MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD: SISTERS JAMIE & KRISTIN

MH BLOG NationalBestFriends 2018 v1

Last year right before Thanksgiving we met up with two sisters who were both having their first children within the next few months. Due a month apart, Jamie and Kristin came shopping with us to discuss dressing for work and home. They also walked us through their family holiday plans and staying stylish through the winter season. Well, they are back for summer!

We got the chance to meet up with the ladies and their babies to talk about life as new moms, new aunts and styling new post-baby bodies. [Let’s just say that BounceBack was a big hit!] Only a year and a half apart themselves, they have become even closer after having their babies together. We felt there was no better way to celebrate National Best Friends Day than with these two sisters and their besties in the making!

Motherhood: The last time we saw you ladies the holidays were approaching. You both had winter babies. How was it navigating through new motherhood in those first months?

Jamie: Having a newborn is scary! The first few weeks are all about figuring out what baby likes, dislikes, and what is bothering him. Now that the weather is warm and he is getting bigger, it’s getting easier and a lot more fun!

Kristin: It was hard! The flu was so bad this year and you want to show off the new babies but keep them safe as well. I asked that everyone follow my three rules: please do not come if you aren’t feeling well, please wash your hands, and please do not kiss the baby!!!

 

Motherhood: What maternity clothes did you keep in your wardrobe for nursing/pumping/getting back to pre-pregnancy size?

Jamie: My mother-in-law stayed with us and got all of my maternity clothes together and put them in storage for me. I am wearing the BounceBack jeans, but I purchased them after the baby was born. I do miss wearing my cute maternity dresses, and I sort of miss the bump!

Kristin: The go-to of course is leggings… also my shirts with the ruching on the sides. They help hide my mommy pouch!

 

Motherhood: Any funny stories about yourselves or each other that has happened since having the babies?

Jamie: One day I watched both the babies. What a workout! Gemma and Carter were sitting together and he started to eat her hand, thinking it was his. I got it on video and we all laugh about it.

Kristin: I tend to do weird things to my husband from lack of sleep. The other day I was patting his chest in my sleep and he asked me what I was doing and I told him I was putting the baby to sleep. When I realized what I was doing, we both laughed.

 

Motherhood: Kristin – have you been back to work yet? If so, what styles have you been wearing? And, Jamie, when you do go back in September, are there any maternity clothing you’re hanging on to?

Kristin: I am back already, and I love the black work pants that I got from the BounceBack line! They are a must-have in my weekly wardrobe. They feel like they have built in Spanx!

Jamie: I do enjoy a nice nursing bra, so I might keep this in my wardrobe, but I am really determined to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and wear my regular clothes. It’s so hard, you have a whole new body after baby!

 

Motherhood: You both walked out of the store either wearing and/or purchasing BounceBack jeans/pants. What about them made them that necessary purchase?

Jamie: After having a baby, you are so overjoyed, but you don’t feel like yourself. I loved my maternity pants and felt a little silly to continue to wear them, but I needed some extra support without squeezing myself into Spanx. This just adds a medium amount of support to help new moms be more confident.

Kristin: They made me look like I didn’t just have a baby 3 months prior. It is hard because you don’t look like yourself still with the extra weight from the baby; it was nice to at least feel like myself, and they did just that!

 

Motherhood: Let’s get real: how are the first few weeks and months after giving birth? Women are often afraid to ask and talk about it. Get candid with us, please!

Jamie: I am very open and honest with friends and family members who are pregnant or thinking about having their first child. I had a lot of complications late in my pregnancy, and it was frightening. After having Carter, I still had some complications for a few weeks. I needed to rely on my mom, husband, and other family members to help me while I was recovering. Women are expected to give birth and then just magically jump into this “mom” role. While we willingly and selflessly do it, we need to take care of ourselves. I am so lucky to be home with Carter for 5-6 months, and I do not take any day with him for granted. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, but it is so worth it.

Kristin: It is really challenging. There is no instruction manual. You need to listen to your child and your instincts, but with this new little human and no sleep, that gets difficult. You definitely scream/curse once a week. I’m convinced if you don’t do that you are not normal!

 

Motherhood: And tell us a little about those bundles of joy…

Jamie: Carter James Lobban was born on 2/21/18 at 7lb 7 oz and 19 inches long. He is an extremely happy baby who takes a lot of naps (which helps mama get things done around the house.) He is finding his voice, his hands, and his feet, so it’s amazing to watch him start to interact with us and entertain himself. He has dimples from his father, and so far his eyes are extremely blue, getting these from his mom!

Kristin: My little girl is a typical girl = drama queen! She has the cutest fake cry when she wants attention and a personality bigger than herself. She wakes up with a big smile every morning and loves playing with her feet. She has made being a mommy very easy for me. (Aside from when she loses her $#!+ once a day!) I wish I could freeze her in this stage right now. My husband and I are really enjoying her. One of my favorite parts of the day is watching him and her interact; he has the cutest smile watching her smile!

 

Motherhood: If there is one thing you would tell your sister about how she is doing as a mom, what would it be?

Jamie: She’s the best mom. When I had Carter I was sort of lost. She helped me and taught me so much! She’s the younger sister, but she has this mom thing down!

Kristin: She is doing great… almost too great! She keeps everything together and stresses herself out to do so. Sometimes you just have to say screw it and take a nap! She is an amazing mommy and wife. Don’t be so hard on yourself J – that little guy has the best mommy in the world who will always love and protect him!

