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Finding Time for Yourself (When It Feels Like You Have None)

Anyone else feeling like you’re stuck on a Groundhog-Day-Hamster-Wheel-Mom-Hangover? The days are jumbling together, the number of times we’re hearing the name “Mom/Mama/Mommy” has increased by 230498, the number of homemade meals we’ve had to make has skyrocketed, and the walls are starting to feel like they are closing in. WE ARE FEELING IT. If you feel like you want to hide in the bathroom with the doors and windows locked just to sit in peace for a second, we get it. If you’re feeling like you need to hide in the closet with a glass of wine, we get it. If you’re feeling increased anxiety, depression, or fear, we get it. All of these feelings are valid, as what we are all going through in the world right now is *not our normal*.

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20-Minute At-Home-Friendly Stroller Workout

With school dismissals and shelter-in-place orders continually going into affect throughout the country — and world — it’s crucial to listen to local and national government to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by social distancing, limiting social interactions, washing hands, and disinfecting high-traffic surfaces. That being said, movement and exercise is more important than ever, as staying home can absolutely make you stir crazy. Your mental health needs a workout more than ever, so we created one you can still do with your kids in a stroller, while social distancing. (You can also do all of these moves solo, without a stroller as well.)

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7 Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes To Cook This Week

If you’re buttoning down the hatches this week then you’ll be looking for some high protein, family-friendly meals that can be cooked in bulk and frozen. Get the slow cooker out and keep reading. Here are some delicious slow cooker recipes for you to get your teeth into.

1 Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese

from our website: Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Bolognese cooked in the slow cooker is an easy way to create a very rich, delicious, high protein meal. You know how mince dishes always taste better the next day once the mince has had a chance to absorb more of the flavour from the sauce? Well cooking mince in a slow cooker gives you that delicious, rich taste on day one, straight out of the pot.

BONUS: Download a FREE SLOW COOKER recipe ebook with 3 more delicious recipes

2 The Best Crockpot Meatloaf

from The Chunky Chef

The Best Crockpot Meatloaf is a great way to enjoy classic comfort food, with less stress, and dinner is ready when you get home!  No more waiting over an hour for meatloaf after you get home from work.

3 Slow Cooker Cuban Pork

from The Magical Slow Cooker

Citrus and garlic cook all day with a pork shoulder, this makes a tender and flavorful shredded meat.

4 Slow Cooker Asian Pork Casserole

from our website: Slow Cooker Asian Pork Casserole

The original recipe for Asian Pork Casserole is in the 3rd High Protein Handbook. It’s not one of the most cooked recipes but it’s delicious and should get more acclaim, that’s why we’ve done a slow cooker modification for you. It’s very easy to make and it’s got a delicious rich, spicy flavou

5 Slow Cooker Beer Braised Chipotle Chicken Tacos

from Slow Cooker Gourmet

Why not switch up your taco night and enjoy these Slow Cooker Beer Braised Chipotle Chicken Tacos this week!

6 Slow Cooker Irn Bru Chicken

irn bru chicken

from our website: Slow Cooker Irn Bru Chicken

Whisky sauce, haggis, porridge, neeps and tatties and a deep fried Mars Bar are some ‘traditional’ Scottish delights you will certainly have come across. However, you’ve probably never seen a recipe that features our favourite drink – Irn Bru – until now……

7 Slow Cooker Chilli Beef Brisket

from Slow Cooker Club

If you’re a spicy food fan but fancy trying something a little different, then you’ll love this recipe.

Before you leave….

BONUS: Download a FREE SLOW COOKER recipe ebook with 3 more delicious recipes

The post 7 Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes To Cook This Week appeared first on Food For Fitness.

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Is HypnoBirthing Effective?

HypnoBirthing is a new buzz word going around that is leaving women asking is HypnoBirthing effective?

So, I have a few follow up questions to ask you:

  • When you imagine your ideal birth, what do you see?
  • Are you too nervous to think about it or can you allow yourself to visualize your perfect experience?

More often than not, that visualization is inhibited by fear. We’ve been conditioned to believe that birth can be painful and even traumatic. The mothers who had a natural, unmedicated experience are believed to be the exception, not the rule. But HypnoBirthing challenges these notions. 

HypnoBirthing is based on the belief that birth is natural and doesn’t have to be painful!

How Is HypnoBirthing Done?

