Ahh, the single life. Or the partnered-without-children life. It carries with it a certain sense of freedom and ease that many people find extremely satisfying and they wouldn’t dream of having it any other way. And then for others, even though the freedom is nice, they feel like there is something missing. The sweet sounds of a child’s laughter… The vision of rocking a newborn baby to sleep in the quiet peace of night… Birthday celebrations, soothing tears, fears and scraped knees, watching the growth and progression of a little human being that you helped to create…

These are beautiful and very real desires and the addition of a new baby is a joyous and amazing experience. That being said, there are some things that will never be the same after you welcome a new baby into your life, and it’s good to be prepared to accept these changes so that you don’t end up overwhelmed (as much) after the fact.

  • Alone time. I don’t know about you, but I need a lot of solitude. I’m an empath, an introvert, and highly sensitive on top of that, so my capacity for noise and commotion and constant interaction is not as great as most peoples’. Unless you have a really good support system in place before, during, and after your baby arrives, you may find yourself trying to figure out how to take care of your needs and get that time alone to recharge and rejuvenate. When your baby is a newborn it may be more challenging to get very much alone time simply because newborns need your attention more during this time than they will at other points, but this does not mean that you can’t still get away for a moment.
    • Ask your partner, a friend, or a family member if they can watch your baby while you take a long bath or shower. Or go for a walk, work on a creative project, sleep… Whatever it is that you need or want to do by yourself, DO IT. Taking time for yourself every day, even if it’s only for 20 minutes, will do wonders for your energy and your sense of health and well-being.
  • Your routine. Now, this will vary from person to person, of course. Some of us (like me) aren’t very good at routines and schedules, but for many others it is important to create a flow to our days. With a child, however, be prepared to flip that routine upside-down. You will now be in a position where your schedule revolves around your child first and foremost. You will need to accommodate their waking/sleeping times, feeding times, play times, activity times, appointments, etc etc etc. This does not have to be difficult, it just takes a bit of flexibility on your part. And speaking of flexibility, don’t become obsessed with sticking to a particular schedule if it isn’t feeling good to you. Being able to flow and keep what works while dropping what doesn’t will make for a happier you, resulting in a happier kiddo.

 

  • SLEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!! Oh, how I love to sleep. And yet, when you throw a kid into the mix, sleep becomes a distant, beautiful, bittersweet memory. Be prepared to wake multiple times throughout the night and get up early the next morning simply because you have a child and they love to watch Mommy turn into a zombie (except most Mombies want coffee, not brains). Okay so perhaps I am mildly exaggerating, but you have to expect that tiny little creatures whose bellies are small and bowels are plentiful are going to need to nourish themselves frequently. This is why when someone suggests napping when your baby naps, you should squeal and hug them for giving you permission to rest instead of scoffing at their audacity to suggest that you should put housework aside for an hour or two in exchange for taking care of yourself. Seriously.

 

  • Your sex life. Obviously for the first 6 weeks or so after giving birth, you probably aren’t going to be able to (or WANT to) have sex. But after…. Between your lack of sleep and your lack of privacy, finding the time or desire to have sex may present somewhat of a challenge. But this could be the perfect opportunity to get creative! Aside from asking someone to babysit your child so you and your partner can do the deed without the risk of being interrupted by a crying, screaming, giggling, whispering, knocking, singing, and/or peeping child, here are some other ideas for ya:
    • Find a new spot to do it. This was a must for my husband and I because we co-slept with both of our kids. And I laughed my butt off the time I saw a t-shirt that said “Co-sleepers do it on the kitchen floor” because that has SO happened before! Usually it’s the couch though. Or in the spare bedroom. Anyway, you get the picture. Find somewhere else. Not only will it solve the issue of where to do it if you co-sleep, but even if you don’t co-sleep it can add a little excitement to your love life!
    • Try to schedule intimacy around the times when you know your child is supposed to be asleep. Did you catch how I put in the “supposed to be” bit? Remember how I talked about being flexible with your schedule? Yeah. Sometimes you may end up interrupted, but I found that for the most part we always managed to do what we wanted to do if we started right after our kids fell asleep.
    • I don’t have any other suggestions. Take it where and when you can get it! 😀
  • Your sanity. You must answer the same questions multiple times a day. You must explain why your child has to put clothes on when leaving the house. You must explain why your child may not color on the walls. You must explain where babies come from, why Aunt Phyllis has a mustache, and why daddy’s underwear has a pocket in it.

