Pregnancy

Gearing Up for Baby: My 10 Must Haves!

Having a baby can turn anyone into a one-woman search engine– there are so many things you want to know! On the top of this list is finding the right baby gear, because you’ll be getting pretty well acquainted with it when your baby is here and you need to use them! As a blog dedicated to all things baby, I wanted to share some of my favorite baby gear with all of you!

1. Bouncer Chair
We have two, actually, because with both my boys this was about the only place they would sleep as infants– at that crucial time where you feel like if they don’t sleep on somewhere other than you for at least an hour, you might cry (just me?).Trust me on this one, when you have somewhere you can put your baby down without them crying, its worth it. I had two babies that hated sleep, therefore, I loved the vibrating bouncer chair.

2. Angelcare Movement and Sounds Monitor
I’m not an enormous fan of the video monitors, but this Movement and Sound monitor was on my must-have list. Monitoring baby’s temperature and heartbeat, and with amazing sound quality, I am so happy with this monitor– especially after going through 3 different monitors with my first that all had poor sound quality or lost signal or just broke!
3. Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat
Currently on loan to my sister who has an 18 month old, this seat is super portable, easy to clean, comfortable, and convenient. I really dislike putting my kids in public highchairs, and what’s worse is going out and there being NO child seats available. We took this seat on visits to family across the country, and to almost every restaurant we went to from the time our first could fit into it, until he was able to sit in a normal seat at the table. If you plan on eating anywhere other than at home, I highly recommend this seat!
4. Eddie Bauer Trail Hiker 3 Wheel Travel System
After fighting with a four wheel stroller with my first, I knew we needed a 3 wheeler for this baby– and I absolutely love this stroller. My biggest complaint with four wheel strollers was the front tires constantly crossing, making it impossible to push! This three wheel stroller is perfect for walking and even light jogging with baby, and can easily be used with the infant car seat or seat a toddler. One note, we have an SUV and the car seat barely fits behind the passenger seat, so be sure it is suitable for your vehicle!

5. NUK products
I have been fortunate to be able to exclusively nurse both my babies so far, but they have pumped bottles for each of them if I have an appointment or need a nap– and I will likely never use another bottle after using NUK bottles and pacifiers. This is personal preference, but both of my babies preferred the nipple of these bottles and pacifiers to other brands, which I think has to do with its unique shape.

6. Evenflo Single Electric Pump
As I mentioned above, I do occasionally pump a bottle; and when my kids start cereal I add milk to their cereals instead of buying the brands with formula added. That being said, this pump is perfect for our needs. It’s perfect for busy moms– I can use it on one side while feeding on the other, so pumping doesn’t mean sitting around for longer than I have to! It isn’t used every day, but I use it regularly enough that a manual pump wastes too much time (had a manual with my first and it was torturous!). This pump is effective, comfortable, easy to clean, and fairly inexpensive when compared to other pumps– just some of the reasons I love this product!

7. Nursing Covers
While not all nursing covers are created equal– many of them do the same job in a similar way. I used my nursing cover a lot more with my first than with my second, and as you and your baby become more comfortable nursing, you may not need it. While your both learning, though, a nursing cover can be an essential part of nursing-in-public success, since you aren’t worrying about holding up a blanket and latching and holding baby (how many hands do we have, anyway!?!). To choose a good cover, make sure the material is breathable so baby and you are both comfortable, and it should have a secure, adjustable strap so it fits right, stays in place, and can be adjusted when needed!

8. A comfortable baby-wearing device
Again, not all brands are created equal, but many do the job right and it will depend on how it fits you personally. Be sure that whatever wrap you choose fits securely and is comfortable. Some of my favorites are: Moby wrap, the ErgoBaby Carrier, and the Infantino Wrap & Tie.

9. Live Clean Baby Products
With a complete line of baby products (we especially love the lotion, body wash, and non-petroleum jelly), the Live Clean Baby line is eco-friendly and free of harsh chemicals, leaving baby comfortable and clean. Plus the smell absolutely amazing!

10. Munchkin Baby Food Net Feeder
This little device makes giving baby the foods you’re already eating so much easier, and helps them learn to chew. Perfect for babies who are curious about food or teething, this tiny-hand-sized net gives them more options and satisfies their taste buds with real, healthy foods! My little guy ate strawberries in this thing like they were going out of style!
So there you have it! Some of the best items that we (my kids included) have absolutely loved! Hopefully you find these and any other products you buy make your life with a little one, a little easier! :)

Julianna

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Pregnancy

Life With 2: Second Time Mom’s Tell All!

