5 Things to Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

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Okay…so maybe it’s because I’m well into my third trimester in the middle of this August heatwave or maybe it’s because I feel like I might tip over with all this added weight, but nevertheless, the timing for this post couldn’t be more appropriate.

When approaching a milestone, both close friends and absolutely strangers have plenty of unsolicited advice to give you. Whether you’re planning a wedding, apartment hunting, or turning 30, people are very willing to offer their experiences as case studies. The same can be said for when you’re having a baby.

Here’s what you shouldn’t say to a pregnant woman: 

Don’t ask: “Isn’t that dangerous?” Instead say…”Good for you.”

After finishing an hour long spin class, a woman came up to me and asked, “isn’t it dangerous?” While I am sure she was just curious, her question came off as seeped in judgement. Many women continue the same level of physical activity they had pre pregnancy throughout their pregnancy and make adjustments so that it is safe. I assure you that an expectant mother who is working out understands her body and if you’re not a doctor who has a strong background in maternal health, don’t question whether or not something is safe for a mother and her baby on board.

Don’t ask: “Do you plan on going back to work?” Instead ask…”What can I do to help?” 

I am lucky. This year I began building a consultancy practice which allows me to work from home, but I find that I am still answering this question a lot. My husband has yet to be asked whether or not he’ll be trading in his office job to be a stay-at-home-dad. Let’s take the pressure off moms here and instead of asking how she will maintain her career with a baby, offer ways to help in those first few weeks.

Don’t say: “You’re so small/big.” Instead say…”You look great.”

I don’t know how people think commenting on someone’s size is okay. You may think that telling someone that she is so tiny for being 8 months along is a compliment, but it isn’t. For the most part, first time moms have never seen their body change as rapidly as it does when you’re pregnant. When someone tells you, “you’re so tiny,” it makes you question if you should be bigger. For a while there, I was convinced there was something wrong because so many people said I looked much smaller than I should.

Don’t say: “When I/my sister/my friend/my coworker had her baby…” Instead ask…”How are you?”

I’ve heard so many horror stories and very few positive experiences regarding child birth. Everything from unusually long labors, to emergency c-sections, to post delivery hair loss. Listen, I have maternal and child birth education coming out of my ears, and have committed hundreds of research studies to memory at this point. Don’t make me school you. Instead, tell me a positive story or just ask how I’m doing. If we’re close, you can ask me about my birth plan.

Don’t say: “Your life is going to be so different.” Instead say…”I’m so excited for you.”

Before I got pregnant, Matt and I assumed a baby would change nothing. We would continue partying until 3am every weekend and have so much disposable income, we could continue traveling abroad five times a year. If you can’t tell…THAT IS SARCASM. We know our life is going to change. Hell, our life together is already changing. For instance, missing rose season this summer and pairing a basketball sized belly with my Brazilian bikini is not my idea of a great summer. We’ve had to change our apartment to accommodate a baby and all the visitors we’re excited to have when Baby G comes. And we’ve had to really look at our monthly budget to make sure we could still save while taking on new expenses like diapers and childcare. I know people are trying to prepare us for the complete 180 our lives will take, but rest assured, we have been thinking about it for a while now, daily, sometimes hourly.

The Importance of Date Day

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I know…I cringe too when I hear couples say, “I can’t, it’s date night,” or they tag photos on Instagram with the hashtag #DateNight or #OutWithMyBae. And then I remember, I am also a lovey-dubby offender. During the weekdays, quality time with my husband is limited. Hell, quality time with my dogs is limited and I do look forward to those Friday night dinners I so lovingly plan at home or those days spent doing something fun, something new together. Beginning in February, Matt and I naturally started to plan mini adventures in New York City on Saturdays. A routine started to form, something we hadn’t done in our seven years together and you know what, “it wasn’t boring.” We call Saturdays our date-day. With the limited time we have together during the week, date-day gives us an opportunity to reconnect. After a warrior class at Soul Cycle, we head to our favorite coffee shop in Williamsburg and every week, Matt and I alternate in planning date-day. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be thoughtful.

Here are some activities you can consider for a date-day, datenight, time alone, #OutWithMyBae, or with friends.

#1: Record shopping at A1 Records

So we just bought a turntable back in January and are taking our time with building a record collection. While the staff at A1 Records loves vinyl, they are not pretentious. They love answering questions and helping you filter through their vast inventory.

#2: Steak Dinner at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse

This was Matt’s idea for one night. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it. The building itself has some significance to us, as it was designed by the same architect that designed the space where we were married. The food and the service are impeccable.

#3: A 9pm Show at UCB

Another one of Matt’s ideas. He had never seen a show at the Chelsea location, while in college, I basically lived there. Nevertheless, it was inspiring to watch such a talented cast build an entertaining show on the fly.

#4: Mani/Pedi

Fact: men love pedicures. Fact: most men won’t plan to get one on their own. Getting a mani/pedi is relatively inexpensive in New York and a nice way to feel pampered. Matt won’t paint his nails, although one day I may get him to wear some black polish.

#5: Brunch at Butcher’s Daughter

Try one of the juices or toasts. A guilt free brunch after a workout always makes me feel like I’ve beat the system.