 

You will clean up more than a thousand messes. Maybe more than a million! You will have to remind your child(ren) to wash their hands, blow their nose, clean up their blocks (especially after you step on them for the 8th time), put the milk away, hang up their coat, stop hitting the dog, stop slamming the door, and for the love of Pete stop stuffing blueberries up your nostrils!!!!!

Whereas you may have been an intelligent, intellectual, social butterfly before, you may now find yourself struggling to ask the cashier if she can make change for $1 (so your kids can get a Sticky Wacky Hand out of the little red vending machines by the exit doors). No, you’re not going to become unintelligent. You just might become unintelligible.

 

Talking to a baby/toddler/young person all day long really does a number on your mental state, especially if you don’t make time to visit with adults regularly. So make the time!!!

 

I hope you take this list with a grain of salt. There is some truth to every point, of course, but this was meant to be more humorous than frightening. One thing is true though for all of the above though.. Once you have a child, you have to MAKE THE TIME to make it work!!!

Pooping During Labor (and How it Can Be Avoided)

I wouldn’t doubt if every pregnant woman on the planet has worried about (or at least heard horror-stories about) pooping during childbirth. I know I heard plenty about it, and it freaked me out so much that during delivery with my first child, even with being numb from an epidural, I somehow managed to push while keeping my pucker clenched up so I wouldn’t let loose on the table.

 

That probably sounds hilarious (or horrific), but I bet I’m not the only woman who’s done it.

 

Your OBGYN, midwife, down-to-earth friends, etc. will tell you that it’s no big deal if you do let go during childbirth (and seriously, it isn’t a big deal at all), but that doesn’t soothe every woman’s psyche.

 

So let’s look at some facts and potentially helpful tips to (hopefully) ease your mind a bit regarding this “delicate” subject.

 

Fact: The majority of women end up pooping while giving birth. You are basically bearing down like you’re going to have a bowel movement anyhow when you push, so it’s very common to actually have a bowel movement.

 

A (hopefully) comforting thought about experiencing this is that your doctor, midwife, nurses, etc. are all used to seeing poop (and blood, and mucous, and vomit, and anything else you can imagine) and it doesn’t even phase them. They will simply wipe it away without skipping a beat and continue focusing on you and your baby. And YOU will likely be too focused on you and your baby to even know that you did it!

 

Tip: Tell your partner and anyone else who might be present with you during labor NOT to tell you if you do happen to poop. Why would you really need to know that anyhow? That isn’t even remotely the focal point of what’s happening. Plus, there’s no need to relive such an unimportant moment (and potentially get embarrassed about it unnecessarily).

 

Fact: For many women, your body will begin to cleanse itself in early labor. Once the contractions begin, a lot of women will feel like they need to poop. And most of them do! So at the very least you can feel comforted somewhat knowing that there is an opportunity to clear out some of your bowels before you get into active labor.

 

Tip: Do NOT try to poop once you’re transitioning or in active labor. Any pressure that you feel in your rectum is your baby making it’s descent towards your vaginal opening. If you actually have to poop and can do so gently, that’s fine, but do not try to strain on purpose simply because of your fear of going in front of others. This can damage your cervix and/or your rectum and plus it’d just be downright uncomfortable!

 

Fact: If you do end up pooping during labor, you will know that you’re pushing properly since the same muscles used to have a bowel movement are the same muscles used to push your baby out! Good job, mama!

