Pregnancy

My 2nd Pregnancy {Push Prep}

Though my second pregnancy was fairly easy, my second time going into labor took a scary turn when my son’s heart rate dropped with each push. Watch the video below to hear how exercising and my Push Prep helped saved me from an emergency C-Section.

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Pregnancy

What Moms Are Saying {Testimonials}

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Check out what moms and experts are saying about Erica’s training and Knocked-Up Fitness Prenatal and Postnatal Programs!

“Erica is one of my favorite prenatal (and postnatal!) fitness experts, and I adore her book. It’s clear, straightforward and fun – and it’s comprehensive without being overwhelming. Any mom-to-be who wants to stay fit and have a better labor will love it!”
~ Anna Maltby, fitness editor, Fit Pregnancy

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“We must say it {The Knocked-Up Fitness Guide to Pregnancy} is a must have fitness bible for anyone who is expecting.”
~ BellyItchBlog.com

“I have an 8 month old, and I’m just now starting to get back in shape. I had been looking for a video, since I live in Texas and it is way too hot to do anything outside. A lot of the after baby workouts are a lot of cardio, and I really can’t do those right now (nursing). But this DVD is great. There’s no impact, but the constant movement from one position to another still gets your heart rate up. There are several workouts (including options for more advanced users), and an enclosed booklet helps structure which ones you do when. Each workout is no longer than 25 minutes, which is great when you have a baby. There’s also an option to play the video with music only, without the instructor’s commentary. One of the best workout DVD’s I’ve seen. Highly recommended.”
~ Leila Hayes

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“Erica’s unique approach to helping her clients stay motivated is an integration of mind, body and spirit. I look forward to getting Pilates workouts done and cherish that time for me. With a busy life of operating two businesses, raising two beautiful babies fifteen months apart practically as a single mom, the balance I achieve from making a choice to dedicate an hour of my day to my well being is important! Erica shows her clients how to do this even when life gets in the way and I cannot make a class. I have never felt and looked better and at almost 40, I am in the best shape of my life.”
~ Cat K.

“It’s really important to me that I stay fit and active during pregnancy…I was glad to discover Knocked-Up Fitness DVDs. They’re challenging enough so that I stay toned but completely safe for expectant moms. I’m using the DVDs a few times a week now to stay in shape for myself—and for my baby.”
~ Irene Chang Kwon Working Mother Magazine

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“I first started working with Erica nine weeks into my first pregnancy and have continued both after my son was born and now during my second pregnancy. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been and I owe it all to her very practical approach to fitness. Initially, I worked out because I wanted to look good, but I realized it’s much more about feeling healthy! I can think of so many days I just didn’t think I had it in me to work out, and within minutes of Erica’s programs, I felt a million times better and ended up finding the energy I needed to get me through the rest of my day. I now have the strength I need to physically life and carry my son and all of the equipment that goes along with having kids.”
- Monica J.

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“Erica incorporates exercises to strengthen your deep core muscles, which can help you have both a smoother pregnancy and delivery, along with a faster recovery.”
~ Dr. Gigi Kroll M.D. OB/GYN

“I’ve always loved small group pilates classes and when I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to keep it up. A friend of mine posted about these videos on facebook, so I thought I would give them a try. I had never done a pilates video before, and they have exceeded my expectations. Some days its just not possible to get to class, and these videos have proven to be just as good. Plus, I love knowing that when the baby comes, and my schedule might leave me more restricted to my home, I can do these to get back in to shape. Whether you’re a pilates snob or a novice, these videos work.”
~ Monica Paull

 

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“I am not one that works out on a regular basis, so I was looking for something that would challenge me, but also be easy on me because I am pregnant and didn’t exercise regularly before I was pregnant. I got these as a Christmas gift, and LOVE them! Erica is amazing! She talks to you through the work out, and the workouts are just what I was looking for! I feel so good after I do them. If you are looking for a workout for you and you little baby, I recommend these videos!”
~ Tabatha

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“I’m a really big fan of Erica’s approach to pre and postnatal fitness – it’s simple, yet her program is packed with useful and relevant tips that are ideal for busy moms and moms-to-be. This is a must-read for any mom who wants to take a proactive approach to staying fit during pregnancy, awaken the muscles used for childbirth, or regain her pre-baby physique.”
- Dr. Sheryl Ross, M.D., a board certified OB/GYN and founder of D3FY Vitamins

 Private online Skype Training and Consulting sessions with Erica are now available, click here for more info.

