Time to Restart Your Postpartum Fitness Routine? These Seven Tips Can Help!

Even if fitness was at the top of your list throughout your nine months of pregnancy, there’s still a learning curve when it comes to establishing a postpartum workout routine. While factors like a weak pelvic floor, altered center of balance, and atrophied muscles can affect your ability to pick up exactly where you left off, these seven tips can help you ease back in.

Postpartum fitness

1. Listen to Your Doctor…and Your Body

Your doctor will provide instructions regarding when it’s safe to resume exercise. This may vary depending on whether you had a vaginal or cesarean birth. Many doctors recommend waiting until bleeding has stopped for vaginal births, while refraining for a full six weeks following a c-section.

Additionally, it’s important to listen to your own body. If exercising causes your bleeding to resume or increase, this may indicate that you need to scale back.

2. Keep Up the Kegels

If you did pelvic floor-strengthening Kegel exercises prior to your baby’s birth, it’s not time to quit yet. Continuing your postpartum Kegel routine can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles thereby increasing your ability to do general ab work, like crunches and Pilates. Lack of strength in this area, meanwhile, can slow your healing process and even increase your chances of organ prolapse.

3. Slow and Steady

Pregnancy and childbirth hormones can cause your joints and ligaments to soften and stay soft for up to six months following your baby’s arrival. Don’t be surprised if your joints feel unstable or wobbly. Avoid jerky movements and instead choose slow, smooth activities until stability returns.

Many new mothers find that walking is an ideal entry-level cardiovascular exercise. As you grow stronger and more comfortable, build to higher impact cardio. Swimming also offers a low-impact form of exercise — particularly for women suffering from pronounced pelvic floor issues.

4. Drink Up

Staying hydrated while beginning your postpartum routine is especially important — particularly for breastfeeding mothers. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Keep a water bottle handy at all times for convenience and as a reminder.

5. Rest Up

The more rested and restored you feel following your workout, the more likely you’ll be to continue your routine. Having a newborn is exhausting to begin with, and attempting to amp up your exercise routine can add to these feelings. Remind yourself that while it may be challenging now, exercising ultimately leads to more — not less — energy, as well as increased fitness levels so you’ll be able to keep up better when baby is up and running.

6. Buddy Up

If you’re having trouble getting motivated to move, enlist the aid of another new mother who shares your fitness goals. Whether you enroll in a postnatal exercise class together or simply plan on a daily afternoon stroll through the neighborhood with your babies, exercising with a partner can help you stay on track while offering a built-in socialization opportunity — a must for new moms who can sometimes feel isolated during the early days of motherhood.

Postpartum fitness

7. Count the Benefits

While restarting an exercise program can be a challenge, it’s easier to stay on track if you are aware of the many benefits. Not only can regular postpartum exercise promote weight loss, improve muscle strength, and build cardiovascular fitness, it also helps relieve stress, improve your mood, and ward off depression.

One last but very important benefit? Making a commitment to exercise also sets a positive example for your child.

Do you have any tips or tricks to share with other new mothers for easing back into a post-baby fitness routines? If so, please share them in the Comments section below. And remember: you’ll be more likely to hit the gym or trail if you’re wearing clothing you look and feel great in. For Two Fitness’s popular line of maternity activewear is designed to accommodate a woman’s changing shape through pregnancy and in the months after your baby’s arrival. The result? Chic, comfortable postpartum style.

Choosing a Breast Pump: What You Need to Know

Crib bedding. Jogging stroller. Baby clothing. Breast pump? Parents-to-be have many purchasing decisions ahead of them. For many, a breast pump is not only one of the most important, but also one of the most foreign: how do you know which breast pump to buy? After all, if you’re a first-time mom, the odds are high you’ve never before even given these devices a second thought. Luckily, we’re here to help. Let’s take a closer look at the world of breast pumps, along with what you need to know to make an informed decision when choosing one.

Breast pump

Types of Breast Pumps

All breast pumps are not created equally. In fact, there are many different types and models, all of which offer different pros and cons. Breast pumps can be broken down into two main categories: manual and electric. Your decision on the type to buy will largely rely upon how often you plan to use it.

