Thursday, June 26, 2014

What to Do After a Prenatal Fit 4 Two Class


1. Give yourself some credit
Pat yourself on the back.  You are heavier, hungrier and more tired than you have probably ever been in your entire life….yet you made it to class.  Good for you!  You should feel proud.

2. Finish what you started
If, for some reason, you didn’t have a chance to cool down and stretch at the end of class, be sure to do so after. Cool downs return your body to its normal state (temperature, heart rates etc) which is very important when you are pregnant.  Stretching lengthens your muscles so they can grow stronger.  Stretching also decreases pregnancy aches and pains caused by postural imbalances.  

3. Re-hydrate
Even if you drank before and during class, you still need to re-hydrate with another 2-3 cups (500-750ml) of water over the next 2 hours.  

Interesting Fact:  Did you know that pregnancy is dehydrating?  Your body releases heat through increased respiration and perspiration. It’s a protective mechanism to ensure you and your growing baby are safe. You need to replace that extra loss of water by re-hydrating regularly.

4. Re-Fuel
You all know that you need an extra 300 calories/day when you are pregnant but did you know that you should eat a healthy meal, mini-meal or snack within 90 minutes of exercising?  Choose complex carbs for immediate and on-going energy as well as protein to repair the muscles you worked so hard.  

5. Have some fun
You are probably not hitting the Pub these days so why not connect with some other moms-to-be from class and go out for a snack.  You could re-hydrate, re-fuel and have fun all at the same time!  It’s perfect.  Social and emotional health is important too.  Embrace this special time in your life to share and grow with others. 

Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.

Prenatal Discomforts - Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction



Pelvic girdle pain is the term used to describe a variety of common prenatal pelvic discomforts.  One type of pelvic girdle pain is called  
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD).

A small percentage of pregnant women experience SPD, a hyper mobility or misalignment of the symphysis pubis (see diagram above). SPD usually presents as a shooting pain in the pubic bone.  Other women experience it as more of an ache.  SPD is a relative contraindication to exercise during pregnancy.  In other words, your healthcare provider may suggest that you reduce or stop exercising.

If you have SPD and your healthcare recommends that you continue exercising:
• Choose low or no impact cardiovascular exercise like aqua fitness or the recumbent bike
• Avoid exercises that require opening your legs
• Avoid engaging your inner thigh muscles
• Include ‘hands and knees’ exercises that take pressure off of your pelvis.  Ex. Cat
• Talk to your HCP about a referral to a physiotherapist or chiropractor
• Talk to your physiotherapist or chiropractor about a support belt. 
• Prioritize healthy weight gain. Excessive weight gain may cause extra strain on the symphysis pubis.  

Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.

Getting the most out of your walks


Power walking is an unrivaled aerobic conditioning activity. Its cardiovascular benefits and weight maintenance/loss potential are similar to that of a running program, yet it's much easier on the body because there's about half the impact and wear and tear on your joints. 

Regular Walking
Power Walking
Running
Pace: 2.0-3.0 mph
Pace: 3.0-5.5 mph
Pace: 5.0-6.0 mph
150-300* calories burned
350-500* calories burned
470-600* calories burned

*Based on a person who weighs 130 lbs. Number of calories burned increases with weight. 

HEAD TO TOE CHECKLIST: 
Form is the key to getting the most from power walking. Proper technique will help you move along faster with less effort and minimize your risk for injury. 

Head: 
Keep head up and centered between your shoulders. Keep your chin up, and focus your eyes straight ahead. Your head and neck should 'float' above your shoulders in a relaxed, easy manner

Shoulders: 
Keep them back and down (no slouching allowed). Don't allow them to round forward or creep up toward your ears 

Chest: 
Your chest should be naturally lifted, as if a string were attached to the centre, gently pulling it upward 

Arms:
Your arms should be bent at slightly less than 90 degrees. 

Hands: 
Keep them loosely cupped around the handle of your stroller. 

Abdominals: 
Lean forward slightly and flex your abs in toward your spine to help protect your lower back 

Hips: 
Because your stride is quick, move your hips in a sort of exaggerated wiggle. Use your hips to propel you forward so that you walk at a fast speed.   

