2017-fall-buyers-guide

Preggers by Therafirm Light Support Maternity Tights are featured in the Fall 2017 Buyer’s Guide issue of Pregnancy & Newborn.  As the crisp fall air settles in, you’ll want to be sure to have a pair (or five!) of Preggers Light Support Tights.  Not only will your legs stay warm and your outfit be fashionable, but you’ll experience the amazing benefits of true gradient compression, which will help to reduce and prevent swelling and energize tired and achy legs!  Thanks P&N for introducing your readers to benefits of Preggers and Therafirm legwear!

Read more about Preggers legwear benefits here!

No need for compression, right?  If you have a good pair of support hose, that’s all you need?  Because compression and support hose are the same thing?

Wrong!

There are actually some very big differences between support hose and compression hose.   In fact, there is even a difference between compression and gradient compression.  Let’s break each one down.

Support Hose

In the world of hosiery, support and control mean the same thing.  An example of this would be like control top pantyhose.  Basically, you have a garment that smooths out abdominal bulges and bumps for a more flattering look.  But the difference is only cosmetic.  The garments don’t actually provide any of the health benefits of compression, nor do they provide support to the legs or feet.

What about items beyond hosiery – like support garments and shapewear.  There are some significant differences here, too.

Compression

Support garments, shapewear and athletic compression are all examples of what is known as all-over compression, or compression that has the same amount of “squeeze” throughout the whole garment.

Support Garments

Here’s where things get a little confusing.  Although support hose generally refer to hosiery like control top pantyhose, support garments are a little different still.  Support garments, or garments that typically cover the abdomen or torso area of the body, actually offer much-needed support for the wearer, as well as gentle shaping.  Preggers Maternity and Postpartum Support Garments are great examples of these.

Shapewear

You’ve surely seen these items from time to time.  Shapewear, like control-top pantyhose, are meant to slim and shape the waist and body by squeezing bulges and bumps.  They’re like the modern version of a corset or perhaps a bodysuit.

Athletic Compression

Athletic compression is another good example of all-over compression.  A popular trend among professional and amateur athletes alike, athletic compression helps to give athletes extra stability and support.  The types of garments can really be anything, including socks, pants, shirts or sleeves.

Gradient Compression

A gradient compression garment takes the cake, as these items provide the most health benefits – especially for pregnant mamas.  Gradient or graduated compression is tightest at the ankle and the pressure decreases gradually as it moves up the leg of the garment.  The graduated element is what makes gradient compression so healthy, because it promotes circulation, energizes tired, achy legs and helps to prevent and reduce swelling.  Pregnant mamas know how beneficial that can be!  All Preggers legwear products offer a level of gradient compression.

Preggers_FootlessT_LS

Compression Levels

Our products are available in four different compression levels – known as mmHg or millimeters of mercury.  The levels are aptly named Light (10-15 mmHg), Mild (15-20 mmHg), Moderate (20-30 mmHg) and Firm (30-40 mmHg).  Most people, including pregnant women, can wear Light compression to promote better blood flow and to energize tired achy legs and feet, without the direction of a doctor.  Anything higher than that, however, should be at the advice and direction of a physician.  A physician who knows your individual condition and history can correctly diagnose issues that may benefit from higher compression levels.  Your doctor will also know best as to which compression level is right for you, as well as to ensure you are properly sized.

 

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be informational.  Always follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor.  Consult your doctor before doing anything that you feel might be risky.

 

July 14 is National Mac and Cheese Day.  Did you know there was a National Mac and Cheese Day?  I didn’t, but what a delicious comfort food to celebrate – especially for those Preggers mamas.  Is anyone out there craving Mac and Cheese?  Below are some scrumptious recipes to help satisfy those cravings.  Make some now and enjoy OR save it for National Mac and Cheese Day!

FNM_030113-Classic-Macaroni-and-Cheese-Recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462

Classic Baked Mac and Cheese

From www.foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces of fusilli or other short pasta
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, heated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 ½ cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded gruyere cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk.  Add the bay leaf, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thick, 8 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf and stir in 2 cups cheddar and the gruyere.  Stir in the pasta and the reserved cooking water to make a loose sauce.  Butter a 2-quart baking dish; add the pasta mixture and top with the remaining ½ cup cheddar.  Bake 15 minutes.

