A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

I Went on a Book Tour at 30 Weeks Pregnant

I was still a svelte and spry 11-weeks pregnant woman when I decided to do an eight-city book tour at 30-weeks pregnant. I hit 5 continents doing research for my new memoir How to Be Married… How hard could a short book tour during pregnancy really be?

I had no idea what I was getting into when I committed to doing this way back in the halcyon days of the first trimester. Like many first-time moms, I didn't entirely understand what being 30 weeks pregnant would look and feel like. I didn’t think my toes would swell like tiny Vienna sausages rendering many of my favorite heels unwearable. I didn’t think that stairs would wind me like I’d just run a 5k or that a baby pushing into my diaphragm would lead me to frequently burp during podcast interviews.

But the biggest challenge? How to dress a 30-week bump for three weeks of launch parties, bookstore appearances, television spots, and dozens of interviews with humans who would not be wearing their yoga pants.

Now, usually, I’m relatively comfortable dressing myself -- I generally know my best assets and have figured out a style to call my own. But pregnancy can really throw a woman for a loop. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly (literally) of my book tour so far.


I knew I needed to bring in the big guns, so I enlisted help from the prego body fairies over at Tilden, the San Francisco-based personal shoppers who are experts at finding non-maternity clothes for maternity bodies. We spent days (yes, days!) trying to figure out what was going to be flattering in a variety of different situations.

For example, flowy bohemian dresses were out of the question for television appearances, which I discovered by placing a stool in the middle of the Tilden showroom and taping me going “blah blah blah into an iPhone video. The dresses were stunning when I was upright, but made me look like a pretty patterned tent when I sat in a chair or on a stool. I was worried a television audience might mistake me for a couch.

Instead, the Tilden team sent me home with a collection of fitted soft cotton dresses from the likes of Rachel Pally, Yumi Kim and Enza Costa that would work well on a very curvy third-trimester body. They all hugged and complimented my bump from most angles.

The rest of my book tour wardrobe (which all had to fit in a carry-on since we had a few tight connections) consisted of Storq basics, which I essentially live in most of the time these days, paired with pre-pregnancy blazers and pre-pregnancy Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses. I valiantly attempted my favorite pregnancy onesie, but quickly ruled it out due to the frequency with which I was visiting the bathroom.


I hit my first wardrobe malfunction on set at ABC News while taping a segment for World News Now. That bright blue DVF wrap dress fit perfectly just two weeks earlier, but suddenly it appeared to be about two inches too short as the material was commandeered to accommodate my ever growing belly. No one told me my belly would be popping about a centimeter (sometimes an inch) a week, come the third trimester. Why don’t more people tell you these things?

But thanks to the smoke and mirrors of television, my outfit became the fashion equivalent of a mullet, business on the top, party on the bottom and in the back. From the waist up, I looked professional in my wrap dress, safety pinned twice to contain my swollen boobs. Beneath the table, which cut me off at my midsection, I wore my Storq leggings and sneakers.


For a Facebook Live with US Weekly magazine, I was perched in an armchair, unable to embrace the smoke and mirrors of high tables and multiple cameras. I chose an Enza Costa shirt dress in a soft silk blend jersey that still looked cute lounging in an armchair. Lesson learned: a good blowout, some lengthening mascara and soft lighting is all you really need to look like a celebrity.


For the local news show Good Day New York, we chased down New Yorkers on the street to ask them if they agreed with my book’s hypothesis that the first year of marriage is hard. I needed to be quick and nimble—as quick and nimble as a lady with a watermelon-sized bump can be.

I opted for a black Storq dress, jean jacket (to give me some street style) and gram sneakers, which I’d bought while interviewing Swedish stay-at-home dads in Stockholm for my book. The Swedish stay-at home dads all agreed grams were the most stylish and versatile sneaker on the planet, and because they all look like knowledgeable and hip Vikings, I took their word for it.


After spending the day on the street, I barely had any time to change for my book launch party that night in the very fancy Rizzoli book shop. As a former entertainment journalist always changing for a red carpet, I’d long ago perfected the art of switching outfits in the back of taxis without the driver batting an eye.

Things. Were. Different. Now.

I lacked flexibility, dexterity and the ability to maintain witty banter while unhooking the many hooks of my new pregnancy bra. My Uber driver became alarmed as my Yumi Kim black shift caught just above my mid-section.

“Are you going to give birth in the back of my car?” he asked with fear, uncertainty and a touch of awe.

“Not today,” I shouted and pushed the fabric down over my belly. “Eyes on the road.”

Once on, the dress floated effortlessly over my bump, but let me breathe while reading a chapter of the book dedicated to that time my husband and I entered a wife-carrying race in Sunday River Maine.


You know that time you were so pregnant you couldn't fly and you needed to film your final book interview for The Today Show in your living room with a howling dog locked in the bedroom and Braxton Hicks contractions? That was me. At least I got to wear this great (super stretchy) Tees By Tina Samantha Scoop dress from Mom's the Word here in San Francisco.


So, will I be writing a How to Be Married sequel called How to Dress for a Book Tour at 30 Weeks Pregnant? Probably not. But, would I do a pregnant book tour again? Absolutely. It may have been harder than any book tour I’ve ever done. It may have literally taken my breath away. And I may have worn two different shoes at one point because I couldn’t see my feet. But someday, I’ll get to tell my little boy that he was the star of my book tour.

Jo Piazza is an award-winning American journalist, editor, and author of six books. She has written and reported for The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, The New York Times, and Slate.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

You might also like:

Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

You might also like:

When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

You might also like:

The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.

Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.