This afternoon I spent some quiet time researching our Belevation mom-to-be give-away for December, The Baby Name Wizard by Laura Wattenberg. I first learned about Wattenberg's book and accompanying website while listening to an NPR program on baby naming.
Her impressive research and groundbreaking computer models examine name usage and popularity over the last hundred years in the 2005 book. Quoted in recent articles in both the New York Times and Time Magazine, Wattenberg, once a name-searching mom herself, said that people hunger to be different these days.
A result of the internet, a 2010 survey on the pop-culture website Lil-Sugar indicated that 64% of new parents Google their baby name picks before making final choices. Makes sense to see what unknowns may be lurking on your child's "domain" prior to taking the leap.
If you are in a name shopping mode, it's important to enjoy the process, even though it is one of your life's most important decisions. With tools like Wattenberg's Baby Name Wizard, there are now amazing resources to help you with the search. While reading the Times article, I learned about Kick to Pick - a newly released iphone app that claims to let your child pick their own name. Also available for iPod Touches, the app " generates names while monitoring the baby's movements. Any kick detected will then stop the generator at the baby's chosen name, ready for the parents to accept their child's choice or dismiss the name and start their search again." Available for .99 cents, it's definitely a game-changer to think of your baby participating in picking their own name.
If you are interested in upholding more parental control, here's a simple method. You and hubby can make separate favorite lists from a baby name book, narrowing the search to a few alphabet letters that honor loved ones (deceased or alive depending on your tradition). Hopefully there will be at least one name in common on each of your lists. No matter how you do it, possibly combining several of these methods - have fun!
I don't know about you, but I believe in divine intervention. It was that kind of moment, when Monique from Fort Bragg, NC wrote to me on our Belevation Facebook page. Several months ago, we decided to add a XL size to our line of Belevation Maternity garments.
We began making Support Bands and PettiPants in the new Plus, pre-pregnancy 16-18 size. Everything was going well, but two problems dragged out the process of adding the new size range. For one thing, my husband/our technical director - is a perfectionist. Months had gone by while he continued to perfect our seamless Belevation Support Brief.
I began to wonder if we would ever be ready to add our new XL sizing? Finally, after much attention - perfecting the brief, it was time to find a fit model to give them a test run. And then that evening, out of the blue - I received a note from Monique.
"Are you going to add plus sizes ever" she asked? Monique is herself an army veteran, a military wife and the mother of six boys ranging in age from 21 to 1! Twenty-four weeks pregnant with her seventh, Monique explained "that depending on if something runs large or small", she wears anywhere "from an 18-20 to a 22-24 (or 2x/3x)".
Unsure how our new Belevation XL size would measure-up, we sent a package to Monique, in Fort Bragg. One of the largest and busiest military complexes in the world, Bragg is home to almost 10 percent of the Army's active component forces. We were glad to help Monique and were hopeful that she would like what she received. An email arrived from her in my inbox around noon time the next day. "I received the package and I love them! I will say that its definitely NOT a 16-18. Its more like a 20-26 That is my normal size for most maternity clothes, and I fit in these just fine with room to grow the belly and no pinching etc. These are sooo comfortable! I am really impressed!"
Monique's feedback was an affirmation that our new Belevation XL size will be comfortable for a wide range of larger women. I guess all that special attention to detail paid off. And our other problem, our X-large labels had gotten lost on their way to us and had to be remade. Well - finally they arrived today! With patience and a bit of divine intervention, all things are possible. Just ask Monique about patience, as she is soon to be the mother of her seventh boy! Please give our new Belevation Plus size a try. We definitely know you'll like it!
Since we started doing Belevation product give-aways, we are contacted many times each week by mom bloggers who want to review Belevation products. Alba Garza is a pregnant Latin mom from Houston, who works full time in an office and writes a reallyinformative Blogger format blog, called IndependentMami.
Her post Oct. 11th post was about a new program from the AllState Foundation called Purple Purse, which supports efforts against domestic violence. Thanks Alba for getting me up-to-date on this important new program. (Purple was a really hot European color this fall - so it's coming our way...) Here's what Alba had to say about our PettiPant:
"I work full time in an office. I dress up everyday of the week in my dresses. The Belevation Mid-thigh PettiPant is perfect under my dresses and has made life easier for me. I have been wearing biking shorts under my dresses along with my undies and boy oh boy is that not comfortable after a full day of work.
I really loved the seamless Belevation four-way stretch microfiber construction that is made with moisture wicking, breathable mesh. They don't not ride down my belly. It goes all the way to the top. It is not cutting my circulation or cutting in the belly. It is comfortable for me and the baby. And best of all, I love the support it gives me."
Like Belevation NOW on Facebook and tell your friends too! Want to win your very own PettiPants? Here is how to enter: 1) “like” Belevation on Facebook, tell them Independentmami sent you. ***Disclosure-No monetary compensation was received. Product was provided to review. These are my honest opinions."
While doing PR work for Belevation, I have been in contact with an amazing group of women! Amy Tara Koch, author of the 2010 Random House pregnancy book, Bump It Up is one of those special people.
A Chicago mother, Amy is a style expert and trend reporter at numerous media outlets including NBC, Vogue and USA Today - to name just a few. With adorable illustrations and a humorous style, Bump It Up found it's way to my list of books for Belevation's upcoming Facebook give-aways.
"A cheat sheet to chic" Amy's pregnancy primer "shows moms-to-be how a handful of basics can yield dozens of jaw-dropping maternity ensembles."
