It wasn't all that long ago that it would be unthinkable to use the words "pregnancy" and "chic" in the same sentence.
But then came the glam pregnancies of the Hollywood elite. When the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and J Lo show off their baby bumps for all the paparazzi to see, chic is definitely the word that comes to mind.
But how are those of us who live our lives sans paparazzi supposed to achieve chic without spending that unborn baby's college fund? Ask Amy Tara Koch, a Chicago-based freelance fashion writer and author of the newly released Bump It Up: Transforming Your Pregnancy into the Ultimate Style Statement.
She's made a career of writing about the fashions sported by the Gwyneth Paltrows of the world and making them accessible and affordable for the rest of us. Her book, says the mom of Isabella, 8, and Brette, 4, is a What to Expect When You're Expecting for the style set.
It's a fun read with plenty of realistic and affordable fashion tips, such as hitting Grandma's closet for cool scarves, brooches and other accessories to punch up your wardrobe, wearing skirts as dresses and considering inner wear as outerwear. She even has skin care tips and other advice to take you right through the post-pregnancy period that the cool people call "the fourth trimester."
Bottom line: Toss the sweat pants and look for fashions and accessories that will add up to pregnancy chic and remain treasured parts of your wardrobe long after the baby bump is gone.
"So many moms say, 'Oh my God, now that I've … read it, it makes such perfect sense," Koch says.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.