Prenatal Exercise

9 Surprising Tips: Pregnancy Digestive Health

Natural health has become very popular among pregnant women and moms lately– and for good reason!

Mom’s are now more aware than ever that our diet, exercise routines, and environments affect our pregnancy and our children, not just our own health! Since digestion, your tummy, and your whole gut system is affected by so many factors, especially during pregnancy, here are some great tips to creating and maintaining digestive system health through your pregnancy and beyond.

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Digestive System Bacteria– What you NEED to Know

Probiotic, now a hype word, was once a topic only discussed among “holistic” health practitioners has become center stage in the topic of many health discussions, since probiotics contribute to healthy digestion and intestinal balance. Our gut is filled with hundreds of different species of good bacteria. In fact, there are more of them in a healthy gut than there are cells in the entire body! The intestinal flora is also a key contributor in detoxification, ridding the body of 40 percent of the toxins in food. If the gut didn’t have the intestinal flora, the liver would have to work almost twice as hard.
Avoid These Things to Maintain the Balance in Your Belly:

1. C-sections
While often absolutely necessary, today, too many women are induced. This leads to C-sections that would not have been necessary if the natural process of labor had been respected and allowed to proceed without disruption. A baby in the womb is sterile, but when passing through the birth canal, it is exposed to bacteria, mouth first. These bacteria are supposed to colonize the gut, nature’s first vaccination of sorts. This does not happen during a C-Section.

2. Antibiotics
Antibiotics are the second (and often most commonly seen) problem the intestinal flora often face. While our culture is beginning to become aware of our over-prescribing of antibiotics, it is still often the case that children (and adults for that matter) are given antibiotics for every kind of infection-many of which if given the proper time and rest would resolve on their own. In fact, because this antibiotic regime starts early, many of us have always lived with compromised intestinal flora and have never been truly healthy.

3. Chemicals in Your Food
The chemicals found in our food is the most common way that we make trouble for our intestinal flora on a day-to-day basis. A trip to the doctor isn’t the only place you’ll find antibiotics, some of the same antibiotics doctors prescribe to humans are administered to livestock by the food industry. This goes for processed and packaged foods in boxes, jars, bags, tubes, and bottles. The food industry calls them preservatives, but in essence they act as antibiotics. These antibiotics kill the friendly flora naturally found in your digestive system.

4. Chlorinated Water
Tap water and shower water are two places that can cause problems for our intestinal flora. The water we shower with is absorbed through the skin and ends up in our circulatory systems, just like the water we drink. Recent reports reveal that your shower and tap water may contain increasingly detectable levels of most of the popular prescription medications such as antidepressants, antibiotics, hormones, and immuno-suppressants, all serious problems for the good bacteria in our gut.

5. Stress
Research is beginning to suggest that stress itself can cause significant changes to the diversity, composition, and number of gut microorgansims. Stress has been linked to a variety of conditions such as food allergies, GERD, and IBS.² Stress has also been shown to slow bowel transit time, which encourages the growth of bad bacteria!

Tips to Keep Your Tummy Happy:

1. Eat chemical-free whole foods and use chemical-free products. You have heard this before and it is worth repeating. Look for whole foods free of preservatives, conservatives, and coloring agents. Use chemical-free makeup, body-care, and cleaning products. I so often hear of the expense that comes along with eating organic whole foods and my thoughts on this are pay now or pay later. You really are what you eat… and so is your baby!! Decreased exposure to pesticides, added hormones, and antibiotics is good for you & baby.

2. Take a multi-strain probiotic. The truth is we are still learning about which probiotics are the most useful and in what quantities. We do know that probiotics support the intestinal flora. I recommend rotating your probiotics to include different strains and different amounts. The brands I have found most reliable are VSL #3 and Primal Defense by Garden of Life

3. Filter your tap & shower waters. Keep chlorine and other chemicals from being absorbed and damaging your microflora by using a shower and drinking water filter. On top of decreased exposure as an added bonus you may notice softer skin!

4. This is SO IMPORTANT while pregnant. Reduce stress. There are many strategies to help reduce stress, so find one that works for you and use it.

On top of these things, don’t forget that healthy eating, staying hydrated, safe and effective exercises, and above all– plenty of rest, will help your total body health. Avoiding the chemicals and toxins that bombard your daily life can seem overwhelming, but when you know where to look for them, how to avoid them, and alternative lifestyle choices, you can have a happier healthy pregnancy and beyond!