 

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Pregnancy

5 Tips to Motivate Moms-to-Be

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Exercise is an extremely important factor in having a healthy pregnancy, so you might be surprised that three out of four pregnant women in the U.S. don’t get enough exercise! Preventative Medicine reports that as few as 14% of women are meeting the minimum recommendations for physical activity, which could partly explain why so many moms struggle with their health, weight, and body image.

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To help keep you motivated, here are 5 reasons you should get active at any stage of your pregnancy!

  1. Prenatal activity helps lower your heart rate, but more amazingly, studies show activity can positively affect your baby’s heart functions up to six years of age.
  2. Active mothers a less likely to suffer from gestational diabetes (1.8% vs 8.3%).
  3. 1 in 3 moms in the U.S. are giving birth via cesarean and 38% of women who did not do pelvic floor exercises had a prolonged second stage of labor (a common reason c-sections are performed)– not surprisingly, inactive moms are twice as likely to need a cesarean.
  4. Women are 58% less likely to deliver an excessively large baby when exercising regularly.
  5. Just 55 minutes of exercise, three days a week during pregnancy can make you 34% less likely to require an emergency c-section.

The key to these tips is that results happen when you make taking care of yourself through exercise a priority and a habit. Exercising regularly can be hard to fit in some days, but a simple  and effective 10 minute workout is the difference between doing it, and not doing it!
Stay motivated, mamas– & have a happy, healthy pregnancy, birth, & beyond.

Julianna

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Sources:

WebMD
Preventative Medicine
Journal of Science Medicine
National Center for Biotechnology Information
HealthyWomen.org
British Journal of Sports and Medicine

Pregnancy

Healthy Product Talk with Mommy Greenest

I was super excited to meet with Rachel from Mommy Greenest to talk all about healthy and “green” habits/products you should be using to live a healthier lifestyle! Not just for you but for your family too. It’s amazing when you stop to think about what toxins are all around us and with some small changes we can greatly decrease those toxins. So watch my interview with Rachel and I’d love for you to leave a comment below and share you’re own healthy habits/products you love as well.

===>Sign-up here for my Knocked-Up Fitness newsletter!

 

Check out The Honest Company here, I have been using their products since they first came out when my 3rd was born and have LOVED their products!

For more from Rachel check out her blog here.

Check out the Environmental Workout Group here.

Pregnancy

MommiesFirst Subscription Box Review

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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love getting mail– especially the kind of mail that you weren’t expecting, and particularly the kind of mail that includes gifts! I remember when I was pregnant with my first little one, just about anything that I saw for babies made me freak out with excitement, I was so excited to explore the world of products for my baby. With baby #2, I’ve become a bit stubborn. I find myself less likely to try new products– because it becomes a small project; reading reviews, researching the company, and learning about every ingredient it’s made of. For all these reasons and more, the MommiesFirst Subscription Box is an amazing way to explore new products, which I’ll likely be using for both my boys in the future! The boxes, developed by a real mom, MommiesFirst CEO Lorena Pacheco Scott, are designed to save moms time and money by offering the most effective, natural products for mom and baby.

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The first thing you’ll notice when you receive your MommiesFirst box (after the beautiful box itself) is a personalized note with you and your baby’s’ name. My note; to Julianna & Lincoln, briefly discusses the ideal time frame for the products, and why they are relevant to your baby’s current developmental milestones. The box I received was ideal for age 4-5 months, and is described as the “Medicine Cabinet” box. It is centered around baby discovering the world, and putting everything in his mouth (yep–we’re here!).. and along with this discovery often comes some germs and sniffles.
After the note I found the product cards, fastened together with a cute little diaper safety pin. This is such an important touch for me, because the last thing I have time for or want to do is to have to go online and research everything in the box– I just want to start using the products! With the product cards you get an overview of the product & company, ‘how to use’ directions, reasons why MommiesFirst loves the product, and where you can find it if you want to continue to use them. Genius!

