Thursday, February 18, 2010

TDC Night: Pre & Post Natal Fitness pt 2

Previously, I covered my prenatal exercise and fitness note from the February class at My Baby News presented by The Doula Connection.  Now I'll move on to my notes on Nutrition and Postpartum.

Nutrition:  "Eating for two" is a myth up until about 7 or 8 months gestation.  This is when your baby's primary job is growing and laying down fat reserves.  Even once you hit this point, of course, you need to be sensible about what you consume.  Anna emphasized the importance of portion control, the kind that requires you to use measuring cups or counting out your handful of 11 crackers and then walking away.
  • First trimester: No additional calories are needed.
  • Second trimester: About 300 calories extra are needed per day.  This is almost nothing.  Some examples are: 1 large orange, a serving of peanut butter-filled pretzels, and a stick of string cheese (310 calories).  1 Thomas Plain bagel with 1 tablespoon of jam (310 calories).  1/2 a Thomas plain bagel with 2 tablespoons peanut butter (320 calories).  1 cup lowfat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup plain almonds, and 1/2 medium apple (286 calories).
  • Third trimester:  As mentioned above, this is the point at which you need 400-500 extra calories above your pre-pregnancy needs.  (Side note: this is a great time to add red raspberry leaf tea to your daily diet to help nourish and tone the uterus, if you haven't been drinking it throughout your pregnancy already.)
  • Nursing: 600-900 extra calories per day from what you needed before pregnancy.  From what everyone else was saying, you will likely feel famished, like you can't eat enough.  As always, try to make wise choices, looking for nutrition-dense foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats) rather than simply calorie-dense ones (refined grains and sugar, etc.)
  • Losing "baby weight" via nursing is also a myth; genetics play a more important role.  This is why some women can drop the weight without a problem and others can't seem to get rid of it.  If you're holding on to the fat, your body is trying to reserve that energy to nourish both you and your baby in case of hard times.  Don't reduce your caloric intake to try and diet it off.
Postpartum:  Be kind to your body and be kind to your uterus.  You've just gone through a major transition in your life and you need to allow yourself time to rest and recuperate, not to mention time to enjoy your new baby!
  •  Give yourself time to heal:  Vaginal birth: six weeks, be sure to clear yourself with your care provider before resuming an exercise regimine.  Caesarean section: Eight weeks.  Especially be sure that your scar has healed completely.  Remember, be kind.  Kegels and slow walking should be fine during this "waiting" period.
  • Once your 6-8 weeks is up, start with walking and be gentle on yourself.  No five mile trail hiking.  Walking on flat, paved surfaces is best, as much as you possibly can.
  • Be sure to have a support system.  Have someone to encourage you to get up and get out of the house, and be willing to take care of the baby while you get out if you need some time to yourself.
  • Allow yourself 4 to 6 weeks to start seeing results.
Along with this, she also went over several ways to incorporate baby into your exercise routine, particularly with regards to walking, jogging, and running with strollers.  She went over a couple of  at-home exercises
  • Squats:  Hold baby against your chest, close to your center, stand with feet shoulder width apart and squat, sticking your butt back as if reaching for a chair that's too far behind you.  Keep your knees over your heels; do not lean them forward over your toes or you'll endanger the joint.  Use a wrap, sling, or other carrier if your balance is questionable.
  • Lunges: As opposed to the stretching variety, these are set up simply by taking a comfortable step forward .  Your weight should primarily sink into the heel of the forward foot, with a little bit in the toes and ball of the rear foot for balance.  Hold baby to your chest and bend your legs smoothly, dipping your back knee toward the floor.  As above, don't move your front knee out over your toes; keep your weight sunk into that heel and your lower leg perpendicular.
There's more to add here, but my notes ended.  I have e-mailed Anna for more details and postpartum exercises and will add them, or make another post when I have the new information.  In the meantime, enjoy and be healthy!

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