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Other Posts by Knocked-Up Fitness:

5 Tips for Fighting Pregnancy Fatigue
Healthy Product Talk with Mommy Greenest
Getting Pregnant: 7 Pre-Pregnancy Health Tips

 

 

References

1. Clean Gut by Dr. A. Junger

2. http://www.jpp.krakow.pl/journal/archive/12_11/pdf/591_12_11_article.pdf

Prenatal Exercise

Worth the Weight: How Prenatal Exercise Can Help You Achieve Your Postpartum Weight Goals

If you’re one of many Knocked-Up mommas waiting for baby, and wondering how your body will react to pregnancy and delivery, you’re in luck!

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A study out of The American College of Sports Medicine shows an exciting new positive correlation between prenatal exercise and postpartum weight. Researchers found that women who practice moderate exercise and healthful eating habits are 75% more likely to reach their pre-pregnancy weight at 2 months postpartum! What’s even more amazing is that exercise and healthy eating during pregnancy yielded similar results in all moms-to-be –whether they practiced healthy habits before pregnancy, or only began exercising during early pregnancy. The study also confirmed that a healthy diet and exercise program does not contribute to low birth weight in babies, instead, it contributes to babies being born within a normal, healthy weight range!

This is an exciting breakthrough, since so many women (up to 70% in North America) struggle with postpartum weight loss. By proactively targeting strength and stamina activities during pregnancy, prenatal exercise gives women an opportunity to jump-start their postpartum fitness and reach their after-baby weight goals faster. Several studies show that hanging on to excess weight after baby can contribute to health complications and emotional stress (including postpartum depression), both of which can be significantly reduced by prenatal exercise. These amazing benefits can be reached in just a few workouts a week, and by implementing healthy eating habits.

If your doctor approves you for exercise during pregnancy try starting with some of the Knocked-Up Fitness simple, effective exercises, including Exercising During Pregnancy Can Help Prepare You for Life as a Mom! and remember to listen to your body

 

Get The Knocked-Up Fitness DVDs & Guide to Pregnancy Fitness HERE

Julianna

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Source:

American College of Sports Medicine

Prenatal Exercise

My 3rd Pregnancy {Being Induced}

My 3rd Pregnancy gave me an introduction to induction. While I was nervous at first to be induced, I researched my options and embraced the induction process. I’m thankful for my healthy baby girl. Watch the video below for the full story, with lots of information about being induced!

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Prenatal Exercise

Episiotomies, Epidurals & Exercise {Video}

There are many important things to consider about episiotomies and epidurals as you enter your pregnancy, and specifically your labor process. Watch the video below to learn more on episiotomies & epidurals, and to learn how exercise plays a part in this.

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Prenatal Exercise

My 2nd Pregnancy {Push Prep}

Though my second pregnancy was fairly easy, my second time going into labor took a scary turn when my son’s heart rate dropped with each push. Watch the video below to hear how exercising and my Push Prep helped saved me from an emergency C-Section.

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Prenatal Exercise

What Moms Are Saying {Testimonials}

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Check out what moms and experts are saying about Erica’s training and Knocked-Up Fitness Prenatal and Postnatal Programs!

“Erica is one of my favorite prenatal (and postnatal!) fitness experts, and I adore her book. It’s clear, straightforward and fun – and it’s comprehensive without being overwhelming. Any mom-to-be who wants to stay fit and have a better labor will love it!”
~ Anna Maltby, fitness editor, Fit Pregnancy

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“We must say it {The Knocked-Up Fitness Guide to Pregnancy} is a must have fitness bible for anyone who is expecting.”
~ BellyItchBlog.com

“I have an 8 month old, and I’m just now starting to get back in shape. I had been looking for a video, since I live in Texas and it is way too hot to do anything outside. A lot of the after baby workouts are a lot of cardio, and I really can’t do those right now (nursing). But this DVD is great. There’s no impact, but the constant movement from one position to another still gets your heart rate up. There are several workouts (including options for more advanced users), and an enclosed booklet helps structure which ones you do when. Each workout is no longer than 25 minutes, which is great when you have a baby. There’s also an option to play the video with music only, without the instructor’s commentary. One of the best workout DVD’s I’ve seen. Highly recommended.”
~ Leila Hayes

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“Erica’s unique approach to helping her clients stay motivated is an integration of mind, body and spirit. I look forward to getting Pilates workouts done and cherish that time for me. With a busy life of operating two businesses, raising two beautiful babies fifteen months apart practically as a single mom, the balance I achieve from making a choice to dedicate an hour of my day to my well being is important! Erica shows her clients how to do this even when life gets in the way and I cannot make a class. I have never felt and looked better and at almost 40, I am in the best shape of my life.”
~ Cat K.

