Erica: Tell us a little about yourself. Kristen: Hi! My name is Kristen, and I am 33 years old, born and raised in Southern New Jersey, where I still reside with my husband and 2 sons.  Our first-born is almost 20 months old, and our new little guy is a little over 6 weeks old. I thought it would be helpful to share some more background information about why I am so passionate about health and fitness.  It all started when it was taking me a long time to get pregnant the first time around.  For almost the entire time we were trying to conceive, I was not living the healthiest lifestyle. I was pretty inactive, and my eating habits weren’t great.  Six months before we conceived, I had recently joined Instagram; I started to find and follow fitness accounts and began to learn about different workout programs and nutrition. At that time, I became really motivated to make some major changes in my nutrition and lifestyle.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding="0"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="8334" img_size="medium" alignment="center"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1547501787017{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}"]I cut out processed foods such as frozen meals, “diet foods,” “fat-free” foods, etc. I began eating 5 small meals a day of clean, whole foods, and I did not count calories.  I started working out consistently for the first time ever at 30 years old. I also believe strongly in balance – when it comes to eating and exercising I did and still do have treat meals here and there, and I don’t stress about it!  I also made it a goal to stay really hydrated and upped my water intake tremendously.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding="0"][vc_column][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1547501794350{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}"]In about 6 months, I had lost almost 20 pounds, and finally became pregnant!  I don’t think it was a coincidence that this finally happened after I made those changes to my lifestyle!  We were so excited, and I wanted to make sure that I stayed active and healthy during my pregnancy as well! Since then, I have never looked back, and I continued to live a healthy lifestyle post baby #1, during my second pregnancy (which happened as soon as we started trying this time around!), and now during my 2nd postpartum period.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding="0"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1547501806434{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}"]Erica: What was your overall pregnancy, birth and recovery experience with your first? Kristen: I had a great first pregnancy in that my energy was good, and I never really became very uncomfortable.  I continued to work out (although I do not think I chose the “right” workouts which I will get to later!) and eat well for the majority of my pregnancy.  I ended up having to be medically induced after I waited for my son to come on his own for almost 2 weeks past his due date (which is the longest my OB-GYN would allow).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="8336" img_size="medium" alignment="center"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding="0"][vc_column][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1547502507390{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}"]The induction process, for me, was long and grueling! I believe it was about 20 hours before I finally had my baby in my arms!  I was able to have him vaginally after nearly having to have a c-section because of how long I was taking to progress, despite the doctor breaking my water the day before. I opted for an epidural, however, it didn’t fully work for me, so it was a painful experience between the contractions from Pitocin and pushing for about an hour. My recovery was rough as well. I started off my recovery being completely exhausted from the induction, labor, and delivery process, and physically, I had a lot of healing to do.  I felt weak, and it was difficult to get up and around when I was in the hospital and in the early days at home. Erica: How often did you workout during your first pregnancy? Kristen: I worked out about 4 days per week. I have an elliptical at home, so I used that a lot. For toning workouts, I used some workout DVDs that were not prenatal specific, so I attempted to modify those workouts when I didn’t feel like an exercise felt safe for pregnancy.  I wish I had invested in workouts specifically for toning and strengthening the right muscles for pregnant women.  I remember doing a lot of arm workouts because I was unsure of what was safe for my core and lower body, and you don’t exactly use your arms when you’re in labor haha! I also did some prenatal Youtube workouts, but I wasn’t completely satisfied there either. One in particular that I remember was a prenatal Pilates series that felt like it placed too much pressure on the center of my abdomen {not your Prenatal Pilates workouts – I wish I had known about them with my first!