Pregnancy Style

 
Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 9.44.22 PM.png
 

As if finding something to wear isn't challenging enough without a baby bump, now you have to find something that also fits your growing mid-section. Since we always aim to make your life a little bit easier in every way, we took it upon ourselves to scour the market for pregnancy friendly summer clothing. Tag us @fpc.nyc in your cutest bump fashion. 

Did someone mention a jersey fabric maxi dress that is BOTH bump and breastfeeding friendly? Sign us up! Teat & Cosset just came out with the fabulous Athena dress and it's literally everything we always wanted in a day-to-evening dress.

It should come as no surprise that we are completely obsessed with everything from Hatch. Our summer go-to styles include the Nessa Dress, the Noa jumpsuit and the Sylvie dress. If you stop by their Bleecker street store and mention FPC, you should receive a discount too. 

Everyone should at some point in their life own a pair of denim overalls. We are crushing on this pair from Rosie Pope. 

If you are just looking for something fun that doesn't cost a fortune, check out the following pieces from Zara: Patchwork Print Dress, laminated print dress, and this winner from H&M. 

We look forward to catching you and your bump in all your best summer styles via instagram. Tag us @fpc.nyc for a chance to win a little something from Teat & Cosset

5 Things You Definitely Need to Think About in Preparation for Birth and Postpartum

By Nilma Black

 

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Welcome to the most transformative, rewarding process of your life. Now that the dust has begun to settle from your big news, it is a good time to direct your attention to making preparations and setting yourself up to have the most blissful birth experience possible. Here are some things you should be thinking about ahead of time.

 

1. Find a doula to have your back.

Doulas are an invaluable resource for families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. They provide physical, emotional and educational care; they free up your time and energy so you can positively engage with your medical team, your partner, and your pregnancy. A doula is your birth consiglieri, they are the person that is irrevocably in your corner. Think of this relationship as the bedrock on which you can build a successful birth plan. A successful birth plan is one that makes you feel in control and at ease.

 

2. Decide where you want to have your birth.

Whether you have your baby at home, in a hospital, or in the back of taxi, where you have your birth determines a ton of other factors. Making this decision early on will give you the peace of mind and confidence to create the rest of your birth plan. There are families that prefer to have joyful births at home and those that feel more comfortable having their baby in a hospital and those who would rather give birth at a birthing center where there is an environment that appeals to both sets of needs. The important thing is that you have all the relevant information. Discussing this with your Doula will help you arrive at the decision that is best for you.

 

3. Research your OB and/or Midwife

Once you’ve decided where you would like to have your birth, you can research the medical team that will be involved. Again, your doula will help you make sense of all the information and keep you from being overwhelmed by this process. Never feel as if you have to stay with a decision that doesn’t feel right. Keep asking questions. That is your right. If you picked a hospital for your birth; find out what their C section rate is compared to vaginal births, if family members can stay with you for the first postpartum night. Find out what their policy is on outside food. Research your hospital and make sure their values and practices align with your expectations.

 

4.Childbirth education

Seeking out childbirth education can have a major impact on the comfort and ease you experience during your birth. A good childbirth educator will help you learn hospital protocols, understand your body, the process of birth and know what choices are available to you. Knowledge is power and, in this case, power means safety, comfort, and peace during your birth.

 

5. Plan for Postpartum.

After you've given birth, you can expect your life to change. By thinking through some of the challenges and curating the right support network ahead of time, you'll be able to focus all of your attention on taking care of yourself and connecting with your baby during the transition. The goal for this period is to minimize your responsibilities to the outside world. Plan to put some of your regular commitments on hold for at least a month. A personal chef, a partner, a family member or a meal delivery service can take the pressure off meal planning and preparation.  Getting the proper nutrition is vital for your well-being and that of your baby. Book an appointment with a postpartum doula to help communicate your needs to your doctor and help turn your home into a postpartum sanctuary; Make sure this sanctuary will be a restful, comforting environment and decide ahead of time on what your policy will be with visitors.  

 

 

 
 Nilma Black is the mother of two beautiful daughters. She is a certified doula, a nutrition coach, an activist and the cofounder of Babu; a mobile and web-based platform that connects families with a network of knowledgeable providers, empowering them to make informed decisions about their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period.

Nilma Black is the mother of two beautiful daughters. She is a certified doula, a nutrition coach, an activist and the cofounder of Babu; a mobile and web-based platform that connects families with a network of knowledgeable providers, empowering them to make informed decisions about their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period.

 

SoHo's Best Baby-Friendly Eateries

As our postpartum community continues to grow, we are constantly faced with the question: “where do we go to eat in the neighborhood with our babies?”. Here are our top picks!

1.    Spring Natural. Lots of outdoor seating makes this the perfect spot to grab lunch or dinner with a sleeping baby in the stroller. They have a wide variety of food with our favorites being the spinach-artichoke nachos, the veggie burger (with the vegan cheese!) and the rice and vegetable platter. Bonus points for magnificent cocktails! 