Thighs:
Take more steps per minute at your normal stride or at a slightly shorter-than-normal stride length. Straighten the front leg so that your knee is fairly straight from the moment you touch the ground until you are just about to swing forward with your other leg 

Feet: 
Imagine that you are walking along a tightrope. Each step should land squarely on the imaginary line directly in front of you. Land heel first, roll through the foot, and then push off firmly and vigorously. The rhythm of your arm swing should match your steps 


FITT Principle
Prenatal
Frequency - Up to 4 days/week
Intensity - RPE of 5-7 on scale of 1-10
Time - 15-30 min 
Type - Stay motivated and have more fun by walking with other Moms-to-be.

Postnatal
Frequency - Work towards most days/week
Intensity - RPE of 5-7 on a scale of 1-10
Time - 15+ increasing by 2 min/week
Type - Join other new moms to help keep you motivated.

Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.

Guided Relaxations


5 Minute Relaxation
• Loosen your clothing and get comfortable. Breathe deeply and slowly

• Pull your toes towards your shins. Hold for a count of 10. Relax and enjoy the sensation of release from tension. Flex the muscles of your thighs. Hold for a count of 5-10. Relax. 

• Move slowly up through your body- glutes, pelvic floor, abdomen, back, neck, face- contracting and relaxing muscles as you go. 

10 minute Relaxation
• Get in a comfortable position. Minimally tighten your right fist so that you feel only the smallest amount of tension. Hold it at this level. Be sure you continue to breathe... Now let go and relax... Observe the difference in feelings between the right and left arm and fist. 

• Now minimally tighten your left fist. Hold at this level so that you just feel the tightening... Let go and relax. Let the relaxation spread through the arms and the rest of the body. 

• No tighten ever so slightly the following parts of your body.  Each time tighten only to the point at which you can observe tension, where you can observe tension, where you become conscious of or can "feel" the tension. Hold the tensions at that level, and be sure you tighten only the intended muscle while the rest of the body stays quiet and relaxed. Be sure you continue to breathe. Each time you let go, let those parts relax further and further. Tighten ever so slightly your scalp... let go and relax... Let the face become smooth and soft... Let the eyes sink into their sockets... Now slightly tighten the throat and neck. Hold it... Let go and relax. 

• While continuing to breathe, minimally tighten the triceps. Be sure the neck eyes and tongue are relaxed... Let go. 

• Raise your shoulders to your ears minimally. Be sure the neck stays loose. Observe how the shoulders feel different from the rest of the body... Let go and relax. Feel the relaxation sinking through the body... Minimally tighten the stomach. Keep breathing... Let go and relax. Minimally tighten the buttocks... Let go and relax. Minimally tighten the feet, calves, and thighs... Let go and relax. Now minimally tense every muscle in your body so that you just feel the minimum tension... jaws... eyes... shoulders... arms... chest... back... legs... stomach... Be sure you keep breathing. 

• Now take a deep breath…. Exhale and feel the relaxation and calmness developing. Note the feeling of heaviness.  Slowly come back to the present and get up slowly.


Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.

Pelvic Floor Routine

Try this quick and easy pelvic floor routine! 

Choose a comfortable position.  Place one hand on your abdomen and breathe deeply and evenly.  Notice how your belly expands as you inhale and contracts as you exhale.  As your lungs will with oxygen, your rib cage expands, your diaphragm moves down.  As you inhale, your abdomen relaxes and contracts to its normal size.

Working with your natural breath….

1. As you exhale, contract the muscles that stop the flow of urine.  Lift up and in. Repeat 10X
2. As you exhale, contract the muscles the stop the passing of gas.  Lift up and in.  Repeat 10X.
3. As you exhale, contract the muscles the stop the flow of urine AND the muscles that stop the passing of gas.  Repeat 10X.  Think of both these muscle groups working together as your pelvic floor.
4. As you exhale, engage your pelvic floor and maintain the contraction as you continue to breath naturally.  Once the contraction fades (3-10 seconds), let is go. Repeat 10X.
5. Each time you exhale, completely relax your pelvic floor.  Say slowly to yourself, “relax, relax, relax. ”Repeat 10X.


Finding it difficult to stay disciplined with your pelvic floor exercises on your own? Feeling like you need more instruction and cues? You're in luck...there's an app for that! Download the Fit 4 Two-approved Pelvic Floor Trainer App and enjoy both visual and audio routines at your fingertips. 




Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression


What is Baby Blues?

After baby is born, between 60-80% of women will experience the baby blues. The baby blues are often linked to hormonal changes three or four days after delivery. During this time, the pregnancy hormones dissipate, milk production begins, and women often feel a sense of physical and emotional anticlimax after the birth. Returning home from the hospital also may increase a woman’s sense of insecurity as a new mother. 

What is the difference between Postpartum Depression and Baby Blues?

