Like most mothers-to-be, I did everything that the Dr. told me to do in order to avoid a c-section. And I successfully avoided it on each of my 3 pregnancies, but after looking at this video, I feel like I missed out! It just shows that no matter how it happens – natural birth or cesarean, child birth is truly a miracle! Share if you like it.
Meet Angela Tafoya, one of Refinery29‘s San Francisco editors! In addition to working at one of the most popular fashion & lifestyle sites, Angela is expecting a baby girl later this year! We were lucky enough to ask the super chic mama-to-be about her pregnancy style, shopping for baby, and favorite spots in San Francisco. Enjoy…
1. Congrats on your pregnancy! What have you loved most/least about being pregnant thus far?
Thank you! There haven’t been too many things I’ve disliked about the experience — mainly the fact none of my clothes are fitting, and that can be a little rough. The best is definitely feeling her move around. It makes the experience so real and makes you feel so connected. I love it. It never gets old.
2. Any crazy cravings or major surprises?
Not so much cravings but aversions, yes! I used to love Asian food and now I can’t stomach the smell. I hope it goes away after she comes, because I need ramen back in my life.
3. Has your style changed since becoming pregnant? What are your top style “dos” for dressing the bump?
This is definitely something I am learning as I go. Before becoming pregnant, I wasn’t much of a body-con dress person, but when you’re pregnant they’re the best things ever. I love accentuating the bump. I also think wearing garments with waist definition help and are super flattering. I found it helpful to stock up on basics, like dresses and skirts from Storq — super necessary and cozy. Oh, and, a comfy pair of shoes are everything.
4. Have you started shopping for baby? Any favorite brands for baby girls you’ve come across?
5. What would be your dream baby shower gift?
Oh, that’s tough! I may be a little selfish here and say a massage, I know after the baby comes I’m gonna need it.
6. Favorite Estella organic baby toys?
7. You live in San Francisco – are hidden restaurants/shops/museums/parks we should know about?
This really isn’t hidden but I love Emmy’s Spaghetti shack and it seems like such a family-friendly place, so I can’t wait to take her there when we’re ready to adventure out the house. Also, there are a few parks in my neighborhood (the Mission) that I have been scoping out!
NYC facialist Joanna Vargas has amassed a loyal following over the years due to her effective treatments that leave clients with glowing skin and clear complexions. And, even if you don’t live in New York, you can still reap the benefits of her work with her line of all-natural skincare products. We had the opportunity to chat with Joanna on her beauty and skincare tips while pregnant, new mom must-haves, and her favorite parts about motherhood. Bonus: we’ve teamed up with the Joanna Vargas salon for the ultimate Mother’s Day giveaway – enter here for your chance to win a facial and Joanna’s entire skincare line for mom and an Estella bamboo baby romper, hat, and two organic toys for baby!
1. Are there any beauty products/ingredients/treatments that women should avoid and/or seek out when they’re pregnant?
I would stick to basics- doing gentle cleansing facials with lots of oxygen always feels right when you are pregnant.
2. A day at the spa can be such a treat for a new mom. What would you recommend?
I think a great exfoliation is both cleansing and relaxing. I love recommending a full body microdermabrasion because it thoroughly removes dead cells and surface dirt while helps to restore ones elasticity and nothing is better for a new mom! I also would recommend a nice oxygen facial to help cleanse the pores and soothe and hydrate the skin.
3. Are there any common skin concerns you see in pregnancy women or new moms that can be prevented or easily treated?
Common concerns deal with the sensitivity that pregnant women face with their skin and the hormonal breakouts. It’s really hard to prevent a hormonal breakout but you can easily keep it under control with the right regimen. I love using Eminence Organics on my pregnant clients because everything smells wonderful and is very safe for the baby.
4. What were some of your favorite ways to treat yourself during pregnancy?
Yoga was always a great way to treat myself during both pregnancies. I loved how it made me feel more energized and during my second pregnancy I found that plus Pilates made me sleep better, keep my lymphatic system working properly (so I didn’t have swollen feet) and my back felt great. My delivery was amazing and quick the second time around too because my body was so much stronger from the Pilates!
5. When you were a new mom, were there any must-haves (for you and baby!) that you always had on hand?
My must haves for both babies was Mustella Face Cloths. The smell is incredible and nothing quite takes away the smell of baby vomit like those. I also couldn’t live without Jurlique Calendula Cream for both kids’ skin. It keeps away baby eczema really well and is a great secondary diaper cream.
6. There’s so much talk about the work-life balance – as a mom and business owner, what has worked for you?
I think forgiving yourself for not being perfect is big. I don’t make a big deal about it if I mess up sometimes. I am very strict about my schedule and I always explain it to clients if I am unavailable because of a kid thing. No one ever begrudges you for needing to be at your kids school play. And I am pretty good about not bringing my work home. Once I cross the threshold, I’m just mom.
7. What is one thing nobody told you about parenthood?
How wonderful it is and how it enhanced my whole life. I feel like I love my work so much more because it’s only a part of my life instead of my whole life.
8. Lastly, spring has finally arrived in NYC! What are some of your favorite kid-friendly spots or activities this time of year?
My son takes Parkour classes in Central Park- it’s the best city park I have ever been to!
Thanks, Joanna! P.S. Enter our Mother’s Day giveaway here.
