The Styling The Bump series encourages new moms-to-be to embrace their bump with styles that flatter the bump, without spending on maternity wear that they end up stashing away after pregnancy. By renting, we want to promote a more sustainable lifestyle that’s also financially sustainable!
We met with a loving mom-to-be and power entrepreneur to share with us her maternity journey!
Hi Ella, thank you for taking the time out to have this interview with us! We know that you’re about 33 weeks into pregnancy, how did you feel when you first found out you were pregnant?
We actually found out we were pregnant when we went for a Turkish coffee reading, during our visit in New York. The coffee grinds showed a silhouette of a baby and the fortune reader asked if I was pregnant. He was certain the baby was going to be a boy. At that point in time, we were in disbelief and subsequently surprised by the results!
We understand that the pregnancy journey is different for everyone. So how has your pregnancy experience been so far?
It’s been a rollercoaster with every trimester. It was really tough in the first trimester with morning sickness and a sensitive sense of smell. The second trimester was a lot easier; most call it the ‘honeymoon period’, so it was the best time for us to travel. We went to a beach at Koh Samui for our baby moon and it was the first chance we got to travel as a family!
Being a career woman, how has your routine changed since the pregnancy?
My daily routine hasn’t changed much but I have been more mindful of what I consume. When it comes to any logistical and shipping matters, I always make sure I don’t carry anything too heavy or exert myself too much.
What were some challenges you faced, or are still facing, during this period of pregnancy?
It’s mostly the backaches and fatigue — I’m just grateful that my lovely husband has been very supportive and understanding. We even went for a parenting class so that he could learn how to do relief massage techniques for labour pains. It definitely helps a lot!
How has your diet changed since you started your pregnancy? What is one favourite food you had to give up?
I’ve had very specific cravings in each trimester, especially for sour foods such as green apples and key lime pie. I also have food aversions with pork and prawns. Throughout my pregnancy, I cut out my intake of caffeine, so it’s been really tough to get that perk in the mornings.
We are sure you’ve received a lot of advice from loved ones and friends, what were some pieces of advice that have helped you through this period?
It was mostly to listen to your body — when you’re feeling tired or if you really need to take a power nap in the middle of the afternoon, go for it.
Motherhood is an exciting journey, what are you most looking forward to?
At this stage – mostly looking forward to meeting my baby, and seeing if my baby takes after my husband or me! But in years to come – I’m definitely looking forward to teaching the kid how to skate, ride a bike, and watch the same cartoons I grew up watching.
We know you’re also an entrepreneur and co-founder of MagicMon. How have you been managing between running your business and pregnancy?
As I got bigger, we set up a home office so I could work remotely and I’d minimise the need to travel to my office every day. With everything online, I’m still able to communicate everyday with my team, clients, and factories as per normal. With the help of couriers, I also don’t have to personally deliver orders locally as well.
Are there some changes you intend to make when transitioning from the pregnancy to nursing phase? What are they?
I’m looking forward to working out and boxing again after my recovery! But for now, I’m just embracing the stages that I’m going through. I’m constantly amazed at how my body is changing and am very grateful for the support of my family, friends, and clients.
What were some challenges you faced when it comes to dressing your bump?
It can be a challenge ordering maternity dresses online. They are usually shapeless and too baggy, which tend to hide my blossoming belly. My favourite graphic tees and jeans have stopped fitting me early on in my pregnancy, and as I got bigger with each trimester, I had to narrow my search to outfits that are loose or stretchy in the belly area.
At what point did you start embracing the bump with Style Theory and why?
When I still wanted to look cute and comfortable in maternity wear without buying a whole new wardrobe!
What are the most important features when it comes to renting clothes for maternity wear?
It really depends on how big your bump is — you can size up in non-maternity clothes. I tend to look out for styles such as maxi dresses, wrap dresses, and shift dresses. Ultimately, loose fitting or flowing tops and dresses are game changers for me during my pregnancy.
After renting maternity wear, what are your thoughts about continuing to rent with Style Theory even after pregnancy? Would nursing wear be an option?
It definitely gives me flexibility as I’m not sure how my body will change. And if all goes well on my breastfeeding journey, nursing wear would be a great option.
What do you love most about Style Theory’s service? Share your top three hits!
Convenience: Delivery was fast and I love that there is a pick-up service option when you’re ready to return the box. A plus point is that the subscription covers laundry so I don’t have to worry about cleaning the items as compared to owning dresses that have delicate lace or ribbon accents.
Size Recommendation: I like that there is a sizing guide as it gives you an idea if a certain dress or style can fit your body shape.
Bump-Friendly Category: I love that my in-app stylist went through non-maternity items to curate which outfits would be comfortable for pregnancy. Most services don’t have this option and it definitely helps pregnant women make their selections for special occasions like weddings and other formal events.
What are some improvements Style Theory could make?
A search option would help! So I’d be able to search keywords for specific options like babydoll dresses, wrap dresses, empire dresses, et cetera.
What advice can you give to other moms-to-be?
I’m a first time mummy so everything is new to me. During my first trimester, everything was physically and psychologically overwhelming.
Everyone’s pregnancy is a unique process, so take it day by day. Work-wise, you can still be dedicated to your goals but you’ll learn to be more efficient with your time and energy. It gives you a new perspective to set your priorities in line. As my body changes, I learnt to be body-neutral and not get obsessed with small things like stretch marks. My advice is to focus on taking care of yourself and the baby. So don’t feel too pressured and remember to enjoy your pregnancy journey.