Welcome, Guest!

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Maternity Exercise

  • Doctors Break Down Which Pregnancy ‘Tips’ Really Matter

     

    By Matt Brennan of The Beacon-News

    While the lists of pregnancy do’s and don’ts can be extensive, there is one thing women should not lose track of as they go through the process, and that’s enjoying it.

    That’s the advice of Dr. Susan Acuna, obstetrician/gynecologist on staff with Central DuPage and Delnor Community hospitals.

    Women should remember to enjoy the experience of having a child moving around inside them, she said. While they experience that thrill, there are things they can be doing to keep themselves and the baby healthy.

    There is a lot of information out there. It can be overwhelming. Some of the information and ideas have a stronger medical basis than others. It is best to follow the recommendations that have a stronger basis in medicine and science, she said.

    “Many women come in and say, ‘I heard I should avoid lunch meat and peanut butter,’” Acuna said. “Those are not based on any factual information.”

    The concern about peanuts or peanut butter is that eating them would increase the baby’s chance of picking up the allergies. It’s not based on enough science, she said. With lunch meat, she said to just make sure that it is reasonably fresh.

    The most important thing for women to do during pregnancy is to take a prenatal vitamin, Acuna said.

    “It’s shown to prevent birth defects,” she said. “That’s an important thing that women may or may not know.”

    Provena Mercy Medical Center nutritionist Melissa Gash said that making sure calorie intake is correct for the patient’s height and weight is important.

    “You really only need about 300 extra calories a day,” she said. “It’s really minimal what you have to increase.”

    To put it in perspective, the extra calories can be achieved with a glass of milk and an apple, she said. The normal recommended weight gain during a pregnancy is about 25 to 30 pounds. Many women gain much more than that, she said.

    “They wonder why they can’t lose that weight after the baby’s out,” she said.

    Yoga, Pilates and prenatal water aerobics have all increased in popularity recently, said Dr. Natalie Roche of Fox Valley Women and Children’s Health Partners. The exercises can help to alleviate some of the pain associated with pregnancy, she said.

    There are some exercises that should be avoided during pregnancy, such as biking, roller skating and jumping on a trampoline, Acuna said.

    “I recommend they avoid any activity that would put them at risk of falling,” she said.

    Running, biking on a stationary bike and working out on an elliptical machine are all safer forms of exercise, she said.

    Gash is on her third pregnancy, she said. She also runs a nutrition seminar for pregnancy at Provena Mercy called “From Pickles to Ice Cream.” Cravings are legitimate, she said. Many pregnant women have them. But, “a lot of women use them as an excuse,” she said.

    Morning sickness and nausea are fairly common, especially during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, she said.

    “Sometimes you’re just not going to feel that good those first couple weeks,” she said.

  • Hopkins Looks Into Fitness Guidelines For Pregnant Women

    This article by Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun

    Study to see how much exercise is healthy for mom, baby.

    Her Asics laced up and her water bottle at her side, Meredith Dobrosielski stepped onto the treadmill for a robust half-hour walk.

    For the Towson runner, this wasn't just any trip to the gym. The session took place in a lab at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. And each step offered information on the impact of exercise on her fetus. Dobrosielski is about 8 months pregnant.

    Doctors expect the information collected to fill in some gaps in the data on how much pounding is OK for a developing baby. Eventually, they hope to be able to develop personalized workout schedules for women in different states of fitness.

    "We do know that not only can exercise be done, it should be done," said Dr. Andrew J. Satin, professor and vice chairman of the department of gynecology and obstetrics for the Hopkins School of Medicine. "But the level of fitness should impact the individual's prescription."

    Not too long ago doctors used to tell all women not to exercise when they became pregnant, but that advice has changed, said Satin and Dr. Linda Szymanski, a fellow in maternal fetal medicine helping conduct the research. But there still is little data about what's too much for the elite athlete verses the couch potato and those in between. Satin said much is based on "opinion and common sense."

