SNOOGLE TIME

 

MH BLOG SnoogleSleep 2018 v1

Our #1 best-selling sleep pillow is all about bumps in the night! What makes the total body pillow, The Snoogle, so amazing? Well keep on reading…

Leachco, the company behind the pregnancy pillow says, “The Snoogle was uniquely designed by a Registered Nurse and Mom to follow the natural contour and shape of your body from head to toe. Use to make sleeping and relaxing more cozy without the extra body heat.”

What we love about it is the way you can snuggle up to it with your belly facing the pillow, as extra support when the bump starts to feel heavy. Or, how it wraps around your back acting like a stabilizer during sleeping, coming up between your legs and creating a natural lift.

The Snoogle is not only amazing for sleeping, but also for binge-watching and chilling on the couch. Just coil yourself up in the soft, yet structured polyester pillow. We sell removable covers for quick cleaning and replacing too, which are washer and dryer safe. So, go ahead and have that midnight snack with reckless abandon. The evidence can be washed away!

Once you take it to bed, you won’t want to be without it. We know our customers continue to use it as a nursing pillow post-pregnancy too. Oh… and guess what… The Snoogle is $20 off, making it $40 (originally $60) from Thursday, October 4th through Saturday, October 6th! Save in stores and online. Savings are taken at checkout.  Send us your bumps in bed photos with #thisisgoingtobefun @motherhoodmaternity.

COZY UP TO FALL

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Here it is, our autumn embrace. We have been waiting for the weather to change and the season to follow suit! For fall, expect total comfort in the form of super soft velour, the comfiest cotton and coziest knits. We will do anything to help you bundle up that bump so when fall becomes winter, you have these pieces at the ready!

Let’s start with the newest or shall we say renewed trend: VELOUR!!! We are loving the throwback to the early aughts [we see you J.Lo circa 2001.] Only now our velour maternity hoodies and maternity joggers are tailored and fitted, but still just as comfortable. We love a look… and this is certainly a look! Not ready to commit to a full outfit? The maternity hoodie dress from Jessica Simpson for Motherhood Maternity gives you the same feels, with a one and done style.

Cotton, said to be the fabric of our lives, is certainly the fabric of the season. The style staples, our side-ruched maternity tees, are a cotton and spandex blend, making them stretchy and soft. They look amazing with everything, from the best thing cotton has to offer, jeans, to the new hacci knit wide leg maternity pants. Our maternity sweatshirts are also crafted with cotton, so your weekend wardrobe is complete.

Now on to the knits. From jersey, to cable, to ribbed, hacci and even ponte… there is no shortage of maternity sweaters to love. You can top off any style with something super soft, every day of the week! Just make sure you tag us in your OOTD with #thisisgoingtobefun @motherhoodmaternity.

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?

 

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

 

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We’re back for day two of our blogger edit with Amy Kiefer. Check out our last post to learn all about her and read on to find out about her fitness program designed specifically for mamas-to-be, Expecting and Empowered. And get excited – next week we jump into a pre-natal workout routine!

 

Motherhood: What led you and your sister to start Expecting and Empowered?

Amy: Expecting and Empowered is our passion project.  There were so many women around us asking, “What can I do during pregnancy? What is safe?” We knew smart women who would believe the old lies that working out can cause a miscarriage. We also saw people doing dangerous things to the other extreme and not making proper pregnancy modifications. We knew that together we had the knowledge, experience and drive to produce something really special. My sister Krystle holds a doctorate in physical therapy and has taken specialty courses in obstetrics and pelvic floor health. As a personal trainer and nurse myself, we just knew we had all the tools and resources to make the best pregnancy guide possible.

I called her one day on my way home from the gym and pitched her the idea. It was easier than I thought to get her on board and we just started working! Little did we know how much work it would be, but we are thankful our business baby was born in October.

Motherhood: How does your program work and how does it differ from any traditional fitness regimen? What makes it pregnancy-friendly?

Amy: Expecting and Empowered is an instantly downloadable PDF. A really fun detail is that we were both pregnant during the creation, so we were able to model for our own guide! You will see me in my first and second trimester and Krystle as the third trimester model. Our pregnancy guide consists of three guided days of pelvic floor, flexibility and strength training exercises. There is a lower body day, upper body day and full body day. We also suggest two days of cardiovascular training and give you our recommendations for those days. All in all, we are hoping women get five days of exercises in a week to reap all the benefits.

