Moms really do have it rough sometimes. For one, they’re the ones who carry the babies and with this come emotions that run wild and physical changes that some fear can’t be undone.
Samantha Montpetit-Huynh, mother of two and owner and founder of Core Expectations – an in-home personal training service for pregnant women and busy moms – says that while pregnancy does indeed make it difficult to keep your body intact, no woman should feel that is lost when the baby arrives and things aren’t just what they used to be.
Read what Samantha had to say about doing away with mummy tummies and some little known facts about what really happens to a woman’s body during pregnancy…
What are your top tips for women who have just gotten pregnant?
The top tips I would give any new mom to be is: exercise, exercise, exercise!! Exercising during pregnancy is probably the best way to prepare yourself for the biggest workout of your life – labour and delivery. Cardiovascular exercise will help give you endurance to last during labour and strength training will give you the strength to push that baby out.
Samantha Montpetit-Huynh, CPTN-CPT, PFS, NWS, RAB is Tupler Trained for Diastasis Recti and Owner/ Founder of Core Expectations.
Exercise helps to avoid many pregnancy related conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, high blood pressure and varicose veins. It is now considered a risk factor to NOT exercise during pregnancy.
What exactly happens to a woman’s body that makes it difficult to return to its previous state?
During pregnancy, there is a hormone that is excreted throughout the entire body called relaxin. This hormone makes everything hypermobile and immediately starts relaxing all the joints in the body to prepare it for the added weight gain, growing baby and delivery. This shifting that occurs can leave women feeling that their bodies are just different after baby because things don’t go back exactly the way they once were.
The most common thing that happens to a woman’s stomach is a condition called Diastasis Recti. Diastasis Recti means separation of the rectus abdominis. This is when the outermost abdominal muscles separate to compensate for the growing uterus.
Because the muscles don’t spring back after delivery, many women are left with a pouch – better known as Mummy Tummy. Although Diastasis Recti is a well-known result of pregnancy, most people have no idea how to fix it without surgery. But it can be done – with some good ol’ fashioned hard work.
Your training on the Tupler Technique for Diastasis Recti is a unique workout that has made you just one of two people in Canada to provide it. What is this workout and what makes it so unique?
The uniqueness is the way the muscles are trained. That is, muscles are trained in this technique the way these muscles are used in everyday life. And being a personal trainer myself, I should have known better. Once I was trained, a light went on in my head because I knew this, but never applied it until someone opened my eyes.
The Tupler Technique was designed specifically to close an abdominal separation. It has been proven over and over again to close a Diastasis in women. Most women who have given birth have some sort of separation so I recommend getting on top of it ASAP, especially if they are going to have another baby.
While working out helps a woman’s body maintain health and shape, what other benefits realized when a woman works out before and after birth?
Pregnant women experience the same benefits of someone who isn’t pregnant and exercising. It helps to maintain a healthy weight gain, strengthens your body so you are able to carry around the extra weight load with less effort, and [may] reduce [other] pregnancy-related health problems.
Another reason why it’s so important especially during pregnancy is because you are growing a baby inside you. Babies in utero receive many benefits from exercising mothers.
For example, babies tolerate contractions much better because they are able to deal with the stresses of labour and delivery and meconium levels are down [the earliest stools of an infant]. Babies of exercising mothers also rate higher in Apgar tests [the method that assesses the health of newborn children immediately after birth].
Samantha’s Top 5 Tips for Getting Back in Shape after Baby Comes
1. Be realistic – If it took 9 months to put it on, it’s probably going to take at least that much time to get it off.
2. Start slow – If you start too hard and too fast, when the adrenaline is gone, you’ll crash.
3. Strength training is a MUST – Too many women are afraid of lifting weights because they think they are going to bulk up, but women simply don’t have enough testosterone in their bodies for this. Building muscle not only tones and keeps everything tight, but it also increases your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories at rest.
4. EAT – As tough as it is, especially with a new baby, eating enough throughout the day will keep your metabolism moving and your energy up. Skipping meals and drastically cutting calories will kill your metabolism.
5. Drink water –Water is essential for so many things; hydration, energy, mood and weight loss. Most people do not drink enough water and wonder why they are lethargic, crabby, constipated and suffer headaches.
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