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In my subscription box I received:
-Boogie Wipes
-Boiron Camilia teething drops
-Boiron Coryzalia cold drops
-WELEDA Calendula Weather Protection Cream
-Thera Wise VpR Vaporizing Rub
-Parents Canada Magazine (the newest issue)

 

Living on the East Coast, we’ve had the wackiest weather I can recall– seriously, yesterday I could sunbathe and today it’s snowing– and it’s April!! With all that weather change, colds and sniffles are going around like crazy, so this subscription box has me prepared!

To start with, I’ve been holding a Boogie Wipes coupon hostage in my ‘odds & ends’ drawer for several months, so I was pretty excited to see a large package of them in my MommiesFirst box. I loved these gentle, effective wipes for both my boys, and will likely purchase them for my purse/diaper bag again.

Next, the Boiron products–natural homeopathic medicines that are safe for babies as young as 1 month! I try to avoid medicine whenever possible for both my boys, and since infants don’t have many medication options to begin with, these drinkable drops are the perfect alternative. While I haven’t had a chance to try the teething bottles yet, my 3 year old had a bit of a dry cough one evening, and after 3 single dose bottles spread out over a day– he stopped coughing! And since my little one has been drooling puddles everywhere– I think we’ll be making use of the teething doses soon.

With all the nose wiping that goes on when baby has a cold, the WELEDA Weather Protection Cream is an excellent addition to the medicine cabinet box. When you’re constantly wiping and rubbing baby’s nose, it can get red and irritated– so this gentle, fresh smelling lotion is great. I’ve repurposed this cream for a number of things, from protecting my hands (I’m constantly washing them after changing diapers and before feeding), and since we’re in early spring and we’ve been trying to get outside as often as possible, the WELEDA cream has also been great for treating and protecting my 3 year olds skin from wind-burn. A perfect addition for any time of year.

The Thera Wise vaporizing rub might be my favorite product in the subscription box for several reasons– it’s all natural, plant based, effective, safe for infants, and gentle. This cream leaves a much lighter scent than the vaporizing rubs we remember, is super gentle on the skin, and is paraben and petroleum free. It does say on the packaging to consult a physician if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding– but for baby the instructions are to apply to the bottoms of feet and cover with socks. It also claims to be effective on muscle aches, and since I love natural products, I’ll probably use this on me as much as baby.

Finally, the latest issue of Parents Canada magazine was included. This is great for any mom, because the magazine often offers information on many stages of parenting, so there’s always something relevant. Plus it’s an excuse for mom to take some ‘me’ time with some good reading material. Depending on your location, you might receive a different (similar) magazine, but being in Canada, this magazine is relevant to me and my location!

I will reiterate, I’m product stubborn. I love all-natural products, and this box provides moms with several amazing products that they might not have heard of before. Subscription Boxes by MommiesFirst are available for every stage of pregnancy (including a special ‘shower’ box if you know a pregnant mama!) and throughout the first year, and are a great value at $30/month, the retail value of the box I received was about $55 and shipping was free. This is a great gift idea for moms, or a special treat for yourself if you’re pregnant or have a new baby. If you’re like me and love natural products, but often find yourself in a product rut, this is a great way to introduce new, effective products that are tested & loved by other moms!
Thank you so much to Lorena Scott & The MommiesFirst Team for providing beautiful care packages to Moms & Babies (like my boys and I) for the most exciting (and sometimes stressful) times in the first years! To order Subscription Boxes from MommiesFirst for you, your baby, or someone you know visit the MommiesFirst website here.

And don’t forget to sign up for the Knocked-Up Fitness Newsletter for more great tips!

 

Pregnancy

April is C-Section Month: Here are 20 C-Section Tips from Real Moms!

