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[ad] Today I am dreaming of Christmas parties. Anyone else? We’re only halfway through the month and we’ve already had more family gatherings than I can count with so many more to go. And Christmas parties in the Bartlett household means photos…lots of photos. But I just didn't feel very photo-ready thanks to my grays (and yes, I had A LOT of grays). So I picked up @zotosprofessional hair color at @sallybeauty and these days I'm feeling gorgeous, confident, and ready to take on the holiday photos. Today on the blog, I'm sharing how I get myself photo-ready as well as what I plan to wear to this year's Christmas party! #MyAgeBeautiful #sponsored #linkinbio
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[ad] Today I am dreaming...

I've been a bit MIA lately. Why you may ask? Well, because I've been half on the struggle bus and half working on a rather large project that I've had in draft mode for far too long. And I am SO excited about it. I literally woke up the other day and decided THAT was the day I'd get started on it and I've been hooked on it ever since. If you're a mom in Southern Maine, you won't want to miss this! So be sure to sign up for our email list via the link in my bio so you can be one of the first to know what's going on.
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I've been a bit MIA...

Well, it's officially the day Zack and I have been looking forward to for a couple of years now. While we've already unofficially been "moved on" from military life for a couple of months now, today it's official that Zack is no longer an Active Duty Marine and I am no longer a military spouse. The first big chapter of his adult life and our life together has officially ended. It's scary almost when you've been living with all the stability of a lifestyle for so long. A stable job, stable income, health benefits, a home. It's been a challenging couple of months as we get more settled here in Maine and figure out the next step for our little family. But I know we have so much to look forward to in the next year and it's refreshing to know we have the opportunity to start over. I am so proud of this guy and I can't wait to see what the next chapter of our life has in store for us. •
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Well, it's officially the day...

This mama is on the struggle bus today. This morning I spent over an hour searching for Allie's sippy cup of milk only to find it in the shower...where I looked 5+ times considering that's where she was playing while I got ready for the day. I then got the incorrect order from Dunkin and to make that even worse, it was pumpkin flavored...and if you know me, you know I cannot stand anything pumpkin flavored so I couldn't even suck it up and drink it (shoutout to @mwhited8195 for bringing me the correct drink order!). Nap time wasn't any better. A solid 40 minutes of crying before Allie finally went down...then she woke up 30 minutes later 🙄 And now I'm scrambling to get everything on my to-do list done so we can officially launch Blogmas tomorrow 😬 It's been a morning and I'm about ready for my own nap at this point. But at least it's Friday? 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
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This mama is on the...

It's yet another snow day here in Maine. The last winter I spent here was in 2015 and we maybe had three snow storms all winter. This year, we've had 3-5 just in the last couple of weeks 🙄 I'm already homesick for beautiful and warm North Carolina summers 😔 anyone else here who hates winter? If you need us, Allie and I will be curled up inside with some movies and a never-ending to-do list. #bloggerlife •
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It's yet another snow day...

Blogmas starts in T-5 days! I've been working so hard on producing awesome Blogmas content these past couple of months so I'm super excited to finally start sharing it with you all this weekend. Today on the blog I'm sharing a quick breakdown of Blogmas 2018, what you can look forward to on Mainely Keating, and 25 blog post ideas for those of you who want to participate in Blogmas as well! You can find the link to the full blog post in my bio! •
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Blogmas starts in T-5 days!...

Prenatal Yoga Benefits For Expectant Mothers

Prenatal Yoga Benefits For Expectant Mothers | MainelyKeating.com

The moment I found out I was pregnant and had it confirmed by doctors, I knew I wanted to get involved in some prenatal yoga classes. I used to do yoga throughout high school and was beginning to get back into it with my sister, Hannah before we moved so I was eager to get started again. Not only was I wanting to join a prenatal yoga class for the health benefits, I also wanted to find other pregnant women that I could connect with. It was hard enough being in a brand new place, but being new to an area and being pregnant made it feel next to impossible to meet people. Not to mention, I just wasn’t handling pregnant life very well either at the time. I was desperately needing something to get me out of the house and focusing on my health and wellbeing. So I joined a prenatal yoga class in my area and instantly fell in love. It’s been one of the best things I could possibly do for my health, especially while pregnant. Here’s why all expectant mothers should join a  prenatal yoga class at some point during their pregnancy.