 

Tip: Try to relax and focus more on the fact that you are SO CLOSE to getting to meet your new son or daughter!! In the grand scheme of things, even though it’s totally understandable why you might be self-conscious about something embarrassing happening, in reality isn’t the end result worth anything uncomfortable that may happen during labor?

 

One of the best tips I can give is to write down your fears before your estimated due date. Really focus on why you’re afraid of the things you list, and what the worst case scenario could be. Then, write down how you would like to handle the situation if something does arise. I think that being prepared and having put real, rational thought into all possibilities can do so much for helping you to remain calm and communicative if something does happen. And on the other hand, if NOTHING happens, then you’ll at least be able to enjoy it!

When you first start cloth diapering, I feel that it is a fairly common tendency to worry about whether every decision you make regarding washing and care is going to mess up your diapers. The truth is that most cloth diapers are pretty resilient, but there are a few things that will actually mess them up. Here is my list of things that will more than likely actually ruin your diapers.

 

  • Use a lot of bleach. Yep, go ahead and put about a cup or two of bleach in your washing machine. Directly on the diapers, not in the dispenser! And do this at least every week. Or better yet, every time you wash! (Bleach is harsh, bruh. Don’t use it too much.)

 

  • Use gobs of commercial diaper ointments. You know the ones that have all sorts of weird chemicals and fish oil in it? Slather that junk on reeeeeeeal thick!! Let the diapers soak it up. You know what happens then? You get build-up that leads to repelling and leaking. And that fish oil? It makes your diapers smell like a marché aux poissons on a hot summer’s day. And that stuff….. is hard to get out.

 

  • Fry ‘em in the sun! Okay hear me out: Drying your diapers outside on the line is totally fine… as long as you remove them from the line as soon as they’re dry. If you leave them out all day in the direct sunlight and you do this repeatedly, your elastics and PUL are bound to start deteriorating prematurely.

 

  • Dry them in the dryer with some sort of weird foreign object like a crayon or wax lips. Something that will really melt down and gum up the works. Yeah! That’s the ticket! Good luck ever getting that out. (I hear WD-40 is supposed to work pretty well, actually, but… WD-40 on cloth diapers???).

 

  • Run them over with your car. No wait… Don’t just run over them. Peel out on them first. Get them right under your tires and SPIN. Now I’m curious to know exactly what does happen when you do this. I wonder what part of the diaper will bust apart first?

 

  • Blow ‘em up! Got some dynamite? TNT? Gun powder? A cannon? Blast ‘em skyyyyy hiiiiigh! This will definitely ruin them. There’s no coming back from that.

 

  • Dry them on High Heat in the dryer each time. It won’t mess up your diapers immediately, but the repeated exposure to high heat – just as with the sun – will cause premature deterioration of the PUL and elastics. Similarly, avoid using the Sanitary setting on your washing machine. The temperature usually gets way too hot.

 

Obviously some of these are ridiculous (but will definitely ruin your diapers), while others are much more common. What is one of the most bizarre ways that you’ve ever ruined a diaper (or more than one)?

One of the hardest parts of raising a child has got to be managing the temper tantrums. Watching your child – who was only moments earlier perfectly content – go into a raging, screaming tantrum can be overwhelming and…. sometimes… intimidating.

What is a parent to do when their sweet little angel does a 180° in the middle of Costco? First…

 

  • STAY CALM. Yes, I realize how hard that can be when you have someone screaming in your face that you’re a stinky poopy head and you need to give them candy RIGHT… NOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!! But you must remain calm. Because if your emotions rev up, they will know immediately and that tantrum will escalate. Children are extremely perceptive and intuitive, and pick up on shifting emotions very easily. So do your best to take a deep breath, take a sip of Chamomile Tea (or a shot of Whiskey), and prepare to deal.

