Share the Warmth Coat Drive 2016

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As I write this, it definitely does not feel like fall. But, before you know it, the chilly weather will become a daily routine. And if the meteorologists are on track, the fall chill is going to quickly give way to a very cold winter. Many of us are lucky and have a choice of coats to wear through the varying levels of cold a Canadian winter brings.

Some young mothers are not fortunate enough to have one coat, much less a choice of which one to wear. It has become an October tradition for us here at Carry Maternity to collect coats for the Swap Shop at Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women. Jessie’s Centre provides much needed services to empower pregnant teenagers, young parents and their children. Attendance in their programs is high throughout most of the year, but it drops with cold temperatures. Young moms want to get to Jessie’s Centre but accessing services can be difficult without appropriate outerwear.

Our Share the Warmth coat drive will run through Sunday, November 14th. You can donate gently-used, clean women’s coats (both maternity and non-maternity) as well as coats for children under 5 years old. In addition to your coat donations, Carry Maternity will donate 5% of our fall coat sales to the Well Woman and Well Baby Clinic. We hope that our Share the Warmth campaign will support young women to access all the incredible programs that Jessie’s Centre offers.

As a thank you for your coat donation, we will give you $10 Baby Bonus credit, which you can use for anything you’ll need for delivery or after. And if you need to find a coat for yourself, our Fall Coat Sale is on until Sunday, October 30th. You’ll get 15% off beautiful and practical winter coats from MCoat, Modern Eternity, Seraphine and Noppies. We also carry coat panels from Make My Belly Fit and Bridge the Bump (coming soon).

With gratitude for your help,

Pat, Sarah, Kshama, Kavya and Kat
The Carry Maternity Team

5 MUST DO’s for exercise and pregnancy

Seems to be that most often you hear about the all things to avoid once you become pregnant. “Don’t do this, don’t do that”, but no one ever tells you what you CAN do during pregnancy when it comes to exercise. My personal opinion?; the information out there is so out-dated and doctors….well let me ask you, how “healthy and fit” does your doctor look?

Nuff said.

So let’s just start by saying that although most doctors are still very far behind with their information, we all do agree that it is now a risk factor to not exercise during pregnancy. This is not the time to hover, put your feet up and “protect” the baby. On the contrary, you are doing more harm than good as the most recent research shows that being sedentary will only increase your chances of developing gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and gaining too much weight, which is a another issue all it’s own.

Having said that, when do you know whether it’s too much or not enough? You can only be the best gauge of that but there are 5 MUST-DO’s when exercising during pregnancy to ensure the healthiest possible results.

1. If you are just starting to exercise and are newly pregnant, start slooooooww. No, pregnancy is not an illness and I will be the first one to yell it from the rooftops, BUT this is no time to sign yourself up for the first boot-camp you find without knowing what you are doing. Your body is going through A LOT during that first trimester (hence why you feel so “lovely”) so baby steps is your best bet.

2. If you are a seasoned exerciser, please please PLEASE continue doing what you are already used to and enjoy doing. If you are having a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, there is no evidence to support that you should suddenly stop and do “gentle” exercise throughout. If you do, I guarantee you will feel like crap as you’re biting at the bit wondering why you stopped.

3. Make strength training part of your exercise routine! Well this is nothing new coming from me but I stand my ground in defence of building strong pregnant women everywhere! How else do you think you are going to be able to carry around another 25+ pounds without pain or injury?

4. Focus on relaxation and breathing techniques. Although with training clients in building strength, there is always a strong focus on breathing properly through a particular exercise. However, breathing for relaxation is also very important and where yoga and meditation compliment any exercise regime. You will need this type of training to guide you through a (hopefully) speedy labour and delivery.

5. Listen to your body! Believe it or not, there will be a time when you step into the gym and those 10 lb dumbells feel like 50 lbs. It’s amazing the amount of energy that pregnancy requires and it will eventually catch up to you. Don’t push yourself when this happens but don’t stop either! Just scale back your weights and/or repetitions and continue with your exercise routine.

When you’re exercising during pregnancy, the goal to maintain as much strength and cardiovascular training as you can. This is not the time to sign up for a marathon or jump out of a plane – have you ever read my previous post about extreme exercise during pregnancy?

The only “marathon” you’re training for is labour and delivery my friend, so train smart!

Guest blog courtesy of Samantha Montpetit-Huynh from Core Expectations.
Meet Samantha at Carry Maternity on June 4th and June 18th. See our Upcoming Events for more info.

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Saying Goodbye to Harmful Chemicals at Carry Maternity

“It really started when I was a young mother, and I was facing an illness,” she says. “That really motivated a lot of changes, so a big part of my devotion to the store being a clean environment has to do with my own health, and the health of women.”

Although women are expected to drop unhealthy habits like drinking, smoking and even caffeine from their lifestyles, Patknows there are plenty of lesser known factors in our environments that can be just as damaging. Toxins in everything from beauty products to cleaning supplies can all be absorbed through women’s skin, which can be harmful for both soon-to-be mothers and their babies.

“The number one reason we wanted to do all natural is that we’re so much more informed today about pregnancy and our body, the vessel that carries the child, being a clean environment,” Pat says. “Some women actually even prepare before they get pregnant, and really clean up their act.”

Part of that, she says, is eschewing products that let of gases and chemicals that can have a negative effect on the body. In the Carry Maternity store, Pat says she and her staff are “returning to the origins of cleaning,” using basic, natural materials that our mothers and grandmothers might have used, like baking soda and vinegar.

Generally speaking, she says that the women who come into Carry Maternity are well informed, and eager to learn more about how to create healthier conditions for themselves during pregnancy.

“I think it’s natural that women are also looking at what they’re putting on their body, what they’re putting in their body, and what’s in their environment,” she says. “Women are pretty committed these days to not just parenting, but the process of being pregnant as well.”

Some of Pat’s favourite all-natural products include:

J.R. Watkins Naturals Window Cleaner – works on mirrors, windows, glass tabletops, without leaving streaks or residue.

Whip-It Premixed, Ready To Go Formula – plant-based multipurpose “supercleaner”, capable of breaking down tough stains while disinfecting.

Nutribiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract – one of nature’s powerful disinfectant, it can be diluted to use on hard surfaces instead of bleach.