If you’ve followed Hannah Bronfman over the years, then you’re aware of how central to her brand health, in regards to physical fitness and wellness, is for the influencer, businesswoman, and DJ. It’s the foundation of her popular site, HBFIT, for her book Do What Feels Good, the reason for the intense and impressive workouts she’s often shared with her followers on Instagram, and behind her upcoming parenting series, Baby Banter on In the Know, which debuts on Tuesday, May 4 and is focused on wellness in motherhood. It’s also why she recently teamed up with Flow Alkaline Spring Water as an investor and part of the brand’s spring/summer campaign — to encourage good health and wellness through the consumption of their mineral-rich alkaline spring water. With that said, the star knows what works for the body and has always been in tune with her own.
But when she struggled in her efforts to conceive her first child with husband Brendan Fallis, something the couple was open about through vulnerable vlogs, the way she looked and treated a body she worked so hard to build up in strength, shifted for a time.
“I will say that the two and a half years that we worked on getting pregnant, it was definitely a taxing time on my body, taking hormones and putting my body through it. Even just the stress of it all was really intense,” she tells ESSENCE. “I definitely was putting a lot of pressure on myself, and feeling like why is this not happening? But then when we went through IVF, and it was so successful, it actually left me a little bit more confused because I was like, well then what was the reason? But then sometimes I’m just like, maybe the reason was because I was supposed to go through this to help other women through it as well.”
Through IVF, she was able to conceive her son, Preston, who is five months. And despite the physical and emotional stress she’d endured on her journey before the implantation process, pregnancy was a time where she could reconnect with her body in a unique way thanks to the pandemic. She found out she was pregnant in March, a week before quarantine measures took effect in New York City, and she delivered in November.
“Going through an entirely virtual pregnancy with the pandemic was really crazy,” she says. “But I have to say a part of me was really grateful for how slow the world was moving, because I was able to just inherently slow down and be really present in my body.”
She felt “strong” in that body, craving movement as opposed to the common junk food and odd combinations many mothers-to-be flock to. She enjoyed fresh fruits and veggies, as well as grilled meats and fish in the summer. In the late fall, as temperatures dipped before and after she delivered, she was drawn to warm foods good for the gut encouraged for post-delivery: meat stews, bone broths, and steamed vegetables with rice. All of that helped her to feel her best in pregnancy and during the postpartum process, including Flow’s collagen-infused water options.
“Flow water really came into play for me during my pregnancy, because not only do I just love the taste of the water, but they have these collagen flavors as well. I would literally drink three of the collagen waters a day just because they’re so delicious,” she says. “And inherently, then I’m getting 30 grams of collagen on top of my diet already. Collagen is so important during pregnancy and protein in general. So I drank Flow like crazy during my pregnancy. And then I drank it like crazy when I obviously had the baby because breastfeeding is… I’ve never been so thirsty in my life.”
Eating and hydrating well, as well as having a great relationship with her body before pregnancy by being active, has allowed her to thrive as she gets back to light exercise and all things wellness. And she has fitness goals, though they’re not attached to a number on a scale or a desired “snapback” look.
“My goals really were to start slow, just get back in tune with my body, and be very gentle with myself,” she says. “The first step that I even did was just a lot of breathwork and connecting to my core and my pelvic floor. Really kind of doing things to help strengthen all of that. And I still, five months later, I’m not doing any crunches. I’m not doing any high impact. I’ve always loved pilates as a modality. And I find that even now postpartum, that is what my body’s craving the most are these slow intentional movements where I can really put my mind in my muscles. That’s kind of where I’m at right now.”
She’s embracing taking things slow physically, but also in life. That being said, the idea of another baby is not on Bronfman’s mind right now. When she’s ready though, she’s confident that her body will thrive whether she conceives naturally or uses reserved embryos from her IVF process. Her body did it before, and it can work another miracle again.
“I actually am really looking forward to kind of being able to go through this scientific process again, because it just gives me the peace of mind that I will be able to carry,” she says. “And obviously, having such a great pregnancy this first time around, I do feel very lucky that my pregnancies, hopefully, will all go this way. Although, every pregnancy is different. That’s really important to keep in mind, but I’m trying to keep positive and manifesting the outcomes that I want.”