Expecting and Empowered makes all the proper pregnancy modifications when necessary. For example, women should not be on their backs for an extended amount of time after the first trimester. Women should not be doing planks after the first trimester. Women should not be doing unilateral movements (lunges) later in pregnancy. E and E (as we affectionately call Expecting and Empowered) makes it easy, because we have only safe workouts ready to go for women. Because Krystle is a women’s health physical therapist, one element that makes our guide very unique is having an emphasis placed on pelvic floor health. This under-talked about subject can mean big issues postpartum for women, including incontinence and inability to return to a normal sex life. Krystle is incredibly passionate about preventative health and helping women avoid these common issues, so there are pelvic floor exercises included in every single day of the guide.

Motherhood: Beyond the actual exercises, what kind of community are you hoping to build?

Amy: So glad you asked, because this has been a favorite part of our business. When we were dreaming up this business, this was a pillar of it. We knew we wanted a place where women could connect and share experiences. We created a private Facebook group for customers. The women have made it their own! They share everything from positive pregnancy tests (some women start E and E before conception) to recipes, to energy tips, to morning sickness advice. It is a really awesome thing to be a part of and I look forward to meeting and cheering on more women. 

Motherhood: It’s hard staying motivated to work out. What is some advice you would give to women who want to work out while pregnant? And maybe more importantly, post-partum when time and energy is even harder to find?

Amy: I love this question! It is counterintuitive, but working out gives you a huge boost in energy and mood. One of my very favorite experiences as a personal trainer was to see someone START a workout journey and quickly become hooked and excited. At first, they were dragging themselves to the gym, but once they established a routine and experienced the positive benefits…they became hooked. I was able to see their confidence, fitness and dedication soar.

Take it slow postpartum! You are not supposed to be able to jump right back into it and most of your energy will go toward taking care of your newborn and recovering yourself. When you are a little bit further out, you can return to a regular fitness routine. The Expecting and Empowered postpartum guide that is currently being created really picks up at six weeks postpartum. Prior to that, we are just giving women exercises that will help them heal.

Motherhood: Since it is the first week of January, we can’t let you go without asking if you have any resolutions for 2018?

Amy: I am not a huge resolution gal, rather I love to continuously work on improvement. Most of the audiobooks and podcasts I listen to would fall into the self-improvement and positivity category. That way, I am always inspired.

Expecting and Empowered will launch a postpartum guide early this year. We are excited because we know that women have a lot of questions and make mistakes in this period. Krystle and I are excited to give women a guide that shows them how to safely return to a place where they are comfortable. Essentially, we will have women covered the whole way through their mamahood journey.

Stay tuned all month for specific workout tips and tricks from Amy! And as always, show us your 2018 workout goals with #thisisgoingtobefun @motherhoodmaternity – Happy New You!

 

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

 

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To kick off 2018, we’ve partnered with full-time mama and co-founder of Expecting and Empowered, Amy Kiefer. With years of fitness training under her belt, Amy and her sister saw a lack of exercise programs dedicated to expecting and new moms. Seeing a need in the market to cater to and empower women during a physically and emotionally challenging time, they decided to answer the call themselves! We can’t think of a more perfect fit than Amy to guide our Motherhood mamas on a fitness journey this month. We’ll be coming to you with perinatal workouts, activewear and new mom/nursing style posts, Facebook live interviews and much more! To start, read on to find out how Amy balances this crazy life we call motherhood!

 

Motherhood: Congratulations; we heard you just had your baby! Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you do?

Amy: Thank you and first let me say that I am really honored to be January’s featured contributor for Motherhood Maternity. My husband Drew and I just welcomed our second little boy, Trey, on November 11th. Maxwell, our firstborn, was seventeen and a half months old when Trey arrived. Our hearts and hands are full.

I was born and raised in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. I moved around a little bit after college, but landed in Madison, Wisconsin. My husband and I absolutely love it here and enjoy raising our babies in this beautiful Midwestern city. I work at the Carbone Cancer Center, one of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics. I am a registered nurse and work three days a week. I also launched a pregnancy fitness business with my sister called Expecting and Empowered. Finally, I blog about mamahood, positivity and fitness over at BalancedAmes.com.

Motherhood: What inspired your fitness journey? What road(s) did you take to pursue your passion?

Amy: I grew up playing outside and participating in sports. In high school I became interested in improving my performance through nutrition and strength training. Additionally, I wanted to help other people become healthier. That led me to pursue a degree in exercise science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where I also ran cross country and track. After graduating, I worked as a personal trainer in Chicago for 2 years.

