Thank you, Expecting and Empowered, for sponsoring this post, Expecting and Empowered | Working Out through my Second Pregnancy. I was selected for this opportunity by Expecting and Empowered; the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
As many of you know, my focus on self-care this year has been front and center. As a full-time working mama, I know that self-care is so hard to put first but I honestly believe that by taking care of yourself each and every day, you will be a happier and healthier person for those around you. It is just easier said than done for this gal…
During my first pregnancy, it was a constant struggle to stay active. Over the past decade, I have found myself to be a pretty active person (which is amazing for the girl that had never stepped into a gym before she graduated college). But as my pregnancy progressed with Ollie, I found myself in a steady state of aches and pains. I would talk to my OB/GYN and fellow mama friends around me and they continued to assure me that these pains were normal and that they would disappear after birth. So I spent my pregnancy months limping and waddling throughout my house. I would beat myself up for not being able to do simple things like climbing our stairs in our home easily or talking a casual stroll around the neighbor. The bigger I grew and the more weeks that past, I kept feeling like this pregnancy “pain” was not normal.
I continued to progress and was unable to do less and less as my due date became closer. I watched fitness pregnancy gals on Instagram continue their workouts with modifications and was confused how one of my girlfriends completed walking a 5k during her third trimester. All of these girls seemed to be slightly uncomfortable but not necessarily in the pain that I was experiencing. And so after giving birth to Oliver, the pain did not disappear as promised. I was in shock and even more confused, and started looking for answers and help. After 9 months of chiropractic care and physical therapy, I started to return back to normal at the gym. It was a long road to recovery for me.
So when I found out that I was pregnant with #2, I k
new that this could not happen again. The pain was not just pregnancy pain like I had been told and I was not just going to accept it. I wanted to control my energy levels, be more consistent with my fitness and nutrition goals, and work specifically on the muscles that needed that extra TLC for a healthy and happy pregnancy. Additionally, I knew that could not be a great mother to an active little boy in as much pain as I was when I was pregnant with him. I wanted to take the time to focus on my self-care and nourish my body for the weeks of pregnancy, labor, and my postpartum recovery.
This is when I discovered Expecting and Empowered. When I first connected with Amy and Krystle, I was over the moon about starting their program. These gals know their pelvic floor muscles inside and out! Designed while each of them where pregnant with their most recent babes, they tested and tried out their week-by-week program to help other mommas-to-be. With physical therapy and exercise science degrees, these sister-built pregnancy guide has literally rocked my world.
What is Expecting and Empowered actually?
Expecting and Empowered is a comprehensive pregnancy fitness guide that changes as you change throughout pregnancy. Developed, designed, and tested by sisters Amy and Krystle, this guide was made for the pregnant gal that not only wants to stay active throughout her pregnancy, but also prepare herself for labor and postpartum in a healthy and safe way. Their week-by-week guide modifies as you grow so you know that each stretch, lift, and lunge is properly done so you do not hurt yourself or your baby.
Why do I love Expecting and Empowered so much?
Remember when I said a few weeks ago that I have been struggling with major “gymtimidation” lately? Pregnancy does not help with this at all. I am in a constant struggle of feeling like the girl that is attempting to “walk off” my “beer gut” (aka first trimester belly) to the girl that is really pregnant and gets the basic “she’s-at-the-gym-do-you-see-how-pregnant-she-is” side eye. Regardless, neither is comfortable for me. On top of that, we have travelled a lot this pregnancy. With work, vacations, and the holidays all happening during my weeks of growing, having a steady gym schedule has just been hard.
With Expecting and Empowered, you can literally workout anywhere. The guide itself is available to download on any tablet, phone, or computer. I can wipe out my iPad in the hotel room on a work trip, or set up my laptop in the middle of my living room. I have not had to adventure out into the cold this winter and it is always with me where I am.
Very Little Equipment Needed
The guide itself calls for just resistance bands, a lighter and heavier set of dumbbells, circle bands and a yoga mat. That’s it! I had a few of these items on hand already and Amy and Krystle makes it easy to get the rest in a few days with Amazon. Nothing is expensive, nothing is heavy or bulky, and everything is fairly easy to take on the road with you (except maybe the dumbbells).
It is one of the things that I completely am love with when it comes to this program. Expecting and Empowered does not expect you have to everything from a typical gym in your workout room at home. Just a few simple things to make sure you keep your strength and endurance up during your weeks of prepping for baby.
Nourishing Your Body
From a gal that chose “nourish” as her 2018 word of the year, this was really important to me. Too often I find myself choosing everything over myself, but in reality, working out during pregnancy is helping more than just me. It is keeping me sane to be a better mom and wife. It is allowing me to have an outlet for stress, stay active with Ollie as I grow, and strengthening the key areas I need for a quicker recovery (helping out Dusty in the long run). You cannot pour into others from an empty cup and you need to nourish yourself and not feel selfish about it.
The other part of nourishing your body is doing it right. With Expecting and Empowered, Amy and Krystle help you strength key areas to keep you out of pain throughout your pregnancy, avoiding things like pubic pain and carpal tunnel, and sleeping comfortably each night. The workouts also help you prepare for the endurance of labor and delivery, as well as strengthening things like your pelvic floor muscles for your road to recovery is much easier and quicker. What I love about this guide is knowing that I am doing all of these things safely as well. Because of Amy’s and Krystle’s education, work history, and background, they walk you through each week of pregnancy with safe exercises that I feel 100% safe to recommend to a friend and do myself!
A Strong Network of Gals
Outside of pregnancy, I have always been a huge Tone It Up fan primarily because of the community it provides. However, during pregnancy and postpartum, keeping up with Tone It Up and their team is just not doable. Their workouts are not necessarily clear on how to adapt them as you grow and the community is not trying to balance a newborn!
Expecting and Empowered is vastly different. When you purchase their pregnancy workout guide, you also join hundreds of women that come to together to encourage you through your pregnancy! It is a great way to seek help if you are confused or lost on a specific workout move or stretching position. It is an ideal place to check in with somebody for encouragement or a word of advice. I adore how active Amy and Krystle with their community and they are always spreading love to the girls in the group as they join and ask questions.