So, that’s a classic baked Mac and Cheese, but sometimes you want something a little more reminiscent of your childhood.  So, here is an American Mac and Cheese recipe.

***

American Mac and Cheese

From www.foodnetwork.com

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces of elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cups grated mild yellow cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup diced processed cheese, such as Velveeta
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; whisk in the flour, mustard powder and cayenne and cook, whisking, 1 minute.  Whisk in the evaporated milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cheeses, then the pasta and just enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick sauce.  Season with salt and black pepper.

***

The website www.foodnetwork .com/recipes/articles/50-mac-and-cheese-recipes takes these two basic recipes and details how to jazz them up a little bit.  With varieties including French Style, Barbecue Style and Bacon Chipotle, there’s really something for most tastes.

These sound delicious and I truly love Mac and Cheese. I’ve kind become a Mac and Cheese snob of sorts.  I prefer unique and delicious additions to your typical Mac and Cheese.  This recipe from www.delish.com is my absolute favorite!

Cornbread-Topped Apple Macaroni and Cheese

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 cup of diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups of store-bought cornbread muffin crumbles
  • 2 cups of uncooked elbow noodles
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of half-and-half
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound brick of extra sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 ½ cup diced Granny Smith apples (or other tart apples)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add cornbread crumbles, stir to combine, and remove from heat.  Set aside.

To prepare macaroni and cheese, begin by bringing a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add noodles and cook according to package directions for al dente.  Drain well and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt remaining ¼ cup of butter over medium heat.  Add flour and cook about 2 minutes or until rue is golden.  Slowly whisk in half-and-half and milk; stir until mixture has thickened and slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.  Season with the salt, pepper, and cinnamon.  Slowly add grated sharp cheddar cheese, a little at a time, and stir until completely melted.  Remove pan from heat.  Mix in reserved noodles and apples.  Stir until well combined.  Pour pasta mixture into a greased 2 ½ quart casserole dish and top with reserved cornbread mixture.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly, and golden on top.  Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

***

Yum!  Delicious!  Make some now and freeze it to save for after the baby is born.

Crackle!  Boom!  Pop!

Are you ready for the 4th of July?!  Make sure your maternity wardrobe is ready, too.  For this U.S.A.-inspired outfit, we decided to dress it down a little bit.  And what says American more than a comfy t-shirt and some jean shorts?  Add a Preggers Maternity Support Band to help support your growing bump.  Finish it off with a pair of cute and comfortable flip flops and some American Flag jewelry and accessories.  You’ll be ready for backyard barbecues and fireworks, galore!

Born in the U.S.A.

Sweet Summer Baby Blues

Keep it cool this summer with a light and airy cotton maternity blouse.  It pairs sweetly with a simple jean skirt.  A pair of Preggers Leggings will help keep your legs feeling energized without adding a lot of extra hot material.  A pair of flat sandals and some matching accessories – in baby blue . . . or pink – will round out your outfit nicely.

Baby Blues

Dressing it Up, But Keeping it Cool

Need to dress it up for all those summer weddings and graduations? You can stay comfortable and cool in a casual summer dress.  The right accessories will add all the “dress” you’ll need.  A black and white striped dress with an adorable black sunhat and black and white bag will make a perfect statement at any summer celebration.  Don’t forget to add a pair of Preggers leggings to keep your legs healthy and feeling great.

Incognito

 

As both a Mom and a Daughter, I completely believe in homemade Mother’s Day gifts.  I love getting these sweet gifts from my kiddos and I totally love giving them to my mom and my mother-in-law.  Sometimes the creativity is just not flowing, though, and I look all around for new ideas.  This year the Knit-Rite/Therafirm team got some inspiration from our own products.  The best part is, we were able to use products from several of our brands to create these adorable sock bouquets.  They’re cute and easy enough for the kiddos to do, too.  Watch our demonstration video below!

List of Supplies Needed:

• Socks of multiple colors, shapes and sizes
• A pair of tights, pantyhose or a piece of fabric of similar size and length
• Rubber bands
• Safety pins
• Your favorite vase

We used some discontinued colors of our Preggers and Therafirm brands, as well as current colors of TheraSport, SmartKnitKIDS, SmartKnit and Therafirm.  Happy bouquet making!

