The 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy was released in October. Hopefully this new guideline dispels any doubt that exercise during pregnancy is either bad or simply not necessary. On the contrary, exercise during pregnancy is a must. The health benefits for mother and baby are many.Read More
TOYS. They are a fairly prominent thing in my house. Baby toys, toddler toys, kindergartener toys. As parents, we long to see our floors and our neutral home decor not being vomited on by the sea of harsh red-yellow-blue. I get it. But in the mean time I suggest you embrace the bright plastic or plushy goodness at your feet and USE IT. Here are three exercises you can do with your kids’ toys.Read More
Pregnancy can suck. And exercising during pregnancy can suck even more. Especially during the late stages of the longest nine months of your life when your joints are revolting and you're pretty sure it's pee not amniotic fluid that leaks every time you sneeze. I have one word that will make everything better.Read More
Did your booty shrink post-partum? There is no medical term for this condition, but I call it Postnatal Flat Ass Syndrome. It is a real thing, with real scientific backing. Dear mummas, today is all about getting your postnatal booty back, and finding out exactly why it disappeared in the first place.Read More
I've written about FitMom Ottawa in the past, but it definitely deserves another mention. And by it I really mean Sue McDonald, she is the passionate energy behind FitMom Ottawa. I first met Sue four years ago for her FitMom2B class in Old Ottawa South. I was a few months pregnant with my first and needed a regular exercise commitment to keep me moving and motivated through the prenatal exhaustion. She had me squatting, lunging and planking right up to my due date.
Sue is a proud mumma of two and a CanFitPro pre/post-natal specialist. Her energy is contagious, even when she's chatting you through her infamous wall sits! Quads be warned! Her classes are an awesome mix of functional exercises, with plenty of emphasis on core. Right up my alley. She is quick to provide you with a modified exercise if something isn't working for you (like your pregnant belly is in the way, you have DRA or your pelvic floor is not quite ready for jumping jacks) or you have a fussy or sleeping baby strapped to you. She keeps an eye on form and offers adjustments when needed. Everyone is encouraged to work at their own level and pace. THIS is what makes FitMom so fantastic. It's a no-stress, welcoming, safe environment for every body (and baby). I am always happy to refer friends and patients alike to Sue's classes knowing they are will be in safe hands.
But really, the GREATEST reason to love FitMom are the connections with other mummas that come with it. I met friends four years ago in my prenatal class that are still going strong with me once or twice a week at FitMom Women. These are women who have become good friends, and who are there for a good laugh whether you're showing up with dried baby puke down your back (yep) or are barely keeping your head up from the emotional and physical exhaustion that can be motherhood (yep, yep). From FitMom2B to FitMom&Baby to FitWoman (freeeeeeedom!), there's always a familiar face. It's kinda like your very own Cheers, minus the bar. Aaand the drink (although we have been known to grab a pint post-class). And you'll leave strong, not tipsy. Totally like Cheers. Ha.
Seriously though, I can't say enough about FitMom and Sue. Exercise is something that I NEED postpartum, and Sue has made my commitment to myself to get moving a heck of a lot easier. I am stronger, happier and healthier thanks to these classes. Thanks Sue!
FitMom Ottawa has classes around town, indoors and out depending on the season. See you there mumma!
Incontinence (n) in.con.ti.nence. Something you thought only your grandmother could have. Until you got pregnant that is. "Do your Kegels!" is the pregnant women's mantra, but are Kegels the right way to a healthy pelvic floor? It's time to shake up your pelvic floor knowledge, dear mumma.Read More
(Photo curtesy of the Université de Montréal)
This morning, my mother-in-law mentioned a new study out of the Université de Montréal that has shed light on the importance of maternal exercise on neonatal brain development.
This was the first human study of its kind to measure the effects of exercise during pregnancy on newborn brain activity. The findings were presented yesterday at Neuroscience 2013, in San Diego, California.
Eighteen pregnant women were randomly assigned to either an exercise group or a sedentary group. The brain activity of the newborns was tested with electroencaphalography (EEG) when they were between 8 to 12 days old. The findings indicated that 20 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise (causing slight shortness of breath or to be more technical, exercising at a minimal intensity of 55% of their max aerobic capacity), three times a week, resulted in more focused, mature, newborn brain activity.
The researchers note that the study's findings are not intended to cast guilt on mothers who do not, or cannot exercise for health reasons (newborns in the sedentary-mum group showed normal brain activity), but suggest that exercise should be encouraged to pregnant woman who are capable.
It should be noted that this study was performed with a group of 18 pregnant women - a considerably small sample group. Also know that the study is ongoing, in that the researchers will test the babies again at one year of age.
The findings of this study are not exactly earth shattering. It is prrrretty well recognized that aerobic exercise is associated with countless health benefits for the vast majority of people, including expectant mothers. But it is great to see some preliminary research indicating a positive effect of maternal exercise on fetal brain development.
Hmmmm….twenty minutes of brisk walking gets me to my favourite gelato store.
Not that I am pregnant.