The care that we give our post pregnancy body is just as important as the care which we provide for ourselves during the 9 months. During the 9 months of pregnancy our abdominal region stretches to make way for the growing foetus. Once a woman gives birth the organs, ligaments, muscles etc remain in those locations. Our body is not like a lacky band whereby we stretch it, let go and it goes back to the original form.
There are a few things that we can do to assist our post baby belly heal and return the items back to where they were pre-pregnancy.
1) Coupled with moderate cardio, a postpartum workout should focus on building up the muscles of your torso (which took a beating when you were pregnant). Every new mum can benefit from core strengthening. “The rectus abdominal muscles are stretched during pregnancy in a way that makes it impossible to exercise them during that time." Some women also experience a separation of the abdominal wall muscles, which is called rectus abdominis diastasis. Exercises that target this condition can bring the muscles back together again and a woman's physio is a great port of call to get the low down.
2) A postpartum belly band, wrap or our supportive leggings band (folded) is sometimes recommended, since they can help your C-section incision heal. But you may have seen women with vaginal deliveries touting the benefits of these products as well.
While postpartum belly wraps won’t actually cause weight loss, they may provide some benefits. They help tighten your stomach after pregnancy, improve circulation, reduce swelling through compression, and support the abdomen and lower back. What’s more, these postpartum belly bands may be especially helpful for those with diastasis recti.
Ask your doctor or woman's physio if you want to use a belly band and remember, you still need a healthy balanced eating and exercise plan to help your body heal...
SUMMER for many is their favourite season of the year...until they get PREGNANT and then it becomes uncomfortable!!! There are a few things to take note of as you brave the heat this summer.
It's not just that it's hotter outside, but pregnant women are hotter too: In the first trimester, the progesterone hormone increases body temperature. Pregnant woman's body temperature is already higher than normal so add in scorching summer temperatures and if you are not careful dehydration or other medical problems could arise.
Dehydration is common in the summer months. Did you also know pregnant woman is more prone to sunburn than non-pregnant woman? Other not so nice side effects of the summer heat is swelling, chaffing,
Surviving the summer heat is necessary if you are pregnant and here are some tips:
1. Avoid direct sunlight.
Do outside activity early in the morning or after the sun sets.
2. Stay hydrated.
Water intake should about eight to 10 glasses per day and should be more if you are exercising. Drink low-sugar electrolyte fluids, especially if you’re going to spend time outside.
3. Dress for the heat.
Wear loose, breathable clothing and a hat to reduce sun exposure.
4. Spritz water often.
Carry a spray bottle with you and spritz yourself with water to cool down your body temperature.
5. Be smart about exercise.
Swimming is a terrific way to exercise and keep your body cool. Or stay inside and work out at the gym or walk laps at the mall.
6. Wear sunscreen.
Be sure to reapply after sweating or swimming. Choose a brand with at least SPF 30 and make sure your face is protected.
Newborn babies need extra care and attention when it becomes hot. Quite often they will want to breastfeed more reguarly, though become agitated due to the sweaty nature of skin to skin so might feed more less time.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association reports the following:
"Most parents worry at some stage that their fully-breastfed baby may not be getting enough to drink in hot weather and they ask if they should give boiled water or fruit juice 'just in case'. The answer in most cases is that extra fluids are not required if your baby is breastfed whenever he needs and this may be more often than usual - just as you are drinking more often.
Breastmilk contains a perfectly balanced ratio of food and water to meet all your baby's needs. It is a living fluid, ever-changing to suit your baby and even in response to the weather! The first milk your baby gets from a full breast has a low fat content and naturally quenches baby's thirst. Once the let-down has occurred, the fat content of the milk gradually increases as the breast softens. This later milk has a creamier appearance and satisfies baby's hunger.
In hot weather a thirsty baby may want to breastfeed more frequently but for shorter periods. In this way he is getting more low-fat milk and so is satisfying his thirst. If you need to be away from your baby, it is preferable that he has your expressed breastmilk (EBM).
An older baby or toddler who is no longer exclusively breastfed may be encouraged to drink water between breastfeeds. You can also offer extra 'snack' breastfeeds to keep him well hydrated. Another refreshing idea for toddlers is to freeze fruit pieces, such as orange quarters, peeled banana or slices of pineapple - cooling and fun, just be prepared for the very sticky mess!
- Some babies become sleepy travelling in hot weather. You may need to stop and wake your baby for feeds.
- The effect of car airconditioners can cause some dehydration - so extra breastfeeds may be necessary on long trips, even if you are cool.
- Prams that are enclosed are airless and can get very hot. An open-weave bassinette, cradle, layback stroller, baby hammock, cot or portable cot is probably cooler for your baby to sleep in."
As a result of Mum needing to feed more often and the heat making her dehydrated she needs to increase her water quantity. Signs of dehydration include irritability, headache, dry mouth, a feeling of thirst, and darker-than-usual urine. Prevent dehydration by carrying a refillable water bottle with you. It is suggested drinking a glass of water every time baby drinks. If water’s not really your thing, eat more high-water-content fruit, like watermelon, as well as frozen fruit and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
Outfits should also be loose, comfortable and made from a performance/breathable fabric. You may also want to carry a bamboo/cotton sheet to place between yourself and the baby during a feed. Our new cotton breastfeeding tshirt is a great idea as the zip allows for easy discrete access and there is material that remains between you and bub.