 

MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD: AGATA REYES

MH Blog RealMoms Nursing 2018 Agata v1

We’re ending the month of May and our Motherhood Get Real on Motherhood campaign with our VP of Strategic Partnerships, Agata. She may be last, but certainly not least! We had a ball with her at her photo shoot back in September when she was expecting her baby boy. She didn’t name him them, but this time we got to meet little Thomas, and sat back down with Agata to discuss life as a new mom.

When you’re done catching up with Agata, make sure you check out all our real moms getting real: Erin, Katie and Kelly, and Sara. And keep on coming back for a summer of new moms, nursing information and the road to National Breastfeeding Month, which is August!

Motherhood: Tell us a little about your new baby!

Agata: Thomas was born mid-December during the winter season’s first snowstorm.  We chose the name because we are a trilingual household, and it works well in English, Spanish and Polish. Thomas loves bouncing in his bouncer, reading high contrast books and any words with rolling Rs. His favorite toy is this French rag doll we named Alfonso. He hugs it with such affection. He doesn’t care for pacifiers, but thinks his thumbs are delicious and pulling on mom’s hair is his perfect activity right now.

 

Motherhood: How has life changed since becoming a new mom?

Agata: It would be easier to list what hasn’t changed!  We definitely consume more coffee and less Netflix. I’ve also learned to love mornings because he’s the happiest and most playful when he wakes up in the AM.  We don’t go out nearly as often as we used to; a quiet night in is what we love the most these days.  It’s much easier for me to tame my FOMO with Thomas around.  He’s a perfect excuse.  Also, as a mom, I have a newfound appreciation for all parents including my own!

 

Motherhood: What has been your favorite nursing piece?

Agata: I have quite a few nursing tanks. They’re a must have for me. But I also loved nursing gowns for night feedings and for the hospital.

 

Motherhood: You dressed for date night the last time we took your picture. Have you managed to get out without the babe yet? If so, what did you wear to make pumping while out easier?

Agata: Yes, we have gone out a few times including a big party I organized for my husband’s 40th birthday. I wore a nursing cami under a regular top that was easy to lift up.

 

Motherhood: So, be honest… what has been the hardest thing about motherhood?

Agata: The lack of sleep during the first two months. I felt like a zombie. There was a point where I stored milk in the pantry instead of the fridge!   Under eye concealer became my new friend and my beauty routine has been compressed to a few minutes.  Also, finding time to workout has been very hard. So, I try to squeeze mini ones when he catnaps.
Motherhood: Any advice to those 3rd trimester mamas who are almost ready for the next step?

Agata: Prepping meals for when we got back from the hospital was a great idea. We could eat healthy and not worry about cooking. I was so happy I did that.  We also limited the early visitors, just letting the closest people to us come by. It allowed us to figure out this parenting thing without having to worry about guests.

Schedule a newborn photo-session at home for the first week or two.  I was so tired and really didn’t feel like I had the energy to clean up the house, shower, do my hair, prep the baby … but now I’m so happy we have those photos. They’re precious.

I also like this app Peanut. It’s a great way to connect with new moms in your area. It’s sort of like a “new mama dating” app.  Lastly, don’t buy books thinking you’ll catch up on reading while home with the baby. Of the five books that I got for myself, I’m 1/3 through the first one. Looking back at it – what was I thinking?

 

Motherhood: Any funny nursing stories? Weird places? Spilled milk? Over-exposure?

Agata: Fortunately, no for me. But I was out with this new mom friend in a mall and her baby daughter wanted to nurse, but also clearly didn’t want to miss out on all the action around us and kept pulling down her nursing cover!

MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD: SARA KAUFFMAN

MH Blog RealMoms Nursing 2018 Sarah v1

This week we are featuring our real mom Sara, who is one of our senior designers. We first met with her last fall when she was expecting her baby girl Rae. Now as a mom of two she tells us about the differences between her first and second pregnancies, how she likes to spend time with her newly expanded family, and why it really does take a village. Read on for some sound advice from Sara!

Motherhood: Tell us a little about your new baby!

Sara: Rae is amazing. She is the happiest and most easy-going baby. Her big brother is the center of her universe. When they are together, she just smiles and laughs at what every he is doing which is usually pretty silly.

 

Motherhood: How has life changed since adding another child into the mix?

Sara: It takes us a while to get out of the house daily and when we go on trips. We are a family that likes to be out of the house and go on little and big adventures. I usually forget a few things. It is all worth it when I see the way Rae and Nate look at the new places we take them.

 

Motherhood: What has been your favorite nursing piece?

Sara: Two items were my ultimate faves! One: I lived in Jessica Simpson Pull Over Side Slit Nursing Top during maternity leave. I hate when tops lift in the back when nursing, but the function on the JS top allowed great access to the front while staying put and down in the back. Two: I wore our Tummy Sleeve over all my pants for the first two months post-partum. I knew very little about shapewear after my first pregnancy. I learned more when I was on a panel to wear-test this very item. It really helped me start to get my waistline back and stabilize my post-maternity belly.

 

Motherhood: As a designer of our jeans, what styles have you kept in your new mom rotation?

Sara: I still wore my smock waist shorts and side panel denim for a while after I had Rae. The shorts were the most comfortable style during and after my pregnancy, and I still felt like I looked put together when I left the house. The side panel denim does not look overly maternity, so I felt like I could get away with them for a while until I got back into my regular jeans.

 

Motherhood: How has coming back from maternity leave been, especially with pumping?

Sara: I knew what to expect this time so it was a bit easier. It was still hard being away from baby at first, but I love designing and really like the people I work with, which is the bright side of it all.

 

Motherhood: What would you say the hardest thing about breastfeeding has been and what advice would you give to a woman considering nursing?