If we can trust our bodies to breathe, we can trust our bodies to bring a baby into this world. HypnoBirthing classes guide expectant mothers through the instinctive process that is birth, thus dispelling the myths that often surround it. We learn that fear initiates the release of restrictor hormones that slow labor and make it painful. Alternatively, remaining relaxed encourages the release of endorphins that create a more pleasurable state. When your systems are free to function optimally, you can more easily embrace an empowering, calm birth.

As intuitive as these processes are, the skills taught in class help prepare your mind and body for the special day. HypnoBirthing focuses heavily on breath, deep relaxation exercises, visualization techniques and light touch massage, all of which become second nature after some practice. These fundamental and impactful tools are always accompanied by a thorough, evidence-based educational portion that teaches the science of how your body works beautifully through the birthing process. With this comprehensive approach, the mother gains even more confidence in her abilities.

What To Expect From HypnoBirthing

During the five weekly 2.5 hour classes, as the mother awakens to what her body knew all along, her birth companion learns how to be the support that she needs. This aspect was the most meaningful for me personally during my birth. The insight and practice that my husband received during the course ended up making all the difference in how my twins were born and saved me from unnecessary medical interventions. 

My Birth Story 

When I went into labor at 38 weeks and 5 days, I thought it was going to be quick and easy. I had visualized the birth that I wanted, but that was threatened the minute I entered the birthing center. None of my regular doctors were on call and a fill-in doctor was there instead. She disregarded my birth preferences that the other doctors had agreed to and decided that she would perform a c-section. Completely shocked, but still confident in my body’s ability for a natural, unmedicated birth, I remained in my relaxation bubble. My husband also took on the role that he had prepared for and relentlessly spoke with the staff. He managed to convince them to call another doctor who agreed to arrive for the birth itself. That is exactly what happened! After only 4 hours of labor, my son and then daughter were born!

HypnoBirthing was not only paramount in shaping the outcome of my birth, but it also empowered my postpartum journey. The emphasis on bonding with your unborn baby (or babies) made the first few days less terrifying. The relaxation techniques that I learned helped me more easily breastfeed.

Although there is no one size fits all birth, and sometimes interventions can be necessary, I can share firsthand that the more prepared, relaxed and confident you and your birth companion are, the greater the chance that your baby can be born as you imagine. I truly hope that all expectant mothers give themselves the opportunity to learn more about HypnoBirthing and reclaim control of their births!

Gal Shyli became a Knocked Up Fitness® Exercise Specialist after her positive experiences with the Knocked-Up Fitness® prenatal membership and Erica Ziel’s postpartum Core Rehab program. She is also a Marie Mongan HypnoBirthingⓇ Childbirth Educator and hopes to empower women to achieve their ideal birth. You can find her on Instagram @galshyli or email her at [email protected]

The post Is HypnoBirthing Effective? appeared first on Knocked-Up Fitness®.

8 Fitness Experts You Must Follow On Instagram In 2020

Here are some of the top fitness accounts on Instagram, who don’t just post selfies and bootie shots….

1. Ben Carpenter (@bdccarpenter)

Ben constantly posts quality nutrition advice in the form of helpful studies (without the science babble), videos and the odd infographic. Worth a follow!

 

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2. Scott Baptie (@ScottBaptie)

Sorry, this is shameless but I can’t do a round-up without including me in it. Recipes, fitness infographics along with cute dog and baby photos.

 

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3. Nichola Ludlam-Raine (@nicsnutrition)

Nic is a dietician specialising in bariatric surgery but her IG feed is packed with tasty recipes and useful nutrition tips.

 

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4. Graeme Tomlinson (@thefitnesschef_)

Aberdeen lad Graeme has risen to fame with his excellent infographics dispelling myths left, right and centre. Watch out for his new book coming soon!

 

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5. Lucy Mountain (@lucymountain)

Previously thefashionfitnessfoodie – Lucy posts some beautiful graphics challenging clean-eating BS and challenges many other wrongly held ideas in the fitness industry.

 

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6. Dr Joshua Wolrich (@drjoshuawolrich)

NHS Surgical Doctor fighting weight stigma also been on the podcast chatting about celery juice: FFF 138: Calling BS On Celery Juice, Alkaline Cleanses & Raw Keto Vegan Paleo Carnivore Diets On Instagram – with Dr Joshua Wolrich

 

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7. Aadam Ali (@physiqonomics)

When a fantastic illustrator is also a fitness expert you can be guaranteed the IG posts are going to be superb.