Baby Blues symptoms: irritability, impatience, tearfulness, nervousness, and feelings of fear or insecurity. These feelings usually last from a few days to a few weeks and will fade away on their own.

Postpartum Depression symptoms: lack of appetite, inability to sleep, feelings of isolation, feelings of anger or resentment towards your baby, feelings of inadequacy as a new mother, inability to take care of yourself or your baby, having little interest in your baby, feelings of worthlessness, extreme anxiety and guilt, or suicidal thoughts. Postpartum Depression can occur anytime from baby’s birth to 2 years of age, and can last many months.

What can help?
Support from family, friends, and other new mothers is very helpful. As a new mother, you may need to talk about your concerns to others who have either been there before, or who are just good listeners. If you need to cry, cry. It is important to release feelings, and not to bottle them up. 
- Creating routine in your life nurtures healthy thoughts and feelings.
Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet are important. 
- Get rest whenever you have the opportunity.  Few new mothers get enough rest, since they are occupied with responding to the needs of the baby, or, during the times when rest would be possible, they are disturbed by hospital routines or by visitors who may stay too long. Let guests know when it’s time to go!

If you are concerned that you may be experiencing Postpartum Depression, or if you have a history of depression it is important that you see your health care provider and explain your feelings to him or her: you are not alone. Your health care provider may suggest counseling, medical treatment, group-therapy, or other treatment options.

What to Do After a Postnatal Fit 4 Two Class



1. Give yourself some credit
Pat yourself on the back.  You made it through another night of feedings, got you and a whole other human being fed, changed and ready to go……and you made it to class.  Good for you!  You should feel proud.

2. Finish what you started
If, for some reason, you didn’t have a chance to cool down and stretch at the end of class, be sure to do so after. Cool downs return your body to its normal state (temperature, heart rates etc) which is very important.  Stretching lengthens your muscles so they can grow stronger. Stretching also decreases postpartum aches and pains caused by postural imbalances and parenting tasks.

3. Re-hydrate
Even if you drank before and during class, you still need to re-hydrate with another 2-3 cups (500-750ml) of water over the next 2 hours.  

Interesting Fact:  Did you know that your body will automatically make you thirsty when your baby latches on to nurse?  It’s a protective mechanism to ensure you drink enough water to upkeep your milk supply.  Our bodies are so smart.  Trust your body.

4. Re-Fuel
You all know that you need an extra 500 calories/day when you are breastfeeding but did you know that you should eat a healthy meal, mini-meal or snack within 90 minutes of exercising?  Choose complex carbs for immediate and on-going energy as well as protein to repair the muscles you worked so hard. Check out some healthy snack on-the-go options here!

5. Have some fun
Fit 4 Two classes are about more than fitness.  They are an opportunity to connect with other moms in your community.  If you have time after class, invite another mom out for coffee.  If you have to rush home, consider joining your local Fit 4 Two Facebook Group so you can connect outside of class time.  



Tips for Exercising While Pregnant


1. Download a PAR-med X for Pregnancy form and bring it to your next prenatal healthcare appointment.  You’ll need a copy of this form completed and signed by you and your healthcare provider in order to participate in most prenatal fitness and yoga classes.  It is also a fabulous resource for you during your pregnancy.

2. Focus on frequency.  A lot of the benefits of cardiovascular exercise during pregnancy are based on how often you exercise.  To name a few: prevention of gestational diabetes, reduction of varicose veins and improved digestion.  Aim to do cardio 4 days a week. If you are a beginner, start with 15 minutes and add 2 minutes/week up to a maximum of 30 minutes not including warm up and cool down.

3. Get strong!  Moms need muscles. They really, really do.  If you are not sure what to do, attend a prenatal fitness class or book an appointment with a certified personal trainer who is also certified to work with pregnant women.  

4. Strengthen your core.  You core muscles support your back.  Back pain is the #1 complaint during pregnancy.  For safety, avoid laying on flat your back after 16 weeks of pregnancy and if you develop an abdominal separation, avoid exercises that engage your rectus abdominal (6-pack) muscles I.E. abdominal curls, front planks etc. Email info@fit4two.ca for a free sample prenatal core routine OR try the new Pelvic Floor Trainer App for quick and easy routines at your fingertips. 

5. Value social fitness.  If you can, workout with another pregnant woman or join a prenatal fitness class at least one night a week.  Attending Busy Bump events is also a great way to meet other pregnant women. Social connections improve mental health, increase exercise adherence and give you a support network for after baby is born.  The friendships formed at these classes often last a lifetime.  (I still go on an annual camping trip with the women from my prenatal fitness class and my eldest is 8-years-old).

Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.

The Transversus Abdominis – Your new best friend!

So what’s the big deal about this muscle?

The Transversus Abdominis (T.A.) is a corset-like muscle that wraps around your torso and attaches to the pelvis. Your Transversus Abdominis is very important because it helps to hold your internal organs in place. It also helps support your lower back and stabilize your torso during certain movements, such as heavy lifting.  

Unfortunately, It's also the most neglected of abdominal muscles, primarily because so few traditional moves work this area. Because it acts to stabilize your torso, it only works when you are moving. But most of us sit all day long, allowing this muscle to become woefully weak. When it weakens, it doesn't do a good job of holding your internal organs in place, allowing your abdomen to bulge.

Why can’t I just “suck in my tummy” to activate it?
For years, this is what the fitness world told us to do.  However, recent research has shown us that the old “pull your belly button to your spine” trick doesn’t necessarily activate the T.A.  In fact, in the majority of cases, it only activates the Rectus Abdominis and the Obliques (the more superficial/top muscles).

So how do I turn that sucker on?
Activating the T.A at will takes a lot of practice, effort and consistent training.  Luckily as a woman, you have already begun!  Recent ultrasound techniques have shown that the most effective way to activate the T.A is to begin with a Kegel!  The quickest way to tell if you can do turn the T.A on at will is to do the following:
1. Lay on your back, feet on floor, knees bent
2. Dig your fingers into the flesh on the inside of your hip bones…dig deep.
3. Take a deep breath in as you are relaxed
4. On the Exhale, do a kegel and at the same time, imagine you are pulling your two hip bones towards each other.

You should feel the T.A activate under your fingertips.  Note: this is a very light tension and you may only be able to hold it for a second or two.  It should feel like your T.A. is tightening rather than ‘bulging up’.

Don’t think you get it?
If you still don’t feel like you are activating the right muscles after trying the above activity, try “coughing” or “sneezing” with your fingers in the same spot on the inside of your hips – this should make the T.A tighten.  Note: It will also make the T.A. bulge up so use this as a test to find your T.A. rather than a regular exercise.  


Finding it difficult to stay disciplined with your pelvic floor exercises on your own? Feeling like you need more instruction and cues? You're in luck...there's an app for that! Download the Fit 4 Two-approved Pelvic Floor Trainer App and enjoy both visual and audio routines at your fingertips. 




Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.


Gestational Diabetes Mellitus - The Full Story


Did you know that regular exercise is a major factor in preventing and treating Gestational Diabetes Mellitus?  In fact, The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends pregnant women do regular aerobic exercise.

What is GDM?
Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes mellitus.  

What causes GDM?
Due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy, some women develop insulin resistance.  In other words, some women’s bodies are not able to produce and use all the insulin needed for pregnancy.  Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy.  Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels.  This is called hyperglycemia, or GDM.

How does GDM affect mother and child?
When you have gestational diabetes, extra blood glucose goes through the placenta, giving the baby high blood glucose levels.  This causes the baby's pancreas to make extra insulin to get rid of the blood glucose.  Since the baby is getting more energy than it needs to grow and develop, the extra energy is stored as fat. 

This can lead to macrosomia, or a "fat" baby.  

Babies with macrosomia face health problems of their own, including damage to their shoulders during birth.  This can also make a caesarean more likely.  Because of the extra insulin made by the baby's pancreas, newborns may have very low blood glucose levels at birth and are also at higher risk for breathing problems.  Babies with excess insulin become children who are at risk for obesity and adults who are at risk for type II diabetes. 

Gestational diabetes mellitus usually goes away after pregnancy.  But once you've had GDM, your chances are 2 in 3 that it will return in future pregnancies.  Many women who have gestational diabetes go on to develop type II diabetes years later. There seems to be a link between the tendency to have gestational diabetes and type II diabetes.  Gestational diabetes mellitus and type II diabetes both involve insulin resistance.  

How does a pregnant woman know she has GDM?
Pregnant women usually have a GDM screening test at about 28 weeks.  If she tests positive for GDM, she will go back for a longer version of the same test. If she still tests positive for GDM, her HCP will prescribe a treatment plan.

What is the treatment for GDM?
Initially, most HCPs will prescribe improved nutritional habits and regular cardiovascular exercise.  These two lifestyle changes help regulate blood sugar.  If these changes are not enough, the HCP may have to prescribe oral medication or injection of insulin.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Don’t Leave your Bottom Behind You!