Sara: I could write/ talk about this for hours. Unlike my first child whom would not latch, took hours to eat and would not gain weight, Rae had been a whole world easier. She latched right away and is a fast eater. The hardest thing is finding the right balance for you, your baby and even your family. With Nate, I did my best to nurse him, but he was always supplemented with formula which let my husband help out more with the feedings. Rae got to be exclusively breastfeed or given pumped milk at day care until she was 7 months old. Breastfeeding her is faster than giving her a bottle and my husband gets to spend more time just hanging out with her. I found what was right fit for both kids and was very happy when we found our balance.

 

Motherhood: If you could have given yourself one piece of new mom advice, what would it have been?

Sara: Find your village. They say it takes a village and it does, especially when you are in the weeds of having a new born. You will need support. At night I had my family, but during the day I looked for groups and activities I could do with other mommies with new babies. I joined a nursing group which helped me work through any issues I was having that week with breastfeeding. I learned a lot from the mamas with older babies and got to help out the newbies. I also really enjoyed my time at baby music class and mommy and me yoga where I got sing and get active with Rae.

MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD: KATIE GRAF & KELLY GRAF

MH Blog RealMoms Nursing 2018 Katie v1.jpg

Our Motherhood® gets real on motherhood campaign allowed us to meet back up with Katie Graf, our Manager of Store Operations. The last time we did a photo shoot with Katie she was pregnant, it was her birthday, and we learned that her twin sister was also expecting! Needless to say, we wanted both Katie and her sister Kelly to sit down with us and discuss life as new moms, new aunts, getting back to work and navigating life with a new baby. Read on for the sisters’ advice and more.

Motherhood: Tell us a little about your new baby!

Kelly: My daughter’s name is Vivienne Lucille and she was born on October 12, 2017. It’s the only name my husband and I agreed on after reading every single baby book. We went with my husband’s grandmother’s name, which is Lucille. I wanted Daisy and no one liked it…

Katie:  My daughter’s name is Margaret Reed and she was born on September 14. Her middle name comes from the first letter of my husband and my great-grandmothers’ and grandmothers’ names (Rosa, Elizabeth, Ellen, Dorothea). Both Kelly and I were in labor for 12 hours, but then we both had to have emergency C-sections!

 

Motherhood: How has life changed since becoming a new mom?

Katie: All things that were deemed important change. Priorities shift and you forget what it’s like before. Everyone says it, but it’s so true.

Kelly: I am more organized than I have been in my entire life, which is weird, because usually I am so scatterbrained and all over the place. I flew by the seat of my pants, but now I am routined and make sure everyone else around me is too, especially when it comes to my daughter.

(Editor’s Note: Katie agrees that she was disorganized. Kelly says that it’s because Katie is not only Type A, but Triple A.)

 

Motherhood: What has been your favorite nursing piece?

Kelly: Tanks and camis for maternity leave, because you can just whip one out and you’re good to go.

Katie: The nursing sweatshirt with the zippers on the side. Would buy it all year ‘round, because it was the best piece. I also wear button ups and the nursing dresses for pumping at work.

 

Motherhood: We last saw you on your birthday! And… it was your twin sister’s birthday too. Luckily we got both you ladies here, so tell us how being pregnant together was, and how being new moms and new aunts has been.

Katie: It was awesome, because we got to bounce things off each other. We told each other in a parking lot. I was like 10 weeks and Kelly was like, “I’m pregnant too.” She was brand new at 6 weeks. She only told me, because she was scared to tell anyone else! This has been a big change for our family, obviously. Our mom wanted to have just one baby for a while, because she never just had one kid to dote on! She was of course happy, but felt the memories of when she had us.

Kelly: That’s true. She was happy, but also overwhelmed! For me, work has been different too. I am the Director of Communications at University of Delaware. Of course, balancing work and motherhood is hard, but working on scheduling and making sure everything goes as planned is what I try to do to stay in control.

 

Motherhood: Now that the warmer months are coming up, do you have any family vacations planned?

Katie: In June we are going to Ocean City. It’s great being new moms together, because our daughters are like sisters now. They are starting to notice that the other one exists.

Kelly: I’m Margaret’s Godmother and want to be called GoMo. Just saying.

 

Motherhood: Let’s get real. What advice would you give to someone about those first 6 weeks after baby is born. It’s not all cuddles and kisses, right?

Kelly: The first 4 weeks are so hard. I read a lot of pregnancy books, but nothing about life after the baby comes. It’s a lot of learning. I read somewhere you should incorporate baby into your life and not change life for baby and I think it makes a lot of sense. We take her everywhere with us, because that’s how babies learn and grow and life can continue moving smoothly.

Katie: I am not into books really, because you can read or listen to anyone, but in the end, you have to listen to the baby and your gut. The baby tells you what she needs and you, in turn, know what to do from that.

 

Motherhood: If you could tell your sister one thing about how she’s doing as a new mom, what would it be?

Katie: She’s amazing. I am not great with words; Kelly is better at that. Honestly, she is so strong. Not that she doubts herself, but she is so strong and even more so as a mother.

Kelly: This may sound selfish, but watching her as a new mom she inspires me. She has had her $#!+ together since day one. Can I say that?

 

MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD: ERIN DOWNING

MH Blog RealMoms Nursing 2018 Erin v1
This story begins back in February 2017, when we got to throw our very first Gender Reveal party for an expecting mom in our corporate office. Erin was just finding out that she and her husband were having a baby boy. Pregnant and glowing, we threw them a sock monkey reveal party. Fast-forward to spring 2018, and this first-time mom has been back to work, raising baby Hudson [who is now almost 1!], and navigating the world as a working woman with a family. Erin is definitely the go-to girl for post-pregnancy style recs, as she is the one calling the shots! Read on to see how life has been for our Lead Merchandising Manager.

