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We are so excited to be chatting with blogger/travel extraordinaire/mom-to-be Hitha Palepu today! In addition to running her popular site, Hitha on the Go (full of fashion posts, travel tips, and lifestyle content), this chic New Yorker is expecting her first baby next year. We asked Hitha a few questions how on her pregnancy is going so far, how to dress the bump, and the best gifts to give mamas-to-be. Enjoy!
1. Congrats on your pregnancy!! What have you loved most/least about being pregnant thus far?
Thank you! I was not a fan of pregnancy during my first trimester, which rendered me to an exhausted, nauseated mess. Feeling the baby move has definitely been the best part of it.
2. Any crazy cravings or major surprises?
We decided not to find out the gender of the baby, which was a HUGE surprise! I’m normally a control freak, so allowing ourselves to be surprised was a surprise itself. I crave spicy food more than I normally do, and have started to consume more milk and yogurt than I did before I was pregnant.
3. You are a travelling pro – any tips for other moms-to-be on how to make traveling as simple and pleasant as possible, especially for the holidays?
While maternity jeans are a godsend, they do stretch out faster than their non-maternity counterparts. Always pack enough bottoms (one for each day) and a Bella Band! I’m all about comfort, so I won’t leave home without lots of lightweight layers (long tanks, collared shirts and cozy sweaters, a luxuriously warm scarf) and my most comfortable lounge clothes – currently a pair of Old Navy yoga pants and a vintage Fleetwood Mac t-shirt. I only pack flats or low heels, and I never leave home without compression socks.
Also, pack plenty of snacks for your trip! You’ll never know when hunger strikes.
4. What are you top style “dos” for getting dressed while pregnant?
Embrace maternity pants early on – how I’ll go back to regular pants is unfathomable right now. I opt for comfort, but will opt for accessories that pack a style punch – over-the-knee boots to upgrade a jeans and a sweater combination, a giant blanket scarf in a cheery plaid print, sparkly jewelry with just about everything. Accessories are the best – they’ll always fit, they’re easy to care for, and they really make an outfit.
5. Have you started shopping for baby yet? Any favorite baby clothing or accessory brands?
I haven’t purchased any baby clothes yet, but I’ve definitely bookmarked a TON. We’ve decided to let the gender be a surprise, so I’m looking for a neutral-but-fun layette. I love some of the space-themed pieces from Winter Water Factory, separates from Imps & Elfs, and basically everything from crewcuts.
6. Let’s talk about the holidays – do you have any gift ideas or recommendations for fellow expectant moms?
Nothing beats a gift certificate to prenatal massage! A wool cape from Cuyana is on my list, and something that any mother-to-be would enjoy. The Anya Hindmarch baby essentials pouch is a splurge, but an ideal gift for the mother who’s opting out of a traditional diaper bag. Chances are your expectant friends have already read plenty of motherhood books, so get her a read that will inspire and entertain her. Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and Diane von Furstenberg’s The Woman I Wanted To Be are two books that I plan to give all the women in my life.
7. What’s at the top of your list?
The aforementioned Cuyana cape, for sure. I’m an avid reader, and would love the new Kindle Voyage (even though my Paperwhite is still in great condition). Other things I’d love are a monthly membership to DreamDry, a cashmere blanket, and for the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl.
8. Favorite things to do in NYC this time of year?
I love having friends and family come visit and experience the city with them – the tree at Rockefeller Center, holiday decorations on Madison Avenue, delicious meals in cozy restaurants. I love bundling up, getting hot cocoa, and walking through one of the city’s many parks (Riverside Park and the High Line are two favorites). We’ve missed out on ice-skating for the past three years, but hopefully it’ll happen this year!
9. Finally, what’s been the best piece of advice you’ve received since you’ve become pregnant?
Pamper yourself regularly. I’ve been getting monthly prenatal massages and facials, twice-monthly pedicures and blowouts, and it’s gone a long way in making me feel my best. I didn’t read too many pregnancy books or join any forums, and it worked or me. I’m of the “I’ll figure it out when it happens” mentality, and I know reading too much about pregnancy and newborn care would freak me out. Spill the news to one family member or friend who’s a new mother – having someone who has been through it all recently and can pass on advice or just listen is really important, especially in the early days when you’re unsure of EVERYTHING. It sounds cliché, but enjoy every moment – even the ones when you’re feeling awful. It does go by way too fast.
Also, size down on maternity pants if you want to get more than one wear per wash. It’s the one piece of advice I WISH I had received!