The Active Mom’s Holiday Gift Guide

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

 

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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!

~Erica

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Prenatal Visits: 9 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

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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.

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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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Sources:

Macleans.ca

Real Mom Blogs: 30 Weeks Pregnant

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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!
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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!

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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!

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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!

 

 Julianna

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Related Knocked-Up Fitness Posts:

 

Sources:

CBC.ca

WebMD

Pregnancy Exercise and Placenta Previa

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Most doctors encourage pregnant women (and all individuals!) to include exercise in their daily routine. Women diagnosed with placenta previa during pregnancy can often be discouraged from or nervous about exercising, due to risk of bleeding and early labor. This condition, which refers to an irregular placement of the placenta on the uterine wall, affects about 0.05% of first time moms, and about 1-2% of moms who have experienced it in previous pregnancies.

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While every pregnancy is individual, cutting out exercise entirely isn’t always necessary for those experiencing placenta previa. Adjusted workouts during pregnancy can reduce complications and complaints, so it is important to talk to your doctors about which workouts are suitable for your pregnancy and your health.

A diagnosis of placenta previa traditionally comes in four grades. First grade placenta previa describes placental placement in the lower segment of the internal orifice of the uterus (the opening where baby would eventually come out during a vaginal birth). Second grade refers to a situation where the placenta reaches the orifice, while in third and fourth grade previa the placenta either partially or completely covers the uterine opening, respectively. Each grade also carries increasing risk of bleeding and premature labor– why many moms diagnosed with placenta previa are on low-activity or bed rest.

Depending on the grade and severity of placenta previa, there are a number of low intensity exercises that are suitable during the entire pregnancy. In many cases, a slow paced walking routine or elliptical machine can be safe and comfortable, as well as providing some cardiovascular activity, and helping mom maintain strength and muscle during pregnancy. Discuss a low intensity walking routine with your doctor, beginning as early in pregnancy as possible for about 30 minutes a day, as long as the pregnancy progresses normally.

Another option for women experiencing placenta previa is low impact yoga and Pilates. It is important to eliminate or modify stretches that involve deep squats or involve abdominal pressure. In all exercises that involve twisting, the twist motion should be performed at shoulder level, avoiding twisting the abdomen and pelvis. You may choose to include variations to poses and exercises with the support of foam blocks or chairs, to support the pelvic floor. The goal is to maintain muscle strength in the legs, arms, and back, and to reduce the risk of clotting by encouraging blood flow, which can become an issue when on bed rest. Simple stretches for the arms, ankle rotations, and even deep breathing exercises can be safe even for those with fourth degree placenta previa, and can reduce the aches and pains associated with bed rest.

Enjoying even a low-intensity exercise routine can benefit your physical health, your mood, and your baby’s health, as long as individually appropriate exercises are being performed. Don’t let the diagnosis of placenta previa scare you out of staying healthy. Talk to your doctor about your individual health before beginning any exercise routine. Please remember, never continue to exercise if you experience spotting or bleeding, cramping, abdominal pain or dizziness, and be sure to contact your doctor if these symptoms persist. 

Julianna

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Sources:

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Prenatal & After Baby Digital Videos Now Available!

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They are finally here! Both Prenatal & After Baby Videos are available online for digital streaming! Login from anywhere you have internet access and start working out right away plus enjoy the additional printouts you can take along with you.

Prenatal Digital Program also includes a printout of every exercise in the workouts + 4 NEW bonus printable workouts + updated trimester specific workout schedules!

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After Baby Digital Program includes all 10 workout videos + a printable of the Bonus Booklet which includes Beginner – Intermediate – Advanced workout schedules! These workouts are  more then just for moms right after baby, they are also designed for moms of any age, even if it’s been 20 years since having your last baby! Start at the beginner level workouts and work your way up to the much more intense workouts, they will leave you feeling the burn tomorrow!

After Baby Workout

Coming soon is my Knocked-Up Fitness Guide to Pregnancy!