Pregnancy Fitness After The Birth

Pregnancy fitness after the birth of any baby is essential but unlike most Hollywood celebrities you probably can’t just hand your baby off to the nanny and high tail it down to the gym. Or take a dip in your luxury pool. No for most normal women it’s going to be a bit harder than that. You are probably half asleep most of the time unless your lucky enough to have a son or daughter than can sleep the clock round. If so you are very lucky but just wait until they are teething and see how things go.

After the past nine months of your body going through a wide range of changes, many of which probably at the time where pretty horrifying , now your newborn is here and its time to lose the excess weight you have most likely gained. What I’m kidding right all you want to do when you aren’t feeding or changing is crawl up under the duvet and sleep. Well I don’t blame you I know that’s exactly how I felt those first few weeks and if you had a C section you’ll be feeling even worse and very sore.

But assuming you can drag your tired ass up you really want to start doing some light exercise it’s really knowhere near as bad as you might imagine and if you start now before you know it you’ll be back to your pre baby weight in a few months. Yes I did say months but if you have the energy you could probably crack it sooner.

Now the first question all young moms ask is when should I start exercising again (actually it not the most common one is “when will my baby let me sleep”) but the good news is sooner you start sooner you’ll be back to feeling good again and looking pretty hot as well. Now if you ownly started reading this after the baby and you let things slide before hand you are going to kick yourself the eaisiest way to lose weight was not to gain to much in the first place. How did you eat when you were pregnant and how much exercise did you do. If the answers were badly and what’s exercise it’s time to face an uphill struggle. If your answers were more positive well done you’ll soon be on easy street.

Now if your like me  you’ll have wondered how celebrity moms lose their baby weight so rapidly? Well a friend of mine works with one or two of them and he told me that they exercise daily prior to and during their pregnancy most have a personal trainer who not only motivates them but shows them the best exercise techniques for maximum effect. It’s certainly not unheard of for pregnant celebrities to have lost huge amounts of baby weight and be in stunning shape in just a few weeks. But of course they are the exception not the rule and we only get to see them afterwards not during the period of weight loss so it appears more dramatic than it might actually be.These women generally are dedicated to keeping their body after all for many it’s their livelyhood. They take great care with the types of foods they eat. On top of which they can afford personal trainers and nannies so that they can perform their exercise routines 5-7 days a week for many hours at a time to get back in shape.

Enough of that fantasy land…

Most real  new moms have a lifestyle which is far removed from their Hollywood counterparts they have  regular everyday things they have to do as well as carrying for the new baby. These might be holding down a job , cooking family meals, and everything else that is required of a typical family mom. For them the losing weight after having a baby isn’t a priority and certainly isn’t half as easy. With luck you managed a bit of exercise and kept in reasonable shape while you were pregnant if you did just carry on doing more of the same. If you haven’t then girl friend you better get going other wise you are going to find it a hell of job to shift that fat and it will still be there next year.

Good exercises to burn of the pounds and get in shape are walking, running, aerobics, yoga and even dances like Salsa and Zumba. My advice is if there isn’t already an exercise group at your mother and baby group get some friends together and organize one. Then set up days where you all do step aerobics or Zumba or go for swim or a cycle ride. When you are in group of girls it will be far more fun and you’ll all have a common goal making it easier on you all. Find exercise you enjoy and can have fun with when you are totally exhausted you’ll be more motivated if exercise is fun and with friends doing the same thing you’ll be able to encourage each other when you start to flag.

Don’t push it too hard too quickly…

Having a new baby can be an exhausting task and the simple act of exercising regularly will undoubtedly increase your energy and stamina when you need it most. Most doctors will say that it is safe to start a post-pregnancy exercise routine six weeks after the birth of your child. Walking and swimming can be started shortly after your baby is born if you do so in moderate amounts at a slow pace. Work up slowly to the more strenuous exercises to ensure your safety and reduce the risks of any complications that could arise from over-exerting yourself before your body has had adequate time to recover.