 

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8. Megan Rossi (@theguthealthdoctor)

Dr Megan Rossi (PhD, RD, APD) is the queen of gut health. Her page is packed full of helpful info if you want to get that good gut feeling.

 

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The post 8 Fitness Experts You Must Follow On Instagram In 2020 appeared first on Food For Fitness.

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Full-Body Babywearing Workout

Any mom knows it’s hard to sneak in a workout when you’re chasing after a little munchkin (or they’re chasing after you). With this full-body babywearing workout, you can wear your little one while adding some movement into your day. 

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Modifying Workouts While Pregnant

If you love your current workout classes and want to continue throughout your pregnancy, we’re here to help! By modifying workouts while pregnant to accommodate your growing baby bump, you can continue to enjoy the classes you love with the community you have built!  

While it would be ideal for all trainers to know how to modify certain movements for pregnancy, unfortunately, not all do. So…we highly recommend educating yourself so you can come prepared to your workout class. 

Here are 3 modifications that you can begin incorporating into your workouts:

  1. Eliminate Crunches. Replace any crunches or crunch-type movements with hip rolls or planks. These two exercises can help you activate that pelvic floor and deep core without causing Diastasis Recti, incontinence (peeing your paints) and pelvic floor dysfunction. 
  2. Refrain From Stomach Movements. As you move further into your pregnancy, you will want to refrain from doing any exercises that require you lay on your stomach. You can still strengthen your mid-back by doing standing rotational movements or planks. 
  3. Avoid Movements Putting A Lot Of Pressure On Your Pelvic Floor. As your baby bump grows, your pelvic floor has to work harder and harder to hold up your baby. Added pressure from running or jumping rope can cause incontinence (peeing your pants) and pelvic floor dysfunction. Walking is a great alternative because it offers you a great workout without the added pressure on your pelvic floor. 

Modifying workouts while pregnant can strengthen and empower you throughout your entire pregnancy, postpartum + beyond! For additional modifications + to learn more about modifying movements during pregnancy, check out the Knocked-Up Fitness® Membership!

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Mermaid Stretches During Pregnancy

Mermaid stretches are a great active stretch to do during all trimesters of pregnancy as well as postpartum. This exercise really works to open up those tight hips, belly + chest! 

  • Sit up tall in the mermaid position. 
    • If this feels too tight in your hips, roll up a towel and place it under your bum. 
  • Lightly engage your pelvic floor, lifting up from underneath your belly.
    • You want to be lightly hugging your baby.
  • Take your arm back behind you and use your booty to help lift you up.
  • Lift your other arm, feeling the opposition from your fingertips to the palm of your back hand. 
  • Take an inhale at the top.
  • On your exhale, lift tall as you come back down.
  • Do three on each side and then switch.

If you are doing these mermaid stretches during pregnancy and find that one side feels more restricted than the other, that is absolutely ok! Use a towel if needed or go back to the side that is tight and do a few more to help open things up. 

During pregnancy + early postpartum, you want to make sure you are actively stretching verse just sitting in a stretched position. When you actively stretch, you create opposition, strength + stability in the ligaments and joints. Make sure you are lengthening + connecting through your body for maximum benefit! 

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How To Safely Do Squats During Pregnancy

How To Safely Do Squats During Pregnancy!

Squats can be a great exercise during pregnancy because they not only help keep your legs, glutes + core strong, but they can also help alleviate hip pain, SI joint pain and rebalance your pelvis. Before you jump in, here are a few tips to keep in mind to safely do squats during pregnancy. 

  1. As you progress through your pregnancy, you may notice that you are not able to go as low into your squats as you previously have. That is absolutely ok! Make sure you are only moving through a range of motion that feels good for your body. 
  2. You should also never feel any pulling or tension in your low back. If you start to feel this, reconnect through your pelvic floor + deep core and shorten your range of motion. 
  3. Avoid tucking your bum and/or over-arching your back. This can cause your pelvic floor + deep core connection to shut off and put unnecessary pressure on your low back.