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April Is C-Section Month!!
Many women plan for a vaginal delivery, but sometimes baby or your body will have other plans– approximately 33% of deliveries in the US are via cesarean (including scheduled and emergency). A cesarean delivery brings many different physical recovery components, and it’s important to know what to expect for your c-section recovery to have a more enjoyable experience through your delivery, your first few days with baby, and in the following weeks. Delivering your baby, no matter what method, can be challenging on your body– so we’ve assembled 20 tips from c-section mama’s on how to have the best delivery and recovery experience!

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1- Keep Up Your Core: Many mama’s who engaged in light activity, including safe prenatal core exercises approved by their doctor, found that abdominal recovery was much easier and quicker.
2- Plan Meals Ahead. In the weeks before delivery, prepare some freezable healthy meals, so you can have food that aid breastfeeding and your recovery without having to spend too much time on your feet or in the kitchen.

3- Get Mentally Prepared. One tip other mama’s shared was to have the doctor talk to you and your husband about exactly what to expect throughout surgery if there’s time. That way, you’re both prepared for what you see and hear!

4- Enjoy a Pre-Surgery Meal. If you’re having a scheduled c-section, you’ll likely be told no food after midnight the night before. Take this opportunity to load up on healthy, filling foods that will keep you feeling full and give you energy. Real Mom Tip: Avoid gassy foods!

5- Get Pictures! You might think you don’t want anyone to see what goes on during delivery– but for both vaginal and cesarean deliveries, you’ll want to remember. This is especially so with cesareans because the medication can often make the experience memory ‘groggy’.

6- If you can, ask questions during your delivery. Ask your partner, nurses, and doctors what’s going on and to give you a play by play– being more involved in the delivery can help you remember the experience.

7- Take the suggested medications (but ask questions!). Pain management medications and stool softeners are commonly taken after all deliveries– don’t be afraid to ask what you’re taking, but don’t try to recover without them if you aren’t feeling 100%, you’ll enjoy your time with your new baby a lot more if you’re comfortable.

8- Stay on top of pain. Don’t wait for a ton of breakthrough pain before taking pain medication. For the first few days, it’s safe to say you’ll be sore, so keep a pain medication schedule to help avoid major discomfort.

9- Sanitary pads have more uses than you’d think. A few mom’s have sworn by using feminine pads stuck to the band of your pants or underwear, to provide cushion to your incision.

10- Keep the dress-code comfy. Avoid trying to see if you can get all dressed up for visitors, you just had major surgery! Pack comfy pajama bottoms that fit right while you’re pregnant, so they’ll be loose enough not to irritate your incision after delivery.

11- Bring lots of pillows. Bringing pillows from home can not only be comforting, but can help support your abdominal muscles after recovery.

12- Hydrate! Even when you’re hooked up to an IV, you need to be drinking plenty of water to aid recovery, reduce discomfort (constipation & muscle pain), and help your body produce milk for breastfeeding. Hospitals get pretty dry (I drank 7 liters of water in 24 hours after my second delivery) so drink as much as it takes for your body to feel replenished!

13- Fiber up! Along with staying hydrated, and taking the stool softeners provided; choosing meals high in fiber will help get things moving– a big milestone after a c-section.

14- When it’s time– get up and walk. Even if its just to the restroom, getting two major milestones out of the way (walking, first bathroom break) will help calm your recovery concerns.

15- Walk often. Many moms suggest trying to get about 3 laps around your floor of the hospital per day. Walking will help your muscles recover, help you avoid gas and constipation (read: pain), and build your physical confidence back up.

16- Have someone stay in your room. Especially if you baby or babies are staying in your room, you will want to have help (your partner or a family member), since lifting baby and getting out of your bed can be challenging the first few days.

17- Limit visitors. While everyone probably wants to come see your new baby, try to limit the length of time you’re entertaining in your hospital room. The time you spend in the hospital is meant for your recovery, this might mean having family and friends wait a few days to visit you at home instead.

18- Invest in a belly wrap. Of all the tips– this was the biggest consensus from real moms! Belly wraps, binders, or compression underwear designed specifically for c-sections can help minimize pain and aid healing.

