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Fashion Find: Dear Kate

There’s a really special club you join when you become pregnant. You’ll know you’re in the club when you sneeze, and the mama next to you doesn’t hand you a tissue -- she hands you a panty liner. And you think: there goes another pair of undies. But not if you've discovered Dear Kate leak-resistant underwear. Every sweet pair has a built-in breathable lining that protects like a panty liner. Meaning you can have more laugh till you pee moments during pregnancy. Because goodness knows, we can use them. Still, we know that peeing your pants every 10 minutes doesn’t really make you feel sexy. That’s why we’re doubly glad that Dear Kates are so beautiful, with flattering fits and enchanting details. And while they’re not technically maternity underwear, many pregos we know swear by Dear Kate's silky, soft, breathable fabric, and super-comfy under-belly fit. Oh, and guess what (wink, wink) -- the leaking doesn’t stop after the baby comes. So you’ll be glad you stocked up on Dear Kates now. Below, Dear Kate’s genius founder Julie Sygiel talks bladder, baby and beautiful underthings. And read on for an exclusive discount for Well Rounded NY readers and info on our Dear Kate giveaway! Why did you launch Dear Kate? What makes them different than other undies out there? I took an entrepreneurship class in college and my business plan team realized that every woman has a horror story from “that time of the month,” not to mention the monthly stress our period adds to daily life while we’re busy working, exercising, and doing all the intense activities that ambitious women pursue. We decided to engineer a new fabric that would be stain-releasing (no more time spent hand washing your favorite pair after it gets hit by Aunt Flo) and leak-resistant (no worries if you have post-baby bladder). Every pair has our patent-pending fabric combination that includes a built-in breathable lining that protects like a pantiliner, while also being super soft and beautiful. Ditch panty liners? For real? Tell us about it! Once we launched, we realized it's not only during our period that women are at a disadvantage in the underwear region. Turns out, 1 in 3 new moms experience light bladder leaks after giving birth for 5 years or more. This number increases to 40% by the time women reach menopause, yet it's a topic that is even more taboo than menstruation. The media seems to glorify getting your 'pre-baby body back' in a few weeks without recognizing the incredible changes that have taken place during pregnancy and childbirth. Many women don't know that bladder issues are common and thus embarrassment prevents discussing the issue with friends or doctors. Given the large number of women affected who tend to resort to wearing pantiliners every day, the current solution leads to environmental waste. Plus let's be real--pantiliners do not make me feel sexy and certainly aren't comfortable to wear every day. The reality is that there are many options including pelvic floor exercises, diet, and in extreme cases, surgery, to make a bladder behave. At Dear Kate, we aim to educate and support women every day of the month, before and after childbirth, to do anything by equipping them with underwear that’s up for the challenge. In what other ways is the construction so great for a pregnant gal or new mom? The fit? The feel? We are obsessive about fit and I personally try on every new style to make sure the fabric feels like a second skin. When you first feel our fabric, it's a tad thicker than normal undies, however, we've designed the fit be invisible so you forget you're even wearing underwear throughout the day. Many pregnant gals have told us they love wearing our hipsters and thongs since they hit below the belly. Once baby appears many new moms love wearing the underwear as they are out and about showing off their little one and starting to exercise again. How are Dear Kate thongs comfy for pregnancy? The interesting thing about underwear is that each woman tends to have a favorite cut and once you find the one that works for you, it makes up the majority of your underwear drawer. We've heard that women who love wearing thongs pre-pregnancy often want to wear what's familiar during as their body changes so we love that we're able to give them an option to wear their favorite cut with extra function. Tell us about the combination of fashion and function. When I first started designing the underwear I polled everyone I knew (I think I drove my friends crazy talking about undies 24/7). Turns out the most important thing to women about our underwear is comfort. It makes sense that we feel cute and sexy when we are comfortable so I take comfort seriously in every design. That means no digging in and no wedgies. Once we have comfort covered, I think about what type of styles we can offer so there's something that appeals to everyone. Some pairs are sporty, some lacy, some have bows, some have ruching in the back... And what's the difference between a full and mini lining? The mini (and the thong) holds up to 1 tsp of liquid so they're great for light days when you're not sure if you need backup but want it just in case. The fully lined pairs can hold up to 3 tsp of liquid in a worst-case scenario so they're great for times when you suspect you'll need backup. What are your latest collections and where do all your cute style names come from? Our newest collections are the Margot and our Queen sized collection. The Margot is inspired by famous ballerina Margot Fonteyn (we like to name each collection after an awesome woman in history) and features navy fabric with black lace detail. We are thrilled to expand our size range with the Queen Collection featuring sizes 1x-3x. Can you give us your Dear Kates picks for pregnancy? a) Comfy: The Amelia Hipster Mini b) Sexy: The Amelia Thong c) Sporty: The Hazel Set of 3 Fully Lined Sport Hipsters d) Supportive: The Ella Fully Lined Brief e) New mama: The Rosa Fully Lined Black Brief To help you transition your underwear drawer, Dear Kate is offering Well Rounded NY readers an exclusive discount through Feb. 2. Use the code "wellrounded" at checkout at dearkates.com for 25% off (valid for first time customers only). We’re also giving away a gorgeous Dear Kate Ella set (a fully lined hipster, thong and bralet) to one lucky reader this week. Enter here!

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

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One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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