labels, and she’s not afraid to put them together.” The takeaway Invest in a few good-quality, versatile pieces you can wear throughout your pregnancy, and complement them with cute bargain buys to switch up with each season.

winter: kristen bell

spring: fergie

“Fergie isn’t afraid to wear bold spring patterns and colors. She showed off her fearlessness at the 2013 Kids’ Choice Awards in a body-hugging Mary Katrantzou fish-tank-print dress and yellow Roxane heels. I love that she’s having fun with her maternity style.” The takeaway Stay true to your personal look, no matter how daring.

counterclockwise from top: getty images (2); shutterstock

“Kristen Bell has shown that you can pull off a versatile little winter dress and look beautiful no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy.” The takeaway Resist the urge to hide under bulky cold-weather clothes. They just make you look bigger. Formfitting things are more flattering. If you’re selfconscious, add a jacket or cardigan.


Plan your maternity wardrobe at

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eat great,

feel better

Foods to ease five not-so-fun pregnancy symptoms. By Joanne Van Zuidam

morning sickness what to eat


When you’re feeling queasy, ginger’s your best friend. Brew ginger tea, chew candied ginger, snack on ginger snaps or sip ginger ale. Hint: Stirring the soda to get the bubbles

out makes it easier on the stomach, says Suzanne Merrill-Nach, MD, fellow at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and an ob-gyn in private practice in San Diego. Don’t like the taste of ginger? It’s also available in capsule form (if you can stomach the idea of swallowing something whole). what else you can do

Let your aversions be your guide. You might naturally want to avoid strong smells and spicy foods.


You can also experiment with the temperature of your food, suggests Melinda Johnson, RD, director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Arizona State University and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You may get relief from eating cold foods, such as gelatin or a smoothie (yum). Other options that can be stomach settlers include raw veggies, cold sandwiches, lemon slices and, of course, crackers. Know that nausea is more likely to happen on an empty stomach— hence the name morning sickness, as that’s when you’re likely the hungriest. If you tend to feel nauseous when you wake up, keep crackers by your bed to nibble on right away. Also, eat sparingly but often. Consuming frequent, small meals is easier on your stomach than having three large ones a day. And don’t worry too much: Whatever you can tolerate is the right thing to eat, says Merrill-Nach. “If you’re throwing up, it doesn’t matter if it’s not the perfectly wellbalanced diet.”

The symptom

constipation what to eat


Beans, berries and broccoli will boost your fiber intake, to keep things running smoothly. High-fiber breakfast cereals and oatmeal are also easy ways to ease this common pregnancy symptom. (Sorry about this one.) what else you can do

Keep a glass or bottle of water with you and drink from it as much as you can. Hydration is important to keep your digestive system moving. Also, MerrillNach says, the calcium in prenatal vitamins can, um, stop you up. Ask your OB to recommend a vitamin that contains a stool softener, which could get things going again.

from left: THinkstock; shutterstock (3)

The symptom

The symptom

The symptom

what to eat

what to eat

In general, acidic foods bring on the burn, making low-acidic fruit, such as bananas and melons, a good choice to lessen heartburn symptoms. Avoiding acidic foods can help, but in pregnancy, it’s not so much about trigger foods. In other words, you might sometimes be able to say that the chili you ate at lunch caused your heartburn, but in general, you can just chalk it up to being pregnant.

It’s common to become iron-deficient or anemic in pregnancy, making you even more tired (if that’s possible). If you’ve had pregnancies close together or if you follow a vegetarian diet, you can probably count yourself among that group, says Merrill-Nach. Vegetarians tend to have lower levels of vitamin B-12 and iron. Adding more iron-rich foods may help boost energy. That includes red meats, beans, leafy green vegetables like spinach and fortified breakfast cereals. Ask your doctor if you should also be taking an iron supplement.

heartburn bananas

what else you can do

Pay attention to what you eat and when you eat it. You might want to skip spicy foods and not nosh too close to bedtime, which can cause heartburn. Also, don’t lie down for at least an hour or so after eating a meal. If you do, Johnson recommends using lots of pillows to prop yourself up in a comfortable position and keep an antacid on your nightstand, Merrill-Nach suggests.



what else you can do

You might not realize it, but staying hydrated is key to keeping your energy level up. “When you’re dehydrated, your blood becomes a bit sluggish moving through your body—making you sluggish too,” explains Johnson. Besides sipping water, you can eat soup, fruits and veggies to increase your fluid intake. But remember, you’re pregnant: Feeling tired is a given in the first trimester—no matter what you do. Rest as much as you can for now. And know that in the second trimester, you’ll get back some of your energy.

comfort The symptom

sleeplessness what to drink

decaf tea

A cup of decaffeinated tea or warm milk (plain or flavored) before bed helps some moms-to-be drift off to dreamland, says Johnson. But skip the hot cocoa if you’re sensitive to caffeine—it has a small amount of it, so you’re better off sipping just plain milk. Caffeine, in general, should be limited in preg­ nancy to less than 200 milligrams (about the amount in a 12-ounce cup of coffee) per day. And avoiding it may help you get the Z’s you need. If you can’t kick your caffeinated-coffee or -tea habit completely, try not to drink it late in the day, when it’s more likely to interfere with sleep. what else you can do

Supporting yourself with extra pillows at night can make you more comfortable and help you snooze better. You can use a big pregnancy body pillow or place a cushion between your knees to alleviate any back pain that may be keeping you up.

Know what you shouldn’t eat at


nutrition checklist Are you eating the right foods for you and baby? Here’s what you should be having each day.

you need try these g  rains (6 to 8 ounces)

brown rice; wild rice; whole-grain bread and cereal; whole wheat pasta, pitas and tortillas; wheat germ

d  airy or other calcium-rich foods (3 cups)

low-fat milk, hard cheese, yogurt, collard greens, edamame, sesame seeds, calcium-fortified juices, canned salmon with bones, tofu

v  egetables (2.5 to 3 cups)

winter squash, spinach, kale, lettuce, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, sweet potato, green beans, zucchini, corn, broccoli, cauliflower

fruits (2 cups)

(whole or juiced) oranges, grapefruit, kiwis, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, mangoes, peaches, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, apples, pears, bananas, cherries, blueberries

p  rotein (5.5 to 6.5 ounces)

poultry, beef, lamb, low-mercury seafood, DHA-enriched eggs, pasteurized cheese, yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, tofu, edamame, beans, soy pasta, peanuts

water, juice, decaf tea fl  uids (at least 8 servings of 8 ounces)

don’t forget your prenatal vitamin!

smart choices Go colorful Fill your plate half full of fruits and veggies. Dark green, red and orange veggies are packed with vitamins you need.


Make the grains whole Skip white bread and white rice, which have refined grain. Instead, go for whole wheat and brown rice.

Avoid empty calories Of course, the occasional cheat is okay, but keep the desserts, soda, candy and other junk food to a bare minimum.

Vary your protein picks Seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, soy, nuts and seeds are all great choices to swap in and out at various meals.

