Inside Ana Piteira's Baby Prep

Inside Ana Piteira's Baby Prep

By Alexandra Whiting   |  

 The owner of Blanca Studio by Reliquia Collective shares her pregnancy style, nursery layout and how she plans to manage business and a baby.

“I currently have an obstetrician and a doula,” laughs a 36-weeks-pregnant Ana Piteira. It’s December 2021, and Piteira is on the countdown to welcoming her son. Completing the nursery in her new beachside Sydney home, figuring out what maternity leave looks like for a small business owner with 2 business, (one with 5 sub brands), and thinking about the birth. “I usually don't like the unknown,” she explains, “In the beginning, I wanted to control every aspect of the pregnancy and birth. I was desperate to find out the gender, I booked my obstetrician and was thinking I wanted a planned Caesarean so I could have an exact date. But then I did more research and had a complete 360. I hired a doula and really invested in aiming to have a natural birth with no intervention.” Ana doesn’t have a lot of parent friends (yet), so a lot to do with babies and pregnancy has been very new information, and a steep learning curve. “I’m learning to embrace the unknown, and I’m actually enjoying the mounting anticipation. It’s kind of fun! I love seeing him in the scans and watching him move around.”


Ana’s pregnancy journey has been a happy one of feeling healthy (aside from heartburn) and almost forgetting she’s pregnant, “I look in mirror and am like, ‘Oh wow, I'm really pregnant.’" She laughs. “I think to everyone else, I definitely look pregnant, but for ages, I was like, "Do I? Maybe I just look like I'd eaten a bit of pasta.’” Getting pregnant came quickly for Ana and her partner John. “We were trying, and I was going to acupuncture, and doing things to aid fertility, but because of my polycystic ovaries, I had it in my mind that it would take some time, at least a year. Not long after trying, a few days after her period was due, Ana and John were at the pub and Ana had a feeling she was pregnant. “I don't know why, because I wasn't even really that late, but I just knew. We took the test that night and it was positive.” While it was the aim of their efforts, Ana says her reaction wasn’t the stuff of Hollywood romcoms. “My response was not good. It was definitely a panic attack moment. I felt like we weren’t ready, and John was really talking me off the cliff. I made him get an Uber to Coles for more tests.”

Luckily (with further confirmation from the midnight supermarket run, and then, her doctor), the panic was short lived, and the planning began. “I’m not sure how it will all work,” says of balancing motherhood with her businesses. “I’ve been trying to plan as much as I can, and make sure things are in place so I can take a moment and enjoy it, rather than just being filled with anxiety the moment he arrives. Then, I’m hoping he doesn’t mind coming into the office and sleeping in the pram, or one of those nests. We’ll see how we go.” Ana runs Sueño Communications, a PR and sales agency for Australian and New Zealand designers that she started when she was just 24, and Reliquia Collective, her own label, now encompasses Reliquia Jewellery, Valet Studio (hair accessories), Respiro (a bag collection), AEYRE (home decor) and Blanca, the clothing brand that has revived big (pregnancy-friendly) shirts as a style essential. It’s also, currently, her favourite project. This heavy workload has been Ana’s conundrum over pregnancy. “I feel good physically, I’ve accepted the unknown, but I’m still trying to figure out how I’ll balance it all.”

Step two was planning the nursery, and for this, they needed a house move. “We had a great place but the room that would be the baby’s was impractical – and a bit damp. We didn’t want to put our son in a mouldy room so we found a new place.” The place they found is beautiful and open-plan, one-storey and close to the beach and coffee (perfect for new parenthood). It’s also full of Ana and her husband’s bright and eclectic style. Centred in the baby’s room, is a painting from The Trap Door a British animated series that used to play on ABC Kids in the ‘90s, “My husband actually bought it a few years ago because the house in it looks identical to the one he grew up in,” she says. Ana and John both love art, but can have very different tastes, this is one piece they both agreed was perfect for the baby’s room. “I wanted a vibrant, colourful and playful room for him,” says Ana. “I think your nursery is an opportunity to put pieces in there that you can just be a little bit more playful with. I think I really wanted to focus on animals. I know not many people have a theme and this isn’t really themed, but I really love animals and would really love him to love them too. I’m already enforcing my views on him,” she laughs.

