Maternity Swimsuits We Just Adore!

Maternity Swimsuits We Love | Mama Bird Box | Gifts for Pregnancy

Swimsuit shopping can be a dread for any woman. Throw in maternity swimsuit shopping and the joy of shopping can potentially be completely robbed. Pregnancy changes a woman’s body in so many ways… including her hormones.

First, we want you to know that you are not alone. Don’t feel like this is forever. It will end sooner than you think. Some women do not want to splurge on a maternity swimsuit that only gets worn during the short seasons of pregnancy, but it really can be worth it.

There is a call to mothers right now to stop missing out on experiences with their kids because they feel uncomfortable in a swimsuit. The message rings true for moms-to-be as well. Your pregnant body is doing wonderful and beautiful things. And if your husband wants to take you on a babymoon to the Bahamas, oh my goodness, let him. There is no need to miss out on experiences because of a silly swimsuit. Here is our collection of favorite swimsuits to help you feel the most confident in your body while cooling off a few degrees in the pool this summer!

ASOS MaternityASOS Maternity

Our favorite goes to ASOS Maternity swimwear. They have so many feminine, flattering pieces. All women will have swimsuit envy over any of their suits, but this pastel floral one (above) is our favorite for the season.

geometric maternity one-piece | Mama Bird Blog
Target Maternity

Target wins in accessibility. If you are one that really needs to try things on or wants to order 3 sizes and have a easy time with returns, then Target is your place. They also never lack for cute prints.

maternity tie-dye tankini | Mama Bird Blog
Macy’s

Department stores are a great place to shop for swimsuits. They offer a lot of variety meaning you have a better chance of going to the beach and not seeing your same swimsuit on someone else. This tie-dye print by A Pea in the Pod is such a subtle take on the trend. Plus it’s a tankini, which means you can feel fully covered, but bathroom trips are still a breeze.

navy bikini top | Mama Bird Blog
Tommy Bahama
navy tropical bikini bottoms | Mama Bird Blog
Topshop

 

There is something that can be said for mixing and matching. Topshop has great suits, and we are in love with the navy tropical print, and it didn’t take long to find this D-cup top. If you get the fit right, many women feel the most confident to show off their bellies. Just be sure to use lots of sunscreen on the belly because the thin belly skin can burn easily.

The summer is only getting hotter. There is still plenty of time to wear your new maternity (or not maternity) swimsuit.


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Choosing the Perfect Diaper Bag + Why Mama Bird Really Does Love Kelly Moore Bags

choosing the perfect diaper bag - photo taken by abi porter

We are in the middle of our Kelly Moore Bag giveaway, and it has me reflecting on the diaper bags I’ve used in the past and why I wished I had used a Kelly Moore Bag all along. Choosing the perfect diaper bag was no easy task.

Picking the right diaper bag is more complex than I once thought. It’s not quite so cut and dry like picking out a purse or wallet. Style must be considered, yes, but also function, there’s a lot of function – like, how do you hold your baby and diaper bag? Do you need something that has a shoulder strap, cross-body, or both? I learned that I needed a cross-body that comfortably sat on my left hip because I help my babies on my right hip, but you may be annoyed at a bag flopping around with every step you take. Do you want a flap so you can keep your bag unzipped without someone knowing, or are you no nonsense when it comes to getting something out of your bag and a flap only slows you down? How much are you really going to organize in all of those little interior zipper pockets? Maybe a lot, maybe a little. How do you handle multiple babies and a diaper bag? Let me make this one easy for you. Backpack.

choosing the perfect diaper bag | Image of Kelly Moore Bag for Mama Bird Box Blog

I’ve tried various diaper bags through my years of carrying a diaper bag. I started off with a style that had a floral design and one tiny interior zipper pocket. The floral design was issue number one. I was working at the time so my husband and I traded out having our daughter on a regular basis. He really didn’t have an issue with carrying around a floral bag, but it just didn’t look like him. So then we tried the his and hers bags method, but that didn’t work for us either. We were always forgetting to switch over the one item things, and it just became too much of a hassle. Issue number two: I don’t need all the pockets in the world, but I need some. One tiny one was simply not enough.

Image of Kelly Moore Bag for Mama Bird Box Blog

So we moved on to a more utilitarian styled bag with 4 large interior pockets, 4 outside pockets, and a bland style. This thing looked like a diaper bag. I loved the function, but not the style. Function won out in this case. The bag was what we needed; it wasn’t too big or too small though I was really good at stuffing it with all of the “just in case” items. This drove my husband crazy. In sincere gratitude, I credit him with teaching me how to minimize and focus on the necessities. You’d think I’d have learned this from my mother who is a true master of simple packing but always having just what you need. I somehow bypassed that lesson from her, but the father of my children had a lot more to say about my, I mean “our” overstuffed bag, so I learned to minimize.**

After our second kid was born, I treated myself to a more feminine looking diaper bag since I stopped working then and got to be the primary carrier of children and said bag. Honestly, I don’t remember how this diaper bag functioned because I just don’t remember that first year. I don’t even remember what brand of diaper bag it was. Whatever it was, it was fine. It just didn’t make my baby sleep and that was the true magic that was missing.

