Love Your Baby Body: Pre and Postpartum Fitness Tips from the Experts

First, I would like to say congratulations on the birth of your sweet little baby!  This is probably  the most craziest, wonderful, stressful, happy, exhausting time in your life.  Learning how to be  a mom to a tiny human, round the clock feedings, spit up, and the pure love that you feel has  you running a 10k on a daily basis, am I right??   

And now, you find yourself ready to drop the baby weight and get back into your pre­baby jeans.  I’m working on that myself­­, I have a 9­month old daughter.   

If you’re reading this, I bet that you’re ready to get back into a fitness and nutrition program that  will help you achieve your goals.  I can also bet that you’re probably looking for somewhere to  start.  You came to the right place!   



When I work with clients who have just given birth, I start them off on core retraining within the  first 24 hours post delivery.  This is not a traditional workout by any means.  We start with belly  wrapping to encourage the spontaneous healing of diastasis recti (ab separation) that takes  place in the first 8­weeks post­delivery and a breathing technique that engages the pelvic floor.  After all, it has become quite weak during pregnancy which will explain the leaking when you  sneeze, so we want to work toward rehabbing that so that it doesn’t continue.   

If you’ve had an uncomplicated vaginal birth, we then add in some very low­ impact movements  week by week.  If you’ve had a c­section or perineal tearing, you may want to wait and another  week or until the pain subsides.  If you feel pain at any point while exercising in general terms,  STOP­­especially postpartum!  This is not normal.    

Be sure to start when you’re ready and only when you’re ready.  If you’re not emotionally,  mentally, or physically ready, then wait and don’t push yourself.  You know you best.      It’s important to start slow at first even if it’s only 5­10 minutes.  Every week you can add a little  more, maybe a new movement or adding a few minutes.  There should be nothing too at this  point. With my clients, our priority is   alignment, breathing, and coordination (ABC’s of  optimal core function).   Besides, new moms tend to have scattered sleep, leaving stress  levels higher than before, so adding low­impact exercises maybe all that their bodies can handle  during this time.   



Too many times, this crucial step to returning back to fitness programs is missed and new moms  are returning to programs that aren’t exactly meant for postpartum bodies.  Many prescribe high  repetitions, running & jumping, and planking & crunching which are not ideal because of the  pressure it puts on your core which is already unstable, but your pelvic floor as well.  Even many  mom and baby fitness classes include movements just like these, so if you’re looking for a safe  mom and baby fitness class, check out  Love Your Baby Body Fitness  or get started in an  Online  Fitness Program  which has been specifically designed for new moms.. Other great exercises
include, cycling (not spinning) and walking.  Low­impact to start, gradually build to moderate  over time.   

I also recommend getting assessed by a pelvic floor physio during pregnancy as well as after.  They can assess from an internal perspective.  They can look for a hypotonic pelvic floor (weak)  or hypertonic pelvic floor (tight) which is important to know and treat to avoid things like  incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse down the line. 
    
To give you a timeline is impossible.  Every woman, every pregnancy, and every birth is so very  different.  Start slow and week by week add a little more.  Fitness after baby is about rebuilding,  recovering, and reconnecting with your body.  It took 40 weeks for your body to adapt to your  developing baby and it may take a year for it to completely recover.  My daughter is 9­months  old and I am nowhere near my pre­pregnancy fitness level, although I have been able to lose  the weight­­safely.    For instructions how to self­assess for diastasis recti,  click here . 

If You have questions about  your results, please don’t hesitate to ask! 

My email address is below.    Love your baby body,  Terrell   

Additional reading:
Dianne Lee  https://dianelee.ca/article­diastasis­rectus­abdominis.php 
Bellies Inc  http://www.belliesinc.com/belly­wrapping­what­when­why­and­how/   Mom’s Fitness Boutique, instructions for self assessment  http://www.momsfitnessboutique.com/#!Did­You­Know­Abs­Can­Separate­Mine­Did/cvk5/56f9b 6c90cf2e3ce9bb1d208   

Do you have questions regarding your postpartum fitness plan?  Would you like to delve a little  deeper and find out how you can get back into shape safely and effectively?  Please send me  an email:  terrellbaldock@momsfitnessboutique.com .  I read and answer all of my emails  personally and love hearing from moms just like you!     

