MOTHERHOOD GETS REAL ON MOTHERHOOD: KATIE GRAF & KELLY GRAF

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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

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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

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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!

NEW TO NURSING

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NURSING STYLES
Our New Mom collection features nursing tops and dresses specifically made for you. With pull-down access, faux wrap tops, and lift-up layers… there’s a tank, cami, tee, blouse, or dress that will get you home from the hospital and back at work after maternity leave ends.

New moms also need all the sleep they can get without complicated nursing clothing or uncomfortable pieces. If you’ve been dreaming away in our maternity pajamas, then chances are you have a style that is already prepared for those mid-night feedings, featuring clip-down straps. Even our maternity sleep sets are made for new moms, with button-down fronts, stretchy V-necks, and underbelly pants that provide comfort for post-delivery bodies.  You can even repurpose your Snoogle as a nursing pillow!

NURSING BRAS
The question we always get is: “When should I buy nursing bras?” The truth is… from the first time you feel and see your breasts grow during pregnancy. Our maternity bras ARE nursing bras. All our maternity bras feature an accessible way to breastfeed or pump. Whether the straps are clip-down or the bra has a pull-over front, they all remain discreet and comfortable. Investing early on and finding the right fit will pay off for the rest of your trimesters, straight into motherhood and nursing.

NURSING ACCESSORIES
We carry a full range of nursing accessories to help you transition into motherhood. Try our nursing scarves and cover-ups for discreet breastfeeding to keep busy moms on the move. There are also nipple balms and nursing lotions to help soothe and smooth sore bodies. With nursing pads, a hands-free bra for efficient pumping, as well as diaper bags to throw everything in… we want to be your one-stop-shop for everything motherhood related. It is our name after all!

BOUNCEBACK COLLECTION
This postpartum line includes post-pregnancy leggings, denim and pants and features two different compression belly panels that aid in helping new moms rediscover their pre-pregnancy bellies, possibly even quicker than they would without them!

Unlike girdles and other full post-pregnancy support bands, the BOUNCEBACK panel is sewn directly on to the pants so there is no extra bulk, fuss, or discomfort. We offer two different styles: the Power Mesh Band, designed to sit lower on your waist and provide medium compression, and the Seamless Compression Tube, which has a higher rise and stronger compression. In addition to providing a seamless and smooth effect under clothing, they help hold in your post-pregnancy belly with light pressure, ensuring you feel in control and confident. They are an easy and effortless way for you to feel like yourself again. You aren’t just bouncing back, but rather bouncing forward to being the best new mom and new you!

FIT TO PRINT

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We always say that we want to be your source for all things maternity, so we put our money where our mouth is and created an Info & Inspo tab on our website. Go to Motherhood.com, then look to the right on the top navigation… there she is: the tab that ends all tabs (when it comes to pregnancy styling, sizing and surmising!)

What to expect? There are the answers to your questions concerning what and when to buy for your maternity wardrobe, what makes us the experts in pregnancy fashion, and other burning inquiries about dressing the bump.

We feature and highlight our monthly Style Guide, Wear Now and After campaign, and the Five Fundamental fashions to help you get started with shopping for all your new curves. This is the one time in your life that redoing your closet is necessary; so, it’s all the fun without any of the guilt!

We included our Trimester Checklist to keep your shopping priorities easy and efficient, as well as the Maternity Fit Guide showcasing the fit and function of how our pieces work through all trimesters, even into motherhood. It includes different pant styles, tops, dresses, and how to do a bra fitting at home. (But remember, bra and bump fittings are always free in your store too!)

We completed our tab with hospital bag suggestions, and an entire section dedicated to all our new moms, including nursing mamas who need support and style for breastfeeding and pumping. This Info & Inspo section comes full circle by adding our Perks Page. Working with some of the finest family and parenting partners helps us in making sure we are here for you the best we can from the beginning of your journey, to post-baby, and then beyond!

As always, keep getting inspired and inspiring us @motherhoodmaternity – we love seeing you in our clothes! #thisisgoingtobefun

CONCEAL OR REVEAL 

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We have smart cars and smart phones, and now we also have smart fashion. As a company, Motherhood® Maternity has been looking toward improving on even more ways to live up to our name!  We have been working with each other, as well as our customers to stylistically satisfy this unique time in women’s lives. Maternity may be these golden 40 weeks, but the changes that happen during pregnancy last much longer than nine months. We want to be a place that not only our moms-to-be look to for fashion and inspo, but our new moms too!