}. I remember having “coning” of my abdomen while doing those Pilates core workouts, which I knew wasn’t good, so I discontinued them sometime in my second trimester and never resumed any core workouts for the duration of my pregnancy. That was not helpful when it came time for delivery, so I knew that the second time around, I would need to do more research and get in better shape for the marathon of labor and delivery![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding="0"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="8335" img_size="medium" alignment="center"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1547501882647{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}"]Erica: Now let’s talk about your 2nd pregnancy, and congratulations again! How was your experience this time around different? Kristen: My overall pregnancy was similar in that I stayed active and ate healthy (although I was more tired this time around because I had a young toddler to keep up with!), but I think that the workouts that I chose this time around helped me tremendously in the preparation for labor and delivery because this time around, my labor and delivery was the polar opposite of my first experience![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding="0"][vc_column][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1547502013558{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}"]On Tuesday, March 1st, I had no signs of labor starting anytime soon. My due date was in 2 days, and I wasn’t really progressing on my own at all; I was examined the day before. I was sure I would have to be induced again but still was hoping that my workouts would help me have an easier, smoother birth experience this time around.  My best friend and her son came over that day, and we took a walk with our boys, hoping something would happen.  That night (well early the next day) I woke up at 1:49am with my first contraction.  My labor progressed so quickly that by the time we arrived at the hospital, I was already 10cm dilated! Before I knew it, I was on the table and getting ready to push! No time for an epidural this time!  My OB didn’t even make it to the hospital in time, and a resident OB delivered our son.  I pushed 4 times, for about 10 or 15 minutes, and at 4:51 am on March 2nd, we met our little boy! It was so surreal, and we realized that we almost didn’t make it to the hospital in time! Those moments after delivery are such a blur because it was such a crazy experience that took only 3 hours total from when I felt my first contraction to when I was holding our son! Erica: That’s incredible! How do you feel staying active played an important role? And how often did you workout with your 2nd? Kristen: I invested in your Knocked-Up Fitness and Wellness Prenatal Sculpt DVD at the beginning of my second trimester (I was too fatigued to do anything other than chasing my toddler around in the first trimester, and I really believe in listening to your body and not putting too much pressure on yourself…after all, you are making a human!). Erica: Well said Kristen – I couldn’t agree more! Listen to your body mama, I say it all the time! Kristen: I stuck with your workouts all the way until the day before I had my 2nd baby! I worked out 4 times a week, and along with using my elliptical this time around again, I made it a goal to do the Prenatal Core Workout from your DVD 3 times a week, and I also did the Booty Sculpting and Prenatal Cardio Segments as well. I would mix and match those toning and elliptical sessions and worked out for about 35-45 minutes a day, 4 times per week. I had a fast, easy delivery and a super fast recovery this time! I truly believe that doing the right workouts this time, which focused on strengthening the muscles that we need for pushing (which I learned from your DVD are your deep core/transverse abdominals) and for a smoother recovery, really helped me have a totally different experience this time around. My husband told me that I looked “really strong” when I was pushing and that was the best compliment to hear because I felt like all my hard work paid off when it mattered most! Erica: That’s wonderful to hear you say! Now, what about your postpartum recovery – do you feel there’s a difference this time vs. your first postpartum recovery? Kristen: This time I didn’t have so much healing to do afterward! I pushed really effectively the second time and felt that all the right muscles were engaged during that process.  While in the hospital, I was up and around and felt so much better than the first time around.  As soon as we got home, we were out taking family walks, and I was going up and down the stairs, etc. without really missing a beat. I started working out gently at around 4 weeks postpartum and have been loving your Knocked Up Fitness Pilates-Infused Functional Workouts from the After Baby Program. They’re short, effective, and safe for postpartum Moms while they are still healing; plus, I love having the workouts on my iPad so I can literally do them anywhere. Erica: Anything else you’d like to share with our mama’s? Kristen: Make small goals for yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself during your pregnancy and postpartum period.  If you can make a goal to get active for say 15-20 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week, your Knocked Up Fitness workouts are perfect for that, as they are all about 15-20 minutes.  If you have some more time or are feeling energized after a short workout, you can mix and match and do another segment, or get outside and take a walk. The same goes for your eating habits. You don’t have to obsess over every meal and be perfect, just do your best to eat well for your baby and still allow treats and indulgences once in awhile! Get creative with fitting in your workouts.  I’ve done workouts on my mat in my kitchen while my toddler eats a meal and while my baby is on his playmat.  Don’t feel guilty about taking some time for yourself. You will be a happier Mama when you carve out some time for you! Consider making a fitness Instagram account to connect with other like-minded pregnant and postpartum Mamas! You can get ideas and keep each other motivated and accountable! Instagram is how I found out about Knocked Up Fitness in the first place, and I am so glad I did! My Instagram is @fit.balanced.mama; if you want to find me and connect, that’s where to find me!

Thanks Kristen for sharing your story!

Mamas, if you’ve been working out with any of my workouts or programs during or after pregnancy and have a story you’d like to share you can reach out and email me at

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