Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pregnancy Awareness Month Week Two: Exercise

Pregnancy Awareness Newsletter Link: Exercise

A few of my thoughts on exercise during pregnancy:

It's usually a great idea to continue whatever exercise routine you had before your pregnancy, as long as you've discussed it with your caregiver, and it helps you feel strong and energetic.

Many types of exercise can be done until the end of pregnancy, but some are easier to do than others by the third trimester. Swimming seems to be a favorite of many of my clients, as does prenatal yoga. Some YMCA's, including our local one in Augusta, offer prenatal exercise classes, and some yoga studios have prenatal yoga classes. Here are two excellent possibilities in the Central Maine area:

Prenatal Fitness Programs - open for members and non-members. Nikki Ramage is their prenatal instructor, and she was a client of mine back in 2007.
Call for class schedule.

Jai Yoga
Baby & Me Yoga Mondays 11:15-12:15
Postnatal Yoga Mondays 2:30-3:30 (babies welcome!)
Prenatal Yoga Mondays 4-5:15
Birth Preparation Workshops

I've also heard good things about this prenatal yoga video: Prenatal Yoga with Shiva Rea.


Kegel! Kegel, kegel, kegel!!! If you're asking yourself "What is a kegel" and "Why do I care?", here's a link to a basic explanation of how & why and here's a link to some variations.


What about exercises specific to help during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum? We discuss these in my prenatal classes, and practice them, and I can point you to some resources that I've found helpful, particularly:

Active Birth, by Janet Balaskas, for prenatal exercises and

After the Baby's Birth, by Robin Lim, for postpartum exercises.


Finally, a comment about the link to the exercise portion of the Pregnancy Awareness Month newsletter, if you've checked it out... I thought it was kind of a depressing/negative perspective about women's post-baby bodies... Yes, many women's bodies are not the same, or at least not for a while, after they grow and nurture a baby for close to ten months of pregnancy, give birth, and (possibly) grow and nurture an infant/toddler through breastfeeding. I, personally, am okay with this! I encourage women to celebrate their bodies' changes - there was a great Mothering magazine article about this a year or so ago - I'll try to find it online and link to it.

One of the issues discussed in the expanded newsletter article was about back pain from carrying baby, lugging around the bucket carseat, etc. In my opinion, slings, which are great for baby, can also help moms carry babies from newborn to toddler in ways that are easier on the back. My favorite one is the Maya Wrap, but I know there are tons of other great options out there.

Christina @ Birthing Your Baby
Independent Childbirth Classes in Central Maine


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