When you were pregnant, your growing uterus pulled your pelvis forward into what we call an ‘anterior pelvic tilt’. This led to an increased lumbar (lower back) curve and all the aches and pains that come along with it. Pregnant women who continue with pregnancy safe core exercises and stretches tend to have less lower back discomfort, but some women suffer regardless.  In fact, lower back ache is the #1 complaint among pregnant women. Now that baby is out, let’s get that pelvis back to neutral!

  1. Strengthen your core muscles – Remember to engage your pelvic floor muscles with all your abdominal exercises so that you are truly working your core muscles.  
  2. Stretch your lower back, hamstrings, and hip flexors – for your lower back try ‘Child’s Pose’ or ‘Cat’ from yoga.  For your hamstrings, lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Extend one leg with foot flexed and gently pull it towards you until you feel a gentle stretch.  Hold for 30 second or more. Switch legs.   To lengthen those hip flexors, kneel on mat like you are proposing and tilt your pelvic under. Hold for at least 30 seconds before switching sides.
  3. Watch your posture - Have you ever caught a glimpse in a shop window of yourself pushing your stroller?  Was your bottom following along behind you?  If it was, chances are you have a sore lower back.  Stand tall, especially when you are pushing your stroller. Keep your stroller close to you.  My favorite cue is ears-over-shoulders-over-hips-over-knees-over-ankles.  

Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class. 

Postnatal Discomforts - Upper Back/Neck Strain


During pregnancy and after delivery most women feel stiffness in the neck and back between the shoulder blades. For some women this can lead to “kyphosis” or a slightly rounded upper back. Causes include changes in breast size and weight while pregnant, and the bent over feeding positions after baby has arrived (breast or bottle feeding). As a result, pectoral muscles tighten, and back muscles overstretch and weaken. This can be exacerbated by the hormone relaxin that is released during pregnancy and beyond.  

Sore and stiff upper back muscles can be alleviated by following these simple steps…

  1. Check your posture while sitting or pushing the stroller. Make sure you roll the shoulders back and down and have a “proud” open chest. Keep your chin in line with your shoulders (not jutting forward)
  2. Stretch the chest after exercise and feeding: latch your fingers behind your back and bring your shoulder blades together and hold for 15 seconds.
  3. Use strength training to improve posture and reduce aches and pains. A good exercise for this is the bent over row. Grasp a weight in your left hand, position yourself on your hands and knees with knees under hips and hands under shoulders, row your left arm back keeping your elbow brushing along the side of your body for a count of 10-12 reps, then switch sides and repeat. If you’d like to incorporate baby, consider singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” too.


Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class. 


Strength Training for New Moms


Why do I need to strength train?

The life of a parent...


Does a typical day for you include any of the following?
- Carrying a baby who gets heavier each day
- Hunching over to feed baby
- Doing up a multitude of snaps
- Bending over to change diapers
- Carrying a car seat 
- Feeding baby whilst typing an email and eating breakfast
- Chasing a mobile baby or tot

Typical New Parent Complaints
- Sore neck, back and shoulders
- Tight pectoral muscles
- Tender wrists
- Fatigued biceps and forearms
- Low Energy

Strength Training to the Rescue
We can prevent and correct the above by maintaining a strong & flexible body and by listening to our bodies.  A safe & effective postnatal strength training program focuses on muscular endurance: 3 days/week, 1-2 sets, 10-15 repetitions.  If strength training is totally new for you, consider joining a postnatal fitness class or working with a certified personal trainer with further postnatal fitness certifications.

Some Tips on Strength Training Safely & Effectively Postpartum
1. Before beginning or continuing any exercise program, it’s important to discuss your plans with your healthcare provider.  You’ll also want to read, fill out and sign a Par-Q (available at www.csep.ca) 

2. Drink enough water BEFORE, DURING and AFTER exercising.  Remember, if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  Breastfeeding women need to be especially diligent about not becoming dehydrated as it can effect milk supply and cause fatigue.

3. Choose exercises that you enjoy and that are realistic as a new parent.  Consider a routine that involves baby and a location that is baby friendly.