Stay vigilant and HYDRATED this Summer!
- 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
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
Support in bras is oh so important.
Did you know:
That a pair of D-cup boobs weigh in at 7 to 10kg. “That’s more than enough to pull your trunk forward, force you into a hunched-over running posture, decrease your stride’s efficiency, and up your risk of injury,” McGhee says.
If you haven’t noticed, pretty much the only thing keeping your breasts up during a run is your bra’s shoulder straps, which take a lot of weight. When straps are thin, the pressure can be so great they not only leave dents in your shoulders but hit the brachial plexus nerve group, causing numbness in the pinky fingers.
We recommend a razor back or full back and should support for high-intensity exercise.
How much your boobs bounce depends almost entirely on breast size and elasticity of the skin covering your breasts, McGhee says. However, skin tends to lose its elasticity with age and “excessive breast bouncing.” So, the more your breasts bounce, the more they will bounce during future runs. Add in breastfeeding or post breastfeeding and your lady friends could be dragging on thin ice mid run….
How much do breasts bounce? Measuring the bounce of both bare and bra-covered breasts during treadmill workouts, McGhee found the average 38D moves about 13cm from top to bottom during running. Smaller breasts bounce about 7.5cm, which can still be uncomfortable. And breasts don't just bounce in an up and down motion; some larger breasts bounce in figure-eight shapes.
While they can’t completely eliminate bouncing, high-support sports bras can cut the range of motion in half (approximately), McGhee says. The goal is for the breasts to move in unison with your torso and not bounce independently of one another.
During pregnancy there is evermore of a concern. When you're pregnant, your body has very high levels of oestrogen and progesterone, hormones that stimulate your breasts' milk glands and milk ducts, respectively. The result of all this can be a big change in bra size, but growth usually slows or stops at the end of the first trimester. No special foods, massages, exercises, or creams affect breast growth during pregnancy, so spend your money on a good supportive bra instead.
She is the founder of ADOFitness and is an accomplished fitness industry professional, personal trainer, nutrition/prep coach, posing instructor, competitor, endorsed athlete, NPC judge, and cover model. Although her career began in the financial business world, this transitioned to full time personal training after her introduction and newly discovered love for bikini bodybuilding competitions in 2010. After extensive misguided nutrition and training advice, she was left with an unhealthy relationship with food and a damaged endocrine system. Her real passion then developed into helping herself and others reach their fitness goals in a healthy and sustainable way. Knowing she wanted to have children, she decided to stop competing and seek out an endocrinologist and hormone specialist. She began healing and restoring her body to a healthy state through proper nutrition and exercise. While she and her husband still had unexplained infertility challenges, they were blessed to conceive their son via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Her miracle baby was born in December of 2016, which she proudly says is her greatest accomplishment to date! Her goal now with ADOfitness is to help others optimize their health with sustainable and realistic nutrition and exercise programs that focus on internal AND external health.
We wanted to check in with Amber and see what her pregnancy and Breastfeeding journey was like to help other Mums....
1.How did your exercise regime change in your pregnancy?
Due to some complications up front, I was on medical bedrest for about the first 14 weeks of my pregnancy. After that time, once I was cleared to workout, I didn't perform HIIT or direct core work any longer. I also lifted a little lighter than usual. Other than that it didn't change a whole lot.
2.If there was a change, why? Energy, not sure about what to do etc
The only thing that held me back was fear of miscarriage due to complications with a subchorionic hemorrhage. Once that cleared up, nothing held me back other than understanding that direct core work and HIIT should be avoided part the second trimester.
3.What exercises did you do in your pregnancy?
Strength training, yoga, walking, and some jogging.
4.Number one top training tip for mums to be?
Listen to your body! Understand when you need to slow down, maybe eat a little more, or not push as hard!
5.Did you breastfeed?
Yes, 30 months!
6.If so, do you think your active pursuits effected your supply?
No, I think a lot of factors affect supply but keeping water intake high, eating enough of the right foods, and properly bonding with your baby to establish your supply is key.
7.How did you balance feeding and exercise?? - tips
I would pump if need be and that way my son could be fed by our nanny or my husband if I was working out. I took it slow at first and made sure I didn't see a dip in my supply with my expenditure increasing. I noticed the biggest dip when my stress was high and when my water intake wasn't high enough. If I focused on those two things I didn't have any issues!
Wow what an incredible lady with so much knowledge in the fitness industry to share with Mums at all levels whether you want to get back into activity or you want to compete on stage.
If you want to check out more of Amber’s amazing journey head to https://www.amberdawnorton.com
DR or better known as Diastasis Recti is quite common amongst Pregnant/Postpartum Mums and without the knowledge or bing assessed many don’t even know they have it. Some woman wonder why years after childbirth they still have the pouch even though they have done what they can through eating right and exercise.