Easy ways to stay healthy at

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glow Stretch mark cream, darker nipples, prenatal massage and more…

I’m so confused about what fish is okay to have. Can I eat shrimp? Yes you can. The seafood that pregnant women should avoid completely are the high-mercury ones, such as shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel. Shrimp is safe to eat because it falls into the category of low-mercury seafood, which also includes salmon, pollack, sardines and catfish. But you should still limit your intake of these fish to no more than 12 ounces per week, says Laura Riley, MD, director of labor and delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of You & Your Baby: Pregnancy. “Go to a place where you know you’ll get well-prepared food,” says Riley. “You don’t want to get bad shrimp.” And avoid raw or undercooked shrimp, so you don’t get sick while pregnant. Which healthy beverages, other than water, can drink while pregnant? “Putting anything and everything over ice will increase the hydration that you get,” says Riley. Sure, juice and ginger ale have a lot of sugar, but if you’re not drinking a lot of them and you’re watering them down with ice, they’re perfectly acceptable. Other healthy choices include skim milk and sparkling water (we like to squeeze in fresh citrus fruit). But don’t feel guilty if you


indulge in something you should be cutting back on. “One cup of coffee isn’t going to do any harm,” says Riley. “Just keep it to less than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day.” My nipples are getting darker. What’s up with that? No one knows why the nipples tend to darken during pregnancy. It might be that pregnancy hormones cause the cells that give our skin its pigmentation to become more active, says Myra Wick, MD, ob-gyn, medical coeditor of Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. In fact, darker nipples might have been one of the first signs of pregnancy you noticed, once those hormones started raging. Your nipples may keep darkening as you get closer to delivery (maybe that’s nature’s way of making sure baby can find them to breastfeed?). Whatever the reason, having darkened nipples is perfectly normal, and after childbirth your nips will typically fade to the pre-pregnancy shade. Are all stretch-mark products safe to use during pregnancy? If you found that stretch-mark product on an OTC drugstore shelf, it’s probably just fine to use. “For the most part, people making stretch-mark creams are thinking of safety for pregnant women,” says Riley. >

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Help—I’m constipated! Is there anything I can eat that will get things moving? Actually, it’s not just eat. Drink! Getting plenty of water and other fluids can really help if you’re a little, um, stopped up, says Riley. “The usual suspects, like prune juice and raisins, can help,” she says. “Fiber is good, but don’t have too much of it, because it can give you gas.” Exercise is really helpful for getting things going, too.


I heard that perineal massage can help get my body ready for delivery. True? Your perineum is the area of skin and tissue that separates the vagina and the anus. Some women massage this region in the weeks leading up to delivery to reduce the need for an episiotomy or tearing during delivery. There’s not a lot of research to prove that this is helpful, and some

What should I know before I get a prenatal massage? There’s some safety stuff you should watch out for. Clear it with your OB If you have a high-risk condition, your doctor may put the kibosh on it. Many spas don’t offer pregnancy massage for women in their first trimester, since the miscarriage risk is higher then, says Melissa Schweiger, coauthor of Belli Beautiful, so ask in advance. Get a prenatal pro Your massage therapist should be experienced and certified in prenatal massage—and always know that you are expecting. That way, she can make sure to choose products that are less likely to irritate your skin (it’s probably a lot more sensitive these days) and will know the ins and outs of dealing with swollen ankles, tender legs and other issues. Don’t lie on your back If you lie flat on your back after 18 weeks, you could compress a blood vessel that may lower your blood pressure dangerously. Some spas have a special table with a cutout for your belly. If your spa doesn’t, then lie on your side, propped up with pillows, which can be super-comfortable too.


If you have any questions about a product, bring it to your OB to okay. Right now you definitely want to stay away from products such as Retin-A and other topical retinoids (which are prescription creams), as well as laser skin treatments, says Glenn Kolansky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New Jersey. “But those treatments can be effective for some women after pregnancy,” he says. As for the OTC creams, while they’re likely safe, no one product has been clinically proven to stave off stretch marks. “The things that might help prevent stretch marks are eating well, not gaining more than the recommended amount of weight, exercising and keeping the skin moist,” says Kolansky. So rub on cream, but make healthy lifestyle choices too.

doctors think it can actually thicken the tissue, says Michele Hakakha, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California. So it’s up to you whether or not you want to give it a go.

Health and nutrition answers at

Get the inside scoop on fertility, pregnancy, birth and everything baby, plus chat with thousands of mommies and mommies-to-be.

stage-by-stage advice

interactive tools

Find info you need, when you need it—from getting pregnant and being a mama-to-be to baby’s first year and caring for toddlers.

local online communities and resources

Use our tools page—a personalized pregnancy checklist, addictive baby namer, easy-to-use registry and more.

real birth stories

Join in conversations happening 24/7 with other moms, plus the best stores and services—right in your area.

Read real-deal accounts from new mommies. Ooh and ahh at their new additions and submit your own story!

From the creators of The Knot, is the go-to website for hip moms-to-be and new moms.


get inspired Amazing nursery ideas you'll want to steal. by Brooke Showell



Kristin Eldridge Photography

Go minimalist, clean and cool. Quirky artwork, a reupholstered rocker and graphic bedding all give baby's room instant hipster cred. Less is more, says Ali Wing, founder and CEO of giggle in Chevy Chase, Maryland. “Stick to a few key pieces, and leave some room to play on the floor, snuggle and explore in the nursery.� >




turn it into a safari



Internationally inspired details like maps, exotic stuffed animals or a whimsical hot-air-balloon mobile all say global—here, go for bold hues. Bright colors, Wing says, “are a terrific way to not only design a happy room perfect for a baby, but also one your toddler and child will love just as much to play in as they grow.” >





An essential starting point: a firm mattress (Wing recommends an organic one) and a new crib. “Given recent safety regulation changes in the US, I advise against hand-me-downs in this category,� she says. Accessorize with fun, bright fitted sheets.


Full Spectrum Photography; Nursery Design: Little Crown Interiors

chevron is totally current!

a happy sea theme will grow with baby

mark lund


Think tonal, Wing says. Vary shades to balance bold accents with a soothing nursery theme, like fish. Genderless colors such as green and yellow can be the perfect bright backdrop to showcase pink accents for a girl or fun blues for a boy in bedding, rugs or blankets.

Inspiration for every style at


go ahead,


These baby products deliver a little extra luxury. By Brooke Showell

pram and proper

The Italian-made Classica bassinet from Inglesina gives baby an elegant ride. $1,398 (includes diaper bag), for stores

sleeping beauty

Rest easy! The Alex crib’s non-toxic and eco-responsible materials are built to last. $695, giggle, (301) 664-6407,


The battery-free Nuna Leaf rocker lulls baby to sleep with perfect positioning. $220, Baby Blossom, (703) 865-4688,


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nest Getting your partner excited about registering, choosing a glider, washing cloth diapers and more…

Register? We’re having a baby, not a wedding! Should we, really? The short answer: yes. Creating a registry gives you and your partner control over what people buy for you (basically the last control you’ll have before baby arrives). You’ll be able to designate brand, size, color and the number you need of each item— details that go a lot further than hints do. Plus, some stores, such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Buybuy Baby, offer a discount on the items left over on your registry. And if you want to return any gifts, you need go to only one store to exchange them. When is a good time to start setting up my nursery? Most of our pregnant pals say they’re aiming for the second trimester. This is the time in pregnancy when you’ll feel most up to it, and decorating plans may become clearer if you’re peeking at baby’s sex (you can usually tell around 20 weeks). Even if you aren’t quite ready to start painting, go ahead and pick out the major furniture by month six or so—it can take several weeks to arrive. Measure your nursery before you head out to shop and bring the tape measure with you to the store just in case there are no measurements on the furniture box. You’ll want to make sure the things you pick out will fit in the room.


