Pregnancy & Exercise

Pregnancy & Exercise

When you become pregnant one big question comes across your mind “Can I exercise?” In most cases, the answer is, yes!

In the past, it used to be common for practitioners to tell newly pregnant women, they were not allowed to exercise. Quickly, it was discovered that there were a lot more benefits to exercising, compared to not exercising. Exercising and being active during pregnancy benefits not only mom, but baby also!

I have done some looking and there are several things to keep in mind while exercising and being active during pregnancy. I have broken it down for everyone.

Pregnancy & Exercise

Warm Up

Warming up before exercising is always important, but even more critical when pregnant. Just like before pregnancy, if you do not warm up, you may experience aches and pains after workout. Pregnant women, will definitely experience these aches and pains if they do not warm up. When pregnant, your body is growing and changing. It is important to ease into activity and exercise.

Heart Rate

Heart rate is a common thing that comes up when discussing exercise during pregnancy. Women will hear different target heart rates from different sources, but a common heart rate that is most commonly given is 140. It is not recommended to get your heart rate over 140. During the first trimester, most women are usually tired and do not have much energy; so staying at this heart rate is easy. Some women have no change in energy and can exert themselves way more. It is important for you to discuss this with your provider and come up with a target heart rate that makes everyone feel comfortable.

Mood Swings

When you become pregnant, hormones are going haywire! One moment you may be sad and depressed, nauseous, stressed, and so on. Exercising brings out those good and happy endorphins! It may hard to get moving but, getting outside and being active can greatly improve a your mood.

Exercises to Avoid

Deciding what exercises to avoid will vary between each person. If you are very active and work out routinely, there will be less to avoid. Most commonly, you can continue to do what you have been doing. There are women who still run marathons, lift heavy weights and more while pregnant. The most important thing is for you to listen to your body. If you feel something is too much, hurts, or just feels “off” you need to cut back. There are certain activities and exercises that should be avoided while pregnant such as, scuba diving, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing or any contact sport that may cause trauma to the abdomen.

Eating

Yes, eating fits into exercising while pregnant. If you are regularly exercising while pregnant, you are burning calories. It is very important for you to make up for those calories by eating healthy, lots of fruits and veggies, and high protein foods. Even though you may think you do not need those extra calories, your baby does!

WATER, WATER, WATER

Water is extremely, extremely important while pregnant. Not only is it important if you are lying around all day, it is even more important if you are active and exercising. Staying hydrated keeps the body temperature low while exercising, reduces aches and pains, and will help prevent contractions.

Look into prenatal exercise classes

Although, you are usually able to continue your normal exercise routine, it may be beneficial for you to research and find a prenatal exercise class. This may also be beneficial for women who have not been exercising prior to pregnancy, but want to stay active. Prenatal exercise classes are modified for pregnancy and the instructors have a special certification to teach prenatal classes. The fitness instructors are knowledgeable of the woman’s pregnant anatomy and know the dos and don’ts. It is also a great place to meet other pregnant mama’s and connect!

When to slow down

In the first trimester you may be able to workout like you did before pregnancy. As pregnancy continues, your body changes, and your baby grows; changes may need to be made. Listen to your body for changes such as these:

  1. Fatigue – Feeling a little fatigue after exercising is okay, but if you cannot recover like before, it may mean to start scaling a bit back.
  2. Joint or muscle pain – Joint and muscle pain comes with the “being pregnant” package, but it may increase even more if you are exercising too much. Any sharp pains, or aches, that is not going away after a day or so, after working out, cut back.

Reasons to STOP exercising

The number one reason to stop exercising would be if your practitioner has told you to do so, but there are also some other factors to look for.

  1. If you have been diagnosed with preeclampsia or any other form of pregnancy-related high blood pressure.
  2. Cervical problems
  3. Vaginal bleeding
  4. Lots of swelling

If any of these symptoms arise or anything else that may be abnormal, stop exercising, and let your practitioner know immediately.

Exercising while pregnant is not only great for you, but also baby. It boosts your energy and mood levels, helps you sleep better, prevents excess weight gain, and may help ease pain when you go into labor. It is important for to have an open communication with your provider about what your exercise routine is and if any changes are happening.

Disclaimer: All information in this post are thoughts, opinions and research I have personally done. Please talk to your provider before engaging in any activity.  

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Hike it Baby: One Year Anniversary!

