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B-BB-BOUNCE: Running and Sports Bras why Invest???

B-BB-BOUNCE: Running and Sports Bras why Invest???

Time and time again we see woman hitting the pavement with bras that offer zero support. When they start moving they are lucky that they don’t lose an eye as there is so much action going on under the top....so why do they invest in other things and not in supporting the girls when they run or even walk 🤷‍♀️

Unlike other muscles in the body, once the supportive tissues in the breasts stretch, they cannot revert back to their original position. However avoiding irreversible sagging is easier than it sounds.

Norris and her colleagues have found that breasts move in a figure eight pattern. Not just up and down—that vertical movement is what most runners think of—but side to side and forward and backward as well. “[Breast is] just a mass of tissue, not a muscle,” Norris says. “It is not rigid structure. It can move in all three dimensions when we run.” And it does.

When you add all that movement in three planes together, Norris says, breasts—unsupported—move about 15 centimeters during running. (Different labs report different numbers, depending on the cup size of the cohort they’re testing.) About 50 percent of the movement is in the vertical, and then 25 percent is side to side movement, and the other 25 percent is anterior-posterior motion.

 

Portsmouth University’s Research Group in Breast Health (RGBH) calculated that the breasts can move 15cm during a run.

“According to the NHS website, research suggests 70% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. What’s more, as the breasts are composed of fat and fibrous tissues, as you eat better and exercise more, your breasts may decrease in size, meaning your sports bra might not be supporting them as well as it once did. Your sports bra also loses it's support overtime, with experts recommending you change it after 30-40 washes.....

Comfort and support are foremost but also Is Breathability.

To keep you cool when you start sweating, most sports bras are made from blends of moisture-wicking fabrics. Materials like nylon, spandex, and polyester fare better than standard cotton, which gets heavy and takes a while to dry. Plus, many brands have even implemented ionized and UPF fabrics for odor control and UV-ray sun protection. Outside of fabrics, keep an eye out for bras with mesh panels or keyhole cutouts. These features do a great job at ventilating sweat to keep you cool and comfortable. At MUMMACTIV we get specific fabric that is moisture wicking, breathable, quick dry, 4 way stretch and is a nylon/spandex combo making them a great choice. 

Did you also know that in a 2014 study showed running beats walking for breast cancer survival rates....(An interesting finding) Vigorous exercise was better than moderate exercise for the women in the study. Breastfeeding also reduces her risk of breast cancer by 4.3% for every 12 months a woman breastfed.The study compared mothers who breastfed to those who didn't. (Study conducted by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer)

All the more reason to hit the road—with a good bra, of course.

 

Prolapse and Exercise - so what is to know?

Prolapse and Exercise - so what is to know?

What is Vaginal Prolapse?

Usually our pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and bowel) are supported by a hammock of connective tissue and muscles. If this support system isn’t working as it should, it can lead to one or more of these organs descending into the vagina, which is called a ‘vaginal prolapse’. 

A prolapse can be categorized into different types – a front (or anterior) wall prolapse, which is the bladder or urethra coming down, a back (or posterior) wall prolapse, which is the rectum or small bowel coming down, or a uterine prolapse, which is the womb dropping down. It is still possible for the top of the vagina to drop down if someone has had a hysterectomy. 

It often seems to be assumed that it’s the uterus that most commonly drops down, but actually the front wall of the vagina is the most common type of prolapse to occur. 

Prolapses can also be divided into ‘stages’, depending on how far down the lowest part descends when you do a maximal downward strain:

  • A stage 1 prolapse means that the lowest part of the wall/organ is still more than 1cm inside the vagina 
  • A stage 2 prolapse means that the lowest part of the wall/organ is between 1cm inside and 1cm outside the vaginal opening. This stage of prolapse, when the organ descends to the opening, is often when women become aware of their prolapse for the first time. 
  • A stage 3 prolapse means that the lowest part of the wall/organ is more than 1cm outside the vaginal opening
  • A stage 4 prolapse means that essentially the whole organ has come outside the body – this is relatively rare. 

 

How do I know if I have a Vaginal Prolapse?

The symptoms of a vaginal prolapse are different in everyone, and it’s important to note that sometimes people with mild to moderate prolapses don’t have any symptoms. 

The most common symptoms are:

  • A bulging sensation (or being able to see a bulge) or a feeling of ‘something being there’ in the vagina
  • A feeling of not being able to completely empty the bladder or the bowel (usually because the prolapse is causing a sort of ‘pocketing’ making it difficult to evacuate).
  • Lower back or lower abdominal ‘dragging’ pain

Sometimes women can complain of a ‘heaviness’ or ‘pressure’, but this needs to be confirmed on diagnosis as this can also be a symptom of over-worked, tired pelvic floor muscles. 

Sometimes prolapse can be associated with discomfort with sex, and sometimes with bladder or bowel leakage, but again – this isn’t always the case and should be confirmed on a physical examination, because there are many people who have these symptoms without having a prolapse. 

The health professionals who work specifically in the area of Women’s Health are best placed to make this diagnosis – gynaecologists, Women’s Health & Continence Physiotherapists, or Continence Nurses. However, your GP is a good place to start and many GP’s will have a vast degree of experience in diagnosing and staging prolapses, and can then refer on to one of the aforementioned professionals for further management. 

 

How common is a Vaginal Prolapse?

Unfortunately, it’s very common for women to experience vaginal prolapse, mainly due to our anatomy. We are animals that stand upright, and have a large proportion of our body weight going through our pelvis, but we also need a wide pelvic opening to be able to birth very large offspring through!

That mix of a large pelvic opening with a heavy load on top of it is unfortunately not ideal for supporting pelvic organs.

Studies have shown that up to 50% of women who have given birth will have some degree of prolapse, with other research showing that 1 in 3 women will have a prolapse that extends at or beyond the vaginal entrance (ie a stage 2 or more prolapse). 

