Since becoming a mama, and being a full-time working mama at that, I think it’s SO important to practice self-care. I’ve always been passionate about fitness, but I’m also a strong believer in taking care of yourself each and every day, mama or not. I truly believe the better you take care of yourself, the happier you’ll be.
This is why following a workout program during my pregnancies is a huge priority to me. From my energy levels to my pregnancy weight gain, being consistent with my fitness and nutrition goals had a huge impact on my first labor experience and postpartum recovery. I was consistent in my self-care and fitness routine, but I also listened to my body and allowed myself to rest, when needed.
After giving birth to my daughter, I followed an at-home workout program designed for women, but not exactly pregnant women. I enjoyed this program, but I knew when we found out we were expecting our second, I couldn’t continue certain exercises as my pregnancy chugged along. Many of the exercises were abs, core, and HIIT exercises, with no pelvic floor conditioning or flexibility incorporated whatsoever. Could I stay fit on my previous program? Sure. Would it strengthen the muscles needed for labor? Not likely.
This is when Expecting and Empowered came along. When Amy reached out to me, I was ecstatic about starting the program. I’m really passionate about wellness and nutrition. All my life, I’ve been an athlete. I started playing sports in middle school, then continued onto high school as a three-sport athlete. I eventually ended up fulfilling one of my lifelong dreams by playing college basketball for two years.
Because of this, my body (and mind) is seriously programmed to stay active. Being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle when pregnant is vital for my well-being. When I take time each day for self-care, it’s light and day in my overall physical and mental health. Since starting E and E at week 26, I feel way more prepared this second time around than I did with my first. I feel confident and rejuvenated after every single workout. Thanks to E and E, I’m ready for labor and excited to tackle all the phases of pregnancy, including my postpartum recovery. (Is that weird or normal? 🙂 Still trying to decide.)
So, what is E and E anyway?
Expecting and Empowered is a comprehensive pregnancy workout guide. The guide was created by two sisters – Amy, an Oncology nurse and Krystle, a Physical Therapist. They truly have a love for not only women’s health and fitness, but helping women tackle their health goals, the safe and effective way.
What I Love About Expecting and Empowered
As a full-time working mama, fitting a full workout in every day can seem like a tough task. Many days, I’m working 9 hours, then rushing home to spend time with my sweet little gal before she has to lay down for bed. E and E makes it much easier to fit my workouts in the cracks and crannies of busy mama life. All I have to do is open the workout up on my phone or laptop, lace up my tennis shoes, and get to my workout. There’s no hopping in your cold vehicle (we live in southern Wisconsin) to drive to a gym where you may or may not be able to find an open piece of equipment or empty room. There’s no guessing what exercises you should be doing. E and E lays that all out for you AND you can do your workout anywhere! I do a lot of my workouts on my breaks at work.
Too often I see mamas neglecting themselves in the process of trying to be the best mama and wifey that they can be. Even as a busy mama, you need to find time every day to practice self-care. When I do, I’m a better mama and more patient wife. Don’t forget about yourselves mamas. I’m a big believer in having a healthy mind and body. You have to take care of yourself in order to feel sufficient enough to take care of one, two or even three little beings of yours. Practice self-care every day and don’t feel one bit selfish about it.
Preparing My Body and Strengthening My Pelvic Floor For Labor
OK – this one is the actual kicker if you’re looking for a program that’s going to prep your body for the “marathon” it’s about to run. It’s vital that you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles before your body goes through one of its biggest feats yet. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles before AND after labor is vital for maintaining strong muscles down the road. Since I work at a hospital, I am familiar with incontinence. Ladies – strengthen your pelvic floor muscles now before you have to seek professional help. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
The guide does call for resistance bands, a lighter and heavier set of dumbbells, circle bands and a yoga mat. But, that’s nothing a shopping trip to Amazon wouldn’t cure. Nonetheless, you don’t need heavy equipment or anything that’s going to break the bank. It’s one thing I absolutely love about this program. Krystle and Amy wanted to keep the on-the-go mama in mind by making this guide the easiest to fit into your busy schedule.
*Side note: One of my favorite fitness items is my Fitbit Blaze for keeping track of my workouts and stayin’ on my fitness game while growing this little babe.
Eliminates Unsafe Exercises During Pregnancy
What I really enjoy about this guide is that it eliminates all of the questions regarding whether you can perform a certain exercise. It takes you through each week of pregnancy with safe exercises for you and your baby while preparing your body for labor and delivery. Like I said above, I was skipping A LOT of exercises in my previous workout program. Mamas, you don’t have to worry about that with E and E.
Supportive Community for Women
Amy and Krystle really WANT to help you! E and E is not just any pregnancy workout guide, it’s a community of women coming together to cheer each other on during this pivotal stage in their life. It’s an amazing community to seek healthy pregnancy information when you’re feeling lost. I love that Amy and Krystle are so passionate about helping other women. I can confidently say, this is the pregnancy workout guide we’ve ALL been waiting for and the community of women we all want to be a part of!
To shop the Expecting and Empowered guide, click here.
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