Fashion Blogger Jenny Cipoletti On Sharing With Her Community, The Power Of Postpartum Care, Dairy, And Weird Childhood Cravings
Creative Director of lifestyle site Margo & Me, plus founder & CEO of social shopping app TIVVIT, Jenny is becoming a mom. Bright and ambitious, this fashionista & blogger dishes on the power of postpartum care, how pregnancy cured her dairy intolerance (apparently, it’s a thing), and weird childhood sweets (hello, Golden Grahams and Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls!).
Plus, the doula debate, her top pregnancy reads, and plans to share the intimate experience of becoming a mother with her social community. @jennycipoletti
Current state of mind?
I feel her kicking more and more these days; it’s all becoming VERY real.
Path to Pregnancy?
My husband, Freddy, and I have been together for over ten years but were babies ourselves when we met. Having both come from large families, we knew we wanted a little fam one day, but weren’t ready until now. We’ve spent the past decade building Margo & Me, moving from LA to NY, launching our APP, and finally felt it was time. Once we did decide, it took a little bit for something to happen, but I will never forget the feeling of finding out I was pregnant. I was in utter disbelief. Shaking, I brought the stick to my husband, and we didn’t know what to do! That night we went to the movies in an attempt to feel “normal” because it’s such wild thing to find out that you’re pregnant — simultaneously, everything is the same, yet everything has changed.
“It’s such wild thing to find out that you’re pregnant – simultaneously, everything is the same, yet everything has changed.”
How have you been eating?
In both my non-pregnant and pregnant life, I eat reasonably well, mainly salads and bowls with a grass-fed steak now and again for iron. Oddly enough, I’ve been lactose intolerant pretty much my entire life — so when I got pregnant, I began taking a calcium supplement to offset my lack of dairy. Then, about six months into the pregnancy, I was desperate for cheese, so I caved and tried it. To my surprise, NOTHING happened! So, of course, I ate more and asked my doctor how this was possible. It turns out, for some women that are lactose intolerant, pregnancy actually actives the enzymes needed to digest dairy. In the same breath, she also warned me not to get used to it as more often than not, the body reverts post-birth.
Nevertheless, in the meantime, I’m indulging in all things dairy! Yogurt, pizza, mash potatoes, ICE CREAM(!) — I can’t get enough. I posted about it on Instagram, and a handful of women responded, saying the same happened to them. It’s bizarre, but I love it!
Plus, any funny cravings?
Yes, sweets more than ever. My very first craving was Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (you know the ones!). Literally, I woke up one morning, looked at my husband, and was like I need this NOW. It’s been that and other weird childhood sweets like Golden Grahams. For each of them, I indulge once for the craving, and then I’m done with it. Instead, I have been trying to reach for a good piece of dark chocolate or salted caramel to cure my sweets craving.
Do you have a birth plan?
I’ve been very open-minded throughout this entire process. For the most part, in life, I like to be in control, but I’ve learned (quickly) this is the one thing that I’m not in control of, so I might as well go with the flow. Early on, we decided to get a doula to be our advocate at the hospital and hold our hand through the process. She’s there for me 24/7 to ask questions even when they seem silly, which is so comforting. I’m working with her to have a loose plan-non-plan. Also, she will stay with us for a month after-birth as well to support my recovery.
Do you plan to breastfeed?
I’ve had beautiful, vivid dreams about nursing my baby and hope that I can, but you never know. My sister had a great experience and breastfed both of her kids. But I hear from many women that it doesn’t always work, so like my “birth plan,” I’ll remain flexible and try for it, but not set any expectations on myself.
Interestingly, I’ve learned that parenthood starts the second you get pregnant because so much of becoming a parent is about letting go of control and expectations. I guess that’s where the research, flexibility and willingness to pivot come in; if plan A doesn’t work, what is plan B, followed by plan C?
“Parenthood starts the second you get pregnant because so much of becoming a parent is about letting go of control and expectations.”
Will you take maternity leave?
I’m planning to take some time off, but have no idea what life will be like post-birth. I have pre-created a bit of content to have a buffer and get us through the first few weeks to focus entirely on our baby without the pressure to look at my phone or email. My husband and I work as business partners on both of our companies so that he will take over as the point person on everything in the interim.
Do you plan to share the birth experience with your community?
In terms of how much I share, I’m not sure how the story will unfold. I’ll have to wait and see how I feel in the moment. Likely, similar to how we’ve done it in the past with major life moments like our wedding, the birth story will be told through beautiful imagery rather than a play-by-play.
And how much will you share of your new motherhood experience with your audience?
When you’re in the business of content creation, every day involves sharing some aspects of your life with your audience, which at times can be a little intimidating, especially with a very intimate experience like pregnancy. To open yourself up to your audience is scary because you don’t know how it’s going to be received. However, unbeknownst to me, I discovered that a lot of my audience are moms, moms-to-be, or women that want to have babies. As nervous as I was to share, I’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of women who have surfaced. Many have reached out, saying they’ve been following our journey and have been waiting for us to have babies! It’s been an extraordinary, unexpected and beautiful connection with my community. It’s nice to know that motherhood is a topic that my audience is interested in hearing about — so much so that we added a new section to the blog Margo & Me, which centers around motherhood.
“It’s been an extraordinary, unexpected and beautiful connection with my community.”
Top pregnancy reads?
I’m reading Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood—And Trusting Yourself and Your Body right now, which I absolutely love.
Plus, The First Forty Days, The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother was phenomenal and a must-read. We’re planning to adopt her approach after I give birth, from cooking her nuritioning foods to her recovery rituals.
I overhauled my entire routine to only clean products. For beauty and makeup specifically, I am using all Ilia products— their colors complement my skin tones very well, and I’ll continue to use them post-pregnancy too. It’s funny because I didn’t even think about how toxic my products were until I was pregnant, but now I can’t unknow what I know.
Your pregnancy style?
Keep in mind that my pregnancy was mainly in winter, so I have no idea what it would be like to dress in the summer. Mostly, I reverted to my early 20s, boho days. I’ve been channeling a very Paris-meets-Jane-Birken in the 60’s vibe with flowy breezy, dark floral dresses, cozy sweaters, oversized coats, and chunky boot. It’s all about layers, always, but especially when you’re pregnant.
Top tips for dressing while pregnant?
I get this question all the time from my community, but I can’t say it enough: stick to what you know and alter it a bit to adapt to your new body shape. If you’re a denim girl, then find a great pair of maternity jeans. If you’re a dress girl, go for the dress you love, but get one size up. The first thing to go is the waist, but the rest stays relatively the same, so there’s no need to reinvent your entire look. I love HATCH for this reason because I would wear all the pieces non-pregnant. I also love a body-con moment to enhance the bump. Lastly, accentuate your best parts, be it your legs, arms, boobs, or whatever you got, go for it and highlight that — it’s not all about a flat tummy!
“Accentuate your best parts, be it your legs, arms, boobs, or whatever you got, go for it and highlight that — it’s not all about a flat tummy!”
Life as a husband and wife team?
Working with my husband is a balancing act. Our key ingredient is excellent communication around expectations, plus wants/needs from both sides so that neither of us ever feels disappointed. The more you can set yourself up in this way, the more success you will have as a working couple. Plus, know your partner’s strengths and respect those boundaries. Truthfully this applies to any working dynamic, romantic or otherwise.
Enjoy the process and live in the moment – regardless if it’s difficult or not, you will come out the other side a stronger person.