Right now the role of exercise has taken an even higher priority. Not only are people stuck at home, so they have more time to spare. Secondly, mental health has taken a hit and many are struggling with a range of heightened emotions. Research keeps demonstrating that exercise can help to level out the emotional state and is imperative to copying at this time.
An area parents struggle with is finding the time to exercise - but there are ways to do exercise at home and no matter what age the kids are they can be a party to the activity. Not only is it a great bonding exercise but you are also being a role model in showing that exercise is important for mind and body….
Exercise also helps to increase the rate of postnatal recovery, improves muscle tone, circulation, digestion, mood, sleep patterns and so much more. (The list is endless)
As a result of CO-VID19 gyms and recreational centres have closed resulting in all needing to exercise at home or in their local park. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you need fancy equipment to get in a resistance workout. By creating a HIIT style workout you can get a whole body, sweat producing workout that can be changed daily to keep motivation high. Ours normally consists of 6-8 exercises. We do 40-45 sec of work and 15 sec rest- with 30 sec recovery at the end of each circuit.
For example a leg focused workout might look like this:
7 exercises: Knee up, Plank, glute bridge, donkey kick, fire extinguisher, grapevine and sumo squat pulse. 45 sec work, 15 sec rest=7:30 one circuit. (2 circuits =15 min, 4 circuits=30 min etc)
People are also struggling to get equipment because demand is high. The other day we saw a kettlebell advertised for $260…Just because you don’t have equipment or can’t buy at this time doesn’t mean you can’t do resistance workouts. Here are some ideas for creative ways to make your own equipment:
- An upside down saucepan can act as a mini step- use it to do toe taps, travelling pushups, around the world, knee up etc
- Filling an old cushion cover with triple bagged sand/potting mix can be a medicine ball substitute- lift above head, slams, press ups- chest, squats with hugging weight, sit up with weight, lunges etc
- Fill a backpack with those extra cans that you now have stockpiled- all sorts of weighted exercises can be done- walking lunges, squats, bicep curls, press, farmers walk, tricep extensions, jump over burpees
- A chair- tricep dips, step ups, mountain climbers
- A bucket filled with water- 1 L = about 1 kg
- Use chalk to draw an agility ladder - great for cardio speed work , jumping, quick feet
Including your children in your workout is also a possibility.
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|
Many woman struggle in the first few weeks/months of breastfeeding until they establish their supply and/or get the hang of it. A number of lactating woman also feel that they are not producing enough in order to meet the demands of a newborn baby. This can often be the thought due to having a screaming baby, one that keeps searching for a suck, poor weight gain etc, not thriving etc etc.
Here are a few tips to maybe get things flowing:
- Allow lots of sucking:Breastmilk is produced on demand, and the sucking stimulates your body thinking there is more demand for milk.
- Pump between feeds: This will also trigger the supply-and-demand cycle in your body to produce more milk.
- Lots of skin to skin contact: This will release a hormone called prolactin. Prolactin stimulates oxytocin (the feel good hormone). Both prolactin and oxytocin can help stimulate breast milk production.
- Drink more water: to avoid dehydration. Institute of Medicine recommends arounds 3.1 L compared to 2.2 L in non breastfeeding mothers.(This changes according to activity levels/environmental needs etc)
- Manage stress when possible: Outsource tasks if they are becoming too overwhelming. Listen to relaxing music during nursing sessions.
- Empty breasts during feeding: The more milk that is removed the more you will make.
- Consider fenugreek tea: Fenugreek is one of a few herbs that has data to support its use as a galactagogue (substance to help increase milk supply).
- Make sure you are getting the additional 500 calories (a day) to help aid the increase in nutritional demands.
For further assistance see your local Lactation consultant or call the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
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.
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
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.
- 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,
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.
To train or not to train....
Generally if you have been doing CrossFit of F45 for a period of time prior to pregnancy you are ok to continue and scale/modify the activities. This is of course if you have no medical problems and have been generally cleared to from your doctor.
The BOXLIFE magazine sums up some great myths around this topic.
