Maternity

Anything but basic

The black maxi dress.

With this pregnancy I find myself reaching for easy to wear, needs no ironing, can withstand a messy toddler, kind of clothes. If there’s one such item in my closet it has got to be this sleeveless maxi dress I bought during my first pregnancy. It’s not designed as maternity wear but because of the stretchy fabric and cut, it literally grows with you during pregnancy. Plus I bought it in a size bigger than I was at the time. I’ve mostly worn it with loose cardigans but it looks just as good with a long sleeve t-shirt underneath. Add the right accessories and this dress goes from casual to evening ready.

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IMG_2444(1)Outfit consists of:

Dress: The Bay

Cardigan: Thyme Maternity

Scarf: H&M

Here’s how I styled it for a wedding during my first pregnancy:

maxidress4And here it is with a t-shirt worn under:

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Product review: washable nursing pads

Today’s review is my first ‘mom’ specific one. As any new mom knows, breastfeeding, in the beginning especially, is quite a challenge. Alhamdulillah,  I was/am able to breastfeed T. Throughout my pregnancy and now post partum,  I’ve tried to use products that are more natural and contain as little chemical ingredients as possible. So when it came time to decide on which nursing pads to use I was conflicted between the disposables versus washables. I bought both and tried them out. In the beginning I preferred the disposables as it meant less laundry and felt drier. However, after noticing the gel filling on my baby’s face I FREAKED! So I started hunting for better washable ones.

Up came Omees Boutique, an Etsy shop that sells a variety of handmade, eco-friendly mom and baby products. I decided to give the washable pads from here a try as the reviews were good, it was locally based and made and the colourful assortment of fabric appealed to the fashion-conscious side of me (hey a mom’s gotta look good too!).

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Pros:

  • four layers of flannel fabric makes them very absorbent.
  • no bunching up as with the stick on disposables.
  • no irritating scrunching noises.
  • soft flannel makes it’s more gentle against the skin.
  • size is appropriate – not too big or too small.
  • holds up to frequent laundering very well.

Cons:

  • if not washed in a lingerie bag, it can get ‘lost’ when doing the laundry! I’ve misplaced  2 already 😦
  • needs a bit of flattening out when it comes out of the drier (I haven’t ironed them but that might be a good solution).
  • if you have a heavy let-down, you’ll need to double up.

Overall, I LOVE these and would highly recommend them to breastfeeding mamas!

This is what they look like after washing and drying.  Notice how it got a bit fluffier….that’s the four layers of flannel at work! 😉

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Modest maternity wear for Summer pregnancies

Being pregnant is such a wonderful feeling, especially when the little one starts moving around and you can feel the little nudges and kicks!  But being really pregnant in the midst of Summer and Ramadan is not always such a pleasant experience.  Earlier on in my pregnancy, a few ladies told me to brace myself for Summer. At the time I didn’t understand what they meant, but as my pregnancy progressed and it became hotter, I knew exactly what they meant! So to keep myself cool and sane, I tried to dress in comfy, loose clothing without looking too dowdy.

Here are a few dressing tips that I’ve gained through my pregnancy:

Dresses:

Invest in a good quality black maxi dress.  You might think it’s black and would make you hot in the Summer. But the beauty is that you have SO many options of how to dress this up.  From simple long sleeve cotton tees under, cardigans over for chilly evenings and fancy blazers for more formal occasions, you cannot go wrong with it.

Also, a good handful of other coloured empire waist maxi dresses are a lifesaver! As your belly grows, they’ll become your best friends! If you can find ones that are lined, all the better as you won’t need to wear a slip. And we are lucky that mainstream stores  carry an endless variety to choose from. So if you’re planning a pregnancy, stock up in a few different sizes. I did that and didn’t have to buy any maternity specific clothes (they can be so expensive too!).

I’ve also found that if you have  solid colour long sleeve dresses, it comes in very handy.  Especially those made from stretchy fabrics. You can simply change up the look of it by how you accessorize (different hijabs, belts, jewellery, shoes, purses etc.). I’ve lived in the Elegant Mama dress from Bahiya Collections and when baby is here, it’ll get more working as it’s also a breastfeeding dress.

Abayah’s are a good go to dress option, but if you’re like me and don’t wear a lot of them, then other kinds of dresses are nice to have.  I did wear quite a few this Ramadan though, especially the ‘umbrella’ style as it’s very flowy and non-restrictive.

For more dressy occasions (weddings, Eid etc) I found that wearing Kaftans was such a pleasure! Not only does it look very fancy, it has enough room for a pregnant tummy!

Stores where I’ve purchased many of my maxi dresses from: H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy, The Bay, Zara.

Pants:

You can’t go wrong with an elasticized, black wide leg pant.  Even before being pregnant I wore these pants so much! They are uber comfy and will grow with you.  When you have a pregnant tummy, the last thing you feel like wearing are tight, constricting pants!. I found mine at Winners and Marshalls but I’m sure they’re available elsewhere. When you find one you like, grab a few as you’ll be in these all the time!

Skirts:

As with pants, good quality, elasticized waist, fully lined skirts are a must have!  They are one of the easiest clothing essentials to wear in pregnancy,  Just add a long sleeve tee, a long dangly necklace, some bangles, a cute sandal, a floral hijab and you’ll be the most fashionable pregnant lady in the doctor’s office! Again, these are easy to find in stores so you’ll have no trouble being chic and comfy.

Stores where I’ve purchased most of my skirts from: Melanie Lyne, The Bay, Old Navy.

Tops:

If you have long, cotton tunics these are a lifesaver in summer pregnancies. However, you can outgrow them pretty quickly. Look for empire waist tops and shirts that allows space for your growing belly. Again, a lot of stores carry these so buy them in a few different sizes.  Also, if you’re going to be breastfeeding, try to get some button down shirts as they’ll come in handy later on when baby is here.

Stores where I’ve purchased most of my tops from: H&M, Forever 21, Melanie Lyne, The Bay, Winners.

Shoes:

My feet were super swollen for the latter part of my pregnancy.  Coupled with the heat, it only got worst.  Forget about wearing closed toe pumps or strappy sandals.  If you’re like me, you won’t be able to get your feet in them.  Instead, buy a slip on sandal with adjustable straps and a good, comfortable sole. I have literally only been wearing one pair of sandals from Naturalizer for the last couple months (similar to these but with adjustable Velcro straps). While not the most fashion forward, they sure are a “footsaver”!  Also, as you progress in your pregnancy, it becomes harder to see your feet much less bending down to get your shoes on so slip on shoes are a must!

I was fortunate to be home for most of my pregnancy, but if you’re working, the above guidelines still apply as you can make the looks as formal as you need to by the accessories you choose to wear.

If you have any tips you’d like to share, please comment below!  I sure would like to know more! 🙂

Here are some of my pregnancy looks this past Summer and Ramadan:

Baby shower

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kaftan

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pants

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