‘Having a baby changes your life forever!’
It’s absolutely true; and when you’re pregnant with your first, everyone reiterates that your life will change (like it hasn’t already during pregnancy!!). But once you’ve tried your hand at mommy-hood, and announce a second pregnancy– people don’t mention quite as often how much the balance shifts again. Some will mention a change for older siblings, but many forget to mention that you will now be outnumbered!
Life with two has a whole new set of challenges and rewards. For example, your oldest will be sharing toys and attention– but the reward of seeing them play together and interact is so worth it. The great thing about life with two or more, is that no matter how different each child is, you’re a little more experienced each time. This might be why some studies are showing a co-relation between happiness and having 2-3 children, and a decreased risk for post partum depression and delivery disatisfaction. Second time moms can be more in control!
Another interesting study shows that 2nd time moms (and in subsequent pregnancies + beyond) there are greater feelings of control over situations and emotions, leading to happier moms and happier babies.
As a second time mom myself, I’m slowly finding that there is balance (and life!) after two, outside of my house.
Shopping trips, family outings, and time for yourself can happen with a 6 month old and a 4 year old (or more!)– and the more times you do it, the more normal and manageable it becomes. Some of these issues are the most common concerns among parents with multiple children, and the best response to alleviating the stress by experienced parents, is to schedule your time. Making a plan and schedule you can stick to– one that’s reasonable and achievable– will make you feel more satisfied with your time.

Here are a few important things you may not think to schedule in, that can improve your day-to-day satisfaction:
1 on 1 dates with older children– a walk to the duck pond is my son’s go-to mommy date.

Movie Night In with your Spouse– it’s inexpensive, comfortable, and can do wonders to reconnect.

Express Mani/Pedi– Time for yourself doesn’t have to mean hours away. Taking an hour for some easy pampering, time at the gym alone, or a bubble bath will refresh your mind and body.

Baby Massage– Time alone with baby can often equate to groggy, 3am diaper changes. To get to know your baby like you did with your first, schedule a little time alone with your wakeful baby while someone else has time with just the older kid(s). Baby’s little personality without distractions might surprise you!

Whether you’re only child is on the way to becoming an older sibling, or your a seasoned mom of multiples, these tips can help you manage your time with your little loved ones.

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Julianna

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Sources:

NCBI

Pregnancy

My 3rd Pregnancy {Being Induced}

My 3rd Pregnancy gave me an introduction to induction. While I was nervous at first to be induced, I researched my options and embraced the induction process. I’m thankful for my healthy baby girl. Watch the video below for the full story, with lots of information about being induced!

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Pregnancy

Sex During Pregnancy: Real Moms Talk!

If you’re pregnant, or thinking about trying to conceive soon, you’ve probably thought a least a little about sex! If you’re curious about how other women deal with sex during pregnancy, this is the place for you! We talked to 200 moms and, not surprisingly, many have similar experiences and concerns.
Sex during pregnancy can be completely safe, and even healthy for your body– but pregnancy can change a lot of things, including your sex drive. Some women find sex more exciting and even better than before pregnancy, while many others struggle with discomfort, both physically and emotionally, during sex.

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It’s important to understand is that many of the changes to you and your partners sexual preferences during pregnancy are totally normal, and health experts agree changes in sex during pregnancy are often attributed to hormonal fluctuations. What’s also amazing is that exercise can actually increase your energy level, and improve your body image & confidence! Here’s what some real moms have shared with Knocked-Up Fitness about their sex life during pregnancy!
” I had a big sex drive when I was pregnant but my husband didn’t want to have sex because I had some bleeding early on and he didn’t want to hurt the baby.”

“Sex during pregnancy was almost non-existent. I was sick for 20 weeks and then the last half of my pregnancy I was large, miserable, and felt unattractive.”

“I had a high drive until I got pregnant with my first. Then it disappeared like magic.”

“I had a high sex drive during my pregnancy and the couple weeks after…I was also open to a lot more things sexually during my pregnancies.”

“Pregnancy was the first time I felt totally secure with my body in years, so sex was great!”

“I had no sex drive in the first trimester; I was nauseous and exhausted. Then in my second trimester I started feeling a little better, and resuming my workouts, and my sex drive came back stronger than ever!”

So if you’re feeling less than motivated to get busy– or if you’re one of many women who feel liberated and wonderful during pregnancy– the good news is it’s probably pretty common, and you’re not alone! Always remember to talk with your doctor about your concerns during pregnancy, and listen to your body & do what feels comfortable!

 

Check Back With Us Next Week to Read What Our Real Moms Said About Sex After Pregnancy!!

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Julianna

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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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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.

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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.