    They believe research is limited because doctors fear testing pregnant women. But nine months into the study, there have been no adverse reactions. As a precaution, the hospital's labor and delivery area is close by.

    About 60 women in their third trimester of pregnancy take turns on the treadmill. Some are regular runners and others are sedentary. Everyone takes a moderate walk, and the regular runners also run until they hit their peak capacity but don't linger there. Several measurements are taken over the sessions from fetal heart rate and blood flow to the womb to fetal movement and amniotic fluid levels. The fetuses are examined by ultrasound before and after treadmill work.

    Over time, the doctors plan to measure the impact on fetuses; partner with biomedical engineers to develop new ways to monitor the fetus, perhaps wirelessly during exercise; and collect long-term data on the pregnancy outcomes. The treadmill tests are the first step and some solid data should be available in a couple of months.

    Doctors and groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Pregnancy Association now give blanket advice to pregnant women to get 30 minutes of exercise a day.

    Potential benefits include improvement in general health and a decreased chance of gestational diabetes and hypertension, among others. Also, these groups say, that labor, delivery and recovery can be easier.

    But the advice is based on recommendations from government and groups such as the American College of Sports Medicine that non-pregnant people get such exercise. And it's filled with notes of caution for those who are just starting and those with certain conditions. The college suggests seeing a doctor first, starting slow and stopping when there's pain or bleeding — advice Satin doesn't dispute.

    He added that doctors do know driving up a heart rate and maintaining it there for too long can cut off blood flow to the fetus. Getting overheated and dehydrated are also problems. Joints also can become lax and balance may be off, so some exercises should be avoided, such as street biking late in pregnancy. Contact sports, horseback riding and downhill skiing also may cause injury from blows or falls.

    But he and others say not everyone has gotten the message that exercise is beneficial.

    It was a big change in 2008 when physical guidelines were published for Americans, including pregnant women, said James Pivarnik, who works with the sports medicine college and is professor kinesiology and epidemiology and director of the Center for Physical Activity and Health at Michigan State University.

    He said the guidelines do indicate "that the elite runner can continue doing what she is doing for a bit, provided her health care provider is in the loop, and that she has no warning signs or other issues." But he said "boutique" recommendations are hard with so many possible circumstances.

    "Pretty much the aerobic recs are the same as for anyone," he said.

    Pivarnik agreed more research is needed, such as Satin's. He's now looking at how much weight lifting is good for pregnant women.

    Szymanski said the incomplete data has only confused the message. "[Pregnant] women express frustration because a number of doctors give different advice. Some still tell them not to exercise, especially if they haven't been exercising."

    Outdated information and myths perpetuated by the Internet still mean many women who had been exercising — up to a quarter by some accounts — stop because they fear they will harm their babies, the doctors said.

    Satin said it's actually a really good time to suggest starting an exercise program. Women are more apt to take care of themselves when they are pregnant. They'll quit smoking, eat better and exercise for the sake of the developing baby and then carry over the good habits, he said.

    As long as jogging is comfortable, runners can keep at it. Stationary bikes and running in a pool also are good exercises, Satin said. And walking is safe for nearly everyone. The fetuses are not "flipping and flopping," he said. In fact, the entire uterus is moving with the exercise motion, buoying the fetus.

    Satin said his interest in pregnant athletes grew out of his work with women in the military who wanted to stay physically fit. He was formerly a professor and chair of the Uniformed Services University F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in the obstetrics and gynecology department. Szymanski also is an exercise physiologist and collegiate athlete.

    Dobrosielski, who is about to have her second child, said she decided to participate in the study because she wanted to help other women. She's been running "forever" and played field hockey in high school and college. An ankle injury stopped her from running after 4 months, but everyday she runs in a pool, or does yoga, lifts weights or rides a stationary bike.

    She knows she won't lose as much of her fitness and will be able to return to running, even racing, quickly. Others should be able to find out what's good for them, she said.