19- Take a Step. Literally, if your cups are in a tall cupboard, or your bed is on a tall  frame, invest in a couple steps around the house so you aren’t reaching and straining.

20- Ask for help (and take it!). You’ve just had a major surgery for your baby, you’re already a supermom! So don’t be afraid to ask for help with everything from standing up to caring for baby and housework. Visitors will ask if you need anything, take advantage of it and try to relax with your new baby.

Thanks to all the mama’s who shared their c-section tips, here’s wishing all the Knocked-Up Mama’s a safe & happy delivery!

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Sources:

Pregnancy

16 Minute Club: Breastfeeding Support Box {Review & Giveaway}

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I was so excited to receive one of the Subscription Boxes from The 16 Minute Club, founded by IBCLC Wendy Wright, and named after the average length of a breastfeeding session (16 minutes). Each of the available boxes are designed to specifically meet the needs of you and your baby at every stage of breastfeeding. You can choose to subscribe to all of the boxes, which will automatically come to you just when they’re needed, or start with the box most relevant to your baby’s age. Successful breastfeeding comes easier for some mothers than others, so having a little help from experts come right to your doorstep is pretty great.

From Knocked-Up Fitness: 16 Minute Club Box

First let’s talk about how cute this package is–I mean, getting a present in the mail is awesome, but even better, this box feels like a care package from a (really educated) family member, and it’s pretty, too! So let’s get right down to it…

When I opened up the package the first item on the top is a personalized little note and a binder filled with an introduction, words of encouragement, and information about the stages of breastfeeding & baby development (keeping in mind that all babies develop at a different pace). The 16 Minute Club offers several different boxes, and since my baby is nearly 3 months old (wow, time flies!!) I received box #3. This box particularly identifies growth spurts, soothing techniques, and building up a sufficient supply for your ever-growing babe (see what I mean about relevancy– my baby is growing like a weed!). You can see in the picture, there are tons of awesome goodies in this box, a lot of which are items I have talked about wanting to try, but either didn’t know where to find them, or didn’t know how to tell what products are the best. That’s another reason I really love the idea of these boxes, I feel a lot more confident in using the products knowing a professional has hand picked them.

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Okay, since I loved everything in this box, naming favorites isn’t realistic.. so this is what The 16 Minute Club included in my Box #3:

Lactation Cookie & Birds and Bees Tea: Both products are included to help mom make sufficient supply during growths spurt. Quality products made with natural, safe ingredients (LOVE that!) for nursing moms. Plus, who can complain about a snack, am I right!?

Bella B Nipple Nurture Butter & Motherlove Green Salve: Again, two products made with natural ingredients so I can safely use them on myself and baby– and anyone else! Actually, I used the Motherlove Salve on a dry patch on my three year old’s face before picture day, cleared it right up! The Bella B cream is a great alternative to other nipple creams because it’s lanolin-free, it also smells great and is PERFECT for avoiding irritated skin when baby seems to be eating 24/7!

BabyBabyOhBaby Infant Massage DVD & Susan Brown’s Botanical Body Massage Oil: Okay, I said I wasn’t picking favorites, but I lied. I love love LOVE the combination of these two products. Here’s why: Babies (especially small ones) get bored– but you can’t exactly take them outside for a bike ride. Enter: Infant Massage. Not only do I now have the softest baby on the block thanks to the massage oil, but he is happy! The DVD teaches you different techniques to massage baby, and I can vouch for their belly massage tactics really helping with gas related fussing!

Baby Bits wipes solution & Breast Assured nursing pads: These are both things that were on my personal list of things I wanted to try but never seemed to get around to picking up, and are now regular use items. The nursing pads are perfect for during the day, discreet and absorbent and stay in place unlike the disposables that seem to get lost half the time (I still use disposables at night, as they didn’t work as well while laying down, but for the day, I give them an A+ for comfort and effectiveness). The wipes are a great alternative to pre-soaked throw-away wipes, and are especially soothing for when baby has an irritated bottom.