And then I was gifted a Kelly Moore Bag by my sister-in-law, which I still use as my everyday purse. Kelly Moore Bags were designed by a photographer who wanted a more stylish camera bag, couldn’t find one, so she started designing them herself. choosing the perfect diaper bag | why mama bird box loves kelly moore bagBut Kelly Moore is also a mom so whether she meant to or not, she designed these bags with all the bones needed for a good diaper bag. Most of the bags come with both short and long straps for you to choose. The compartments are adjustable and removable. Most all of the bags have a built-in card holder on the back. It’s a subtle feature, but so convenient; checking out at a store one-handed is a breeze. And, it’s easy to find a style that works for you, or you and your husband if the case may be, and it’s classic so you might not have to go through 4 different diaper bags over the course of 3 years like I did. And *cough cough* the Collins Bag is a great choice for any mom-to-be so pop over to the giveaway for a chance to win and find out for yourself how great this bag is.


My Tried and True Diaper Bag Packing List

Diapering Needs:

  • 2 cloth diapers
  • wet/dry bag
  • 2 disposable diaper
  • 3-4 cloth wipes (My prefold cloth diapers eliminated the need for an additional burp rag. There was rarely an occasion that things started spewing out of both ends.) choosing the perfect diaper bag
  • Squeeze pouch or Boon Spoon with 2 frozen cubes of baby food (I made most of my baby food so this is how I packed it on the go. It was just the right portion. I’d pack it in the morning and by lunch it was thawed. If it wasn’t, I could put the Boon Spoon in warm water.)
    choosing the perfect diaper bag | baby spoon
  • Small container of Puffs choosing the perfect diaper bag | puffs
  • Water choosing the perfect diaper bag | sippy cup
  • Sophie the Giraffe (chew ring. no squeaks for me)/Finger Puppetschoosing the perfect diaper bag | sophie the girafe chew ring
  • Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes (by no means is this toy Insta worthy, but my kids loved it in the car. Loved it.)

choosing the perfect diaper bag | baby einstein

  • “Indestructibles” baby book or another lightweight book choosing the perfect diaper bag | indestructibles books
  • Lovies 🙂

choosing the perfect diaper bag | lovies

The Magic of a Bath in Motherhood

Image of a bath and bathroom

An evening bath has a magical, intangible quality to me in motherhood. My mother and sisters would agree. My sisters and I grew up seeing our mother’s daily routine include an evening bath. In high school I was a shower girl, and I never really understood why our mom always took a bath. (High schoolers can be ridiculously judgmental over trivial things.) She said she didn’t like showers because of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Maybe. Or maybe she needed to say, “I need a bath to wash away all the stress that has been put on me with two teenagers and an elementary kid. You are a handful and I need to forget about all of it for 10-30 minutes. Alone.”

In my younger years, I enjoyed the occasional bath but only if I was extra cold in the wintertime or I wanted to use a fancy bath product, not at all a necessity.

Within this time I saw my older sister Amy step into motherhood and take on this nightly bath ritual. Before kids, she was the same as me; baths were nice, but not everything. I don’t think we talked too much about why she started taking a bath every night after she became a mom, but if we did I wouldn’t have understood, not really.

The routine of a bath for me started when I was pregnant with my first child. I avoided baths and hot, hot water in my first trimester, but then my belly started growing and my back started aching. During my first pregnancy I had the tub of all tubs at this time, a claw-foot tub. A perfect one. Not too wide, not too deep, and the ideal reclining angle in the back where my head would rest perfectly on the curved edge. I was told getting in the water would help relieve my back pain, but I didn’t have a pool I could access. So I would fill up my perfect tub and feel the weight of my belly float away. And so the ritual began.

The first two or three months after Nora, my first kid, was born, there was no routine for me. Same for when Wesley, the second kid, was born. Everything was interrupted. Babies will always have this sixth sense for needing you the moment you step into the bathroom. For mamas with newborns, setting aside time for anything is impossible. But then, my kids (and so will yours) figured out this thing we call routine. With or without routine, though, after having kids, my person – mind, body, and spirit – calls out for a bath. I still just need a bath.

So why have I come to care so much about taking a bath? For me, I need to wash the day away. I have some days that seem mostly good. There are days that feel all bad and the only redemption in them is that they are over. Most days, however, are a mix of good and bad. Regardless of how the day has gone, I am done at the end of it. If I showed patience with my kids all day, I do not have an infinite amount of it. My patience depletes drastically with each minute that passes before they are in bed. I want to hang on to the good day; I want to end it on a good note, but even holding onto a thread of patience wears on me. It makes me feel tired and emotional in my inner being. So even if my husband sees us having a great day, I want to walk away from it before I snap and undo all of its goodness.

I have had a few occasions when I need to walk away completely when my husband gets home. Out of the house, into my car, and somewhere else. Honestly, most days are not that bad at all, but I still want to have a place for a small retreat. And one that doesn’t require spending money or interacting with other people. I crave time to be alone with my thoughts or a book but without the guilt that there is something more productive to be done. When I’m in the bathtub I’m still kind of productive…good hygiene and all that. But that evening bath that happens after my kids are in bed is more to me than that. I get a quiet time alone, and I come out of a bath with a better perspective on my life. You may scoff, but for me it is so true.

Your “bath” may be actually be a shower or your couch or your car or the streets you run or a solo trip to the grocery store. From this mother, let me encourage you to find a simple thing that can be a part of your daily routine, and retreat, even if it’s only for 5 minutes. My mom would tell you the same thing, too. We are better mothers for it.