Evaluating Your Your Needs

Manual breast pumps, which are smaller and cost significantly less than electric alternatives, are ideally suited for moms with a well-established supply who only plan to pump occasionally. This basic device involves placing a conical shield over the breast and squeezing to express the milk. Manual breast pumps are typically more lightweight and quieter than electric alternatives, but can also take considerably longer and lead to aching hands from the repetitive motion.

Breast pump

If you’re attempting to increase your supply or are a working mom with frequent plans to pump, an electric pump may be a more practical option — particularly when time is at a premium. Electric breast pumps are similar in function, however the work is done for you through an automated suction mechanism.

Because electric breast pumps allow you to express milk from both breasts at the same time, you can reduce pumping time by at least half, and that’s without factoring in the increased efficiency of the electric pump. Considering that the average pumping session takes between 10 and 15 minutes per breast, the electric pump can save you a significant amount of time over the course of days and weeks. Some electric pumps also come with adjustable suction which can be customized to mimic a baby’s suck, both in terms of pace and strength.

Evaluating the Cost

Many couples experience sticker shock when they first learn how much electric breast pumps cost. Before eliminating this type as a possibility, check into whether your insurance plan covers the purchase.

Additionally, consider renting an electric breast pump from your hospital or local medical supply store. Many rent hospital-grade models at reasonable prices. (Rentals may also be covered by insurance.) If you do rent a breast pump, you will need to buy a pumping kit. Consisting of the tubing, shields and other equipment that attaches directly from the pump to your breast, this eliminates the potential risk of contamination.

According to La Leche League, buying or borrowing a used pump — aside from hospital-grade models — is not advised because they are “open systems,” in which milk can be aspirated back into the pump engine, which cannot be removed or sterilized. This position is backed by the FDA which advises that “if proper sterilization of the breast pump cannot be achieved, FDA recommends that it not be used by different mothers.”

Other Factors to Consider

If you plan to travel a lot — either for work or for pleasure — choose a lightweight, portable pump that makes for convenient on-the-go use. While manual models are the lightest and most travel-friendly, some electric models are designed to be lightweight and even come with insulated carrying cases for easy storage.

If you’re pumping at work or in another public space, meanwhile, noise may be an issue. Manual models are quiet, but many electric models are also discreet.

One last thing to consider? Electricity. If you will be pumping as a main source of breast milk (as opposed to purely supplementary) it’s important to keep in mind that electric pumps are dependent on an electrical source so a backup plan will be required if/when power is lost.

Breast pump

Breastfeeding is widely regarded as the healthiest option for your baby, and buying the right breast pump can get off to the very best start on your breastfeeding journey while supporting your efforts along the way. Need more great advice from moms and other maternity experts? Bookmark the For Two Fitness blog to keep up with the latest news and information on all things pregnancy, baby and motherhood. And while you’re there be cure to check out For Two Fitness’s complete line of chic, comfortable maternity workout clothing.

Sleep and Your Baby: What You Need to Know

New parenthood is filled with many joys, but also the occasional challenge. For many bleary-eyed moms and dads the number one issue topping the list of frustrations? Sleep. While it’s true that sleep can be elusive when you have a newborn, there are some things you can do right now to help your baby go to sleep and stay asleep. Let’s take a closer look at a few key principles all parents need to know about infant sleep.

Sleep better

How Infants Sleep

Did you know that infants fall asleep differently than adults do? According to Dr. Sears, while grownups directly enter deep sleep, infants first undergo periods of light sleep. They also have shorter sleep cycles once they do finally nod off.

A key part of helping your baby sleep better is understanding your infant’s sleep stages. If you’re transitioning your baby — either from your arms or from one location to another — wait until she has entered a deep sleep stage. Signs and symptoms that she’s entered this phase? Her breath slows down and becomes more regular, and muscles completely relax, meaning your baby’s hands will be unclenched and all twitches and startles will cease.

If you try to put your baby down sooner, she is likely to wake…and the cycle may start all over again.

Be Prepared for Night Waking

While many new parents want their babies to sleep through the night, night waking also has its benefits. In fact, night waking has proven survival benefits ensuring that your baby’s basic needs are met.

For example: while most babies sleep between 14 and 18 hours a day, they need to eat at least every four hours or so because their stomachs are so small. If their hunger didn’t wake them, it could compromise their survival. The same goes for everything from stuffy noses to body temperatures running too high or low.