 

  • Do not try to talk to them about it when they are experiencing high emotions. If your child is just a little bit upset and crying, you may be able to soothe them by talking to them about why they are upset and how you may be able to help them calm down. If they are screaming, angry, and/or being physical however, talking isn’t going to do much except cause confusion and further aggravation. Instead, try to find a different way to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible. Some examples are:

 

  • Sometimes a tantrum can be soothed quickly by averting the child’s attention onto something that they enjoy. Offering to read a book, getting out paints and paper, taking a walk, putting on their favorite music, etc. are just a few of about a billion ways in which you can take their mind off of being upset so they can calm down.

 

  • Offering something else. If your child is upset because you said “no” to something s/he wanted, try offering something else that s/he might like instead. Being able to say “yes” to something when all your child is focusing on is the “no” you already gave can certainly help him/her realize that not everything is a “no.”

 

  • Give your child a choice. If your child wants to do something that you cannot say “yes” to, offer a choice between two alternate options. This gives the child the feeling of control that they are seeking, while giving you the peace of mind that you have offered something that you are comfortable with.

 

  • Do not spank!! I know spanking is a controversial subject, but I have to say this: How can we possibly teach our children how to express their strong emotions in healthy and peaceful ways if we strike them when they’re having a hard time doing so? I have heard parents yell at their children for hitting another person and then spanking that child for that very reason! That doesn’t make sense to me. Children are human beings, too, and deserve to be met with compassion and nurturing even during challenging moments just like we would hope for ourselves. End rant. Don’t spank.

 

  • Some children are prone to lashing out and inadvertently harming themselves or another person during the midst of a tantrum. If your child has this tendency, your first priority should be to move him/her to a quiet, safe place where s/he can work through their tantrum with minimal opportunity or means to do harm.

 

  • DON’T give in. It can be so easy to do when we just want the screaming/kicking/yelling/crying/repeating to stop, but that is one of the worst things you can do because your child will learn to use tantrums to get what they want. And no doubt, it will escalate every time you try to stick to your guns. So tell yourself right out of the gate that you have made your decision based on firm beliefs and you will stay true to that decision. Note: this doesn’t mean that we are never allowed to change our minds. Sometime we rashly say “no” to something that – once we give it a little thought – actually isn’t such a big deal to say “yes” to. In those moments, go for it! But don’t say “yes” just to stop a tantrum even if you feel your initial decision was warranted.

 

If you ever feel too angry or like you might become violent when faced with a tantrum, please reach out to someone who can help you. Whether this be a friend, family member, doctor or hotline, take that step towards nurturing yourself so that you can continue to show compassion and patience towards your child(ren). High emotions can be very triggering and it isn’t uncommon to feel some impatience, overwhelm, or even anger initially when thrown into having to deal with one, but it is critically important that you maintain your cool, even if it means reaching out for help to do so. Children are still learning to cope and express themselves in a peaceful way. They need your guidance, your compassion, and your love.

 

We sat down with our fearless leader Tereson Dupuy to talk a little bit about the brand!  She started this business full of passion and zeal and continues to work hard to bring you the best possible products.  Check out her thoughts on the cloth diaper industry today, her encounter with the Sharks, and what she thinks is plaguing the cloth diaper community!

What is the FuzziBunz difference?

The FuzziBunz difference is far more than just features and benefits, its what the brand stands for. We can say that the brand is more adjustable and more sustainable but WHY have we made it so? FuzziBunz were born out of my need for a better cloth diaper for my son, it evolved into much more however.

 

What is one word that sums up FuzziBunz?

If there were one word to sum up what FuzziBunz stands for as a brand it would be innovation. We strive to provide parents with products that are different and better than the majority of products on the market and continue to do so. When FuzziBunz was invented 15 years ago there were no such thing as “pocket diapers” as they are known today and no one was using fleece. That advent of something new and different arose from my own dissatisfaction with what was currently available and changed the way people felt about cloth diapers. To this day, people’s minds are being changed. When the “one size” diaper craze hit in 2006, FuzziBunz was forced to innovate yet again and answer the craze with its own version of a “one size” diaper incorporating adjustable and replaceable elastic instead of snaps down the front of the diaper that most one size diapers incorporate. As an inventor and as a former cloth-diapering parent, I tend to see things from a different perspective. I am always asking myself “how can we do better” and we continue to do so.