While training clients one-on-one, I noticed that there were a lot of women that needed guidance through pregnancy. I decided to take a specialty course in perinatal fitness (fitness before, during and after pregnancy) through a company called Healthy Moms. There I learned an enormous amount about what women go through during their pregnancy and postpartum journey. My mind was pretty blown, and I wanted to help spread the knowledge to expecting mamas.

Motherhood: As a nurse, mom and blogger… can you walk us through a “typical” day?

Amy: I will return to my nursing job in February from my maternity leave. First, I will run through what a typical two-parent work day looks like in our household. My husband wakes up at 4:30am to workout. I wake up as he is leaving for the gym at 5am. I work on my blog or business until one of our little ones wakes up. We have learned to get ourselves as ready as possible the night before including packing pumping parts, setting our clothes out and making lunches. We get both the little guys ready for daycare. My husband does daycare drop off because it works better with his schedule. I LOVE my nursing job, but I work at a busy, busy clinic. I make sure I get two pump breaks in, no matter how busy the day is.

After work, we all meet back at home. It is really important to Drew and I that we all eat dinner together. Sometimes we both have a baby in our lap, but it is our time to connect as a family. Next is bath time. Our very favorite part of the day is from 7-8pm because our toddler Max is in the best mood ever and we all play until it is his bedtime. I take the nighttime workout slot and will head straight into the basement to do that once Max is down. This really works to de-stress me and boost my mood before bed. Blogging and managing Expecting and Empowered are squeezed somewhere in all that too. If everyone is well fed, loved and alive at the end of the day I consider it a great success. If they nap at the same time, that is my window to work on my blog or business.

Motherhood: Can you tell us a little bit about how you fit fitness into your daily life – before kids, after your first child and now with your second?

Amy: Before children, I figured out the time that worked best for me and STUCK to it. When I was a nightshift nurse, working out when I first woke up worked best. “Morning” to a nightshift nurse is in the afternoon. I thought of it as a non-negotiable meeting with myself and was disciplined about sticking to my plan.

After we had our first babe Maxwell, we quickly learned that we had to be more flexible

Here are some of my suggestions for working out after becoming first time parents:

  1. I have had stretches of morning workouts, naptime workouts and after bedtime workouts, instead of nixing it from my schedule.
  2. If you are using naptime, workout as soon as you put the little person down. This way, you are more likely to be able to get it in and not be interrupted.

After our second baby, it seems easiest for me to work out after toddler bedtime. This means I am heading to the basement at 8pm. I am the type of gal that can go to sleep right after working out and showering. I always tell myself I am better for getting it in and it always rings true.

 

Stay tuned tomorrow to find out more about Amy’s fitness program designed specifically for moms-to-be and new moms!  Tell us [and show us] how you work out with #thisisgoingtobefun @motherhoodmaternity.

 

SHARE THE THRONE

 

MH Blog GR PrincePrincess 2017 v1

We love Gender Reveals, as you can probably gather by now, and we don’t think the excitement of a reveal should be limited to first time parents! Looking for clever ways to incorporate big sisters and big brothers into the mix, we came up with a royal theme.

For Who Will Share the Trone?, our beautiful model Vittoria will be revealing if her sibling is a prince or princess. With a little fairy tale magic and a gold pen, we created the sign on poster board, and then taped it to a pretty metal curtain rod. Add in a castle, your little royal highness, and let the second crown be the reveal. In this case… another princess is on the way!

Keep reading our blog for more Gender Reveal ideas and style inspo!

TEES THE NEWS

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There are so many ways to have a gender reveal, from the cake, to a party— but sometimes you just need the right shirt for the right picture, and thus the right reveal!

We love Halloween, which is why this week we are bringing you all different ways to reveal the announcement of your pregnancy, as well as the sex of your baby. Keep a look out for tomorrow’s DIY bump-costume post, and check out yesterday’s wicked good reveal.

As for today, we are highlighting our best-selling graphic tees of the season. We’re Adding a Pumpkin to Our Patch is a shirt that we see our customers use to reveal their pregnancy all the time. In fact, both our Editor and Email Marketing Manager wore theirs to share the news! We wanted to expand on that idea by giving it a gender reveal twist. With a black pumpkin and a little blue one inside… baby is a boy!

Our Pumpkin Smuggler tee is new this year and has been an instant best-seller.  Make it into a full costume with a bandit mask and getaway bag—voila Halloween complete!

Are you revealing on social? Make sure you tag us when you do with #thisisgoingtobefun @motherhoodmaternity.

 

#BUMPDAY

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Bump Day is an opportunity to use the power of social media to raise awareness about the global need for maternal health care. Healthy futures start with healthy beginnings, which is why we’re celebrating #BumpDay.

