There must be something in the water at the Something Navy offices because everything’s coming up newborns. Having gone from one working mama on the team to five with two on the way, we recently caught up with teammates (and moms-to-be) Dana Putman and Tara Foley on working together and making babies.
As contributors to the brand’s magic, these ambitious women share their tips for pregnancy dressing, how they’re leaning on each other in more powerful ways than ever (hello ‘SN Mamas’ group text, aka a focus group at your finger-tips), and why sharing the maternity experience has made for a supremely supportive professional culture.
I mean, expecting at the same time as our work-wives sounds like a dream. Where do we sign up?
Path to pregnancy?
Tara: I tried conceiving naturally for 8 months. After 6 months of trying, I began seeing a fertility doctor (who was so incredible!). Testing showed my levels were relatively normal and so we trialed a few natural methods to increase my fertility. Then, just as we were considering IUI, we were blessed with a positive sign.
Dana: We found out we were pregnant naturally in April after a loss in January with our first pregnancy. At 12 weeks we went in for our NT scan, and were told the baby had stopped growing. Apparently, I had what they call a “missed miscarriage,” which means there were no warning signs or symptoms that anything was wrong. It was incredibly confusing and devastating. To this day, I still don’t understand why it happened or what went wrong. The doctors all told me it was just bad luck, and these things sometimes happen—which was probably the most frustrating thing to hear.
Gutted, we told almost no one. Looking back, I think it was because we were in shock for so long. Even now, I still have a hard time talking about it. Initially, I swore we wouldn’t try again for months, but when the doctor gave us the green light in March, we decided we’d go for it and see what happened.
Well, it worked! Fortunately I got pregnant, the very first month we tried! From the start, this pregnancy has felt so different. It took me a long time to trust my body and let go of my anxiety, which is natural when you’ve suffered a loss. I’m so grateful and will never take pregnancy for granted, it’s truly a miracle what we’re are capable of.
And, how has it been being pregnant through COVID?
Tara: I won’t lie, I’ve loved being pregnant during the pandemic because it’s given me all the reason in the world to stay home! I’m typically a very social person, and I imagine that lifestyle while pregnant, particularly during the first trimester, would have been super challenging. Plus, I was better able to keep the pregnancy a secret early-on. If we hadn’t been in quarantine and were in the office, I probably would have told my coworkers the day I found out. With that in mind, an obvious negative has been the daily fear associated with being a high-risk person during a pandemic and what Covid-19 could mean for my baby should (we) get sick.
Dana: Pregnancy has been the silver lining of the pandemic. My husband and I left NYC in March and stayed out at the beach in New Jersey through September. Therefore, I spent the bulk of pregnancy by the ocean with very little social interaction. In many ways slowing down was the best thing for me; it allowed me to really focus on being pregnant and taking care of myself with none of the traditional “fake drinking” at a party or wearing baggy clothes to hide a changing body early on. At the same time, we’ve taken all of the appropriate precautions with Covid-19 and have kept a tiny circle. It was a little disappointing to tell most of our family and friends we were expecting on FaceTime rather than in person, but that’s minor and we know how fortunate we are to be healthy and safe with everything going on in the world.
Being pregnant at the same time as your colleagues?
Tara: It’s been so special, and helpful! Working with women with shared experiences of maternity and motherhood make for an incredibly supportive professional culture. While I couldn’t wait to tell my colleagues the news that I was expecting, I know many women who work in less supportive environments often don’t feel as comfortable. It also means I have an insanely trustworthy focus group at my fingertips in the form of our ‘SN Mamas’ group text chain. I just started my baby registry, and before doing much research of my own, I sent 1 text and knew at least 20 must-have items in minutes.
Dana: In the last year we’ve gone from having one working mom on the team to having five, plus myself and Tara on the way. It’s been such a shift for our company culture in the best way. We share a lot of our personal experiences with our audience, and I think they love to see a group of young, ambitious women building a business together and having babies.
We have a group chat with the SN moms where we talk about everything from the best car seats to the best nipple balms. That chat gets crazy! I feel like I have an army of women I can go to with any ridiculous question; it’s been super special to have this kind of support from coworkers.