Terrell Baldock is the owner of Mom’s Fitness Boutique located in London, Ontario.  She is a  Prenatal & Postnatal Exercise Specialist, a certified Core Confidence Trainer with Bellies Inc, a  certified prenatal and postpartum doula, and currently pursuing a certification with Precision  Nutrition.  She is a wife and a mom 2 beautiful children, both under 4. She has come to  understand the unique emotional and physical needs of her clients through her personal  experience and education which has made her successful in her career.     

To learn more about Terrell, visit  www.momsfitnessboutique.com 

Kettlebell Russian Twist #fitness

Want a really great core workout that will help with your abdominal strength, balance and coordination? Then you need the Russian Twist!


Basically, you're working your ab muscles without doing a single sit up or crunch. Pretty awesome.

For stability during pregnancy, I planted my feet on the ground and did the twist move for 30seconds per the Kettlebell360 app instructions. However, there are a few variations on this move to make it more challenging.


As the video shows, crossing your feet and raising your heels up off the floor will make for a more challenging move.

You can also lean back more to engage your abdominal muscles, and straighten your legs out a little further in front of you.

It's a great exercise, especially when you are twisting with weight. In the video, a 30lb weight is used. If you're pregnant and just starting out, go lighter. I used a 10lb kettlebell throughout my pregnancy and that was definitely enough weight for me!

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Kettlebell Single Overhead Press #prenatal #fitness

Today's kettlebell move is the overhead press. I've been trying to find a good tutorial for this move but I haven't been able to find one the way that the Kettlebell 360 app shows this move...so here we go!


Why do I love this move? Well, you are tightening your core, planting your legs, and strengthening your shoulders, arms and upper back. It's basically the full body move.

When we're pregnant, we run the risk of poor core strength and abdominal separation after birth. In order to prevent that from happening, maintaining your core strength throughout your pregnancy is important. You can do this by doing squats, presses, planks and lunges. Any move that forces you to be stable and move slowly will help your core strength.

So back to the move...




Oh I hope that translates through the screenshots! Basically, you're lifting the kettlebell up and over your head, and back behind your head every so slightly so that you are puffing out your chest.

I hope that makes sense!! Let me know if you try it!

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Tips for Running during Pregnancy #fitmama #fitpregnancy #pregnancy

Now that I am into my third trimester, I thought sharing another round of tips for running during pregnancy would be good. The warmer weather is finally here, which means that I'm out there hitting the (paved and safe) trails a couple of times a week.

Running during pregnancy is not without its challenges, and running during the third trimester is certainly not for the faint of heart. But...as with any exercise, as long as you are smart about it, listen to your body and are safe, it is really good for both baby and mom.


It goes without saying that you should listen to your body, but if you were running prior to becoming pregnant it can feel really limiting, and it's almost difficult to slow down your pace. What I have found works for me is to treat it like I am running for the first time. I downloaded the 5K Runner app again, and have started over at day1. Every time I run, I turn on the prompts and do a 1.5min/1min walk/run split. I'm still running, and I'm still pushing myself, but I at least have scheduled splits to follow so that I am not pushing my body too hard. A huge thank you to my doula, Jena, for suggesting this routine!

One thing that I absolutely cannot run without at this stage of my pregnancy is my belly support band.


There are many bands out there, and the one that works for me may not be the right one for you. Regardless....I picked up this black stretchy support band from Walmart (George brand, found in the maternity clothing section) and as you can see above, I fold it over two to three times, then sling it low across my belly for support. It really helps limit the bouncing on my lower belly, and I haven't had an issue with back pain (so far) so I haven't needed more support than the stretchy band.

It's also great since my running leggings are just regular leggings, with no belly panel. It helps my entire belly feel supported, which makes my run overall more enjoyable.

There will be days where you feel like your old non-pregnant self, and can do a longer run. There will be other days where you are completely gassed and do alot more walking than running. What matters is that you are out there, and you're doing something good to keep you and your baby healthy.

Lastly, hydrate. This is something that I'm not super great about, because I always feel like I'm going to pee my pants due to my weak pelvic floor muscles right now, but it is so important to hydrate your body, both for you and your baby. If possible, choose a running route with a bathroom, or do a few loops around your block so you can always circle back to your house a pit stop if needed!

At the end of the day, do what you can, when you can. I like to get out two or three times a week for a run, even if it is just 2km. Running is so amazing and I have really enjoyed my journey over the past year. It provides stress relief and mental clarity, weight loss and toning, and during pregnancy helps to set you up for an easier labour and delivery, as well as an easier postnatal recovery period.

