5 Workout Modifications for Pregnancy

PROnatal’s founder shows us how to perfect your pregnant fitness form.

5 Workout Modifications for Pregnancy


As you embark on the journey of pregnancy, continuing a modified and appropriate exercise program is important not only important for your own health but also for your future little one’s health. Lucky for pregnant New Yorkers, there’s a new prenatal exercise class in town, PROnatal Fitness.

Founded earlier this year by Brittany Citron, a certified personal trainer with a specialization in prenatal and postpartum exercise design, PROnatal Fitness is an hour-long class that follows this breakdown: warm-up, 5 cardio/strength circuits, core and cool-down/stretch. Brittany provides modifications for most exercise moves to welcome all levels.

While we realize that such a class is not available to everyone, finding time to exercise can truly have a positive impact on your body during pregnancy, labor and even afterwards. Below find Brittany’s top 5 moves for incorporating into your own prenatal exercise routine, no matter where you work out.



  1. TVA Holds

    Muscles worked: Your innermost abdominal muscle – your transverse abdominis (TVA) – AKA, your body’s inner “girdle.”

    Why they’re good for you: Your TVA is the most critical muscle to focus on to help you have an easier pregnancy, delivery and labor. It wraps around your entire mid-section from your spine to the front of your abdominal wall, and is primarily responsible for “holding everything in,” supporting your back and keeping excess pressure away from your external abdominal wall. It is also the muscle you use to push the baby out!

  1. Kegels

    Muscles worked: Pelvic Floor muscles

    Why they’re good for you: The muscles of your pelvic floor are critical deep core muscles responsible for holding up your pelvic organs (including your growing uterus), and controlling when you urinate. Your growing uterus places a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, which can weaken them. This can lead to incontinence, hip and sacroiliac joint pain, and bladder or rectum prolapse. Learning to activate these muscles now will help you to be able to rehabilitate your pelvic floor faster and easier following delivery.

  1. Squats

    Muscles worked: Almost every muscle (abs, back, butt, upper and lower legs)

    Why they’re good for you: Squats are one of the most beneficial exercises you can do (pregnant or not) because they work so many muscles at once. The other reasons they are so beneficial for pregnant women are 1) they keep your pelvis in a stable position so there is less chance for hip or pelvic irritation, and 2) they help to prepare your body for the demands of early motherhood when it is best to squat vs. bend over due to the strain that bending over puts on your weak abdominal muscles.

  1. Floor Bridges

    Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings and low back

    Why they’re good for you: Glute exercises are great during pregnancy because these muscles work with your core muscles to support your back and stabilize your hips, which means less low back and hip pain! These exercises strengthen your glutes while keeping your pelvis in a stable position.

  1. Swimmer Strokes (i.e Breaststroke and Butterfly arm movements while seated, hinging forward)

    Muscles worked: Upper and lower Why they’re good for you: The weight of your growing breasts can often pull your shoulders forward into a rounded, slumped position, which can become exaggerated if you breastfeed. These exercises strengthen the opposing muscles to counteract, prevent and/or correct the forward pull – improving your posture and reducing pain.

** Note: You can also perform this exercise standing, and bending forward at the hips so that your torso is parallel to the ground. Though if you are in the later stages of pregnancy, this may put too much pressure on your back.

This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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