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Why You Need a Pregnancy Coach

*We’ve partnered with Bump2Beyond Wellness to take some of the guesswork out of pregnancy.

So many of us believe that knowledge is power, especially when it comes to pregnancy. So we read every book and blog that we can get our hands on. But there are times when all that pregnancy literature (not to mention hours of googling) yields nothing. And that can be really, really lonely.

Sure, the Internet was designed to make us all feel more connected, yet we interact less and less as we become more engrossed in our screens. Somehow, pregnancy pulls you back into the inescapable reality of what is happening in your body and compels you to reach out for assistance.

That’s where a pregnancy coach comes in -- to offer you support before, during and after pregnancy, creating positive lifelong habits in your lifestyle, exercise and nutrition, as well as your attitude. Even if you’re not expecting yet, you can still begin making small but profound changes that will have a tremendous impact on your pregnancy and your life as a new parent.

“The journey from bump to beyond is one of the most powerful transitions a woman will make and it can be overwhelming, whether it's her first time as a mom or her fifth,” says Raquel Nowak, prenatal wellness expert and the founder of Bump2Beyond Wellness. “Every pregnancy is different and comes with a unique set of concerns and questions. It's really not the best time to rely solely on Google for answers.”

The goal of pregnancy coaching is to simplify the overwhelming amount of information, emotions and life changes being thrown at you in such a short amount of time. Nowak says the lifestyle management service is beneficial to clients who are able to quickly implement it in a way that makes sense for their needs and specific situation. .

“Being able to prioritize support in this way,” Nowak says, “usually means a world of difference for women who are otherwise very busy with the other aspects of their lives but are still concerned about entering motherhood in a healthy and nurtured way.”

Below, Nowak shares how coaching can help you through some of the more common questions during pregnancy.

I’m feeling kind of large. How much weight am I actually supposed to gain during pregnancy? Your weight prior to pregnancy will determine how much weight you'll need to gain during pregnancy. A well designed nutritional plan will help you get the nutrients needed to support growing a baby and manage your cravings, and you'll be less likely to exceed the required weight gain. Women who focus on proper nutrition before and during pregnancy have an easier time losing the extra pounds after the baby is born.

Most days, I'm too tired to exercise. Is it really that important during pregnancy? It's natural to feel more tired during pregnancy, but the good news is that being more active and sticking to an appropriate and manageable exercise routine will provide you with the energy boost you need. Just about 30 minutes a day is all you need to feel a difference and reap the benefits during pregnancy. It might be more manageable to break this up into a few minutes a day throughout the day, but taking a quick walk is a great way to get some fresh air and get that workout in.

I'm not yet pregnant, my partner and I are just thinking about it. Is it too early to consider coaching?

No, not at all! Although it certainly isn't always possible, prenatal care should ideally begin once you consider starting or expanding your family. We recommend a preconception cleanse as part of our program that involves toxin elimination and starting a nutritional plan intended to boost fertility and create a environment conducive to conception. This will get you on the right track toward a healthy pregnancy.

This post was sponsored by Bump2Beyond Wellness. Want more advice? Get 1 month of coaching FREE when you sign up for any package.

Photography by Ren'ee Kahn Bresler for Well Rounded.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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