Parallel Squats
  • On your inhale, breathe into your sides and deep into your back.
  • On your exhale, lightly connect through the pelvic floor and low belly. 
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and lengthening through the top of your head.
  • As you lower down, make sure your weight is evenly distributed through your feet (this includes your toes!)
  • As you come up, keep that light connection in your pelvic floor + low belly.
  • Use the muscles on the underside of your bum to help bring you up.
Medial Squats
  • Rotate your feet slightly inward.
  • On your inhale, breathe into your sides and deep into your back.
  • On your exhale, lightly connect through the pelvic floor and low belly. 
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and lengthening through the top of your head.
  • As you lower down, send your booty back, avoiding any tension or pulling in your low back.
  • You want to feel some spreading of those sits bones (bony parts of your bum).
  • As you come up, keep that light connection in your pelvic floor + low belly.
  • Use the muscles on the underside of your bum to bring you up.
Wide Squats
  • Take your feet out wide.
  • On your inhale, breathe into your sides and deep into your back.
  • On your exhale, lightly connect through the pelvic floor and low belly.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and lengthening through the top of your head.
  • As you lower down, make sure your weight is evenly distributed through your feet (this includes your toes!).
  • As you come up, keep that light connection in your pelvic floor + low belly.
  • Use the muscles on the underside of your bum to bring you up.

I recommend doing 3 sets of 10-20 reps of each squat. This can help you stay strong, energized + feeling your best throughout your entire pregnancy! 

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What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag

What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag

As your due date approaches, it’s a good time to start packing your hospital bag. To ensure you, your partner and your new bundle of joy are as comfortable as possible, here are some essentials we recommend you include in your go bag.
Upon Check-In
  • Insurance Information
  • Photo ID
  • Birth Plan
Labor + Delivery
  • Massage aids/tools
    • Roller ball
    • Foam roller
    • Massage ball
    • Unscented lotion
  • Water bottle
  • Hair tie
  • Extra-long sheet for partner pressure relief
  • Birth ball (if your hospital doesn’t provide you with one)
  • Pair of socks for walking the hospital halls
  • Swim suit for hydrotherapy
  • Snacks (enough for you + your partner)
    • Honey sticks
    • Granola bars
    • Veggie + fruit slices
Postpartum
  • Nursing bras, tanks and/or bralettes
  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Breast pump (to learn how to use it, if applicable)
  • Robe
  • Zip-up hoodie or nursing cover up for easy access to feed your baby
  • Loose fitting clothes, preferably in black or dark color
  • Change of clothes for your partner
  • Padsicles (ice packs for your queen Victoria)
  • Normal toiletries for you and your partner
    • Shampoo + conditioner
    • Hair brush
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Deodorant
    • Face wash
    • Lotion
    • Bath towel (optional)
  • Cell phone charger
  • Camera
  • Pillow (optional)
  • Other items for your partner
    • Laptop + charger
    • Books + magazines
For Baby
  • Undershirt + sleeper
  • Socks (if sleeper doesn’t have feet)
  • Going home outfit
  • Blanket
  • Infant car seat with instructions
  • Baby book for footprint (optional)
  • Hat and extra blanket for cold weather
  • Mittens to prevent him/her from scratching her face
  • Bath products for hospital to use (optional)
Most hospitals will provide you with a hospital gown, disposable underwear and sanitary pads during your stay. They usually also provide diapers, wipes, a bulb syringe, soap + circumcision supplies for boys (if applicable), undershirts, gowns and blankets for your baby. Check with your hospital to know for sure what they will and won’t provide you with so you know exactly what to pack in your hospital bag!

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Natural Induction Methods

Is There A Way To Jump Start My Labor Process?

As we enter those last weeks of pregnancy, it is completely natural to start researching different natural induction methods to help get the labor + delivery show on the road.

What are some natural induction methods?

Some of the most common methods include:

  • Prenatal Massage
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise
  • Spicy Foods
  • Essential Oils
  • Membrane Stripping
Do these natural methods work?

Sometimes. Most of the methods listed above will not jump-start your labor until your body is actually ready.  If one or more of these methods does happen to get things moving, then great! But I do caution you that using these methods before your body is ready, can sometimes lead to unwanted interventions down the road.

If I did want to try one or more of these natural methods, when is a good time to begin?
  1. If you are 39-41 weeks pregnant and have already started to see signs of labor such as loss of mucus plug or patterned contractions then you could begin trying one or more of these natural induction methods.
  2. If you are having a bigger baby and your OB or Midwife has suggested natural induction methods to help get your labor started.
  3. If you are over-due and need a happy distraction from all the waiting!
Is it ok to wait until my body naturally goes into labor?