MYTH OR FACT? “Women should scale their workouts while they are pregnant.”
The most important thing for the woman to remember is to listen to her body. Each day will be different and certain movements may begin to feel awkward or uncomfortable. The competitive nature of CrossFit can cause women to feel frustrated when their bodies are telling them to slow down. Remember: It’s only for nine months!
What modifications should be used no matter what?
Whether you’re pregnant or not, form is king. Form should never be compromised when performing a lift or during a workout. As a woman’s belly grows, it will be impossible to maintain an optimal bar path. This means there will come a time where a switch to kettlebells or dumbbells is called for. Also, pregnant women release a hormone called Relaxin which causes ligaments to be looser and can affect balance. Therefore, movements such as box jumps should be avoided after the first trimester. Double-unders, for example, should be left to each individual and how she feels on the given day.
MYTH OR FACT? “Intense workouts will harm the baby.”
Intensity is a relative term. Exercise is very beneficial to your baby. Mom and baby share everything, including hormones. If mom releases endorphins while exercising, baby will reap the benefit as well. Studies also show that moms who exercise during pregnancy have larger placentas which mean more oxygen exchange for the baby.
MYTH OR FACT? “I need to monitor my heart rate when working out during my pregnancy.”
This is also an outdated fact. It’s more important to listen to your body and take breaks as needed. Over the course of a pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases by as much as 50%! This is why women feel short of breath during workouts a lot sooner than they are accustomed. Every minute on the minute (EMOM) workouts are great for pregnant CrossFitters as it gives them built-in rest.
MYTH OR FACT? “My diet needs to change tremendously.”
That depends on what you were eating before you were pregnant. A Paleo or Primal diet is ideal for pregnancy as it ensures that moms are getting adequate protein, minerals and good fats. The best book I’ve read on this subject is “Beautiful Babies” by Kristen Michaelis.
MYTH OR FACT? “I just found out I’m pregnant and want to start CrossFit to start living a more active lifestyle. Is it safe for me?”
Newly pregnant women have asked me this very question. I think the functional movements we do in CrossFit are definitely beneficial for pregnant women. However, if you’ve never done it before, I recommend you find a personal trainer or coach who truly knows about the pregnant body. Have them work with you one-on-one. I design programs for women with little to no CrossFit experience as well as those with many years under their belt. Beginners can benefit greatly from some of the basic movements, but I would not recommend that a newbie jump into a CrossFit class newly pregnant!
MYTH OR FACT? “Miscarriages are more likely if you CrossFit.”
It’s hard to know what exactly causes a miscarriage. It’s also easy for women to blame themselves for something they did, something they ate, etc., when sometimes nature just has other plans for us. I know many newly pregnant moms worry about this, but I would say, again, take it easy for the first trimester. You may feel tired and nauseous or you may feel awesome. Each day is different. Use this time to move your body and release endorphins, even if it’s by walking or doing something lighter until you feel more confident jumping back into a workout.
Just tell us…Is it safe to CrossFit while pregnant?
As with any exercise, as long as you’ve been doing it for at least six months prior to pregnancy, you should be fine. The functional movements we do in CrossFit are extremely beneficial for helping women get through labor. Squatting is one of the best exercises for the pelvic floor and tends to help CrossFitting mamas have shorter pushing times.
I tend to be conservative when it comes to some of the more “controversial” topics regarding pregnancy. For example, I am adamantly opposed to going upside down while pregnant. It’s one of those instances where you will probably be OK, but what if you aren’t? Why risk it for a handstand push-up? I think it’s important to take a step back and put it all into perspective. Women must also remember not to compare themselves to anyone else. Just because your friend is doing muscle ups while pregnant doesn’t mean it will feel OK for you. Listening to your body each and every day is key.”
The BARBELLPHYSIO.com recommends not doing the following exercises:
- Bench press
Despite the common misconception otherwise, resistance training is actually very beneficial for pregnant women. But one situation you should avoid is lying flat on your back for too long, especially as you advance into your second trimester and the weight of the uterus puts pressure on the major blood vessels running alongside your spine. Replace the bench press with an incline dumbbell press to avoid this issue.
