Rosie Pope, a maternity fashion designer, star of the Bravo reality show Pregnant in Heels, and mom of two young sons, is a busy lady these days. But, to help support a great cause, she has donated an afternoon for a private shopping experience and Q&A with her (including a $750 shopping spree!), high tea, and one of her iconic London shopper totes, as part of an online auction at charitybuzz.com/VH1FamilyDay—bids are open through November 8th for this and other fabulous items benefitting the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. Folks in the NYC area can also swing by this Saturday to check out the VH1 Save the Music Foundation Family Day, a daylong interactive musical expo (including performances from Hanson, Hot Peas 'N Butter, and more--and be sure to check out the Parenting Fam Jam, if you come)! Rosie also kindly took the time to check in with Parenting.com for a quick Q&A:
You have been very open about facing secondary infertility and undergoing infertility treatments to conceive your second son. How do you think that impacted your choice of career, i.e., do you think it gave you new insight into the various paths to motherhood? How was it watching yourself go through IVF on Pregnant in Heels?
Rosie Pope: While it was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through, experiencing secondary infertility had absolutely made me better at what I do. People enter motherhood in so many different ways with so many different challenges that my own experiences have made me want to adapt our services and support to help as many people as possible on their journey. Even though I know there is a very happy ending every time I see any of the IVF footage, I can’t help but remember how totally out of control and sad I felt at the time. It takes me right back to that place and reminds me what a lucky lady I am.
What has response been like to your openness about your struggles with infertility?
RP: I have been humbled by people’s support for what I was going through and just hearing people’s encouragement has been heartwarming. I have to tell you though what made it more worthwhile than anything was the outpour from people going through infertility and how much they appreciated me bringing light to a matter that is so rarely discussed but to varying degrees so many people experience. I’m honored to currently be working with Redbook on their new fertility initiative, "The Truth About Trying."
Plus: Tips on Prepping Your Body for Pregnancy
On Pregnant in Heels, you coach pregnant women on the joys and challenges of prepping for baby. Who do you turn to for pregnancy advice when you need it?
RP: I am so blessed to have a panel of experts at my fingertips that I use for my clients and who I call upon regularly when I’m pregnant. From the renowned Dr. Grunebaum at Cornell NY Presbyterian to the amazing fitness guru Andrea Orbeck. I have to admit though—often I turn to my husband! He is always the voice of reason and support on those days when I am so tired I can barely lift my head.
What are some of the most common fears or anxieties your clients have about pregnancy?
RP: Generally, my clients’ biggest anxiety is making sure they are doing everything they can to give birth to a healthy baby. It is so easy to become anxious about everything that we do when pregnant because another human being is growing inside of you. The responsibility is immense, and it is their first look into what it feels like to be a parent. Along with this anxiety there is always the worry about being prepared enough, both in education and in terms of getting all the equipment necessary—the right pediatrician, the right nutrition, exercise, etc. The list is truly endless and even though I am not a first-time mom, when I am pregnant I still worry about these things all the time.
Plus: Rosie on the 5 Biggest Surprises About Pregnancy
You have a line of chic maternity wear. What are some tips for staying stylish and comfortable during pregnancy? Any specific recommendations for women who work full-time outside of the home vs. those who are at-home with their kids?
RP: It is so important to remember this key mantra when shopping for maternity clothes: If you wouldn’t wear it before you were pregnant don’t wear it now. It is so important to keep true to your sense of style when pregnant while searching for looks that make you feel comfortable.
Generally, I like loose and flowing clothes at the beginning and end of the pregnancy, and tight during the middle to accentuate that beautiful bump. If you work outside of the home it is important to invest in some classic pieces that you can wear over and over. I love wrap dresses and flowing blouses that you can easily accessorize with jewelry, scarves or skinny belts (above the belly!) to give a different look each day. If you work at home you can get away with much more casual clothing, and it is important to stick to fabrics that are easy to take care of because we all know taking care of our wee ones can be messy. This means that you might want poly instead of silk (there are some great polys out there which allow you to look chic without the dry cleaning bill!), cottons, and of course the wardrobe staple: leggings. That way if you have a mom lunch or perhaps an event at school you can throw on some chic flats or wedges with your blouse and away you go.
You offer a class on breastfeeding. Did you breastfeed? How did it go for you?
RP: Yes I did breastfeed with both sons, but for different amounts of times, and both were very different experiences. It is a deeply personal decision and there are so many factors that affect whether it will work for you. That is why we try and teach as much as possible to give women the best chance of success. We host MomPrep classes in our NYC store and we also have great resource videos on our YouTube channel. I started posting these on YouTube because I wanted to give women the opportunity to hear from some of the “best in the business” (doctors, fitness and nutrition professionals, etc.), even if they are not located in NYC and can attend in person. We really just believe in helping people figure out what is best for them and their wee ones.
Plus: 15 Products That Make Breastfeeding Easier
Home births have been in the news lately. Do you see that as a growing trend among clients?
RP: I think it has been very news worthy of late and there is much debate over the home birth but I certainly don’t see an increase my clients wanting to do one.
With a young family, your clothing line, maternity concierge business, and TV show, how do you juggle it all?
RP: That is a great question, and I’m not sure if I always do a terribly good job of juggling it all. I truly have a wonderful team at work and at home I have the help of grandparents, which truly allows me to do all that I do. That doesn’t mean I don’t break down in a heap of tears every once and a while!
Would you ever consider doing a line of children's clothing?
RP: I have so many exciting ideas for the future, and I think a children’s line just might be one of them!