Absolutely! Your body has known exactly what to do up until this point. When it’s ready to start the labor process, it will get things moving. In the meantime, I highly recommend you enjoy those last few weeks or days with your partner and/or get some much needed rest + relaxation!

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Pelvic Floor Exercises For Pregnancy

How Do You Know If Your Exercises During Pregnancy Are Good For Your Pelvic Floor?

Before we jump into what exercises you should/shouldn’t be doing during pregnancy, let’s first talk about what your pelvic floor is and the role it plays throughout your pregnancy.

What Is The Pelvic Floor?

Your pelvic floor is much bigger than you may think it is. Think of your pelvic floor as a diamond that runs from sits bone to sits bone (bony parts of your bum) and from the front of your pubic bone to the back of your bum (anus).

What Does My Pelvic Floor Do During Pregnancy?

Your pelvic floor is essentially the base that is holding up your baby + everything else during pregnancy. As you progress through your pregnancy, your pelvic floor has to work harder and harder to hold up your growing baby bump.

Your pelvic floor also plays a major role in your labor + delivery process. Learning how to relax and release your pelvic floor can help you work with your contractions to ease your baby into the world with zero to minimal tearing.

How Do I Safely Engage, Relax + Release My Pelvic Floor?

I want you to sit tall to where it’s comfortable for you and close your eyes.

  • Relax your hips and visualize your pelvic floor spreading.
  • Breathe deep into your back, ribs and pelvic floor.
  • On your exhale, lightly draw that diamond (pelvic floor) together, zip up through your low belly and lengthen tall through the top of your head.
  • On your inhale, let everything relax + release.
  • Repeat multiple times throughout your day to begin creating that muscle memory.
What Exercises Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?

You want to avoid ANY exercise that puts unnecessary stress on your pelvic floor and impacts its function. If at any time you are doing an exercise and experience any incontinence (peeing your pants), stop doing that exercise immediately. Incontinence is your body’s way of telling you that you are putting too much pressure on your pelvic floor. You also want to avoid crunches all together during pregnancy. Doing crunches can shut off your pelvic floor and lead to incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and worsening of diastasis recti (abdominal separation). I also recommend women switch from running to walking as they progress into their pregnancy. While everyone’s bodies are different, the pounding from running can be too much for your pelvic floor to handle so make sure you are listening to your body and if something doesn’t feel good or you start to experience some incontinence (peeing your pants), then it’s time to switch it up!

To learn more, check out the Knocked-Up Fitness® Membership. It is full of great information, tutorials, nutrition tips and workouts that are bump-safe!

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Prenatal Vitamins: Why They Matter + How To Choose

We all know that Prenatal Vitamins are important. But which one is right for you?

Have you ever walked down the vitamin aisle and felt completely overwhelmed by the number of choices? There are so many options out there for prenatal vitamins these days that it’s hard to know which one is right for you.

We’re going to break it down for you from what to do pre-pregnancy to what to look for when selecting a prenatal vitamin!

Pre-Pregnancy. If you are currently trying to get pregnant or planning on starting a family within the next 6 months, it’s recommended that you start a prenatal vitamin now. Why? Because even with the best diet, many women are unable to absorb all the essential vitamins + minerals necessary to support a healthy pregnancy.

If you haven’t been taking a prenatal vitamin, don’t worry! You can start prepping your body for pregnancy, reducing the risk of birth defects and preventing the depletion of your own vitamins + minerals during pregnancy today! Before you start taking just any prenatal vitamin, we’ve put together a few helpful tips when selecting the best prenatal vitamin for you!

TIPS FOR SELECTING THE BEST PRENATAL VITAMIN FOR YOU!
1. Look for a supplement that has little to no iron.

Many women have a hard time breaking down iron and can get enough supplementation from foods such as spinach, lentils, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and red meat.

2. You want a prenatal vitamin with Folate Acid NOT Folic Acid.

Folate is a necessary vitamin in pregnancy that helps promote healthy growth and development but also works to promote ovulation and is the natural version of B6.

3. Choose one that is organic.

The reason this is important is that you avoid any unnecessary fillers and get the purest form of the vitamins + minerals.

