Breastfeeding and Exercise

BREASTFEEDING AND EXERCISE

Today’s newsletter is on breastfeeding and exercise, as I thought it may interest some of you. Even if you’re not breastfeeding and you think this doesn’t apply to you, keep reading, as you may learn a thing or two. Knowledge is powerful, remember.

Here are a couple of points that I think are relevant for postnatal women about breastfeeding and exercise:

Feed before exercise

I’d always suggest that you feed your baby before your exercise. I know this is not always possible, but it’s advisable to do so. If your breasts are full, chances are they will feel uncomfortable, and any amount of activity, regardless of how vigorous it is might stimulate milk flow, so it’s advisable to wear breast pads.

Is a sports bra necessary?

Getting a properly fitted sports bra is essential if you’re embarking on any type of fitness class or activity to reduce the amount of “bounce” and provide adequate shock absorption to the breasts. Although wearing a nursing bra is very convenient for feeding before or after class, I’m here to tell you that a feeding bra doesn’t provide enough support for exercise, ok? Consider wearing two bras, with a nursing bra on first, then a sports bra over the top. I know it sounds like a bit of a nuisance, but this “double-bra” effect will you with the support you need. Tight elasticated sports bra tops aren’t that suitable for a new mum who is breastfeeding either, because they compress the breasts into the chest wall, which may constrict you milk ducts and/or lead to infection eg mastitis.

Body positioning

Lying directly on your front may feel extremely uncomfortable for some of you. For others, this position can be tolerated for a short period of time. When performing any exercise in this position, I suggest placing a rolled up towel above and/or below your breasts to reduce the amount of discomfort/pressure.

Range of movement

Again, for comfort, it’s advisable to keep the range of movement of some arm exercises smaller and controlled. Anything vigorous that involves you reaching your arms over your head repetitively will cause tenderness, so it’s important you keep the range of movement of your arms smaller. You know your body best, at the end of the day, so choose what feels comfortable for you.

Milk production

There is no significant research to suggest that moderate-intensity exercise inhibits milk production. Examples of moderate-intensity exercise include: weight training, low-impact aerobics, walking, swimming. A study by Carey & Quinn (2001) suggested that lactate levels of milk production changed only after a mother performed maximal intensity exercise, and this may affect baby’s acceptance of post-exercise breast milk. But, the authors agreed that it’s highly unlikely that a postnatal women would feel comfortable pushing themselves to this level, so its findings have been discounted. Moderate-intensity exercise however, with good hydration will not affect the quantity or the quality of breast milk.

5 Reasons For Doing Yoga During Pregnancy

5 Reasons For Doing Yoga During Pregnancy

This is the perfect time to practice Yoga during pregnancy as your body is changing and adjusting to being pregnant. Check out these reasons why.

1. Better Posture

A Pregnancy Yoga class will introduce poses to encourage good posture, balance and stability. The centre of balance and spinal curves change as your bump grows. To maintain a healthy posture an Ante Natal Teacher will suggest poses to strengthen the back muscles and the supporting muscles such as the buttocks and thighs.

2. Reduce Stress and Anxiety

A study shows that doing Yoga during pregnancy may reduce stress and anxiety. It said that those who did yoga felt less anxious about their pregnancy and birth. A weekly class reduces stress hormones in the body by 14%, even after the first yoga class, and can possibly prevent depressive moods, according to the research.

3. Strength for Labour and Birth

Strengthening exercises and poses in Yoga will support you during labour. This is a time where women need a lot of stamina and strength as well as being able to deeply relax between contractions. Yoga classes will teach poses suitable for this time as well as techniques such as relaxation, breathing and meditation.

4. Stay Fit, Strong and Flexible

Yoga is an excellent way to exercise during pregnancy. An Ante Natal Yoga class can still include sequences to build up stamina, muscle tone as well as stretching, whilst accommodating the pregnant body.

5. Easier Post Natal Recovery

If a woman is strong before pregnancy it is easier to maintain fitness levels whilst pregnant. If she is fit during pregnancy the postpartum recovery will be easier too. Pelvic floor exercises are practiced in Ante Natal Yoga. If you are connected with the pelvic floor muscles before giving birth it will be easier to strengthen them after. Strong flexible muscles heal quicker too. The breathing and relaxation techniques are useful afterwards as well. We need to relax in order to restore.

New Buggy Push Class – Starts 17th April 2015

I’m pleased to announce the new Buggy Push Class starts on Friday 17th April 2015.

Now the weather is starting to get warmer we can take it outside but do remember to bring a jacket to be on the safe side.

We will meet in the car park then off we go on to workout. Bring a drink and towel to sit on if we do any floor work.

No excuses not to exercise after you’ve had baby. Let’s do and be a yummy mummy.

Booking essential.

Fri Buggy Push 4Fri Buggy Push 1

 

 

New Venue Mummies & Babies Bootcamp/Buggy Push

Due to popular demand I’m starting another Mummies & Babies Bootcamp/Buggy Push class in either Ravenshead or Mapperley, just awaiting confirmation of venues. Looking to start in September. Date and time to be confirmed.

Take a look at this short video from one of the classes, skipping was on the list. Great weight loss and cardio workout.

Friday’s Buggy Push Skipping

Come and give it ago, no 2 weeks are the same. Fun and friendly classes.

 

‘Early Days’ Pelvic Floor/Core Work – Part 1

‘Early Days’ Pelvic Floor/Core Work – Part 1

This is going to be a 2 part newsletter, so you can fully understand the pelvic floor exercise and how to reconnect. I know a few of you struggled doing it during your pregnancy, so I thought I would break it down so could focus on one thing at a time. I know some don’t realise that the pelvic floor and core connect together. So the first exercise is focusing on the Pelvic Floor.

