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Health tips from healthy mamas

healthy-mom-tips When two of our favorite fit-spirational women are pregnant at the same time we can’t help but fall in love with their growing baby bumps and their glowing smiles. Courtney Miller (first time mommy) and Lauren Huber Griffith (two-time mommy) have more in common than just their motherhood, these San Diego locals are also motivational barre fitness instructors and part of our ToeSox family. Now that each of them has welcomed their little boys into the world, we stole a few minutes with them to learn how they managed to stay fit and healthy during and after their pregnancies, in spite of the sleep deprivation.

What were the biggest changes you noticed in your body while pregnant (besides the growing bump)? And how did you support those changes?

Courtney: I felt great throughout my pregnancy, so the major change for me was the “why” behind my workouts. I really listened to my body and adjusted my workouts accordingly. Some days I felt the need for strength training, other days I wanted to focus on flexibility, and some days I needed to just take a long walk. My exercise goals were less about the physical benefits and more focused on creating a strong mind-body connection, using breath to facilitate movement, and finding a balance of strength and release. Lauren: The biggest changes I noticed in my body was the increased energy in the 2nd trimester, as well as the importance to slow down the intensity of my workouts and stay hydrated as I got further along in my pregnancy. I supported these changes by listening to my body and knowing my limits. Switching my workouts to low-impact exercises and decreasing the intensity and duration. Increasing my water intake and bringing water with me when on-the-go.

What was your go-to workout while pregnant?

Courtney: I’m a big fan of incorporating functional training concepts into my Pilates, Yoga, Suspension and Barre workouts regardless of pregnancy. This means I’m already doing vertical training (standing up), 4-point kneeling, and side lying work - all positions that are great for pre- and post-natal bodies. I kept up with this regiment up to the day I gave birth. In my third trimester, I also incorporated 30 minutes a day of hip opening exercises and glute stretches to prepare for birth, as well as a series of movements that helped baby stay in the ideal birth position (like crawling on hands and knees for 3 - 5 minutes). Lauren: My go-to workout was Agility Barre®. I taught classes through 38 weeks pregnant. The combination of low-impact exercises mixed with cardio and light weights was the perfect way to stay toned and feel great!

Any cravings? Did you give into them?

Courtney: I definitely craved dairy while I was pregnant (pre pregnancy, I hardly ate any dairy). Yogurt with granola or cottage cheese with apples were my go-to snacks. I also craved good fats while pregnant like avocado on toast, ghee in my coffee, and almond butter on celery. Now that I’m breastfeeding, I’m making sure to keep up with those nutrient-dense foods filled with omegas, good fat, and quality calories. Lauren: With my first pregnancy I craved cereal at night. This time around I craved lemonade. I definitely gave in and recognized that it's okay not to eat completely "clean" while pregnant. I typically choose to have a diet free of gluten, as I feel the best and find it complements my active lifestyle. While pregnant and breastfeeding, I listen to my body and make sure I'm taking in enough calories and the right nutrients to support my baby.

Any words of wisdom you can pass along to us about your time and observations from being pregnant?

Courtney: 1) Creating life is truly a miracle, so appreciate each and every second of the spectacular and beautiful blessing it is! 2) Release any fears associated with pregnancy and birth. Your body is designed for this. On the same note, don't listen to anyone’s dramatized stories. Your experience will be unique and absolutely magical! 3) Spend less time researching the best strollers, trendiest onesies, and coolest nursery ideas, and more time learning about strategies to help you successfully breastfeed, prenatal nutrition, midwifery care options, and building a solid support network. 4) Hire a Doula! Lauren: Listen to your body and make adjustments in your workout routine and nutrition to complement both you and your baby. We all have different experiences, so it's important not to compare yourself to others and to take time to rest and take care of YOU!

Now that you have the little one in your arms, are there any changes you’ve made? Any interesting or funny observations that have caught you off guard?

Courtney: I thought babies sleep a lot!? My little bub is not into daytime napping for longer than 30 minutes. The trade off is he sleeps fairly well at night, so I’m not complaining! This means our 8am to 10pm schedule is mostly filled with nursing, nursing and more nursing. I've had to prioritize tasks that were so simple before baby and I usually only have time to complete one thing during his nap. I’ve had to prioritize things that were so simple before baby. For instance, do I want to take a shower or tidy the kitchen? Do I brush my hair or throw in a load of laundry? This also means I have to squeeze exercises into my routine like lunging to the kitchen and back, doing calf raises while brushing my teeth, or getting some squats in while rocking Maverick. My workout time is in short intervals now, which is fun! Instead of spending an hour or 90 minutes getting my sweat on, I get in several 10 or 15 minute intervals throughout the day. courtney-miller-baby-boy Lauren: Life has definitely changed for the better with our new addition to the family! It's busy with a toddler running around and an infant needing my attention around the clock. I'm learning how to manage my time and cherish this special time in my life. The funniest thing I notice that is different with my baby boy vs. my daughter are his grunts and farts. I'm sure all babies have gas, but he sure makes me laugh with the frequency of his traits. lauren-griffith-baby-boy

Any words of wisdom you can pass along to us about your time/observations being a new mom?

Courtney: Be compassionate with yourself. Remember that it’s not only a child being born, but a mother too. Just as you offer endless love, guidance and support to your little one, be kind and stay positive with yourself along the way! Lauren: My biggest advice for new moms is to find balance and take time for yourself. Being a mom is a very selfless roll and we tend to forget about taking care of ourselves. Make sure to get rest and take a nap when your little one naps, eat healthy meals, get out for walks and exercise once you're cleared by your doctor, and don't be afraid to ask for help.