Pregnancy naturally can add a lot of stress to your everyday life.  For each person it’s different, but stresses can include anything from trying to make healthy decisions to worrying about the health of your baby.  Maybe you’re deciding if you’ll go back to work after the baby is born.  Or maybe it is selecting the right daycare.  Should you breast or bottle feed?  Which hospital is the right choice?  What makes a good pediatrician or car seat or crib?

You are truly turning your life upside down, so it’s easy to feel an increase of stress.  Most doctors say a little stress is okay, but that you should try to avoid chronic stress as it can have developmental effects on the baby.  Easier said than done, though, right?  How about a few ideas to help alleviate some of the stress.  Try one of these on for size!

 

  1. Eat Well – Don’t let the idea of it stress you out more, but eating well can truly help to alleviate some stress. The Boy Scouts have a motto that works well here: “Do your best!”  So, try to add healthy food to your diet, but don’t sweat it if you do eat some unhealthy items or if you don’t get all the good stuff you need.  Just do your best.  Omega-3 fatty acids can help you to reduce depression.  If you’re craving sweets, try some fresh fruit or make a fruit smoothie.  It’ll satisfy that sweet craving, as well as give you some important vitamins.Bagel w/ Fruit
  2. Exercise – When you’re lugging around that baby belly, it’s the last thing you want to do, right? Well, it can actually make you feel better and alleviate some stress.  Swimming is a really great choice, as it doesn’t put extra stress on your joints.  Plus, the weightlessness feels great!  And if you’re experiencing your third trimester during July and August, that cool water feels amazing.
  3. Watch a Funny Movie – You heard that right! Take an afternoon off and enjoy a good belly-laughing comedy!  Laughter is so good for the body and soul!  It releases your natural “feel-good” body chemicals – endorphins – which promote a sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain.  Laughter decreases stress hormones and it can increase immune cells and antibodies.  Write yourself a prescription for Funny Movie Night every week!
  4. Cut Back on the Unnecessary – We know how much you have a need to make everything perfect for your new arrival. That’s natural.  But, decide what must be done and what can wait.  There’s no need to give yourself extra stress by trying to complete things that will wait.  For example, it is okay to wait to put together the high chair – it will be several months before you need it anyway.  Or, the nursey pictures don’t have to be hung before baby gets here.  He or she won’t see them right away anyway.
  5. Have a Good Support Network – Ask a few friends or family members for help in completing tasks both before and after the baby arrives. They can help complete things that have become too difficult in your final months.  But, also talk to them about things you anticipate needing afterwards.  Knowing that you have a few trusted companions that you can rely on for things you need will help relieve some stress.
  6. Relax – Okay, what we really mean is try some relaxation techniques such as prenatal yoga or even meditation. Prenatal yoga can help you prepare your body for labor by stretching and toning muscles and regulating breathing.  Meditation is an easy way relieve some stress.  And it doesn’t take much time, either.  Just 10 minutes each day can help to control the day’s stresses, but it also decreases anxiety, improves cardiovascular health and helps you to achieve greater relaxation.yoga
  7. Sing or Play Music – It’s okay, you don’t have to be good at it. Singing and music helps to control cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.  So, sing to yourself, to your family or if you’re feeling brave plan a karaoke night with your partner and some friends!ID-100138497
    Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  8. Take a Childbirth Class – Nothing makes your feel better than being prepared. And the best way to be prepared for a new baby is to take childbirth classes to help you become familiar with what to expect.  Classes can help you practice breathing and relaxation techniques.  You can learn about pain management options and when it is appropriate to ask for what type of relief.  And, you can even learn about some of the basic things that might surprise you after birth or once you leave the hospital with your new little sweetheart.  Being prepared has a way of relieving a little bit of stress, too.

 

We hope that one of a few of these tips will help to relieve some of your pregnancy stresses.  Welcome to motherhood!

