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'Mommy and me' classes help pregnant women, new moms exercise right

July 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Whether you are pregnant or a new mother, exercise is recommended, but with special rules on how you workout.

"After I had my first child, which was 10 years ago, there wasn't really anything around like this. So I knew I wanted to do something with it, but I felt like I didn't really have the knowledge," said Spectrum Club instructor Victoria Samia.

Samia teaches Mommy and Me for the Spectrum Club at South Bay. She's an experienced fitness instructor, but since there are established guidelines for pre- and post-natal exercise, she needed extra education for this special population.

"There is one course done through AFFA that does prenatal training, which kind of encompasses both pre and post, so I did a course with them and then I talked with at length with my OBGYN and with a labor and delivery nurse," said Sarnia.

New moms said they appreciate that.

"You know it's helpful when you have an instructor who has been through it before. So that's has been teaching it for a long time, that is certified, and knows the changes and experiences and the changes that happen with your body," said Dana Speicher of Hermosa Beach.

Obstetrician Dr. John Jain said pregnant women experience weight gain, tiredness, fatigue and hormonal changes. He says these classes help fight the symptoms.

"It helps counteract the pain and stiffness women experience as their body changes. It helps balance center of gravity changes. If there is a focus on their pelvic floor muscles, it helps with the birthing process," said Jain.

Much like the prenatal research you did when you were pregnant, it's smart to arm yourself with some for postnatal fitness because you have been carrying this little package inside of you for nine months and you're not the same person you were before.

"You no longer have this weight on your abdomen, but really the focus is getting back to what you are used to," said Jain.

You should also focus on strengthening pelvic floor muscles, alleviating back pain, promoting proper balance, increasing body strength and overall mood.

Jain says be realistic in expectations and take small steps. It's your body and your babies, so do your homework and ask questions about your doctor's certifications. Be a good consumer.


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