Have you heard about Hike it Baby? For those of you who haven’t, we are an organization dedicated to developing communities that get families outside with children from birth to school age. There are branches in cities all over the world! Iowa has four branches: Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport. An Ames branch will be starting soon, too!

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Come celebrate Des Moines’ one year anniversary with us! We went from an inspiration to an entire branch with over 800 Facebook members and hundreds of hikes on the calendar in a year! We have some fun things planned, including an amazing giveaway filled with donations from local businesses.

When: Sunday, June 5th at 2:30pm at the Ewing Park Children’s Forest and Nature Trail. We will meet at the Ashley Okland Star Playground and hike the Nature Trail at 3pm then have time to play on this AMAZING playground. Bring your own chairs, a picnic basket, and join us!

More information can be found on our Facebook page under Events, and here: https://hikeitbaby.com/hike/hike-it-baby-des-moines-1-year-anniversary-hike-and-event/ 

Check out more information about Katy Severe, leader of Des Moines’ local chapter here!

Titles and Professions to Know While Pregnant

Titles and Professions to Know When Pregnant

When you become pregnant everything is a little overwhelming, or way overwhelming! You are making sure your eating healthy, taking the right supplements, creating a birth plan, looking for a postpartum doula 🙂 and so on!

While doing your research, you will come across a lot of professions and  titles that are important. It gets confusing. What’s the difference between a lactation consultant and a lactation educator? Which one do I need? Why?

Titles and Professions to Know While Pregnant

I have done some research and created a guide for you. This is here to help you know who is who and who does what!

Birth

Midwife – A midwife is a traditional care provider for mothers and infants. They are trained professionals that support a mother, so they can receive the optimum personalization of care. With a midwife you receive personal, woman-centered care.

OB/GYN – An OB/GYN is a gynecologist and obstetrician. A gynecologist is someone who specializes in women’s reproductive health. An obstetrician cares for women during their pregnancy and after the baby is born.

Doula – A doula is a trained individual to provide support to the mother and partner during childbirth. A doula is someone who you meet before your birth and you create a personal relationship. They take note of your wishes while you are in labor and make sure you have confidence to express your wishes and concerns. They also may support before birth and shortly after birth. Doulas do not do any medical procedures.

Labor & Delivery Nurse – A lot of women, who are new to pregnancy, think that they may not need a doula because their nurses will be present. Nurses can be great coaches and support, but one major drawback is you never know who will be your labor and delivery nurse. You do not create a special bond with your nurse before you go into labor, like you do with your doula. Nurses are not only coaching you, but also assisting the doctors.

Breastfeeding

Lactation Consultant – Lactation consultants are professionally trained, breastfeeding specialists. They are specialists who teach mothers how to feed their baby. They help in all areas of breastfeeding whether it be poor latch, painful nursing, low milk production and more. It is important to know that when looking for a certified lactation consultant, they will have IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) after their name. This means they have sat for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Exam (IBLCE), which is the only certifying body that can award this credential.

Lactation Counselor – A certified lactation counselor (CLC) can help with issues such as helping a baby latch, counseling mothers, they have knowledge of milk production, prevention and management of sore nipples, and a lot of other various issues. A CLC is not required to sit for the IBLCE. They are required to have a lot of hands on hours and to complete a program, to become certified.

Lactation Educator – A certified lactation educator (CLE), is usually a nurse, doula or other type of birth profession that have taken a course to gain more experience and knowledge in breastfeeding. They provide encouragement, guidance, referrals (to a lactation consultant), education, and support. When searching for a doula or provider, checking if they are a CLE may be beneficial.

Other

Postpartum Doula – A postpartum doula provides emotional, physical, and evidence-based informational support after birth. A postpartum doula is an individual that allows the mother and newborn to create a special bond, without having to worry about everything else. They may do light housekeeping, listen and answer questions, make light meals, watch the baby while mom sleeps, and much more.

Prenatal/Postpartum Fitness Instructor – A prenatal and postpartum fitness instructor is trained specifically to instruct fitness classes to pregnant women and postpartum women. They are knowledgable about the pregnant and postpartum body anatomy.

Childbirth Educator – A childbirth educator is trained to be able to provide education and support to pregnant women and their families. They prepare women and families on what to expect before labor and after.

What profession or title am I missing? Feel free to ask below and I will get it added!

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Bump Day 2016

Come out to Iowa Family Chiropractic on April 9th, 2016!

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From 9 am until 11 am there will be around 20 vendors sharing their business, goods, and services for new and expecting parents/caregivers and for families trying to get pregnant! Such as local midwives, doulas, photographers, places to shop, acupuncture, massage, and much more.