 

Why is using cloth so important for future generations?

It is a fact that we are destroying the Earth with our “throw away society” in which we all currently exist. I do believe however that the little things make a big difference and using cloth diapers is NOT a little thing. For every baby that uses cloth diapers there are 1 ton of disposables kept out of landfills. If we do not start preserving and caring for our planet and teaching our children to do the same, I fear that there will be no more beauty left in the world for future generations.

 

What is so unique about the FuzziBunz team?

The thing that makes our team unique (and maybe less so as we progress with technology) is that not one of us lives in the same area code. We have a fully virtual structure with team members living from Napa to Maine and New Orleans to Morrocco. This virtual environment has enabled me find the talent needed without the confines of geography. It has also enabled us all to be able to work from home and be present for our families and children as that is a key value we support.

 

The Sharks said NO but that didn’t stop you.  What kept you going even through the adversity?

The Sharks did say no and I am glad they did. Honestly, if I were sitting on the other end of that table I don’t think I would have invested in FuzziBunz at that time either. There were too many obstacles working against me. What I did get from the Sharks however was respect and I am not sure you can put a price tag on that. I left knowing that even though I had challenges, I had what it took to persevere through them and figure it out. It is that entrepreneurial drive that has kept me going and helps me continue to innovate and bring new products to market.

 

Please share the biggest misconception about cloth diapers that you feel people have?

I think the biggest misconception today surrounding cloth diapers is the same one that has plagued it from the beginning….that they are too much trouble to deal with. If people really realized how easy and convenient they really are I am positive they would think differently.

One of the major components of FuzziBunz Adjustable diapers that sets us apart from other cloth diaper brands is our Fantastic Elastic System. This means that the waist and leg elastics are completely adjustable, removable, and replaceable, which can extend the life of your diapers well past the point where other cloth diapers begin to wear out and become unusable. But how do you know when to change them out?

 

  • When they relax. If you have been using your FuzziBunz for a year or more, and you start to notice that no matter how tightly you adjust the elastics they just don’t seem to “grab” the way they used to, then they are probably wearing out and need to be swapped out for fresh elastics.

 

  • They snap, crackle, or pop. A few summers ago I took my bathing suit out of a vacuum seal bag in our bedroom closet and was shocked to discover that all of the elastic had deteriorated and “crunched” when I pulled on it. Rats! Well, the same thing happens to cloth diaper elastics, and a big part of avoiding this scenario is proper storage. Keep your cloth diapers somewhere that is somewhat climate-controlled (between about 45°F – 75°F), and if you are storing them for a long period of time put them in something breathable like a pillowcase, not in a vacuum-seal bag or air-tight plastic bin. If you discover this phenomenon when you take your FuzziBunz out of storage, swap ‘em out!

 

  • If they don’t exist! Maybe you received some second-hand FuzziBunz that didn’t come with elastics. Surprise! We make it easy to “install” new ones with our Replacement Elastic Kits. Each kit comes with enough elastic bundles to fix six diapers so you can make those pre-loved pockets good as new inexpensively!

 

More than likely you’ll know exactly when it’s time to refresh the elastics in your FuzziBunz, and here’s a tip for making it a little easier when the time does come: Attach one end of the elastic and then loop a safety pin or crochet hook through the last button hole at the opposite end of the elastic and thread it through to the other side. Done!

Tell us about the sweetest beginning moment you shared with your child?
Our sweetest moments have been watching Gideon and his big sister bond. I have been awed by the joy in their relationship.
Why do you choose FuzziBunz?
I tried other brands when I cloth diapered with my first with no success. A friend let me borrow her Fuzzibunz and round two had been so much more user friendly.
What is your favorite style from the new line?
  • Turtle Time
What is your favorite print or solid?
  • Pure White
What is your advice for new moms on their cloth diaper journey?
It may seem overwhelming before you start but find a mom to show you her routine.
Favorite Cloth Diapering Tip?
I launder them in the evening so they can dry in time for the next days use

Breastfeeding, whether you are doing it for the first time or are a veteran, can sometimes come with challenges and emotions that can be difficult for you to navigate on your own. While some may be surprised, there are things that your partner can do to help you through the experience, even though they are not physically involved in this process.