Be smart, be safe.
Go run.

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Kettlebell Goblet Squats #fitness #pregnancy

I have really enjoyed working with kettlebells so far - they make me feel strong, and the casual circuit on the Kettlebell 360 app is 10mins30sec, easy peasy to fit into my day.


Admittedly, when I had worked with a kettlebell at the gym after my first pregnancy, I had only used them for upper body exercises.

While not the most graceful move {see that 5month belly hanging down there?!} Kettlebell Goblet Squats certainly are effective, and are a move that you will feel for a few days. I only use a 10lb kettlebell, but holy moly...I was waddling for a couple of days afterward for sure!



You can do a goblet squat with a kettlebell like I did, or with a dumbbell like in the tutorial above. It engages your entire core, and your legs, which is great when you are preparing for child birth!

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Hanging up the Kettlebell #fitmama #pregnancy

So for the past few weeks I've had a pain...and it hasn't been pleasant. I chatted with my doula, Jena, about what was going on and went to the doctor only to find out that I've basically overextended the ligaments in my pelvic floor.

25week belly that is shooting right out from my hips! No wonder everything is sore!


At my next OB appointment, running is on the list of topics to chat about. I cannot tell you how much this hurts my heart. While I know that I have to be safe, and I have to do what's best for the little guy and I, I really really really do not want to give up running.

When I talked to Jena after my doctor's appointment, we talked about what I have been doing while waiting for the crazy snow to go away, and the temperature to more conducive to running outside. I told her about my kettlebell circuit that I do a couple of times a week. Jena and I discussed options on how I can be active and safe during my pregnancy - her background as a pre and post natal yoga teacher helped explain some of my alignment concerns, so I could better choose the best option for me

If you haven't done something regularly prior to becoming pregnant, don't be silly. Don't pick it up now, unless it is something like a prenatal yoga or pilates class led by a certified trainer who can help with positioning, allignment and ensure you are being safe.

Don't be me. Don't mess up your pelvic floor and mucles...because they have some very serious work to do in a few months!

So, for now, my kettlebell has been put away, as have my resistance bands. Anything that involves twisting and turning, and planting my feet in one position while moving the rest of my body....it's off the table for now.

In terms of running, Jena suggested starting my 5K Runner app from Day 1 and doing shorter walk/run splits. No more 10-15minute running intervals, with 3-5minute walk splits. I am comfortable with this plan, and it makes me happy that I don't have to throw in my running towel just yet. {note: I started this on the weekend since we are having gorgeous weather right now, and it's helping tremendously!}

I have the Run for Retina coming up April 13th, then my next OB appointment on April 15th where we will discuss the future month. Fingers crossed that my doctor is ok with me running at least until May 4th when my next 5km is!

Disclaimer: there will be kettlebell exercises and recaps posting over the next couple of months, but again, I stress. DO NOT pick up a new exercise during pregnancy just because it looks fun. I did kettlebells prior to pregnancy, but not regularly enough to continue doing them through my pregnancy.

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Preparing for Race day, #prenatal fitness and #running during pregnancy

I'm not going to lie, as I write this I am thinking what the hell was I thinking registering for a race when I knew that I would be 6months pregnant? 


To say that I am nervous about my first 5km race is an understatement.

To say that I am worried I won't finish is dead on.

To say that I will probably cry at the end...well that's pretty obvious.

But I think I am ready. I have been running and doing strength training since January. While in Florida, I was running 3-4 times per week, on average 3.25km per run. Pretty good, I think!


Even in the pouring rain
Even on a cruise

I laced up and got my booty out there. Healthy mama, healthy babe...right?

It's true, but running at 6 months pregnant is alot different than 3 months pregnant. My belly is bigger, heavier and babe is moving alot more.

But all I can do is try, right? There's certainly no harm in trying, and I know well enough to listen to my body, walk when I need to, carry a water bottle since my little love needs the hydration too, and to not pay attention to the time. Like I've said before, it's not about setting personal records.

It's just about finishing.

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Strawberry Apple Zinger #juice #recipe

Another day, another juice! I am really digging this whole juicing thing, and it is such a great way to start my day. Today's juice recipe was super tangy, but produced a full 8oz and was delicious!


2 apples
handful of strawberries
1 lime

At first, I wasn't sure that 1 lime would be enough, but trust me...it is! Core your apples and cut to fit through the shoot of your juicer. I alternated apple halves with strawberries, then the lime, and another apple half.