Unfortunately, there is a high proportion of women who will require surgery for either prolapse or stress urinary incontinence. Statistics show that 1 in 9 women will undergo one of these surgeries, which are not without risks and have relatively high recurrence rates. 

 

What factors increase your risk of Vaginal Prolapse?

The main risk factor for prolapse is having had one or more vaginal births, with specific risk factors including:

  • Forceps deliveries
  • Giving birth to a baby over 4kg (9 pounds)

Prolapse is not limited to only those who have delivered babies vaginally, however, with other risk factors including:

  • Pregnancy
  • Family history of prolapse
  • Increasing age
  • Increasing BMI
  • Constipation
  • Chronic Cough
  • Heavy lifting

The main reason that pregnancy and vaginal childbirth are risk factors is because of their effect on what is called the ‘levator hiatus’. This is the name for the space in the pelvis between the two sides of the pelvic floor, and is essentially ‘the gap into which things can fall’. 

Studies on women who have recently given birth show that this ‘gap’ in usually increased from normal for up to 4-12 months after having a baby. This is one of the main things that Women’s Health Physiotherapists will assess for when doing a vaginal examination at a postnatal assessment, because it helps to determine your individual risk for prolapse occurring or worsening with return to higher load or impact activities. 

This ‘gap’ would be increased more significantly, and more permanently, if the woman experienced a birth injury called a ‘levator avulsion’. This means one or both sides of the pelvic floor muscle having a partial or full tear away from the pelvis bone. This can also be assessed for with a vaginal examination. 

 

How is Vaginal Prolapse managed without surgery?

Pelvic Floor Muscle training, under the guidance of a physiotherapist with post graduate qualifications, is recommended as the first line of treatment for vaginal prolapse. 

We probably assume that this training is all about improving the strength of the pelvic floor muscles (measured out of 5), but studies have shown only a minimal link between a woman’s maximal squeeze pressure improving and prolapse improving. 

This makes sense, because a vaginal prolapse needs to be supported all throughout the day while you’re in an upright position, but we probably only maximally squeeze our pelvic floor muscles for 1% of the day – at times like in response to a big sneeze or lifting something that’s heavy. 

Instead, it is more likely that pelvic floor muscle training helps to decrease prolapse signs and symptoms because it improves the ‘stiffness’ and support of the area, and it decreases the ‘gap into which things can fall’ (the levator hiatus) both at rest and under load. 

Other management strategies would include:

  • Teaching women how to empty their bladder and bowels effectively and without straining
  • Determining if symptoms can be improved by incorporating rest periods in ‘anti-gravity’ positions throughout the day
  • Weight loss 
  • Exercise modification
  • Use of support pessaries

 

What is a Vaginal Support Pessary?

Vaginal pessaries are devices worn inside the vagina that help to give support to the vaginal walls. If fit properly, they should give symptom relief, be comfortable and should stop a prolapse from descending. 

They can be a huge help for women with prolapse who wish to remain active or become more active. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training, while essential in the overall management of prolapse, can take a long time for symptoms to improve. Pessaries could be used in a ‘stop gap’ role to prevent further descent, and possibly give feedback on what types of things cause descent to occur, while concurrently working on pelvic floor training.

 

 

What exercise should I avoid if I have a Vaginal Prolapse?

Now this is an interesting one… and if you’re after a list of Do’s and Do Not’s, I’m sorry… it’s not coming from me!

Let’s start with what the recommendations are for exercise for general health. The Australian Government’s “Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults” states that we should participate in:

Cardio exercise:

  • >150 minutes of moderate intensity activity/week
  • OR 75 minutes of vigorous activity/week (or a mixture)

Resistance exercise:

  • >2 days/week 
  • >1 set of 8-12 reps per area
  • Maximum health benefits are gained when you would struggle to do another set

And recommendations for Bone Density and prevention/management of Osteoporosis:

  • Regularly doing a combination of resistance training and moderate to high impact weight-bearing activities

But historically (and I’m not talking that far in the past either) the recommendations for anyone diagnosed with, or at risk of, vaginal prolapse were:

  • Minimise weights
  • Keep all exercise low impact

But although well-intentioned, how evidence-based was this blanket recommendation?  And by giving this advice, are we compromising overall health (in particular our heart and bones) for the health of the vagina? 

Recent studies have looked a lot more into the pressures created in the abdomen, and more specifically in the vagina, during different types of exercise and although we can extrapolate some general information, the main message that comes out is “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it”. 

If you give the same exercise to a variety of different women, then their individual anatomy, injuries, technique etc will mean that the way they perform that exercise results in a wide variety of different effects to their pelvic floor muscles and vaginal walls. 

It’s highly recommended that in order to tell a woman what exercise they should and shouldn’t do, we should understand:

  1. Their individual risk profile for prolapse occurring or worsening
  2. Whether a certain exercise is likely to be on the higher or lower end of the ‘risk’ spectrum

 

How do I know which risk category I fall into for Vaginal Prolapse?

A Pelvic Health Physiotherapist is a physio who has done a huge amount of extra training in Women’s Health and Pelvic Floor Health. They can do vaginal examinations to check a number of things such as:

  • The Pelvic Floor Muscle function
  • The structural support of the vaginal walls both at rest and on straining (and very important to assess this in standing too!)

There’s a specific test that we can do called ‘GH+PB’, which measures the amount of movement of the tissues at the opening of the vagina when you strain. This measurement, taken externally, has been proven to be a good indicator of what’s happening internally to the size of the space into which our organs could potentially descend. The larger the GH+PB measurement is (in cm) the higher the risk is that a prolapse could occur or worsen when the area is put under strain. 