Many sleep researchers also believe that your baby’s light sleep, night waking, and shorter sleep cycles help her brain develop more quickly and comprehensively. It can help to remind yourself that when your baby wakes at night, it’s due to biologically necessitated hard-wiring designed to ensure her ongoing wellbeing — both in infancy and into adulthood.

Tips and Tricks for Better Sleep

Just as you sleep better in certain temperatures, so does your baby. Infants sleep best in temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees, so use a thermostat to keep the temperature comfortable.

Light is also a useful way to regulate your baby’s internal clock. Use a dimmer in the evening to cue your baby that bedtime is approaching. Some parents find that blackout shades offer the perfect snooze-friendly environment.

Conversely, make sure your home is brightly lit during waking hours — even during naptime — and use natural sunlight to help wake your baby in the morning. An added benefit? This natural sunlight can also help you recharge if lack of sleep has you feeling low.

Lastly, while eye contact, singing, and talking have many benefits for your baby during playtime, these habits can actually interfere with your baby’s sleepiness at bedtime. Skip gazing into your baby’s eyes in order to help her nod off easier.

Sleep better

Ultimately, how your baby sleeps is as much a factor of her temperament as it is of your efforts to help her acclimate to your schedule. Heed the call to “sleep when she sleeps” to help survive these late-night feeds and early-morning wakeup calls. And don’t forget to take care of your own sleep needs: create your own bedtime ritual, continue your maternity workout routine (check out For Two Fitness for a cute, comfy selection of maternity activewear), and drink plenty of water in order to ensure that sweet dreams don’t just await your baby, but you as well.

Four Great Baby Shower Gifts For Fit Moms

Practical diaper pails, adorable onesies, unthinkably small baby booties, and cushy nursing pillows are just a few of the things guests and the guest of honor herself “ooh” and “ahh” over during baby showers. But why not think outside the box when it comes to shopping for a gift for your favorite fit-minded mama-to-be? Let’s count down a few fabulous gifts sure to please pregnant exercise enthusiasts.

Fit moms

1. A Baby Jogger

Whether she’s a fan of leisurely strolls around the neighborhood or a many-time marathoner, a baby jogger is a must-have. Today’s baby joggers deliver a smooth ride, and can help get mom back into action with baby in tow.

Baby joggers can be expensive, so if you’re not in the market to spend a lot of money, consider teaming up with friends or family members to chip in on this gift — one you know she’ll use and appreciate.

If a baby jogger has already been selected from the recipient’s registry, consider getting an running stroller accessory instead, such as a rain canopy, glider board for an older child, or cooler bag.

2. Wearables

From Fitbits to the iWatch, wearables continue to be a red-hot trend in the world of fitness. They’re also an invaluable tool for moms-to-be. From tracking workouts to monitoring movement and heart rate, wearables add a fun and functional element to working out.

One of the best things about a wearable fitness device is that it will continue to come in handy after the baby is born by offering the motivation to keep new moms moving.

3. Maternity Activewear

The right maternity clothing can help pregnant women look great throughout pregnancy. But maternity activewear isn’t just about appearance. Well-designed maternity tops, bottoms and accessories help enhance the wearer’s workout, thanks to high performance details like moisture wicking tech fabrics, four-way stretch and recovery, and form-fitting side-ruching. Plus, who can resist irresistible pieces like the Running for Two Racerback Tank Top or the Body By Baby Long-Sleeve Tee?

And then there’s the yoga pants. Not only are maternity workout pants the perfect addition to any pregnant woman’s workout wardrobe, but they’re guaranteed to become a comfortable yet stylish go-to piece for almost any occasion.

One of the best things about For Two Fitness clothing is that every piece is designed and sized to grow with women — not only throughout their pregnancies, but also during the “fourth trimester.”

If you’re stumped on which she’ll like best, a gift certificate is the perfect opportunity to let her choose something special for herself.

4. Gift Certificate

Speaking of gift certificates, these are an easy yet effective way to please the hard-to-please. Does she love yoga? If so, why not stop into your local yoga boutique to find out about purchasing a gift certificate for a maternity or “Mommy and Me” yoga class?

If she already has a gym membership, a gift certificate to a local massage studio, spa, or nail salon offers post-workout restoration for the body and soul. After all, the recipient will very soon be the one doing the pampering, so why not ensure that she gets her fair share of being pampered in now?