2.    Lafayette. Fancy a bit of french? Head over to this spacious restaurant which can easily fit a stroller next to your table (either in our outdoors). Order a glass of chilled Sancerre, a dozen oysters

3.    Dr. Smood. These guys are the self-proclaimed “healthiest café in the world” and we agree! This is our go-to place for a quick bite. Our menu suggestions: the oatmeal in the morning, avocado toast and kale salad for lunch and hummus/crackers for a snack. Also make sure to try their in-house made cashew mylk in your coffee or golden latte. 

4.    Bar Pitti. Who’s into a plate of seriously authentic northern Italian pasta? Head over to Bar Pitti on 6thavenue (address insert). They are generally pretty good about strollers and babies but we suggest going off-peak hours because it tends to get crowded.

 

Debunking Exercise Myths: Returning to Exercise Post Pregnancy

The Myth: It's safe to return to your pre pregnancy workout as soon as you get the "green light" from your care provider.

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 8.46.46 PM.png

The FPC Answer: Most care providers will give you the green light at around 6 weeks to resume exercise.  But what does that mean?

Did you know that the first 12 weeks post birth are known as the "critical healing period"?  (Read 12...not 6).  Many women return to their favorite workouts too soon and too hard and put themselves at risk of developing complications.  Even if you feel amazing, the exercise choices you make during those initial weeks can effect your body for the rest of your life.  We could probably write you a book on the topic, but you're busy so here are some important bullet points instead: 

Before returning to exercise post birth:

  • It takes 4 months after you're done breastfeeding for your body to stop producing the hormone relaxin.  As long as relaxin is present, the connective tissue between your rectus abdominis (6-pack abs) is still vulnerable.  Thats why we continue to offer safe "core" alternatives for all our newly postpartum moms.  

 

  • No matter how good that new mom, "yoga teacher", "fitfluencer" looks on instagram, when she tells you it's safe to do crunches at 3 weeks postpartum, it's important to remember that traditional abdominal work like crunches, twists, planks, etc. are absolutely out of the question during those first 12 weeks.  

 

  • If you still have ab separation at 12 weeks, you need to continue to modify your workout and also be working with a postnatal specialist that can help you heal.  

 

  • You can't trust YouTube or even an instructor with a general pre/postnatal certification to do a Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) assessment.  They have a very limited knowledge of the topic and they may "assess" that you are fine when in fact, you are not.  Or tell you that a DR is present when they don't understand the true definition of what it means to heal it.  Find a specialist. Come see us at FPC, or see a pelvic floor therapist for a proper diagnosis.  

 

  • Don't go for a run just yet!  Regardless of the type of birth you had, vaginal or Cesarian, you have to continue to train with your pelvic floor in mind.  Damage to the pelvic floor doesn't usually come from the actual birth.  It comes from the months of weight and pressure on those muscles leading up to the big event.  After birth, those muscles need time to rest and recover.  If we return to high impact movements right away, you are putting your pelvic floor at risk of developing a prolapse.  

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to postpartum fitness.  FPC is passionate about educating every woman that walks through our door on how to make a complete recovery post birth.  If you are postpartum and looking to get back into fitness, join us at the studio!  

Postpartum Rehab and/or Pump & Kegel are the 2 best places to start! Check our schedule for times!  

How To Increase Your Milk Supply

 

I recently posted a video clip of my subzero freezer that is completely full of breastmilk on my instagram stories (It's Carolina by the way). Immediately I had ten messages from women who wanted to know how I was able to store away so much and still continue to feed baby Rags. Here is a post for you ladies who are curious to know what I do, personally, to keep my supply high. Just bear in mind that I am not an expert and to consult with a lactation counselor before making any changes. 

nursinginT&C.jpeg

1) Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. I cannot stress this enough. A dehydrated body WILL produce less milk than a well hydrated one. Aim to drink at least 8 ounces during every feeding or pumping session (I probably average about double that to be honest). Get a nice reusable water bottle and keep drinking! 

2) I know it is tempting to go on a diet to lose that "baby weight" that's lingering BUT just know that your body is wise and is holding on to an extra 5-10 pounds pretty much as long as you continue to breastfeed. This doesn't mean you haven't lost the extra weight you put on during your pregnancy; you have extra breast tissue, milk, and fat stores that are essential to your body producing an adequate amount of milk. Simply continue to feed your body nutritious whole foods. Every meal should contain protein, fat, fiber and complex carbs. If anyone is interested in recipes or snacks ideas we can put that in a separate post! 

3) Let your baby nurse as much as possible. With my first baby I was told by our pediatrician to almost immediately put her on a 3-4 hour feeding schedule, which I did. We were both miserable; she was hungry and I wasn't able to build up a milk supply that was enough for her and breastfeeding became really challenging. I quit after three months with her and decided to do not take advice from our pediatrician when it came to breastfeeding. With my third baby I try to keep him with me as much as I can and I let him snack whenever he wants to. We often do at least one daily marathon feed where we spend a couple of hours in bed together (my preferred feeding method is side-lying) and he eats, falls asleep, wakes up to eat again, goes back to sleep, and eats again. 

