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...
On my first baby, when I found out I was pregnant, I stopped running in my first trimester. Why? Because having experienced a miscarriage a few months beforehand, there was just something in the back of my mind thinking "God I wonder does all this running and bobbing up and down somehow affect this tiny baby's ability to grow and cling on to life? So in essence, fear stopped me, and I guess also a lack of knowledge. I kept walking all the time throughout and eating healthily, but looking back, I really wished I kept my fitness levels higher.
Fitness and supporting women on their journey into motherhood are both big passions of mine. So, I committed to learning more about it. Learning the facts, the guidelines, the safety aspects - I recently completed my qualification as a Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Specialist, (I already hold pre/postnatal yoga, Hatha Yoga, and several other qualifications in the related field).
In a nutshell, the question everyone wants to...
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...
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'm so fascinated by the holistic world of herbal medicine and alternative therapy. When I got the chance to interview Marina Kesso, Herbalist and Naturopath, I was so excited! She's an incredible lady and helps so many Pregnant women, and new mamas cope with their ailments, and improves the quality of their lifestyle, all through the wonders of Herbal Medicine and Naturopathy.
HP: Marina, thanks so much for your time today. Can I ask how you got into the Herbal Medicine world?
MK: Thanks so much Helen, I'm thrilled to chat to you. I was living on a small farm in Leitrim, growing lots of different herbs and plants for years. Living on the farm, we tried to live sustainably and ate only what was in season. Even though my background is Fine Arts, herbs and plants were a big passion. Living in the countryside, lots of locals knew I grew them on the farm, so they kept coming to me to get different plants for them. It came to a point where I wanted to know more about...
Hmmmm, there is nothing quite like discussing your birthing experiences to get the emotions running. What should be an empowering and joyful journey for all women, is increasingly becoming a very challenging experience, certainly in Ireland. This is in part due to a serious lack of resources in the hospital environment...putting it bluntly...there ain't enough midwives for the birthing population and the hospitals are having to cope with so many more births than they were designed for. Plus, structurally in Ireland, we do not have the set up to offer choice to women to birth more in the community.
I sat down with Psychologist and mother of 3, Allison Keating from Bwell Clinic, to have a chat about it all!
I truly hope you enjoy the discussion and find some useful nuggets of info in there for you.
Please do share the video via the links on the left and I'd love you to subscribe to the new YouTube channel. If you enjoyed the chat, please give us a little thumbs up!
The setting for birth can be the difference between a fulfilling and a traumatic childbirth experience*. Just take a moment to re-read that sentence and think about the impact of it...it's a pretty dramatic statement. When you consider all of the aspects pregnant women and their partners invest so heavily in, in terms of time, energy and money, virtually none of my clients spend a large amount of time considering the birthing environment, or how to influence it. And I can understand how a pregnant woman might feel they have little control or influence over their birth setting. But let's delve deeper into why the birth setting is so important and how you could potentially mold it.
In order for labour to progress smoothly, oxytocin must flourish. Oxytocin is a very shy hormone that only flourishes when the woman is calm, relaxed, not stressed and is experiencing no fear or anxiety. Fear and anxiety can interrupt the delicate hormonal...