- Sit ups
Although exercise during pregnancy is definitely good for you, the muscles of the abdomen are being put under considerable strain as the baby forces them to stretch and thin. Side planks and Pallof presses are good alternatives to sit ups with lower risk.
- Push ups and burpees
Although your body is still capable of doing these in muscular terms, the simple mechanics of the situation may well defeat you as your rapidly growing belly starts to press the floor. Luckily, all you need to do is raise the upper part of your body, either on a bench or bars, to give yourself enough space to enjoy these CrossFit basics.
- Snatch and clean
Again, this becomes difficult due to the sheer mechanics of your protruding abdomen as pregnancy progresses. Perform the power version instead and then move to squatting under control.
- Pushing your personal best
OK, so this isn’t a specific exercise, but it’s pretty much the bread and butter of CrossFit, so it’s worth addressing. Although the old ‘don’t let your heart rate rise above 140 bpm’ myth has almost completely died out, there’s a consensus that putting your body under too much stress while exercising may be uncomfortable for your growing baby as his oxygen levels drop.
Kirsty Palmer is a Personal Trainer and Nutrition coach. She also balances this with her beautiful 9 month old little boy.
Her passion is helping others and if you follow her on social media you will see she has quite an army of woman who are inspired by her greatness.
“Seeing the change in someone throughout their fitness journey is incredible. Not just physically, but also emotionally. They have become more confident, more optimistic, healthier and stronger in all aspects of their life.
Working with all different skill sets and fitness levels I am always working for my clients. Doing everything I can to teach them how to live and love a healthier life.
My aim is to encourage many females to love their body - feel confident in their own skin - and to enjoy the life they have by moving their body daily and feeling their body with nourishing foods!”
She is Owner and Personal Trainer of Kirsty Palmer Fitness, has coached at Team Des Fitness In Birmingham UK as well as being the author of 2 Exercise Ebooks based for gym and at home workouts.
We caught up with her recently to discuss all things pregnancy and beyond:
1.How did your exercise regime change in your pregnancy?
My weights dropped and reps increased.
I had to ensure my heart rate didn't over work through the roof like normal, so listening to my body whilst training and not pushing like crazy was a must!
I was also so tired so some days I listened to my body and had a rest day instead of working out. Don't beat yourself up, its only a season!
2.If there was a change, why? Energy, not sure about what to do etc
My energy levels were so up and down throughout my pregnancy, some days I woke up and felt like I could run a marathon and others I just wanted to sleep. Pregnancy really taught me to listen to my body and rest when I needed to.
3.What exercises did you do in your pregnancy?
Exactly what I was doing pre pregnancy as that is what my body was use to. I preferred going on the stationary bike than walking. And did mini resistance/body weighted circuits when my energy levels where high! my aim was to try move my body daily, even if it was a walk around the block, just to get outdoors and be in the fresh air!
4.Number one top training tip for mums to be?
Don't start exercising crazy and doing different movements if your body is not use to it or you have never done it before just because you want to be healthy as you have found out you are pregnant.
If you want to exercise start with walking And light cycling on the bike. Remember the stress from exercise you go through your baby does to.
5.Did you breastfeed?
Yes, and still breastfeeding - 9 months in and going strong.
6.If so, do you think your active pursuits effected your supply?
Ive never had a crazily high supply from the beginning, it's always been just enough. So I had to ease my way back into exercise and still to this day I manage 3-4 sessions per week and I am okay still to this day.
7.How did you balance feeding and exercise?? - tips
Sometimes I don't know half the things I have been able to balance out. Especially being a single mum. But for me exercise makes me feel better, and I honestly can't live without it. Its been my form of me time. I have been demand feeding from day one so once I feed Elijah I know I have a good hour to workout from home, or even when he sleeps, I do a quick workout. Every day is different. So I just go with the flow and how I am feeling!
Head to www.kirstypalmer.com to find out more about this inspiring mumma.
Written by Joanne Shepherd for bodyandsoul.com.au
Can’t find the time to exercise? Make your newborn, baby or toddler, part of your routine, says this mum and personal trainer.
