How to Survive the First Few Weeks Postpartum

Coming home with a newborn is exciting, scary and exhausting all at once. Here are 10 things I learned the first time around:

1. Remember that this time is sacred. When I needed a reminder, my mantra was “This, too, shall pass.” The bad parts but also the good parts. So it helped me to focus on the good and let the bad go.

2. Rest. Dishes and laundry will always be there. Your privates or stomach won’t always be torn up. Your priority is keeping a tiny human alive and healing.

3. Sleep when you can. Not “sleep when the baby sleeps” because let’s be real. I could never turn my brain off that easily. But a nap here and there or going to bed early does wonders.

4. Get help when you need it. Whether it is walking the dog or bringing over a meal don’t be afraid to ask for help.

5. Drink a TON of water. Especially if you’re nursing.

6. Sit on a sitz bath. For those who had vaginal births…it’s a piece of heaven on a toilet.

7. Nurse as often as needed. It will build your milk supply and help with engorgement in the beginning. Babies like to cluster feed. Let them.

8. Gentle breathing and pelvic floor exercises are helpful but the focus is to let your body heal.

9. See a lactation consultant if you are struggling with breastfeeding. They’ve seen a lot of boobies and can tell what is causing the pain and how to fix it.

10. And if you are like I was and have an EXCRUCIATING headache after an epidural, go to the ER and get another epidural needle for a blood patch (that experience was worse than labor and birth itself). The headache stops immediately.

It is a whirlwind of feedings, diapers and attempting to get a good nights sleep but, as they all say, it goes by so quickly.

Mama, you got this 💪🏻
#throwbackthursday photo of me and baby Justin 2017

Pregnancy Announcement! Baby #2 Coming October 2019

Baby boy Thomasson is due at the end of October! I will be sharing pregnancy exercises, favorite products, and tips online throughout my pregnancy. I am so excited to share this journey with you all!

P.S. Isn’t that rattle and teether adorable?? We love Bannor Toys!

First Trimester Summary

I have been more tired (exhausted is a better word) this time around and though I didn’t have “morning sickness,” my stomach has been upset most of the time. Despite how I feel, I make sure to never miss a workout. Shorten it or lessen the intensity if my body isn’t up for it, absolutely, but I make it a priority to move every single day. Thankfully, at 13 weeks my energy is back to normal. I was feeling like a pretty rotten mother to Justin when all I wanted to do was sit on the couch to rest.

I’ve been craving baked goods and cereal.

God has bigger and better plans for us as a family. I absolutely love being a mom so doing it over and over again is truly a blessing. It will be also nice for Justin to have a buddy close in age and I am glad we can reuse his clothes!

Currently Reading: Rachel Hollis

I enjoy reading, but not fiction. There is always “work” that can be done on myself as a person and I love the insight I get from self help books, business books and books on faith. My latest reads have been from Rachel Hollis and BOY, did they hit me right in the gut!

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  1. Girl, Wash Your Face

Probably the most popular of her books out right now. This book generally discusses the need to put on your big girl pants and go after your dreams. I liked it, but not as much as the next book.

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2. Girl, Stop Apologizing

Her follow up book to Girl, Wash Your Face. This book felt like it was written for ME. I am a people pleaser and a perfectionist and something clicked this year where I was simply tired of being a chameleon, trying to please and satisfy every person’s opinion around me. I read this book and it solidified that the only person’s opinion that matters is MINE. I decide who I am going to be. Who cares if it’s been done before? Who cares if I’m not the most educated? For the first time in my life, I feel like I know who I am, what I enjoy, and what I value. And I am owning it. That is a wonderful feeling.

Thank you, Rachel Hollis.

Let’s Get This Going! 2 Announcements

Morning, all! It is still dark over here in Virginia and I find getting up early before my son wakes up with a warm cup of coffee is a relaxing way to start my day. Today I hopped on here to get this thing going again.

My passion is helping pregnant and postpartum women navigate their body changes through fitness before and after baby. Since my availability to teach is limited with little man, I am going online more to share information, exercises and my favorite products.

2 Announcements:

  1. Currently, I am only accepting pre & post natal clients for Private Sessions. I stay home with my son and only have so many “slots” I can fit in. I want to enjoy his little years, but I want to focus on my passion as well. My group class remains open to ALL!!
  2.  Everyone is loving the Bundle of Joy package I am offering! Unfortunately, I do need to change it to 4 Private Sessions at $120. Hiring a babysitter and teaching for $20 an hour just wasn’t feasible, but it is still a fantastic deal! (More on my reasoning behind the “Bundle of Joy” in a different post.)

Please follow me on Instagram @thepilatesmom ! I share fun exercises, tips and favorite products. Hoping to do some giveaways soon as well!

 

Stay warm!