Some important points to note:

  • It’s important to check if you currently have a prolapse (it’s not always symptomatic) but it’s just as important to pick up those who don’t currently have a prolapse but are at high risk of it developing
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises are important but there’s a lot more to it than just getting the best maximal squeeze possible, especially for endurance activities like running and playing a game of sport (because when you think about it… how much help is a grade 5/5 squeeze going to be during a run if you’re not squeezing maximally while you’re running?)

 

Which exercises are likely to be higher risk?

There are lots of unknowns here, and we don’t know what the ‘safe’ level of intra-abdominal pressure is for preventing prolapse. We also don’t know, without individual assessment, how different women respond to the same exercise. 

But we can understand generally which exercises tend to come out as creating higher intra-abdominal pressure and perhaps these can be the ones that are more closely tested and monitored. 

Things we can assume about strength and resistance exercise:

 

  • Standing exercises have higher pressure than sitting, and both of these have higher pressures than lying down. On this note – abdominal crunches and lying down abdominal exercises usually come out as one of the ‘lowest risk’ exercises in the studies that have been done, although traditionally these have been amongst those that were the most highly cautioned against. 
  • Increasing weights and resistance increases intra-abdominal or intra-vaginal pressure

Things we can assume about aerobic exercise (note that this is probably the hardest type of exercise to investigate, but there is some exciting current research happening in this area):

 

  • Running, jogging, skipping etc are likely to be high risk due to the fact that they have an endurance nature to them, they’re always done in upright positions, and there are ground reaction forces involved.

Things we can assume about Crossfit-style exercise:

 

  • In low risk women (those who are young and have never had children), there is unlikely to be a negative impact on prolapse between those who choose to do Crossfit compared to those who choose to do ‘gentle’ exercise (but there are likely to be many benefits in other areas of health)
  • There is limited/no research on prolapse risk in women who are considered ‘high risk’

Things we can assume about pilates exercise:

 

  • Most pilates mat and reformer exercises are considered low risk and are unlikely to increase intra-abdominal or intra-vaginal pressures significantly (many are performed in lying down and with relatively low resistance)
  • There are lots of benefits to pilates but in isolation it doesn’t meet the guidelines mentioned previously about Disease Control and Prevention and needs to be considered in conjunction with other forms of exercise. 

 

How can a Women’s Health Physio give you individualized information about the type of exercise you should consider?

A Women’s Health Physio should be able to put all of this together and come up with a plan that suits you regarding an exercise regime. 

They might assess you and find that you’re very low risk for prolapse occurrence or worsening, and then you can work out together whether any monitoring needs to occur as you increase your load and intensity in your workouts. 

They might assess you and find that you’re currently in a high risk category and they can help you to work on a pelvic floor program (and possibly a pessary fitting) to allow you to gradually return to the exercise you love with close monitoring. 

They might assess you and find that you fit somewhere in the middle. Perhaps there are certain things that either make your prolapse symptomatic, or that cause vaginal wall descent without you realizing. Rather than advising you to stop exercising completely, they should be able to help you to come up with regressions or variations of these movements, and perhaps supplement them with other forms of exercise that you enjoy to allow you to still meet the health guidelines. 

 

Some final points to remember about Prolapse and Exercise…

  • Exercise is vital to overall health, and women unfortunately often decrease exercise due to fear of worsening a prolapse. 
  • Remember that a large number of exercises that were previously suggested to be ‘not pelvic floor safe’ don’t actually have much evidence to back that up (and might be really good for overall health)
  • Individual assessment and reassessment is key – and remember that you can’t assess prolapse or risk of prolapse with only an external examination. So if you’ve only had a real time ultrasound screening assessment on your abdomen, this isn’t able to be used to determine your risk profile. 

If you’d like to see a specialist physiotherapist in Western Australia, there’s online Directory for both private and public referrals:

Also, if you live in Perth or Mandurah, we have compiled a list of post-graduate trained physiotherapists who are particularly good with pregnancy, postpartum and exercise – see the FitRight website!

And remember – the whole aim of FitRight is to keep you moving, even if you do have a vaginal prolapse. Chances are that multiple women if every one of our classes are managing a prolapse and the instructors will be aware of this and know how to modify the classes to suit individual needs. 

Whether you’re pregnant, early postnatal, a Mum of young children or heading into peri-menopause, we have classes to suit you!

 

Article was written by Taryn Watson owner of FIT Right. She holds a 

For 1 in 8 it is not so easy to fall pregnant they instead have to endure rounds of hormone stimulation, injections and so much more.

For 1 in 8 it is not so easy to fall pregnant they instead have to endure rounds of hormone stimulation, injections and so much more.

Cassie Silver is one of those 1 in 8 who is struggling to conceive naturally. While some go down the negative spiral of ‘Why me’ and blaming lots on the universe she has chosen to put a positive spin on her experience and share hers plus many others journeys through her podcast: ‘What To Expect When You’re Injecting‘.


I haven’t
created a human yet, but the journey has made me a better one.
 

“I’m grateful this is happening to me”, are words I never thought I would say when it comes to reflecting on my journey so far in trying to conceive. Why would anyone want to go through the pain, grief and uncertainty that comes with IVF? Is it the need for attention as the woman putting her body and soul through so much? Or the quest for validation that I am working harder that other to become a mother? The truth is, I wouldn’t change the cards I have been dealt because it’s the journey so far has completely changed my outlook on life. I had the fairy-tale picture in my mind when I married my best friend years ago and came off the pill. I started talking about baby names, character traits and even forecasted what horoscope they would be and aligned the moon and starts perfectly. Just like my type A personality, I had planned to fall pregnant after my 30th birthday, soon after our wedding. Fast forward a few years and we’ve had multiple IVF and FET cycles without any success. So- in a nutshell. While we haven’t made a human yet, it’s made me a better one.