Also Included:
Green Sprouts baby toy, aka probably the most baby-friendly toy out there–made from cornstarch, PVC & BPA free, if your little one loves to chew on toys, this is probably one of the safest ones!

The Milk Charm, a helpful little ‘necklace’ for your pumped bottles, so busy moms can keep track of when the bottle was pumped to ensure it’s fresh for baby.

And, milkscreens. Okay, now I’m going to confess to a guilty pleasure: the first time I saw this product, it was being used by Kourtney Kardashian. These test strips detect the presence of alcohol in breast milk. So for the sake of science (!!!) I enjoyed a glass of wine, and they really work! While I’m not going to make a habit out of drinking and testing, it’s serves as a great reminder that what you consume, baby consumes. They might also be useful when baby is eating less frequently, so you have a chance to enjoy a drink without worrying about feeding soon.

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Finally, the package also contains special offers, coupons, and information booklets on the products and companies represented in the box.

I think the best part of these boxes is that the products included identify your current breastfeeding and baby needs. It isn’t just one box with a bunch of random items that I may or may not even remember that I have in a few months when they are relevant– it’s full of products that I might not have even known about, but are absolute life savers at this particularly trying period (seriously, will this baby ever get on a schedule?). I really would recommend a subscription to these boxes to support anyone who is expecting!

So here’s your chance to enter to win one of three boxes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Big Thank You to Wendy from 16 Minute Club for sending me such a lovely care package! Contact them online to order for you or a pregnant/new mama you know!

 

Julianna

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Pregnancy

Conception Misconceptions: 5 Myths About Trying to Conceive

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When you’re trying to conceive, it’s easy to get caught up in the myths that claim to help your chances of getting pregnant. In fact, there are probably more myths than truths hanging around, and separating the two can be difficult (especially since many of the myths are based on facts!). Here are five of the most common myths you shouldn’t believe if you’re trying to conceive!

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We’ll conceive as soon as I stop my birth control. When you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, everyone tells you that no birth control is 100% effective, but you can ask many couples and they’ll tell you: going off birth control doesn’t mean you’ll get pregnant on the first try! For most oral contraceptives, once you finish taking them (or for other contraceptives as soon as they are out of your system and you ovulate) you can conceive, but it won’t always happen in the first cycle, so don’t worry! It’s normal for many couples to try for several months before conceiving!

Women ovulate 14 days into their cycle, so that’s when we should try. This myth in particular is a case of fact-gone-wrong. For an average, 28-day cycle, ovulation might occur around 14 days. However, every woman’s cycle is a little different, and since an egg is only viable for about 12-24 hours; ovulation prediction kits, basal body temperature, charting, and other personalized methods can increase your chances of conceiving.

I’m under 35, so infertility won’t be an issue. This myth is actually a 2-for-1. First, it’s a common misconception that infertility is usually a female issue, since in almost 50% of cases, it is the male partner experiencing fertility issues. Also, age isn’t necessarily a definite factor either: while fertility issues are more common with advanced maternal age, many young couples experience infertility just the same, which is why it is recommended to see a doctor to rule out underlying issues before trying to conceive (see below!).

We’re both pretty healthy, so we can start trying now. While you and your partner probably feel 100% ready to start trying to conceive, it’s a good idea for you both to see your physician(s) before getting pregnant. A basic check-up, blood work, and a chat with your doctor can go a long way in ruling out any issues, and getting the go ahead that you’re body is as ready for baby as you are!

Gravity will do the work! There are SO many myths about using gravity to help (or prevent) conception, including adjusting to positions that are most effective, and the notion that laying on your back will help move things along. There is no research confirming that your physical positioning has any effect on conception– but if you feel like it will help, we’re not stopping you from changing things up (we’ll leave this one up to you)!
So whether you’re thinking about trying soon, or actively waiting for a big fat positive, don’t get too caught up in the myths surrounding conception. Just remember to stay healthy and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Julianna

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Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/birth-control/in-depth/birth-control-pill/art-20045136

http://americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/understandingovulation.html

http://americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/ttc35.html

http://www.whattoexpect.com/preconception/conception-myths.aspx#