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.

Ambassador Spotlight: Kristina Murphy

As part of our Ambassador Spotlight series, we’d like to introduce you to Kristina Murphy of the Shiawase Life blog.  Read more to find out her tips for staying active and looking good through pregnancy.

Ever since I crossed my first 5K finish line in 2010, running has been a big part of my life – it’s taught me to make healthier choices, helped me meet amazing friends, and most importantly, has inspired me to take more risks and push myself.

Earlier this year, my husband and I were returning from a dream trip to Japan, where I completed the Tokyo Marathon (my 14th full marathon) when the topic of children and family came up. It’s always been something we’ve wanted, and so we decided it was time to make that a priority – and fortunately for us, we learned that we’d be expecting our first child soon thereafter!

pineview5k5Since that first positive pregnancy test, I knew that running would be a vital part of staying happy and healthy for the next nine months. Of course, I had to make a few adjustments – namely, a big slow down – in mileage, and pace – as well as a reassessment of my running wardrobe! Thankfully, For Two Fitness was there to help with those accommodations, and I look forward to staying active throughout the journey!

I recently announced our happy news on my blog and its special significance to my relationship with running. In fact, I’ve likened the next few months as my longest, and happiest training cycle ever! Follow along as I share the ups and downs of 40-weeks, all in style and comfort!

Follow along with Kristina on her journey on her blog, Shiawase Life.

Prenatal Tips and a Great Giveaway

We are extremely pleased to bring you a special treat today.  Our ambassador, the fabulous Desi Bartlett, is sharing her top 5 tips for fit moms looking to maintain a healthy pregnancy.   In addition to that, we are hosting a giveaway of Desi’s new Prenatal Yoga Workout DVD and $50 in For Two Fitness maternity activewear.  Enter below for your chance to win.

5 Great Tips for Pregnant Goddesses

by Desi Bartlett MS CPT Pre and Post Natal Fitness & Yoga Expert

Prenatal Yoga Expert, Desi BartlettPregnancy is a wonderful time to pamper yourself. I have noticed that there is a certain amount of guilt that many women feel when taking the time to take care of themselves (myself included), almost as though we should spend all of our time taking care of others. However it is important to give back, nourish, and replenish our own bodies in order to share ourselves with others. This is especially true during the magical time of pregnancy. Baby benefits from Mommy taking great care of herself. Here are 5 quick tips to pamper your pregnant body;

Maternity Workout by Desi Bartlett1.) Water – In addition to your own hydration needs, the placenta needs additional water. When we are properly hydrated, we are less likely to feel fatigued or fuzzy mentally. I love essentia water because it is a clean source of alkaline water that has the proper electrolytes to stave off leg cramps during pregnancy.

2.) Sleep – The first trimester can be wrought with fatigue. The 3rd trimester can bring insomnia. Try to listen to your body and allow time for naps when your body is in need of rest. You are not doing ‘nothing’when you are sleeping. You are regenerating all of the systems in your body so that you can help grow a happy, healthy human being inside of you.

3.) Snack – It is important to keep your blood sugar stable while pregnant. This means regular balanced snacks that include a little bit of protein and fat. This will help to maintain your energy levels throughout the day and prevent the feeling of crashing in the late afternoon.

Prenatal Fitness Expert, Desi Bartlett4.) Practice Yoga – As a Prenatal Yoga teacher I know the importance of moving and cultivating strength as well as flexibility throughout the pregnancy. As the Mom of 2 and a practitioner of Yoga, I can tell you that it just feels good! Breathing deeply, opening the chest, and connecting to the feeling of love for your baby

is really sweet during this time. Check out my Prenatal Yoga Workout DVD’s second workout entitled, ‘Cool Mama,’ for a nourishing, gentle flow.