 

Living with PCOS, a high follicle count, the inability to ovulate, blocked tubes and my husband’s poor sperm motility means IVF is our best chance to have a family. I have been no stranger to the world of swaps, smears and stirrups; suffering from abnormal cells and having many laparoscopy procedures since I was 18 years old. But, unlike any challenge or milestone I have faced in life, making a family is the only hurdle I have no control over and feel I am failing at. I have spent more than a decade working in the Australian mediaindustry as a television journalist, producer, presenter and now the owner of a successful production business.  I am no stranger to the spotlight as a media identity in Perth and I’ve always made I my mission to life an authentic life. I have interviewed incredible individuals and travelled the world as a journalist, sharing their stories of success and struggle. While I have always been transparent, I never thought I would be sharing my own. If someone tells me I can’t do something, I fight for it even harder; I am a high achiever, I mean we collected 29 eggs at our last collection!

 

What started as a bruised ego is now a bruised belly, but Iwouldn’t change the cards I have been dealt. This journey has already made me a better friend, daughter, sister, colleague and wife. Ultimately, this is going to make me a better mother. A mother with a deep understanding of the value of empathy and the awareness of other people’s shit instead of suffocating in my own. I have cried through the park on my runs and walks as I fly by prams and mother’s groups feeling alone and lost. But it’s been the ability to change my internal language patterns and recognise self-sabotaging behaviour that’s made all the difference. Instead of wanting to run headfirst into prams and yell “F U”, I look at them and smile and say “that will be me very soon”. Yes, many strangers think I am a little creepy, but I am the only one who can control my emotions attached to infertility. I used to wish there was a different button to click other than “like” as people posted their baby announcements on social media. Maybe a “just a thumbs up” emoji will suffice my level of happiness for this Facebook acquaintance. Once again, there exciting news shouldn’t create a reaction of jealousy or anger, it should fuel hopefulness. I have run out of responses to comments like “everything happens for a reason” or “maybe a holiday will do you both some good.” For anyone who hasn’t experienced infertility, sometimes silence is the best support. One thing Ive learnt, is I may feel lonely- but I am not alone. Whether it’s an early miscarriage, unsuccessful implantation or the embryo didn’t survive thawing, I have experienced the loss and grief which comes from all of them and I’ve learnt not to measure it.

 

I have more patience for people in general and take time to listen to their problems instead of finding solutions. Someone wise once told me, “when you’re heard, you start to heal” and I truly believe in the magic behind the phrase. My marriage is stronger than it was when we decided to come off the pill and give natural conception a good crack. We both understand eachothers love language and appreciate what we have more than what we don’t. We have had the Carrie and Big from Sex & The City chat about, “will it just be us two?” and are we ok with that? I now have more honest and open conversations with my family instead of being a hero and projecting a persona of success. Going through IVF and running my own business has taught me the value of balance and priorities, I learnt how to say NO. My friendships have a focus on quality not quantity, a bit like my outlook now at egg collection. I have removed people from my life I probably wouldn’t have had the guts to do a few years ago and created new connections instead. Not only has my rollercoaster ride through infertility been a chance to overcome a horrific fear of needles, but it’s also allowed me to evaluate how I see my own self-worth and esteem as a woman. I have gratitude’s written on my bathroom wall which remind me every day that my body is doing incredible things, the process is incredible, I am worthy, and my journey is remarkable. There is nothing wrong with being your own cheerleader and it gives you a new meaning behind the word empathy too. It’s redefined my definition of failure and allowed me to use my media skills in a completely new light as the host of new podcast “What ToExpect When You’re Injecting”. I wanted to marry my skills and struggle together by producing an authentic and uncensored podcast, “What To Expect When You’re Injecting”, a candid and personal discussion on IVF and infertility. This project is allowing me to turn pain into purpose and fill my life with contribution and connection. So, for those on the journey, try to find the silver lining in it; somewhere, somehow. IVF has made me a better person, and while many would never wish is upon anyone, this is the only time I can truly believe in the saying “everything happens for a reason”, regardless of loss, heartache and pain. While some may say I’ll be able to translate the gratitude I have right now into motherhood; the truth is, I may never be a mother, so for now my greatest achievement is to be a good human regardless of if I make my own or not.


Check out @injecting_to_be_expecting

Written by @cassiesilver
What To Expect When You’re Injecting is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

 

 

An exercise in Fertility: the ability to fall Pregnant

An exercise in Fertility: the ability to fall Pregnant

For some this is true: Don't drink the water you'll get pregnant! For a growing number the ability to fall pregnant is a long and ardious process with many roller coaster rides of emotions and pregnancy test kits. The angst felt by woman who see their friends/relatives/work mates fall pregnant within a drop of a hat is indescribable. They keep saying to themselves: 'When will it be my turn?'

Just because you haven't conceived doesn't mean you cant or wont be able to fall pregnant naturally- sure there are some medical reasons that might inhibit it but one thing is for certain you need to put your body in the best healthy state possible.

Did you know: 

~Around four per cent of all children born in Australia are the result of IVF -- that's the equivalent one child in every average sized classroom.

~The success rates of IVF significantly drops from 35 per cent in patients under 30 years old to just eight per cent for women over 40 years of age.

~A quarter of Australian women undergoing IVF are over the age of 40.

This leaves many to ask how can I place my body in the best possible space to fall pregnant?

We have compiled some tips, foods and ideas to help you on your way:


  1. Healthy weight

Being overweight or underweight can affect your chances of conceiving. Too much or too little body fat can make you have irregular periods or stop them completely, which can affect your ability to conceive.

+Your weight is healthy if your body mass index is between 20 and 25.

+Women whose BMI is more than 30 or under 19 may have problems conceiving.

+If your partner's BMI is more than 30, his fertility is likely to be lower than normal.