    "It's a special population and there's so little time for study," she said of pregnant women. "I felt comfortable exercising and I knew when I needed to stop. I think it's important for all women to exercise and maybe this research will convince them to do that."

    Exercising while pregnant

    Several medical organizations recommend 30 minutes of exercising a day for pregnant women.

    •If you're just beginning or have a condition, consult your doctor. Start slow and stop if you have pain or bleeding.

    •Don't get overheated, stay hydrated and take breaks.

    •Your joints may be lax and your balance off, particularly in later months, so avoid unstable ground or consider a stationary bike or running in a pool.

    •No contact sports, but some weight training is OK. Avoid lying on your back after the first trimester.

  • Swim Your Way To A Healthy Pregnancy

    Whether you were an exercise buff, weekend warrior or more of a couch potato before you were pregnant, swimming is one exercise that almost anyone can do without injury when expecting.

    Swimming provides you with a buoyancy and weightlessness that is welcome to most pregnant women. Especially when past the halfway mark of 20 weeks, you begin to feel the lethargy of those extra pounds and awkwardness of a growing belly. It is also a great way to relax and stretch out those ligaments and tendons that have been working overtime during pregnancy.

    Best Exercise for Warm Weather

    One of the best benefits of swimming during the hot summer months is that it really does cool you down. Overheating is a big risk for pregnant women especially when exercising outside as the temperature begins to sour in the summertime. Women who are pregnant already have a naturally higher internal basal temperature which is one of the early indicators of pregnancy. The cool water of a swimming pool helps to prevent overheating while exercising. However, it is important to remain hydrated even when you are in the pool as your body is working out and expending. It is also important to listen to your body and ease into exercise and take frequent breaks. Your pregnant body will tire quicker and your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute.

    Low-impact and Easy to Do:

    Water exercises are very easy to do. You don’t have to sign up for a fancy class or need years of yoga training to be ready to do some simple water aerobics. Best of all water exercise is low-impact, so it is very hard to injure yourself as the water breaks the impact of a slip or fall. Even just walking back and forth across the length of the pool is a good water resistance exercise. If you are more ambitious, grab a kick board and kick a few laps or do a frog kick breaststroke. If you are up for a little more, swim a few laps. Just a half hour of swimming or water exercise a day will help tone up your muscles for supporting your baby, can reduced pregnancy-related swelling, lower blood pressure and give more lubrication to your joints and ligaments.

    Family Friendly Exercise:

    Best of all swimming is a fun exercise the whole family can enjoy. If you have other small children, swimming is a great way to engage with them when you are pregnant and more limited in your physical activity or exercise endeavors. Everybody loves the water and swimming is great way for you to cuddle, hold and actively play with young children who may normally be too heavy for you to lift and carry and while pregnant. It’s also a great time to improve swimming skills and water safety for early swimmers with you in the pool with them rather than watching from the bench. Just helping a little one to swim is water aerobics exercise in itself!

    Low Start-up Costs:

    In terms of equipment for water exercise, all you really only need is access to a pool and a comfortable maternity swimsuit. Prego Maternity has some excellent simple one piece maternity swimsuits such as the Empire Tank for $69 which gives excellent bust support and a great suit for real swimmers. For a lower cost check out Prego Maternity’s Texture Heart Swimsuit for $48 which is a great all around one piece suit for swimming or water aerobics.

    Be sure to get your doctor’s permission before embarking on a prenatal exercise program. There are some high-risk conditions that do rule our exercise during pregnancy. But, for most expecting women it is one of the best exercises you can do for your body and mind.

  • Bethenny Frankel’s “Real” Maternity Style

    With The Real Housewives of New York starting its new season this week, Bethenny Frankel will once again be showing off her great style and fun personality each Thursday evening. A trained natural foods chef, author, television star, and weekly contributor in many health and fitness magazines, Bethenny’s schedule seems incredibly busy and fulfilling. However, at thirty nine, she is gearing up for the most important moment of her life: becoming a mother. Expecting her first child in June with fiancé Jason Hoppy, Bethenny looks happy and healthy. As her baby bump grows, I cannot help but notice her great maternity style. From cute work out gear to gorgeous dresses, her pregnancy looks combine comfort with fashion. She knows how to rock that baby bump!