4) Pump after almost every feed the first few weeks. This will signal your body to keep producing more milk even after your baby is satisfied. It is a total pain but the rewards are huge. I would pump immediately after every feed for about 10-15 minutes. Once you have established a strong supply, you can go down to pumping only after the last night feed and after the first morning feed (I currently pump before I go to bed at 10pm and around 6:30/7am and keep the pumping sessions to 20 minutes). Get a handsfree pumping bra so you can tend to your baby, eat or do work at the same time. Disclaimer: Experts will tell you this will lead to an oversupply so don't do this unless you want to continue to pump and store milk.

Lilu lifestyle shoot with Carolina_hi-res_36.jpg

5) The jury is out on this one but I am convinced these lactation bars increase my supply. I still am waiting for them to sponsor me! I eat one every morning during my morning pump session as I drink at least 20 ounces of water. 

Breastfeeding is a commitment and it is a full-time job the first couple of months. Keep in mind that before you know it your child will graduate Pre-K and you will have no idea where the time went. Please ask for support when you need it and know that we are always here for you!  

 

 

Meet Your Instructor: Erin Williams

Have you ever taken a group fitness class where the instructor is an actual doctor? Nope? Well, neither had we until Erin Williams came around. 

Hometown: Fairbanks, Alaska!

Current location: Jersey City, NJ

What is your background: I earned my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and my Bachelor's Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Oregon State University. Additionally, I am a certified CrossFit Coach.

What do you do when you don't teach at FPC? When I am not teaching at FPC my primary focus is providing physical therapy to Pregnant and Postpartum women locally and online through my independent practice! I also coach a crossfit class for pregnant and postpartum women in Jersey City 2x/week.

What inspires you? What really energizes my soul is making movement and exercise safe and doable for all levels of fitness and time constraints. Being a mother is challenging enough and adding work on top of that can make self-care and fitness nearly impossible. I love waking up at 5AM to instruct a determined working mom through an exercise routine before she goes to work because it empowers her to be her best self and that gives me all the energy I need!

Describe your FPC "Challenge" class: My classes are designed to be scaled up or down depending on abilities and fitness level while getting a serious sweat on! My class flow tends to be energetic and challenging!

What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to build and expand upon my degree as a physical therapist every single day, to never settle for knowing enough but always having a hunger to learn more. 

Current favorite song? Happier Ed Sheeran 

If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be and why? Probably a Moose because it reminds me of winter and home, both of which I love and miss!

Tell us something that not a lot of people know about you. I got married on a giant riverboat in Alaska to my high school sweetheart (2 years ago).


Erin's class, "Challenge" is on Thursday nights at 7PM.  It is pre/postnatal safe and 100% appropriate for partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, and best friends!

New Workshop at FPC! Introducing Childbirth Basics for the Non-Pregnant!

Contributed by Ashley Brichter of Managing Overwhelming Moments

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 10.20.00 PM.png

From "do your kegels" to "get the epidural," everyone from the cashier at the grocery store to your boss will freely share their advice when you’re pregnant. It’s like pregnant women are wearing a sign that says, “Unsolicited advice welcome!” While most people have the best intentions, it can be reckless when the advice simply isn’t fact- or evidence-based. There is a very real lack of basic knowledge around the birth process.

With maternity care in the United States failing women, particularly women of color, I know that we need to do more—and do better. Why wait until we are pregnant or someone we know is pregnant to learn about how we are born? Birth is an amazing bodily process that we all should understand simply as humans. It’s truly fascinating (and useful!) to learn about.

Women in pregnancy and birth are their most powerful selves, yet pregnancy and childbirth is likely the most vulnerable a woman will ever feel. With all the advice and judgment out there, it’s hard for pregnant women to feel confident in their decisions and prepare themselves for the birth process, particularly for their first birth. Women deserve to have access to real, evidence-based information as early and as often as possible. That’s why I believe that everyone who works or spends time with a pregnant woman has the opportunity to provide life-changing support and resources.

Knowledge really is power. By educating yourself and sharing your knowledge with pregnant women, you can truly make a difference for mothers, their babies, and their families. It’s also an attractive way to show what you stand for and make yourself stand out in your business. I hope that making childbirth information accessible and applicable for all, we can begin to shift to a culture of better support for pregnant women in our country.

I’ll be teaching these professionals everything they need to know about the history of childbirth in the United States, and what women are up against navigating the medical system. They’ll learn all about the amazing process of birth, including the hormones and physiology at play in labor and delivery. I’ll also share incredible resources around best practices and providers so that practitioners can support and empower their pregnant clients.

Why is this so important? With the knowledge of physiological childbirth, the right birth team, and prenatal conditioning, women can dramatically increase their chance for a positive birth and postpartum experience.


And that’s where you come in. This upcoming workshop will be for yoga and fitness instructors, massage therapists, mental health professionals, acupuncturists, stylists, physical therapists, chiropractors—essentially everyone who works with pregnant women. These practitioners have the ability to positively impact a woman’s pregnancy and birth by providing her with evidence-based knowledge, resources, and support.