5.) Laugh – Laughter is a key ingredient to happiness. Smiling, laughing, and experiencing joy is a gift to you and to your baby. Laughter helps everything in your entire body to stay healthy, so much so that there are many university studies that link disease prevention to laughter and happiness. Enjoy your body, and enjoy your pregnancy, it is an incredibly special time that deserves to be honored, and full of smiles and joy.

More about Desi: Desi is a pre and post natal health and fitness expert. She is also an ambassador for For Two Fitness, and her latest DVD, ‘Prenatal Yoga Workout,’ by Gaiam is available on Amazon.com

Prenatal Yoga Workout DVD with Desi BartlettNEW Prenatal Yoga Workout DVD with Desi Bartlett – Pre- and postnatal yoga and fitness expert Desi Bartlett guides you through two complete practices for prenatal health and wellness. The Strong Mama yoga workout is perfect for increasing strength and endurance; both of which are needed for pregnancy and the journey into motherhood. The Cool Mama sequence is wonderful for maintaining flexibility and connecting to a deep sense of center and tranquility. Modifications for all three trimesters are provided, as well as the opportunity to personalize your practice based on your energy level. Learn to connect to your body and your baby during this special time, in a safe and encouraging way.

Here’s your chance to win! Three lucky winners will receive a copy of Desi’s new Prenatal Yoga Workout DVD and a very lucky winner will also receive a $50 eGiftCard to use towards For Two Fitness maternity fitness apparel!  Enter here to win:

 

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Fitness Maternity Wear: Why It Matters

Eating right, getting plenty of sleep, and taking your prenatals may be a few of the first things that come to mind when you think about must-have maternity health and safety measures. However, there are some other, lesser-known ways to ensure wellness throughout your pregnancy and beyond. One important way to stay healthy and fit as a mama-to-be and new mom? Invest in fitness maternity wear.

Why Fitness Matters During Pregnancy

An abundance of research points to the importance of exercise during pregnancy. While you may want to lay back, put up those swollen ankles, and reach for the remote, physical activity can alleviate many pregnancy-related symptoms while helping your body prepare for labor as well as for life as a busy mom.

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise during pregnancy can help:

  • relieve back pain
  • boost energy levels and improve your mood
  • improve sleep
  • head off weight gain
  • increase muscle strength and build stamina

Physical activity during pregnancy has also been linked with lowering your risk of high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and postpartum depression. It also has benefits for your baby.

Fitness maternity wear

Even if you haven’t exercised in a while, you can still reap the benefits of getting fit during pregnancy by starting with just 30 minutes of moderate daily walking. Most pregnant women can continue their pre-pregnancy fitness regimens, but be sure to clear it with your doctor first.

Why Fitness Maternity Clothes?

Sure, you can toss on your trusty sweats and an oversized sweatshirt to hit the gym or the hiking trails, but buying the right clothes can help keep you active, comfortable and motivated. Not to mention that your old workout clothes may become stretched as your belly grows, and are unlikely to offer the same degree of comfort since they’re not designed for pregnant bodies.

Choosing Maternity Workout Wear

When choosing maternity active wear, look for clothes that are breathable, moisture-wicking, and offer light compression support while also growing with you throughout your pregnancy. The best maternity workout clothes are not only designed to grow with you throughout your pregnancy but also, to adjust to your needs even during the “fourth trimester”, when your body is returning to pre-pregnancy shape.

Maternity workout tops come in a variety of styles and sizes designed to meet your unique preferences and needs — from long-sleeved maternity tops featuring flattering side-ruching and 4-way stretch, to breathable racerback tanks, perfect for sun salutations and downward facing dog.

Catchy slogans like “Six Pack Abs” demonstrate that while you may have temporarily lost your waistline — for the very best reason, of course — you haven’t lost your sense of humor!

The right pair of stretch maternity pants or capris, meanwhile, aren’t just perfect for exercise, but are also chic and comfy enough for everyday wear.

Fitness maternity wear

There are many things to look forward to when your baby arrives, but there are plenty of things you can start doing right now to get ready. Make sure to add “shop for maternity activewear” to your to-do list. And be sure to check out For Two Fitness’s cute, comfortable line of bump-celebrating maternity wear for fit-minded mamas to be.