There are so many feeding pillows at the store. How do I choose? Head to a store that has samples and try them out. You want something that fits comfortably around your waist and will stay in place as you feed baby. Remember: A newborn should lie with her neck straight, facing your breast. If it seems like baby would rest too high or sink too low, it might be wrong. Some moms love curved breastfeeding pillows, like the Boppy; others are into the firmer, flatter ones, like My Brest Friend. It depends on your body type and favorite feeding position. As for features, some pillows strap around your waist, while others don’t. My Brest Friend makes one for twins, Leachco Natural Boost props baby up into a semi-upright position (which can be help avoid reflux), and Boppy makes a travel pillow that fits into a portable bag. The choices depend on your wants and needs. Do I need a bottle warmer? Need? No. But want? Yeah, maybe. The bottle warmer is one of those things that some parents never touch and others rely on, and you might not know whether you’re the former or the latter until after baby arrives. The reason being, a bottle of formula or breast milk can be warmed in other, simpler ways than with a fancy >


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nest contraption—namely, by putting it in a bowl of warmed water or running warm tap water over its sides. But some parents swear by their bottle warmers, because some babies are more particular than others about having their meals at the right temperature. These devices make it easy to get things thoroughly and evenly warmed quickly. Plus, there are no dishes to wash afterward. If you plan to breastfeed, be careful. Some bottle warmers may not be approved for breast milk, as they may change the properties of the milk. Others, like the Kiinde Kozii, were made for breast milk, but you might find you’re just fine going the warm-water route. (Remember: Never microwave breast milk.) Our recommendation? Register for a bottle warmer if you think you’ll use it. Look for one that also heats baby food, so you get double-duty out of it and make sure all the bottles you plan to use fit in it. And save the receipt just in case you don’t take it out of the box. What’s the difference between a rocking chair and a glider? How do I choose a good one? The big distinction is the way they move. Rockers rock in an arc, while gliders move forward and back (and some swivel too). Gliders tend to offer a smoother


ride; plus, they’re designed not to trap toes underneath, like a rocker can. A matching ottoman is often available too. Sit in the glider. Does it give you and baby plenty of support? Is there enough room to wiggle around? Do your feet rest comfortably on the floor and on the ottoman? Check how easily it reclines and locks (if you want those features) and whether the motion feels smooth to you. Does the fabric feel comfy against your skin? Also, opt for a woven fabric that won’t fray and is a breeze to clean.

How exactly do I wash cloth diapers? Hot water will set in stains and soils (ick), so first give dirty diapers a quick cold rinse sans detergent, to flush away poop and How can I interest my partner (and encourage excitement) urine. Then wash in our baby registry? them on hot with It’s good to get him involved in a cloth-friendly all the products you’ll be buying. detergent. For It will help him feel essential, extra sanitizing, plus he’ll be using them and he add an oxygenated needs to know how they work. bleach. Check your Don’t overwhelm him Plan to detergent’s label take a few short trips instead of for enzymes and a marathon registry run. Maybe fragrances—they check out strollers online together before you go to the can leave residue. store, so you’re on the same Many parents use page. He’ll feel much more eco-friendly soaps. prepared and less stressed. Liz Turrigiano, Hype up the things he’ll love cofounder of What are his interests? Sports, Diaperkind, likes maybe? Mention that there’s Biokleen, Planet a baby Georgetown jersey at and Charlie’s Soap. the store. Music? A Pink Floyd lullaby CD. Techie stuff? There’s a stroller that folds by itself and charges your smartphone. Hand him the scanner gun Let him have control, and he’ll feel involved in the process, which will leave him more invested in getting it done right.

Plan baby’s nursery at

NEW! from

bump he



Now you can create and manage all of your registries in one place. Plus, create a free pregnancy or baby website to share your baby updates, photos and registries with friends and family! Featuring the registries of...

find a couple’s baby registry

create your own baby registry


labor day

The day you deliver your baby will be one of the , most days of your life.



photograph by elizabeth messina

stage 1

labor (aka holy crap, this kid is coming!) Labor lasts from the first signs baby’s coming (see “Signs of Labor,” below right) until your cervix is fully dilated and you’re ready to deliver.

real contractions

You’ll know you’re in labor when you start to have regular contractions, which feel like a strong tightening in your belly and could be super-painful or just a little uncomfortable (it all depends on the mom-to-be). You’ll know they’re real contractions, because the pressure usually starts in your back and moves forward to your lower belly, instead of just being in your belly. They’ll be frequent, usually starting about 15 minutes apart and then speeding up to about 5 minutes apart.

the countdown

Start watching the clock (use our Contraction Counter at to keep track). Call your OB’s office and let them know what’s happening. The doctor will tell you at what point to head to the hospital, but be warned: It might not be right away. You may be told to wait a few hours before you can be admitted.

your to-dos

So what do you do at home? Finish packing your bag and relax. Staying calm and breathing deeply can help your body work its dilation magic, as can changing positions. Take a walk, nap, shower, listen to music, ask your partner for a massage— whatever you feel like doing.

active labor

When your body shifts into active labor, the contractions will come on stronger. Now, you might not be able to walk or talk during a contraction. At this point, you’ll likely be in the hospital (if not, go ASAP) and lying in bed, walking around, or sitting in a birthing tub or on a birthing ball. This is when things start to really hurt—and when most momsto-be opt for pain relief. These strong contractions dilate your cervix from 4 centimeters to 7 centimeters.

the transition

The transition phase is when your cervix dilates from 7 centimeters to 10 centimeters, and it’s pretty intense. The contractions come even faster and more furiously than before, lasting 60 to 90 seconds each. And because it’s an overwhelming sensation, some women feel like giving up. Just know that the “I can’t do it anymore” feeling is completely normal, and you most definitely can do it.

the urge to push

You’ll start to feel the need to push (like having to go number two badly), but you shouldn’t push until your doctor says your cervix is fully dilated (don’t risk injury). >

signs of labor How will you know it’s time? Look for these clues that labor is coming: Loss of the mucus plug This thick mucus (like a glob of snot) might exit your body. Broken water It may be a trickle, as opposed to a gush. If your water breaks, call the doctor. Regular contractions If they’re five minutes apart, it’s probably time! urge to clean Many women find the nesting instinct kicks in just before.




stage 2

stage 3

(aka why you did kegels)

(aka sorry, but you’re not done)


the placenta

Once you’re fully dilated and you get the go-ahead to push...push! You’ll get coached as you bear down at each contraction. For some women, especially second- or third- (or more) time moms, the pushing stage may last only a few minutes. For others, it can take a few hours. Then there’s the ultimate reward: your baby!

After baby’s born, you’ve got to deliver the placenta. Your uterus continues to contract. (Don’t worry—this normally doesn’t hurt.) This causes the placenta to separate from the uterus and leave the body. Usually, this takes less than half an hour. Then you’re (finally) done. Woo-hoo! Now enjoy that baby and try to rest.


pain relief

Whether you go all natural or get drugs, there are ways to hurt less. t wha


relaxation techniques


systemic medication


it i s

h ow




sh you


d kn


To deal with the ouchies, it’s using the same breathing techniques that chill you out when you’re stressed.

At the start of each contraction, take a really deep “cleansing” breath, like at the beginning of a yoga class.

Get more guidance and plenty of practice by taking a childbirth class. See the next page for options.

Operating under the idea that pain is a state of mind; trying to get more comfortable and distract yourself.

Imagine yourself in a happy place. Play calming songs. Get a massage from your partner. Stuff like that.

It’s hard to know exactly what’s going to work once you get there, so have a whole bag of tricks to try.

Usually a combo of meds that block your brain from feeling pain and (mostly) numb your lower half.

It’s given throughout labor and delivery through a tube inserted into your back.

You’ll be stuck in bed, since you’ll be hooked up to an IV and a fetal monitor to track baby’s heart rate.

Medications like morphine, Demerol, Stadol and Nubain, which are all narcotics.

Systemic meds are injected into the bloodstream or a muscle and affect the entire body.

They only really take the edge off. You may get nauseated, and baby can be exposed to them.

delivery-room tools forceps These are generally used to try to shift baby’s position and may also help guide the head out.

scissors Just in case you (sorry. really!) need an episiotomy.

vacuum If pushing is

proving ineffective, your doc will use this to pull the baby out with suction.

amniotic hook It looks a lot scarier than it feels, we promise. This long crochet-like hook is used to break your water if it hasn’t yet.

hemostat This clamp is used for containing a bleed and clamping the umbilical cord for cutting.

scalpel This will probably only

be used if you have a c-section.

want to know more? Take a childbirth class. These are among the top choices for birthing methods. Lamaze Used by one-fourth of mothers, Lamaze is the most popular method. You learn simple, natural strategies to use during labor, like rhythmic breathing, hydrotherapy, massage, position changes and walking. Your partner will learn to encourage and support you.

