After the 30-week mark of your pregnancy, ask your doctor or midwife to check which position your baby is lying in. Most of the time, they'll be able to give you a very good indication of how your little one is positioned. Why is it important? Well, the quick answer is that once a baby is lying in a 'good' position, you will have a shorter and easier labour, as the narrowest part (smallest diameter) of baby's head is coming down through the pelvic rim, and is in great alignment.
What you are looking for ideally, is for baby to be lying with their back towards the front of mama's abdomen, and slightly to the left. The position where baby's body is lying with their back pointing forwards is called OA - Occiput Anterior. The occiput is the lowest bone in the back of the skull. It's important to also note that the cervix is positioned towards the back of the uterus - it's not just a straight chute to the exit ;) So when baby is lying in the OA position, particularly to the left,...
You’re 38 weeks pregnant, you feel enormous, in fact you feel a bit like a whale, a sweaty whale, a whale who can’t put her socks on anymore (if whales had feet), a whale who finds it really hard to turn in bed at night and keeps waking up to pee, a whale who adores her little bubba inside but can’t wait until the thing comes out…any of this sound familiar?
Even though pregnant mamas have been waiting patiently for the arrival of their precious bundle for 9 months, those last couple of weeks seem to take F.O.R.E.V.E.R. Mamas-to-be can tend to feel so impatient at this stage as obviously they feel big, uncomfortable, achy and blooming irritable. Sometimes this can lead to a negative mindset, and potential conversations with care givers about how to maybe get a ‘helping hand’ in the hope of starting labour early (this generally ain’t a good thing (unless medically necessary) and rarely works, particularly on first time mamas).
I recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post about Exercising in Early Pregnancy. It was always something I felt unsure and even nervous about, particularly having experienced 3 miscarriages.
As well as being a Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Specialist, and Prenatal Yoga instructor, I'm a keen runner and exerciser in general. I've always had so many worries and queries myself, so I've gone through all the areas of concern and answered all the questions you could possibly have inside the blog!
You know that I'm going to reassure (and advise ;-)) you that you should be exercising, all throughout pregnancy, but there definitely are important things you need to know about.
So if you'd like to know more, please delve in...
If you have any questions at all, just comment below or get in touch on email or social media links.
Helen Plass is a Pre & Postnatal Fitness...
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Laura Carroll, the fabulous women's health Chartered Physiotherapist at Live Well Waterford Clinic. As the body changes dramatically during pregnancy, it can have such an impact on how a lady feels, sleeps and manages a normal daily routine.
As an anatomy nerd, I was so excited to get this chance to sit down and chat with Laura, to uncover some of the reasons why Pregnant women suffer from so many ailments like rib pain, leaking while sneezing or coughing, and pelvic pain. I found it so incredibly insightful and I know you will too! Even if you aren't suffering from any major ailments, Laura gives advice on how to prevent the onset of physical difficulties during pregnancy.
The main 4 things we should all be doing more of are:
We talk about all of them inside the interview!
As I feel so strongly about keeping physically...
So, you've peed on that stick and either you are feeling one of two ways:
Either way honey, congratulations, you're preggers!
Any time I found out, I was always more Buddy, than JLo in my reaction! But either way, you are probably asking...now what?!
Here are 8 things I'd recommend, and have done myself in the past:
1. Ensure you are taking your folic acid daily, and some form of prenatal vitamins. For me personally, prenatal vitamins I've taken previously haven't had a very positive affect on my digestive system. So I took the folic acid and specific, very high quality, EFA Omega-3 and Omega-6 capsules, and made sure my diet was awesome.
2. Clean up your diet. Get rid of refined, sugary and processed foods. Increase your veggie intake and try to eat as healthily as you...
"He just couldn't settle her, so I had to leave the nail salon in the middle of getting my nails done to come home to them"
"Nobody can settle the baby as quickly as I can"
"He'll only go down for me"
"She'll only take the bottle for me"
"Ah it's just easier if I do it myself"
Question gorgeous girl - have you ever said any of the above sentences? I know I have! And I have heard ALL of these lines in my postnatal classes, on many occasions! Ah, us women are controlling...that's hard to admit, but so so true when it comes to our babies. I often talk about this in my classes, and it gets many a wry smile! Whether we know best or not, we gotta do something about this. I'll tell you why...because it will help us (and our relationships!) in the long run.
I'm a big fan of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO (Chief Operating Officer). I read her book "Lean in" over Christmas. Her ethos is that women need to be more empowered at work, if that is their chosen route. Much of the book deals...
I remember when my first baby was born, I had ZERO friends with kiddies. Zero! At the time, I was living with my parents in their lovely home, as my husband was commuting weekly to London. But good God I felt lonely. Then a close friend suggested I hook up with one of her best friends who was in the same position and thankfully we went on to become great friends and now have boys the same ages and even in the same class in school!
But I often thought about how I would cope if I didn't have the luxury of living with my wonderful parents in their beautiful and very spacious house. The only thing I ever needed to focus on was my newborn son. Dinners appeared without me having to lift a finger, dirty clothes were taken from the basket and put back into my room ironed, folded, spick and span. My mother is a saint. I thought about those ladies staying on their own for the whole day, feeling exhausted, potentially really confused or overwhelmed, and desperately lonely. And as we all...
Ah the glow of pregnancy, isn't it just beautiful? Eh no, no it's not. For some women, all they seem to have to do is go from sitting to standing and they break out in a sweat! Do you find yourself peeling off the layers sometimes when everyone else isn't even warm?! All this increased heat and sweating is a right royal pain in the bum.
So why is it exactly that as pregnant women we tend to get all hot and sweaty more easily? What do we need to avoid doing? And is there anything we can do to reduce the sweats?
Why the increased sweatiness?!
As we know, the body is under enormous change during pregnancy. It has to work extra hard as the mother's body has increased heat from a multitude of sources.
You are finally pregnant with your much-longed for baby and have a rough plan of how your day will go when baby arrives. You have researched your feeding options, bought some bottles and a steriliser in case breastfeeding doesn't work out. You know newborns will sleep a lot of the day so hopefully you'll be able to nap too; you have bought the buggy / travel system, tick; car seat, tick; cot, tick; and you are feeling well prepared, a little anxious but an overall sense of sheer excitement! Let's do this baby thing!
The big day comes and your gorgeous little bundle arrives. You leave hospital after a couple of hours or days feeling utterly elated but exhausted, and a little sore and stiff. But life is good! This was me, and thousands of other women no doubt too, on their first baby.
When you take baby home, I guarantee you'll spend most of the time just staring at them! Making sure baby is still breathing when they are asleep, and in general just attending to their...
I recently published an article in the Huffington Post about Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In’. One area of the book I found fascinating was the concept of how many hours mothers will spend ‘focused on their children’. The fact that nowadays in the States, an employed mother spends roughly the same amount of time on primary care activities (defined as routine caregiving and activities that foster a child’s well-being, such as reading and fully focused play) as a stay-at-home mother did back then, needs exploring!
I go through the research which looks at exclusive maternal care versus child care, and the impact that has on a child's development. Fascinating stuff!
Here are a couple of paragraphs from the Huffington Post article...
"Much of Lean In made my mind run wild, filling myself up with inspirational content. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d highly recommend the book, for both men and women alike. It’s an...