To prep your lime, peel the rind but try and keep as much of the white pith on it. The best way I found to do this was to slice away the green rind with a sharp knife.

Pour into a glass and enjoy!


Be prepared for a little pucker to your morning! This juice is definitely tangy, but it's super yummy and a great way to get some vitamins into your day!

Recipe is packed with...

Vitamin C
Antioxidants
Folate
Fiber
Potassium

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Morning Refresher #Juicing #recipe

Well, folks...I've taken the plunge into juicing. After watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, rating juicers and considering our options, I knew that juicing would be an excellent addition to our healthy habits.

I have to say, I am really impressed with my first juice. My son loved his taste of mine so much that he asked for his own! It's such a great way to get extra nutrients into a picky eater, so here's my recipe for a nice, light juice. I wanted to start with something fruity and light, not knowing what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. 


1 pear
1 apple
handful of strawberries (the ones I had were HUGE!)
1 cup fresh blueberries

(ahem...that's 4 servings of fruit right there!)

There is very little prep needed for this juice recipe. I rinsed everything, cored my apple, and cut around the core of my pear (not necessary according to Joe Cross' prep guide, but I wasn't sure if my juicer could handle the core, so to be on the safe side I cut the flesh away from the core)

I wasn't sure just how much juice to expect, but this recipe made about 6oz. of fresh juice. The texture was smooth, and the taste was nice and light; the perfect way to start the day.

The juicer that we have is the Cuisinart CJE-500 Compact Juice Extractor


It bit through the fruit with ease and I never felt as though I was really forcing anything through. In terms of cleanup, I had the entire machine taken apart, scrubbed and sitting to dry within 5 minutes.

The aftermath in the pulp basket?





For two 6oz juices, there was about 2 and a half cups of pump and skins. 


I am really excited to be adding in a juice every morning, knowing that I do not get near enough fruits and vegetables in my diet.

Stay tuned for more recipes!

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#UnderArmour Micro G Toxic Six #Running Shoes #review #ua #iwill

After Insanity, C25K training and running four races, it was time to trade in my Nikes and get something new.


I have some pretty big goals for my running this year, namely to run more races {yes, even though I'm pregnant!} and collect more medals than in 2013. Right now, I am registered for 3 official races, with 3 more to register for, then there are 4 LOST series runs that I am set to complete.

I have also noticed that after about 3km, my toes go numb. I talked to Amy at Under Armour about this issue, and about my prenatal fitness plan, and she suggested the Micro G Toxic Six.


First and foremost, I was really impressed with how lightweight these shoes are. I'm not a fan of clunky running shoes, and sort of like to feel the ground beneath my feet. The Micro G Toxic Six Running Shoes are definitely a minimalist shoe with a very natural feel to them. Check out the bottoms!


In terms of construction, the offset laces definitely relieve pressure on the top of your foot, which means great things if you ever experience numbness while you're running. One tip though, since the laces are offset, you don't need to tie them as tight as you would a normal shoe. I made that mistake on my first run, and experienced a little bit of numbness, but once I figured out the issue and made adjustments, I was good to go.

If I could compare the feeling of wearing these running shoes to anything, I would say that they almost feel like you are wearing compression shoes. They fit like a glove to your foot, and it's a perfect fit every single time. This is because of the molded neoprene upper, that moves with your foot.


Another bonus are the perforations in the heel and toe of the shoe. They are SO breathable. My first run with them was in Florida and boy, was it hot and humid! No more gross sweaty feet, and stained socks!! Such a nice change from what I am used to. The last time I went for a pedicure, the nail tech commented that the bottoms of my feet look shredded. I told her that I'm a runner, and it made sense: my shoes weren't breathing and my feet were just used to being sweaty.

If you're in search of a new pair of running shoes, I would highly recommend the Under Armour Micro G Toxic Six. Design wise, they are beautiful, and they are the best fitting running shoe that I have tried yet!

Disclaimer: I am a brand ambassador for Under Armour, and received these shoes for the purposes of the review. All opinions expressed are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Granting Wishes at Sea, Make a Wish Foundation and Royal Caribbean

When we went on our Babymoon at the beginning on January to the Bahamas, I was really happy to see that there was a running track, and even happier to find that there was a charity walk scheduled for the morning of Day one.