You can do these simple exercises even while lying down.

Exercise 1 – Reconnect to the Front and Rear Pelvic Floor Separately

After a vaginal birth and even after C-Section, your front Pelvic Floor muscles, those supporting the Vagina/Uterus and Urethra/Bladder are usually more traumatized than your rear Pelvic Floor muscles supporting your Anus/Rectum. It’s human nature to work to our strengths and this is usually highly evident when women come to train their pelvic floor muscles, usually the rear muscles are stronger and most women think they are successful at their exercise routine by being able to contract and lift their rear muscles, not noticing that they haven’t really connected and managed to contract and lift at the front. To make sure you don’t make this error…
The Front & Rear Pelvic Floor Muscles

Pelvic Floor Core Work Part 1
* Simply separate your re-connection work for your front and back muscles…try this
* Cueing for front muscles: Imagine you need to stop the flow of urine, create tension in these muscles and perform a ‘lift and squeeze’ up inside your vagina.
* Cueing for the rear muscles: Imagine you need to avoid passing gas in a crowed lift, create tension in anus and draw the muscles tight up into your back passage.
Practice connecting with your front and rear Pelvic Floor muscles separately in this way whenever you have a quiet moment (at least 3 times a day). You should not feel pain performing this exercise. If you do, please seek advice from your health care provider.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 

I thought I would touch on this slightly, due to a couple of ladies in class feeling this in there wrists. So it just gives you an outsight to what it’s all about. You can suffer with it during pregnancy and sometime well into post natal too but does easy.

 

Let’s get started..

 

Carpal Tunnel

 

Causes & Symptoms

 

  • The main nerve that serves your hand and fingers is called the Median Nerve. It passes through the Carpal Tunnel, a narrow space at the front of the wrist. The tendons that bend the fingers and wrist pass through the carpal tunnel so space is limited. Any swelling (in the case of pregnancy and post natal – caused by water retention) in the region will compress or irritate the Median Nerve and interfere with nerve impulses.
  • A loss of sensation or of pins and needles in the hands, wrists and or fingers (especially the thumb and first and second fingers) with sometimes accompanying numbness and weakness.
  • Occasionally the whole hand and forearm are affected and it can occur from conception, throughout pregnancy and sometimes well into the post birth period.

 

 

 

The Benefits of Yoga & Pilates during Pregnancy?

The benefits of Yoga & Pilates during Pregnancy?

I love both of these and the benefits of doing both during a class gives you that extra bonus of mixing poses together which are beneficial or works best for you. Stretching exercises promote circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body, relaxing both body and mind and promoting a sense of general well-being. So let’s start with

Yoga During Pregnancy

Yoga is great for working our muscles without putting too much strain on your joints. Most of the breathing techniques you’ll use in yoga are a good preparation for giving birth, as they will help you stay calm and breathe steadily through your contractions.

One of the most important benefits of yoga for a pregnant woman is the focus on breathing. Concentrating on breathing properly will teach you to relax your mind and body, even in frightening or high-stress situations, helping you to develop an healthier pregnancy.

You will gain so much more than flexibility, it will improve your posture by strengthening the core muscles and will help ease or relieve back pain, it will aid balance, stability, relaxation, meditation and self-awareness.

When pregnant women tend to shift their pelvis forward in response to the increased weight of baby, which places significant strain on the lower back. Pregnancy can shift the position of the digestive organs, impeding digestion and causing unwanted side effects. Yoga can help reverse this process and restore healthy digestion.

There are some positions which are not ok during pregnancy, so do ensure you choose a pregnancy yoga class with a fully qualified yoga pregnancy teacher.

Pilates during Pregnancy

Pilates can be very beneficial for pregnant women, helping you to maintain good posture, alleviate some of the aches and pains and become more aware of your changing body. It also helps you to follow a safe and effective exercise program throughout the whole of your pregnancy, which can be adapted to meet each stage of your pregnancy and energy levels day to day.

Pilates targets the very muscles which get weakened by pregnancy itself eg the pelvic floor and core. It also helps you breathe (great for labour), puts your body in an optimal postural position and relieves tension in your neck, shoulders, hips and lower back.

The benefits are similar to Yoga, tone your abdominals/core muscles, realign your posture, become more flexible, strengthen your pelvic floor, relieve tension in tight muscles, strengthen your back, works on your breathe and finally relaxation.

4 Tips to Shred the Baby Fat

 

4 Tips to Shred the Baby Fat

It takes a combination of healthy eating, exercise and behavioral change to lose weight effectively. Here are four foolproof strategies to shed the baby fat.


1. Siesta as often as you can

Research shows sleep loss negatively impacts the hormones that regulate how hungry you feel and how efficiently you burn calories. We know it’s hard to sneak in sleep when you’re a new mom, but if you nap when the baby does, you’ll be able to grab a few extra hours of rest.


2.
Eat on smaller plates

A 2006 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicinefound that people serve themselves more food when using larger spoons and plates, while downsizing the dish size had the opposite effect. For weight loss, portion control is a must. Using smaller plates is a simple tool for controlling how much you eat without having to measure anything.


3
. Fill up on veggies

Vegetables have fewer calories per serving than practically any other food. Plus, their high fiber content promotes a feeling of fullness, making it easier for you to limit your calorie intake.


4
. Make an exercise date

The best way to be sure to exercise is to make a date with another new mom. Go for a walk with your babies; meet at a yoga class; hike at a local park. Make a fitness appointment with a pal and you’re a lot less likely to make excuses.