Fit at 40 Weeks: Benefits of Exercising Through the Third Trimester

Movement during the entirety of a pregnancy can help maintain and increase muscular tone, reduce risks of common pregnancy discomforts, and prepare the body for an easier and more comfortable labor and delivery.

Breaking a sweat in your THIRD trimester has big benefits for you and your baby too. If you’re exercising after 28 weeks, it’s going to benefit you and your baby and her are some ways how…


In the Healthy Start Study, scientists worked with 826 moms finding that the moms who were more active through third trimester exercise gave birth to babies with less fat mass than those who exercised the least.1 Babies born at healthy weights are less likely to be obese later in life.

For mom, exercise can help with maintaining healthy weight gain throughout the entire pregnancy. In the third trimester, women gain weight at a more rapid pace than their first and second trimesters (about .75 pounds per week), a fitness routine can help to keep you putting on only the necessary pounds for baby’s health. Other common physical changes that occur in the third trimester of pregnancy include shortness of breath, incontinence, edema, vascular spider veins, and varicose veins all which can be alleviated by regular exercise.


Another study, The Be Healthy in Pregnancy (BHIP) randomized controlled trial links the physical activity of mothers during pregnancy is positively associated with infant bone mass at birth.2 This is huge, because being born with optimal bone mass can have long-term benefits of lowering the risk for osteoporosis later in life.


Physical activity in the right exercise program will allow mom to stay strong and comfortable.  Continuing to exercise in the third trimester, as the baby continues to grow, will promote a healthier body as you make your way toward your birthing day. A regular routine will help you to decrease and/or avoid back and sciatic pain, ease constipation and hemorrhoids, keep muscles relaxed and loose, and continue to correct muscular imbalances.


Staying active during pregnancy may reduce chances for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, both of which more commonly present in the third trimester. As mom continues to get her heart rate up later in pregnancy it will help protect against these. In addition, staying active, being fit and healthy is known to reduce your chances for a cesarean delivery.3

Check out our group fitness schedule and purchase class tickets here.


Holistic Mind and Body: Achieving it Pre & Postnatally

Recently I sat down with Amanda Fay, Prenatal & Postnatal Health and Exercise Coach.  We chatted about her career and what she offers as a Birth Worker.  Amanda is creating a culture in the birth world providing Mama’s with a Holistic Mind and Body approach to their entire journey, not just labor and delivery!
To learn more about Amanda check out her website.

I’m so glad we had opportunity to chat in person so I could really dig into the details for all my mama’s out there.

Kieran (Doula + HBCE):  In your own words, what does Amanda Fay offer her clients?
Amanda (CES):
Corrective exercise and holistic health coaching.  This is not just exercising to lose weight or burn calories, this is looking for proper posture and fixing muscle imbalance in my clients. Getting moms ready to have a baby and hold it properly – a lot goes into carrying a baby!
I currently provide sessions privately, in person or virtually and have clients across the country.  In addition, I teach group classes at the River Guild in Concord, NH.
I am working with moms throughout their journey from preconception, during pregnancy and post partum.

Kieran (Doula + HBCE):  And how do you work with women differently at each stage?
Amanda (CES):
 – is all about detox, stress reduction, sleep optimization, exercise and nutrition.
Prenatal – is all about stress reduction techniques, BIRTH PLAN preparations, and exercise to prepare for labor and delivery.  Ensure women are not confused with info from OB or midwife, providing the necessary education and helping them find additional support such as a doula or HypnoBirthing classes.
Postnatal – is all about sleep optimization, nutrition, meal planning, stress reduction, and exercises carefully designed for moms body after baby. My areas of focus are core, pelvic floor, diastasis recti, and c-section healing. 

Kieran (Doula + HBCE):  Can you summarize in three words what your business offers its clients?
Amanda (CES):
Coaching, confidence and accountability.