Motherhood: It’s been over a year since we threw you a gender reveal party. Obviously, you had your little boy. Tell us a little about him!

Erin: His name is Hudson, he’s 9 months old and the cutest little boy ever!  (Maybe I’m biased) He’s very active – crawling everywhere, pulling up to stand, walking might not be far off.  He loves animals, especially our cats and his nanny’s dog.  His favorite food is avocado.  He loves music and dancing.  Not a big fan of diaper changes or sleep!

Motherhood: How has life changed since becoming a new mom?

Erin: How hasn’t it?  I definitely get less sleep, I’m way busier, I spend a lot of time playing, and I have an adorable baby boy!  Priorities are the biggest change, I think. Life isn’t just about me and my husband anymore – it’s about Hudson and our family, but it’s been amazing and I’ve loved every minute (except maybe some of the sleepless nights.)

Motherhood: What has been your favorite nursing piece?

Erin: I never would have survived without our clip-down camis.  I have them in every color. I wore the seamless bras through my entire pregnancy as well – they are beyond comfortable.  BounceBack has also been a must for me.  I wear the tank and legging ALL the time.  Perfect for camouflaging any baby weight still sticking around!

Motherhood: As the Lead Merchant Manager of Motherhood®, what “maternity” styles have you kept in your closet and continue to wear?

Erin: I still wear my BumpStart and Secret Fit Belly® leggings, plus now of course my BounceBack ones that I bought after having the baby.  Also, my French Terry shorts, I fully intend to wear all summer and I lived in them before I had Hudson.  They are underbelly and are still great without a bump.  My baby shower dress was Rachel Pally from A Pea in the Pod. [Editor’s Note: This is Motherhood’s sister brand.] I actually just wore it on vacation in Mexico.  I had done my own little before and after!

Motherhood: You have since come back to work. Any suggestions on the styles you like for pumping at work?

Erin: I highly recommend our seamless bras and clip down camis.  They go under everything and are so easy to use.  I also think our dress assortment is so amazing. I wear a lot of dresses and it’s difficult because if you pump in a regular dress, you basically have to get naked in the pump room.

Motherhood: Where has been the weirdest place you’ve nursed or pumped?

Erin: Oh, man!  The strangest was probably the dressing room floor at Bloomingdales in Soho (NYC).  I had to go shopping for work for the day and had to carry the pump around with me and figure out where to pump. There is an amazing app I discovered called “Moms Pump Here” – it helps you find places you can nurse or pump based on your location.  I’ve also pumped on multiple airplanes.  And also, I had a wedding to attend 3 weeks after I had Hudson. We didn’t offer any special occasion dresses yet, so I had to strip down to pump in a friends hotel room at the wedding venue. I so wish we sold the black lace nursing dress I wore in the photoshoot then; it would have made my life so much easier and it’s so flattering on!

Motherhood: We’re getting real on motherhood. What has been the hardest part about being a new mom?

Erin: At first, breastfeeding was actually the hardest part.  It didn’t come as naturally as I thought it would; Hudson had a tongue tie that had to be corrected, I felt like I was permanently attached to the breast pump, and it was tough.  Being a new mom can be really overwhelming and emotional, but with the help of supportive mom friends, family, and an amazing lactation consultant we got there.  I can’t stress the importance of support enough – it truly does take a village! I think now it’s just the lack of sleep and the never-ending to-do lists (both at work and at home) that are the hardest parts… but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD

MH Blog RealMoms Nursing 2018Intro v1.jpg

May doesn’t just bring us flowers, it’s also the month that lets us celebrate our favorite holiday: Mother’s Day! Instead of limiting our love for moms to just Sunday, May 13th, we are dedicating the entire month of May to strong and beautiful ladies. So, to honor the women that keep us going, we are highlighting our real moms like you all month long.

Back in September 2017 we did photo shoots and one-on-ones with some of our pregnant employees featuring our Five Fundamentals. We wanted to come full circle with their journey, because it doesn’t stop when baby arrives… it just begins! We welcomed them back into the studio, this time with their babies and all their new mom wisdom in tow.

From maternity leave to crazy nursing stories, we wanted our real moms to get real on motherhood. It’s not always pretty, but their babies further convinced us that it is pretty cute! Make sure you stay tuned all month long to meet our moms. And, as always, show us your mom-in-the-making and new mom looks @motherhoodmaternity #thisisgoingtobefun – we want to hear your stories, your advice, and of course see your babes. We’re ready for the good, the bad, the truth… come what MAY!

MARCH INTO MIMI: INTERVIEW WITH LEAD DESIGNER

MH BLOG Mimi Intro Lisa Drake 2018 v2

We sat down with the Lead Designer Lisa Drake of the newly launched line MiMi Maternity to get her take on what to expect from the pieces, who this collection is for, and why it was so needed in the pregnancy fashion landscape.  Read on!

MH: What makes this line new and fresh in the maternity space?

LD: I think of MiMi as a way for women to move easily from pregnancy through post-partum without having to make a huge change in how she dresses – less of an emphasis on conventional “maternity” silhouettes and more about dressing her changing body in a way that still feels effortless and true to her personal style. That approach to dressing a pregnant woman in and of itself feels to me a bit like a shift in the maternity paradigm, so to speak.

MH: Who do you see as the MiMi customer? Who did you envision while you were designing?

LD: I see our customer as someone who is very in tune to trend and the online fashion landscape. She’s got a minimalist, but feminine sense of style, and appreciates the little details like just the right button or the perfect washed-down feel of a garment-dyed pant. She does all this while considering the price tag – look & feel of the garment is important, but the value has to be there too.