Bradley Natural childbirth is the goal of this method—about 90 percent of class participants end up delivering without meds. The Bradley Method focuses on self-awareness and trusting your body and emphasizes relaxation (not distraction) for dealing with pain and stress.

Alexander This method teaches posture and movement techniques to ease muscle tension and improve balance, coordination, back pain and digestion. With it, you’ll learn to coordinate your breathing and strengthen your pelvic muscles in preparation for delivery.

HypnoBirthing No, not like that guy you saw in Vegas. HypnoBirthing relies on the power of suggestion to help you relax and let your muscles work to give birth. Affirmations and visualizations are used to guide thoughts and breathing and to decrease stress and fear.

See amazing birth photos at


my birth


Fairfax mom Aliya Rinaldi gets a few surprises while delivering baby Kyran.

in a hurry

getting ready for baby

They both met me at the hospital. The doctor checked my cervix to see if there was any way to avoid a c-section. My cervix wasn’t dilated, so we decided the surgery would be the best option. It was so surreal and it all happened so fast. I remember being in the OR and the nurses asking me questions about baby names. Justin came in, dressed head-to-toe in paper. He was fidgety and his hand was cold and clammy. A nurse said he should leave the room.


welcome Kyran

I was distracted and worried until the doctor asked me if I was ready to become a mom. I could sense pulling and tugging near my rib cage, and then I felt light as a feather. My baby didn’t open his eyes, but his mouth opened wide and he started screaming and crying. I asked for Justin. The nurse quietly said, “Sweetie, he’ll have to meet you in recovery. He’s currently in the ER.” Turns out, he’d fainted and hit his head on a table!

baby makes three

In the recovery room, I held my baby close. I couldn’t believe he was finally here, resting his sweet little head on me. Then, Justin arrived. He hadn’t eaten all day—no wonder he fainted! He asked if I was mad at him. I laughed and said, “No, I’m not mad. Are you okay? And, um, do you want to meet our son?”

birth stats baby’s name Kyran Luca size at birth 6 pounds, 13 ounces hospital Inova Fairfax Hospital

Learn what to pack for the hospital at


It all started on a hot Tuesday in May, when I had my 38-week doctor appointment. I was slightly nervous going into it, since I knew I had started developing preeclampsia. Sure enough, my blood pressure was high, my legs were swollen and my fluids were low—all signs pointed to my condition worsening. The doctor said, “Aliya, you’re having this baby today.” I quickly called my husband, Justin, and my mom, who screamed and then ran to our house to pack my hospital bag. I remember saying, “Don’t forget the Boppy, Mom—it’s a pillow shaped like a U.”

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delivery Sex before labor, DIY inductions, water birth and more…

I heard that drinking castor oil can help induce labor. Really? Probably not—but it will give you diarrhea! That’s because castor oil is basically a laxative, and when ingested, it can trigger cramping in your bowels, says Michele Hakakha, MD, an ob-gyn in private practice in Beverly Hills, California. This “home remedy” has been popular for decades as a way to bring on labor. But research found that women who took castor oil after 40 weeks of pregnancy delivered no faster than the women who didn’t try it. And the cramping and loose stool associated with the oil isn’t worth it. So skip the castor oil. We know it can be tough getting through those last weeks of pregnancy, but eventually you—and baby—will get there. My mucus plug already came out, but I’m not in labor yet. Can I have sex? Yes, probably. There are exceptions, such as if you’ve tested positive for group B strep, since there’s an increased risk of infection once the mucus plug falls out, says Robert Wool, MD. But otherwise, sex is usually A-OK. It’s not proven that having an orgasm can nudge your body into labor. But, hey, it’s worth a shot, and at least you and your partner will have a good time.


What is bloody show? It may sound like the latest Quentin Tarantino movie, but bloody show is really just nature’s way of telling you labor is about to begin. During pregnancy, your cervix stands guard to your uterus by holding in a thick plug of mucus. The plug operates like a cork and prevents harmful bacteria from reaching your uterus. When your cervix starts to thin and relax to get ready for baby’s trip down the birth canal, the plug starts to liquefy. Due to some of the surrounding blood vessels that burst, the mucus plug can often appear reddish in color, though it’s some­ times pinkish or even clear. Bloody show can appear within minutes or up to days before labor starts, says Hakakha. But some women never even notice when it appears, so don’t worry if you’re one of them. I keep hearing about Pitocin and oxytocin. What’s the difference? Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone in your body. Pitocin is the synthetic drug created to mimic one of this hormone’s primary actions: bringing about labor. But, to make things more confusing, Pitocin is the drug’s brand name, and there’s also a generic version that is called oxytocin. >

you said

3 things you can’t wait to do after baby

“1. Drink. 2. Run. 3. Wear normalpeople clothing.” amiet79

delivery Your doctor may suggest using Pitocin to induce labor if you’re significantly past your delivery date, if your water has broken but you still haven’t begun contractions or if an epidural has slowed your labor down, says Wool. The medication is typically given via an intravenous (IV) pump. If possible, talk to your doctor well in advance of your due date to help determine her stance on it, when you may require this medication and what to expect if you do. I’m thinking about having a water birth. Is there anything I should consider first? A water birth—typically giving birth in a tub of warm water—sounds lovely and relaxing, both for you and baby (who doesn’t enjoy a warm bath?). In fact, proponents say that having your baby go from the uterus, where she’s surrounded by warm amniotic fluid, to a tub filled with water at a similar temperature is gentler and less stressful than a traditional open-air birth. But according to Hakakha, there’s one big drawback: When a baby takes her first full breath of air, it fills her lungs, closing off certain blood vessels while opening others. In short, that first cry you hear is a sign that your


baby has started breathing through her lungs. When a baby is born in water, it takes longer for that circulation of air to occur and therefore delays the baby breathing on her own. This situation increases the risk of delivery complications. Women pregnant with multiples, those in preterm labor (more than two weeks before the due date), those who have herpes or excessive bleeding, or those having a breech delivery should talk with their health care providers before considering a water birth. How long does it take to heal from an episiotomy? It all depends on how severe the incision is, as there are degrees of lacerations. first-degree is usually just through the vaginal mucus and heals in a day or two. second-degree involves both the mucosa and submucosa (a deeper layer of tissue); this typically heals in a week or two. third-degree covers the muscle near the rectal sphincter. Recovery may take six weeks or longer. fourth-degree goes straight through to the rectum (ouch). As with third-degree tears, this may call for a six-week or longer healing time. The good news is that it’s fairly uncommon for a doctor to perform an episiotomy, and even if you tear naturally, the vast majority of them are still either first- or seconddegree lacerations that mend relatively quickly (we promise).

Can I go into labor without contractions? Nope. The definition of going into labor, from a doctor’s point of view, is based on having uterine contractions, says Hakakha. When contractions occur at regular intervals and are paired with changes in the cervix, you can bet your bump you’re about to have a baby. Believe us, you’ll know you’re in labor unless you have an unusually high pain threshold. It’s really uncomfortable.

More delivery answers at

Nursing bras, stretch marks, and delivery rooms—oh my! NeW From the bump! the only pregnancy guide that tells it like it really is.

is it ok to have sex?

When will i start showing?

Do i have to drink milk?

Do i really need a birth plan?

