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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

Cortisol, Stress & Fat Loss For the Post Natal Client

Cortisol, Stress & Fat Loss For the Post Natal Client

A few important factors to consider when seeking fat loss in the Post Natal period.

During Pregnancy and the early Post Natal period, Cortisol is NATURALLY ELEVATED! In the Post Natal period the thought is that the elevated Cortisol and other stress hormones have the effect of keeping the mother alert and aware of any possible dangers to the infant and may have a role in the attachment process.

The physical stress of labour and birthing, alongside the stresses of adjusting to early motherhood and poor sleeping patterns/lack of sleep means that Cortisol levels may remain high well into the Post Natal period making it difficult for mothers to lose weight post birth.

During pregnancy, the hormonal signals have been set to ensure fat is stored in preparation for feeding the baby.

Being an older mother is also a factor in holding fat as sadly, by the mid to late 30’s the body is preparing for menopause. And the ultimate paradox……..as women head towards menopause the body will automatically be reluctant to let go of fat around the middle as this is where Oestrogen is mainly manufactured. This happens because the body knows that Oestrogen will help protect our bones from Osteoporosis so the body tries to hold onto the fat to hold onto the Oestrogen to prevent Osteoporosis which it obviously deems to be a greater threat than having a fat belly!

The ULTIMATE blow comes in the fact that…….abdominal fat cells have four times as many receptors for Cortisol than anywhere else in your body so if you’re continually too stressed, your abdominal fat cells will be calling out for Cortisol and encouraging the body to store fat around the abdominals!

Adrenaline & Cortisol are the two main stress hormones produced by the Adrenal glands. Totally useful when we need to get out of danger, not so great when our modern life and stress levels keep us chronically in a state of over-production.

Both hormones circulating in the system increase appetite and then drive the stressed individual to consume – guess what? More carbohydrate and fat!

Fat is stored around the middle simply because there, it’s closer to the liver where it can be quickly accessed to be converted back into energy if needed.

Natural Cortisol levels that we need to wake us up and go about our business in the daytime can remain elevated by STRESS! They can also be elevated by a house too brightly lit in the evening time, and overstimulation via watching TV and working late.

Excessive production of Cortisol leads to adrenal fatigue which presents itself as chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, musculoskeletal aches and pains and headaches, the list goes on….

Obeying our natural rhythms of sleep and rest – our CIRCADIAN RHYTHM allows the adrenals to rest and Human Growth Hormone to be produced – vital for optimal fat metabolism.

Caffeine, sugar, tobacco and LOW BLOOD SUGAR create EMERGENCY situations within our systems and signal STRESS, they are ALL best avoided!

 

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.

6 Facts about C-Sections

6 Facts about C-Sections

This is something I can relate too. Having had an emergency c-section myself, I know it can be daunting and frightening when recovering, knowing what you can and can’t do straightaway, so you can make a speedy recover. It’s a major operation which you don’t really think about at the time. So I say relax and enjoy your time and don’t rush into anything to soon.

Sometimes, for many reasons, women have to deliver their baby via c-section. Some women elect to have a section, and others go through the stages of labour and then deliver their baby via section. Around 25% of all births in the UK were delivered by section (2008).

What is a c-section?

So, what is a c-section? Well, it’s an incision made horizontally, just above your pubic hair line. Contrary to belief, your abdominal muscles AREN’T actually cut with this incision, it’s the outer coating of the muscle, and the cling film type structure in between the 6-pack muscles that is. The incision is made on the outside of your body horizontally, and then your surgeon gently peels your Linea Alba apart (vertically) to gain access. The Linea Alba runs vertically down your stomach, and separates your six pack muscles in half, above and below your belly button. The outside incision is then sutured back together, but the inside cling film/Linea Alba is not.

Once a c-section always a c-section?

If you have your first baby by c-section, this does not necessarily mean that any future baby will have to be delivered in this way. Vaginal birth after a previous c-section can and does happen. This will depend on your own particular circumstances. Do discuss your hopes and plans for any other deliveries with your doctor or midwife.

I know I’m having a c-section, so I don’t need to do pelvic floor exercises, right?

If you elect to have a section, there’s a misconception that your pelvic floor will be fine. You might think that because your body won’t be going through the stages of labour, your pelvic floor won’t be affected. This is where you’re WRONG! Pregnancy itself puts tremendous pressure on your pelvic floor, as the weight of your developing baby gets bigger and bigger, and therefore weakens these muscles. So, it’s still very important that you strengthen your pelvic floor during and after pregnancy, even if you elected to have a section.

If you’ve gone through the stages of labour, and after several unsuccessful attempts of trying to deliver naturally, you then have a section, think about what muscles have been stressed throughout this ordeal? That’s right – the abdominals and the pelvic floor! You may have been at it for hours, pushing and pushing and putting a immense amount of pressure on these areas. Put simply, it’s your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles which helped you deliver your baby.

When can you return to exercise following a c-section?

You will need to have had your Doctor’s Check up before your return to exercise after a c-section, which, depending on your Doctor’s Practice/Surgery could be 8 to 10 weeks, so give them a call to see what their guidelines are. I believe postnatal women should return to exercise following a c-section, when they feel ready. It’s major surgery after all, and your body will need time to heal.

What is recovery like after a c-section?

After a c-section, your recover time is longer than a natural birth, you may have a loss of sensation, a numbness in your abdominals especially around the scar area, and the scar tissue itself may reduce your ability to do certain movements completely pain-free. Your pelvic floor may take a little while to activate consciously too, but keep sending the signal from your brain to these muscles, and eventually, it will switch back on, I promise.

What exercise is safe after a c-section?

Postnatal-specific Pilates, Yoga or core exercise is probably THE best form of exercise for any new mum to be doing, regardless of the type delivery. Pelvic floor work makes up the main focus of any postnatal recovery program if you’ve had your baby via section. If I personally trained a client who’d had a section for example, I would start by asking them what sensation they have in the abdominals, bearing in mind that they may have next to no sensation, and still feel very sore and numb. Next, I would then ask how different areas of their pelvic floor feel. After this, I would perform a “Rec Check” to see if a separation is still existent in their abdominals, and I’d set basic re-activation and re-education exercises to either the pelvic floor or abdominals to help the muscles return to their original strength and fire properly.

 Unfortunately, there is no quick-fix cure for strengthening the abdominals following a section. It can take months of training, careful instruction and lots of homework. If your abdominals aren’t assessed and addressed early following the correct procedures and using the correct techniques, then they may stay in a weakened state for the rest of your life, which can lead to poor posture, pelvic discomfort and lower back pain. The good news though, with the right assessment, instruction and homework, it is fixable.