     2. Exercise

Studies of the effects of exercise on fertility have found that vigorous exercise reduces the risk of ovulation problems and that moderate exercise decreases the risk of miscarriage and increases the chance of having a baby among women who undergo ART(Assisted Reproductive Technology.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex condition which is associated with infertility. Women with PCOS often have irregular or no periods because they rarely ovulate. For overweight and obese women with PCOS regular exercise can increase the frequency of ovulation which leads to more regular menstrual cycles. As ovulation becomes more frequent, the chance of conceiving increases. While studies show that exercise boosts female fertility it is important to note that a large amount of very high intensity exercise may actually reduce fertility and the chance of having a baby with ART. So, it’s a good idea to avoid very high intensity exercise while trying for a baby.

     3. Smoking and Drugs

There is also a link between smoking and poorer quality sperm, although the effect on male fertility isn't certain. But stopping smoking will improve your partner's general health.

There's no clear evidence of a link between caffeine, which is found in drinks such as coffee, tea and cola, and fertility problems. Though it is recommended to keep the caffeine at a lower level. There is also some prescription drugs and illicit substances that will interfere with the ability to fall pregnant.

     4. Food

+Following a low-carb diet may improve hormone levels associated with fertility, especially among women with PCOS.

+To boost fertility levels, avoid foods high in trans fats. Eat foods rich in healthy fats instead, such as extra virgin olive oil.

+Some studies suggest that eating more calories at breakfast and less at your evening meal can improve fertility.

+Taking an antioxidant supplement or eating antioxidant-rich foods can improve fertility rates, especially among men with infertility.

+Eating a diet high in refined carbs can raise insulin levels, which may increase the risk of infertility and make it harder to get pregnant.

+Eating more protein from vegetable sources, instead of animal sources, may improve fertility levels in women.

+Replacing low-fat dairy products with high-fat versions may help improve fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

+Consuming iron supplements and non-heme iron from plant-based food sources may decrease the risk of ovulatory infertility.

    5. Relax

The last piece of the puzzle that we are sharing is the impact that the stress or worry will have on conception. We know of several examples of woman who were so stressed/anxious/uptight about the whole process and when they gave up and stopped trying so hard- guess what they FELL PREGNANT!

As your stress levels increase, your chances of getting pregnant decrease. This is likely due to the hormonal changes that occur when you feel stressed. Having a stressful job and working long hours can also increase the time it takes you to become pregnant.

In fact, stress, anxiety and depression affect around 30% of women who attend fertility clinics.

Receiving support and counselling may reduce anxiety and depression levels, therefore increasing your chances of becoming pregnant.

Our next article on fertility is going to be on the small percent of woman who conceive fine in the first pregnancy and then struggle with their second (second infertility). This actually accounts for a whopping 50% of infertility cases.

The above information has been collated from a range of sources and research papers.

Have you read the NEWS?? Exercise in pregnancy and breastmilk reduce the risks

Have you read the NEWS?? Exercise in pregnancy and breastmilk reduce the risks

A new study finds even moderate exercise during pregnancy increases a compound in breast milk that reduces a baby's lifelong risks of serious health issues such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

 

A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine finds even moderate exercise during pregnancy increases a compound in breast milk that reduces a baby's lifelong risks of serious health issues such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

They already know that exercising during pregnancy is beneficial to the unborn baby but they wanted to also understand the WHY. When they did their original study they found that the health benefits from fit mums transferred to the pups, proving that they were, in fact, passed through breast milk and not simply inherited genetic traits.

Researchers followed about 150 pregnant and postpartum women using activity trackers and found that those who had more steps per day had an increased amount of a compound known as 3SL in their breast milk, which they believe is responsible for these health benefits.

They are now trying to see if they can extract this 3SL so that maybe they can add it to baby formula to help Mums who were maybe on bed rest or can’t breastfeed.

Dorothy M. Davis states: “Exercise is also great for your overall health during and after pregnancy, so anything you can do to get moving is going to benefit both you and your baby."

So there you have it even more reason to get out and get moving with your bump on board!

 

Information from the study was published in ScienceDaily.com

Exercise and the clinging baby stage...

Exercise and the clinging baby stage...

Many of us have experienced days, weeks and months whereby the baby, toddler does not want to be put down. This may be the result of new teeth coming in, separation, a leap, fussiness from tummy upset/gas/reflux/colic etc. Many then chuck the baby on the hip and try to carry on with the normal household duties etc because we all know that the jobs just dont get done by themselves!

This way of carrying puts pressure on one side and eventually tilts/unbalances the pelvis region like below:

One of the ways that can help this issue is baby wearing. Purchasing a good quality carrier and getting it fitted for to you. Carrying a baby in a sling or snuggled in a wrap has more benefits than simply being a hands-free carrier – it can aid colic relief, bonding, physical development and more.

When selecting a carrier it is important to remember the following:

  • Head and neck support for babies and sleeping infants/children
  • Wide base of support that supports the thighs and flexes the knees
  • Postural curves support
  • Wide or cushioned adjustable shoulder straps
  • Ability to distribute the baby’s weight evenly across the parents body
  • Ease of loading/unloading, so that the parent can keep their spine in a neutral position

When it comes to exercise you can still get it done and we have found an uplifting fun and motivating class that is for you. It is called Kangatraining.

Kangatraining is a babywearing fitness class for mum and babies. One of the biggest positives of Kangatraining, is that not only do you bring your baby to class, they are an active and important part of the workout! 

PreKanga is the best activity program during pregnancy. KangaOnWheel, KangaTrail, NordicKanga, ReactivKanga and KangaMix are our outdoor classes. KangaBurn is the most efficient workout without your baby. Each of our workout concepts is based on sports science and created with experts such as gynecologists, sport scientists and physiotherapist. The best bit is you can take part with a small bub or even with a toddler. 

Kanga-Classes are being offered in over 25 countries. Here in Australia they have over 100 Kangatrainers running sessions across Australia in both regional and metropolitan areas. Their programs include-: PreKanga (the prenatal program)KangaTrail, KangaOnWheel and KangaMix.

