Posts tagged Dr. Jen Mushtaler
Staying fit throughout your pregnancy and beyond / By Chrissie Jarrell & Natalie Yerkovich
Find this article online and in print in the May 2012 issue of Austin Woman Magazine.
Fitness is about more than just working out, especially for expecting and new moms. This month, we brought together four experts on women’s health and fitness to give you a well-rounded look at what it means to be fit and healthy during pregnancy and after birth. Every woman and every pregnancy is different, so consult your obstetrician before starting anything new while pregnant or nursing.
Dr. Jen Mushtaler, FACOG Founder of Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas
Pregnancy is a wonderful opportunity for women to embrace their health and the health of their unborn child. Here are a few guidelines to make sure your fitness routine is healthy for mom and baby:
- Most women who have been exercising regularly prior to pregnancy can and should continue during pregnancy.
- In general, it is recommended to include at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise four to five days per week. Anaerobic exercise can compromise blood flow to a developing baby and should be avoided.
- Pregnant women experience a shifting of their center of gravity during pregnancy that may alter balance. Select fitness activities that pose a low risk of falling.
- Women can sunburn more easily during pregnancy and bad burns can be dangerous for mother and baby. Be sure to apply sunscreen before exercising outdoors.
Nutrition is a key component to your overall health during pregnancy and after birth. Here are some important things to consider:
- A common misconception is once you’re pregnant you are eating for two. However, during your first trimester, your calorie needs do not change. Calorie needs are increased in the second and third trimesters by about 300 calories. Three hundred calories is about a cup of brown rice topped with three-fourths a cup of black beans per day—a lot less than you may think.
- Calcium needs increase during pregnancy to about 1,200 milligrams per day. It is important to get enough calcium so that your bones stay strong to reduce your risk for stress fractures from exercise both during and after pregnancy.
- A cup of coffee or two is OK and sometimes the saving grace of any athlete. Just don’t go overboard. A cup is 7 to 8 ounces of brewed coffee, not a 24-ounce latte.
- Eating for two really happens when we are breastfeeding. A woman needs 600 extra calories a day to keep up with milk production. Try having something small like a piece of fruit at each feeding to keep up with baby’s demands.
- Stay hydrated! Fluid needs increase during breastfeeding. If you are getting back to your regular exercise routine, breastfeeding and living in Texas, keep a water bottle full and nearby at all times. Adding a low-calorie, naturally sweetened electrolyte supplement (like U from nuun) to your water on occasion can be helpful as well to maintain electrolyte balance in the body.
Dr. Laurie Buob, MS, DC, FASA Founder and physical therapist at Austin Family & Sports Chiropractic
Your body will change during pregnancy due to weight gain and hormone changes. This can mean changes in body alignment, flexibility and body dynamics. Here are a few changes you may experience:
- The force to the joints in your body can increase by up to two times. Swimming and water workouts are great, especially during the third trimester, because they decrease the load on all your joints.
- The laxity (or flexibility) in your joints increases due to the hormone relaxing. This allows your tissue to stretch and increases your tendency for injuries like ankle sprains, and creates instability in the lumbar and cervical spine. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes with ankle and arch support to prevent injuries.
- The anterior tilt of your pelvis will increase, which increases the use of your hip extensors, abductors and ankle muscles. If you are having back, pelvic, hip or other pain that is affecting your activity of daily living, ask your OB for a recommendation to see a physical therapist or chiropractor. Chiropractic care can help you to maintain a healthier pregnancy; control symptoms of nausea; reduce time of labor and delivery; relieve back, neck and joint pain; and prevent a potential cesarean delivery.
Julie Drake, operations manager; Leeann Marcie, business director, Fitness Institute of Texas
Drake and Marcie continued to exercise throughout their pregnancies. Here are a few tips on exercising safely and effectively:
- During pregnancy, your pelvis can tip to counterbalance the load. This tightens the hip flexors and lower back muscles and weakens your hamstrings. Doing exercises to stretch or strengthen these muscles helps prevent back pain and keeps your core strong. Muscles to stretch: low back, hip flexors, chest, quads (avoid over-stretching). Muscles to strengthen: glutes, hip extensors, hamstrings, upper back, pelvic floor.
- After delivery, get doctor’s approval before you start exercising. Generally light to moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, is safe after four to six weeks.
- Start over with your weight-training routine. Begin with one set of 10 to 15 reps of eight to 10 exercises, one to two days a week.
- Take it easy on your abs. Your abdominal muscle that runs from your breast bone to your pelvis has been stretched and weakened for nine months. Start with exercises like planks, and progress to crunches slowly.
FIT MOM RESOURCES:
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: exercise guidelines acog.org
- Fitness Institute of Texas: programs and body testing edb.utexas.edu/fit
- GoTribal: podcast by Dr. Mushtaler about endurance athletes and pregnancy gotribalnow.com
- Pure Barre: “New Moms Bounce Back” program purebarre.com
- Kula Yoga Center: prenatal and parent and infant yoga classes austinkulayoga.com
- Mama Baila: pre- and postnatal dance classes mamabaila.com
- MyFitList: find fitness groups for moms, women only, and mom and baby myfitlist.com
Chrissie Jarrell and Natalie Yerkovich, the gals who created myfitlist.com, do the grunt work for you. Well, the organizational grunt work, anyway. They work hard to connect people with the fitness groups, information and resources they need so they can grunt, sweat and tone to achieve their personal goals.
Read the fun and inspirational fitness articles by the creators of MyFitList, every month in Austin Woman Magazine. This article can be found in the May 2012 issue on stands and online now!
MyFitList brings together the latest information on hundreds of local fitness businesses in Austin. We’re your resource for inspiration and information for getting and staying fit. Search hundreds of Austin fitness groups and services like running, triathlon, bootcamps, yoga studios, gyms and more all in one place! Check us out at www.myfitlist.com