Not only are workout-themed gifts good for pregnant women, they’re also great for unborn babies when you factor in the many benefits — to mom and child alike — of pregnancy fitness. Be sure to check out For Two Fitness’s complete line of bump-celebrating maternity activewear to find a unique gift that any fitness-forward mama-to-be is sure to love.

Top Five New Mom Must-Haves

Your list of things to get before baby’s arrival is probably a mile long. Luckily, this is one shopping list that’s far more exciting than the one you jot down before a trip to the grocery store. And while onesies and diapers and the ever-elusive perfect diaper bag may take center stage when it comes to planning what you need for baby, don’t forget about the five new mom must-haves.

New mom

1. A Travel System

Any new parent recognizes the effort that goes into getting an infant to sleep. So the last thing you want to do when your baby finally nods off is risk waking him up! Unfortunately, this is often exactly what happens when babies fall asleep in the car just before arriving home.

A travel system is the perfect solution for this issue. Including stroller, car seat, and car base, these ingenious systems are the ultimate in mobility.

Baby falls asleep on the way home from infant music class again? Simply detach the car seat from its base and bring your sleeping baby inside completely free of disruption.

For the ultimate in convenience, look for travel systems with one-hand folding and plenty of storage.

2. The Perfect Yoga Pants

Take our word for it: maternity workout pants are the bestie of any new mom. The perfect mix of chic comfort, these look and feel great — and work for nearly any style situation. Of course, you’ll want these around when you resume your workout routine, but that’s just the beginning of it.

From the coffee shop to “Mommy and Me” to the playground, your trusty yoga pants will get you where you need to go. (Hint: buy a few pairs.)

And don’t forget to stock up on plenty of maternity activewear, which can help you maintain your fitness routine from the early days of pregnancy through your “fourth trimester.”

3. A Nursing Pillow

So you’ve read the research and understand that “breast is best” when it comes to feeding your baby. A few tools can help you ensure success on your breastfeeding journey. Many nursing moms swear by their nursing pillows. which offer gentle assistance — particularly during your baby’s first few months. If you aren’t breastfeeding, meanwhile, a nursing pillow can also offer support during bottle feeding.

Have an upstairs and a downstairs? We recommend getting two: one for each location. For ease and comfort, look for a nursing pillow made with Memory Foam cushioning, and with a detachable cover for easy on/easy off laundering.

4. An Electric Breast Pump

Let’s get this out there: breast pumps are expensive. In fact, a good one can cost you upwards of $300! But if you plan on pumping your milk — either because you’re a working mom or simply because you want to introduce a bottle — an electric breast pump is a life-saver. Don’t have that kind of cash to drop on a breast pump? Check into breast pump rental programs at your local hospital.

If you plan on doing a lot of pumping, meanwhile, look for portable, hands-free models.(If you only plan on expressing milk very occasionally, a manual pump will suffice.)

New mom

5. A Baby Carrier

Baby carriers earn a spot on this list not only because they’re practical, but because babywearing has many benefits to both mom and baby. From slings to to wraps to backpacks, there are endless baby carriers on the market. Not sure which one is right for you? Try out the different types before making the investment. Perhaps you’ll love the snug fit of the Baby Bjorn, or the wearability of an old-school Maya wrap? Let your choice be guided by what feels best.

Ultimately, the only thing you really need to raise baby is a whole lot of love, but these items make it even easier to enjoy stress-free new motherhood. Are you a new mom with a must-have suggestion of your own? If so, please share in the Comments section!

Six Things to Consider When Picking a Jogging Stroller

So you’ve got post-baby fitness on your mind and you’re planning to invest in a jogging stroller? Good for you! Committing to an exercise regimen after the arrival of your baby is an important part of maintaining physical and mental wellness. But with so many baby joggers on the market, how do you know how to find the right one for your particular needs? Let’s take a closer look at six features to consider when choosing a jogging stroller of your own.

Jogger stroller

1. Front Wheel: Fixed or Swivel?

Because a smooth ride makes your daily fitness routine better for both you and baby, choosing a jogger with the right wheel can be a significant factor when it comes to stability.

Baby joggers are available with front wheels which can be either fixed in the straight-ahead position or with the option to swivel. Hard-core road runners will find the fixed wheel meets their basic needs at a lower price point.