To be honest, I use myself as the barometer for the line. With every style I ask myself – would I have worn this when I was pregnant? And if the answer is no, it’s quite literally back to the drawing board.

MH: What was your inspiration behind this first line?

LD: So, in the beginning of the ideation process for Mimi’s first season, I decided to focus on not just a city as inspiration for each collection, but on a specific piece of architecture within each city. I look at the shapes, colors, settings, use of negative space and materials as a jumping off point when building out my concept, color palette, and print story each season.

I was inspired by Corbusier’s Cité radieuse in Marseilles. It is a modernist residential building in France with a very considered layout; the living quarters are very grid-like and regimented, while the communal spaces have more sweeping, curvilinear lines. The juxtaposition is very interesting to me.

MH: What is your design process and who do you collaborate with?

LD: My process always starts from fabric. I gather up all the different knit and woven textures, jacquards, embroideries and patterns that inspire me, and make a giant fabric board that sits at my desk. I let it percolate as I research runway and compile my mood boards. I pay really careful attention to fiber content, how the fabric drapes, & what the handfeel is. I particularly love working with cellulose fibers – cotton & viscose/ rayon. I think these feel the best, are the most comfortable… and goodness knows, in pregnancy, comfort is important.

MH: Being a mom yourself, how did that play into your understanding of what pregnant women might want?

LD: Through both of my pregnancies, I guess I never felt that there was a brand that spoke exactly to my sensibilities. Comfort and style were super important to me, and I knew that my body would change and grow, but I struggled to find maternity pieces that felt easy but still chic. I looked for fabrics that would breathe, bonus if they were versatile enough to wear after pregnancy too. For this collection, I really considered the longevity of each piece in her wardrobe and am optimistic that she’ll want to carry some of these items into her life as a new mom.

MH: What is your favorite piece from the new collection and why?

LD: I would have to pick our striped off the shoulder dress because it is comfortable, versatile, and will work for so many different body shapes. You can totally wear it after baby, too.

MH: If you had to sum up the collection in one word, what would it be?

LD: Uncomplicated!

 

Want more MiMi?  See why it’s the choice for cool girls who want cool clothes @MiMiMaternity #MiMiMaMa #MiMiOnMe

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WORK (OUT) MOM PART V

MH Blog E&E PartV v1

We are wrapping up our collaboration with Amy Kiefer of Expecting and Empowered this week!  From workouts to making mamahood work, she has been giving us and you a whole lot of information and inspiration. Being a clothing company, we at Motherhood® wanted to learn more about Amy’s fave fashions. As a mom, a nurse, a trainer and a woman who has been through two pregnancies in less than three years… she knows which pieces make maternity and motherhood comfy and stylish. See what she has to say below.

“I love the ease of the nursing camisole with the clip down feature. It is perfect for middle of the night nursing sessions. I’ve lived in it! I wear it as pajamas or for my days that I’m at home. I just throw a zip up over it and I’m all set.”
Clip Down Nursing Cami

“This is an easy staple! It’s so comfortable during pregnancy and it also transitioned so well into the postpartum phase. I found it to be very flattering after birth, covering my 4th trimester belly. I wear this everywhere and always.”
Zip Front Maternity Active Jacket

The following are Amy’s new maternity/ new mom musts from our latest collection of clothing!  The underbelly is one of our more current waistlines, and perfect for post-pregnancy.
Under Belly French Terry Straight Leg Maternity Lounge Pants

Plus, for a workout mama, the sweatshirt dress takes effortless chic to a whole new level. This is one of our favorites for spring too!
Super Soft Maternity Dress

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WORK (OUT) MOM PART IV

MH Blog E&E Part3 PP Exercises v1finalFINALFINAL

 

Birthing a baby is one of the most amazing tasks a mama will accomplish. After the newborn freshness passes, you might start to wonder, “How the heck do I get my body back?” You might also be thinking, “I would prefer to do this in a timely fashion!” We caution you: the very worst thing you can do is too much too fast. Returning to exercise should be a well-choreographed dance.

There is a tremendous amount of physical and emotional change that a woman goes through after birth.  Hormones are still present in your body after birth, especially if you plan on breastfeeding. These hormones may create instability as they are the same ones that allowed for the baby to pass through the pelvis and make his or her way out into the world.

Our bodies do not automatically reset once the baby is here. Your body “forgets” about certain muscles and relies on others too much. This is why proper strength training is vital to postpartum recovery. One reason we are excited about the Expecting and Empowered: Postpartum Guide is to teach women specific exercises to help avoid injury and eventually return to higher impact activities like running.

Postpartum exercise is all about the right order at the right time. For example, when doing lower extremity work, it is important to do symmetrical exercises. This means squats instead of lunges. When you are squatting, it is important to start without weight before returning to weight bearing.  Always pay attention to your body; if it is warning you to back off, you have to listen. Warning signs may include an increase in postpartum bleeding and pain.

This postpartum workout was developed for women that are 12 weeks post-birth and beyond. The full Expecting and Empowered: Postpartum Guide will be available for on our site and for purchase soon! We are so excited to share this with you now for an early sneak peek!       

Postpartum Workout

FLEXIBILITY

  1. NECK EXTENSIONS WITH CHEST OPENER x5

SETUP: Begin in a standing position. Clasp hands behind back, then pull shoulder blades back and down. Do not allow shoulders to creep upwards as you get into this position. Hold this position.

MOVEMENT: Bend your head backward, lifting your chin away from your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Keep your back straight and do not let your head tilt to either side.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: If you are like any new mom, you are spending lots of time staring at your beautiful baby. This is a great way to reverse the effects of that. This exercise keeps your neck joints and discs healthy and combats the demands of mothering.