Pregnancy And Caffeine: Risks Of Caffeine In Pregnancy

There is one thing which most the women get ready to give up with pregnancy is caffeine. The main reason is that this can cause damage to the baby which is developing in their womb. In fact these would be mothers will not take anything which contains caffeine, including soda, chocolate and of course coffee. While there are some of us who limit the amount of coffee we have as pregnancy and nutrition go hand in hand.

We will hear our mothers as well as grandmothers say that they did not cut down on their intake of coffee during pregnancy and had perfectly normal children. But the point is that a lot of studies have been done  on pregnancy and nutrition since those days and they suggest that an overdose of caffeine can be responsible for a few complications like low weight at birth or and going into labor before time.

Now the question with regards to pregnancy and nutrition is how much caffeine can be harmful for pregnant women? It is stated by doctors that a reasonable amount of caffeine does not harm the baby in any way. It is true that caffeine has some effect on the placenta but if it is taken less than 300 milligrams in a day which means one 8 ounce cup of strong coffee, it will not have a harmful effect. But if you take more than that it can be a risk for your baby. It is shown by various studies that there is a little more risk of miscarriage in women who drink more than 300 milligrams of caffeine on a regular basis.

Studies also show that babies are born with fast heart beat and breathing rates to women who have more than 500 milligrams of caffeine in a day. This affects the babies sleeping pattern and they are not able to sleep comfortably in the initial days and spend extra time keeping awake.

There are some other reasons why some women may want to limit caffeine intake when they are pregnant. The first thing is that it has no dietary value. It is a well documented fact that pregnancy and nutrition have a very important relationship. It is extremely important for us to know about our nutritional requirements when we are pregnant. The next point is that you have a chance of your heart rate going up as caffeine is a stimulant can result in sleeplessness and headaches, leading to some pressure on the growing baby. Caffeine is also known to cause heartburn and if it is not your first pregnancy you will be aware that heartburn can be quite a problem and it is aggravated with caffeine. You also have the risk of getting dehydrated as caffeine is a diuretic which leads to loss of fluid from the body, which is counterproductive to the principle of pregnancy and nutrition.

Superfoods For Super Moms To Be

Now chances are if you are reading this you don’t need me to tell you being pregnant is tiring, exhausting and wears you out both physically and mentally (have you suffered baby brain yet?). But if you eat the right kinds of food you will reduce the levels of fatigue, give the right sort of nutrition to you and your baby and generally better prepared while your little gift from God arrives.

Eating foods called superfoods you’ll find you are far more energized, feel more alert and even the worse days will feel just that little bit easier when you are eating healthy. Now I have to say I was sceptical it would make any difference after all most moms when I was expecting were stuffing their faces full of ice cream. chocolates and eating at MD’s and Pizza Hut. But I decided with my husband I would stick to healthy eating and pretty much stay on the same exercise program I had before I got pregnant and then change things around a bit when I got bigger.

Part of the plan was I was going to eat plenty of superfoods and I have to say although the Pizza and Ice cream option appealed a lot I don’t regret the discipline it took to stick to my guns. Just a few days after Rosie was born I was feeling as good as before the birth and I also really quickly lost the baby weight. I have to say has my midwife Sally not been a great friend and so persuasive I probably would have struggled more than I did.

The Superfoods That Turn Us In To Super Moms

Although maybe not not that appealing if your usual diet consists of burgers and fried beans and legumes are great for you and baby. They are an excellent  source of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, thiamine, and niacin. It took my midwife’s advice and made up batches of beans and put them in tupperware containers and put them in the freezer. That meant when I wanted some I just used a single portion made it so much easier then having to cook every time I needed them. I tried not to use the tinned beans as they are usually not nutritionally as good and most are soaked in salty water which not only doesn’t taste that good it’s also not healthy for you or baby. Soybeans provide more protein than any other bean or legume, making them a staple either the vegan or non-vegan (incidently I love meat but I always try and buy lean cuts and the best quality I can afford). Soybeans are rich in many nutrients, including calcium and iron.

