2nd Trimester

5 Tips to Motivate Moms-to-Be

KUF-5-tips-moms2b(2)

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.

KUF-5-tips-moms2b(2)

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

* * * * * * *

Other Related Knocked-Up Fitness Posts:

 

 

Sources:

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

2nd Trimester

The Importance of Your Transverse Abdominals {Video}

Check out my new video below on Deep Core Strengthening. Learn the importance of your Transverse Abdominals and how they can impact your pregnancy, labor, and beyond!

===>Now Available: The Knocked-Up Fitness Pregnancy Program

Don’t forget to sign up for the Knocked-Up Fitness Newsletter to receive your FREE Booty Sculpting Workout!

Other Related Knocked-Up Fitness Posts:

2nd Trimester

MommiesFirst Subscription Box Review

mommies first 1

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.

mommiesfirst_1

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!

 mommiesfirst_2

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!

 

2nd Trimester

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

kuf-16_min_giveaway(2)

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.

F̶a̶v̶o̶r̶i̶t̶e̶s̶:̶

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.

kuf-16_min_giveaway(2)
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

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Other Related Knocked-Up Fitness Posts:

2nd Trimester

A New Reason to Keep Up With Those Kegels!

KUF-anewreason(2)

Kegel Exercises are an important part of pelvic strength during pregnancy and after baby. A strong pelvic floor not only contributes to easier labor and reduced pain during pregnancy– but it can contribute to many other aspects of your life (better sex, less risk of incontinence, and a tighter abdomen… need I say more?)!

KUF-anewreason(2)

Often there is concern that kegels, while doing their job to tighten ‘down there’, can increase your risk of experiencing tearing or a difficult labor– but an Obstetrics and Gynecological study on the effect of antenatal pelvic floor muscle training on labor and birth proves otherwise! Women who performed regular pelvic floor muscle training exercises were actually less likely to experience tearing during labor. Additionally, the study showed that women performing these exercises had a reduced rate of necessary episiotomy, vaccuum and forcep intervention, and cesarean delivery! All in favor of fewer complications– say I!!

In short, pelvic floor muscle training during pregnancy can make your delivery and after baby experience much more comfortable! To get started on pelvic floor training, check out how to perform a kegel, and The Knocked-Up Fitness Guide to Pregnancy Book, these will help you target the muscles that contribute to your pelvic floor! A strong pelvic floor is an essential part of the Prenatal and After-Baby Knocked-Up Fitness Program, because making your delivery, recovery, and long term fitness goals easier, accessible, and straightforward is what the program is all about!

Julianna

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Other Related Knocked-Up Fitness Posts:

 

Sources:

PubMed

2nd Trimester

Prenatal Exercise & Postpartum Rewards

KUF-prenatal-exercise

Prenatal exercise is great for your body and mood during pregnancy, and research has shown that it can also contribute to your baby’s health and even your delivery– which is why Knocked-Up Fitness is so passionate about getting you active during your pregnancy & after baby!

KUF-prenatal-exercise

Although most mom’s think a pregnancy ends when your baby is in your arms, the ’4th Trimester’ is an essential part of your bonding time with baby, and a time when your body just begins to work its way back to your pre-pregnancy ‘norm’. The pressure to lose the baby weight doesn’t always come from others, often mom’s just want to feel more healthy, energetic, and back to themselves– which is why the challenge of losing the baby weight is such a huge topic, and why it’s so exciting to see that you can start working towards your goals safely– while you’re still pregnant!

The National Center for Biotechnology Information published a study in 2012, confirming what we promote every day– healthy activity during pregnancy (approved by your doctor!) can really help your postpartum recovery, and your journey back to your pre-pregnancy body (or better!). The results posted in the article, show that women who exercise with low or moderate intensity had lower gestational weight gain, and were as much as four times more likely to be within range of their pre-pregnancy weight at just two months postpartum!

Remember– it takes nine months to gain the baby-weight, and it can take that long to lose it and re-tone the muscles that changed so much to accommodate your beautiful baby! However, we all want to know that it is possible to lose that baby weight– and it’s clear that pregnancy and postpartum health go hand-in-hand. Remember to check with your doctor before beginning a prenatal exercise program– then check out the Knocked-Up Fitness Prenatal DVDs and Digital Programs to get started toning, preparing for labor, and gearing up to feel great after baby!