However, if you’re a trail runner and/or plan on using the stroller for more than jogging, consider the infinitely more maneuverable swivel wheel. You’ll be grateful to have made this choice when you’re attempting to navigate your jogger through crowded department store aisles or on busy city sidewalks.

2. Wheel Widths and Suspension Systems

Who would have thought wheels would matter so much when it came to choosing a stroller? In fact, the size of a jogging stroller’s wheels matter for reasons that are both aesthetic and functional. The larger the wheels, the easier they’ll roll over rough terrain while protecting your baby from stress. Pneumatic tires are particularly effective at reducing shock. Additionally, jogging strollers with shock absorber systems can turn bumps into smooth sailing.

If you have storage constraints at home and/or plan on using the stroller in tighter spaces, look for a jogger with narrow wheels. These typically have a sleek profile, fit easily through doors, and are more likely to meet storage constraints.

If you intend to use your jogging stroller for carrying lots of supplies and/or other necessities, however, a wide-wheeled stroller may make more sense, as these typically have more storage space. They can also be more accommodating of larger children.

3.Hand Brakes

Here’s one we consider a deal-breaker — particularly if you live in a hilly area. Even if you’ve never run with a stroller before, you can imagine the stress that might come from running downhill while trying to hold onto a stroller containing your most precious possession. A hand brake keeps baby safe and lets you stay in control while maintaining both your pace and form.

4. Handle Height

If you’re a single parent of average height or if you and your partner are the same height, a fixed handle height may be ideal. However, if you’re planning on sharing the stroller with someone of a different height, an adjustable handle promotes both comfort and ease of use.

Remember: the more comfortable you are pushing your jogger, the more likely you are to take it out for a spin and to maintain your maternity workout momentum.

5. Foldability and Storage

The last thing you want to do is spend your time battling with an unwieldy, uncooperative stroller. While some models feel like they’d need an octopus to break down, others can be easily snapped into place with a single hand or foot tap. This can be particularly useful during motherhood when free hands are a rare and useful commodity.

In addition to considering ease of the folding process, it’s also important to consider how compact a jogging stroller is in the folded position. If you live in a large house with an ample foyer or mudroom, a folded stroller that takes up minimal storage may not be your priority. However, in smaller spaces, the ability to fold your stroller into a tiny, tidy package can help preserve space and prevent clutter.

6. A Sun Canopy

In a perfect world you’d always run in the hours before 10 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. when the sun is not at its peak. However, if you have limited time and need to squeeze in a workout, you may find yourself exercising when the sun is bearing down. In this case, a sun canopy can help protect delicate skin, reduce glare, and keep baby cool. Look for a canopy which can be adjusted to move with the sun for maximal coverage. Permanently affixed canopies, meanwhile, may risk unnecessary exposure. (In either case, never rely on the canopy to completely safeguard your child from the sun. Other protective measures, such as a hat and sunscreen, are also essential.)

All jogging strollers are not created equally. This handy guide can help you choose the stroller that will best meet your needs. If you have a favorite jogging stroller or baby jogger “must have” feature, please share your experiences in the “Comments” section below.

Five Top Tips for Staying Fit During Your Pregnancy

Mamas-to-be hear plenty about the importance of staying fit during pregnancy, and there’s plenty of reason to spread the word: exercising during these nine magical months can do everything from prevent back pain to boost your mood. And that’s not all. Working out while pregnant can also lead to better sleep, healthy weight gain, and even a shorter and easier labor and delivery. But as much as you hear about why you should exercise, the “how” part can often be elusive — particularly when you’re suffering from morning sickness, swollen ankles, and any number of other maternity-related maladies. These five tips can help you overcome these obstacles and reach your pregnancy fitness goals.

Staying fit during your pregnancy

1. Diet Matters

While the Mayo Clinic reveals that there’s no “magic formula for a healthy pregnancy diet,” the usual principles of healthy eating apply, such as sticking with a plant-based diet with plenty of lean protein and healthy fats.

If healthy eating has not been a priority until now, here’s your chance to bump nutrition to the top of your list in order to ensure that both you and your baby enjoy good health.