Available wherever books are sold or at


new-parent survival Baby’s finally coming home! We’ve got you covered on everything you need to know. By Nina Carbone photograph by Erin McFarland


head home what to wear

Take the approach of less is more when packing going-home attire. A simple T-shirt, diaper and baby blanket for wrapping work in warm weather; colder weather calls for a warm sleeper and some extra blankets for bundling.

how to travel

Get ready for the car ride home. Hospitals won’t even let you leave without an approved car seat—it should be rear-facing and strapped in the backseat.

know the basics

there are two soft spots One is on the

top of the head and the other is on the back. These are points on the head where baby’s bones haven’t grown together yet. Sounds scary but, in fact, there’s a tough membrane covering the opening in the skull. So there’s actually no real risk of puncturing baby’s head while you’re holding him.

nails grow fast

Trim her nails with infantsize clippers while she’s sleeping. Because nails are so small and grow quickly, early on, you may need to trim them up to twice a week. Smooth rough edges with a soft emery board.

acne happens

Baby has your hormones to thank for all those red bumps on his chin, cheeks and forehead. There’s just no way to prevent them, but never ever treat them like you would normally deal with your own acne. In other words: no picking or popping. Wash his face up to three times a day with warm water and then gently pat dry.

eyes can look crossed For about

the first six months, baby’s eyes tend to drift and wander, especially when she’s exhausted or focusing on something very close. Talk to the doctor if her eyes get stuck or make any odd windshieldwiper-like motions.

earwax builds up

Don’t stick anything into baby’s ear canal. If you’re concerned about buildup, talk to baby’s doctor.

birthmarks pop up Often called

a “stork bite,” such a mark can appear on a baby’s nose, forehead, eyelids, upper lip or on the back of his neck. It’s just a patch of dilated and stretched capillaries or blood vessels under the skin. If baby is crying or there’s a change in temperature, the spot may darken. Most disappear within 18 months, so if the doctor isn’t concern­ed, don’t worry.

skin needs moisturizing

Dry skin or eczema looks like red patches and can cover baby’s body and cheeks. Limit baths and slather on petroleum-based creams for relief. If it’s serious, the doctor may suggest low-dose, antiinflammatory ointments.

keep baby comfy

do tummy time

Babies spend a lot of time on their backs, but they need to develop other muscles too. Put baby on her stomach and on your chest, and then have her squirm toward your face.

decode cries Watch

and listen so you’ll be able to learn what’s wrong with baby. “I’m hungry” sounds rhythmic and repetitive. But “I’m in pain” is louder and more intense.

hold him right

Place his head in the crook of one arm and either wrap your other arm around baby or hold the original arm with the second arm. Keep his head supported.

lose layers Newborns

don’t sweat or shiver the way adults do. Pick lightweight, soft, breathable clothes in cotton and jersey knit. Throw on a cotton undershirt, if you dress baby in synthetic fibers. >




get the poop first poops are dark Those first few

diapers will most likely contain stool that’s black in color and is referred to as meconium. Why is it so dark? It’s the result of all the nutrients that she received in utero. Don’t stress. In the beginning, this is normal and healthy.

color and smell change The shade of

baby’s poop depends on what you feed him. If you breastfeed, for example, it’ll be a shade of mustard yellow with what looks like seeds. The plus is that it doesn’t have much of an odor. Formula-fed babies, though, tend to produce poop which ranges anywhere from a shade of yellow to brown to green. Sorry, but this batch is much more stinky.

it gets animated

Because grunting, crying or turning red is normal when baby poops, there’s no reason to be alarmed. And once your newborn gets used to how his body works, he won’t be quite as loud about it. Remember that this is all new for him too.

color gives a clue

Certain bowel movements aren’t normal, but they’re fairly easy to spot. Poop in shades of red (this could mean blood), black (with the exception of the first few) or white should raise a flag, so take note.

diaper-bag must-haves In

those first few months, you probably won’t be straying too far from home. If you do decide to venture out, though, here’s what you need: • diapers (pack one for every hour and a few extras to have on hand) • changing mat • plastic baggies for any dirty diapers • baby wipes • sample-size tubes of barrier cream for quick diaper changes • extra onesie or T-shirt

of dirty diapers varies from baby to baby. Some go a few times a day, while others only need to poop once. Typically, babies have an easier time digesting breast milk, so many breastfed babies will poop after almost every feeding. Be prepared for lots of changes, and keep in mind that most babies poop less as they grow (sometimes even skipping an entire day, which is usually normal).


erin mcfarland

frequency is personal The number

“Let baby sleep. Most wake up when hungry.”

m   aster s  leep time

don’t wake her

Let baby snooze. If you’re deciding between waking up baby for a scheduled feeding or letting her sleep, you should leave her to get her z’s. Most babies wake up when they’re hungry.

burn the midnight oil A

adriana klas photography

majority of babies don’t sleep through the night until they’re about three months old. Because their stomachs are so small, they need to wake up every three to four hours to eat.

remove bumpers

Studies have shown that the hazards of bumpers in a bassinet or crib far outweigh their benefits. Avoid putting pillows, stuffed animals or thick

m   ark m   ilestones

blankets in there as well. All you need is a firm mattress and fitted sheet.

2 weeks old Your

enjoy shut-eye

little one may start to focus on faces a bit more.

Newborns may sleep as much as 16 hours a day or more. It’s usually in three- to four-hour chunks.

3 weeks old Be

attentive to baby’s incessant crying. This is the point to watch for signs of colic. We’re talking nonstop cries that last at least three hours a day, three days a week. If you’re concerned, talk to your doctor.

dim the lights

Typically infants don’t mind the dark until they’re 18 months old. The room doesn’t have to be pitchblack, but the darker the better, since light signals day, which means baby will want to be awake.

don’t share a bed

Baby should have his own crib. It’s tempting to bring him into bed with you, but studies have shown there’s a higher risk of SIDS in homes where baby shared a bed with mom and dad. Instead, establish a routine.

4 weeks old Welcome all the new sounds, such as dove-like coos. This is also the time when baby may begin lifting and holding her head slightly off the floor all on her own. 6 weeks old If baby

was grinning before, it was definitely gas. Now he’s happily smiling. >




d   eal with f  eelings

down in the dumps After nine

months of all eyes on you, the attention has shifted to your baby. It’s normal to be down. But it’s smart to acknowledge your feelings. Talk with your ob-gyn, so she can figure out if you’re stressed and overwhelmed or if it’s more serious.

always exhausted

A sporadic sleep schedule (or no sleep) takes a toll. In one survey, 62 percent of parents said they had moments of wanting to run away from home, even just for a night. What should they do? Catch up on needed sleep.

having crazy thoughts What if I let

go of the stroller on this hill? What if I walk out while baby is in the bath? Sleep deprivation makes anyone slightly batty. It’s an overwhelming time because you’re realizing that you have such a huge responsibility on your plate. Consult a doc if your thoughts don’t change. And get out of the house. Groups like Mommy & Me will help you connect with other moms who may also be experiencing these same changes and emotions.

feeling far from maternal Did you

think once you gave birth you’d transform into instant mom? Just because you

don’t feel different and super-close to baby right away certainly doesn’t make you a bad mother. About 20 percent of women studied felt no bond with their baby in those first few weeks. Give it time; things will change and you’ll be feeling that mommy-baby bond.

disinterested in sex No, the totally

unsexy feeling is not going to last forever. Between the fatigue, soreness, dryness and new responsibilities, most women (and their partners too) have a nonexistent libido for at least a little while. Don’t panic, because you’ll both be getting back into the groove before you know it.

a class act You’ve made it a threesome. Now adjust to life with baby at one of these helpful local classes. working & breastfeeding An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant discusses all things related to working and breastfeeding—how and when to pump, milk supply and what the laws say about working and breastfeeding. TAKE IT AT Greenberries, $35, (410) 2906253, baby basics Couples will master the day-to-day routine of a newborn, including feeling more comfortable in holding and handling a new baby, diapering, dressing and bathing. TAKE IT AT Skillful Parenting, $150, (301) 495-3039,


six week hook up Join Mamas Link and attend six weeks of mommy-and-me classes— from yoga to pottery—offered throughout Virginia and Maryland. TAKE IT AT Mamas Link, $220, (202) 270-1888, fatherhood matters This class isn’t for you, but it can certainly make your life a bit easier. In this course on how to adjust to life as a dad, veteran fathers lead the discussion on parenting, relationships, family and more. TAKE IT AT MedStar Washington Hospital Center, free, (202) 877-6161,