Do you have anyone in your tribe who you would like to have this information? This class is a totally new concept, and I’d love your help getting the word out. If you or anyone you know works with pregnant women, I’d really appreciate you sending them this post. You can also help spread the word by sharing this post on social media. 

Meet Your Instructor: Maddy Wasserman

If you haven't taken Maddy's Signature class yet, you are missing out on some serious fun.  Here's a little more about her...including a mysterious story about winning "best dressed" at a taco festival?  Ummm, we promise to get our hands on that picture.  

_O5A6587.jpg

Hometown- Ashland, Oregon

Current location- Williamsburg

What is your background-  In 2005 I attended massage school at the Santa Barbara Body Therapy Institute in California. The following year I moved back to Oregon where I received a Bachelors degree in Communication and Culture while working full time for a Brewery start up. I spent 10+ years in the hospitality industry opening and running restaurants in Bend, Oregon and during that time I became a doula, I was trained through DONA (Doulas of North America) in 2010.  

In 2011 I became a certified Barre3 instructor and have been teaching group fitness for the past seven years.  In 2015 I trained with ICEA (International Childbirth Education Association)  to become a Childbirth Educator. And as of 2018, I am now a certified Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Specialist. 

What do you do when you don't teach at FPC- When I am not at FPC I am attending births, reading books or spending time with the people I love!

What inspires you- My clients! I love getting to know little tidbits about the people I am working with for inspiration of what they need in class.

Describe your FPC Signature class-  Curated with safety, driven by music, and full of education. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? A badass mama!

Current favorite song- Passionfruit (feat. Denham) - By The Golden Pony (It's a Drake remix!)

If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be and why- A wolf. I’m a leader and feel best with a crew of loving & like minded people, AKA my Wolf Pack. 

Tell us something that not a lot of people know about you- In 2011 I won "Best Dressed" at the Arizona Taco Festival, the prize was a 5' tall trophy with a taco on top! (Now I bet you want a pic...TBD)

 

BossMamas We Love

We are kicking off our new series: "Bossmamas We Love" together with Ashley Melone and Danielle Walish from our latest nursing friendly fashion brand obsession Madri Collection

 
MadriCollection1.jpg
 

What was the inspiration behind your company? We weren't finding any chic clothing that we could effortlessly nurse our daughters (Ava Rose, 17 months belonging to Ashley and Quinnah, 16 months belonging to Danielle) in. If we were having trouble, we knew other moms must be as well. The early postpartum months are challenging enough without having to worry about what to wear and we want to ease that for new moms while making them look and feel good. 

What did you do before starting Madri Collection? Ashley worked as a theater producer and Danielle as an interior designer. 

Your most proud moment? In unison: Becoming mothers! 

What is the most challenging thing about running your own business? It's all a balancing act.

How has becoming a mother changed you? It has been the most humbling and rewarding experience of my life; going to bed and waking up much earlier than ever before, Being OK with imperfection as long as something is done with love. 

Where do you see Madri in 2023? As the go-to fashion destination for nursing and pumping moms to shop for clothes for every occasion; A place where our staff can bring their babies with them to work with childcare on site.

Where is your happy place? Italy, Sonoma and Martha's Vineyard.

ell us about your typical Tuesday: What is typical about running a start-up with toddlers in tow?!!

Lastly, name your top three NYC restaurants: Lucali, Sant Ambroeus and Emporio - All Italian of course! 

 

Follow Madri collection on Instagram @madricollection

Pregnancy Travel Essentials

Summer is officially here and travel season is up ahead. You might be a Delta Diamond traveler but this pregnancy thing got you all stressed out over what to pack? Don't worry mama, as always, we've got your back! Here are our top five items to make traveling while pregnant more comfortable, safe and easy. 

 
Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 9.06.19 AM.png
 

Do not get on a flight without a pair of compression socks. Our favorite ones come from our friends at Comrad. They are comfortable, get the job done AND are cute! Oh, and they're offering the FPC community 20% off their first order with code WeLoveFPC

Definitely don't leave the house without snacks on hand. According to our friend and registered dietitian, Sarah Rueven (@rootedwellnessny), prenatal snacks should provide a combination of fiber and protein or healthy fat for the most staying power! Great snacks include an apple and nut butter, hummus with raw veggies or a 2% fat or full fat greek yogurt with fruit and a sprinkle of granola. We love the Sakara superfood and dark chocolate granolas - which are low sugar and super yummy!

As if sitting on a plane/car/train isn't uncomfortable enough, pregnancy just brings the discomfort to another level. Luckily Hatch has the best solution for this: The Walkabout Romper. It has no waistband, is made from the fabric (no itchies here), it's stylish, and did we mention it has no waistband?? 

Hydration is always important but seriously essential during pregnancy and since we hate filling our landfills with plastic our go-to water bottle is from S'well. Bonus points that it is the fastest growing woman-owned company in the US! 

Whether you are traveling to the beach or not, sunscreen is always a must. But stay away from the brands with added chemicals (that's not good for either you or baby!). Our favorite all natural sunscreen come from BeautyCounter. 