Before you all write and tell me I know they don’t taste as good as burgers and fries but I managed to incorporate beans and pulses in to most main meals but still had plenty of tasty food. A nice lean fillet of pork or a breast of chicken go great as does a vegetable curry and other spicy food. Easy on the spices if you suffer from indigestion fortunately I didn’t.

Other pulses which are worthy of including in your diet are whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet, and oats as they’re a great source of fiber, minerals, protein and B complex vitamins.  Buy the least processed grain types you can find, since many of the commercially prepared grains have had the nutritional and beneficial germ and bran removed. I was actually suprised when  started looking on the net how many really tasty dishes use quinoa (pronounced Kin wa incidently).

What more veggies?

Yes I know but what’s more important having to eat your greens or your babies health. If you said the former shame on you. If the latter go to the top of the class.

Generally speaking the darker green the leaf the better it is for you. This means kale, collard greens (hate em) watercress and spinach are the ones to try and eat. They are packed full of goodness including Vitamins A and C and of course Iron. They alos have loads of phytochemicals like beta carotene and lutein which are supposed to reduce your risks of cancer.  When cooking these vegetables and other greens like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage don’t cook it within an inch of it’s life. Either steam it (get one of those electric steamers) or cook really quickly in olive oil. Most people overcook greens and this takes away most of the flavour all of the goodness and also gives you gas. If you cook them the way I suggest not only do they taste a whole lot better they also don’t give you problems with gas anywhere near as much.

Even More Superfoods

Nuts and seeds are fantastic sources of fiber, protein, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Be sure to eat flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts to get omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for baby’s brain and nervous system development as well as your own health. Nuts and seeds can be eaten raw or toasted, and work great in a salad made of dark leafy green vegetables. See it’s not all bad. Avoid peanuts that are cooked in alot of oil and salt as they aren’t good for you.

Finally when you aren’t eating make sure you are drinking loads of cold fresh water. Keeping hydrated means your body works more effectively in addition it will stop your skin drying out, help reduce stretch marks and give you greater levels of energy. I strongly recommend if you don’t have one get a water bottle and make sure you drink it empty at least 4-5 times a day. Yes I know you can hardly stop making trips to the bathroom now but after a while drinking more water will actually reduce your need to pee as often

Aside from all that make having your baby fun you don’t have to stick religiously to any diet just try and incorporate as much healthy stuff in there as possible. Good luck and enjoy your baby.

Exercises During Pregnancy What To Avoid And Why?

Can you continue with your normal exercise during pregnancy is the age old question. Well, back in the old days, pregnant women were considered to be fragile beings that should be hidden away until delivery. Thank God we don’t live in those times now. It’s crazy when you think about it in some societies pregnant women quite literally have babies and then go back to work but in the western world we possibly go over the top protecting our pregnant moms.

Now lets get one thing clear just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t have to mean that you can’t get out there and get some active exercise after all the health problems you’ll experience from sitting on your butt watching TV stuffing tubs of Ben and Jerry’s down your face will be more harmful. Once you have had a basic exam from your doctor as to the general state of your health and passed without any issues be sure to fit in daily exercises during your pregnancy. In order to clear you for exercise, your doctor may give you some guidelines to follow to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but to get you started, here are some exercise guidelines of our own.

Sports & Recreation activities and exercises to avoid include:

-Contact sports and most competitive sports

-Any activity that can result in falling, such as downhill skiing or mountain biking

-Lying on your back or stomach during exercise, after the beginning of the fourth month

-Lifting heavy objects or heavy weight lifting

-Intense cardiovascular exercise – your heartbeat should remain under 140 beats per minute during your workout.

-Scuba diving or any activity that involves pressurized air

The most appropriate exercise during pregnancy can include:

-Prenatal Yoga

-Walking

-Swimming

Exercise is important during pregnancy. It can alleviate aches and pains, depression, and fatigue. Exercise also gives you the endurance and flexibility to get through your pregnancy and through labor. So what are you waiting for? Get out there, get active, and stay healthy. Exercise during your pregnancy is a great thing to do for you AND your baby.

Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

Every one tells you from your mom to your big sister that it is important to do all you can to have a healthy pregnancy if you have underlying health issues then you will need to work out stuff with your medical advisers but for most healthy women a lot of staying healthy is about doing what you should have been doing before you got pregnant. If you were abusing your body out drinking and partying every night chances are you going to have to make some serious changes but for a lot of women it just means greater attention to what you eat and what you do to keep healthy.

Firstly once you know you are pregnant its a trip to see your obstetrician and or gynecologist (OBGYN). Quite often if you are having your first baby you’ll want to ask friends or family for advice on a godo OBGYN as they will need to be with you and work with you through out the pregnancy. Most working women can tell you who they recommend but it’s ultimately your choice so if necessary interview a few so you find a good fit.

On your first visit to your obstetrician you’ll find they will do an ultrasound to see how your pregnancy is developing and how pregnant your are. Usually doctors like to try and work out the due date at this stage which will also give you some idea of the date of conception. If this is an issue you might want to make this first visit with a girl friend or your mom as on occasions this can be bad news and they will be there to support you.

Once you have been told you are pregnant your nursing team will usually discuss changes you will need to make to your life style. Obviously if you smoke you should quite and ideally stop consumption of any alcohol. Cigarette smoking can lead to the baby being malformed, low birth weight and in some cases can increase the risk of miscarriage.You may find that most Nicotine withdrawal systems are not suitable when you are pregnant so seek advice from your doctors. If you were a heavy drinker there is a risk of feotal alcohol syndrome in your baby this is bad news as the baby can be seriously handicapped in some cases. For this reason alone you should quit drinking immediately. There are cases of mothers who were just occasional drinkers during their pregnancy who’s babies had this problem so don’t put your baby at risk.

It goes without saying if you are a recreational drug user you should stop immediately as this can lead to serious harm to your baby. If you are are a drug addict make sure your your doctors are aware as they will be able to provide the best advice and the likelihood of problems with your pregnancy.

Another possibly less drastic but equally important part of changing your lifestyle is your diet during pregnancy. Make sure to drink plenty of water – about 6 to 8 glasses a day if you usually drink this much water it won’t hurt to add a few extra glasses. It is not healthy to be overweight or underweight during a pregnancy but do remember that you shouldn’t diet during pregnancy that is extremely dangerous to both you and baby.Generally speaking pregnancy is not a time to be worrying about your weight unless you are very overweight or diabetic where you should seek advice as to best practice. Don’t be tempted to skip meals as you and your baby need as much nutrition and some extra calories, do not believe the stories that you should eat twice as much you should eat sensibly and adequately for your own and babies needs not binge. Stick to healthy food and you’ll be fine. The occasional junk food treat is fine to purge those crazy pregnancy cravings but try not to go overboard as to much fatty food will be bad for you and hard to shift after the pregnancy.

If you are worried about weight gain during pregnancy, a great option to dieting is light exercise. You may not have loved it before your pregnancy, but learn to love it now as it will definitely pay off in the long run by keeping your baby healthy and your body fit. Light exercises will not harm your pregnancy so try swimming, yoga and walking there are many great classes for pregnant women and you can have a natter as well with women going through what you are.

An additional healthy pregnancy tip that those with busy schedules especially career women tend to forget is the importance of regular sleep and rest. Make sure to get plenty of rest so that you and your baby growing in your womb can recuperate and to ensure that your immune system is boosted and as effective as possible. It is advised that you rest on your side to reduce swelling and generate the best circulation to your baby. You’ll find in the later stages of pregnancy you won’t be able to lay on your tummy and you might find yourself a little breathless sleeping on your back.