You can get more info HERE

 

 

 

Help...Antenatal classes online

Help...Antenatal classes online

Many pregnant Mums are facing the news that their antenatal classes have been cancelled at their delivery hospital. If you are a first time Mum or a Mum with a large gap in between these classes offer a great base. They give pregnant Mums an information bank on what to expect in delivery, options for birth, bathing, sleeping, changing nappies and a whole heap of practical tips and tricks when navigating the birth, delivery and early few days.

Many hospitals and birthing rooms have had to cancel these for the near future due to CON-VID19. Not having this access can increase the anxiety, fear etc for the expecting Mum.

 

We have done a bit of a run around and here are some paid/unpaid courses that we have found:

 Nourish www.nourishbaby.com.au $100 for Guide to healthy pregnancy, Guide to positive labour and feeding success. There are other options.
Hypnobirthing Australia www.hypnobirthingaustralia.com.au $499 for 3 hour private session. $199 online course
Baby Centre www.babycentre.com/childbirth-class FREE and has 7 chapter modules
About Birth www.aboutbirth.com.au $85 6 months unlimited access. 55 individual videos, 14 resource downloads.
Mama Lee Midwife www.mamaleemidwife.com.au $129 for 6 week membership- 4 classes on labour, packing a bag etc
Birth Beat www.birthbeat.com $397 for 12 months access to 9 modules

 

What’s the pain down there 👇?

What’s the pain down there 👇?

1 in 5 pregnant woman develop some degree of pelvic girdle pain. It doesn’t have an impact on the unborn baby but Mum to be struggles with pain and movement.

PGP in pregnancy is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms caused by a misalignment or stiffness of your pelvic joints at either the back or front of your pelvis. PGP is not harmful to your baby, but it can cause severe pain around your pelvic area and make it difficult for you to get around. Different women have different symptoms, and in some women PGP is worse than in others. Symptoms can include:

  • pain over the pubic bone at the front in the centre
  • pain across one or both sides of your lower back
  • pain in the area between your vagina and anus (perineum)

Who is more at risk of developing this painful condition in pregnancy?

Factors that may make a woman more likely to develop PGP include:

  • a history of lower back or pelvic girdle pain
  • previous injury to the pelvis, for example from a fall or accident
  • having PGP in a previous pregnancy
  • a physically demanding job
  • increased body mass index
  • emotional distress and smoking

So what can be done?? Treatments for pelvic pain in pregnancy...

The earlier invention happens the better it is.

  • Be as active as possible within your pain limits, and avoid activities that make the pain worse.
  • Rest when you can.
  • Get help with household chores from your partner, family and friends.
  • Wear flat, supportive shoes.
  • Sit down to get dressed — for example don’t stand on one leg when putting on jeans.
  • Keep your knees together when getting in and out of the car — a plastic bag on the seat can help you swivel.
  • Sleep in a comfortable position, for example on your side with a pillow between your legs.
  • Try different ways of turning over in bed, for example turning over with your knees together and squeezing your buttocks.
  • Take the stairs one at a time, or go upstairs backwards or on your bottom.
  • If you’re using crutches, have a small backpack to carry things in.
  • Use an ice pack (gel pack, frozen peas, wrapped in a pillow slip) over the pelvic joints (front and back ‘dimples’) to reduce pelvic joint pain and inflammation. Use for 10 to 15 minutes only, several times a day.
  • If you want to have sex, consider different positions such as kneeling on all fours.

You should also avoid:

  • standing on one leg
  • bending and twisting to lift, or carrying a baby on one hip
  • crossing your legs
  • sitting on the floor, or sitting twisted
  • sitting or standing for long periods
  • lifting heavy weights, such as shopping bags, wet washing or a toddler
  • vacuuming
  • pushing heavy objects, such as a supermarket trolley
  • carrying anything in only one hand (try using a small backpack)

Physiotherapy aims to relieve or ease pain, improve muscle function and improve your pelvic joint position and stability, and may include:

  • manual therapy to make sure the joints of your pelvis, hip and spine move normally
  • exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, stomach, back and hip muscles
  • exercises in water
  • advice and suggestions including positions for labour and birth, looking after your baby, and positions for sex
  • Pain relief, such as TENS
  • equipment if necessary, such as crutches or pelvic band.

 

 

 

 

 

 

info captured from www.pregnancybirthbaby

Why This Mum Is Not Rushing Back Into Fitness After Pregnancy....

Why This Mum Is Not Rushing Back Into Fitness After Pregnancy....

Nadine is a Brisbane Mum of two, a personal trainer, Emergency Military Nurse, blogger and a health and fitness enthusiast. Nadine has lived and breathed fitness for many years and was motivating the troops at F45 until she went on maternity leave.

 

During both pregnancies Nadine suffered from severe HG (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) or extreme morning sickness where she had to be hospitalised a number of times due to dehydration/monitoring. For those of you who know Nadine would appreciate that she gives everything 110% and will train anywhere/anytime. Due to unforeseen circumstances Nadine went into labour 6 weeks early and underwent an emergency caesarian. She then spent the next few weeks going back and forth to the special care nursery-pumping around the clock to nourish her little one.

 

For Nadine, exercise is like brushing her teeth, it is part of her day so when she made the conscious decision to NOT return to exercise postpartum it was a big thing. Listening to her inner dialogue and body is an important message for all Mums. Some tend to rush back into a regime which they may not be ready for mentally or physically- the fourth trimester is just as important as the first three…

 

“As you guys know I made the very conscious decision to NOT return to ‘Training’ at 6 weeks when I was cleared to begin ‘light’ exercise. Hear me out tho!! It’s interesting seeing me talk about my birth because birth trauma is REAL and what we experienced to bring Beckham here safely was incredibly scary for all involved but that is a story for another day perhaps, this is something I deal with everyday…. Anyhow this isn’t just about my birth experience….because….I hadn’t felt ready and I had to listen to that internal dialogue. I knew my recovery was going to be longer in duration due to what occurred physically and mentally for me and I know that i have had to be very meticulous, careful and very structured and progressive with my recovery. Slow and steady is absolutely what is needed for me and my body. Physically and mentally my mind and body have been through the wars. And my body has needed REST and a chance to do some internal repair on its own.-mind, body and soul without the additional stressors….Irrespective of my birth experience, I also DECIDED that the 4th trimester was something again that I wanted to immerse into, to truly soak in the time with my newborn and my family…time I’ll never get back, time to bond, time to find our groove. And without the added pressure or ‘postpartum bounce back’ that seems to be on the trend which I refuse to enter into….