Now go enjoy your vacay and don't forget to send us pictures! If you miss working out with us (and how could you not?) check out this 15 minute at-home workout with Joanie.

 

Birth Stories: Erin

Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 3.24.59 PM.png

I wrote this on a Thursday, in the odd hours of the morning while I rock my son back to sleep. Thursday’s were important markers of time during my pregnancy. Thursday’s were when my gestational weeks rolled one into the next. Thursday was the day my cat died unexpectedly when I was 35 weeks pregnant. Thursday was the day I was induced at 39 weeks. 

My son is nearing 8 weeks old. 8 weeks it has taken me to process my birth story and realize the particulars are not what matters. The exact details don’t need to be shared or even truly remembered in detail. What matters is this: 

At the end of a wonderful and easy 39 week prenatal visit with my midwife Shar, baby’s heart rate and position were checked along with my fundal height and blood pressure. All normal. Except it wasn’t this time. My blood pressure was elevated. My midwife encouraged me to go to the hospital for additional monitoring so off we went a few hours later to Metropolitan Hospital. It continued to be elevated after several hours, even with meditation and relaxing music. The on staff midwife suggested I stay to be induced but I chose to sign myself out AMA. Soon after leaving, however, both of my midwives called to urge me to return. We discussed the risks involved with elevated blood pressure and what that meant for my planned home birth (it risked me out). After lots of tears on a long call with my doula, Lindsey, I ate dinner, packed a bag and returned to the hospital. 

I had planned for an unmedicated birth at home. Even in all of my transfer scenarios I had not planned ahead for this one. Being a doula I knew that inductions could take a while. I came prepared with an eye mask, music, essential oils, and items for my birth altar.

My story is a long one, and one I don’t think is necessary to share. The short version is this. It took 3 days for my son to be born. Labor didn’t follow a typical arc. It started and stopped over and over. My doula stayed with us almost the entire time. We labored during the intense moments and chatted or rested during the quiet ones. We ate guacamole and pita chips. I was obsessed with pineapple. The hospital had wireless monitoring and wonderful midwives who support physiological birth. They allowed me to be in my space without pressure and with respect to my choices. I declined routine cervical checks and IV fluids. I moved around, walking the hallways or rocking on my birth ball. 

63 hours after arriving at the hospital, my son was born. Almost 2 hours of pushing and he came out face up (direct occiput posterior) and eyes wide open. He was a tiny little guy, 6.5lbs and 20” long. He latched for his first of many feeds in the first hour, after we both had some time to adjust to our change in conditions. 

I’m so grateful to every midwife and nurse who supported me in my birth experience. I was continually respected and supported in every decision I made. And I was allowed to make my own educated and informed decisions without pressure, which was vital to me. There were tears and laughs. Somewhere along the way my mantra became the very unzen “fucking hell” that I repeated as each new contraction began in earnest. 

Birth looked and felt like nothing I had ever imagined for myself. I had prepared for long. I had prepared for challenging. But I had not prepared for this. I’ve learned that no matter how prepared, healthy, fit, educated you are that birth happens how it happens.

5 Healing Foods for the Postpartum Mama

 
  Article contributed by Sarah Rueven of  Rooted Wellness . 

Article contributed by Sarah Rueven of Rooted Wellness

The postpartum period can be a challenging one. Adjusting to all the new changes to your life and your body is taxing to say the least! And while nutrition may be the LAST thing on your mind, it still remains as important as ever, particularly if you are breastfeeding. Instead of giving you a long list of vitamins and nutrients, here are five KEY foods to think about incorporating to support your post-labor recovery, build your strength and give you the energy you need to power through the “fourth” trimester.

Wild Salmon - Nature may not have a “perfect” food, but wild salmon is pretty high up on that list! It is loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids which provide a plethora of health benefits to the postpartum mama. Omega-3 fatty acids help to rebuild cellular tissue and repair cellular damage. Studies have also demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acid intake combats depression, which a plus for fending off the “baby blues”. DHA, a subtype of omega-3 fat acids, is crucial for the development of your baby’s nervous system and cognitive development, and the amount of DHA you consume in your diet is expressed in your breastmilk. Other great sources of omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, trout, sardines, avocado, olives, nuts/seeds and coconut oil. Make sure to continue to eat no more than 12 oz of fish (or 2 large servings) per week due to mercury concerns.

Beans and Legumes – Beans and legumes really ARE magical for the postpartum mama. They are a great source of lean protein, folate and fiber – the latter is especially important for fending off constipation – a common postpartum concern! Beans and legumes are also loaded with iron.  Eating plenty of iron rich foods will help prevent iron depletion post-birth, which is quite common due to the iron demands of pregnancy and blood loss immediately after birth. Make sure to eat beans and legumes with a source of vitamin C, such as bell peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits or strawberries to maximize iron absorption.

Spinach and other dark leafy greens – If spinach makes you think of Popeye’s massive biceps, then you’re on the right track! Spinach and dark leafy greens pack a punch for essential nutrients and minerals in high demand during the postpartum period - such as vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron and vitamin K. Throw greens in everything from your morning egg scramble or smoothie, to soups and stews – these delicious leaves are as versatile as they are nutritious.

