Name: Melinda Reiss

Neighborhood: Columbus Circle

Occupation: Creative Director

Baby's sex: Female

How would you describe your pregnant style?

Urban casual. My rule was, if I wouldn't normally wear it, I wouldn't wear it when I was pregnant. Luckily there are so many chic maternity lines that aren't prissy or matronly.

Have you had any challenges learning to dress your pregnant body?

Yes. Because I gained weight primarily in my legs, dresses were generally more comfortable -- no skinny jeans for me!

So far, what has surprised you most during your pregnancy?

The biggest surprise was not being able to bend over. Most of the time If something fell on the floor, I would just leave it there!

What’s been your favorite pregnancy piece or brand to show off your bump?

I love AG maternity jeans when I actually did wear pants. I also loved Rosie Pope form-fitting dresses and Seraphine faux wrap dresses: very flattering.

What NYC experience are you most looking forward to sharing with your baby?

Walking in Central Park.

Melissa is wearing:

Gap Maternity Sweater (similar style)

Gap Maternity Tights

H & M necklace

Japanese Weekend skirt

Frye Moto Boots -- Besides sneakers they’re my go-to footwear for walking the city!

Photography by Amy Frances Photography.

Location: Washington Market Pediatrics.


Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength won't make your child immune to hardship—but it also won't cause him to suppress his emotions.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

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