For just a $10 donation, you were registered for the Walk. I chose to ran it, and did a full 2miles on the boat.

The windy boat.


But the view was pretty spectacular


And the accomplishment was pretty awesome as well.

2miles
28mins

The wind on the boat gave me a bit of a burn on my face, but I was all smiles (and dripping sweat) when I got back to our stateroom. I trimmed 2 minutes off my pace, likely due to the force of the wind on the boat, but 2 minutes is 2 minutes. I know I've said that pregnancy isn't the time to push your pace or train for something bigger than what you have accomplished already, but a little speed training here and there isn't a bad thing {just watch your heart rate and your body temp!}.

The running track on the boat left a little to be desired, to be honest. I was disappointed with how many people were leisurely strolling and wouldn't move out of the way for a runner. It's a running track people...please keep in mind that a runner build momentum and to have to slow, or holler at you to move out of the way can lead to injury! I had to yell on your left! to a group of guys, and when they didn't move had to leap over a lounge chair, which I didn't do very gracefully and almost tripped! If you're ever on a cruise and you see a runner, please please please just move a step or two to the side to allow them to pass safely!

Running on a windy ship was definitely fun, and it was certainly a challenge. I am happy with the results, the accomplishment and the fact that my run made a difference!


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Tips for Running in 2nd Trimester, #fitmama

So I'm back to running. The day after we arrived in the Sunshine State, I went out for my first run since the London Lady's Half Marathon and 5km {which I ran just a few days after finding out I was pregnant}


The first things that I packed in my suitcase were my running clothes; flowy tanks, leggings, socks, KTTape, my shoes, arm band and headphones. I couldn't wait to hit the pavement and get back to running.


I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how good it felt and how my legs reacted. I was definitely expecting them to be all "what in the....we are NOT running!" but it all came back naturally.

That said, I do have some tips for you mamas out there who are considering running during your pregnancy.

If you haven't run before your pregnancy, now is not the time to start

Running takes a decent amount of dedication and training, so as with any other type of exercise, if you haven't done it before you were pregnant, don't do it now. If you want to incorporate an aerobic type activity into your pregnancy, consider prenatal aquafit, yoga or pilates.

Supportive shoes will make a huge difference

While I have loved my Nikes, I am finding that my toes are starting to get tingly after about 3.5km. They've been through the ringer and I'm excited to retire them, opting for a pair of supportive Under Armour kicks.  Look for shoes that are built for mobility and have offset laces to reduce pressure on the top of your foot (which is usually the reason your toes go numb!)

Tape Up

I have had issues with my knees {patella femoral} since I was about 11 years old. KTTape allows me to run without pain, so if you have any areas that are a little tight or have hurt you in the past, tape them up before you head out for a run {approx 20mins prior to your run to allow the tape to adhere properly}.






Take it Slow

Now is not the time to set records or try and beat your pace from your last race. This is something that is coming really difficult to me. My first run back was 2.02mi/35:05mins - a pace of 10:45/km. That's about 2:30 slower than my usual, which was pretty disappointing. My second run back was 10:39/km {2.34mi/40:19mins} - better but still slow.

Then I realized something...it's not about how fast I go, it's the fact that I'm out there that matters. I'm taking it slow, listening to my body and giving my baby every advantage to a healthy start by creating a healthy environment.

So far, I have run a handful of times, including on our cruise over the past weekend. I have also registered for my first two races of 2014 (in April and May, so I will be 28weeks and 31weeks) and am working away on my LOST running series. I completed my 15km Swan race on January 2nd.

Every step counts, no matter how fast it is!

Want to keep up to date on my running and prenatal fitness? Follow me on Instagram!


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Workout Motivation while on Vacation

Keeping my motivation to workout and stay healthy while we are on vacation is easier than many would think. While most would be sipping drinks with umbellas in them while sitting by the pool, I will be found IN the pool.


This is the pool at Innisbrook Golf Resort. There's a wading area for the kids with a manmade beach and jets that shoot out of the ground at the one end, then a deeper area with a volleyball net at the other end.

All around are beach loungers, and certainly there will be lounging...and snacking...but there will also be swimming which is so good for a pregnant body. It takes the pressure off your joints, is relaxing and it doesn't matter how big your bump is, it's comfortable and feels good.

So, along with running a little every day, I will be getting some laps in at the pool.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I talk about my workout routine, prenatal fitness and how a healthy mama makes for a healthy babe!

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