Wait, what?? I know, in the New Year we’re all supposed to resolve to lose weight, get in better shape, yadda yadda yadda. Well, not so if you’re pregnant! Losing weight and/or dieting is generally not recommended for pregnant women. Yet at the same time, women ARE concerned about gaining all of that pregnancy fat…
Except I have a secret for you. It isn’t all fat! In fact, your pregnancy weight gain consists of several components, just one of them being fat storage.
Historically, doctors advised pregnant women not to gain too much weight. However, research has shown that healthy weight gain isn’t just good for baby, it’s BEST for baby. Your little one needs all kinds of nutrients to grow to be a healthy baby. Note, I didn’t say to be a big baby. To grow a healthy, thriving baby, your provider will likely recommend that you gain on average between 25-35 pounds during your pregnancy.
Caveat: You’ll want to check your BMI (Body Mass Index) either pre-pregnancy, or early on in pregnancy, because if you begin your pregnancy anywhere other than what is categorized as “normal weight”, then these recommendations may change.
To calculate your BMI: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm
To calculate an estimate of healthy weight gain for you: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/pregnancy-breastfeeding/pregnancy_weight_gain.asp
Now before you freak out about seeing a number on the scale you never thought you’d see, hear me out. Tremendous changes occur in your body during pregnancy, all of which add up to a healthy weight gain:
So how do you feel about weight gain during pregnancy now? Ready to resolve to gain a healthy weight for you and baby in 2016? Here are some helpful tips:
Bon Appetit, and Happy 2016!
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a Postnatal blog on the Cure for Hunched Shoulders. Well, what about helping out your rounded shoulders while you’re pregnant?
Rounded/hunched shoulders are common during pregnancy, as the natural curvature of your spine is exaggerated as the trimesters progress. The growing weight of your uterus and baby draw your lower back into an exaggerated curve (sometimes called lordosis) and your cervical spine's curve is exaggerated by your growing/heavier breasts drawing your shoulders forward. How to help?
Follow the link below to see my instructions for a great chest opener that I teach in my prenatal classes, and something simple you can do every day at home.
If you’re a new mama, rounded shoulders and back pain are common. You’re likely holding baby a LOT, and if you’re breastfeeding, then you’re also sitting throughout the day (and night) and might not have the best posture – all of this equals slumped or rounded shoulders.
This can cause strain on the neck and upper-mid back, so to counteract rounded shoulders, I usually open and/or close Postnatal Yoga with a restorative chest opening pose.
Read through how to access this pose on East Side Yoga's Mamas blog!
Your body does AMAZING thing during pregnancy in order to accommodate a growing baby. One of the things your body does is to temporarily displace your organs to make room for a growing uterus and baby. That's right, I said organ displacement.
If your organs end up rearranging themselves, sometimes they begin to push up into the lungs, causing breathlessness. This is common in the second trimester and can continue until baby drops in the week or so before birth.
If you've wondered why you are so out of breath after walking a block, or even walking down a staircase, this is likely the reason why!
While we can't fix organ displacement in Prenatal Yoga, we can try and help provide you with some temporary respite from the discomfort of organs pushing up into your lungs, causing breathlessness.
Check out the full post here at East Side Yoga.
Not a lot of mamas realize that pelvic floor muscles are like a hammock, and wrap all around the backside of the body.
This means that there are many different ways to strengthen the pelvic floor beyond Kegels!
In my last Postnatal blog post, I described how to strengthen your pelvic floor in Bridge Pose.
One of my other favorite poses that I like to teach in my Postnatal classes is Baddha Konasana, also known as Butterfly Pose.
Head on over to East Side Yoga to see how exactly you can receive the pelvic floor strengthening benefit of this pose.
So many new mamas are interested in restoring strength to their pelvic floor after birth. There are a lot of great exercises that I teach in the ESY Postnatal Yoga class, and my latest Yoga Mamas post is a movement that you can do at home - you can even place baby on your belly, to give them some tummy time while you strengthen. :-)
Check out the full post here: Pelvic Floor Strengthening Tip
Have you ever scared your partner half-to-death in the middle of the night, when you wake up in pain from a super-intense calf cramp? Calf cramps are really common during pregnancy (unfortunately), and the reason for them isn't widely known.
Calf cramps are one of those pesky pregnancy discomforts, and check out my blog on East Side Yoga's website for helpful tips on managing them.
Mamas are often eager to return to running, crunches, sit-ups after baby in order to get that pre-pregnancy belly back. Hold up and check your ab muscles before you do any of those things!
Sometimes during pregnancy, due to the abdominal muscles stretching to accommodate your growing baby and uterus, the rectus abdominus muscles (6-pack muscles) separate. This can happen in up to two-thirds of pregnant mamas, and is called diastasis recti.
For tips on how to check if you have abdominal separation after baby, check out my tips on ESY's YogaMamas blog!
I've been hearing from a lot of my prenatal mamas about how hot it is, and how sluggish they feel. It's been ridiculously hot so far this summer, and while dehydration isn't good for our bodies in regular life, it's even more troublesome during pregnancy...
For my tips on staying hydrated, head on over to East Side Yoga's blog page!
Click HERE for the direct blog link.
You’ve just had a baby. Maybe you’re a couple of weeks in, and you’re dying to get back into some activity. Or maybe you’re too exhausted to move, but you still feel like you have to start to get back “in shape.”
You may have noticed in East Side Yoga's Postnatal Yoga description, that we ask you to be cleared by your midwife or OB at your 6 or 8-week postpartum check-up, to return to “normal activity.” There are good reasons for this...
Click here to find out why it's so important to wait to return to activity.
Link to East Side Yoga's Yoga Mama Blog:
Birth educator. Doula. Yoga Teacher. Mom to a crazy threenager and Wife to an awesome husband.
What I've written:
"Thank you for giving me a sound mind, hard body and open heart! "❤️ - Courtney, Arlington, VA
MamaChakra serves the following geographic areas in and around Northern Virginia (NoVa): Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale, Falls Church, Fairfax, Springfield. I also serve the Washington D.C. Metro Area.
MamaChakra's students have given birth at the following DMV-area hospitals: George Washington (GW) Midwives, Virginia Hospital Center, INOVA Alexandra, INOVA Fairfax, and Sibley Hospital.