Women who nurse need clothing that take them not only through those few weeks after birth, but long after maternity leave ends and their everyday busy lives come back into play. Some mamas continue to nurse up to, and then past a year! It isn’t easy to sit in a pumping room pulling at too tight tops and necklines without any stretch. This is why our goal was to create nursing tops and even nursing dresses that seamlessly fit into a woman’s life, without them being glaringly obvious nursing clothing.

For instance, this featured fashion is our mock layer nursing dress with side access for easier nursing and pumping. You do not need to sacrifice your comfort or your style when out and about. You are already working so hard; let your clothing do something for you. The trends really take center stage: sweater top, ruffled sleeve and striped shirt dress bottom. This is just one of our nursing styles. Take a look and let us know if you love what you see with #thisisgoingtobefun @motherhoodmaternity.

UNDERLINED WITH LACE

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You know the saying when you look good, you feel good? Lingerie is not always about being racy, instead, it should be more about being feminine, floral and lacy.  With comfortable, practical AND pretty underwear that overachieves, anything might just feel possible.

Sometimes the basics get overlooked, but we really have the prettiest pregnancy panties. From prints to lace trim, stripes to hearts, ones from Jessica Simpson for Motherhood® Maternity, polka dots and animal print… there’s a style you’ll want to start your day off wearing.

Don’t forget bras. Our maternity bras are nursing bras, so they last from now to new mom.  The gorgeous racerback sleep bra pulls down for nursing with a wrap front that offers light support.  However, there are so many styles: full coverage, demi, wireless, underwire, sports, strapless and plus size too! With our always-running buy three, get the fourth free savings, you can fill your drawers with something lacey, something solid, something sporty and something for every day. These are just some reasons why we love our lingerie.

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

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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

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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.

 

 

RESOLUTIONS BY TRIMESTER

 

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FIRST
Chances are that first trimester exhaustion is just starting to hit, so now is the time to be good to yourself, relax and get serious about binge watching! Once baby comes, you may not have as much time to yourself, so enjoy it while you’ve got it. Whether it’s shows that make you laugh or cry or both, you’ll want to cozy on up on the couch… or in bed.

When watching Full House and Gilmore Girls marathons, get your big mug of decaf coffee out and pair it with the smoothest maternity leggings and an oversized maternity sweater for all those lessons from dad, and those fast talking, mother-daughter moments.

Maybe you haven’t been feeling so well (we recommend Preggie Pop Drops – you’ll thank us) and laughter is the best medicine, so try binging a comedy. Friends, Blackish, The Office… all are even funnier in a shirt that adds some humor, like one of our maternity graphic tees.

Or all you need is a good cry. Don’t skip the drama, embrace it with old school Grey’s Anatomy episodes (Denny, we miss you!) Or, get into This Is Us, because what have you been waiting for?

SECOND
You are showing, but are you glowing? Take some time to yourself this trimester, because this is when everything happens. From your baby shower and gender reveal, to your babymoon, to itchy skin and backaches… there’s a lot to expect when expecting. So, calm down and breathe. Maybe, try a little yoga.

Our friends at Fit Pregnancy have an easy-to-follow yoga guide with moves accommodating women per trimester. To give you a taste of where to start, “Do the program in the order listed at least 3 times per week. On non-yoga days, include other activities such as walking or swimming. Choose the variation of each pose that’s most appropriate for you based on your fitness level, flexibility, strength, trimester and familiarity with yoga. Hold each pose for 5 smooth, controlled breaths. If any of the poses becomes uncomfortable, stop.”

If this is the year you’re going to be one fit mama-to-be or new mom, delve deeper and keep following us, because later this week and throughout the month we are collaborating with Amy Kiefer of Expecting and Empowered. Come back to check as she helps us workout while pregnant, after birth, and look good doing it with a little help from Motherhood Maternity!

Now that you’ve stretched it out wearing something from our maternity active collection, get ready to relax. Snuggle up in one of our maternity and nursing nightgown and robe sets, lather yourself with safe skincare and prepare to Netflix and chill. It’s okay, resolutions can roll over.

THIRD
This one is easy, uncomplicated, efficient. Shop our maternity sleepwear. Feel better knowing it’s also nursing sleepwear. Wear and love our sleepwear.

FOURTH
Hello new mama! We know tri means three, but the fourth trimester is real- welcome to it. Try our nursing styles and bras, post-pregnancy pants from our BounceBack Collection, and all of our nursing essentials, like balms, for making the transition smoother in more ways than one!

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