    Staying active during pregnancy is important, and Bethenny does it in style. She combines a supportive tank top embellished with a cute logo on the front with a great pair of stretch workout pants. A top like this is great, as it will stretch to fit your changing body shape. Longer tank tops provide extra belly coverage. Wide shoulder straps or a t-shirt design is a good idea, since it will provide more bust support. For a similar look try the Boy or Girl Tank from Due and Sprout. A great pair of stretch work out pants is a good investment for expectant mothers. Whether worn for a walk or running errands, soft, stretchy pants will keep you feeling comfortable and looking stylish throughout your day. 1 in the Oven makes their Super Soft Ruched Foldover Pant, perfect for during and after pregnancy.

    In January, Bethenny was spotted in Miami looking every bit the fashionable expectant mother. Cute black leggings and a flowing red top looked stylish yet comfortable. Although Bethenny paired her outfit with a gorgeous wool coat and scarf, this look is adaptable to the upcoming warm weather by simply leaving the coat at home. Black leggings, such as Olian’s Maternity Leggings, are stretchy and comfortable. They allow room for the belly to expand while being trendy and stylish. When paired with a flowing top, the tightness of the leggings is balanced out by the looseness of the shirt. The Split Sleeve Bubble Maternity Top from Olian creates a beautiful shape while recreating the flowing shape. This is a great day looked when paired with flats and a more casual t-shirt, but can easily be worn at night with a longer embellished tank top and a cute blazer.

    One of my favorite looks of Bethenny’s is the red dress she wore to the Heart Truth Show this past month to kick off Fashion Week. Strutting the runway in a ruched knee length dress, she looked fit, trendy, and happily pregnant. One gorgeous aspect of this dress is the detailed neckline. With a wide, one-shoulder strap, a beautiful and interesting frame is created for the face. Ruching on a dress is not only trendy, it is also figure flattering. It camouflages any bloating you may feel while creating a gorgeous figure. If you are ready to show off your baby bump, this is a pretty and trendy way to do it.

    Throughout her pregnancy Bethenny has shown off her signature pregnancy style. Whether working out or walking the runway, she wears clothes that are both figure flattering and comfortable. By choosing pieces which are comfortable yet flatter your shape, you will look and feel great throughout the day. With the new season of The Real Housewives of New York starting this week, I am hoping to see some of Bethenny’s great maternity style on display!

  • Kristie Moore Pregnant Olympic Athlete Going For The Gold!

    I have to admit curling is a sport I lacked enthusiasm for until I heard about Kristie Moore, an alternate to the Team Canada curling team, Kristie Moore photowho is 5½ months pregnant. This makes Moore the third pregnant athlete to compete in the modern-era Olympics and the first to compete well into her 2nd trimester.

    Diana Sartor of Germany was brave enough (or crazy enough!) to compete in the skeleton in 2006 and actually finished 4th place! In the more distant past, Swedish figure skater Magda Julin won a gold medal at the Antwerp Games some 90 years ago while in her first trimester.

    Moore, who is 30 years old, did not find out about her pregnancy until a few weeks team Canada invited her to join the team. The team has been very supportive of her visible pregnancy. Team Canada leader Cheryl Bernard told Yahoo Sports, "she is young and fit. There's no reason we'll have any problems, and she'll be out there."

    curling photoIn a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, Moore said her pregnancy has not impacted her ability to participate on the team, but may have been more of an issue if she was closer to her due date:

    “[In] the eighth month or so, that might be an issue,” she told Yahoo Sports.

    Team Canada is a favorite for a Gold Medal in the curling event in Vancover. Even if Moore does not compete as an alternate, she will still get to take home a gold medal for her participation on the team if Team Canada wins. Not a bad baby shower gift!