One of the hardest things when you become a new mum is making time for you. Actually, in a way, it’s one of the more important things because if you don’t look after yourself then the rest doesn't function very well.
When you’re a brand new mum it’s important to get fresh air and get the main body systems working. It helps to increase the rate of postnatal recovery, improves muscle tone, circulation, digestion, mood, sleep patterns and so much more.
Once your doctor has cleared you to exercise there are a range of options. The opportunities are endless so depending on the age of your children here are some other ways to fit in some exercise with your little ones in tow.
Putting the baby in the stroller and doing a bench to bench workout
At your local park or equivalent, complete an exercise then walk to the next park bench and complete a set of the next exercise. An example could be as simple as the following: static lunge whilst holding the pram (10 each leg), Bear crawl across 10m up and back, incline push-up, sprint, tricep push up, squat pulse, mountain climbers. (At each bench perform 10 -15 reps).
Make the most out of your baby carrier
Most newborns love the Baby carrier. I remember days where the baby was strapped to me 24/7 which made it hard to get anything done. But by placing them in the carrier you can still do a workout. It is a great way to ease back into exercise and can be done anywhere or anytime. Examples of exercises that you can perform are walking lunges, sumo squats, torso twist and punch, the chair dip, hip-raisers, wall sit, standing donkey kick (leg raiser).
Postpartum the most important thing is to listen to your body, work from inside out and focus on core, pelvic tilts and Kegel exercises.
As the baby starts to become more aware of the surroundings and enjoy the time outside there are a number of extra options that you can include into your daily workout schedule. Setting a positive and healthy example from the beginning is so important. Remember monkey see monkey do!
You don’t need gym equipment to get you started - the stroller is a great option! You can include sit ups by keeping feet on the stroller and doing peek a boo, plank/reach and tap on either side of the stroller, side and back leg lift, squats to calf raisers, lunges, one leg flute bridge/lift, push-ups, knee lifts, back leg lift to front leg crunch.
A mat is another option where the little one can have tummy time or lay on their back kicking about while you perform a sequence of exercises. They particularly like the push up and planks as you can make it into a game. It is also a great bonding time as you have no other distractions and focus the attention on them (it also takes the pain of the exercise away.)
Examples of mat exercises are leg lifts, baby weight bridge hip thrusters, Russian twist with baby, superman, side plank, extended leg lift. Some higher intensity options include burpees, reverse crunch or high knees. Yoga and Pilates is also another good mat option to include the little one in.
As children grow into the next stage they like to mimic and feel part of the workout. This is great bonding time and is also demonstrating a positive and healthy role model.
A partner workout
This is a great way to get them to burn off some additional energy. Doing exercises like squat jumps, incline push-ups, burpees, sit up hi 10’s, plank and feet taps. Your child may even have some creative ideas of their own! Anything to get the body moving.
Park and playground equipment offer great exercise options including: pull ups on the monkey bars or leg hangs and lifts. The slide is a good tricep dip option. You can use a curved ladder to do incline push-ups or hanging row. The swing can be used to do a plank tuck or Bulgarian split squat.
The options are truly endless, but the benefits from working out with kids gives you the well-deserved time for you, great bonding time (they pick up on the positive vibes from you doing something for yourself), you are setting a positive lifelong example and it can benefit their muscular and motor skills at the same time. Realistically it is ourselves who put the barriers up to exercising once we have children. Remember ‘the first step is often the hardest’ and ‘where there is a will there is a way’.
Joanne Shepherd is a personal trainer and founder of Mummactiv
Contrary to some opinions, working out as a breastfeeding mother does not affect milk supply. There are studies that show that the taste of your milk may change due to lactic acid levels in breast milk after vigorous exercise. But don’t worry – this does not make the baby unwilling to breastfeed and it’s not harmful for baby! Lactic acid disappears quickly from breast milk, even after a strenuous workout.