List of vendors include:

1. Acupunture Wellness Center
2. Farm Baby Foods
3. Willowsong
4. Roots Prenatal Yoga
5. Little Padded Seats
6. Iowa Doula Agency
7. Basking Babies LLC
8. Hy-vee Nutrition
9. Fadeaway Flotation
10. Little Children’s Boutique
11. Babydale Diaper Service
12. Central Iowa Placenta
13. Mercy Midwives
14. It Works
15. Food4Thought
16. Iowa Birth Organization
17. Kiwi Marie Photography
18. Sams Club
19. Ankeny Dog Training Academy

AND Midwest Mom & Wife and Des Moines Parent!! 🙂

Not only will the be an educational event for families to see what Central Iowa has to offer, but there will be some fun stuff too! Bring some cash & prepare to shop! 🙂

Bump Bags full of free goodies for the first 50 families, plus door prizes and giveaways.

This event is also sponsored by Fadeaway Floatation! Check out the great experience I had!

Make sure you join the Facebook event to keep track of everything!

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Curvy Yoga DSM: Yoga For Every Body!

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I have practiced it on and off since I was 13. Growing up in small town Iowa, I didn’t have exposure to a yoga studio or organized classes. All I had was videos, books, and the teachers my high school brought in from time to time. I loved yoga right away. When I decided to check out a local Des Moines studio I thought I would waltz in there and fit right in. I was wrong.

Everything about the studio was beautiful – the people, the clothes, the yoga mats, even the floors. The whole place was very intimidating all by itself (also very intimidating when there are beautiful yoga bodies all around you). I suddenly became very aware of how big my body was. No one said anything. No one looked at me funny. But I didn’t notice that. To me, everyone’s eyes were all on me and my (probably see-through) yoga pants.

Despite all that I was hooked right away. I was exhausted and sweaty but I felt great. The following day I ached in places I didn’t even know existed. After my first week I still didn’t know what a chaturanga was or how to properly do one (still a matter of contention two years later) but I did know that I was going to come back.

Yoga has completely changed the way I see myself inside and out. It has reminded me that I am strong, beautiful, and capable. Being skinny isn’t going to make me a better person. It’s not going to make me happier. My self worth is not determined by the size of my jeans.

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It’s easy to think that yoga isn’t for you. I’m here to tell you that it is. You don’t have to be flexible. You don’t have to wear special clothes. You don’t have to look a certain way. All you have to do is show up. Really, truly, that’s it. Ignore the beautiful Instagram pictures on beaches. Ignore the perfect bodies in tight clothing. Ignore the commentary in your mind.

Join me on Tuesdays at the South Suburban YMCA at 4:45 or on Thursdays at 4020 70th Street in Urbandale. Tuesday classes are free with a YMCA membership and Thursday classes are $15 each, but your first two classes are free. Punch cards are available for purchase and offer discounts by buying multiple classes at a time. My classes are geared towards beginners and will help you understand some basic yoga poses, connect you with your breath and body, and help build confidence in yourself and your yoga practice. There is no need to sign up ahead of time. Just show up!

I’m a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher and am working towards becoming Iowa’s first Curvy Yoga Certified yoga teacher. If you have questions, want to schedule a private session, or just want to chat yoga, email me at curvyyogadsm@gmail.com.

Written by Jamie Elliott

january 1016

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Vision Board

Vision Board: Why EVERYONE Needs One!

It’s 2016! How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? The kids and I hung out at home and I worked on creating my goals for 2016.

I am super excited for 2016. I know it’s going to be a great year all around! To help keep me focused and committed to a great year, I updated my vision board.

Vision Board

I HIGHLY recommend a vision board for everyone and they are so much fun to make! I made one about 6 months before Amelia was born and hung it right by my bed side. After almost 2 years, I have new goals, so I wanted to update.

It’s pretty simple creating a vision board. You can use a bulletin board, poster board, etc. Check out Pinterest for some awesome ideas here!

1. Grab magazines that inspire you!

Everyone’s inspirational magazines differ. It depends on what your goals are and what you like. If you want to focus on remodeling your home, you may have a bunch of DIY magazines. If you want to focus on health, you may have fitness and health magazines. So, the first step is to gather the magazines you want to use, to create your vision board.

2. Grab some scissors, wine and start cutting!

This is my favorite part, because there is no right or wrong way. You can dream as big as you want. If you want to travel to Europe this year, cut that picture out of Europe and put it on your board! The more you look at it, the more you will focus on how to achieve that goal!