“It’s really important to me that I stay fit and active during pregnancy…I was glad to discover Knocked-Up Fitness DVDs. They’re challenging enough so that I stay toned but completely safe for expectant moms. I’m using the DVDs a few times a week now to stay in shape for myself—and for my baby.”
~ Irene Chang Kwon Working Mother Magazine

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“I first started working with Erica nine weeks into my first pregnancy and have continued both after my son was born and now during my second pregnancy. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been and I owe it all to her very practical approach to fitness. Initially, I worked out because I wanted to look good, but I realized it’s much more about feeling healthy! I can think of so many days I just didn’t think I had it in me to work out, and within minutes of Erica’s programs, I felt a million times better and ended up finding the energy I needed to get me through the rest of my day. I now have the strength I need to physically life and carry my son and all of the equipment that goes along with having kids.”
- Monica J.

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“Erica incorporates exercises to strengthen your deep core muscles, which can help you have both a smoother pregnancy and delivery, along with a faster recovery.”
~ Dr. Gigi Kroll M.D. OB/GYN

“I’ve always loved small group pilates classes and when I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to keep it up. A friend of mine posted about these videos on facebook, so I thought I would give them a try. I had never done a pilates video before, and they have exceeded my expectations. Some days its just not possible to get to class, and these videos have proven to be just as good. Plus, I love knowing that when the baby comes, and my schedule might leave me more restricted to my home, I can do these to get back in to shape. Whether you’re a pilates snob or a novice, these videos work.”
~ Monica Paull

 

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“I am not one that works out on a regular basis, so I was looking for something that would challenge me, but also be easy on me because I am pregnant and didn’t exercise regularly before I was pregnant. I got these as a Christmas gift, and LOVE them! Erica is amazing! She talks to you through the work out, and the workouts are just what I was looking for! I feel so good after I do them. If you are looking for a workout for you and you little baby, I recommend these videos!”
~ Tabatha

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“I’m a really big fan of Erica’s approach to pre and postnatal fitness – it’s simple, yet her program is packed with useful and relevant tips that are ideal for busy moms and moms-to-be. This is a must-read for any mom who wants to take a proactive approach to staying fit during pregnancy, awaken the muscles used for childbirth, or regain her pre-baby physique.”
- Dr. Sheryl Ross, M.D., a board certified OB/GYN and founder of D3FY Vitamins

 Private online Skype Training and Consulting sessions with Erica are now available, click here for more info.

 

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Prenatal Exercise

5 Tips to Motivate Moms-to-Be

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Exercise is an extremely important factor in having a healthy pregnancy, so you might be surprised that three out of four pregnant women in the U.S. don’t get enough exercise! Preventative Medicine reports that as few as 14% of women are meeting the minimum recommendations for physical activity, which could partly explain why so many moms struggle with their health, weight, and body image.

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To help keep you motivated, here are 5 reasons you should get active at any stage of your pregnancy!

  1. Prenatal activity helps lower your heart rate, but more amazingly, studies show activity can positively affect your baby’s heart functions up to six years of age.
  2. Active mothers a less likely to suffer from gestational diabetes (1.8% vs 8.3%).
  3. 1 in 3 moms in the U.S. are giving birth via cesarean and 38% of women who did not do pelvic floor exercises had a prolonged second stage of labor (a common reason c-sections are performed)– not surprisingly, inactive moms are twice as likely to need a cesarean.
  4. Women are 58% less likely to deliver an excessively large baby when exercising regularly.
  5. Just 55 minutes of exercise, three days a week during pregnancy can make you 34% less likely to require an emergency c-section.

The key to these tips is that results happen when you make taking care of yourself through exercise a priority and a habit. Exercising regularly can be hard to fit in some days, but a simple  and effective 10 minute workout is the difference between doing it, and not doing it!
Stay motivated, mamas– & have a happy, healthy pregnancy, birth, & beyond.

Julianna

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Sources:

WebMD
Preventative Medicine
Journal of Science Medicine
National Center for Biotechnology Information
HealthyWomen.org
British Journal of Sports and Medicine

Prenatal Exercise

The Importance of Your Transverse Abdominals {Video}

Check out my new video below on Deep Core Strengthening. Learn the importance of your Transverse Abdominals and how they can impact your pregnancy, labor, and beyond!

===>Now Available: The Knocked-Up Fitness Pregnancy Program

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