More newborn-care advice at

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biggest mistakes new moms make

No, it’s not the obvious “What were they thinking?” mishaps we’re talking about here. These are probably things you’re doing right now— without even realizing it. By Elena Donovan Mauer

You’ve got this brand-new, very small and vulnerable person whose health you’ve got to watch out for. But you are also recovering from childbirth, which is no walk in the park—especially if you had complications, like tearing or a c-section. You really do need extra rest, lots of water, nutritious food (with plenty of fiber) and TLC. Sure, you want to do it all, but try to take it easy and take care of yourself.


becoming a hermit

Right now, it’s a big deal to put on real clothes, pack up the diaper bag (oh yeah, and the baby too) and head out the door. You and baby could definitely use some fresh air. If you hole up in the house, you’re going to feel even more frumpy, isolated, exhausted and down. Who cares if you haven’t showered since Sunday? No one will smell you. Go out and walk around the block—at the very least. >


not focusing on healing


pregnancy & baby announcement


from • Get a personal web address on The Bump, such as • Share your gift registry • Upload photos and link to external photo albums • Upload videos or link to your YouTube videos


color/design variations

start yours now at


You swore you’d go drug-free but then begged for an epidural. You really wanted a water birth but had to get a c-section. It might not have happened the way you wanted it, but you and baby made it through childbirth and are A-OK— that is what’s really important. Let your regrets go and enjoy that baby.

not getting help with breastfeeding issues

One study suggests that only a third of women who want to breastfeed do it for as long as they had originally intended. We blame it on the fact that, well, breastfeeding can be a lot harder than some of us ever expected. If you’re having any issues, request help from a lactation consultant,

baby’s pediatrician or even an experienced friend or relative. Figuring out problems right away can keep you from being frustrated, and the sooner you’re back on track, the more successful you are likely to be.

stressing about every little thing

“Am I giving baby enough stimulation?” “Too much stimulation?” “Should I have gotten him the stroller that can face him toward me?” “What about that other carrier?” You name it, and a new mom worries excessively about it. But other than legitimate safety and health concerns, you’re pretty much just making yourself crazy. Most parents learn that by the time baby number two rolls around, they should stress less—or that they just don’t have the time to stress and they realize it’s okay. >


I giving baby “Amenough stimulation?

stewing about breaking the birth plan



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not saying yes to offers of help

Someone volunteers to watch baby? Do a load of laundry? Get you some water? We know that in your prebaby life, you probably chalked up offers like these to good manners and, just as politely, turned them down. But everything’s changed now. Accept their assistance. This is the time when you need a salon trip, a nap and some good old-fashioned nourishment and hydration to make you feel normal again. And feeling normal is one more thing that helps you be a great mom.

taking advice that goes against your gut

Everyone from your mother to strangers in the supermarket is bound to give you advice. Their suggestion, for example,

to ignore that weird rash or rub rum on baby’s gums, just doesn’t sound right. Well, it probably isn’t. It doesn’t matter if you’re afraid of offending someone or if that person is supposed to know better than you—you’re the mom. Trust your instincts and follow them.

comparing your baby with your friends’

Your pal’s kid might be crawling and cruising, while your baby is still figuring out how to roll back to his stomach. It’s easy to get nervous and think something’s wrong, but every kid tackles milestones at his own pace. As long as baby’s pediatrician says baby is progressing normally and there are no red flags for developmental delays, don’t sweat it.

Figure out this new-mom thing at

how much sleep does baby need? age 0 to 1 month

daytime sleep

nighttime sleep


10 hours (various naps)

10 hours

20 hours

1 to 3 months

7 hours (three naps)

8½ hours

15½ hours

3 to 6 months

5 hours (three naps)

10 hours

15 hours

6 to 9 months

3½ hours (two naps)

11 hours

14 ½ hours

3 hours (two naps)

11 hours

14 hours

9 to 12 months

Track baby’s sleep at

illustrations: kate larsen

All babies are different, of course, but here are some general guidelines.

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jessica alba

gets honest We bet you didn’t know these 5 things about Jessica Alba. by elena donovan mauer photography by Justin Coit

When a popular baby detergent gave her a rash, Jessica Alba didn’t ignore it. She got passionate about it—and started The Honest Company, a line of nontoxic, eco-friendly products. Now, the actress-turned-businesswoman has added a new credit to her résumé: author. Her book, The Honest Life, is packed with Jessica’s healthy and green secrets, from fashion and beauty to cleaning and planning baby’s nursery. She has also got these surprises up her sleeve.

Jessica’s go-green advice is actually realistic.


she sometimes struggles with things (yes, really)

Doesn’t it seem like everything would come easily to Jessica? Not so. “Writing a book for the first time was challenging— and it wasn’t just because I was trying to juggle everything I’m doing,” she says. “Because the book includes all the naturalliving tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years, I found it difficult to hone in on the most relevant content.” Her savior? Her husband, Cash. He took over baby duty on those mornings she needed to sleep in after late nights spent writing.

she admits she’s not perfect—and no one else is either

We asked Jessica for her best parenting advice. And no, it’s not to be organic-food-obsessed or to own all the right products. It’s to give yourself a break. “We all want to do the best we can for our families, but we can’t be superheroes all the time while balancing everything we need to,” she says.

she’s realistic about going green

Afraid Jessica’s book is only applicable to rich celebs? Anyone can use her advice. “Natural living isn’t about a huge lifestyle overhaul,” she says. “It’s about doing what you can and focusing on small, attainable steps that make the most sense for you and your family.” For example, buy vintage items instead of new ones.

she practices what she preaches

Jessica says she and Cash don’t just recycle and drink filtered tap water, they also make playtime into lessons about sustainability. “With my daughter, Honor, I love to do arts and crafts where we really focus on upcycling items and giving them new life.”

she has good advice for momtrepreneurs

There are many women interested in starting their own business, and Jessica is passionate about offering advice to them. “Surround yourself with experts in your field and learn from them,” she says. “Ask plenty of questions.” Starting your own business takes selfawareness. “Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and build a team that complements your skill set,” she says. “Stick to your guns. If someone can persuade you to depart from your idea, it’s a sign the business might not be the right fit for you.”

Our favorite eco-friendly products at

basics Growth spurts, tummy time, gripe water and more…

What exactly is in baby formula? Most formula makers do their very best to imitate breast milk (although many experts say formula is still no substitute for the real thing). About 80 percent of the formulas sold today have proteins derived from cow’s milk. Others are made from soy and can be used for babies with an allergy to milk proteins. Read the ingredients label to make sure baby’s formula is fortified with iron (most are), since infants don’t usually have enough iron in their bloodstream to meet all their developmental needs, says Diane Bloomfield, MD, attending pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in Bronx, New York. Also, look for formula fortified with essential fatty acids like DHA or ARA, which can play an important role in both brain and eye development. If baby is allergic to both cow’s milk and soy, you can try formula made with predigested proteins, which are usually hypoallergenic. How do I know when my baby’s going through a growth spurt? He’ll have an insatiable appetite or seem excessively fussy or sleepy, says Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, FAAP, pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Everett Clinic. If baby just can’t seem to get enough of


the bottle or the breast, simply feed on demand and follow his cues. Forget about trying to stick to your “usual schedule.” Monitor baby’s diapers to see if there’s a noticeable change in wetness or stool to make sure there isn’t some other explanation. And if baby is acting strangely in some other way, call the pediatrician for personalized advice. My baby hates tummy time! What should I do? Don’t give up. Most babies are at least a little resistant to tummy time, but it’s important for a few reasons. For one, although we want babies to sleep on their backs to help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), they shouldn’t spend all their time facing the ceiling. That can cause positional plagiocephaly, aka flat head syndrome, because an infant’s soft bones (which help accommodate brain growth) can become molded in a flattened shape. The other reason tummy time is so great is that it helps babies acquire new developmental milestones by giving them the chance to build the head control and core strength they need to move around, says Swanson. Babies who receive more tummy time are able to pick their heads up for longer periods of time and can begin doing some early rolling from tummy to back. >


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on the go!

on your laptop!