 

  1. WORLD’S GREATEST x4 EACH SIDE

SETUP: Step forward with your left leg and lower your body into a lunge.  As you go down, place your right hand on the floor so it is in line with your left foot. Your right knee should hover above the floor.

MOVEMENT: Now move your left elbow inside your left foot and rest it on the floor. Square your hips so you feel a stretch on both sides, and try to keep your back as flat as possible. Move your left hand outside your left foot and twist to reach for the sky with your right arm.  Try to pull the toes on your left foot up toward your shin.

POSTPARTUM TIP: If the stretch is too intense, you can drop your back knee to help.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: This stretch is named World’s Greatest for a reason: it hits so many muscle groups. It is helpful for stretching out a tight upper back from nursing or carrying a baby. The lunge position helps to stretch out a tight hip flexor that is usually on guard during pregnancy.

 

  1. TRANSVERSE ABDOMINIS CONTRACTIONS x10

SETUP: Begin lying on your back with your legs bent and feet resting on the ground.

MOVEMENT: Place your fingers just inside the bones on the front of your pelvis. Find the very pointy part of the hip in the front before the wings of your pelvis start. Move your fingers one inch inwards towards the belly button and then one inch downward towards your pubic bone. Exhale, and gently pull the muscles under your fingers in. You can accomplish this by flattening your back. Relax and repeat.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Make sure to draw in rather than push out your muscles. This should be a subtle movement. This is NOT sucking in your stomach.

When you do abdominal work that activates the deep core, you should not see your belly pouch out like a beer belly. With transverse abdominis you will always see a flattening.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: This step is so important to the restoration of your core. It also helps women to prevent or help heal rectus diastasis. The deep core is vital for stability!

 

STRENGTH

  1. ONE SIDE WEIGHTED SQUATS (DUMBBELL) x12 EACH SIDE

SETUP: Start in upright position with your feet shoulder width. Place a dumbbell on one shoulder, holding it in place.

MOVEMENT: Squat, bending at your knees and hips. At the bottom of the movement, your knees should be close to a 90° angle. Straighten your legs and squeeze your butt at the top of the movement. Repeat for assigned number of repetitions, then switch weight to other side.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Make sure you tuck your tailbone underneath you so that your low back is not rounded.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: We are training you to be a mama.  We usually do not carry that baby evenly on both sides, so it is great to train with the load of the dumbbell only on one side.

 

  1. BENT OVER ROW (DUMBBELL) x12

SETUP: Stand in upright position, then hinge forward at your hips. Arms hang toward the floor with a dumbbell in each hand.

MOVEMENT: Pull both arms upward, bending at your elbows. Your elbows should graze along your sides and up toward the ceiling. Focus on elbows drawing toward opposite butt cheeks so you feel a squeeze between your shoulder blades. Lower them back down. Repeat.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Keep your back straight as if someone were pulling the crown of your head (ponytail) upward. Retract your neck.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: We are undoing the forward position our shoulder blades often get into during pregnancy. Your mid-back will thank you for tension free nursing and baby carrying sessions.

 

  1. SPEEDSKATERS x12 EACH SIDE

SETUP: Start in a standing position with feet shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.

MOVEMENT: Shift your weight to one leg and pull one leg behind the other. Both knees will bend, with front knee bending to almost 90°. Draw chest forward, keeping your shoulders over your front leg. Tap each dumbbell on the ground. Next, swiftly switch legs, moving back and forth to complete repetitions.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Keep your knees over your toes even though you are performing exercises at angles. Perform this slow and controlled (no jumping).

REASON FOR EXERCISE: This is great to get some of the hip rotators moving. These often get tight and weak from the waddle women do while carrying their sweet babies. Wake your muscles up with this!

 

  1. ½ KNEELING BICEP CURL to OVERHEAD PRESS (DUMBBELL) x12 EACH SIDE

SETUP: Start in a half kneeling position with left knee bent in front of your body. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand.

MOVEMENT: Curl the dumbbell toward your shoulders. Next, flip your wrist so that the dumbbell faces out. Press dumbbell overhead and lower back to shoulder height. Return to starting position. Repeat for assigned number of repetitions. Switch sides.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Make sure your bent knee is not collapsing inward during the exercise. As you transition from the bicep curl to the press, make sure to draw your elbows backwards towards the opposite butt cheeks. This opens the front of the shoulder.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: This hits multiple areas that we use to lift those heavy car seats.

 

  1. SQUAT TO FRONT RAISE x 12

SETUP: Start in an upright position with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.

MOVEMENT: Squat. Bend at the knees and hips, until your knees are almost at a 90° angle. When in a low squat, you are going to raise the dumbbell right in front of you. Return to standing, squeezing butt at top of movement. Repeat.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Squeeze your butt on the way up while you exhale.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: With an infant, there is a lot of time spent on the floor playing and changing diapers. Get used to it, because these little ones like you to be close! Training muscles that we use to get up and down from the floor will prove helpful.

 

  1. QUADRUPED DONKEY KICKS x 12 EACH SIDE

SETUP: Begin on all fours with shoulders above wrists.

MOVEMENT: Tighten your abdominals, then lift one leg and bend the knee at a 90° angle. Press your heel towards the ceiling, squeezing your butt on the way up. Lower it back down until you return to the 90° angle and repeat for assigned number of repetitions. Switch legs and repeat on other side.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Do not to let your hips rotate to either side during the exercise.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: Often, the hip extensors do not get used as frequently during pregnancy due to the changes in weight. Postpartum is a great time to refresh these muscles and get them going.