So in conclusion and to ensure a healthy pregnancy avoid damaging substances such as nicotine and alcohol and drugs, don’t diet during pregnancy, drink plenty of water and keep well hydrated, practice as much exercise as safely possible, and get more sleep than usual especially if your lifestyle is rather hectic normally. Stick to these pregnancy tips and you’ll be well of track to a a healthy pregnancy and having a happy and fit baby boy or girl.

Can You Stay On A Diet Whilst Pregnant?

Dieting when pregnant is usually regarded as a complete no-no but that doesn’t mean you should eat anything and everything you lay eyes on. It’s very important to watch what you eat. Often being pregnant is regarded as  eating for two—this doesn’t mean that you eat more (so if you were planning a dunkin donuts delievery hold fire), but that you eat smarter and healthier. During those crucial 9 months  you sweetie are your baby’s only source of nutrients, and you need to make sure both you and junior growing inside you get the proper balance of proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber and carbohydrates.

So you might be thinking well I am going to put on a few pounds (sort of inevitably) that you’ll start dieting now and that way you will be able to lose the baby weight really quickly afterwards and get back in to your small skimpy bikini for a winter get away. Now sorry to burst your bubble but most prental food experts suggest (infact pretty much insist on) avoiding a low carbohydrate diet so looks like you are going to have to put your Atkins on hold for a while.

You see your body needs adequate carbs to function properly which means if it doesn’t get them your body ends up producing chemicals called ketones (you can usually tell as your breath will smell sweet) and this is really bad news for baby and can lead to permanent brain damage or premature birth. Now that’s not what we want to happen but if that hasn’t deterred you (come on surely you not that crazy?)

Low carb diets are a bad idea for a number of other reasons in pregnant women. Aside from the risk of mental retardation of your baby which really should be enough reason to avoid them anyway. There are other issues with low carb diets that can add to the discomforts of pregnancy. For example, low carb diets tend to have low levels of dietary fiber, which exacerbate the constipation that many pregnant moms suffer because of the required iron supplements this can be really uncomfortable as as baby weight increase during development your risks of becoming constipated increase anyway.

Additionally you’ll find most prenatal dieticians recommend eating a lot of fruit obviously because of its rich vitamin content, but most of the items you’ll find in a typical shake are banned by low carb diets like Atkins and South Beach because of the sugars naturally occuring in these types of foods.

On some occasions doctors may recommend taking carefully modified low-carb diets, especially if you are obese, suffer from gestational diabetes or low blood sugar. All three conditions have been proven to have adverse affects on the baby (including prematurity, birth defects, and early rupture of the membranes) so losing weight or controlling intake may actually be the best thing for your baby. This will need to be done under very strict medical supervision and you will find that you will need more check ups than other women.

If you are asked to go on a low-carb diet during pregnancy, you will probably be told to go on the equivalent of the maintenance phase of the Atkins Diet, or the second phase of the South Beach Diet both of these can be quite effective at maitaining weight but keeping your nutritional balance intact. With this option you are premitted a carefully controlled number of carbohydrates, usually obtained from whole grains and fruits, while minimizing white bread, white rice, and pasta. That is fine, as you are still giving your baby the adequate nutrients, while removing processed foods which provide little or no nutritional benefits.

If you are not allowed to go low-carb, but still need to control your weight, there are some options open to you. First of all, eat small but frequent meals. If you want a snack, instead of taking junk food or processed meats (which have a lot of calories, but significantly less nutrients), take salads, fruits, nuts and crackers. Choose lean cuts of meat, and minimize salt and rich sauces during cooking. And while you do need carbohydrates, take in moderation. One plate of pasta is good, three servings of it smothered in white sauce is not.

But the most important thing to remember is that before you go on any diet during pregnancy consult your obstetrician-gynaecologist. She or he can properly determine the best course of action given your particular medical history and the condition of your baby. Do not go on any weight management program without the advice and the approval of your doctor. Whether it’s low carb or Zone or the Mediterranean Diet, the point is that there is a proven link between prenatal nutrition and the baby’s health. Complications can include low birth weight, birth defects, and early delivery.