    Moore’s participation in Olympic competition while in her 2nd trimester of pregnancy is incentive enough for any pregnant women to get off the couch and exercise and also to continue to pursue her dreams during pregnancy and beyond!

  • Swim During Your Pregnancy!

    If you are looking for a great workout that is safe while you are pregnant, than consider swimming. Swimming is one of the safest forms of exercising, assuming you know how to swim and are not learning for the first time when you are pregnant. Swimming improves circulation, builds endurance, burns calories and exercises both arms and legs. Because of the weightlessness and the low-impact to tendons and ligaments, swimming poses a very low risk of injury although you should check with your doctor or midwife before taking the plunge.

    It is important to stay well hydrated when swimming, and easy to forget as you are surrounded by water. There is no hard and fast guideline for how much to drink, but stayed tuned into your body and try to drink before you swim and every 20-30 minutes when swimming and also when you get out of the pool. If it is hot then you will need to drink more. Also, stay away from hot pools or saunas as they can overheat you and your growing fetus.

    For some women, swimming first thing in the morning can counteract morning sickness and energize them for their day. If you swam regularly before you were pregnant, there is no reason why you can't continue during pregnancy, just pace yourself and do not overexert yourself. The water does help keep you from in the hot sun, which is one of the great benefits of swimming versus other forms of exercise in the warm summer months. It also supports your ligaments and joints that tend to be a little looser during pregnancy and more prone to injury during high impact workouts.

    By your second semester you will probably need to invest in a maternity swimsuit to fit your changing body more comfortably. It is important that you do not constrict your belly or bust with minimizing non-pregnancy styles that may cut down circulation to your growing tummy and compress changing breasts. Maternity swimwear is made with more stretch in styles that are designed for women's ever changing pregnant body which is important to the health of you and your baby.

    If you are looking for a classic lap maternity swimsuit, then check out Prego Maternity's Empire Tank.

    Prego Maternity Empire Tank

    Prego Maternity Empire Tank

     This suit provides superior bust support with adjustable straps, molded cups and a bra hook in the back for maximum performance. This suit comes in both navy and black and has plenty of stretch in the tummy for all trimesters of your pregnancy.

    If you opt for a little more style in your suit for a water aeobics class or just playing in the pool, then Maternal America has a number of cute new tankini styles this season to check out. My favorite is the Jenni Tribal Tankini that has adjustable hip sash ties and a halter tie on the top that can also be worn as a mini with the ties bowed in front. The tribal pattern is super cute with an O-ring accent in front and black bikini bottoms.

    The blue colors are especially in vogue this spring and summer. Maternal America's Diamond Josie Halter Tankini

    Maternal America Diamond Tank

    Maternal America Diamond Tank

    showcases a sporty blue diamond pattern with adjustable halter ties and bottom sash ties. If you opt for solids, then check out their Carrie Tankini which comes in a memorizing royal blue shade. This strong blue looks great on all skin tones and blondes and brunettes alike. The stylish sweetheart cut with padded bra and ruching is super flattering across the chest. The sash tie bikini bottoms are adjustable for your changing size.

    In a softer blue/aqua shade, Maternal America has a new color take on their classic Flutter Halterkini. This style can be worn as a string halter or mini if you bow the halter strings in front. The lightweight mesh fabric across the belly is a great alternative to a bikini if you don't really want to bare all, but show only hint of skin. It is also a great style for growing bellies as you can comfortably wear this style through your third trimester with no constriction on your belly. Side ties on the bikini bottom can be adjusted to fit comfortably.

    If you like a cute mini style suit, then take a look at Prego Maternity's South Seas Strapless Mini. This suit is absolutely adorable with big aqua flowers and foliage set against a chocolate backdrop with solid chocolate bottoms. There is also a detachable halter string that comes with the suit for a halter style.

    Swimming can help you and your baby's health during all stages of your pregnancy. So consult with your doctor or midwife before embarking on a serious swimming exercise regime and use your own good judgment.

Items 11 to 16 of 16 total

per page
Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2