As much as she can, Ana and John have used they already had. “The chair and the drawers we already had. The poodle lamp has been in lots of places in the house, but now he’s in the baby’s room. My favourite thing in here, we again, already had, the Gustaf Westman side table. It’s pink, and we’re having a boy, but I don’t think gender limits your colours.” The new additions have been the practical pieces, a SNOO, Leander Matty Change Matt, a loaded Bunnie Caddie, a monitor and white noise machine, and then the details. “We’ve already collected some books and John’s mum has been croqueting soft toys for him. They are so sweet.”

One thing Ana hasn’t had to worry about was her pregnancy style. Blanca is a favourite of fashion influencers and is being full fully embraced as chic (and practical) mum uniform. “My aesthetic, and the Blanca aesthetic, is baggy and oversized, but we obviously see people tagging us on Instagram and so many were mums. I could see that it was something our pregnant and mum customers, wearing and found they could with ease. So, it's definitely something that I've considered with our collections and now I understand firsthand.” Her own pregnancy uniform has been shirting (great for breastfeeding too) and comfy trousers. “I bought these super-elasticated, basic pants. Two-sizes too big, paired them with a shirt, and that's literally what I wore almost every single day.”

Not long after our visit to Ana, her baby came, a bit before time. Apparently, baby Lars, didn’t want to miss the New Year celebrations. “The due date was only 5th of January, and I was only 37+5 when he came, so, we really thought we had quite a bit more time. Our NYE celebrations were us in the living room trying to figure out how to parent,” Ana laughs. Lars arrived via C-section, and despite Ana’s birth contemplations, “5-weeks on, I’ve realised it really doesn’t matter how they get here.” She’s also very taken with new motherhood. “He’s so sweet, and I’m really enjoying the snuggles, and I feel so lucky that I’ll get to know this person from the very beginning. I’m also a bit like, wow, I didn’t know how great babies are. They’re really great!” Burger thinks he's pretty great too.

This month, all members of The Feel Good Club receive a $50 voucher for Blanca Studio by Reliquia Collective.

As much as she can, Ana and John have used they already had. “The chair and the drawers we already had. The poodle lamp has been in lots of places in the house, but now he’s in the baby’s room. My favourite thing in here, we again, already had, the Gustaf Westman side table. It’s pink, and we’re having a boy, but I don’t think gender limits your colours.” The new additions have been the practical pieces, a SNOO, Leander Matty Change Matt, a loaded Bunnie Caddie, a monitor and white noise machine, and then the details. “We’ve already collected some books and John’s mum has been croqueting soft toys for him. They are so sweet.”

One thing Ana hasn’t had to worry about was her pregnancy style. Blanca is a favourite of fashion influencers and is being full fully embraced as chic (and practical) mum uniform. “My aesthetic, and the Blanca aesthetic, is baggy and oversized, but we obviously see people tagging us on Instagram and so many were mums. I could see that it was something our pregnant and mum customers, wearing and found they could with ease. So, it's definitely something that I've considered with our collections and now I understand firsthand.” Her own pregnancy uniform has been shirting (great for breastfeeding too) and comfy trousers. “I bought these super-elasticated, basic pants. Two-sizes too big, paired them with a shirt, and that's literally what I wore almost every single day.”

Not long after our visit to Ana, her baby came, a bit before time. Apparently, baby Lars, didn’t want to miss the New Year celebrations. “The due date was only 5th of January, and I was only 37+5 when he came, so, we really thought we had quite a bit more time. Our NYE celebrations were us in the living room trying to figure out how to parent,” Ana laughs. Lars arrived via C-section, and despite Ana’s birth contemplations, “5-weeks on, I’ve realised it really doesn’t matter how they get here.” She’s also very taken with new motherhood. “He’s so sweet, and I’m really enjoying the snuggles, and I feel so lucky that I’ll get to know this person from the very beginning. I’m also a bit like, wow, I didn’t know how great babies are. They’re really great!”

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