 

  • Your partner can be present for you emotionally. Your hormones are already going to be in flux as your body adjusts to your and your baby’s physical needs postpartum, but if you are also having a hard time breastfeeding that can add to your emotional load. Tell your partner that you need support and nurturing. Whether it is simple encouragement, physical touch, or holding the space for you to release, the act of being present with you can be a major balm for your heart.

 

  • Your partner can help you find information. With our first daughter, I did not know how to breastfeed. I wasn’t aware of what a proper latch looked like (or felt like) and for the first two weeks my nipples were very sore because she was only latching onto them. And I developed mastitis to top it off (which I developed with our second child as well). My husband helped me to figure out what a proper latch looked like. He would physically help me adjust our baby’s body and head until it worked. He brought me pillows when he felt it could help. When I developed mastitis he spoke with our doctors/midwives to find out what would help to resolve the issues and how he could help. At one point it hurt so bad that I was afraid to breastfeed, and he talked me through it and encouraged me to push through it because he knew how badly I wanted to breastfeed and he felt that it was what was best for our babies. I am forever grateful that he was there for me in those ways as I was in no mind to do it alone.

 

  • Your partner can advocate on your behalf. It is more common than not to run into at least one unsupportive person who doesn’t understand the benefits of breastfeeding (especially extended breastfeeding) who has no problem letting you know their opinion on the subject. Having someone you love stand up for you and your choices, and even try to educate someone who may otherwise bring you down is empowering and lets you know that you are not alone.

 

Even if you do not have a partner, a good friend or family member can help ease some of the challenges of breastfeeding by supporting you in any way that they can. Please do not be afraid to ask for help when you feel that you need it. This is an important time for you and your baby, and any assistance can make the difference between feeling helpless and feeling nurtured.

Things I Wish I Had Known About Cloth Diapers When I Started

I’ve been cloth diapering for almost six years now. I’m pretty sure I can call myself a veteran (right?). I’ve learned a lot since I first started, and I was thinking how great it would have been if I’d known someone who was already a veteran cloth diaperer who could warn me about certain things before I started to save myself a lot of trouble. Here are some of those things:

 

  • Do not over-complicate your wash routine. Cloth diapers aren’t terribly different than your normal household laundry (except for the fact that they get peed and pooped in on a daily basis). A quick rinse to get a good amount of soils out (unless you use a diaper sprayer), a hot/cold regular wash cycle, and – if desired – an extra rinse is all that is needed to get the diapers clean. You can dry them on low heat or hang them out in the sun. DONE!

 

  • You do NOT need specialty detergents. I know, I know. What about the detergents made specifically for cloth diapers? Well, most of them are great and serve their purpose, but most regular commercial detergents are fine to use, too. In general, fabric softeners and heavy scents should be avoided because these can cause issues with repelling and rashes, but a good rule of thumb is to simply try what you feel comfortable with, and if it works – great! If not, strip the diapers and start over with something different.

 

  • You really should aim to wash your diapers every day or at least every other day. I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought it would be okay to let the diapers go for 3 or 4 days before I got around to them. Um….. No. Think about a glass of milk that you set on the counter and say “Meh, I’ll wash this later.” And then you keep forgetting or you get busy and within a couple of days you have a putrid, chunky cup of ick. Well, cloth diapers are absolutely not the same as a sour cup of milk, but in a way the effect is similar! The longer you leave soiled diapers sitting in a pail, the more “baked in” the soils become. The more bacteria starts to build up, and the more odors begin to form. It’s not good. It’s bad. So wash your diapers regularly, mkay?

