Rosie Pope’s name has been associated with motherhood for years; she began her rise as the owner of the Rosie Pope Maternity clothing line and lifestyle brand, and later gained fame by starring in the Bravo reality show “Pregnant in Heels,” about her maternity concierge service. She now offers advice to women who want to start a family in the future as well as those already expecting.

HEALTHY MOM, HEALTHY BABY: Pope advises pregnant women to dedicate ample time to exercise so as to prepare their bodies for the stress of labor, but also to maintain overall health for themselves and their baby. Photo: Angela Murray

Learning then leading

Pope and her husband Daron are the parents to four children, two boys and two girls. She has been open about her struggles with a phenomenon known as secondary infertility—after conceiving their first child, Pope was suddenly unable to have a successful second pregnancy, resulting in trouble ovulating and multiple IVF treatments then an ectopic pregnancy and emergency surgery. She decided to take a break from treatments, and shortly thereafter became pregnant “the old-fashioned way.”

“...staying in shape is an important way women can build stamina to prepare for the physical stress of labor and delivery.”

“It's the timing of it, and surrendering to the fact it may not be the way you imagined as a little girl,” says Pope. “If you keep the faith this is going to happen for you, it doesn't matter how it happens.”

For those who are expecting, Pope advises women to be aware that while it can be difficult to see your body change drastically, every new change is a sign of progress and health for your baby.

“For most people, no matter how happy you are to be pregnant, it’s not easy to have your body change so dramatically in such a relatively short period of time,” she sums. “It’s also important to remember why it is happening and that it is part of being a great parent to your growing baby. Your body changing is a sign that they are growing as they should and you are doing everything you can to help them.”

Why fitness matters

Pope has made an effort to stay in shape throughout her pregnancies for many reasons, the ultimate of which is that staying in shape is an important way women can build stamina to prepare for the physical stress of labor and delivery.

“Pregnant women are very in tune with their bodies, so I encourage them to do the exercise that feels right to them and to avoid anything that feels as though they are pushing too far,” she says.

Pope’s husband Daron also advises first-time parents to remember that although their journey is taken together, it manifests in different ways for the mother and the father. “For the mother, the journey begins the same day she found out she was pregnant,” her husband says. “It takes a little longer for a father, as the baby is not growing inside of him. I think it’s important to show a little patience and allow dads to get to know this new baby and adjust to this new role.”