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Allie Lindenmuth is the founder of Anook Athletics and mama of two. Anook Athletics is maternity and nursing active apparel, and was founded on the premise of offering women the mother-based support that is lacking in our communities. The goal has always been to provide women with innovative clothing that supports their bodies from their first prenatal yoga class to running after a thriving child, and helping them feel supported in their bodies physically, mentally, and spiritually. We chatted with Allie about all things Anook and motherhood, and here's what she had to say... 

We are obsessed with Anook! Tell us more about what inspired you to start the brand, and where the name comes from. 

Anook derives from the French name “Anouk,” meaning grace. At Anook Athletics, we believe mamas are the true definition of grace under fire. In our modern baby-centered world, Anook Athletics was founded to offer women the mother-based support that is lacking in our communities. We are here to provide women innovative clothing that supports their bodies from their first prenatal yoga class to running after a thriving child. We want all women to feel supported in their bodies physically, mentally, and spiritually.
What makes Anook different from other maternity brands on the market? 
Our garments are meant to grow with the body and last. They can be worn pre conception, through your pregnancy, and well into your postpartum years. Many other maternity brands create clothing that is meant for one specific phase and it can be hard for women to justify spending money on something they feel like they wont get years of use out of. I believe that being a prenatal yoga teacher for 10 years before launching Anook, allowed me to understand what kind of clothing was needed in order for women to be able to move their bodies effectively. 
As a working mama, is there any balance? What is your version of self-care? 
I'm not sure you ever get true balance. At least in a single day or even a single week. I have had to start looking for balance on the grander scale. Some weeks, I stop working at 3pm and really get time with my kids. Some weeks, I'm working 60 hours that week and I feel like I am barely present with them. It is so hard for me and the guilt is heavy, but I know that in the big picture, we have a lot of quality time. I have some non-negotiables that I rarely break, such as always doing either drop off or pick up from school each day, putting them down for bed almost every night, and no phones when we have family time. 
As for self-care, that too, I have had to become more flexible with. Self-care used to be more defined for me - it used to be more thought out. Because of that, it wasn't happening on busy weeks... I am learning to get it in, in smaller, less planned ways. 10-20 minute yoga breaks during the day, working in the garden for 30 minutes between meetings and ending each day with a hot bath and soak goes a long way! 
After a recent hardship you faced, you moved from Texas to Canada… was this the impetus behind your move, and how has Canada living changed you?
We used to manufacture in Vancouver, and always loved visiting. We had been talking about moving up to Canada for a few years, but when the borders shut during covid, we had to look into our options for getting up to BC as it became clear it would be a very complicated move. During this time, SB8 - The Texas Heartbeat Act was passed, and we were also going through the termination of an inviable pregnancy at the time, which was incredibly traumatic. We knew if it was possible financially, we would make every attempt to move to a place that allowed for our children to feel safer and have more options.We now live on Vancouver Island, and while no country is perfect, we have loved our time here in BC. Pace of life is slow and we are surrounded by the ocean, animals and the most majestic trees you can imagine. We feel grateful even if it is just for a few years.
Any words of wisdom for other mamas that are going through, or have been through a loss in this way? 
Going through a termination was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I was physically, mentally and emotionally in more pain than I knew possible. Being on the other side, I feel at peace with my decision, and for that I am grateful. I leaned into my faith and my relationships, and I said goodbye to the pregnancy through prayer and meditation. I think all I can say is, take your time in healing, speak up about what you are feeling, and let others hold you up as you go through an incredibly painful time. Knowing I was supported by so many was the only way I made it through. 
Is there a piece of advice that was given to you around becoming a mother that has stuck with you and you can share?
I had a yoga teacher tell me to take time when I was at the end of my pregnancy to say goodbye and mourn my current state of self. This may seem dramatic or depressing, but it really allowed me to recognize that becoming a mom is a rebirth. You will never be the same, and it's okay to miss parts of your life pre-baby. Saying goodbye to what once was, allowed me to open the door to my new self - my mom self. 
Were there any gold nuggets of advice that you received pre- or post-birth that have stuck with you through motherhood?
Knowing I wanted an unmedicated birth for my first child, my acupuncturist told me to give myself permission at a certain point to allow for a medicated birth. She suggested I decide on how many hours I wanted to attempt to go unmedicated, and if I was still in labor at that point and wanted medication, to be open to it without judgement. I am so grateful she helped me with this because after 18 hours of active labor with my son, I decided to get an epidural, and my body finally relaxed enough that he came just an hour later. Birth is unpredictable and options were so key for me.
Quick! Name your top three pregnancy or breastfeeding essentials! They can be items of clothing, specific products or anything else you couldn’t live without!
1. Anook's Nila Bra
2. Nipple cream from Earth Mama organics