Kieran (Doula + HBCE):  How do you offer accountability?
Amanda (CES):
Setting schedules, making SMART goals, and checking in regularly. It is really important to check in regularly with the goals set out in the beginning and even going back to make new goals over time.

Kieran (Doula + HBCE):  What makes your fitness model specific to pre and postnatal women?
Amanda (CES):
My certification through Fit For Birth makes me a trained expert in this area. Trained to know dos and don’ts of exercise while pre and postnatal and these my be specific to each woman depending on past issues/circumstances.
Diaphragmatic breathing (working inner core unit to strengthen core and have proper intra abdominal pressure while working out) is a major focus and necessity for these women and will help them to come out of pregnancy stronger than before.
Interval training with meditation that mimics contractions which prepares women for labor.
In a perfect world everyone would have private sessions and then use the group sessions as a supplemental workout.

Kieran (Doula + HBCE):  Can you tell my mama’s the top benefits they would receive from hiring you as personal trainer or by attending your classes?
Amanda (CES):
Ton of education about their body
Huge reduction in common pregnancy discomfort  (low back pain, pelvis pain, bloating, v veins, stretch marks)
Easier Labor (less time in labor, reduction in need for intervention, reduction in chance of C-section, episiotomy)
Healthier baby
Improved posture
Reduction in postpartum depression
Quicker return to pre-baby weight

Kieran (Doula + HBCE):  How is your offering being received by your target audience?
Amanda (CES):
My clients would say “She has a really strong niche” “That’s unique.”
Mission and intentions are clear.  This offering is not a one-size fits all, it is unique to the individual.

Kieran (Doula + HBCE):  If you could only give one bit of advice to a pregnant women, what would it be?
Amanda (CES):
Have a good mindset – reduce your stress.
Create a mindful self care practice utilizing meditations, affirmations, and intention setting. Studies have shown baby can feel when mom is stressed. Create a happy, positive image of labor and raising your baby.

holistic mond and body: achieving it pre + postnatally – such any eye-opening experience, even for me.  meeting with amanda and diving into the details of how she works to empower women.  i don’t think there enough people out there with her important and unique knowledge.  she is bringing women what they need!
I am signing up to take her prenatal fitness class a rgw riverguild next wednesday – come join me!  
How to get a hold of Amanda:
Events + Classes:
“Empowering women through preconception, pregnancy and beyond.”

Exclusive Pumping – Tips!

Exclusive Pumping to FEED your baby

So you’ve decided to feed your baby breastmilk but you aren’t nursing… What? That’s right you are exclusive pumping…but what does that mean?  Providing the benefits of breastmilk without nursing.

I’ve had some experience with this.  My son was born at 34 weeks and spent 7 days in the NICU prior to coming home.  He couldn’t latch well and even when he did his little body was just not strong enough to get all he needed from breastfeeding.  The poor guy would get tuckered out and fall asleep.  So, I decided to pump and then bottle feed, we did this for fourth months straight.  This, so far, has been the hardest thing I have had to do.  Feedings were every three hours so I would need to feed him via bottle – 45 minutes at least, change and put him back to bed – another 30 minutes and then pump – yet another 15 – 20 minutes.  Basically by the time I laid back down for sleep he was up again to start the process – it was exhausting to say the least, but we did it and we hit our goals.

Now let’s talk about some tips for success to help you become a pumping queen!

First – accept that it is going to be extremely hard.  At the begining you could be pumping up to 12 times a day to establish your milk supply.  You will be tied to equipment and constantly washing bottles, pump parts, etc.

Second – know that it will get easier.  After some time your milk supply will regulate and you will be able to cut down on how many times you pump a day.  Hopefully you will even be able to get some extra into the freezer!

Third – enrich your environment.  Make sure to get all the neccessities you need to maek yourself successful.  Have the right pump(s) for exclusive pumping – you made need something with a more powerful motor, get enough bags for freezer storage, invest in a hands-free pump bra so you can focus on other things while pumping, and always have a spare pump – manual or an extra powered – for the car or travel.

Finally – know that this means you have some freedom.  If you are pumping and feeding your baby via bottle that means you don’t always have to be there.  Get your partner to take some turns bonding, allow your mother-in-law to feed the baby while take in a movie or go hiking.  Exclusive pumping allows you freedom that other breastfeeding mothers may not get.

Looking for support through your pregnancy, birth and beyond?  Checkout

Also checkout these sites for addiitonal information on exclusive pumping:

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding – Why should I try it?

As you prepare to bring your little one into the world, possibly the most important topic to think about is nutrition.  Yes, there are many other things, but how and what to feed is high on the list. Learning about the benefits of breastfeeding early on could help you determine your next steps.

You have several options; breastfed, formula fed, a combination of both, and bottle-fed with pumped milked.  Although, sometimes it may seem you have no option due to your circumstances.

Logically ‘FED’ is best, right?  You ensure they are getting nutrition however they need to and I completely support that.  However, if you can try to breastfeed, even if just for a few days, weeks, months – the benefits are there!

Some Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby:

  • Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
  • Breastfed babies can have a lower risk of obesity and Types 1 and 2 diabetes
  • Breastfed babies get nutrients that help strengthen and develop their immature immune system in a way no other substance can
  • Have optimal oral development because of their jaw movements and nutrients in breast milk decrease the risk of tooth decay

Some Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom:

  • It helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and reduces post-delivery bleeding.
  • It makes it easier to lose those pregnancy pounds (you burn up to 500 extra calories a day nursing).
  • It may reduce your risk of postpartum depression and breast and ovarian cancer.
  • It can delay the return of your period (although you should still use some form of birth control when you resume intercourse).
  • It saves money (no formula!).

There is great information that can be found on the KellyMom website and it always helps to reach out and talk to other moms going through the same things so find a local La Leche League International group.  What worked for me after my dear son was born was going to the weekly breastfeeding support group that my hospital offered for free, it was amazing!  Your hospital may offer something similar so check that out too.

Do the research, talk with your partner and family.  Ultimately it is about what is right for you and your baby.

And if you need doula services or childbirth education during this time you can find it @

Newborn Baby Photos

Birth Day Photos

You see those brilliant newborn baby photos everywhere; moms kissing their freshly born baby on the forehead, a dad skin-to-skin looking into his little guys eyes, baby holding on tight to moms finger…

It is so easy to forget about taking baby photos.  Imagine yourself after 12, 18, 24 hours of labor… pictures will be the last thing on your mind, but you’ll wish you had them.  I was so out of it in ‘labor land’, and my baby went to the NICU shortly after being born that I actually had to look at pictures to help remind me of the events that unfolded.

And so, two things I recommend to help you capture those special moments, those ‘oh so cute’ baby pictures… planning and delegation.


•Have a device handy for taking photos
•Make a list of photos you want captured
•Set rules if anything is ‘off-limits’
(you can’t expect anyone to be a mind reader)


•A professional
•Mom, Dad, Friend
•Your doula (if she has time)
•Or even a nurse

Finally – getting down to business…what types of moments do you want to capture?  It’s hard to remember all the cute things you saw on Pinterest in the weeks leading up to this day so make yourself a list, and remember – it’s not ALL about the baby 😉


Mom’s final belly pic
Select labor + birth pics as desired
Clock (time when born)
ID bracelets
Room sign / number
Baby on scale
Mom + Baby meeting
Dad (Partner) + Baby meeting
Meeting sibling(s)
Meeting grandparent(s) / family
Hands + Feet
Baby grabbing finger
Skin to skin
Baby sleeping
With Doctor/Midwife/Nurse/Doula
First breastfeed
Going Home

Most noteworthy is … Once you get home and get some rest – whenever that may happen… the next time you snuggle into your favorite chair you will be so delighted to look back on your newborn baby photos and of the day that you ROCKED IT!

Click here for more information on working with me and how I can support your birth plan and help you get the Newborn Baby photos you’ve always wanted.