Balancing maternity leave and becoming a working mother?
Tara: I pour so much of my energy into my career, and often I feel like I don’t have much mindshare left! Something Navy is a hard business to “turn off” from, and I’ll likely have to take it as it comes, although I’m excited to have some time to focus on the baby. Upon returning to work, I’m learning from other moms that somehow you become even more productive, and magically manage to do it all.
Dana: I feel fortunate that Something Navy is a female-founded and female-forward company. I’m planning to take maternity leave, and my whole team is super supportive of that. We’re all very close, so honestly, I think the most challenging part will be having FOMO of everything going on at work while I’m out! I’m also really excited to return to work because I know being a working mom will push me and motivate me differently. I’ve always admired and been inspired by women like Arielle who can run a business while having a family, and I think in so many ways it will make me a better mom, a better wife, and a better employee to have both a career and a family that I care so much about.
Tara: I love podcasts – mainly because of how insightful the conversations can be and to find out what other brands are advertising in audio! My favorite series include: Skimm’d From The Couch, The Daily, goop Podcast, The BOF Podcast, and How I Built This.
Dana: Because I’m not commuting to the office right now, my podcast consumption is embarrassingly low. Although I like to put on my headphones and listen to Mom Brain or The goop Podcast when I can’t sleep.
And how are you taking care of yourself?
Tara: Relax, prenatal yoga, water, cookies, and carbs! Speaking of carbs, I’ve been pretty averse to vegetables most of my pregnancy, which is devastating as they used to be a favorite food. I take eight Greens Gummies daily to ensure I get my daily vegetable intake. Oh, and last but not least, Hatch Beauty products launching on SomethingNavy.com in a few days!
Dana: I’ve been ordering Sakara meals religiously. In the beginning, I had such a hard time eating vegetables and was super worried I wasn’t getting enough good nutrition, so this was an easy solution. I like to hack their meals, so I’ll use whatever they made as a base and then add protein or toast or something extra. It’s been such an easy way to feel good.
Working out while pregnant?
Tara: I was consistent with working out over the first couple of months. Sadly I’m not prioritizing it the same way right now, less because I am growing in size and more because I’m bored by virtual workouts. If we could go to classes, I would be doing Exhale Barre and Soulcycle and exercising more. My best form of movement these days is typically a long walk, although I won’t discount the effectiveness of a quick 20-minute prenatal flow.
Dana: I used to be up at 6am and working out 5x a week! Now, between the pregnancy and the pandemic, I have totally shifted. Lately, I’ve had very little desire to exercise, which is so surprising to me and very unexpected. Instead of really pushing myself, I do easy prenatal yoga workouts via Peloton, and they’re super quick, usually 20 or 30 minutes. I also love Megan Roup’s prenatal videos on Sculpt Society. She’s such a good motivator!
Tips for pregnancy dressing?
- Pregnancy leggings! Honestly, everyone should wear maternity leggings.
- Non-maternity dresses with a forgiving/elastic waist
- Use these 9 months as an excuse to invest in nice shoes, the baby deserves it!
- Embrace ‘bodycon!’ I am typically never a bodycon girl, and generally favor more flowy and oversized, but form fitting clothing is definitely becoming on a pregnant woman.
- Dresses are your best friend. I’ve worn dresses almost exclusively for the last seven months and just feel most comfortable in them.
- I also love the way leggings with a tank and cardigan flatter your bump.
- Find sneakers and low heels you love. High heels just feel extra unnecessary right now.
- Find pieces that will still flatter as your body grows. I love that the Hatch jumpusits are roomy so you can wear them with a belt early on and style them without one as your bump grows.
- Invest in great earrings! They make all the difference and they don’t change sizes.
Hope for your children and each other?
Tara: That they (and we) understand the value and importance of being present.
Dana: So. Many. Things. But one thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is that I hope my son will grow up in a world where social media is used for good and that cancel culture and cyber bullying become a thing of the past.
Tara: Style delivers a sense of self expression and empowerment, and we shouldn’t forget that when we are pregnant!
Dana: Take each day as it comes and keep your blinders on. There’s so much advice out there and everyone’s pregnancy is so different. Focus in on what feels right for you.