 

  • Don’t blow your stash money all on one brand/style unless you are positive that it works for you! There is nothing more disappointing that using your entire cloth diaper budget on one particular brand or style, only to discover that there is something else that piques your interest or seems like it would work better for you. Many retailers offer cloth diaper trial programs that allow you to pay a flat fee for a certain amount of diapers (some of them you can pick and choose, some are set up specifically) for 30 days, keep what you want, and swap the rest for what you like. Or you could pick up one or two of a few different brands/styles of cloth diapers and do your own trial. This is especially helpful for absolute beginners who are unsure as to the difference in types of cloth diapers.

 

  • If you are having any trouble with your cloth diapers and you cannot seem to figure it out, call customer service!!! They are there to help, and in the off-chance that there actually is something wrong with your diaper(s), you’ll want to get in touch ASAP before your warranty expires. And oftentimes, the issue is something that can be resolved easily with a rep’s expertise. They want you to connect with them, so do it!

 

  • If your baby doesn’t have a diaper rash, don’t use diaper rash treatments! Cloth diapers greatly reduce – or even eliminate – the occurrence of diaper rashes on babies’ sensitive skin. In the occurrence that your child actually does develop a diaper rash, it is recommended that you steer clear of ointments containing harmful chemicals and fish oils. Cornstarch- or Arrowroot-based powders are great and can be made into a paste with a little water. A thin layer of coconut oil works wonders as well, especially when mixed with a drop of Lavender or Chamomile essential oil. Ointments like Desitin contain cod liver oil and if enough of the ointment gets into the fabric…. Whew!!! Your baby’s butt is gonna smell like a fish market. Gross.

 

So these are the tips that I wished I would have known before I ever started cloth diapering, and hopefully you will find them helpful on your journey. Do you have any other tips that I didn’t mention?

 

 

Working Out While Pregnant

Everyone knows that it’s important to take care of your physical body when you are pregnant, but this goes beyond trying to eat a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water. Getting daily exercise is just as necessary, and can make a huge difference in how you feel during pregnancy as well as the condition your body is in when you go into labor.

But what exercises are best for you? That all depends on what types of exercise you already do. In general, it is said that you can continue to perform activities and exercises that you normally do in your daily life as long as it is comfortable for you.

When I was pregnant with our first child, I had just started taking horseback riding lessons. I was advised to stop because it isn’t something that my body was used to, and there was a risk of placental abruption due to the pelvic motion caused by riding. That was pretty disappointing, but I obviously wanted to keep my body and my baby safe, so I stopped.

I knew that exercising while pregnant was very important, but I will also be the first to admit that I was terrible at it. Setting a goal for myself seemed daunting at first, but finally I settled on trying to walk for at least 30 minutes each day. As it turned out, this became a very real and enjoyable goal that I met just about every day.

If you enjoyed hiking, swimming, cycling, or jogging before you got pregnant, you can usually continue to do these activities while you are pregnant so long as you aren’t experiencing any complications. Prenatal yoga is a wonderfully gentle form of exercise that can help you to relax and increase flexibility, making it great for your mind and body, and can be done safely by most women without complication. More strenuous activities like weight training, cross-fit, etc. may be continued into pregnancy if you have an established practice, but it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor just to make sure. It is not recommended that you start any intense exercise training after becoming pregnant as this can significantly increase your risk of complications.

Signs to watch out for:

Whether you are continuing an established exercise practice or starting a new one, it is important to be aware of serious symptoms of possible pregnancy complications. If you notice any of these, stop immediately and contact your doctor:

*Dizziness

*Abdominal Cramping

*Vaginal spotting/bleeding

*Shortness of breath

*Headache

*Heart Palpitations

*Chest Pains

*Fluid leaking from the vagina

In general, do what feels good to your body. Do not push yourself to do more than you feel you are able, and let your doctor know immediately if you have questions or if something doesn’t feel right. Otherwise, enjoy doing something amazing and nourishing for you and your baby!