Alicia

 

St. Patrick’s Day Treat: Healthy Shamrock Shake

Thanks to Hungry Girl, I came across this recipe and proved it to be a success. I used Vanilla Body by Vi Protein powder (it tastes like cake) and it gave it great flavor. Here is a healthy 133 calorie recipe to treat yourself to on St. Patty’s Day!hg-clean-and-green-shamrock-shake

Skinny Shamrock Shake

3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 oz (6 tbsp) vanilla protein powder

1/3 cup spinach leaves

1/8 tsp peppermint extract

6-10 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!

Berry Smoothie Recipe

One of the perks of currently renting studio space by the hour is that I get to do all my “business-y” work at home. Today’s office? The patio! I blended up a great smoothie and get to enjoy it outside with my laptop.

It turned out to be so delicious that I thought I’d share the recipe:

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1/2 banana (I just eat the other half)

1/2 cup mixed frozen berries

1/2 cup almond milk (I like Almond Breeze vanilla)

1 tbsp peanut butter, or any butter of choice

2 stalks celery (I normally use kale but ran out)

1 packet Truvia

2 ice cubes

Water to desired consistency

Blend and you’re good to go!

Key Benefits of Pilates

We’ve all heard that Pilates is a great form of exercise and that we should be doing it. But why?? Ever wonder what the big deal is about Pilates? Maybe you’ve heard that it is how to get lean and not bulk up. This is correct, but a very vague statement.

Truth is, there is more than just one benefit and that is what makes it such a powerful exercise form. Here are a few key benefits Pilates has to offer:

A strong core: Your core, those deep abdominal muscles and the muscles near the spine, are going to be HARD CORE after Pilates. Also connecting to the pelvic floor (which has benefits of its own that I will not venture into at the moment), the core is engaged in every exercise.

securedownload-2A mind-body workout: This is what brought me into the Pilates world. During a class, the focus is turned inward. You become very in tune with your body and how it moves through space. Personally, I go into a “zone” when taking a class, where I do not think about anything else other than which muscles are activating at that moment. (hint: it’s a personal oasis. Hence the name!)

Injury Prevention: Pilates works all muscles rather than just a focused few, resulting in an evenly conditioned body. This allows one to move with greater ease and less risk of injury.

Improved flexibility: I personally see it as “lengthening & strengthening.” No, you cannot literally lengthen a muscle as it connects at two ends, but the increased flexibility resulting from a class often leaves students feeling taller! Also, a body balanced with strength and flexibility is
less likely to suffer an injury.

Improved Posture: Specific extension exercises target those postural muscles, helping those with desk jobs to feel better and get rid of that slouch!

Low Impact: Most exercises are done lying on a mat or piece of equipment, reducing the amount of impact on joints. This makes it great for those with specific health problems or those recovering from an injury.

All I can really say is, you have to experience Pilates for yourself. I can type all day and night but actually getting to class is where you will experience the amazing powers of Pilates. With so many options from Group Classes to Private Sessions, there is a Pilates class for everyone!

YUP Pilates

On board with the Loudoun Young Professionals committee, Alicia joined a group of YPs for a free YUP Pilates event last Friday. Held at Brian Wright Personal Training Studio, Alicia represented Glowing Oasis Pilates by teaching the class to her YP peers. The class was full of laughs and giggles with great energy! Afterward, the group went out for dinner and drinks, continuing to #UniteLoudoun and grow relationships within the community.

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You can stay up to date with the Loudoun Young Professionals on Facebook, Twitter, and Meetup.

Press Release: Celebrating 3 Years!!

Glowing Oasis Pilates, LLC celebrates 3 years in business

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Leesburg, VA – April 1, 2014 – Glowing Oasis Pilates, LLC is fairly new to Loudoun County but is excited to be celebrating its third year in business in Virginia.

The business began in 2011 inside the Shenandoah University dorm room of student Alicia Keen, who was a college sophomore at the time. Since then, Alicia has graduated and the business has grown and relocated to Loudoun County. Now a proud member of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, Glowing Oasis continues to grow while being heavily involved in the community and making Loudoun County a healthy place to live.

“It is YOU, my dear clients and fellow business owners, that I have to thank for these 3 wonderful years. Because of your support and encouragement, Glowing Oasis is still going strong and continuing to grow. It is because of you that I get up every day with an unrelenting drive to do what I do. I wouldn’t have it any other way. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to many years to come!” – Alicia Keen

Glowing Oasis Pilates, LLC offers In-Home and On-Site Private, Duet, Trio and Group Classes throughout the majority of Loudoun County. In addition, Group Pilates Mat Classes are held at Restore Physical Therapy & Wellness in Ashburn. The business is excited to now offer Private Reformer Sessions at LaRue Wellness in Downtown Leesburg and in-home to those with equipment. Glowing Oasis Pilates, LLC is known for its personalization and convenience of classes, along with tailoring sessions to a client’s individual needs and goals. Appropriate for all fitness levels, Pilates provides a full mind-body workout resulting in long, lean muscles; injury prevention, improved posture, and an evenly conditioned body. For more information, please visit www.glowingoasispilates.com.

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