Looking for suggestions? Here are 2 prenatal vitamins we recommend:
  1. Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal. This one requires a few pills a day, but it’s extremely high quality and comprehensive. Sarah Morgan is the creator of this product and you can learn all about the science behind her supplements on this episode of my Core Connections Podcast.
  2. Holistic Health Daily Best Prenatal. This prenatal vitamin includes a probiotic which can be extremely helpful during pregnancy. It’s also extremely high quality and comprehensive, but they do recommend you pair it with their Multi-Vitamin for maximum benefit.

Consistency is key when it comes to proper supplementation during pregnancy so make sure you select a prenatal vitamin that is right for you and your body!

Before incorporating any new supplements into your diet, always talk to your Primary Care Physician (PCP) first. They can advise you on how much to take, when to take it and if any of these supplements could potentially conflict with your current medications.  

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Geriatric Pregnancy Explained

We invited Natalie, a Certified Doula to talk with us about geriatric pregnancy. Together, we answer a lot of your questions and dive into a wide range of topics that can help educate, support + empower you to make the best decision for your body + your baby! 

Who is considered “geriatric” or of advanced maternal age?

Anyone who is 35 years of age and older and is pregnant. 

Does being “geriatric” or of advanced maternal age come with increased risk factors?

Yes and No. What we mean is there are a variety of other factors other than age that can impact a woman’s pregnancy. Your health, diet, lifestyle and weight all are contributing factors in determining the level of “risk” associated with your pregnancy. 

Some of the common risk factors that are associated with age are:

  1. Down syndrome 
  2. Pre-eclampsia 
  3. Still birth 

While looking at this list can be scary, I highly encourage you to do your research. The reason being is because when studies say “the risk factor goes up,” that can mean a variety of things. For example, the risk of still birth for women under the age of 35 is 0.6%. At 40, the risk goes up to 0.81%. While the risk does go up, the percentage is still a fraction of 1%. This isn’t the case for all risk factors associated with age, so definitely do your research and talk with your OB or Midwife. 

Should I have a planned C-Section knowing the risks prior to birth?

No. You can absolutely give birth vaginally if you are 35 and older.

If I am of advanced maternal age, should I choose to have the genetic testing done?

This is a personal choice and completely up to you. The most common genetic tests are done at around 10 weeks and again between 15-20 weeks. The first genetic test completed around 10 weeks checks for genetic disorders such as down syndrome and spina bifida. This test is around 99% effective. 

The second round of genetic testing is completed between 15-20 weeks and tests for the same thing along with a few more genetic disorders. This round of testing has around a 50% chance getting a false positive so definitely talk to your OB or Midwife prior to getting this done. 

What additional testing would I need to have done if I get pregnant and am over the age of 35?

There are actually no mandatory tests needed for women over the age of 35. You can choose to have the genetic testing done, but other than that, it completely depends on your health and your provider. 

Some providers will have anyone over the age of 35 go through stress tests beginning at 36 weeks and recommend induction at week 39. This completely depends on your provider, so be sure to talk to them to understand their policies and practices.

Is there an increased risk of postpartum depression, hormone depletion and burn out among those of advanced maternal age?

No, there isn’t any research out there that indicates a woman who is 35 years of age or older is at greater risk.

Do women who are 35 and older have a harder time with breast milk production?

No. Studies have found that women over age 35 actually have an easier time with milk production than those under age 35. 

If I am thinking about getting pregnant and am over the age of 35, are there things I should do proactively? 

Yes! The healthier you are, the better off you’re going to be. For all women over the age of 35, we recommend:

  1. Setting up an appointment with your Physician to do a full physical. 
  2. If you are overweight, obese or have a high BMI rate, try to lose some weight and change your diet to ensure you go into pregnancy as healthy as possible.
  3. Do your research. 

The more prepared you are with questions to ask your Midwife or OB about geriatric pregnancy, the more informed you’re going to be which will help you go into pregnancy with less stress and anxiety!

For help getting your health + fitness on the right track, check out the Knocked-Up Fitness® Membership. You’ll have access to workouts, tutorials, nutrition information, meal plans, recipes and so much more! Your two pre+postnatal coaches are also there to help answer questions, provide motivation and help guide you through every step of your pregnancy journey. 

Coach Annie Tinker is a Certified Birth Doula and mom of 1. Coach Jen has a strength and Physical Therapy background and is also a mom of 2. Jen, like many of us, was considered “geriatric” for both her pregnancies.

Both these women are fantastic resources for you to use while an active member of the Knocked-Up Fitness® Membership! If you want more information about geriatric pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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Getting Your Body Back After Baby!