 

  1. SIDE LYING EXTERNAL ROTATION x 12 EACH SIDE

SETUP: Start in an upright position, holding dumbbells in each hand. Bend your elbows to 90° at belly button height with palms facing each other.

MOVEMENT: Rotate left arm away as right arm stays in starting position. As you do, pinch your shoulder blades down and back together, keep movement at shoulder height. Return to starting position. Repeat on right side.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: This exercise is great for increasing your shoulder strength.  It will also alleviate stress and strain off of the neck.

 

  1. SIDE LYING LATERAL LEG RAISES x12 EACH SIDE

SETUP: Start by lying on your side. Bend your bottom leg, but keep it on the floor. Your top leg is straight.

MOVEMENT: Slowly lift your upper leg toward the ceiling. Your top leg will only lift 6” from neutral (in the picture leg is higher, so you can see the movement). Do not lift it high! Lower it back to the starting position. Switch sides to other leg.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Keep your hip, knee, and ankle in one line. Do not allow your hips to roll backward or forward during the exercise. You should feel a deep burn in the hip.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: This is important for decreasing pressure on your lower back and preventing aches and pains. Unstable hips put the back in compromised positions and this move will help to stabilize them.

 

  1. SKULL CRUSHERS x 15

SETUP: Start by laying on your back with your knees and feet on the floor. Start with one dumbbell above your chin with both arms straight.

MOVEMENT: Activate your deep muscles by drawing in your belly. It is more of a scooping motion by tucking your tailbone up and in towards the belly button. Start to slowly lower the weight to your forehead, keeping your core tight during the movement. Then push the weight back up until your arms are straight, returning to starting position. Repeat for the assigned number of repetitions.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Keep ribs down on the floor. Do not allow your bottom ribs to pop off of the floor.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: We are teaching your body the proper order it should turn muscles on.

 

  1. WEIGHTED BRIDGES x 15

SETUP: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Hold a dumbbell at on your pelvis.

MOVEMENT: Slowly lift your hips off the ground until your body is in a straight line. Squeeze your butt at the top of movement. Slowly lower body back down to the mat. Repeat.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Squeeze your butt checks like you have a credit card between them.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: Your body is craving hip extensions just like you may be craving sushi and a mommy drink, so give it to it! Hip extensions are your friend postpartum.

 

  1. HEEL MARCHES x 12 EACH SIDE

SETUP: Lie on your back with your knees bent towards your chest in a tabletop position.

MOVEMENT: Activate your deep muscles by drawing in your belly. It is more of a scooping motion by tucking your tailbone up and in towards the belly button.  Start to slowly lower one leg towards the floor, tap your heel and then return to the tabletop position. Repeat on the other side.

POSTPARTUM TIP: Keep your core tight during the movement and do not allow your lower back to come off the floor.

REASON FOR EXERCISE: This is a great core exercise that also helps with the prevention of lower back pain.

 

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WORK (OUT) MOM PART III

MH Blog E&E Part2 Exercises v2

The workout starts with flexibility movements and then transfers into strength training exercises.

This workout, as well as our comprehensive pregnancy fitness guide, Expecting and Empowered, includes exercises to prevent common aches and pains throughout pregnancy, decrease unnecessary weight gain during pregnancy, ease labor and delivery, expedite postpartum recovery, and most importantly, keep the baby safe.

There are many incorrect, ineffective and unsafe ways to exercise during pregnancy.  It can be frightening for mamas-to-be to wonder if they are harming the baby or themselves while exercising.  This structured workout session and the week-by-week workouts from Expecting and Empowered alleviate this concern. It begins with the week of the positive pregnancy test all the way to week 40 and beyond. Each workout session only takes 30-45 minutes, and it removes all the guess work for women. Additionally, exercise has been proven to boost energy and mood during pregnancy!

WORKOUT (repeat the workout for 3 sets)

Part 1: FLEXIBILITY

  1. SL THORACIC ROTATION WITH ADDUCTOR ACTIVATION

SETUP: Start in a side lying position. Bend both knees toward chest.

MOVEMENT: Slowly lower your knees to the left side of your body. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale reach your right arm open until it makes contact with the ground behind you. Hold for 10 breaths. Repeat on other side.

PREGNANCY TIP: This is a great night time stretch!

  1. DOWNWARD DOG

SETUP: Start on all fours.

MOVEMENT: Move to an inverted V position with your elbows and knees straight. Get your heels as close to the ground as possible, shifting weight into your feet. Set your shoulders by pretending to rotate your hands outward through the ground. A good visual: pretend you are pushing your hands into the ground and rotating the whole arm outward like a screwdriver, but your hands stay in the same place. This should allow you to feel your shoulders turn on. Hold this position, feeling a stretch through your back and legs. Slowly inhale and exhale. Repeat for 10 breaths.

PREGNANCY TIP: Keep your neck relaxed (dangling). Keep your heels as close to the ground as possible.

  1. KEY HOLE ARM STRETCH

SETUP: Start on all fours. Left arm is bent bracing you upright while your right arm reaches under it and across your body. Right arm is lying flat on the mat with palm up.

MOVEMENT: Slowly lean forward, as you lean forward draw your right shoulder down toward the mat. At the same time push your right hand into the mat (as if you are following through a back- hand in tennis). Hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides. Repeat for assigned number of repetitions.

PREGNANCY TIP: You want to feel a stretch between your shoulder blade and spine.

  1. STANDING HIP FLEXOR STRETCH

SETUP: Start in an upright position. Place left leg behind you in lunge position and right leg on the ground with your knee bent.

MOVEMENT: Keeping your back straight, slowly shift your weight forward. You should feel a stretch in the front of left hip. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch legs. Repeat for assigned number of repetitions.

