Katie Koumoulos' Pregnancy Style

Name: Katie Koumoulos

Neighborhood: East Harlem

Occupation: Marketing Manager at Skip Hop

Baby’s Sex: Girl

How would you describe your pregnant style?

My pregnancy style is an extension of my usual style: casual, chic, and comfortable. I gravitate toward black, (50) shades of grey and earth tones. Being pregnant in the fall/winter has allowed me to take advantage of layering, which helps being ready for any temperature and adjust as needed. I wear a lot of soft fabrics like cotton, jersey knit, and lace. My everyday outfit usually consists of a tank top/t-shirt, dress, or blouse with a flyaway cardi, and leggings or maternity jeans. My best maternity investment were a pair from Seraphine. I literally live in them. To finish off the outfit, I usually wear a pair of boots. Though if I commute to and from work, I wear a pair of Nikes for comfort and to keep my boots clean.


Have you had any challenges learning to dress your body during this pregnancy?

Yes, to stay away from anything that’s too loose and to stay VERY far away from floral prints. I made an effort to venture out of my neutral color palate and quickly learned that it was not the time for that – completely unflattering on me! With my body type, anything that’s not somewhat fitted was a serious no-no. Throughout this pregnancy, I learned to embrace my bump and changes that my body was going through and to wear it proudly. More form fitting silhouettes are much more complementary and are also a friendly reminder of this small miracle growing inside of me.

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

How amazing I felt throughout the entire pregnancy. I mean, don't get me wrong, I have moments of complete exhaustion, back pain, and challenges, including a very early diagnosis of gestational diabetes – a wake up call to force me to be as healthy as possible for my baby. I am in the homestretch and wake up every day thankful for this little being growing inside of me – it’s a bond unlike anything I have every felt. When I feel her moving around, it just intensifies that feeling so much more. I am certainly going to miss having her so close to me, but can't wait to hold her in my arms.

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

Everything that life has to offer. I can't wait to start building memories with her, teaching her, learning from her, growing with her.

What’s your top 5 registry essentials?

1. Skip Hop Explore More Baby Activity Center. It has three different stages of activity and will last me from 4 months through toddler years, eventually converting into a table.

2. Skip Hop Pronto Signature Baby Changing Station. Changing baby on the go should be as organized and easy as possible

3. Uppababy Vista. Living in the city means lots of walking and it’s multiple configurations will have us ready for anything

4. Newton mini crib mattress. If baby sleeps, we sleep, right? Also, the Wovenaire fabrication puts baby’s health, safety and comfort first.

5. DaVinci Kalani 2-in-1 mini crib and twin bed. We live in a one bedroom and it fits perfectly in our baby nook (converted closet – see attached for reference)

Katie is wearing:

Seraphine Maternity Jeans.

Black Crew Neck Long Sleeve (similar here).

Sweater (similar here).

Coach Carmen Bootie.

H&M necklace (similar here).

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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