The Bump is now digital. Get it now at


How do I give my baby a massage? Massage can calm baby; may relieve colic, constipation and teething problems; and can help you two bond, says Gayle Berry, founder of Blossom & Berry, which provides babymassage-training classes. Start by rubbing some baby-


Things are a lot, um, bigger down there since I gave birth. Will it get back to normal? Yes! It’s just vaginal swelling from the trauma of pushing baby’s head through. Give your body time to heal—and don’t skimp with the ice packs. They’re key for bringing swelling down. Stat.


Does gripe water work? There’s not a lot of good evidence that shows gripe water, an herbal supplement meant to help with upset stomach and colic, can reduce crying, says Swanson. Research suggests it has a minimal effect on helping colicky babies cry less. The good news is, if you want to try gripe water, there’s not a lot of risks to it—as long as you use it in small amounts, as the directions state.

Breastfeeding is hurting my sex life. Help! What you’re going through is totally normal. There are ways to get back on track— you just might have to change things a bit, depending on what’s causing your dry spell. Decreased sex drive We get it: You’re stressed and tired. Explore nonsexual ways to be intimate, whether it’s a sensual massage or a candlelit dinner, says Dawn Cedrone, lactation consultant and director of NewBornMom Breastfeeding Solutions. A little romance can really go a long way. Breast leakage Ask your partner to keep hands off for a little while, or leave your bra on (with absorbent breast pads). You can also have a towel handy while you’re intimate. Your best bet is to use your sense of humor. Don’t be embarrassed—just laugh! Vaginal dryness This problem’s easily resolved with some sexual lubricant.


Ideally, your baby should spend 40 to 60 minutes each day on her tummy—but it doesn’t have to be all at once. Even just a few seconds to a few minutes of time throughout the day adds up. Get on the floor with your baby or use a soft, flexible mirror or bright toys as incentives for her to reach or lift her head up. You can also put your baby on your chest or prop her up on a nursing pillow to give her a better view.

massage oil on your hands (try California Baby massage, almond or olive oil). Next, gently knead baby’s legs, feet, back and hands—and belly if you want. Some experts believe rubbing baby’s belly helps reduce gas pains. Don’t apply too much pressure when massaging, but a slightly firm grasp can be soothing to baby. If baby doesn’t like what you’re doing, he’ll probably be squirmy and agitated. If it’s a no-go, try again when he’s alert and in a better mood.

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Baby has only one first birthday—and that means a lot of pressure to do the party right. We’ve got your step-by-step planning guide here. By Sarah Yang photography By story by mia


when to throw it

Of course, you want your friends and family to be able to attend the party, so the weekend before or after baby’s birthday is a good bet. If baby has a sleep schedule, plan the party for after naptime, so she’s wellrested (and slightly less likely to be in a bad mood). As for how long you should extend the bash, make it just a couple of hours, rather than an all-day affair—parties can be overwhelming for small children, especially if there are a lot of guests. Hold the party in a venue that has a private quiet space, so if baby gets fussy or needs a breather, you can take her there.

how many people to invite

If it’s going to be intimate, the party might include grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a few baby friends from mommy-and-me classes. If you want to go all out and have a huge bash, invite extended family, friends, coworkers who have kids and so on. It ultimately depends on your own preferences. Your budget also plays a role in the size of your party—obviously the more people you have, the more food, beverages and space you’re going to need. Start with your must-invite list: the people you wouldn’t celebrate without. If you can add to your head count, keep going.

where to have it

If you host the event at home, your guests can hang out longer and baby has a place to nap if she gets tired (her room!). Plus, baby might be more comfortable in familiar surroundings. Having it at a restaurant or even a children’s play space could get costly, but the big advantage is that you won’t get stuck with cleanup. There’s also no prep to deal with beforehand, and you won’t have to entertain guests as much. If you live in an apartment or a house with space to spare, that setting may be ideal. Otherwise, why not head to your favorite park? You can set up food and decorations at a picnic table (some parks even have grills for barbecuing). And there’s already a play structure there to occupy the kids—just make sure that you have enough adults to keep an eye on them. Check with the local parks department to see if you need a permit or have to make a reservation for the space.

how to choose a theme

If your baby has a beloved giraffe toy that she sleeps with every night, try zoo animals as a birthday theme. If your favorite part of the day is reading to her at night, pepper the party with books. You can take inspiration from the season whether you’re having an indoor or outdoor party. >




If you don’t want to spend a fortune on baby’s birthday party, DIY is your best bet. Bake your own cake, have the party at home and shop at closeout stores (they often have great toys and stuffed animals for low prices). If you’re making your own cupcakes or treats, you can turn decorating them into an activity for guests. For invites, it’s fine to go paperless, which also includes RSVP tracking.

what to serve

If baby has a favorite food, serve it. Foods and snacks that are healthy and can be eaten on the go are good choices. For kid guests, serve things like mini grilledcheese sandwiches, chicken fingers or single-serve boxes of raisins. For adults, try sandwiches, wraps, and veggies and dip. Double-check if anyone has eating restrictions or food allergies.

party favors

You can give away fancy swag bags or keep it small with little harmonicas or a bath toy. Or have a favor that the whole family can take home, like a photo frame complete with a picture snapped and printed at the party. When it’s time to hand out the favors, give the goodies to parents first just in case they want to remove a few items or candies.


party on Ready to celebrate? Check out these local birthday-party hot spots. The Little Gym of Frederick

Your group will have the whole place to yourselves with games, music and fun activities created especially for your first-birthday kid’s full-blown bash. (301) 6961616, Port Discovery Children’s Museum

Partygoers from ages zero to 10 will dig a day of play at the interactive, educational exhibits in this Baltimore museum. The guest of honor can toddle or crawl through Tot Trails and splash in Wonders of Water. Older kids can climb and slide through a threestory urban tree house. So cool! (410) 727-8120, Gymboree Play & Music

Choose a favorite theme like trains, dinosaurs or safari, and they’ll personalize the party with kid-friendly activities. Bonus: There are multiple locations in the Washington, DC, area. (703) 8362277,

Get birthday cake ideas at

event planning, Styling and flowers: Cana’s Miracle LLC; Invitations: MKL Studio; cake and cupcakes: Christine NY; Cake and cupcake toppers: Mimicafe Union; venue: the modern

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7 weird toddler behaviors

that are actually normal by Jenna McCarthy

Toddlers can be demanding and unrelenting. And if you have one, you know they’re also kind of strange. Doorknob licking and barking like a dog are commonplace. But these freaky behaviors do pass. “The vast majority of strange toddler behaviors are short-lived phases,” says Heather Witten­ berg, PsyD, psychologist and author of Let’s Get This Potty Started! The BabyShrink’s Guide to Potty Training Your Toddler.

child,” she says. Unless your kid is hurting himself or would rather bang his head than socialize, eat or play, just ignore it. “When your child gets a reaction out of you for something he’s done, he realizes there’s a big red button he can push when he needs attention,” Wittenberg explains. Suggest a replacement activity (“Try rubbing your bunny’s ears when you get tired”) to redirect the behavior.

head banging

hands in the pants

Rhythmic, repetitive motion helps calm an overstimulated nervous system, Wittenberg explains. And while you’d think that means just rocking or riding in a car, head banging qualifies. “What looks disturbing to us can be very soothing to a

And you thought you wouldn’t have to worry about this until puberty! But self-fondling is another habit that isn’t considered a problem unless your child chooses to do it over, say, playing with the kid next door or eating ice cream.