But even if eating right has long been your priority, your pregnancy diet may require some fine-tuning. Protein, folic acid, vitamin D, and iron are particularly important for pregnant women. Many women — even those who typically enjoy a healthy diet — fall short on these essential nutrients during pregnancy, making prenatal vitamins a must.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, too. Staying hydrated can do everything from help relieve morning sickness to preventing urinary infections — all of which can ensure you’ll also be healthy enough to get in your workout.

Staying fit during your pregnancy

2. Calories Count

It’s not just about what you eat during pregnancy, but also how much. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), pregnant women require about 300 additional calories a day. (This varies if you begin your pregnancy overweight or underweight and/or are carrying multiples, so be sure to check with your doctor.)

Many women mistakenly think of pregnancy as a time to indulge their inner ice cream enthusiast. As with everything in life, moderation is key when it comes to cravings. The extra calories you take in should largely come from nutritious foods in order to best benefit your baby.

3. Enjoy Your Exercise

When exercise is a chore, it’s harder to find the motivation to persevere — particularly during pregnancy. However, research indicates that deriving enjoyment from exercise is directly linked to whether you’ll keep up with your workout regimen.

If you’ve always loved to run or do zumba, most healthcare professionals agree that it’s safe to continue with these activities throughout a normal pregnancy, although some modifications may be required as your belly expands. (Again, check with your doctor to verify that your exercise regimen is safe.)

Many people find that exercise is better with a partner. Whether you grab a pregnant friend for that pre-natal yoga class you’ve been dying to try or simply take a stroll around the neighborhood with your partner, working out with good company can turn a drag into a delight.

4. Make it Muscle

While aerobic exercise is essential to heart health, it’s also critical to focus on maintaining muscle. As a complement to cardio, strength training keeps excess weight gain at bay while keeping your metabolism moving.

Strength training can also help prepare your body for the rigors of labor while reducing the debilitating muscle pains and aches which are often associated with pregnancy.

5. Dress for the Occasion

Are you up for a big night on the town when you’re wearing a baggy tee and sweatpants? Of course not. The same sentiment applies to working out while pregnant.

The happier you feel with your pregnancy wardrobe, the more motivated you’ll be to follow through on your fitness regimen. Not to mention that as your body grows and changes, your pre-pregnancy activewear may no longer be as comfortable or practical. Investing in a few key pieces can help you look and feel your best. Get your money’s worth by seeking out items designed to grow with you throughout your pregnancy and into your “fourth trimester.”

Committing to a fit pregnancy benefits you and your baby in innumerable ways. By keeping this important fact in mind and by following these five tips, you can stay on track with your fitness goals and give your baby a great head start in life. Let For Two Fitness help with our comprehensive line of chic, comfortable, bump-celebrating maternity activewear. Are you a mama-to-be or new mother with a fit pregnancy tip of your own? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

Running and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know for Safety and Fitness

Whether you’re a hardcore runner or just take the occasional jog around the neighborhood, you may find yourself wondering the same question after peeing on a stick and seeing a plus sign: is it safe to run? While you should seek clearance from your doctor before lacing up your running shoes, experts largely agree that running can be a terrific way to stay both healthy and happy during the next nine months. Here’s what you need to know about pounding the pavement during pregnancy.

Listen to Your Body

While it’s always important to listen to your body while exercising, doing so during pregnancy is particularly important because your body is undergoing so many changes.

For most women, this also means taking things a little easier than usual. Instead of shooting for a best time, shoot to keep your heart rate within a comfortable range. (According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no longer a recommended rate for which to shoot; instead look for signs of overexertion, such as being unable to carry on conversation during your workout.) After all, if your heart is beating too quickly, so is your baby’s. Likewise, if you’re short on oxygen, your baby is also experiencing the same phenomenon.

If you haven’t run in a while, pregnancy may not be the time to start. However, introducing activity — again, with your doctor’s approval — is advised by healthcare professionals. Walking, in particular, offers many low-impact benefits which can be gradually built to a walk/run program as you develop both stamina and strength. Not to mention: wouldn’t you love to say you finished up your pregnancy in better shape than you started it?

Beyond Running

While running is a terrific aerobic activity with heart-boosting benefits, it’s also important to supplement with core strength training in order to ward off pain and injuries. As your center of gravity continues to shift from the first to the second to the third trimester, activities like yoga, Tai Chi, and simple stretching can have powerful payoffs.