 

 

picmonkey-collage2In a few days, March 8, 2017, women around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day.  According to their website, the day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  And the day marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

In 2017, the achievements our gender has made in society are more visible than ever. We can vote, true, and we’re nearing on the 100th anniversary of suffrage. And the strides have been even greater than that. We’ve seen women holding high office.  Madeleine Albright became the first woman to hold the office of Secretary of State in 1997, and since then 3 of the last 6 have been women.  We’ve seen a female Attorney General, four different women on the U.S. Supreme Court, and many other cabinet positions.  The first woman elected to the U.S. House happened in 1917 and the first U.S. Senator a handful of years later in 1932.  And most recently, we’ve seen the first woman to run for President for a major political party.  We see women owning companies and heading corporations.  They are doctors, lawyers, scientists, astronauts.  Our gender has cracked the glass ceiling, but there is still work to do.

Attention for women’s achievements ebbs and flows in news cycles, but seems to be at the forefront of late.  Women, as a whole, are still not paid equally to their male counterparts.  Women are still not present in equal numbers in business and politics.  And globally, many improvements are still needed for women’s education and health, as well as the disproportionate numbers of violence against women.

The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange.  Change is still needed.  At our current rate of speed, the gender gap won’t close entirely until the year 2186, according to the World Economic Forum.  But, if we are bold for change, we can make that happen faster.

Change can be big or small.  What kinds of things can we, as women, change as individuals?  Below are 5 things we can work on to better ourselves and to help leave our mark on the world.

Perspective

Have you ever heard of the phrase “mind over matter”?  I’ll bet you have.  That’s what I mean by perspective.  The first step to making change in our lives is changing our perspective of things.  I hate getting groceries every week or doing laundry.  But, since they are necessary chores to the well-being of my family, I do them.  I can look at them with dread, or I can be thankful that I have the funds to buy food for my family.  I can clothe my children and keep their clothes clean.  Maybe, I have a family member or co-worker that is difficult to be around.  I can choose to avoid them or be unkind to them.  Or, I can change my perception and look at things from their perspective.  Looking at things from their perspective will give me a better understanding of why they are difficult, and possibly I can help them.  Changing perspective can apply to almost anything in our lives.

Career

I think this is area that is most reflective of the #BeBoldForChange theme. Most of us spend 8 – 10 of our waking hours per day at our jobs.  This is time not spent with family or friends or doing things we love.  With so many hours spent doing a job, it had better be something you enjoy doing.  If not, make a change.  Get a new job or go back to school.  But, be happy in your career.  Maybe you love your job, but feel that a raise or promotion is overdue.  It’s time to make a change.  Be bold and ask for what you feel you deserve.  You may not get it, but as long as you are courteous and professional, you’ll go a long way in making cracks in that glass ceiling.

Relationships

This is such a tough one for us women, but is an area of such importance.  Evaluate your relationships, including friendships and family relationships.  Nurture the good relationships – the ones that are good for your well-being; the ones that bring you joy; the ones you learn from and who show you kindness.  Repair the fragile ones that are worth saving.  And cut ties with the toxic ones.  Life is too short to let others bring you down.

Health

There are so many things we can do to change the state of our health.  The obvious one is diet and exercise, but be careful in that.  There are so many harmful ones out there.  If you diet, choose one that includes healthy foods and doesn’t make you feel bad or lacking.  Choose an active lifestyle, but know your limitations.  Don’t participate in exercise that is harmful to any condition you are living with. Chose exercise that makes you feel good and something you like to do.  You’re more apt to keep up with it if you do.  Other things you can do to become healthier or to maintain good health include brushing and flossing your teeth, getting plenty of good sleep and avoiding or limiting things like tobacco, caffeine or alcohol.  Drink plenty of water.  Most doctors and nutritionists recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.  Finally, follow your doctor’s suggestions to improve your health.  This includes wearing your compression! 😉

Legacy

Most people want to leave a legacy on this world, but your legacy can be whatever you want it to be.  Many women leave their legacy with meaningful careers – doctors, teachers, politicians, businesswomen, police officers, etc.  Or your legacy may be motherhood.  Parents are the first teachers of every child and raising well-adjusted and contributing members of society is such a huge legacy in itself.  Or perhaps your legacy is the mark you leave on the world in other ways – volunteering with veterans or the homeless, fostering a child, cleaning up a local park, or even just spreading simple kindnesses to strangers.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to make changes happen in your life.  Have faith and courage and be bold.  And from all of us at Knit-Rite/Therafirm, Happy International Women’s Day!