4. Warm up for 7-10 minutes before beginning your strength training routine.

5. Aim for the following FITT Principle:
Frequency: 2-3 days/week (48 hours+ between sessions)
Intensity: moderate
Time: 2-3 sets of 10-15 quality reps (muscular endurance)
Type: Free weights, strength machines, tubing, body ball etc

6. Do all strength-training exercises slowly and with control.  Do not lock your joints or swing your limbs.

7. Have a neutral spine with a stable core.

8. Breath!  (Breathe out on exertion)

9. Cool down for 5 – 10 minutes after your strength training routine

10. After you cool down, stretch all major muscles used for 30+ 
seconds each.

Areas to Strengthen
Upper/Mid Back – postural correction
Shoulders  - overuse injury prevention
Biceps – babies are heavy ☺
Triceps – to balance those strong biceps
Core – postural correction
Pelvic Floor – prevent incontinence
Thighs – functional strength for parenthood & beyond
Gluts  - postural correction

Areas to Stretch
Chest – postural correction
Back – tension relief and postural correction
Hamstrings – postural correction
Hips & Gluts – postural correction and improved sleep comfort
Calves – new moms walk a lot 


Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.


Sports Bras and Breastfeeding

Taking care of your breasts has never been more important

Wearing a supportive sports bra during exercise…
• Reduces discomfort
• Prevents neck, back and shoulder pain
• Prevents damage to breast tissue and ligaments
• Makes exercise more enjoyable
• Allows you to exercise freely

Wearing a well-fitting nursing bra the rest of the day…
• Reduces discomfort
• Prevents neck, back and shoulder pain
• Prevents damage to breast tissue and ligaments
• Prevents clogged ducts and therefore mastitis (breast infection)
• Allows for proper circulation and maximum milk supply

It is good to know…
There is no such thing as a nursing sports bra.  They are nursing bras that look like sports bras but they do not have the support needed in a proper sports bra.  


Breastfeeding moms should not wear a sports bra for more than a couple of hours.  Most sports bras use compression as a means for support. Prolonged compression can send messages to your body that you are trying to wean and this can reduce your milk supply.  In addition, prolonged compression could contribute to clogged milk ducts.  

There are a few sports bras on the market that have straps that adjust in the front.  This makes it easier to access your breasts during exercise.  Check out the Fiona Bra by Moving Comfort.

Pulling your sports bra over or under your breasts to nurse can damage breast tissue and may even lead to clogged milk ducts. If your sports bra does not have straps that adjust in the front, we recommend sliding one of the straps over your shoulder and then sliding your arm out. 


Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.

Surviving Your First Fitness Class with Baby

Here are 12 tips from the trenches…

1. Read the class description thoroughly. Class descriptions let you know what to expect.  They help you choose the right class for you and your baby.  They also let you know where to meet and what to bring.  

2. Make sure the instructor is certified in pre and postnatal fitness. She will be up to date on the latest postnatal fitness guidelines and know how to keep the babies happy.  

3. If you have questions, contact the Instructor. Most instructors are moms themselves so understand that you will have questions.

4. Consider a Stroll-byIf you are feeling really unsure, go out for a walk with baby and see what the class looks like.  This is really helpful if you’re a visual person.

5. Prepare Preventatively.  No one knows your baby better than you do.  If you anticipate baby napping during class, dress baby in a comfortable sleeper.  If your baby is at a busier stage, pack all his favorite toys and snacks.

6. Pack the night before.  Then you can focus on getting you and your baby ready instead of running around the house in search of keys etc.   

7. Leave a little early. This will give you time for the unexpected like diaper explosions or forgetting to put on your bra (it happens).  It also gives you time for a last minute feed when you arrive.  

8. Speak Up.  Let your instructor know if an exercise is causing you pain so she can give you an alternative.  Exercise is NOT supposed to hurt.  If you cannot see or hear her, let her know.    

9. Incorporate your baby as much as you need to.  You’ll have days when your baby needs to be held, days when he sleeps, days when he is content to watch and days in between.  This is normal.  

10. Try to go with the flow.  If your baby begins to cry, remind yourself that you are in a safe place.  Attend to your baby as you would at home.  

11. If at first you don’t succeed, try again.  It is entirely possible that the very first class doesn’t go well.  I’ve observed that in an eight-class session, most moms will have at least one day they wish they could do over.  Unfortunately, this sometimes happens at the very first class.  If it does, try not to let it get you down.  Try again.  If the second class doesn’t go well either, you might consider a different class type, time of day or waiting a couple more weeks. As you have learned already, parenting is all about trouble shooting.  

12. Go for that coffee after class.  Aside from regular exercise and eating well, one of the healthiest things you can do for you and your baby is to connect with others.  As these new friendships grow, so will your support network.  


Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.