Where should I be feeling my kicks?!

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,...

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Those last couple of weeks of pregnancy – what to do...

birth preparation Jun 04, 2017

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).

So instead...

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All you need to know about exercising in early pregnancy

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...

HuffPost Article - All you need to know about exercising in early pregnancy

If you have any questions at all, just comment below or get in touch on email or social media links.

Enjoy

x

 

Helen Plass is a Pre & Postnatal Fitness...

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What You Need To Know About Exercise During Pregnancy

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...

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Optimum ways to relieve pain during Pregnancy, with Women's Health Physiotherapist, Laura

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:

  1. Breathing correctly
  2. Excellent posture
  3. Movement classes suitable for pregnancy
  4. Good bladder and bowel health

We talk about all of them inside the interview!

As I feel so strongly about keeping physically...

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I'm pregnant, now what?!

So, you've peed on that stick and either you are feeling one of two ways: 

                     OR                              

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...

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How to manage sweating during pregnancy in 5 simple ways

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.

  • All pregnant women's systems are increasing their workload massively - the cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory and more - and all this extra energy creates extra heat. Mama-to-be also has an increased metabolism, which causes a rise in temperature.
  • As well as that...
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5 steps to avoiding overwhelm with a new baby

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...

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How Herbal Medicine can help you in Pregnancy, labour and birth.

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...

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So what was your birthing experience like?

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!

For more...

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