 

Project ‘get my body back’, and some rapid postpartum mum bod has been so far out of my priorities it is not funny. That may seem interesting for someone whose life is revolved so heavily around health and fitness…(if your new to my page you may not know that I have a background in personal training, group coaching, have my online coaching and mentoring business, published fitness modelling and heavily involved in this industry) BUT  and that’s not to say others that return sooner are doing the wrong thing, I would hope we are all guided by the professional advice and pave our own path unique to our journey, but what I am saying is this is MY journey and my decision making and  SLOW RETURN is and has been my PRIORITY.

 

But THIS to me is HEALTH! Its looking after ME in all life pillars- the physical sense, the emotional sense etc etc. I have had times where I’ve wanted to get back into it. Let’s not lie. BUT it was in those moments I reminded myself of THIS. Newborn life is fleeting and Ive focused my time and energy into my baby, my family and my WELLBEING OVERALL and gentle walks with Beckham a couple of days a week and that is it, focusing on nutrition especially when a prep baby is exclusively breastfed and that is my HEALTH, my body right now is still an extension to someone else aka BABY BECKS and will be for a while. These decisions have been easy to make-especially when it involves a MIRACLE baby that was born prematurely after a traumatic birth and him being in hospital in special care for the first few weeks of his life and heck a whirlwind pregnancy with trials along the way from the get-go, trust me when I say that we were a bees dick away from our birth being the catastrophic WORST day of our lives with the outcome being potentially VERY different…now as a result; my core and abdominals have needed and will be needing progressive rehab work just like anyone would need to; but perhaps on a grander scale due to what occurred that day. Which i too have been and will continue to be working on. My c-section fortunately and unfortunately had to be rapid, had to be severe, had to be rough and was complicated to say the VERY least. What happened had to happen in order to BRING our baby out alive.

 

Someone doesn’t recover from birth trauma overnight. Im a resiliant  person but Im not immune from that- it rocked me and Dane too- because our birthing partners experience it too lets not forget them. And it still does. It takes time. And I work on that in various ways everyday. We are appreciative and grateful with what eventuated in the end but it was a harrowing experience that perhaps I’ll share one day.

 

In a nutshell, taking this time slow but smart, meticulous and planned, progressive in nature and ensuring reassessment on all fonts along the way, but more importantly being discerning of where I focus my time and energy while I recover has been my priority.  I know where my body ‘can go’, what it ‘can’ look like, what it is ‘capable’ of doing and achieving. But doing that in record time would be foolish and detrimental long term. Pregnancy and birth is short term, my postpartum is FOREVER. AND I choose to honour and look after that!!!!!

 

I’m 4 months postpartum this weekend. I now move into a new phase of my rehab. Take note, in my opinion I started rehab day 1- it just looks different which is MY VARIATION OF NORMAL. And being in a ‘gym’ hasn’t been part of it until now. 4 months postpartum now involves a progressive program that I have taken time to develop with so much intention and will be assessing as I go, and with the necessary health professional checks and advice along the way with a women’s health physiology which also will be ongoing! This new phase isn’t some crazy step up, its simply simply the next part of my progressive step in my current rehab and restrengthening this mind and body. The bi-product of all of this of course will be some aesthetic change but again the focus isn’t that solely!! Im excited to be entering this phase and Ill be sharing it with you and I hope my journey will and can inspire others to also LOOK AFTER AND TAKE MUCH CARE IN THEIR POSTPARTUM JOURNEY……”

 

*Nadine has released her birth story on Dear Mama Project Podcast if you are interested in hearing more.

Why We Shouldn’t Lift Your Arms Above Your Head During Pregnancy- MYTH?!?!!

Why We Shouldn’t Lift Your Arms Above Your Head During Pregnancy- MYTH?!?!!

It was once believed that lifting weight above your head would result in the umbilical cord being wrapped around the babies neck.

 

This sounds a bit bizarre at first, but surprisingly, many women have been subject to urgent warnings not to raise their arms above their heads for fear of strangling the baby in the womb with the umbilical cord. The truth is a woman’s arm movements have no bearing on a fetus, as her arms are not in any way connected to the umbilical cord. Babies often tangle themselves in their umbilical cord with resulting harm.

 

 

Education has taken a big step forward since then because it is ok as long as care is taken. Be especially careful lifting weights over your head in the last three months. It is also advised to not use heavy weights, hold your breath (known as the valsalva manoeuvre) and consult to gym staff/qualified professionals/obstetrician about technique if you are concerned. Overhead lifts will increase the curve in your lower spine so it is recommended to use seated position on a bench to reduce the curve.

 

 

(Swapping to front shoulder raises and lateral raises to shoulder height is preferable)

 

 

“Exercising during pregnancy, including weight training, comes with many benefits, such as help with labor and delivery, with improving your stamina, and strengthening back muscles to limit back pain,” explains Dr. Alison Mitzner, MD.

 

“Research has shown that women who exercise regularly are less likely to develop gestational diabetes, and on average have shorter labors, less constipation, and less swelling in the extremities,” says Dr. Jamil Abdur-Rahman, MD.

