Many times when we are expecting a bundle of joy, we experience different stages within the 10 months of pregnancy, some include nausea, mood swings, and CRAVINGS!

How many times have you heard a pregnant woman say, “I’m eating for two?” I have!  In fact, I have been that woman! In the midst of the wonderful and glowing happiness during my pregnancy, I also allowed myself to enjoy a little too much food and little or no exercise! 7 years later I see pregnancy in a very different perspective, not that I am pregnant, however, I am now more health conscious and definitely more physically active. I am also blown away by how much I have learned about fitness, including the type of fitness that a pregnant woman can do!

Kangoo Jump Instructor Toye Releford-Penny “Toye” has continued to teach her high energy Kangoo Jump Cardio and Kangoo Jump boot camp classes up until her 9th month.

Kangoo Jump is a very unique type of fitness since it is based on individuals wearing Kangoo Jumps rebound shoes, a shoe that looks similar to an ice skate, except it has a rubber spring which allows user to bounce while reducing impact on joints. These shoes are 2.5 lbs each and approximately 4 inches high.

The Kangoo.com website describes Kangoo Jumps rebound shoes to have been originally developed for joggers, runners, and athletes, to help reduce the impact associated with a vigorous athletic activity.  Plyometric exercise can be performed using Kangoo Jumps rebound shoes with a lower risk of injury, providing significant protection to the joints.

Toye’s physician approved for her to continue teaching classes, as long as she had been doing the type of  physical activity before and all during the pregnancy.  “ I get so excited during class, I sometimes forget I am pregnant,” says Toye. She is very in tune with her body and she understands her limits.

Birth Plan

Toye currently has a 15 year old daughter, she is preparing to be a mother all over again for the second time. She feels mentally, nutritionally, physically prepared and she even has created a birth plan. A birth plan is generally a written document where the expecting mother expresses her birthing wishes to the medical staff such as how to manage the pain.  In her birth plan, she included the setup of her delivery room (soothing music and the type of lighting). Not only has Toye  prepared a traditional birth plan for the medical staff during labor, she has also followed a pregnancy plan, which she prepared along the course of her pregnancy by doing research on necessary nutrition for the baby’s development as well as other actions that have helped make her pregnancy smooth and enjoyable.

Some Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy Include:

  • Pregnancy can drain a woman’s energy in the first trimester that the baby is beginning to  develop. Exercise can help boost energy and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
  • Exercise helps anyone reduce stress, but it definitely helps during pregnancy since women’s bodies are experiencing drastic hormonal changes.
  • Prepares and helps during childbirth, allowing labor to end soon.
  • Helps with self-image and a faster recovery after birth.

Nutrition For Healthy Baby Development

Toye  planned from the types of foods to focus on each trimester for the development of the baby, to the amount of prenatal massages she should have.  Some of the important nutrients for the development of the baby during each trimester include:

1st trimester-    It is very important that the baby develops all of its organs, therefore the mother should consume a folic rich nutrition to avoid neural tube defects. Iron-rich foods are also important to help make red blood cells for the baby.

2nd trimester- Eat foods rich in omega 3’s for brain development and calcium and Vitamin D for strong bone and teeth development.

3rd trimester-  Vitamin C, K, and fiber are very important. The baby is growing at a faster rate, it is important to increase calorie intake by 200 calories a day.

Another important focus Toye has maintained is a consistent schedule of prenatal Massages are beneficial to aid with the expecting mother’s fatigue, headaches, backaches, muscle pains, swelling and  sleep.

Toye also has focused on making this time about her and taking advantage to reflect on her many roles including such as a wife, mother, entrepreneur managing life with a new baby.

Expecting a baby can be challenging on a woman’s body, yet very rewarding and fulfilling. It definitely requires the woman to take extra care of herself by eating nutritionally and, staying mentally and physically healthy for two.

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  1. Zeyna

    I have been following you for alihwe now and just recently have had the courage to write on here. I have lost 40 lbs and kept it off for years. However, I would never consider myself thin or in shape. I do workout daily but am totally lost on what I am doing. I would love to tone and lose another 20lbs. But Im unsure how much protein I should be eating, etc. Im also unsure how much to spend on a particular part of my body in order to tone. Please HELP!


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