Pregnancy Exercise: Walk the Dog

Posted December 4th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

 

Lullabelly Pregnancy Musical Belt

When you’re big, round and tired, finding the energy to workout or hit the gym can be tough. However, a new study finds that pregnant women are more likely to stick to an exercise routine with a little help from a furry friend: the family dog.

University of Liverpool researches found that pregnant women with dogs are 50% more likely to complete 30 minutes of exercise per day (the amount recommended by doctors) than those women without a furry friend.

Of course this makes a lot of sense. If you’ve got a dog, you know they need to be walked every day. Instead of leaving canine duties to your partner, why not seize the opportunity to get a little exercise and take Fido for at least one of his daily jaunts. Not only is walking the dog good for you, it’s good for your baby. 

Always remember to put your safety first when out walking the dog. 

  1. Make sure your dog is properly leashed when you take him out and you feel comfortable with the responsibility. A large or aggressive dog might cause you to fall and get hurt. 
  2. Be extra cautious in the winter months. If there is snow and ice, perhaps your partner should pick up the dog walking responsibilities on those days. You don’t want to fall and put your baby at risk.

Tip! Walking the dog can be a great time to strap on your Lullabelly musical belt and cue-up a good playlist for you and your little bun in the oven to hit the pavement to. Just keep the music low. 

Pilates for the Pregnant Mama

Posted September 11th, 2012 by Lullabelly

 

Pilates is a form of exercise that is intended to strengthen the mind and body with a keen focus on strengthening and elongating your core. 

What you may not realize is that pilates is a great way to stay in shape during each stage of pregnancy. It’s low impact and the focus is on strengthening, building stamina and breathing… all important aspects to prepare your body and mind for delivery day.

For example, practicing pilates while pregnant will keep you strong and flexible (which will come in handy when you can hardly see your feet), and it may help alleviate some of those discomforts and aches (as your belly grows and grows and grows).

Plus, since pilates mainly works your core muscles, pelvic floor, hips and spine – you’ll develop strength and muscle memory that will work to your advantage during labor and when you’re trying to get your pre-baby body back.

If a gym membership is not in the family budget, magazines offers a few pilates moves you can do at home during each trimester. Here is a breakdown on what each trimester’s exercises should focus on.

First Trimester

The pilates moves in your first trimester should work to strengthen your back, abs, waist and pelvis. It’s perfect for supporting your belly as it begins to stretch and get bigger.

Second Trimester

The moves in your second trimester should keep your spine in proper alignment, protecting your back and neck as you began to expand outward from the front.  You may notice that as your belly grows, your balance can become off – pilates can help improve your balance during the second trimester growth spurt.

Third Trimester

Moves in your third trimester should focus on strengthening the pelvic-floor muscles. This should relieve any discomfort you are experiencing (from having an almost-full term baby hanging out in your pelvis) and prepare you for labor.

Pilates is one of the safest workouts you can do when pregnant, but as always be sure to check with your doctor before you begin any workout program when pregnant.

Also, check your local gyms and pilates studios for pre-natal pilates classes that are focused solely on expecting women like you!

 

Working Out While Pregnant – What You Need to Know

Posted November 2nd, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Before I got pregnant I tried to hit the gym a few times a week.  Now that I’m barreling into my third trimester and more tired than ever, it’s definitely been harder to get motivated, but I still try to go at least twice a week. 

As my belly has grown bigger, I’ve noticed a lot more curious stares from the gym rats as I hit the elliptical machine or do a light round of weights and stretching.  They must be thinking I’m crazy for working out or should be at home on the couch with my feet elevated, eating all day.   But they are wrong! 

Working out while pregnant is a great thing to do for your body and baby-to-be.  And as long as you have clearance from your physician there is no reason to skip the gym for a whole nine months.  You may just need to alter your exercise routine a bit.

Here’s is what you need to know about working out while pregnant…

The Benefits:

       You’ll feel better – exercise boosts endorphins and can relieve backaches and improve posture.

       Reduces constipation – it keeps your intestines moving.

       Helps you sleep better – exercise relieves stress and anxiety, which can keep you up at night.

       Prepares your body for birth – it builds muscles and endurance for labor.

       Controls weight gain – maintaining fitness during pregnancy will help you regain your pre-pregnancy body back faster! Amen to that!

 Great Pregnancy Exercises:

       Dancing

       Swimming

       Yoga

       Walking

 Getting Started:

       If you exercised before you were pregnant, you can continue your fitness regiment and make adjustments as needed.

       If you did not exercise before pregnancy, begin slowly and build as you become stronger.  

       Dress comfortably and wear a supportive bra! You may need to get a new bra as your cup size has likely grown and your breasts may be tender. It may be well-advised to skip underwire bras if they hurt.

       Drink lots of water.

       If it’s hot outside, stay indoors.

       Listen to your body – if you don’t feel well, don’t continue with your routine. Take breaks and quit if you feel dizzy or faint.

 While you don’t have to train for a marathon during your pregnancy, it’s good to keep a light and easy exercise regimen throughout to keep your body and mind strong for the special delivery ahead. Good luck!

About the Contributor: Amy G. is the mom to a beautiful baby girl and pregnant with baby #2 (due January 2012). She is a regular contributor to The Belly Blog, a blog for pregnant women and is sponsored by Lullabelly, a prenatal musical belt.

Six Questions With Jennifer Wolfe of Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga

Posted June 21st, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

 


Jennifer Wolfe is a Registered Yoga Alliance Vinyasa and Prenatal Yoga instructor, Certified Master Clinical and Medical Hypnotherapist, Certified Doula, Childbirth Educator, Reiki master and a Mom!  We sat down with Jennifer and asked her six questions about herself, business and life.