Eggs – Consuming protein is incredibly beneficial towards healing and building strength during the postpartum period. Protein helps to build and repair muscle, skin and other body tissues, as well as delivering oxygen throughout the body, which promotes the health of all your cells! Eggs are rich in healing protein (one egg packs in a whopping 7 grams!) as well as 13 essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, zinc and choline. Plus, eggs are an easy-to-cook option for the time-pressed postpartum mama. Go for DHA- fortified eggs to boost your intake of this important omega-3 fatty acid.

Oats –Oats are truly a postpartum superfood! Oats are rich in zinc, magnesium, iron and folate. Plus, oats are a great source of fiber, which helps keep you full and promotes healthy digestion. Oats and oatmeal are galactogogues – which means they promote healthy breastmilk production. Oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates, helping to meet your elevated carbohydrate needs in the postpartum period. Getting adequate carbohydrates in the form of whole grains is particularly critical for keeping your energy up and balancing your blood sugar, all of which is ideal during those first few weeks of altered sleep!

Don't miss Sarah's complimentary Postpartum Nutrition workshop hosted by FPC at the studio next Wednesday, May 2 from 5:30 - 7:00PM for more information. SIGN UP NOW

 

The Second Stage of Labor: Pushing and Protecting the Pelvic Floor

Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 3.43.33 PM.png

Contributed by Chantal Traub

Throughout the years of assisting women in birth, I realized that many moms are unprepared for the 2nd stage of labor. The second stage is when the mother assists her body by pushing the baby out. As a doula, I've heard many interesting stories about labor and delivery. I would find myself at the playground with my children or at a party and chat with a mother who would say “oh you are a doula, let me tell you about my birth!” Sometimes it is a beautiful birth experience, often, it is a story about a disappointing or a physically traumatic birth that led to ongoing pain with intercourse or urinary incontinence. A woman past childbearing age might tell me she had developed an organ prolapse or leaking.

During pushing, the muscle tissue in the pelvic floor will give as far as it needs to. Sometimes, this can result in a small tear, which eventually heals well, but could subsequently contract or atrophy due to the trauma and cause problems later in life. There are ways to prepare and protect the pelvic floor, for example: choosing the right providers, the positions you use to allow your baby to descend, the provider's patience at the time of crowning, your nutrition, and habits and lifestyle, and exercises that strengthen and tone the pelvic floor.

Over the years, I have talked with providers about better preparing mothers for the 2nd stage of labor. One of the answers that I'm given is that “she will figure it out while doing it and she only has to do it once, for her first vaginal birth, because pushing is so much easier and shorter the second time”. And I would think, yes that's true. The muscle strength and ability is there and there is a normal learning curve in the beginning of the 2nd stage, but...?

We, as pre-and postnatal providers, keep seeing so many postpartum issues, shouldn't moms prepare better? Wouldn't it be good to know beforehand how to strengthen your pelvic floor during pregnancy and before entering menopause?

In my workshop, you will learn how the pelvis and fetus interact as well as simple exercises to bring awareness to your pelvic floor. You will review breathing and positions for pushing, and I will offer you tools and tips to prepare.

One of the many ways to help tone the pelvic floor during pregnancy, post-baby and beyond is the practice of yoga. Below are some of my personal favorites. In my yoga classes, I will tailor the poses to your levels and abilities.

 

Chantal Traub is a certified doula, childbirth educator and yoga teacher who has been
assisting expectant mothers for over 15 years. She maintains the passionate belief that there is a better way to help mothers prepare to push more effectively and protect the pelvic floor during pregnancy and birth. Chantal offers expertise and guidance to
pregnant women who want to prepare for birth and beyond. She is certified by both
Lamaze International and the Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New
York and is a board member of the Childbirth Education Association of Metro NY.
Chantal runs a private doula practice and offers private childbirth workshops. She's a
mom of two children.

5 questions answered about Elvie

front-style-shoot-copy-1.jpg

 

Contributed by Dr. Erin Williams, DPT

I am not affiliated with Elvie but I am a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist who understands how difficult it can be to perform a kegel (pelvic floor muscle contraction) correctly and I am always looking for tools to better assist my clients with accomplishing a strong and healthy pelvic floor and took it upon myself to personally try out Elvie! Here is what I found!

1. What is Elvie?

Elvie is a small green sensory device that is placed into the vagina during use and connects with the Elvie app that can be downloaded for free onto your smart phone. The app provides strengthening and endurance training exercises with visual aids and performance tracking to better help you connect with and provide feedback for your pelvic floor muscles. 

2. Does it work? 

The short answer is, YES! I found that it was very accurate and responsive to correct pelvic floor muscle contractions (kegel) and would notify me when I was (purposely) doing a kegel incorrectly, or “bearing down” which is a common error made my many women. An important point to note is that Elvie is an up-trainer for the pelvic floor so all of the exercises are geared toward strengthening the pelvic floor and not for relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. Although less talked about, the pelvic floor can have too much muscle tightness/tension (think pain with penetration/sex or constipation) and strengthening the muscles will not benefit this presentation. If you feel like this is you, I would strongly advise getting evaluated by a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist first before trying Elvie. Overall I loved using Elvie to track my progress and identify where I was weak! I am a visual learner and competitive with myself so seeing that I was improving over just 1 week of training and having visual aides to facilitate my kegel was very helpful!

3. Is it uncomfortable/painful to place and use?

Elvie is quite comfortable and easy to place and use! If you feel like you bear-down when initiating a kegel the Elvie device will slip out of you so this can be helpful immediate feedback!

4. Can I use it while Pregnant and postpartum?

Yes, Elvie can be used while pregnant. The Elvie website states that it can be used with non complicated pregnancies and to seek medical advice from your doctor if unsure. It can be used 6+ weeks postpartum. There is no need to use it immediately  following postpartum as the pelvic floor muscles are healing and just need to rest.  

5, How much is it and where can I buy it?

Elvie is normally $199 however for Fit Pregnancy Club mammas I was able to get a DISCOUNT CODE (elvie15b) which you can enter at checkout and enjoy 15% off! www.elvie.com

I would recommend this device to anyone looking to have improved awareness of their pelvic floor muscles for pregnancy, postpartum, urinary incontinence or better sex! I would strongly encourage women to have a pelvic floor assessment completed by a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist first to make sure Elvie is a good fit for you! 

If you have any questions or are interested in getting to know your pelvic floor better please do not hesitate to reach out to me at erin@womenshealthnyc.com and let me know you read my blog on the FPC website and receive $50 OFF your first session with me! 

-Erin Williams, DPT

www.womenshealthnyc.com

Instagram: eewilliams20

The Birth Story Series: Carolina's Third Baby

 
CarolinaandRags.jpg
 

If there is one thing moms and moms-to-be can't seem to get enough of it is listening to as well as sharing their birth stories. So, naturally, we are here to assist. If YOU want to share yours with the women in our community, please email us! 

First let me start off by sharing my most recent labor experience (this is Carolina by the way, FPC co-founder and now mother of three).

I had anticipated going into labor early the whole pregnancy given that it was my third even though both my previous babies came on their due dates (or a few hours after their due date). I started feeling increasingly uncomfortable three days before the actual due date and I thought for sure that I was in early labor. So, I walked in to my OBGyn and demanded to be checked. And, nothing had changed since the last appointment. I walked right back to the studio and took another Signature class. Same thing happened the day after and then the day after that we were at my due date. I decided to take the day off and my husband and I arranged for the nanny to take the big kids all day while we stayed in, watched Netflix (Casino!) and carbo-loaded. 

Fast forward tp 3:30am and I woke up with some pretty strong contractions. FUN FACT: According to a doula talk I just went to, most women go into labor in the middle of the night because that is when your cortisol levels are at their lowest, allowing for the oxytocin to be released which in turn bring on the contractions. My husband being nervous he would have to deliver the baby at home (my second baby came 20 minutes after we got to the hospital) called an Uber right away and we were off to NYU. 

At the hospital I was put in a bed in triage right away and the resident doctor checked my dilation which was at 3-4cm and progressing quickly with some contractions being two minutes long and only about 1.5 minutes apart. They admitted me and gave me a birthing suite. Within an hour I was 7cm dilated and I was fairly certain I was going to give birth at any time. Not true! Even though my contractions were stronger and longer than ever I would not progress more than 7cm during the next two hours. We tried many different positions, meditating, breathing but nothing worked. My doctor checked me again and realized the baby was posterior and advised me to lay still on my right side with a peanut birthing ball between my legs to allow my pelvis to keep opening up. I could not bear the pain of not being able to move during the contractions and yelled for an epidural. It was the best decision I made during my whole labor! It allowed me to get some rest while baby got a chance to spin around in the birth canal. Not even two hours later I felt the pressure and knew it was time to go. 

My doctor just made it in as I began pushing and this is pretty much when the story ends because I pushed once, and then on the second push he was completely out and our family had another baby boy to love! 

No tearing, no stitches, no bruising and I am forever grateful for all the hard work I put in during my pregnancy to keep my core and pelvic floor in shape with the help of the #pumpandkegel. 

Now I want to hear all your stories! Email them to info@fpc-nyc.com and we will share them monthly right here on our blog. 

Much love,

Carolina 

 

The Best (at home) Post Pregnancy Exercises

Calling all new mamas!  

Use this 7 move workout that we put together with Coveteur on the days you can't make it to our Postpartum Rehab or Signature classes.  

Be sure to activate that "belly pump & kegel" with every exertion.  Regaining strength postpartum, is all about that inner core unit!  

 

 

 

 

 

Article By: Curranne Labercane

Photography: Alec Kugler

Outfit By: Outdoor Voices

A Workout & Panel with Thriving Mompreneurs

Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 1.11.50 PM.png

ON APRIL 7TH, COME WORKOUT WITH THRIVING MOMPRENEURS ATTACKING BODIES AND MINDS @ FPC NYC!

WHAT:         Thriving Mompreneurs - REGISTER HERE
WHEN:        Saturday, April 7th from  noon – 2pm
WHERE:      Fit Pregnancy Club – 552 Broadway, NYC

RSVP:          HERE  (limited to 25)

 

Event brought to you by Bathwater Kids

Never doubt the power of a successful woman and mom!
Join us for a 30 minute workout followed by an honest conversation about founding, owning and operating a business while being a mom!

Expert Entrepreneurial Panel
Joanie Johnson, Co-Founder and Host FPC
Rebecca (Wallach) Gordon, VP Marketing Indie Lee
 Freya Zaheer – President, Sakara Life
Melissa Fensterstock, Founder/CEO, Landsdowne Labs
Moderated by Michael B. Fensterstock, CEO Bathwater Kids

Thank you to our sponsors:
Insomnia Cookies, Redvanly (Shopping Raffle), Hint Water, Suja Juice, Banza, Emmy’s Organics, Pregnancy Tea, Bombas, Justin’s

Understanding Your DIAPHRAGM and Pelvic floor

FPC's foundation of "Pump & Kegel" is the secret to a stronger, easier pregnancy.  It's a foundational body system that enables us to move and breathe the way nature intended.  We are all born as fully functional movers and breathers but stress, body consciousness, poor posture, desk jobs, lack of activity, etc continue to move us farther away from it.  I always say, once you re-program this system, you will NOT go back to being a dysfunctional mover again.  Our bodies WANT to move this way.  

That being said, just because it's "natural" doesn't mean it's easy.  I love the video that our friend, Lindsey Vestal, M.S. OTR/L from The Functional Pelvis shared this week.  It gives you a few more images to help understand what the diaphragm and pelvic floor are doing and how they work together to strengthen and support you. 

Check it out below!  

 
 

Save the Date!  

Lindsey will be presenting a Pelvic Floor workshop on April 18th as part of the Wednesday night series at FPC! Mark your calendar and stay tuned for the sign up details next week!  

Mother Matters Book Launch!

 
Mother Matters Cover.jpg
 

We are excited to party with Dayna Kurtz, LMSW, CPT and celebrate the launch of her new book, Mother Matters.  We are all about self care at FPC and Dayna has written a book based on her experience as a therapist and mother.   If preserving your sanity post-birth is a priority for you, you DON'T want to miss this event.  Dayna is an unlimited source of knowledge!  

Spots are limited so sign up asap!

 (Babies welcome!)


About the book

Childcare. Eldercare. What About Mothercare?

Book reading/signing with author Dayna M. Kurtz, LMSW, CPT

The first year of childhood is filled with emotional and physical changes, setbacks, and successes, and not just for babies. Mothers face a whole new world of experiences as a parent. While there are hundreds of books about childcare, where are the resources on mothercare?
In her new book Mother Matters: A Holistic Guide to Being a Happy, Healthy Mom Dayna M. Kurtz, LMSW, CPT guides new and veteran mothers alike through the best practices to care for themselves while mothering their little one(s). Her goal is to help every mother do more than just survive the late nights and baby blues; she wants mothers to thrive!
Mother Matters covers common struggles that mothers encounter, along with better and lesser known research-based solutions to enable greater health and happiness, including how to:

• Get more sleep—really!
• Eat optimally for greater energy and faster healing after birth.
• Feel creative, competent, and relaxed.
• Avoid killing your partner, and even strengthen your co-parent relationship.
• Get the support you need!

Filled with real-life stories from mothers along with compassionate and practical advice from the author and other experts, Mother Matters will change the way we think of motherhood.

Plugged Ducts - The Unsexy Truth About Breastfeeding

FrontManakinBottle2.jpg

Here’s a truth bomb that you won't hear from most women:

“Breastfeeding is one of the hardest parts of motherhood… and breast-pumping? It sucks. Producing milk is not always easy and extensive pumping to reach sufficient milk output - it’s tedious, time consuming and exhausting...”

Nonetheless, a close look at how motherhood works behind closed doors, confirms that more that 62% of mothers that pump frequently, suffer from such issues. Issues that can be embarrassing, shameful and that mothers only feel comfortable sharing with lactation consultants, close friends and immediate family.

And some of these issues, in addition to impacting mothers on an emotional level, may lead to physical strain as well. When pumping doesn’t happen effectively and milk is not adequately removed, ducts clog. This in turn, leads to swelling and inflammation, which means yet more complications - it can be a vicious cycle. But pumping, like breastfeeding, doesn’t have to be painful and uncomfortable.

Lilu wants to make painful pumping a problem of the past. The Lilu bra automatically massages breasts, allowing women to pump up to 50% more milk, hands-free and in less time. The breast compression ensures nutrient-rich milk is moved outward and that all ducks are emptied, greatly reducing risk of clogged ducts and removing the need for excessive pumping.

Lilu is currently available for pre-sale here and will be available for customers at the end of September 2018. Already pumping? We would love your feedback! Please fill out this form and we’ll get back to you!