PREGNANCY TIP: If you tend to get round ligament pain, focus on stretching with breath.

Part 2: STRENGTH TRAINING

  1. ONE SIDE WEIGHTED SQUATS (DB) x 24 reps (12 with weight on one side, switch)

SETUP: Start in an upright position with your feet shoulder width apart. Place a DB on one shoulder, holding it in place.

MOVEMENT: Squat, bending at your knees and hips. At the bottom of the movement, your knees should be close to a 90-degree angle. Straighten your legs and squeeze your butt at the top of the movement. Repeat for assigned number of repetitions. Switch weight to other side.

PREGNANCY TIP: Make sure you tuck your tailbone underneath you so that your low back is not rounded.

  1. PLIE SQUAT (DB) x 24 reps

SETUP: Start in an upright position with feet in a wide stance, toes pointed outward. Hold onto one DB. Arms hang straight down in front of your body.

MOVEMENT: Squat, bending at your knees and hips. Exhale and squeeze your butt as you return to starting position. Keep your back straight, weight in heels, and do not allow your knees to collapse inward.

  1. TRICEPS EXTENSION (DB) x 15 reps

SETUP: Anchor the resistance band in the top of a doorway. Stand facing away from the door. Take a step out, so that the band is taut. Hold onto the RB with each hand. For DB version, hold onto the end of one DB behind your head with elbows bent.

MOVEMENT: Bend your elbows as you bring your hands near your forehead. Straighten your elbows, pulling against the RB. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat. For the DB version, straighten elbows.

PREGNANCY TIP: Exhale as you straighten your arms. Keep elbows and ribs from flaring out.

  1. WALL SIT x 60 second hold

SETUP: Find a stable wall. Sit in a squat with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Head, shoulders and butt should all be touching the wall.

MOVEMENT: Hold position and think about anchoring your feet into the ground.

PREGNANCY TIP: Do not arch your back on the wall. Do not rest your hands on your lap. Add weights to make harder if needed.

  1. BICEP CURLS (DB) x 15 reps

SETUP: Stand in an upright position, holding DBs in both hands. Start with arms downward with palms facing forward.

MOVEMENT: Bend your elbows, lifting DBs toward your shoulders. Pause at the top of the movement. Slowly lower. Repeat.

PREGNANCY TIP: Squeeze shoulder blades, pulling them down and back towards opposite butt cheek.

  1. BICEP CURL TO OVERHEAD PRESS (DB) x 15 reps

SETUP: Stand in an upright position, holding DBs in both hands.

MOVEMENT: Bend your elbows, lifting DBs toward your shoulders. Next, rotate hands so your wrists are facing forward. DBs are at shoulder height. Press the DB overhead. Slowly lower back down to starting position. Repeat.

PREGNANCY TIP: Do not shrug your shoulders during motion.

  1. FRONT RAISE AND LATERAL RAISES (DB) x 15 reps

SETUP: Start in an upright position. Hold a DB in each hand with arms hanging in front of you. Palms face you.

MOVEMENT: Keeping your arms straight, raise the DBs to shoulder height. Slowly lower to the starting position. Next, move the DBs to the side of your body with palms facing each other. Keeping your arms straight, raise DBs to the side until they are parallel with the ground and aligned with your shoulders. Repeat.

PREGNANCY TIP: Pull your shoulder blades toward one another during movement.

  1. BENT OVER ROWS (DB) x 15 reps

SETUP: Start in upright position, then hinge forward at the hips. Arms hang towards the floor with a DB in each hand, palms facing you.

MOVEMENT: Pull both arms upward, bending at your elbows. Bring the DBs toward your armpits. At end point of movement, elbows should be aligned with your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Slowly lower. Repeat.

PREGNANCY TIP: Keep your back straight as if someone were pulling the crown of your head (ponytail) upward. Retract your neck.

  1. BENT OVER REVERSE FLYS (DB) x 15 reps

SETUP: Start in an upright position, then hinge forward at the hips. Arms hang toward the floor with a DB in each hand.

MOVEMENT: Pull your arms apart and back until the DBs are aligned with your shoulders. Maintain a very slight bend in the elbows. Focus on elbow drawing toward opposite butt cheeks so you feel a squeeze between your shoulder blades. Caution: do not al- low your shoulders to draw upward towards the ears.

PREGNANCY TIP: Keep your back straight as if someone were pulling the crown of your head (ponytail) upward. Retract your neck. Lower the weight slowly down, fighting gravity

  1. RDL (DB) x 24 reps

SETUP: Begin in an upright position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and a DB in each hand. Keep a slight bend in your knees during the movement and keep your back in a straight line.

MOVEMENT: Lean forward, bending at your hips to reach down. Lower the DB down along the front of the thigh and shin. Next, lift back up to standing by engaging your back and thigh muscles. Repeat.

PREGNANCY TIP: You should not feel this in your lower back. You should feel it in your hamstrings.

  1. SIDE LYING LATERAL LEG RAISES x 30 reps each leg

SETUP: Start by lying on your side. Bend your bottom leg, but keep it on the floor. Your top leg is straight.

MOVEMENT: Slowly lift your upper leg toward the ceiling. Your top leg should only lift 6” from neutral. Do not lift it high! Lower it back to the starting position. Repeat for assigned number of repetitions. Switch to other leg.

PREGNANCY TIP: Keep your hip, knee, and ankle in one line. Do not allow your hips to roll backward or forward during the exercise. You should feel a deep burn in the hip.

 

  • Welcome to the Motherhood Maternity Blog!
  • Instagram

    There was an error retrieving images from Instagram. An attempt will be remade in a few minutes.

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Archives

%d bloggers like this: