Real Mom Blogs: 32 Week Bump Update with Julianna


Officially 8 full months pregnant, or starting the 9th month– or 32 weeks? Calculating how far along I am is probably the most confusing part of pregnancy for me. With so many ways to say, “I’m almost due” at this point I just stick to telling interested strangers that baby is expected sometime in January. Most doctors will tell you a due date is essentially a ‘due estimation’– since all babies develop at different paces; some come early, some come late and according to my doctor only about 2% of babies are born on their due date! With my last I went 4 weeks early, and with this baby I could go two weeks overdue– you just never know. This means baby #2 could, realistically, be born in December, January, or February– so I’ve decided instead of a due date, I’m calling it a due season!



All About Baby
At this point, babies will start to really vary in size– since some are 10lbs at birth, while others weigh in around 6 full-term. The estimated size of little bean this week is about 4lbs and 17.5 inches, and baby is still trying to pack on as much fat as possible to prepare for life on the outside. Luckily, this hasn’t meant that I’m packing on the pounds, but at my appointment this week I officially hit 20lbs weight gain– I gained about 27 with my first, so hopefully I’m on the right track to repeat! Baby is working on perfecting the skills needed at birth, and at this point we’re just waiting on lung development for baby to be completely ready!!

More About Mama
With this baby, I’m really noticing lower back and hip joint discomfort in the last two weeks. It hurts to get in and out of the car, bed, or my shoes– which is annoying. Sitting on a stability ball is about the only thing I’ve found that eases it, doing hip rotations and Knocked-Up Fitness Push Prep while seated on the ball improves my ability to stand up without whining, which I’m extremely grateful for! Otherwise, I’m still feeling pretty good when exercising, adding in modifications where necessary, since touching my toes has become a bit more challenging (try putting on socks!). My one major physical complaint is the all-day heartburn, I’m really, really tired of feeling like a fire-breathing dragon, and I can’t wait for that part to subside!

I’m also noticing a bit of an energy decrease, just normal pregnancy fatigue, but none the less challenging; especially at work. Trying to take a few minutes to do a task at work that involves sitting, staying hydrated, and getting to bed at night (or, passing out reading a magazine at 9pm) is really important at this point. Two important points this week: 1) I have learned that having a healthy snack every few hours makes a world of difference. I am entirely obsessed with clementines! And 2) exercising really does energize you– in the least it makes you feel like a super-hero for making it through when you’re tired! I will usually try to relax for 15mins before attempting to exercise if I’m feeling really run down, since I don’t want to overdo it this far in, and can usually perform exercises more efficiently and properly if I’ve had a chance to recharge first.
With all the holiday preparations going on, it’s really easy to leave exercise off the to-do list, but especially with baby coming soon I think it’s super important to fit in at least a few minutes every day. Try some of these simple moves and tips from Erica if you’re cleared for exercise but strapped for time!


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Managing Pregnancy Anxiety & Depression: 3 Tips From Moms & Experts!


Pregnancy marks one of the greatest times of change in a woman/mom’s life. Physical, emotional, and hormonal changes can impact your mood. For many women, mixed in with the joy and excitement, pregnancy can trigger feelings of anxiety and fear. According to The American Pregnancy Association, the number of pregnant women who exhibit signs of depression could be as high as 1 in 4, and it is so important that women reach out to their doctors, families, and friends when experiencing prenatal depression. Here are 3 tips to help give you manage any anxiety or depression-type feelings:


Tip # 1 – Take it Slowly and Enjoy the Little Things

Understanding how depression feels is the first important step in treatment. Often pregnant mom’s don’t think they could be experiencing depression, since pregnancy is usually considered a time of such great joy. Brittany, from the Knocked-Up Fitness Real Mom Blogs discussed her experiences with prenatal depression. She shares, “I had experienced bad days similar to the rest of humanity, but I can honestly say that I had never been depressed to the point where I felt stagnant in my own life”. Understanding that depression is nothing to be ashamed of and very treatable is the first step to feeling better. This was Brittany’s experience:

“For some reason during my first trimester, I could not shake this feeling of utter despair and loathing. I had lost complete control of my body and my emotions, leading to a feeling of helplessness. Due to this lack of control in my life, I completely abandoned my workout routine (which was a shock to my husband since I had worked out two hours a day before getting pregnant). I started skipping work just to lay in bed and run to the bathroom every five minutes. I distanced myself from friends and family members, and even my husband’s attempts to brighten my day failed.

Similar to most women, I did not mention my current state of mind to my doctor. I pretended to be happy during each office visit, but I could not shake the thought that began to enter my mind: I wish I was not pregnant so I could be me again. I know admitting this single thought probably will earn me the “worst woman of the year” award, but it was honestly how I felt at the time.”

Learning to become herself again, or ‘waking up’, as Brittany says, started with little steps– literally.

“I walked the dog for 10 minutes just to get out of the house. I forced myself to go to the gym with my husband, even if all I did was sit stagnantly on the exercise bike for an hour and watch Netflix on my phone (yes, I was “that” woman for a while). I began cooking my favorite dishes that reminded me of my grandmother and filled my house with the familiar smells of my childhood. Then slowly I began emerging from this thick fog that surrounded my pregnancy.

Once I began “waking up,” I found a prenatal yoga class that began to help me reconnect with myself and my growing child. This weekly class soon became my salvation as each Thursday night I found myself craving a yoga mat and the relaxation that soon followed. Also, just being around other pregnant women helped me realize that this was a period in my life that I should embrace and cherish. Toward the third month, my husband and I started attending a weekly birth preparation class. As cliché as it may sound, surrounding myself with women who were also on this pregnancy roller coaster helped me realize that I did not have to suffer alone.”

Connecting with your partner, your baby, and most importantly yourself can help you overcome the feelings associated with depression.

Tip # 2 – Exercise!

While there are many causes and levels of severity of depression, a study out of Harvard Medical School showed that 60-70% of people experiencing depression could significantly reduce their depression symptoms through exercise– interestingly, the same percentage of people whose symptoms are reduced through medication.

The most exciting part of this study is that it won’t take hours of sweating at the gym each day to reduce anxiety and depression. Simple, moderate exercises you can do at home, around your block, or at the park with your kids can provide the activity level necessary to achieve the benefits of exercising. Try to incorporate stretching, cardio, and body weight training, and find what you enjoy most and what feels best for your body. Exercising does amazing things for the body, and treating depression and anxiety is just one of them. During pregnancy, exercising can improve balance and stability, self-esteem, sleep patterns, blood pressure, and increase social interaction– and it can be fun!

The study found that approximately 35 minutes a day, 5 days a week– or 60 minutes a day three days a week– of moderate exercise can impact depression so heavily that patients are no longer classified with the diagnosis. A follow up study found that participants who exercised for six months after the study had maintained and improved symptom reductions. These results are based on a 150lb person, exercising at the intensity of fast-walking, and based on your weight or previous activity level you may need to adjust your intensity and duration– start by getting clearance from your doctor on the level of intensity you’re approved for.

Tip # 3 — Discuss Alternatives with Your Doctor

Experts have known for many years that exercise releases endorphins– the body’s natural feel-good chemical that reduces pain perception and increase immunity, and also believe that exercise stimulates the neurotransmitter norephinepherine– which may directly improve mood. Leading hollistic specialist have discussed depression and natural treatments, including Dr. Russell Blaylock and Dr. Andrew Weil, who strongly believe in using natural approaches to improving our daily lives. These experts note several naturally occurring supplements and biological chemicals have been shown to have a positive effect on depression and anxiety:
  • Vitamin D boosts brain development and function, improves chemical signal reception, and increases the function of monoamines like serotonin– a natural, biological chemical that makes us feel good.
  • Plant phytochemicals, both in foods and supplements, naturally contain antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties– improving dopamine function.
  • Low levels of zinc, B12, and Omega 3’s have also been associated with depression symptoms, so you might consider a supplement or capsules– or be sure your prenatal vitamin includes enough of each.
  • A probiotic supplement or consuming foods with pro and prebiotics have been linked to reduced cases of depression.  This is how some medications will treat depression.
Natural approaches have been studied a great deal more in the last decade, and are continuing to be studied– and in many cases, natural supplements have provided similar symptom reduction to medications– without the side effects and dangers associated with some medications taken during pregnancy. Often doctors will prescribe medications to control and balance depression, which can greatly improve the quality of life for someone experiencing depression, but you should always be an advocate for your own health by researching how to best control your symptoms. Talking to your doctors about the safety of specific depression medications can ease your concern, and together you can confidently make a decision on the treatment style that is best for you.
Many people who suffer from depression can successfully overcome their symptoms, like our Real Mom, Brittany, who was able use exercise, food, communication, and enjoying things that made her happy to manage her feelings. Controlling depression during pregnancy can be intimidating, but by using these tips and talking to your doctor you can enjoy your pregnancy and start feeling better!

~ Julianna

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Harvard Health

American Pregnancy

The Active Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide


Not sure what to get for the expecting or active mom? Check out these awesome products!




Knocked-Up Fitness T-Shirt, Prenatal + After Baby DVD’s (now available for instant access via Digital Streaming!)


Live Life Fit Food Scale + Blender Bottle by Fitlosophy


Accell Bag by Live Well 360 – makes a great diaper/mom bag too!


Fabletics Active Wear by Kate Hudson – enjoy 50% off your first order when you sign up!


Teecino – LOVE this non-tea / non-coffee / no Caffeine – great for pregnant & nursing mamas!


Have a wonderful Holiday Season!


POPSUGAR Live! 4 At-Home Prenatal & Postpartum Exercises {Video}

Fitting in time to exercise as a new or expectant mom can be challenging– especially with the upcoming holiday season! I recently talked with Lindsay Miller from POPSUGAR Moms, to share tips for getting an awesome workout in at home, and maintaining a fitness routine when you`re strapped for time! So check it out below!

Be sure to check out some of the Knocked-Up Fitness prenatal workouts and videos you can definitely fit in at home, no matter how much time you have to dedicate to working out today! As always, listen to your body and check with your doctor to be sure you’re cleared to exercise.



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Foam Rolling to Release Tension in Your Lower Back! {Video}

Many pregnant and new moms experience low back and hip pain.  These simple release exercises using a foam roller can really help release the tension in your lower back and hips. As always be sure to discuss your workouts with your doctor and if something doesn’t feel good for your body, don’t do it!


Incorporate these releases in your daily workout routine. It’s best to do after you’re warmed up, ideally after you’ve done one of the prenatal workouts or squats with rotation. Then again if needed at the very end of your workout.

Keep up the great “work”outs mamas!


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Prenatal Visits: 9 Questions to Ask Your Doctor


Visiting the doctor during pregnancy can make you feel like you’re in the hot seat — What have you been eating? How have you been feeling? Have you been exercising? With all the information that gets thrown at us, a simple prenatal check-up can leave you with more questions than answers. During every stage of pregnancy it is easy to forget that our doctors are there to answer our questions, too!
Your healthcare provider primary role is to ensure mom and baby are healthy, and to make you feel comfortable and confident. Once you find the right healthcare provider for your pregnancy, you can ease your mind and connect to your pregnancy by asking lots of questions. Healthcare experts welcome questions from expectant mothers, expect that you will have concerns, and agree that asking questions can help you feel more confident and connected throughout your pregnancy.
With everything that’s happening in and to your body, it can be difficult to remember everything you want to ask. So in addition to sharing your medical history and writing down any questions or concerns you have as you think of them during the day, use this list of 9 questions healthcare providers want you to ask to understand your pregnancy health.


1) My Weekly Measurement Results?
Knowing your weight changes, blood pressure, bump measurements (fundal height) and baby’s heart rate can help you gauge, in hard numbers, how your pregnancy is progressing. Asking your healthcare provider about average ranges and his or her expectations for you based on your current health can help ease your mind if you aren’t familiar with these diagnostic tools.

2) Do’s and Don’ts?
While these are usually guidelines, your healthcare provider will be able to provide you with an up to date list of safe and unsafe activities and foods during pregnancy. Additionally, your doctor will address any individual primary tests that show potential for complication; for example high blood pressure or placental issues, and what you should do or avoid to reduce your risk for complication.

3) Nutritional Guidance?

In addition to recommending you take a prenatal vitamin and increase your water intake, your healthcare provider can provide you with standard nutritional guidance and recommended servings, as well as personalized suggestions based on your specific health needs, for example, providing a list of iron-rich food if your blood work indicates low iron.

4) Are my Meds Safe?
Confirm with your doctor that all medications you’re currently taken are safe, or ask about safe alternatives. Recent studies have linked some anti-depressants taken during pregnancy to a variety of complications after birth. Contraindications between medication and pregnancy are not uncommon, so be sure to share with your healthcare provider any medication (including your vitamin) you take, and ask them to confirm they are safe for pregnancy. Don’t stop taking any regular, necessary medications without talking to your healthcare provider, and ask for substitution medications that are safe for pregnancy for conditions where medication is necessary.

5) What Testing is Recommended?
Many healthcare providers differ in what testing they regard as necessary versus voluntary, and testing can vary based on a woman’s age, health, and medical history. When choosing a healthcare provider be sure to ask their position on tests such as nuchal translucency ultrasounds, amniocentesis, CVS, quad screen, and Alpha-fetoprotein analysis– do some research as well as asking your doctor what each of these tests are for and how they are performed. Additionally you can ask when standard tests, such as gestational diabetes testing and routine ultrasounds, are performed.

6) Appointment Frequency?
Standard prenatal healthcare (without complications) will mean that your healthcare provider should see you once a month until 30 weeks, every other week until 36 weeks, then every week until delivery. Some doctors, especially when expectant moms experience complications, will require more visits. Additionally you should ask if they will be seeing you for the duration of the pregnancy, or if you will be required to switch doctors at any point in the pregnancy.

7) Is This Normal?
Questions about your symptoms may seem uninteresting and can often be embarrassing (gassy, anyone?), but rest assured your healthcare provider has heard it before and can often offer solutions, remedies, and peace of mind when those pregnancy symptoms are making you worry– or driving you crazy!

8) Who Do I Call for Emergencies?

If your doctor doesn’t provide after-hours care for emergencies or questions, it’s important to ask who your next contact is, for example which hospital they recommend or another doctor they work closely with. If complications arise, such as spotting or unusual pain be sure you understand whether your doctor will take calls or expects you to go directly to the hospital.

9) Who will Deliver Baby & Where?

Your healthcare provider is human, they may take vacation or leave, and in some places doctors are not on call for deliveries. Confirming with your doctor whether he or she will be delivering the baby or if it will be an on-call doctor when the time comes is an important step in preparing for delivery. You will also want to know ahead of time what hospital you will deliver at, so you can do a hospital tour. If you’ll be scheduling a c-section or induction, ask about birthing options and what doctors will be working with you.

Armed with these questions and some research, you’ll be able to confidently walk out of each doctors appointment during your pregnancy feeling reassured and confident.

~ Julianna

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Real Mom Blogs: 30 Weeks Pregnant

Baby 1

30 Week Bump Update:

Ten weeks to go! The bi-weekly appointments start now, which is super exciting because we get to hear baby’s heart beat more often, check my weight (yes, I look forward to it!), and get reassurance that everything is still going well.  At my appointment this week we also confirmed some very exciting news: baby is head down– although the toes-in-ribs pains I’ve been having were really the only confirmation I needed!
As I get closer to my final weeks, I’ve realized that I have been really lucky again this pregnancy– no major complications, no swelling or high-blood pressure (so far). I think I can attribute a lot of my health to staying active and trying to maintain healthy eating habits, and I am so grateful for the two amazing pregnancy experiences I’ve had.
This week I had the time (and energy!) to try incorporate a few different body weight exercises into my routine– I’m finding adjusted movements like standing wall push-ups and some yoga poses (warrior variations and tree pose for example) have really helped my balance and stability. I also busted out the resistance band and tried one of the Knocked-Up Fitness videos I hadn’t yet.  This one really helped the tension in my back– along with a good burn in the arms!
More About Baby:
Measuring in around 16.5 inches, and weighing about 3lbs, the little one isn’t quite so little anymore– and is occupying a lot of space.  At this point I can absolutely, without doubt tell that this pregnancy I am carrying very different than with my first. My first seemed to be curled up in a ball, I had a basketball belly.  This baby seems to prefer a starfish approach to getting comfy– making me look a lot more wide, all the way around.  Below I’ll post a shot of me at 30 weeks with baby #1 for comparison… With both babies it would serve to note I gained 17lbs at 30 weeks, so at this point they are on par.
30 Week Bump with Baby #1
Baby 1
Baby is continuing to gain good fats, and a protein rich diet is extremely important in the final weeks as little one’s brain is making rapid developments.  At this point baby is curling up and folding, since he or she is running out of room in there, and amniotic fluid is slowly decreasing (there’s about a liter in there now).  At 30 weeks mini is taking in all the surroundings and will actually have some ability to remember his surroundings and what he sees, even though it won’t be that exciting yet.  Although every baby develops differently, at this point the last thing left to complete baby’s development is the lungs– which will take a few more weeks, while he gains a little weight to make stay cozy on the outside.
More About Mom:
This week several common symptoms begin to take flight– restless legs, especially in the evenings, can be annoying and difficult to ignore.  I’ve found that a few total body stretches before bed can help me get comfortable, relaxed, and reduce the severity of tingly limbs and muscle discomfort.  Some of my favorites are Cat-Cow and Mermaid!  The seventh month itch might creep in soon too (I am very diligent with my body lotion, and it seems to be helping), since the baby is growing, belly is stretching, and the final months are when most pregnant mamas notice itchiness and even some stretch marks. You can’t control stretch marks, but keeping well hydrated is good for your skin and body– so keep drinking plenty of water!
I’ve also noticed a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions lately, which is something new to me, since I never really had them with my first.  I tend to notice them when I’m on my feet for long periods of time, or if I’m not drinking enough water (another good reason to keep hydrated!).  While most times Braxton Hicks are just your body’s way of practicing, be sure to call your doctor if they become regular, painful, are accompanied by cramping or fluid– or if you experience a change in how they feel.  I usually get 3 or 4 at a time, and then they’re done, and normally they will stop if I sit down, have some water, or trying to stretch out a little to make some room in there.  Whatever you’re coping mechanism for Braxton Hicks, its always a good idea to mention to you doctor how often you’re experiencing them and discuss ways to help make you more comfortable.
At appointments now there are a few main aspects of your body that get the most attention: weight, blood pressure, belly measurement, and baby’s heartbeat. Doctors will usually ask how you’re feeling, so be honest and always discuss if you’re feeling excessively tired or are experiencing different symptoms.  As baby grows to a full-sized newborn inside, becoming more tired and uncomfortable can be expected, but good nutrition, staying hydrated, and including some gentle exercises and stretches with your doctors approval can make a world of difference for your quality of life– allowing you to enjoy your final weeks as a pregnant mama!
~ Julianna
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Sweat Pregnant Mamas, Sweat!

sweat pregnant mamas!

Staying active during pregnancy has several physical and emotional benefits for mom— including increased energy, reduced complications and pains, easier labor and recovery, and an elevated mood.  A new study out of the University of Montreal recently found that participating in an exercise routine during pregnancy can also has a positive effect on baby!

sweat pregnant mamas!

The study followed two groups of women during their pregnancy.  The first group participated in 20 minutes of moderate exercise at least 3 days a week, while the second group maintained a sedentary lifestyle. after the babies were born, researchers measured brain activity and electrical responses through a soft electrode hat.  They found that in the infants of active mothers, brain activity was associated with what would be expected of a more mature brain, and their responses indicated that baby’s brain developed more rapidly than that of their sedentary classmates.  The researchers plan to test the babies again at one year old to see if these effects are long-term.

This study is an amazing contribution to the world of prenatal fitness– since many people receive mixed messages about the safety of maintaining an exercise routine during pregnancy. We know that exercise helps release endorphins which make us feel happier and reduce stress, and exercise increases blood flow; both of which lead to better blood flow to baby’s brain.  As long as your doctor has approved you for moderate exercise during pregnancy, it is now clear the benefits of sweating it out a few times a week are extended to baby.

It is also important to note that the monitoring of lifestyles and exercise habits of the ladies in this study did not start until the second trimester, so if you’ve skipped the gym during the first trimester due to fatigue or nausea, it is never too late to reap the benefits of prenatal exercise!



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