How many of you are worried about getting your body back after baby? If you nodded your head yes, you’re not alone! We hear this from women all the time and want to give you some excellent advice to help you navigate the unchartered waters of postpartum.

Annie Tinker, Knocked-Up Fitness® Prenatal coach, certified Birth Doula and mom of a 2-year old, answers your questions about how to get your body back after baby. 

1. When is it ok for women to resume physical activity after baby?

Most women are told they can resume physical activity after their 6-week postpartum check-up. While this can be true, I highly recommend listening to your body. If you feel like your body is ready for some activity, start SLOWLY! I recommend beginning with some breath work to begin lightly activating your pelvic floor. This can also be a great stress reliever! 

2. How can women overcome this “go hard or go home” mentality?

Many women feel they need to punish themselves postpartum because they “let themselves go” during pregnancy or feel this intense pressure to look a certain way soon after baby. This mentality is dangerous because doing too much too soon can cause your body to start bleeding again or make any incontinence and/or Diastasis Recti worse. Instead, focus on listening to your body and slowing incorporating your Core Rehab workouts into your daily routine. I also recommend using visualization to focus on what your body should feel like verse what you want it to look like. 

3. What are some tips for women to slowly get back into their workouts?

These three videos These 3 videos are super important to watch right away: 

  1. Posture Video
  2. Walking Tips
  3. Picking Up Tutorial

All of these videos can be found in your Knocked-Up Fitness® Membership and can be a complete game-changer during your postpartum recovery. Your posture while walking, feeding your baby and picking up your new bundle of joy can impact your postpartum recovery. To help ease any aches + pains and support your body postpartum, I recommend doing some organic movements that feel good on your body. Some movements I love are pelvic tilts, cat cows and hip rolls if your body feels ready. You can also feed your baby on a birth ball to help create more strength + stability, all while working on proper posture. 

4. What role does nutrition, sleep and hormones play in postpartum recovery?

HUGE ROLE! Nutrients are super important because they can impact your milk supply and mood. Make sure you are fueling your body with organic high-quality foods. I also cannot stress enough the importance of getting good quality sleep. While this may be difficult because you are only sleeping in 2-3 hour stretches, try making the most out of those hours. Use a face mask, shut your phone off and create an environment where you can get a few hours of quality sleep.

Hormone shifts are going to happen, but getting good quality sleep and fueling your body properly can help you ride the wave much easier! 

5. How do people prepare themselves mentally for postpartum?

Preparing yourself mentally for how you’re going to feel after baby is crucial. I recommend setting aside time each day or week to learn about the postpartum hormone shifts and then using visualization to help you prepare. Visualize how you’re going to feel when you are stressed and sleep-deprived and then come up with a plan on how you can best handle those situations. The more you can mentally prepare yourself, the more relaxed and calmer you are going to be.  

6. Looking back at your postpartum journey, what tips can you give women who are about to embark on the same?

The first piece of advice I would give is to slow down. Looking back, I wish I would have had a simpler birth plan because it would have allowed me to relax more and not put so much pressure on myself.

Second, I would incorporate breath work first and then Core Rehab into my daily routine. As you get further in your postpartum journey, you can always add walking to your Core Rehab assignments, but I don’t recommend anything more strenuous because you could end up doing more harm than good.

Lastly, give yourself as much time as you need postpartum to simply do nothing other than focus on rest, taking care of your baby and savoring every moment in those first weeks/months postpartum. You have plenty of time to work on getting your body back after baby so focus on taking care of you and enjoying those amazing baby snuggles.

For more information, visit www.knocked-upfitness.com or email us your questions at [email protected]

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Secrets From Your Doula

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I wish I knew that earlier” or “I wish I knew that during my first pregnancy”? Whether this is your first, second or ninth pregnancy, here are 3 secrets from your doula that can help you feel empowered and informed throughout your pregnancy, labor + delivery! 

1: Everyone’s Experience Is Unique

If you’re like most women, you hear different stories from your friends + family about their pregnancy and birth experiences. The truth is…your experience is unique and will not be identical to anyone else’s. This goes for subsequent pregnancies as well. 

The best advice I can give you is to listen to your body and your own intuition. It will help guide you to make the best decisions that are right for YOU! This is YOUR experience and nobody else’s so don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or says. Be confident in your choices and know that you are doing what’s right for YOU and your baby!