3. Place cut outs on your board.

I like to use a bulletin board, because I can change it up in the future. Your visions do change over time, because you accomplish these goals, so you create more. Using a bulletin board and push pins allows you to change things easily. Organize how you want all of your cut-outs to lay on your board. Do you want sections that focus on each topic? Do you want your most important visions on top?

4. Hang your vision board. 

You want to hang your board some place where you see it EVERY DAY. The more you see this board, the more you are reminded what your goals and visions are for yourself. Mine is hanging right beside my bed. Every morning, I wake up and it’s the first thing I see. Every night, before I go to bed, it’s the last thing I see.

What goals do you want to focus on this year?!

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Babywearing Exercise Classes in Central Iowa

It is International Babywearing Week!

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Babywearing has been a blessing in my life. It has kept me sane as a parent with small children. I was introduced to it when I had Monte and fell in love even more when I had my daughter!

There are so many options with babywearing and living in Central Iowa, we are truly blessed with the amount of resources available to us, to learn. If you have not checked out our local Babywearing International of Central Iowa group, you NEED to. It is a great place to ask questions about wearing, certain carriers, support, and to just meet other like-minded parents! They offer several meetings in different locations in the metro area, so check out their Facebook page!

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Since the babywearing community has grown and lots of parents are wearing, there are fun exercise classes being created right here in Central Iowa! I am so excited to share information about these classes with you!

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fitBABY

Pied Piper Studios & ClubFit Studio

Created by Caeli Esser of ClubFit, she is bringing fitBaby to you at two different locations! You can check out her babywearing class at Pied Piper Studios or at the ClubFit studio. Baby wearing optional. Stayclose to your baby, while giving yourself some love. We’ll safely guide you through exercises to improve posture, give your metabolism a boost and leave you feeling energized and ready for anything (whether or not you got any sleep last night).

Locations:

  • Pied Piper Studios – 3892 NW Urbandale Drive
  • ClubFit Studio – 2614 Beaver Avenue, shared space with Livable

Times:

  • Pied Piper Studios – Sunday; 10 am – 10:45 am
  • ClubFit Studio – Monday; 5:15 pm – 5:50 pm

Prices: Check out here for details on pricing options!

Roots Healing Movement Class

The Family Tree Yoga & Massage

Enjoy great music and easy to follow moves and stretches in a supportive atmosphere. Open to all women and safe for pre/postnatal students. Baby wearing welcome.

Location: 3900 Ingersoll Avenue Suites 106 & 108

Dates & Times: 

  • 4-week session begins Wednesday 10/21 weekly thru 11/11 from 11 am – 11:45 am
  • Offered once monthly on Saturdays from 10:30 am – 11:15 am on 10/31, 11/21, and 12/12.
  • A minimum of 4 registered students are required to hold this class. You will receive an email the evening before if we do not have enough participants

Prices: $25/class for Saturday drop-ins (may be used with 4 week class pass and Monthly Unlimited Memberships), or $89 for the four-week class series. All participants receive a complimentary guest pass with purchase!

Check out other classes they offer and sign-up here!

Babywearing Dance

Uplift Fitness Studio

This class is a wonderful activity to help you be fit, give your metabolism a boost, and leave your body feeling energized all while having fun with your baby or toddler! Dancing to music is beneficial to your body, soul and your baby! Whether you have danced in the past or only dreamt of it, these 45 minute classes are open to everyone! Each class includes simple stretches and dance moves designed to give you and your tiny dancer a bonding connection and fun time together. This class is also great for expecting mothers.

Location:  300 SE Grimes Blvd.

Dates & Times: Saturdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am & Wednesdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am

Prices: Check here for all pricing packages and to sign-up!

Make sure you keep an eye out! I will be checking out all three of these locations and doing a Featured Post, so you know what to expect!

 

 

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YMCA Preschool Programs: Tumble Tots

I love the YMCA they have so much to offer! I cannot wait until they build the new Northwest YMCA so all of their awesome resources are a bit closer to home.

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YMCA has some awesome classes for different ages, that you must register for. I decided to sign Monte up for Tumble Tots because he absolutely loves running around, climbing, and bouncing. This class ended up being perfect for him!

YMCA Preschool Programs

Tumble Tots is for ages 3 to 5 years old with an accompanied adult. It is slightly structured, but not too much. Monte likes to do his own thing and does not have much patience, so the fact that there is not much structure, is nice.