Dress the Part

The relationship between maternity workout clothing and performance is reciprocal: find the right cute, comfortable maternity clothes and you’ll be more motivated to workout. In return, you’ll enjoy a more pleasant and productive session, thanks to everything from moisture-wicking fabrics to accommodating belly panels.

Even better? Fashion-forward maternity clothing from companies like us, For Two Fitness, are designed to grow with your body through all of the trimesters and even after delivery while your body is still returning to pre-pregnancy shape. Don’t miss our adorable Running for Two line.

And don’t forget about the importance of high-quality running shoes. Many pregnant women go up a shoe size — or more! — during pregnancy, so making sure to have a pair in the proper size can help prevent the pain and injuries caused by too-tight shoes.

Drink Up

One last word of caution when it comes to working out during pregnancy? Drink up. If your body is telling you it’s thirsty, you’ve waited too long. Instead, drink plenty of water — before, during and after your workout.

Pregnancy

Running has many benefits, and they don’t stop simply because you’re pregnant. In fact, fleet-footed mamas-to-be can continue to enjoy the benefits of this activity — with the approval of their doctors and with any modifications along the way — throughout their pregnancy journey. And don’t forget to check out our complete line of bump-beautifying maternity activewear.

Ambassador Spotlight: Julia Hickman

We are so thrilled to introduce you all to Julia Hickman in this week’s Ambassador Spotlight.  She’s a CrossFit coach, marathoner, blogger and soon-to-be superstar mama. Keep reading to learn more about her accomplishments and plans to stay fit through pregnancy.

blobMy passion for fitness started when I was 15 years old and joined my local YMCA to learn how to properly train with weights. Although I briefly joined my high school track team during my junior year, I consider myself a late-bloomer as an athlete. My first coaching experience was while attending Rider University, where I was a volunteer body-sculpting trainer for a semester of my sophomore year. After doing CrossFit for about 18 months, I became a certified coach and now teach classes on Saturday mornings at my CrossFit box in New Jersey. This year I did my first CrossFit competition (they day after I found out I was pregnant!) and placed 9th in the scaled division. I was able to power through the day even with the nausea and fatigue I was experiencing.

blob (1)I have completed 9 half-marathons and 2 marathons, including Philadelphia and New York. Combining endurance running and CrossFit WODs has helped me obtain PRs as well as age group awards over the past 2 years. I hope to continue my active lifestyle throughout my pregnancy. I’m a firm believer that as long as you’re careful and listen to your body, you can keep doing most of the exercises you love with appropriate modifications when necessary.

More about Julia: You can follow Julia on her blog, The Petite Fastinista for a dose of inspiration and motivation and on Instagram.   Show Julia some love!

Ambassador Spotlight: Laura Sanhueza-Miller

The latest superstar to join our family of fit moms is ambassador and Ironmom Laura Sanhueza-Miller.  We are so happy to share her story with you.  Enjoy!

photo 1My name is Laura Sanhueza-Miller and I am so honored to be a part of the “For Two Fitness” family of ambassadors.

After 15 years of being just my husband and I, we are growing our family to three with the addition of our first child, due December 2, 2015.

As an athlete, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with pregnancy.  I have been active since the age of 9, having competed internationally in my 20’s for Canada in both rowing and triathlon, so I was hoping to have no issues.  However, reality was (and still is) that hormones and bodily changes are inevitable, so the same fun can still be had but goals just have to be adjusted.

These days my goals are simple: listen to the body and stay active within my new limits.  As a triathlete, my activities of choice are swimming, biking and running, with some bigger goals of completing some running road races along the way during pregnancy!

DSC00214I am hopeful that maintaining an active lifestyle during this time will help contribute to an overall healthy pregnancy and also a faster recovery postnatal.  It’s amazing, each day of pregnancy teaches me about what the female body can do and also what I can do.

My current “pregnancy training log” comes in the form of a blog, www.ironmom.ca.  Here I share my daily workout pics, weekly blogs, and eventually, my journey postnatal to complete an Ironman in the Summer of 2016 (8 months after Baby Miller comes into this world, yay!).  I am definitely prepared for the various potential outcomes, but know that no matter what, as long as I keep my body, mind and heart healthy, then I will give this little baby a great start to life.