2: You Have Options

During labor, you have a variety of comfort measures available to you, many of which hospitals will provide. Some of these options include: 

  • Birth ball
  • Peanut ball
  • Back massager 
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Dimmed lighting
  • Music
  • Essential oils
  • Sheet for hip + back release 
  • Snack options

Since every hospital has different rules, I recommend talking with the hospital staff where you plan to give birth to ensure you have a full understanding of what they will provide and what you can bring with you.

Getting this information sorted out early can provide you with enough time to find alternatives that the hospital will allow. 

3: Your Partner’s Role

While your partner doesn’t go through the physical, emotional or mental changes that you do during pregnancy, they can play a big role in helping you navigate these unchartered waters. They can provide emotional support during appointments and help you make decisions if the need arises. Your partner can also help support you during labor by doing one or more of the following: 

  • Massaging your back or hips during labor to help alleviate some of the tension
  • Give you water and small bites of food during labor to ensure you stay hydrated and you have the energy to keep going.
  • Provide positive emotional support to help encourage you along the way
  • Help ask questions and assist in the decision making if the need for intervention arises
  • Simply hold your hand and reassure you when you need it most

Allowing your partner to help you as much as possible not only makes pregnancy, labor + delivery more manageable for you, but it also allows them to feel more connected to you and your baby. Communicate with your partner to ensure they know exactly what role you want them to play and what you expect of them. The more you can delegate to others, the more you can stay focused on labor and delivering your beautiful new bundle of joy! 

While hiring a Doula may not have been something you thought of, I would highly recommend looking into it. If you can’t afford to hire your own independent Doula, some hospitals provide you with volunteer Doulas so make sure you look into your options. 

Use the above three secrets from your Doula to help you create your birth plan. I also recommend talking with your provider as well as doing your own independent research to ensure you are prepared as possible during labor, delivery and recovery postpartum!

For more information, check out the Knocked-Up Fitness® Membership!

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Tips For Managing Stressful Situations With Little Ones

How many of you have woken up with a sick baby lately? Or maybe you’re the one who woke up feeling like you just got ran over by a Mac truck?

When we encounter sickness, unforeseen obstacles or feel like the universe is working against us, here are 4 tips for managing stressful situations with little ones!

1. Call In Reinforcements

Reinforcements can be in the form of family, friends, a hired babysitter or neighbor you trust that can come help you for a few hours. Whether you need to run into the office for a few hours, get some work done from home, run errands or simply need some “you time”, don’t be afraid to ask for help!

If you are dealing with a lot of stress or feeling super sleep deprived because you have been getting up night after night with a sick baby, I strongly encourage you to call in reinforcements and take a few hours to yourself. Take a nap, go for a walk, do some Pilates or something you love that calms your mind. When you have time to yourself to destress, breathe and re-energize your body, it helps you be the best version of yourself in all other aspects of your life.

2. Breathe Before You React

One technique I use to help calm my mind, destress and not over-react is to breathe for 2 minutes. Yes, two whole minutes!!! Taking deep cleansing breaths in and exhaling the stress out can help you clear your head, destress and create space to come up with a Plan B or way to tackle what’s in front of you.

This is a productive and effective way to help you not only tackle unexpected events that arise with a sick child, but also manage stress when unexpected tasks pop up on your already lengthy “to-do” list.

3. Re-Evaluate Your To-Do List

Do you feel like your never-ending “to-do” list seems to loom over you day after day and even on the most productive days, it almost seems impossible to get everything done? I hear ya, mama!

While getting things done is necessary, we can’t let our lives be ran by a “to-do” list. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, I recommend re-evaluating your list and asking yourself these questions:

  • Can it wait until tomorrow?
  • If it needs to be done today, can it wait an hour?
  • Can my spouse or partner take on these tasks?

Remember, you don’t have to tackle everything all at once. Whatever items on your list you have determined MUST be done today, move through them one at a time!

4. Communicate

Everyone has been through stressful situations in their life so don’t feel like you are alone. Communicate with your boss, co-workers, friends and others to let them know what’s going on in your life. I promise they will understand and in most cases, be willing to help you with whatever they can.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Asking for help doesn’t make you any less capable of taking care of your family. Use the above 4 tips for managing stressful situations with little ones whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed! I promise it helps!!

For more information, check out the Knocked-Up Fitness® Membership. You can find important information, tutorials, workouts, nutrition information and more!

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