You can follow Amy on her Bump It Up Style Blog . While you are there, take note of her Aug 30th post Serving Up: An Extra Dose of Support for Bellies, Boobs and Backs. We were excited to learn that for the 2nd & 3rd trimester, Amy highlighted Belevation's Brief and PettiPant as that extra dose of support!
Using "strategic layering", Amy's easy tips transform pregnancy from frumpy to elegant. They say "it's what's underneath that counts..." So, take advantage of Belevation's affordable pricing and everyday free shipping for a perfect 1st layer to support your growing belly. Thank you for the mention - Amy!
This week there's not only one, but there's two, Mom-Blog Belevation give-away's going on! I've been surfing the mom-blogosphere like crazy and it's simply amazing. What a vast community of intelligent moms blogging from all around the USA! In June, we ran a Band give-away on I Still Hate Pickles in Houston.
This month, we are heading north and south at the same time. (Mom Power!) Michelle from Georgia, seen on this beautiful southern front porch, writes The Not So-Secret Confessions of a 2nd Time Mom. I caught up with Michelle, a recent business school graduate, busy mother to 2yr. old Noah, and a blogger.
We mailed her a Belevation Support Band to try-out and here's what she had to say: "The Belevation band is great! It really offers a lot of support to my belly and back! I feel like I have awesome coverage and don't have to worry about my back or the bottom of my belly showing when I'm wearing it.
Amy, a first time mom and accountant, who writes the Heard it from the Hills blog, from Illinois agreed to review our Yoga Culotte. (*Please note Belevation has discontinued this item for now, sorry.)
"At 27 weeks, my baby bump is starting to put a strain on my petite frame. I was researching support products, when I received an email from Belevation regarding the launch of their new collection of maternity garments. I found the Belevation Yoga Culotte to be very comfortable and supportive. The blend of Nylon and Spandex Micro-Fiber allows the fabric to be lightweight and easily stretch and move with me, which is especially important to me while exercising, doing housework, and running errands.
I really like how the Belevation Yoga Culotte has an integrated Tummy Support Panel, to give me a gentle lift, while the tummy portion of the panel is super soft and stretchy to perfectly fit and expand around my growing belly. I think the Tummy Support Panel of the Belevation Culotte would provide me with some extra support post-pregnancy, too."
Amy's Belevation give-away on Heard it from the Hills ends on Sunday, August 7th at 11:59 PM, while Michelle's on The Not So-Secret Confessions of a 2nd Time Mom ends on Monday, August 8th also at 11:59. Check each site for guidelines and thanks for your interest in Belevation Maternity Support garments!
Earlier in the month of May we received this email from Nikki, a pregnant mom in California: "Hello! I am doing the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco and am 20 weeks along. My back has begun to ache at times and I researched extensively the other support options and really want the Belevation Belly Band." We express shipped the Belevation Band to Nikki in time for the race, and asked her for product feedback. Here's what she had to say:
"I absolutely loved the Belevation Support Band. It was amazing! I planned on walking the 7.5 miles, since I really hadn't run since the very beginning of my pregnancy, but as I started walking, I was feeling so good, that I ended up running about 4.5 miles of it. I felt great, a bit sore afterwards, but a healthy sore. I can't tell you the difference that it made for me! I didn't even have any round ligament pain, or any lower back pain. My husband ran the whole thing and he then tried to find me to finish up with me, but apparently I was going so fast, that he completely missed me.
It was such an amazing feeling to feel good and run again! This is my 3rd pregnancy and I know how it CAN feel. I even ran into a friend I hadn't seen since high school (20 years ago!) and he said I looked exactly the same since he'd last seen me. Love that!!!! I have been talking Belevation up to my prenatal yoga group and they are all super interested. Thanks again for such an awesome product!"
Here's several links to helpful websites about running during pregnancy: Running During Pregnancy from BabyCenter.Com Running During Pregnancy from BabyFit.com Running Goals During Pregnancy From RunnersWorld.com Always listen to your body's signals, as Nikki did during her recent Bay to Breakers Race, so you don't push yourself too much. Check out our other maternity underwear and clothing.
Belevation Maternity Support was reviewed by Jen Thomas from Mommies with Style on March 16th, 20011. It is a cool mom-resource site from the Philadelphia area with a lot of great coupons on there! Here's what she had to say about the products she tested:
"At 28 weeks pregnant with my third child, I am pretty big. Yet I am still active chasing my two boys around, working, and trying to stay fit at the gym and playing tennis. However, lately, I have noticed how hard it is wearing my regular underwear and feeling a total lack of support.
I happened to have some Belevation under- garments in my drawer that they were kind enough to send me to sample. I gave them a try and was SO THRILLED with the comfort and support that I had throughout the day around my belly. I wish I had tried these undergarments sooner! I tried both the Brief as well as the Belly Band. Both were great and so supportive.
I loved that the brief was comfortable, didn’t ride up (or fall down, a problem I have been having with my regular underwear!), and fit perfectly around my belly and waist. The Belly Band is perfect to wear for layered looks. All of the Belevation products are made with a unique, seamless, four-way stretch microfiber construction with moisture wicking, breathable mesh that is extremely comfortable.
Now that I have discovered and tried the Belevation undergarments, I will not go to the gym or play tennis without wearing one. It’s almost a necessity to keep me comfortable. Every mother-to-be should have a pair or two of these great products to keep them feeling as comfortable as possible. Enjoy!"