Fit Mom Ambassador Spotlight: Dayna Deters

We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Keep reading to learn more about Dayna Deters in this month’s Ambassador Spotlight.

Dayna and Family. Photo Credit: Cullen Powers.

I am a loving mother of a beautiful 4 year-old girl and married to a man who fills my life with love and support.  I wake up each morning with a positive attitude and a determination to conquer each day.  In the journey of life, some of my goals have been accomplished quickly, while some took a little trial and error, but I’ve learned to stay focused and never give up. I enjoy motivating and educating people on how to live healthier lifestyles and accomplish any goal. Below is my story of how I became the woman I am today.

I had a wake-up call about 15 years ago, and with the support of others and a positive attitude, I was able to overcome that hurdle and use it to drive myself forward in my life and business through my passion to help men and women achieve their fitness goals.

My background is in Health Education and Personal Training.  I work with clients to help them rehabilitate after injury, control their weight, and train for fitness competitions and endurance events.

My personal fitness philosophy emphasizes the importance of working towards goals that are not only physical but also emotional. Being a mom, I have the same feeling as most mothers  – we feel some guilt when we take time for ourselves.  BUT,  we need to realize that taking care of ourselves will make us better mothers.

For Two Fitness Ambassador Dayna Deters.

Fit Mom Ambassador Dayna Deters. Photo Credit: James Patrick.

I have taken a special interest in the emotional health of my clients and fostering healthy mindsets, including clearing the old chatter we tells ourselves which keeps us from changing physically.  We need to combine the physical and emotional to create new positive changes.

More about Dayna: Proud owner of  Dayna Deters Determined Fitness, LLC; Bachelors of Health Education from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota;  Dayna is also an online personal trainer, a blogger, a fitness model and top ranking national fitness competitor.  She is also the creator of the Determinite Express DVD Series as well as the author of Gluten-Free Momma Fit Cookbook: Healthy Gluten-Free and Fit Living Recipes. Find out more about Dayna’s accolades, products, and services (including fitness training, nutritional guidance, and life coaching) on her website by clicking here.

Don’t forget to find Dayna on Facebook and Twitter.

Put on Your Maternity Workout Clothes and Enjoy a Fit Pregnancy

Having trouble finding the motivation to get off of the sofa and to the gym? You’re not alone: many mamas-to-be struggle with decreased energy levels, increased aches and pains, and other deterrents which can interfere with staying active. However, fitness is an important part of enjoying a healthy pregnancy. Here are some things you can do to stay motivated.

Pregnancy Loves Company

Whether you were running marathons or simply enjoyed a brisk walk on your lunch hour prior to becoming pregnant, your active lifestyle is getting your pregnancy off to a great start. Most doctors agree that women with normal pregnancies can proceed with the same fitness routines they did prior to pregnancy, although you need to check in with your physician to be sure.

However, as your pregnancy progresses you may find it harder to keep up with your pre-pregnancy workout routine. It’s not exactly a surprise: after all, you’re growing a whole other human being!

One way to stay fit while still having fun? Make exercising social. Whether you go for a walk around the neighborhood with a friend or take a Zumba class, exercising with friends, neighbors and other mamas-to-be provides terrific incentive.

Mix Things Up

Sticking to the same routine day after day can be challenging during any circumstances. Not only can burn-out cause you to check out both mentally and physically, but it can also lead to diminishing results. Instead of sticking to the same old stuff, consider cross-training.

Particularly if you enjoyed running or an alternate high-impact form of exercise before becoming pregnant, you may now struggle with continuing your usual workouts. By substituting no-impact or low-impact activities instead, you can derive all of the benefits of exercise with none of the discomfort.