But, keep in mind you’re probably safest with a workout plan involving moderate activity. Research has shown that exclusively breastfed babies of mums who regularly exercise grow at the same rate as mums with a more sedentary lifestyle, which means breast milk is nutritional whether you work out or not. Remember that your body also has to work to make breast milk in the first place, which burns calories—an extra 400-500 calories a day on top of that. Making up those extra calories with healthy snacks in general, and even more so if you happen to be working out.
Studies have shown that exercise and breastfeeding can be combined without affecting milk supply. La Leche League International suggests the following when exercising while breastfeeding:
- Wait until the baby is at least six weeks old or more.
- Start the exercise slowly and gradually.
- Be sure to consume liquids to replace those lost by sweating.
- Some kinds of exercise can be done with baby.
- Walking briskly, mild aerobic exercises, and water exercises are ideal in the beginning.
- Other good exercises for later on are swimming
〰️That hydration is key when you’re exercising as a breastfeeding mum. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts.
〰️Consider getting a supportive high-impact bra as your breasts may change significantly from pregnancy to post-pregnancy and through breastfeeding and your old sports bras might not do the trick anymore. A bra with adjustable straps will help accommodate the changing size of your breasts throughout your journey. You can also try investing in one of our nursing sports bras that have easy flaps that open when you need to breastfeed or pump.
〰️Pumping or feeding before an exercise class will also help to keep the size in check.
The consensus generally is that sun exposure, in moderation, is good if you need an adequate dose of Vitamin D.
“Vitamin D is a vitamin we produce in our skin that effects the amount of calcium the body absorbs and is important of bone growth and development.”
The primary status of vitamin D for the child during pregnancy and during breast feeding, is the mother’s vitamin D status.
Therefore, sun exposure becomes essential for pregnant women too as it aids in providing bone creation of the fetus. Moreover, a strong immunity for you and the baby also gets assured. Though too much sun due to higher hormonal levels makes your skin more sensitive than ever.
Due to this potential risks of Sun exposure during pregnancy are:
Folic acid absorption
The next question that gets asked a lot is:
IS IT SAFE TO WEAR SUNSCREEN?
Yes it is but be mindful of the ingredients.
“Sunscreens are categorized into two types, i.e. physical blockers and chemical blockers. Physical blockers are safe to use as they are a mixture of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that together aid in reflecting back the harmful UV rays.
On the other hand, chemical blockers are not at all recommended for pregnant women. This is because these blockers contain ingredients that absorb the UV rays rather than reflecting them. And one of such ingredients is oxybenzone that is commonly found in chemical blockers. Oxybenzone has been known to penetrate through the skin and holds the potential to cause allergies, hormonal disturbances, and low birth weight especially in newly born baby girls.”
Taking time to nurture your own development isn't selfish. The well-being of mothers impacts the well-being of children and families in powerful and far reaching ways. We cannot pour from an empty cup.
Motherhood and stress, understanding your triggers and learning to respond rather than react. In mothering we are faced with screaming kids, tantrums, constant want for your attention, demands of breastfeeding etc. Mindfulness of emotions and getting clear on your values is extremely helpful to identify what is going on first rather than reacting. If we do become reactive to the external triggers/stress one of the ways to help yourself is to change the scenery.
Karen Holmes explains it well in relation to Mums.
Mindfulness is probably the most scientifically investigated form of meditation to date, and to put it simply – it involves ‘training our attention’. Through this, we learn to focus on those things that are most useful and most helpful in our lives, allowing us to live more consciously and fully.
Given that a lot of mothering is done in automatic pilot mode, where we are literally multi-tasking the day away, living more mindfully can help us get on top of negative or worried thinking patterns – those pesky ‘what if…?’ scenarios.
A simple and quick mindfulness meditation:
Sit comfortably, preferably with your back firmly against a chair.
Place your feet on the floor and connect or root yourself with the floor.
Close your eyes, make sure your jaw is soft, and drop your chin a little.
Feel your breath and notice your belly rising and falling.
When you feel your thoughts wandering, simply notice this and return to the breath.
When you’re ready, lift your chin and open your eyes.
Bring your awareness slowly back to your surroundings.
Notice how you feel.