Tumble Tots always opens up with stretching, which the instructors make lots of fun! They have the kids act like animals, pretend they are in space, and other scenarios that get their imaginations rolling. They also sometimes do “sit-ups” and running around the gym (Monte’s favorite). Afterwards, the kids are free to run around to the different stations and play. The instructors walk around and help at each station. They show the kids different things they can do.

They have a trampoline.

A balance beam to walk on.

A spring board to jump from.

Tunnel to crawl through.

They also have tumbling mats, a bar to swing and hang from, and mats to help you learn how to do a cartwheel!

Tumble Tots is a 4-week class and it is $15 for members, $35 for non-member.

Tumble Tots and other programs/sports the YMCA offers are a perfect way to introduce your toddler to new activities and sports. It is very affordable and the classes last a short-period of time. If they are not interested, then you know that it isn’t the way to go, before spending a lot of money for a long term program/sport.

They also offer:

Tiny Tumblers 18 months – 3 years

Fun & Fit 3-5 years

Kids in the Kitchen 3-5 years

Music & Movement 2-5 years

Tiny Chefs 18 months- 3 years

Moving with Music 18 months – 3 years

 I highly recommend checking out all the classes the YMCA has to offer. Not only do they have classes for toddlers, but they also offer classes for grade school children and adults! Check out here for their online registration where you can search for a class and register all online!

8PPDoulaHelp

Great Cloth Diaper Change: MommyCon Minneapolis

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Have you ever heard of or participated in the Great Cloth Diaper Change?! If you are a cloth diaper lover, this is an annual event for you!

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If you are attending MommyCon Minneapolis on Saturday, April 18th, YOU can participate in the 5th annual Great Cloth Diaper Change with everyone at MommyCon. All Things Diapers is helping coordinate the details of this event.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is when everyone gets together on the same date and time every year and changes a cloth diaper. Last year, there were participates on 6 different continents and the world record was broken. There were 188 events hosted all over and 8,459 babies were changed.

This year, they are hoping to break that record AGAIN!

The purpose of the Great Cloth Diaper Change is to spread the word about the many benefits of cloth diapering. There are financial, health, environmental, convenience and other benefits that make cloth diapering great!

Keep your eyes open for even more details for the MommyCon Minneapolis, Great Cloth Diaper Change. It is another reason for you to go!

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Valley Community Center: Kids Classes

I LOVE the Valley Community Center. Especially, this time of year because it has been soooooo cold. It’s an awesome place for the kids to burn off their energy, you can get some yummy snacks, chat with other parents, AND they have awesome kids classes!

Valley Community Center_ Kid Classes

The kids and I spent the entire morning  this week at the Valley Community Center and while we were there we checked out the Creative Dance for Kids class. They had a lot of fun!

The class incorporates fun animals, food, sounds, and more. To get the kids moving, they imitate animals and in this particular class, they pretended their bodies were cake! It’s a great way to get the kids using their imaginations.

The kids enjoyed rolling around on the tumbling mat like sea creatures, in the water!

They also use hula hoops to jump in and out of.

Everyone’s favorite were the colorful streamers the kids were able to play with! They pretended to paint and danced around.

There were two teachers in the classroom and they were very patient and worked well with everyone. They encourage you to drop your kids off and wait outside, in the cafeteria area, during classes. They were very welcoming to us parents who brought our children for the first time though!

Creative Dance for Kids is for children ages 2 through 5 years. There are several classes that are offered through out the week. They also offer …

Pre-Registration not required $5 per class OR $3 with punch card

  • Move to the Beat (6-11 years)  on Monday’s @ 4:30 pm
  • Creative Dance for Kids (2-5 years) on Wednesday’s @ 10 am
  • Zumba Kids (3-6 years) on Thursday’s @ 10 am
  • Kids in Motion (2-4 years) on Friday’s @ 10 am

Pre- Registration recommended $25 for all 4 sessions of $8 per drop-in class if available 

  • Inspire Me Pre-K Art (2.5 – 5 years) February 4th – 23rd every Tuesday @ 9:15 am

They also offer Kids Storytime EVERY Tuesday 10 – 11 am for FREE!

The best deal is to purchase an activity punch card. They sell punch cards for 10 classes for $30.00 or 5 classes for $15.00. You can use the punch card for the kids classes AND for the adult classes. Check out their calendar for what classes they offer for adults and for other kids classes/sessions they are offering!