How can you help raise awareness?

  1. Share your baby bump photos online
  2. Use #BumpDay
  3. Tag
    1. Twitter: @IMC_Worldwide @WhatToExpect
    2. Facebook: @InternationalMedicalCorps @WhatToExpectWhenYoureExpecting
    3. Instagram: @InternationalMedicalCorps @WhatToExpect

MOCKTAIL MONDAY: PREGGY PUNCH

Mocktail Monday Preggy Punch

We are wrapping up our Mocktail Mondays with a bang, well a punch- PREGGY PUNCH! Our friends at PopSugar are helping us out again with this Fizzy Blueberry Basil Punch recipe, originally created on Cooking for Keeps. The bump deserves something a little bubbly; treat the craving with a drink that not only brings in antioxidants, but memories of sitting around and sipping on something sweet. When it’s good for you and tastes good too, it’s a win-win and our pick for the final Mocktail Monday. Enjoy!

Gather your girls over for this drink, because the recipe is ready to serve 6 to 8 people!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. blueberries
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup basil
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 liter club soda

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add the blueberries, basil, water and sugar to a medium saucepan and stir. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Push the mixture through a sieve and into a pitcher. Add lime juice, then chill in the fridge until cool, about 45 minutes.
  3. Add club soda right before serving.
  4. Garnish with extra blueberries, lime or basil.

Match your mocktail in our ruffled one shoulder maternity top and lightweight white maternity shorts! Share your mommy mocktails with us using #thisisgoingtobefun @motherhoodmaternity. Thank you for following our Mocktail Mondays and look out for more of our social series!

THE COOL DOWN: PREGNANCY POPSICLES

#BeatTheHeat

For all recipes, you’ll need a popsicle mold, mixing bowls and measuring cups. (If you don’t have a mold, cups and sticks will do the trick, or make flavored ice cubes instead! Each recipe makes roughly 6 pops).

  1. COCONUT: The naturally sweet fruit is super hydrating and totes Lauric Acid, perfect for building immunity for you and that baby in your belly!

Mix one can (or two cups) of coconut milk with 3 tablespoons real maple syrup, 1 tablespoon vanilla abstract and 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut flakes. Pour the mixture into the molds, cups or cube tray and let sit for four hours or overnight. Enjoy!

  1. PEACH: This summer favorite is rich in Iron, which is perfect for pregnancy, since many expecting women become iron-deficient, causing an even more tired (or anemic) mama!

This recipe is very easy! Take 4 ripe peaches, because the riper- the sweeter, blend them up in a food processor, squeeze in half a lemon, and 2 tablespoons sugar, or orange juice for a natural sweetness. Blend until even smoother. Pour in your mold of choice; let freeze for four hours or overnight.

  1. MANGO: Full of Vitamin B6, mangoes are amazing at providing both mommy and baby with brain-boosting effects, as well as the creation of healthy red blood cells.

Take 4 mangoes (make sure they are soft to the touch for ripeness and sweetness!) De-skin the fruits, cube the flesh and plop it into a blender or processor. Add 1 cup of almond or coconut milk and one cup of vanilla yogurt; you can use Greek for a tangier taste and a boost of protein. Once smooth, pour into the molds; freeze for four hours or overnight.

  1. STRAWBERRY & BANANA: Strawberries have the almighty Folic Acid, which pregnant women know is the queen of maternity vitamins! It helps to keep baby’s neurological and spinal cords working in the womb. Bananas are often loved for their Potassium, which helps increase energy and in the case of pregnancy, soothe sickness.

All you need are the two fruits to make the ice pops! Take about 12 large strawberries and one ripe banana. Blend, pour, freeze. The banana should be sweet enough to cure your sugar craving and the strawberries should provide enough liquid. If not, add a little orange juice to the mixture for a sweet and smooth kick. Freeze for a few hours or overnight.

  1. WATERMELON: Besides being hydrating, watermelon has what oranges usually take the credit for… lots of Vitamin C. It sometimes gets a bad rap for pregnancy, but when consumed naturally through fruits and veggies, the bright vitamin provides collagen production, which is the building block of bones and healthy skin.

Watermelons are obviously very liquidy on their own. As their name suggests, they are made of 92% water. That means, you can take a whole medium seedless watermelon, cut it in pieces, blend the flesh, and pour it in the freezer molds. Or, you have the option to thicken the mixture with fruits of your choice. Try a summer blend with kiwi or add a little lime. For a refreshing twist, throw in some fresh mint or go classy and swap in basil instead.  Freeze and eat!

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