(Images via Joanna Vargas Salon)
Meet Courtney Klein, the San Francisco-based entrepreneur and founder of maternity label Storq! Courtney founded the brand with the belief that your wardrobe and sense of style shouldn’t have to change during your pregnancy. The brand debuted with four pieces (leggings, a skirt, tank top, and midi-dress) that can be purchased as a bundle and worn for all nine months. Each garment is available in a luxuriously soft black or white modal fabric (although the spring dress just launched in three new colors!), designed and manufactured in California, and meant to be mixed and matched with your current wardrobe. All-natural, pregnancy-safe creams and beauty items have also been added into the mix. We caught up with Courtney recently to ask her all about life with her baby Nell, newborn and maternity must-haves, and what’s coming next for Storq. Thanks, Courtney!
1. First off, congrats on your new baby! How has motherhood been so far?
Like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It’s unreal. One of my favorite parts of being a parent thus far is getting to experience everything again for the first time through my daughter Nell.
2. What have been your go-to newborn essentials so far? Any favorite baby brands?
White onesies, Aden + Anais swaddle blankets, and the Baby K’tan wrap. As for baby brands, there are so many good ones. Obviously Estella bamboo baby clothes but also Makie, Bobo Chooses, Little Hip Squeaks, Moon et Miel, Wolfechild, Mini Rodini, Tane, Misha and Puff, Goat-Milk Kidware, Nature Baby… I could go on and on.
3. What about for you? Anything new-mom items you can’t live without?
My Fjallraven Backpack in lieu of a diaper bag, a wide brim palm-leaf hat for shading the babe when we’re out and about, Storq tanks and leggings for getting comfy around the house, Portland Apothecary New Mom Tea to keep things running smoothly, Fat & The Moon Face Spray when I need a quick refresh, and WhatsApp to keep far away friends and family up to date on all things Nell.
4. Switching gears, tell us how Storq was created. When, why, and how did you put your idea into action?
The idea for Storq came about after listening to pregnant friend after pregnant friend passionately discuss maternity fashion, or the lack thereof. There’s a real desire to preserve a sense of identity and style while pregnant and not a lot of options out there for doing so.
5. How would you describe the Storq aesthetic? What is the spirit of the brand?
We believe pregnant ladies are human, too. Our aesthetic is clean and minimal, the ideal canvas for a women to express her own sense of style.
6. You also offer a body bundle and a beauty bundle. Why did you think it was important to offer these options, and how did you decide on the particular items to include?
Pregnant women have a unique set of concerns when it comes to what they can put on their skin and it can take valuable time to wade through everything out there to find great products. We’ve tested them all and selected our beauty and body favorites that are not only safe for moms-to-be, but also effective and luxurious.
7. Many women struggle with getting dressed and feeling like themselves while pregnant. Others don’t even think purchasing maternity wear is a worthwhile investment. What advice do you have for them?
To the women who make it through pregnancy without buying a single maternity item, more power. And for the most part, they’re right, you’re not really making an investment, per se. We focused on the pieces that help to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe so you can make the most of what you’ve already got and still feel like yourself, just more comfortable.
8. What is your favorite part of designing & producing maternity apparel?
Empowering women who are pregnant, who are doing this mind-blowing thing, to look and feel amazing.
9. For moms (or any women, really) starting their own businesses, what advice would give?
The hardest part is taking the plunge. I say just jump!
10. What’s next for Storq? Are there any upcoming projects in the works?
More chic essentials from your friends at Storq. Stay tuned.
11. Your talent speaks for itself through everything you’ve already accomplished with Storq. Is there anything you don’t do well that you wish you could?
You are way too kind! Seriously. There are so many things I wish I was better at, but I’d be pretty excited if I was a great chess player.
P.S. – Here’s a picture of Courtney with baby Nell in our baby bamboo!
She has the baby swing. She’s stocked with newborn basics like onesies and hats. Maybe she’s about to become a second, or third time mom. Or perhaps she’s a new soon-to-be mom with really generous friends and family! No matter the reason, a Boppy won’t do for a baby gift for this super-prepared mama.
Sigh. What can you possibly get for the mom-to-be who has everything? You don’t want to phone it in with another hooded ducky towel. No, you need a unique present, something that prompts her to demand, “Where did you find this?”
Don’t worry. It’s not an impossible mission. We got you covered with these awesomely adorable gift ideas for the mom-to-be who has it all, except…
Hand Knit Baby Rattles. Impress the mom who already has every baby toy on Earth on standby with these cute Estella cotton baby toys. We dare any pregnant mama not to chuckle with surprise and glee when she unwraps a salted pretzel, a purse with a sweet little bow, or a mustache rattle. Don’t forget to check out the coordinating nursery pillows!
The Best Swaddles. Your mom friend owns a stack of receiving blankets, but breathable muslin swaddles by Aden and Anais are where it’s at! The size and weight of the fabric makes wrapping a wee one worry-free and easy. Um, plus they’re cute. Yup, she’ll love cradling her cutie in these soft styles. You’re a whiz at this finding the perfect gift thing!
Handprint Canvas Set. Give the gift of a memory with a create-a-keepsake canvas kit from Red Envelope. Upon baby’s arrival, the new family can capture the moment by stamping their hand or foot prints on a piece of wall art, which can be customized by color, design, and the option to add text.
Superhero Knit Dolls. Your mommy friend may have a nursery full of stuffed animals and dolls, but she hasn’t seen Estella’s superhero inspired knit dolls! Kat is sporty yet sweet, Trixie has confidence and style to spare, and Red is one capable cookie. Dolls who offer life lessons to little ones? Can you say gift giving genius?
Giant Personalized Tote. An over-sized Lands End tote bag makes the perfect hospital bag, weekend getaway bag, and bedding, clothing, and toy storage bag. It’s a gift that keeps on giving long after baby is born; from the first sleepover, to sleep-away camp, to college! How many other gifts can boast of being useful for life?
Told you we could help!