“Strange toddler behaviors are short phases.”


Wittenberg says not to say no to it but to give guidelines: “You can do this alone in your room, but you can’t do it in the store or at school.” And give him interesting things to do to keep him from being bored.

crazy cravings

We know a mom whose daughter picks fuzzies off the couch and eats them—like a delicious snack! Wittenberg explains that kids use their mouths as tools for exploring the world. “They may be experimenting, or there may be some oral needs or a nutritional deficiency going on.” At the end of the day, it comes down to severity and frequency. So once-in-a-while weird cravings can be brushed off, but if your child is obsessed with eating, say, dirt or cat litter, it’s time to talk to the pediatrician.

nose picking

We know, it grosses you out, but a nostril is an interesting hole to explore. The key is to keep calm. Try something like this: “You can do this in your room or the bathroom with a tissue, but nobody wants to see it.”

natalie moser photography

imaginary and stuffed friends

Know a toddler who’s so obsessed with her stuffed animals that she lines them up perfectly at bedtime or who’s made up a whole family of imaginary friends? This is a normal reaction to the realization that the world is confusing and difficult to understand. “A world of the child’s making is much more comfortable,” Wittenberg says. When you embrace your child’s imaginary world, you honor her creativity. When a furry friend gets lost or needs to be washed or sewn, it might be rough, but it’s an opportunity to show her how she can cope without her usual comforts.

playing with their poop (sorry)

Then there’s that sneaky toddler who takes off his diaper to explore the mess that he made during naptime. Ick! “It’s way more common than people realize,

and most of the time it’s just that they’ve discovered an intriguing new plaything,” Wittenberg says. Make poop not so interesting by giving your child plenty of acceptable opportunities to make messes (by building mud castles together or playing with modeling clay, for example). If he keeps it up, you can fasten the edges of his diaper with skin-safe tape and put his pajamas on backward, so he can’t take them off. “Prevention is critical,” she adds. “That, and watching them like a hawk.”

generally bizarre stuff

Some toddlers insist on wearing a cape all day or want to be naked no matter what. “My two-year-old thinks he’s a dog,” says one mom. “When I come home, he barks to greet me and tries to lick my face.” Wacky phases are a normal part of being a kid and figuring out his place in the world. As with other weird behaviors, so long as it doesn’t interfere with normal activities, it’s fine. You may have to explain that it’s a thing he can do at some times but can’t at others. Tolerate it, but make sure you record it on video, too. This is great footage to show at his wedding or bar mitzvah.

10 ways to tame a tantrum at

toddler Whining, potty training, tooth brushing and more…

How do I keep my toddler busy (and well-behaved) when there’s a wait? In addition to the usual snacks and toys, there’s at least one other important thing to have on hand: your sense of adventure. If you act excited or curious about your environment, your toddler will, too, says Jeanette Sawyer Cohen, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. So turn your environment into a game: If you’re in the car, see who can spot the red car or blue house first; if you’re waiting in line, search your surroundings for “I Spy” material. Remember, your toddler naturally lives in the moment. The more you can do to make the atmosphere fun, the faster the time passes. My child’s whining is starting to drive me crazy! How can I handle it? Consider his whining just another form of toddler communication. After all, even a highly verbal two-year-old doesn’t have access to all the words and phrases that you do, says Cohen. If he’s feeling frustrated, angry, sad or simply overwhelmed in the moment, your child may rely on some heavy-duty whining to get his point across. Whining usually gets worse when a kid is hungry or tired, so don’t plan anything demanding (like a play date or trip to Home


Depot) close to naptime or for when he hasn’t eaten in a while. Schedule play dates after he has napped and had a snack, and don’t expect a complaint-free shopping excursion in the late afternoon. The whining will pass as he continues to develop more verbal skills—at least until he’s a teenager! What’s the best way to brush my toddler’s teeth? Below the age of two, simply use water and a small soft toothbrush twice a day (ideally after breakfast and before bedtime) to clean along the teeth up to the gumline, on top and both inside and outside, says Diane Bloomfield, MD, attending pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in Bronx, New York. If he’s not keen on using a toothbrush, you can also try a clean washcloth. After age two (or once he learns to spit) you can use a small, pea-size smear of fluoride toothpaste. Trust us—this will be fun. What two-year-old doesn’t love practicing spitting in the sink? How can I help my child get ready for preschool? Don’t stress too much, Mama. Even though it’s got school in its name, preschool isn’t meant to be a vigorous academic environment. In fact, most kids aren’t expected to >

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Is my child ready to give up naps? (Please say no!) There’s no magical age at which naptime disappears, says Bloomfield. Most two-year-olds do still need an afternoon nap, and even a three-year-old may rely on one to get through the afternoon without a meltdown. Remember that young children need lots and lots of sleep—up to 14 hours in most cases—to keep up their emotional and physical development.


My toddler is resisting potty training. How can I move things along? If your child is saying no to potty training, she could just be telling you that she’s not ready. Most children younger than 18 months won’t sit long enough or follow directions as needed to be properly potty-

My toddler is constipated. What can I do? Find some creative ways to increase the amount of fiber in her diet—switch to whole-grain choices, such as whole wheat crackers, whole-grain cereals and brown rice, says Bloomfield. Also, cut back on the clear juice and whole milk and add in fiber-rich beverages, such as smoothies made with fruit (leave the apple skin on). Know that toddlers are able to control when they poop, so it may be that she’s not going as often as she used to, says Bloomfield. But if she hasn’t had a bowel movement in more than four days, there’s blood in her stool or she’s uncomfortable, consult her pediatrician.


know their ABC’s from their 1, 2, 3’s when they get there. It’s really about giving your child a place to develop independence while interacting with other kids. So don’t worry about drilling those alphabet flash cards. What’s more important is getting your child comfortable with a few simple things. One of the biggest is spending time apart from you, says Cohen. Leave her with a babysitter or a grandparent while you run errands so she gets used to separation. Another important step is to be able to follow simple instructions. You can start this at home by giving her easy directions, such as hanging up her coat on a low hook and putting away her toys when she’s done playing. It’s also important that she has some basic social skills, which is where play dates and playgroups come in. Beyond that, use your time together to enjoy each other’s company: She’ll be exposed to plenty of academics in the school years ahead.

trained, says Cohen. To really be ready, she should be able to stay dry for a couple of hours during the day or after her nap, have predictable, regular bowel movements and be aware when she’s peeing or pooping. Start slow. Introduce the potty and let her get comfortable, but don’t expect her to use it right away. Then have her sit on it with her pants off but without necessarily going. Gradually move things along, but take it back a notch if she shows signs of protest. And remember that if you have some big changes going on at home—you’ve moved, there’s a new baby in the house, she just started preschool or has a new babysitter—you may encounter more resistance along the way. So take a step back and give her time to adjust.

Your toddler questions answered at

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Prenatal Sneak Peek

prenatal health & wellness

Stork Vision Gaithersburg

Celebrating You, The Spa

spa services


Celebrating You, The Spa

Psi Bands

Serendipity Wellness Studio

Serendipity Wellness Studio

ultrasound services

Well Being Massage

3D/4D InfantSee4D Ultrasound

prenatal products & services

4D Baby Photos

3D/4D InfantSee4D Ultrasound

All About Baby Keepsake Ultrasound Studio

4D Baby Photos

Bella Baby 4D

All About Baby Keepsake Ultrasound Studio

PeekABoo3D Imaging

Bella Baby 4D

Prenatal Sneak Peek

Belli Skincare

Stork Vision Gaithersburg


upscale resale

PeekABoo3D Imaging

Small Change Consignments


$50 OFF

seasonal tuition

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mommy deals

The Bump Washington, D.C.  

The Bump Washington, D.C. V9E1

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