It prepares you for labor and delivery

I had no idea how beneficial prenatal yoga would be in terms of preparing me for labor and delivery. Being that I’m only 18 weeks along (officially five months, which is CRAZY to me), I just haven’t given labor a whole lot of thought quite yet. Partly because that step in this process scares the crap out of me and partly because it’s still months away. But half the stretches and poses we do in my yoga class are positions specifically designed to improve flexibility in your hips and the lower half of your body. It also teaches you how to relax and build the muscles needed for delivery, making labor a bit “easier”. Lastly, it teaches you helpful breathing techniques that can be used to calm yourself during delivery and handle the pain in a more effective manner.

Update: This really did help a lot in labor! It’s insane how much leg strength is needed during labor. I was so incredibly thankful to have built up the muscles in my legs and even in my abdomen. I’m sure the breathing techniques would have bene helpful as well, but I unfortunately had back labor and nothing helps when you have back labor. That’s a whole other ballgame than regular labor.

RelatedMy Top Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

It improves your flexibility

I thought I wasn’t too bad on flexibility until I got into this class. There were women in there who were 9 months pregnant and five times more flexible than me. It was insane! But man do I feel better and more stretched out after a good yoga class. I try to do the classes in the morning as well so it’s a good start to my day and stretches do an excellent job of waking me up so I’m ready for the day ahead of me. And by increasing your flexibility, you’re warming up your muscles which can reduce the chances of tearing a muscle during your day.

It improves your strength

It’s crazy how much muscle you can build from yoga. As calming as it is, it’s still a work out and prenatal yoga classes target all the right muscle groups that you’ll be using during labor and delivery. Your thighs being a big one. I actually had no idea how many muscles were required for labor, but apparently it takes a lot of muscle strength. Even as someone who works out five days a week, my legs were killing me after my first day in prenatal yoga. So these classes are essential to preparing your muscles for what’s to come.

It gives you a deeper connection to your baby

I’ve had a tough time feeling a connection to our baby these past five months. I think it’s due to the fact that I’m not showing much, have minimal pregnancy symptoms, and still don’t know the gender. So I’ve felt a bit disconnected. Just taking the time out of my week to take a prenatal yoga class, reminds me that I’m pregnant and gives me that undivided one-on-one time with our baby. These classes create a bond that I can’t really explain unless you’ve been pregnant as well. But it’s that one time during the week where I feel the most connected to our baby. I’m even finding myself touching my stomach more and more in the last few weeks as well, looking for that connection. So if you’re having a tough time making the connection with your baby then taking a prenatal yoga class could help you a ton!

Prenatal Yoga Benefits for Expectant Mothers | MainelyKeating.com

It allows you to connect with other expectant mothers 

When you become pregnant, it can be really easy to feel disconnected from your non-mommy friends and family members. And that’s totally normal! A prenatal yoga class will allow you to meet new people. And to make it better, they’re people who are on the same page in life that I’m on. So it gives us more to talk about, allowing you to connect in a way you’re just not able to connect with your non-parent friends. It’s so helpful to have people in your life who know what you’re going through and are able to offer advice and helpful tips based on first-hand experience. Sometimes you just need someone who understands.

Related10 Things To Do When You Find Out You’re Pregnant

It both keeps you and baby healthy

Living a healthy lifestyle is already important, but when you’re carrying another human life, it becomes almost crucial. Having healthy habits greatly increases your chances at having a healthy baby as well which is why many doctors suggest yoga classes along with light to moderate work outs as well. Participating in a prenatal yoga class regularly has the potential to reduce the chances of pre-term labor and/or delivering a low-birthweight baby (*this is based on a study conducted in India and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine). For some mothers, the chances of going into pre-term labor is much higher so why to do everything you can to reduce those odds?

It reduces stress and anxiety

Working out does wonders for your mental health. While it can be challenging to motivate yourself to go to the gym or attend a class when you have anxiety and other mental health issues, it really is so beneficial for you. Yoga is a full-blown workout, but it’s calming at the same time. It gets you in tune with your body as well as your mind and does a great job at focusing your thoughts elsewhere and clearing your mind. After a stressful week or a challenging day, yoga can be one of the best ways to re-center yourself so that you can tackle the rest of your day or week without breaking down. Plus, it’s not good for the baby to live a live full of stress either. So this helps both you and baby have a happy and healthy nine months.

It can help with common pregnancy symptoms 

Yoga is already known for helping with common aches and pains that people experience in their everyday life. Prenatal yoga does the same thing in regards to common pregnancy symptoms. A big one being back pain. So many expectant mothers experience back pain during their pregnancies and prenatal yoga can help relieve that pain and tension.  In addition to helping with lower back pain, it can also assist in decreasing headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, and so many other symptoms you may be experiencing. So if you’re having a rough day, symptom-wise than a class may be just what you need.

Did you (or do you plan to) do prenatal yoga during your pregnancy?

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