 

1. Please tell our readers about yourself!

 

Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga was born in 2000 after the birth of my daughter Sydney. I found yoga in 1996 and began teaching shortly after. However, when I found out I was pregnant a couple years later, my body was craving the same flowing practice I had been doing before pregnancy but I found that most prenatal yoga did not give pregnant women the option for vinyasa (flow) yoga. So, I became a doula and developed Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga for women who want to continue vinyasa style yoga safely while pregnant. Right away I realized the demand for this style of yoga was very high. I grew from one to ten full classes a week in the first year. A couple years later, I opened Dolphin Yoga & Doula Center which was dedicated to pregnant and postpartum women's fitness and education. 

 

2. What did you do before Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga?

I started my career as a Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master, vinyasa yoga teacher and a doula. I am a Master Hypnotherapist and teach Childbirth Hypnosis and Pain Management at the Palo Alto School of Hypnotherapy in addition to running Jennifer Wolfe Yoga and Dolphin Doula.

 

3. Tell us about your other business – Dolphin Doula.

Dolphin Doula offers a unique experience for pregnant women to get in touch with their bodies and learn about their individual potential for coping with and enjoying their pregnancy, childbirth and transition to motherhood.

 

As a doula, I have attended over 400 births and more than 10,000 hours of labor. At Dolphin Doula I train and certify doulas and childbirth hypnotherapists and, along with my partners (Tracy Stettner and Melissa Edling), run two doula groups who service women and families in the entire San Francisco Bay Area.

 

4. What have been some of your greatest successes? Greatest challenges?
I made my first DVD due to students requests – to be able to practice at home. However, when I put the DVD on Amazon.com I received an outpouring of positive feedback that wasn’t expected. In the first year it shot up to the second best selling prenatal yoga DVD on Amazon.com and was positively reviewed in The New York Times. The success of the DVD's eventually brought me my most rewarding work, which is the creation of my teacher training program and traveling to other countries to train yoga teachers in my prenatal style. The people I have met and lives I have touched and been touched by have been life changing for me and I feel blessed every day to get to do the work I do.

 

My greatest challenges have been in juggling doula work and teaching. Doula work is so rewarding yet unpredictable, and at the peak of my doula career I had 10 to 12 births a month. I could be gone, for a birth, anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days! The choice for me to cut down to only a few births a year was difficult for me but the only way I could travel and grow Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga to where it is today. I continue, however, to be able to provide doula services by training doulas, thereby spreading my techniques and unique style through my students.

 

5. For mom-to-be’s out there, what is your advice (or tips) for having a healthy, active, stress-free pregnancy?

 

My advice to pregnant moms is to stay active! It is so easy to use the "condition" of pregnancy as a reason to let yourself discontinue any physical activity. They often think they are just too tired or weak to exercise. The truth is that in my experience working with thousands of pregnant women, those who do at least 15 minutes of exercise a day will feel more energetic, have less fatigue and feel stronger. They also tend to eat healthier because they notice how good it feels when they are taking care of their bodies and their babies. 

 

The other advice I would give is to take care of how you are sitting especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. Avoid chairs that have you in a reclining position rounding your back. This position might feel restful in the moment but will encourage improper positioning for your baby potentially leading to longer more uncomfortable labors. For more information about baby positions visit www.spinningbabies.com.

 

6. What’s next for Jennifer Wolfe Yoga? Any big plans for 2011 or 2012?

2012 Promises to be an exceptional year for Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga. We are kicking off our 85-hour Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in October of this year and taking it international in early 2012. We are planning more trips to South America and the Far East as well as expanding our U.S. and North American presence. Additionally, for the first time, we are bringing doula trainings outside of the U.S., helping to establish doulas in places where there were none or few before.

 

 

**SPECIAL**

As a special thank you from Jennifer Wolfe and Lullabelly, we are offering a 20% discount on the Complete Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga 2DVD set.

Please visit http://www.jenniferwolfeyoga.com/discount.html

Prenatal Yoga: We Know It’s Good for Mama, but Is It Good for Baby Too?

Posted May 17th, 2011 by Lullabelly

 

Yoga can help moms stay physically and mentally toned throughout their pregnancy; however, expecting moms need to make modifications to ensure the safety of themselves and their unborn babies. Remember “Namaste” is about connecting your mind, body and soul for you and your baby – so you want to do what feels right and natural…with some instruction of course.
 
Here are some tips to making worry-free prenatal yoga workouts work!
 
Downward Dog? Some moves are okay and some are not. Let your instructor know you’re pregnant and ask him/her to modify poses for you during the class. Skip poses that have you lying flat on your back or on your belly. Modify moves that require deep back bends or jerky twists. You may also want to skip deep stretches. The connective tissue around your pelvis is softened during pregnancy, making you more prone to injuries.
 
Drink Up! Staying hydrated is key to a positive workout for mom and baby-to-be. Sip your water bottle throughout class and steer clear of hot yoga classes that can cause your body to overheat.
 
Breathe Easy. Yoga can teach you breathing techniques you can carry with you into the delivery room, so take special note of these special techniques. Focus on taking deep, purposeful breaths throughout the class. Proper breathing techniques can put your mind at ease and release any accumulated tension and stress.
 
Yoga Tunes: Help your baby relax too by playing calming, relaxing yoga-style music. A musical pregnancy belt allows baby to hear the calming music and feel the soft rhythms while in the womb.
 
Remember, there are special prenatal yoga classes designed specifically for pregnant women. If you can’t find one near you, buy a DVD or simply attend your regular yoga classes and ask the instructor for proper modification.
 
Did yoga help keep you mentally and physically fit throughout your pregnancy? Tell us more.
 

©2009-2011 Lullabelly, LLC
Visit www.tectite.com for free FormMail.