Walking, Jazzercize, swimming and fitness methods are great ways to improve your cardiovascular strength and stamina while also helping to prepare your body for labor. Diverse fitness activities are also an effective way to ward off the mental drudgery of doing the same thing every day for nine straight weeks.

It’s All About the Outfit

Who doesn’t love the feeling of getting a brand new outfit and showing it off at work or out on the town the next day? The same exhilarating feeling applies to maternity clothes. Luckily, there are more options than ever when it comes to chic, sleek maternity workout clothes.

Maternity fashion is no longer about hiding your bump, but about celebrating it! Form-fitting shapes and moisture-wicking fabrics can make working out more comfortable, while stylish details just make it a whole lot more fun. Look for amazing details like shirring and adjustable belly panels which are designed to fit and flatter your changing body throughout the nine months of pregnancy and beyond.

One of our favorite ways to give your workout that little something extra? Get your slogan on. Phrases like, Body By Baby and Six Pack Abs help you keep your sense of humor …and also show it off to others.

Even the most fitness-minded mamas occasionally have trouble getting motivated. These techniques can help you rediscover the fun in fitness, while also enjoying all of the benefits that come with an active pregnancy. Do you have any tips for staying motivated when the couch is calling? If so, please share them in the comments section.

Keeping Up with the Celebrity Baby Boom

Spring is a time for renewal, and nothing highlights this more than the latest crop of celebrity pregnancy announcements. After all, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Mountbatten–Windsor (AKA “Princess Charlotte”), Silas Randall Timberlake, Wyatt Isabelle Kutcher, and James Reynolds are all going to need playdates, aren’t they? We’ve already covered the pregnancies of Zooey Deschanel, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Naya Rivera, but since that time a whole new crop of celebrities have been added to our “Bump Watch.” Let’s count down three of our favorite mamas-to-be.

 

Celebrity baby boom

 

1. Leighton Meester

Following in the footsteps of her former Gossip Girl costar Blake Lively, actress-singer Leighton Meester recently announced that she and her “adorkable,” husband Adam Brody are expecting their first child together. A devoted fan of yoga, Meester may soon join the ranks of maternity yoga loving mamas like Mila Kunis and Gwyneth Paltrow.

While Meester’s due date hasn’t yet been announced, the announcement didn’t come as a huge surprise: the starlet had previously hinted about her plans for a family. Brody, meanwhile, did more than hint: the former The O.C. star told a Reddit AMA, “I say 12. And I decide.” Unless Meester is carrying multiple multiples, that’s one down, 11 to go!

2. Kim Kardashian

It’s harder than ever to keep up with the Kardashians these days, and Kim and Kanye recently added to the media maelstrom by announcing news of their second pregnancy. First teased during the reality show’s mid-season finale, Kim — who recently told US Magazine that she’s suffering from morning sickness the second time around — enthusiastically told sister Khloe, “I just got the blood test back, and I am pregnant!”

Kim and Kanye’s pregnancy is particularly happy news as the couple has publicly struggled with infertility since the birth of baby North West, AKA “Nori.”

3. Kristin Cavallari

More than a decade since she made waves for her man-eating ways on Laguna Beach, Kristin Cavallari is doing an entirely different kind of boy chasing. With her husband Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Cavallari is already mom to two boys, Camden and Jaxon.

 

Celebrity baby boom

 

The famously fit star told Fit Pregnancy that she loved working out during her first two pregnancies to get the blood flowing, but cautioned that pregnant women should keep in mind that returning to pre-pregnancy shape does take time. In her case, Cavallari said, it took “three months to lose the weight and five months to feel really good in my skin again.”

Will Cutler Baby #3 add a checkmark in the pink column, or is Cavallari destined to be outnumbered 4:1?

Of all the trends sweeping the celebrity world — from “waist-training” to beach selfies — perhaps none is as fun to watch as the forthcoming baby boom. Tune into the For Two Fitness blog for more fun pregnancy-related news, tips, and information. And don’t forget to check out the maternity clothing company’s complete line of chic, comfortable workout wear.