Happy Birthday FPC!

Happy 1st Birthday to FPC!

It’s been exactly a year since we’ve opened our studio doors. Carolina and I knew there was a desparate need for a place for moms to work out out safely and create a community but we greatly underestimated the outpouring of love we would experience this first year.

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Starting a business is HARD and overwhemling work (oy, our email inboxes), especially while raising families of our own. There have personally been many times when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel (usually over the frustration of towel deliveries not showing up on time!) and then I teach a class and my heart is bursting with passion and love for what we’ve created. If it weren’t for each and every one of you, we wouldn’t be here today.

We’ve collected some beautiful testimonials over the last year and we just wanted to take a moment to share a few.

Carolina and I want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This last year has been a wild and wonderful roller coaster and we can’t wait to see what year 2 brings for FPC!

Lots of love and appreciation,

Joanie & Carolina

Beyond being one of my all time favorite fitness classes; FPC is also a community of women supporting and encouraging each other while we go through this incredibly special time in our lives. 

 I've always been very active, but pregnancy demands slowing down. It also fundamentally creates a vulnerability that I really wasn't comfortable with... that is, until I found FPC. The community gave me confidence, solace and joy both during my pregnancy and postpartum. It also allowed me to continue to be active without the fear of hurting my baby or myself.  I can not rave enough about Fit Pregnancy Club! 


FPC was a staple for me through out  my pregnancy, and the benefits were obvious in my labor and delivery. I was induced at 41 weeks and after 27 hours of labor and 2 and a half hours of pushing, I delivered a beautiful 9lbs, 2.5oz baby boy. Because of FPC, my pushes were strong and sustained, and without question, class was the difference between my natural birth experience and avoiding an emergency c-section. After my delivery, my doula asked the nurses how much tearing I had, given the size of my baby. All the nurses were stunned to tell us that my perineum remained intact. They all asked if I had I done pelvic floor exercises during my pregnancy...another point goes to FPC’s Pump and Kegel technique!! FPC was a massive help for my pregnancy, labor/delivery, and recovery. 


I can’t say enough great things about FPC, the staff and my overall experience. FPC has been the source of physical and mental sanity as well as fun and sisterhood for me ever since I walked through the door. 

When I found out that I was pregnant, I immediately struggled with 2 things: how do I stay safely fit and find other women to share the experience? Then, serendipitously, I saw FPC’s flyer in a pregnancy clothing store. 

While pregnant, I loved prenatal Pilates but that didn’t give me enough variety in exercise and cardio. FPC perfectly filled that void for me and also provided a great network of women to go through the  pregnancy experience with. It became my all encompassing resource for all things pregnancy and childbirth related. But it didn’t stop there, after my daughter was born, FPC became the perfect place to bring my newborn. Their post-natal workout classes are not only extremely effective, but also super fun for my daughter and me. Thank you ladies of FPC, 5-star review all the way! 


Before starting at FPC, I hadn't even heard about diastasis. Everyone had told me that it was important to exercise during my pregnancy but no one mentioned that it could also cause more harm than good.  FPC taught me how I can safely exercise during pregnancy, their workouts are fun, and I learned what to pay attention to when working out on my own / taking other classes - and I probably exercised until a lot later in my pregnancy than I would have otherwise.

My plan for postpartum recovery was to work with a pre/postnatal certified personal trainer once I got the OK from my doctor. It turned out to be a scheduling nightmare and after trying for over 6 weeks to find someone, I eventually gave up. At that point I really wanted to start exercising again and this is when I discovered that FPC also started offering postpartum mom and baby classes - so obviously I went back! 

I enjoyed their classes even more after my son was born. I loved to have other moms around me who went through similar things while doing something good for myself. And the best part? 12 weeks postpartum I was fully healed, felt stronger, and able to resume my regular pre-pregnancy workout routine. I don't think I would have taken such good care of my body and recovered so quickly without FPC - thank you Joanie, Carolina and to all the other amazing trainers at FPC!


Postpartum Anxiety

Contributed by The Motherhood Center

Contributed by The Motherhood Center









At The Motherhood Center, we provide support and clinical treatment to pregnant and postpartum women that are experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), otherwise known as postpartum depression. Treatment ranges from a Day Program for new and expecting moms with acute PMADs with an onsite nursery, outpatient therapy and medication management for women with mild to moderate symptoms, and support groups. We hear the following comments from new and expecting moms on a daily basis:

‘I just couldn’t get out of my mind. My body was tense, all day, every day, I had an ongoing feeling of nausea and I couldn’t eat for most of the day; I could not pull myself out of it, to focus on myself, my baby, or anything else. I was paralyzed’.                                          

- Rochelle

‘Every time I tried to do something for my baby, I was sure I would hurt her. Did I put detergent in her bottle? If I walked near the window, could she fall out of the window? Did I leave something in her diaper when I last changed her?’             

- Alex

‘I was so overcome with worries all the time. I couldn’t leave the house. What if my baby started crying in public? What if people think I am a bad mother?        

- Bethany


Postpartum Anxiety: What is it?

Anxiety is a normal emotion for which humans are hardwired to experience. We needed and still need the ‘fight or flight’ response to know how to deal with fearful and life-threatening situations. With anxiety disorders, however, this normal response is the system over-reacting, becoming over-stimulated and developing into an illness which inhibits you from functioning normally in your personal and/or professional life. Women are especially vulnerable to anxiety during the postpartum period, when there is a major shift in one’s sense of self - their identity as an individual, a partner and as a professional. Additionally, there is a now a tiny human being who is fully dependent on her for all his or her needs!

According to Postpartum Support International (PSI), approximately 6% of pregnant women and 10% of postpartum women develop anxiety. By comparison, approximately 10% of pregnant women experience depression and up to 15% experience it in the postpartum. Often, anxiety can be experienced on its own, however, it is common for anxiety to be experienced together with depression. It is important to note that almost 50% of postpartum depression and anxiety disorders existed before or can develop during pregnancy, so we prefer to use the term “Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders” which refers to both depressive and anxiety disorders before, during and after pregnancy (ie: the “perinatal” timeframe.)

Postpartum anxiety is not as widely discussed in popular culture or medical sources as is postpartum depression. A Google search of postpartum anxiety yields an ad for postpartum depression as the first hit and a quick Amazon book search of postpartum anxiety yields 4 books specifically geared to postpartum anxiety versus the numerous books that cover either postpartum depression alone, or both postpartum depression and anxiety together. There is even a Postpartum Depression for Dummies book, but not one for postpartum anxiety. The less commonly discussed postpartum anxiety disorders are often missed as women who have only heard of postpartum depression and don’t identify as being depressed, don’t realize they may be experiencing postpartum anxiety.

What are the signs and symptoms of postpartum anxiety?

Physical symptoms can include feeling jittery, dizzy, and/or the sensation of a racing heart. You can have thoughts that are characterized by relentless worries, such as ‘what if my baby cries and I can’t console him/her; what if I am not feeding my baby enough; what if my baby stops breathing.’

Common behaviors that accompany these thoughts and feelings are incessantly asking for reassurance, obsessively researching the internet or calling the pediatrician out of fear that there is something is wrong with the baby. Isolation from friends and family can occur when there is resistance to going outside with the baby.

Other signs and symptoms of postpartum anxiety may include, irritability, panic attacks, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, muscle tension (sore neck, back, jaw, clenching/grinding teeth), trouble concentrating and focusing, memory lapses, frequent episodes of crying for no reason, or thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.

Who is at risk of developing postpartum anxiety?

Top risk factors for postpartum anxiety include a personal prior history of anxiety, a family history of anxiety both in the perinatal and non-perinatal periods, or medical issues such as a thyroid condition. History of trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse, a difficult/traumatic delivery, are significant risk factors as well.


Is there effective treatment for postpartum anxiety?

Yes! Postpartum anxiety disorders (like postpartum depression) are highly treatable. Treatment for postpartum anxiety starts with recognizing your symptoms. Often, a family member or close friend may recognize these before you do. A full psychiatric evaluation by a mental health professional, which can rule out other medical causes of anxiety (such as thyroid imbalance), is recommended. From the evaluation, recommendations for therapy and/ or medication may be indicated.

Maximizing your sleep, ensuring adequate nutrition and exercise (in moderation and according to what your Ob/Gyn recommends), and engaging in mindfulness/meditation/yoga are other interventions that can help to decrease anxiety. You can work closely with your perinatal therapist on defining which of these measures is right for you.

To learn more about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, visit The Motherhood Center:

Meredith Weiss, MD, is a Psychiatrist at The Motherhood Center, and a clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan.

Dr. Weiss graduated from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine of Yeshiva University and completed adult psychiatry residency at Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Weiss completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She then completed the Sackler Infant Psychiatry Fellowship at Weill Cornell Medicine where she developed expertise in parent-infant relationships and early childhood development. She has published articles and book chapters, presented at national medical conferences and received training and teaching awards. Dr. Weiss is board certified in both adult psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry. 



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!

FPC's Ultimate Gift Guide

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We all want our husbands around for a long time so why not give them the gift of health. Our favorite wellness company, Parsley Health, just launched "The Parsley Assessment" which is an easy, low commitment way to explore ways to become a healthier version of yourself. Hopefully this proactive, preventative and cutting-edge care will inspire him to a healthier lifestyle in the new year. 

You love your BFF and even if you have agreed on no gifts the Isabella sock from Great Soles make the perfect "no gift gift". She will love it while in pilates or FPC class. We are also obsessed with the Teat & Cosset breastfeeding pajamas. Perfect for pregnancy, nursing AND beyond. Who doesn't love getting luxurious, made-in-Italy sleepwear? As an added perk Teat & Cosset are also offering the FPC community a 20% discount on the entire order. Just use code FPC20 at checkout. 

Your mom is always there for you when you need her and works tirelessly in the kitchen to cook you good food, why not give back with a plant-based meal plan from Sakara to kick off 2018? We are personally obsessed with all their snacks and can't stop eating their detox bars and matcha granola. 

Now what should you get yourself or ask your loved ones for? Here are our top three picks.

1) The Well + Good 2018 Palm Springs wellness retreat. How does hiking, eating healthy delicious meals, laying by the pool and working out with top fitness professionals for three days sound to you? Well, it sounds like heaven to us! Remember, selfcare is always the best care. 

2) A 10-pack of classes to FPC here to make sure you stay healthy, fit and strong in 2018.

3)  This Hatch Collection waffle turtleneck. It's the ultimate chic, cozy sweater and perfect for pregnancy and beyond. We suggest pairing with an awesome leather legging like these vegan leather ones.  

Happy Holidays!