Why HIIT Is A Great Option For Time Poor Mums

Why HIIT Is A Great Option For Time Poor Mums

How would you feel if I told you, that you could do a 15 minute workout anywhere at any time at any stage of your fitness journey that could burn a large amount of calories and did not require equipment?

Well the training method called HIIT offers you exactly all of that.

Hiit Style training is a great introduction if your looking to come back into fitness or it’s a great challenge if you’re a seasoned exerciser.

Here are the benefits of Hiit Style Training –

I have put them in order of what I know are the biggest concerns mum's have when thinking about Hiit Style training -

1 – I’m not fit enough to do Hiit 

 Perfect for all fitness levels.

If you’re a mum and you're just thinking about where to start with the whole exercising thing as you want to start feeling good again, Hiit training can help. You start with a 15 minute workout and you will notice in a short amount of time you can increase the length of these.

HIIT workouts offer experienced or fit gym goers a new challenge, and beginners a quicker way to see results. You are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone with the shortened rest phases.

2-  I don’t want to train at a gym

You can do it anywhere

HIIT is such a simple concept of work phase and rest phase, you can take it anywhere with you – to the kids park, the gym floor, the beach, your lounge room or a hotel room on holiday. And you can choose the exercises that you have enough space to complete! 

3 -  I have no time to think about exercising even though I know I should

 Time efficient

 HIIT is great if you have a limited amount of time to work out. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to reap the benefits of regular exercise and Hiit helps play a huge part in this.

  1. 4. I don’t own any equipment

 No equipment required

HIIT workouts are so great as no equipment is required. All you need is a little bit of space. HIIT workouts can focus just your own body weight, so any workout that gets your heart rate up quickly such as plyometric, high knees, and jumping jacks can be implemented into a HIIT workout. particular muscle group – and of course if you have any injures regressions of all movements are available and still great to use.

 

5.. Will this help me  lose this baby weight  

Burns calories and helps with fat loss

The harder you exercise the harder your body has to work to fire up those muscles. Hiit is challenging for the body as you are pushing yourself through each working phase.

 

6 . I am more interested in making sure I can run with my kids

Great for cardio conditioning

During the high intensity periods (working phase) of exercise, HIIT takes you into an anaerobic training zone (where your body's demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply available).

With consistent training in this zone, you will be able to out run your kids and be able to show them up in no time.

 Article written by Cass Wilson, Mum of two who runs and co-owns HIIT That Group Fitness  in Perth. 

She is on a mission to help women to take better care of their bodies, and give them the confidence to get stronger both physically and mentally as their embark on their journey as a new mum. She has a special interest in pre and postnatal woman and is passionate about educating them on how to lift weights and exercise correctly,

 

What Is An Irritable Uterus And Is It A Problem In Pregnancy?

What Is An Irritable Uterus And Is It A Problem In Pregnancy?

What is an irritable uterus?

Some women develop frequent, regular contractions that don’t produce any change in the cervix. This condition is often called irritable uterus (IU). IU contractions are much like Braxton-Hicks, but they can be stronger, occur more frequently, and don’t respond to rest or hydration. These contractions are not necessarily normal, but they also aren’t necessarily harmful.

INTERESTING FACT:

In 1851, a Dr. McKenzie wrote a piece in the London Journal of Medicine describing the condition. He started by remarking on the dueling titles of the time— hysteralgia and irritable uterus. The latter coined by a Dr. Gooch in 1831 

In the early 1800’s, “irritable uterus” was actually used to describe a condition in non-pregnant women and unrelated to contractions!

 

The HEALTHLINE.COM states that:

"There have not been many studies done on IU and pregnancy. In 1995, researchers explored the link between IU and preterm labor and published their findings in the American Journal of Obstetrics and GynecologyTrusted Source. They uncovered that 18.7 percent of women with uterine irritability experienced preterm labor, compared to 11 percent of women without this complication.

In other words: Irritable uterus contractions might be annoying or even scary at times, but they are unlikely to significantly increase the chances of your baby coming too early."

What causes an irritable uterus?

It is unclear as to what causes it and isn’t necessarily the same in all women.

Some of the causes include anything from dehydration to stress to untreated infections, like a urinary tract infection. Unfortunately, you may never learn the cause of your irritable uterus contractions.

 

What Are The Symptoms Of Irritable Uterus? 

 

Irritable uterus can feel similar to Braxton Hicks contractions but the contractions occur more frequently, are more painful, and tend to be more regular in length and frequency. Due to the intensity of the contractions many women mistake them for real labour. The contractions can also be accompanied by a feeling of pressure and/or pain in the back. Unlike Braxton Hicks, irritable uterus contractions worsen with increased activity. Irritable uterus can also feel like a constant tight belly, which can become worse when standing or walking. The tight belly can last for over an hour at a time. -

To deal with the symptoms you may want to try:

  1. Keep your bladder empty; a full bladder can create further irritation
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Reduce your stress levels
  4. Get plenty of sleep
  5. Avoid lifting heavy items
  6. Lie on your left hand side
  7. Eat small meals, more frequently
  8. Avoid caffeine
  9. Take magnesium supplements (but check with your care provider first). 

 Our Pregnancy/Postpartum leggings have also been reported to help avoid the irritable uterus as there are no constricting seams through the uterus area. (This is a reported claim and not a research/investigated link)

References

1. Roberts WE, Perry KG Jr, Naef RW, Washburne JF, Morrison JC. The irritable uterus: a risk factor for preterm birth? J Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Jan;172(1 Pt 1):138-42.
2. Kehinde S. Okunade, Ayodeji A. Oluwole, and Maymunah A. Adegbesan-Omilabu. A Study on the Association between Low Maternal Serum Magnesium Level and Preterm Labour. Advances in Medicine. Volume 2014, Article ID 704875, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/704875
3. Irritable Uterus and Irritable Uterus Contractions: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment. http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/are-your-contractions-normal

See more at: https://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy/irritable-uterus-during-pregnancy/