Taryn Watson from FITRIGHT wrote a great blog last year on it. Recently we also attended an information session from @fit_triplet_mum
Here is some of Taryn‘s post:
Abdominal Muscle Separation During and After Pregnancy
It will never cease to amaze that a little human being can grow to full development for nine months in a woman’s belly. One of the inevitable consequences of this, however, is that there has to be a lot of shifting and stretching of the surrounding organs and tissues to allow this to happen!
The “six pack” muscle, or Rectus Abdominis muscle, is actually two muscle bellies with a line of connective tissue down the middle. From about 18 weeks of pregnancy, when the baby starts taking up more space above the pelvis, the midline tissue has to start stretching, and the six pack muscles move apart from each other.
This separation is called ‘Diastasis Recti’, or DR, and is helped by the fact that pregnant women have a hormone in their body called Relaxin, which allows connective tissue to be stretchier.
MYTH TO BUST – The abdominal muscles do not ‘tear’ or ‘split’, but the connective tissue between them does need to stretch and this is a very normal consequence of pregnancy.
In pregnancy, after the muscles have begun to stretch, it is highly recommended to minimize use of the six pack muscle. This means after approximately 16-20 weeks of pregnancy, avoid anything that causes ‘doming’ or triangling of the abdominal wall during exercise or daily activities. This may include:
- Russian Twists
- Pull ups/chin ups/Muscle ups
- Getting up from the bed/bath/couch
Daily movements can usually be modified to avoid doming, by rolling completely onto your side to get up from a reclined position.
Investing in a pair of Pregnancy leggings is paramount to your comfort as you work on nurturing the growing bundle of joy inside. As the months go past you will slowly get more uncomfortable through your abdominal and lower back region. You need a pair of maternity leggings to support you for the whole 9 months.
A pregnant body is forever changing, so your usual gear isn’t going to go the distance. When your top no longer fits properly, you’re not really likely to head out for a nice walk with your belly exposed, right? The pregnancy leggings that we have designed offer a high-support waistband that offers panelling that helps spread the weight of your baby bump evenly over your lower body, which will help improve your posture, take pressure off the lower back and encourage more comfortable exercise. The waistband is designed to sit underneath the growing bump so that the seam rests underneath not providing constriction or irritation.
Some woman experience the phenomenon of irritable uterus (also called “uterine irritability”) in pregnancy and is described as “non-labor inducing contractions that occur frequently, sometimes painfully, sometimes painlessly, without any real consistency or pattern.” Having a tight regular legging band that cuts through the abdomen area can cause undue pressure in this area. The leggings that we have designed allow growth and expansion due to a high quality fabric and no irritating seams through the pregnant bump region. The quality of fabric does mean that these leggings offer all of the support in the right areas and they do not stretch out of shape.
So there is no question as to why to buy a pair of maternity leggings comparative to wearing your normal high waisted regular ones…
Nursing or Breastfeeding is hard enough without having to coordinate the juggle of stripping clothes off or trying to hold up the top to access the breast. How exactly do you dress to make breastfeeding easy while still feeling confident about how you look?
Many new mums find themselves struggling to find clothes that make them look and feel good, but also allow easy access to breastfeed or pump. Luckily, nursing clothes have come a long way. That is why we put our creative juices into action so that you can find pieces you love to wear that are fully functional.
When you are sweaty from a gym class or exercising in public the last thing you want to do is try to wrestle with a normal crop whilst trying to appease the screaming/hungry baby.
The breastfeeding or nursing crops are designed for a one hand easy drop down action to allow for you to easy access the breast. The inner modesty panel allows for some coverage of the breast if feeding in public so that there is little need to cover yourself and the baby. Once the baby is attached to the breast the appearance is the same as if you are wearing a normal crop.
Our nursing crops are also designed with a larger/sturdier underband to offer more support. The engineering of a supportive crop requires anchor points as well as the straps to harness/reign in the breasts or secure them. By having a band that is just large enough to offer a decent anchor point though not too big to make it impossible to get out of is our mission. As each collection is launched we try to offer a different aspect as we know that everyone is different some people have big breasts and a small rib cage or small breasts and a large back. We also know that each woman changes during the pregnancy and postnatal period so we are endeavouring to offer a big range of choices. With the new NAUTICAL nursing crop the back adjusts up to 3 sizes and the straps also adjust allowing for changes in the body to occur without having to purchase a new crop.
The breast size also changes when you are breastfeeding. Up until about the three month mark the breasts are quite engorged whilst the milk supply is establishing itself. Also before and after a breastfeed the size of the breast; as well as the shape changes. To allow for these changes the crops come with removable breast pads. By taking them out there is more space for the breast allowing for that slight difference.
An individuals activity or exercise choice also affects their choice in what they want from a crop. For our runners they prefer the sweetheart crop which offers more support and coverage with the razor back design, our yoga/pilates and weightlifting Mummas prefer the String It nursing crop whilst the Mums who like a little bit of everything go for the Nautical.
As you can see the science to designing a fashionable and functional nursing or breastfeeding crop is not so simple. The breasts are an ever evolving part of our bodies that changes with puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding and after- MUMMACTIV’s mission has always been to provide fashionable and functional activewear to keep Mums stylishly active no matter what stage they are at.