Julianna

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Other Related Knocked-Up Fitness Posts:

 

Sources:

National Center for Biotechnology Information

2nd Trimester

Bump & Beyond Booty Sculpting Workout {Video}

booty-blog(3)

You are going to love my new “Bump & Beyond Booty Sculpting Workout” video! I get requests for more butt exercises all the time and many women feel like they lose their butt or it flattens during and after pregnancy – so stop right now and get your booty moving with over 20 minutes of tightening and toning exercises that you can do throughout your pregnancy, and after baby too. There are also some modifications so be sure to follow those–especially if you are in your 2nd or 3rd trimester and not comfortable on your back.
Now what are you waiting for – get moving you hot mama!

Click here to get started!

*Always be sure to have your physicians approval to exercise both during pregnancy and again after baby*

booty-blog

 

Keep up that awesome hard work and it is ok to take time out for yourself to take care of “you”!

~Erica

2nd Trimester

Introducing Pregnant Real Mom Blogger, Teia!

teia-18weeks

teia-18weeks

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A:  My name is Teia Collier.  Native Texan, global traveler, avid reader, amateur chef and engaged mama.  I am a 33 year old mama to Zenora and Solomon (7, 5) that is a pregnant with her third.  I wear many hats — writer, mama, teacher, friend, sister and all around fabulous person, though I have been a teacher, congressional aide, gymnastics coach, lifestyle consultant and a wellness coach.

 

Q: What was your pregnancy experience with your other children?

A: I’ve had two completely different pregnancies, and this one is no exception.  With Zenora, it was an easy, breezy pregnancy.  One of those ones that deludes women into thinking that morning sickness is a myth.  She was delivered vaginally in about six hours — after which, I happily watched Texas win the national championship. Solomon came along about 13 months later much to everyone’s surprise at 29 weeks.  His pregnancy seemed to progressing normally until it wasn’t.  I developed asymptomatic eclampsyia.  My blood pressure skyrocketed, my kidneys and liver were having trouble which led to a seizure and a very dramatic delivery.  He stayed in the NICU for 10 weeks; I stayed at the hospital for 14 days.

 

Q: How are your other children reacting to this pregnancy?

A:  They are stoked.  We recently found out that he is a boy.  Sol wants to name him Megatron, and Z doesn’t have a name picked — she just wants him to be awesome.

 

Q: How are you feeling with this pregnancy compared to previous pregnancies?

A:  This pregnancy has been more difficult than the others.  It could be that I am older, but since this one is high-risk.  I’ve had more constant care, and am currently on a modified pelvic rest due to placenta previa and high blood pressure.

 

Q: What are you most excited about with this pregnancy? Most nervous?

A:  Most excited… hmm… Getting to meet me new short person, watching my body grow and feeling life inside me.

Most nervous… Placenta Previa.

 

Q: What are your favorite fitness activities?

A:  I love yoga, zumba and am typically a runner, but since I’ve been on pelvic rest — running has been out.  Right now, I am stretching and just staying as active as possible.

 

Q: Any activities you’re finding more challenging or more enjoyable with this pregnancy?

A:  I love taking short walks in my neighborhood.  Prenatal yoga has been awesome; during the last pregnancy it annoyed the heck out of me.

 

Q: Do you have a birth plan?

A:  My birth plan this time is a scheduled c-section.  Though I plan to make it as me and soothing as possible, it’s a work in progress.

 

Q: Any baby gear you have to have or recommend?

A:  I am a fan of babywearing and prefer a sling (Hotslings and Seven) to a stroller, after spending so much time trekking through the city with babies.  Though I have to admit am a huge fan of my sister’s Chicco car seat stroller combo.  That baby drives like a dream and is super easy to use.

I also love Aden and Anais swaddling blankets.  I swaddle some, but I love them for the Texas heat.  They are lightweight, breathable and have become well-loved lovies for both of my children.  Z uses hers with her American Girl Doll, and Sol’s has become a pillow case and with hidden car storage.

 

Q: What 3 words best describe you as a mom?

A: Active. Engaged. Modern.

 

Q: Any pregnancy cravings?

A:  Sliced Mango, Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell Ice Cream and Kettle Corn.

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about pregnancy?

A:  Having Boobs, as a former gymnast and long-time dancer, I am lean by nature and training.  It’s nice to see myself in this lush form.

 

Q: On the flip side; your least favorite thing?

A:  Nausea and morning sickness that happens around 11pm.  Seriously, I thought it was a figment of some overly-dramatic mom-to-be imagination.  I was wrong. Funny how life works out like that.

 

Q: Anything else you want to add?

A: Pregnancy is a special time that brings a host of emotions and each one is different.  I look forward to learning more about other mamas stories.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Other Related Knocked-Up Fitness Posts: