Beauty, Fashion, Fashion Inspiration, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Maternity

Featured Blogger

Introduction: Amy Kiefer is the blogger behind BalancedAmes. She started the blog as a way to share her passion for health, fitness, + balance. She is focused on empowering individuals to make healthier choices + live a balanced lifestyle. Her background as a fitness professional coupled with her current role as a full-time oncology nurse fuels her drive to promote the importance of preventative health. She is currently 37 weeks pregnant with her first baby.

Hello PinkBlush blog readers!

I’m Amy from BalancedAmes. I’m SO excited to share this post with you. Thanks to PinkBlush for having me + sending me some awesome clothes from their maternity active line to try! What I really loved about the tank tops is that they are LONG enough + the leggings are SO very comfortable!

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.42.03 AM

In the Grey Heather Fitted Racerback Maternity Tank Top. Photo by Clare Mullins Photography

Exercise during pregnancy is a subject that I’m very passionate about. The benefits are numerous! Studies show it can make the pregnancy journey, labor, + delivery easier.

A common misconception is that women who are inactive before they were pregnant cannot start an exercise program. It is important to talk to your OB about this, but most would suggest that you do start! If you are thinking of becoming pregnant + you currently don’t exercise…I would say START NOW! Pregnancy will likely go smoother for you.

Let’s go through the benefits!

 

Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

  • Maintaining or increasing cardiovascular fitness: You can increase your body’s endurance + stamina, + increase your energy levels. These are huge benefits for pregnancy, labor, + delivery.
  • Increase muscular endurance: I like to think of labor and delivery as an athletic event. You are going to need a lot of stamina and use the correct muscles with the correct force. The right pregnancy routine can help with this!
  • Increasing muscular strength: Strength training during pregnancy yields lots of benefits! Including decreasing your risk of ligament and joint injury (loosening effects of relaxin and progesterone are at work against you), preparing you for the tasks of being a mom (think: picking baby up, car seats, diaper bags, shopping bags, etc!), + it helps to take strain off your lower back + pelvic floor (important for you to minimize postural issues + remain as comfortable as possible). I can tell you from helping with my niece, those little babes get heavy fast + you have a lot to take with you when you’re leaving the house!
  • Improved posture: Not only with improved posture help you to look better, but also lessens the chance that you’ll have the common neck and back pregnancy pains. It also helps to make breathing easier (you’ll realize the importance of this in the 3rd trimester).
  • Improved support of pelvic organs: Yes, we’re going there. Exercise helps to improve and strengthen the pelvic floor which can help you to minimize or prevent urinary incontinence and bladder or uterine prolapse (eeks!). Very important point here ladies!
  • Decrease pregnancy discomforts: Exercise helps to keep the minor discomforts of pregnancy at bay. It has been proven to help decrease the occurrence of varicose veins, back pain, leg cramps, swelling, and constipation.
  • Improved body composition:  Women that exercise during pregnancy gain less weight + body fat compared to pregnant women that do not.
  • Improved confidence: Of course weight gain + a big belly come with growing a human. Exercise has been proven to increase a women’s confidence. Since I’m eating well (of course with a few treats here and there) and regularly exercising, I know that my little babe needs the weight I’m gaining.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Confident in the PinkBlush Colorblock Maxi. In love with the neutral look!  Photo by Clare Mullins Photography

I don’t know about you, but all of those benefits make me want to hit the gym.

Not sure where to begin or what to do? Let’s go through some options:

Group training: Participating in a group class will not only provide you with exercise, but also a community of women that are also going through the experience of pregnancy. Mommas-to-be often find it to be an incredibly supportive environment. The classes should also be taught by someone that knows the proper modifications for every stage of pregnancy, so check that out before enrolling!

Personal training: I absolutely loved training pregnant women! It was so beautiful to see their journey + help build a strong foundation as they started to become more pregnant + headed toward labor + delivery. I would highly recommend finding someone that is certified in training pregnant women or at least has experience + knowledge of modifications. Personal training is great because you have one on one supervision + instruction.

Perinatal yoga: Another great form of group exercise for you! Yoga builds strength, flexibility, + overall well-being. Yoga can also be very beneficial in reducing low back pain + sciatica, which can be problems that plague pregnant women. Yoga focuses on teaching proper body alignment, which is SO important for everyday life + especially during pregnancy! I always leave class with a renewed perspective + yogi glow. I’ve also done online prenatal classes through Yoga International if you want to check that out!

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.43.21 AM

Photo by Clare Mullins Photography

Strength training: I’m a huge advocate of strength training + you read about the important benefits above! Even now, I’m doing a lot of the same lifts that I did pre-pregnancy. Squats, lunges, dead lifts, pull downs, rows, incline pushups, chest press, etc.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.43.32 AM

Squatting in my PinkBlush tank top.

Cardiovascular training: Good old cardio! Great to do as you’re going to need endurance for the challenging task of childbirth. Perhaps you already have a favorite variety. As you move into the third trimester (maybe even before), you may find that lower impact forms are more comfortable. For example, you might stop running + start incline walking or biking.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.43.42 AM

 

On a walk in my Pinkblush Grey Heathered Maternity Leggings + PinkBlush tank top.

I hope that you picked up a tip or two from this post! Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, comfortable, + stylish pregnancy.

You can find me over at BalancedAmes.com for more posts or on Instagram: @ameskiefer.

Thanks for having me PinkBlush!

-Amy Kiefer

Fashion, Fashion Inspiration, Lifestyle, Maternity, What To Wear

Baby Moon Oasis

Picture this…  Flowly Maxis, floral head bands, sweet sundresses and a weekend just the two of you. We’re talking about the new trend in the world of expecting mothers, the baby moon. Besides the anticipation of meeting your new bundle of joy, mother-to-be’s are now heading to relaxing destinations in preparation for their new adventure into motherhood.

For the west coast mommas, we take you to a desert oasis like no other. A short ride down the I-10, where the name of the game is pampering, fabulous food and poolside lounging, you’ll find Palm Springs. My husband and I just love vacationing here.

Besides the numerous golf courses for him, relax your little bump by the countless pools with a delicious mock-tail in hand. After you’ve spent the day lounging about and you’ve worked up your appetite, ride into downtown for delicious bites at some of the locals favorite spots. My husband and I are total foodies so when we come to town we make sure to hit up our favorite spots. For Brunch there are two spot’s you must try! First would be Cheeky’s, a modern space for creative breakfast & lunch sandwiches, with bacon flights & specialty cinnamon rolls, your taste buds will be on another level. Our second favorite spot for brunch would be Pinocchio in the Desert, this lively stop with kitschy decor for familiar eats, including plentiful breakfast & sandwich options also provides an hourly music and dance show to entice your pallet and will leave you entertained and wanting to come back. For a late lunch or dinner also try Tinto, Lulu California Bistro, Bill’s pizza or Las Casuelas Terraza.

So what to pack? We are loving all things floral, flowy and bold for this oasis getaway. Here are some of our favorites that rate baby moon worthy! For a day of lounging and brunching our Blue Tie Dye Cold Shoulder Maternity Maxi Dress is your go-to choice! One of our favorite retro prints combined with a trendy cold shoulder style has us in love with this maternity maxi dress. A breezy side slit detail keeps you cool which is a must while in the desert. Pair this maxi with sandals and a long necklace for a boho inspired look.

For a day shopping in downtown try our Yellow Sleeveless Cross Back Maternity Dress.  Perfect for the day’s warm weather, a sleeveless cut and trendy cross back detail will effortlessly show off your bump while keeping you looking chic and on point. Dress this piece up with wedges and a statement necklace or keep it casual with sandals and a floral headband.

Last but not least, probably our top dress made perfectly for Palm Springs would be our Navy Pink Floral Wrap Maternity Maxi. With its bold print and “take me on a romantic date” attitude, this floral maternity maxi dress has all the right details to make you feel gorgeous from head to toe. Style this maxi dress with wedges and a layered necklace for a show stopping evening look. So your bags are packed and you’re ready to go, time for some pre-baby R+R. Enjoy!

palm springs

Beauty, Lifestyle, Maternity

You’re expecting! Now what?

The longest 2 minutes you’ll probably ever have to wait will be for those two little lines! You’re expecting and over the moon with excitement, well let’s be real, I was excited and nervous all at the same time. If you’re a first time mother you may be thinking of all the things you will need to prepare for, maternity clothes, nursery décor, hospital bag and baby clothes. But the first step which may be the most important, is finding the perfect doctor!

So where to start? First, see if your regular gynecologist practices obstetrics as well. Say she doesn’t or she does but she practices natural births and you would like an epidural or you’d prefer giving birth at a birthing center and she only delivers at a hospital. Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be, we’ve all been there. It’s important to pick a doctor that you feel comfortable with and that fit’s with your birth plan. As a first time mother myself, I found the following tips helpful!

If your gynecologist doesn’t practice obstetrics like mine didn’t, decide whether you would like an OBGYN or a midwife. Don’t know what a midwife is? To be honest I didn’t either, I just knew I wanted to deliver in a hospital and that I wanted a doctor to deliver our son. Birthing plans differ for each mom, I know a few of my girlfriends who delivered with a midwife. A midwife is a trained health professional who helps healthy women during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies. Midwives may deliver babies at birthing centers or at home, but most can also deliver babies at a hospital. Whichever the preference be, once you know which type of provider you’d like to have, the next step begins!

For me, my next step was to ask my mom friends about their OBGYN and what their birthing experience was like. It’s always a good idea to get references, I even looked on yelp for local doctors in my area to see which had the best reviews. Once you have a list of possible doctors, if you’d like you can set up consultations which each. During this time, you can ask him or her questions to get more of a feel of their bedside manner and to see who you liked most. I found my OBGYN through my cousin who was due one month before me. I met with him and instantly felt comfortable. He was always available when we had questions or concerns, his c-section rate was really low and he ran a small practice so we knew he would definitely deliver our son. These are all questions you can ask during your consolation! Other ways to find an OBGYN is to call the local hospital in your area, their Labor and Delivery unit can recommend a good obstetrician. It’s recommended to call back a few times until you get the same name from different nurses! All options aside, you’ll want to make sure which ever provider you do decide to go with, they are covered by your insurance, who can also help you find a great OBGYN!

Finding a doctor who will deliver your most precious gift is never easy, but go with your gut. For me the birth of my son was the most incredible experience of my life. My doctor was a major part because I trusted him and felt confident when it came time to deliver my son. Looking back I was so happy with everything and with my choice!

stick

***All content, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

After Baby Style, Fashion, Fashion Inspiration, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Maternity, Spring Style, What To Wear

Not Your Mom’s Maternity Clothes!

For most, the word maternity could be less than appealing. We’re stuck in a world where maternity clothes were made with ruched sides and A-Line (mumu) silhouettes. Well, it’s safe to say the maternity clothes your mother wore are nothing like maternity wear for the modern & chic mother these days! I have friends that swear they would never wear maternity clothes, but then third trimester comes knocking on their closet door! Knock, Knock!! What’s an expecting mother to do? Why spend money on clothes you’ll only wear once? I don’t want to lose my style with frumpy and boring styles!  Not to worry, we’re here to de-myth misconceptions about maternity clothes!

Not only does PinkBlush design specifically with the expecting mother in mind but the functionality and convenience of our styles allow you to transition from pregnancy to motherhood without skipping a beat or breaking the bank! Recently I asked my girlfriend who is expecting her second child why she didn’t wear maternity clothes, her answer, “Maternity clothes can be expensive and they only last during pregnancy.” So here’s your Ah-Ha moment, one word, MAXIS! I’ve found that maxis can be your all-in-one, go-to for pregnancy. Not only can you wear them for maternity photos and baby showers, but once baby arrives they will keep you feeling gorgeous and provide convenience to nurse in! Bam!

Maternity clothing that you won’t just wear once but even after baby!

hobson

 

Welcome to the Millennium where MOM is the new Black! Maternity clothing has taken the fashion scene by storm. From modern & chic designs to fabulous prints & bold colors, staying on trend is easier than ever now for moms. No longer are the days of a boring closet, take pride and strut that bump in midi dresses, boho maxis & even ditch those uncomfortable hospital gowns for a chic hospital robe. Oh the potential of a fashionable maternity style for any budget, say so long to your mother’s stereotypical maternity style and hello to your new Ah-mazing wardrobe!

 

blog

Fashion, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Maternity

One Dress Three Ways

mintgreen-blog

There’s no doubt that mint is our favorite hues for the spring season. While we love the traditional pastel colors of yellow, pink, and blue, mint is just a little extra ordinary with its soft, yet electric tone. If you’re looking to make your wardrobe stand out this year, then mint is the hue that can make that happen. We love mint so much, we thought we would take one of our most popular maternity dresses for spring and style it three ways, just to show you how amazing this hue (and this dress) is. Check out our one look three ways inspired post:

mint floral final 1

Feminine Chic

This floral maternity dress is perfect from day to night occasions. For a gorgeously feminine look, this piece looks stunning when paired with a pink handbag and neutral heels. A beautiful ensemble for date night or Easter celebrations coming in just a couple of weeks. You can dress this look up even further with a jeweled statement necklace or our favorite jewelry.

karlee sun col

Suburban Style

For a day spent in the city, we styled this mint floral maternity dress with slip on tennis shoes and a stylish pair of sunglasses. Perfect for the suburban mom that is going out for a casual brunch or running errands.  While chiffon is usually reserved for more formal occasions, we like to style it down for casual wear because we think every mom should feel nothing less than beautiful every day.

karlee hat col

California Girl

There’s nothing like spending a day in the sun with the right dress. Simply transform this floral maternity dress into a California girl look with a floppy sun hat and a belt for a complete ensemble. Strap on a pair of your favorite wedges and you are ready for a beach day! The possibilities are endless in this maternity dress, all you need is a gorgeous mint hue and a pretty floral print, and you can style this dress for any event or occasion this year.