#6: Wine Shopping/Browsing/Tasting at Astor Wines

I love the selection here and how knowledgeable the staff is. Plus they always have my favorite Long Island rose in stock.

#7: Taking in Some Sports at Linen Hall

Or any sports bars. We both share a love of basketball and watching March Madness has been a great way to bond.

#8: Chocolate Tasting at Mast Brothers 

You can smell the chocolate from about a block away. We picked up a couple of bars to have on hand when needing to indulge a chocolate craving.

Kyoto 2015

There’s a lovely thing that happens when you travel alone; you are completely undistracted. You notice the strides of the locals walking beside you, your nose discovers new smells and leads you to wonderful places to fill your belly; you’re completely foreign in a place that many call home and that feeling while sometimes being scary, is exciting.

The streets of Kyoto were as clean and as zen as the shrines I visited. I was only there two nights and if you decide to visit the former Japanese capital city, I would recommend staying at least three nights.

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Accommodations

You must stay at a ryokan when visiting Kyoto. A ryokan is a type of traditional Japanese inn. They typically feature tatami-matted rooms (think seagrass carpeting), communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear a yukata (a Japanese robe not be confused with a kimono). Shoes are removed when walking within the inn and are replaced with what look like mittens for feet. Bedding is a futon spread out on the floor and while it may seem uncomfortable to sleep on the floor, I had some of the best sleep in my life while in Kyoto. Be advised, ryokans can be a little pricey but include meal packages and overall are a good value.

  • Ohanabo
    • 66-2 Shokuyacho, Shimojuzuyamachi Agaru, Akezudori, Shimogyo-ku | HigashihonganjiKyoto 600-8158Kyoto Prefecture (Kyoto Station)
    • $125/night in low season with shared bathroom; breakfast and dinner included

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Things to Do

You could spend your days circling the peaceful steps of the endless amounts of shrines and temples in Kyoto and that certainly wouldn’t be a bad way to spend your trip. There is a calming energy within Kyoto’s oxygen that just puts you at ease even when you feel a minor earthquake; I experienced a mini 4.0. Some of my favorites places were:

Heian-jingu Shrine

Kinkaku-ji Temple

Gion District

Kyoto Station Building

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

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Eats

I enjoyed the majority of my meals at Ohanabo, but I did spend some time in Nishiki Market where I was able to sample some typical Kyoto street eats. One must eat is the dashimaki (omelet) made with kelp stock. You can find it at Miki Keiran. I also made my way to the Kyoto location of my favorite Japanese Ramen spot in New York City, Ippudo, which was right off the market trail.

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The Hostess with the Mostess

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As mentioned in my first post about Cartagena, we stayed in a fantastic beach side bed and breakfast on Isla de Baru. The host, Olga immediately welcomed us like one of her own and invited us to join her son and grandson and some friends on the white sands of Playa Blanca. We ended the evening sharing a light dinner and a delicious rum with lime (something that I must recreate at home). We left Olga’s the next morning, bellies full and hearts breaking because we so wanted to stay. We will definitely be returning, but in the meantime we will just have to reminisce and enjoy the photos she took of us right before we left.

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For Savers and Spenders in NYC

Last night after succumbing to my husband’s need to binge watch the third season of Walking Dead, I craved non-gory visuals to ease me into my pre Monday sleep. I decided to watch Suze Orman’s 92nd Street Y talk which was being presented on NYC TV. While we need to take celebrity consultant advice with a grain of salt and diversify where we are getting our information from, Orman does an amazing job of making financial terms comprehendible by a general mass audience.  After hearing her thoughts on Roth IRAs versus Traditional IRAs and student loan debt, I decided to purchase two of her books. Once they come in, I will give a full review. Until then, check out the talk she gave four years ago at Google.

Style Icon: Diane von Fürstenberg

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She’s taken the media world by storm in the last month. With her memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be and her branded reality television show, Diane von Fürstenberg has married timeless fashion with pop culture. I have yet to read her book (it’s on my to-read list) but I have always coveted her designs. Her aesthetic approach truly considers a woman’s shape which is why her defining design, the wrap dress, can be worn by women of all sizes. Diane von Fürstenberg’s beauty transcends the concept of age. She’s shown women that to be sexy, one must feel sexy and pairing a genuine smile with a golden tan is a good place to start.

Her fashionable penthouse.

Her day to day.

A timeline of DVF.

Her beauty secrets.

Photo by Jean Pigozzi (1991).

 

Four Nights in Cartagena

When I gave Matt the option for a trip or a fancy shmancy birthday party for his 30th birthday, he chose the trip. The place had to be close enough for a long weekend but outside of the United States. After a month long investigation, I decided Cartagena, Colombia (not Columbia) would be the best place to celebrate such a milestone birthday. JetBlue has a direct flight from New York City and for $330 a ticket (I bought them early), it turned out to be a budget friendly destination.

Accommodations (both found on AirBnB)

The Apartment in Cartagena

The Beach House in Baru

Dining (ordered by preference)

Don Juan (dinner)

Carmen (dinner)

Pasteleria Mila (We went here twice; their breakfast and lunch are delicious) 

Activities

Sweat out that arepa at Cafe Havana

Grab a drink at El Laboratorio

Pick up a pair of emerald earrings at Elia’s