prenatal health

Pregnancy Self-Care Tips

 
erinRobFitch.jpg

Being pregnant is hard both on your body and your mind. Here are our absolute favorite ways to decompress and indulge ourselves during pregnancy. Go ahead, treat yourself! #selfcare

Get a prenatal massage! Extra points if the massage table allows for you to lay face down (with the help of these strange looking pillows). Our favorite massage therapist in New York happens to be Janet, who is the owner of Maternal Massage and More. If you make it there, tell her we say hello! 

Weekly non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free mani/pedis at Tenoverten. Always add an extra 15 minute foot massage to your pedicure to relieve swelling (which is super common in pregnancy). 

Order a weekly meal delivery service to make sure you are getting enough nutrients and don't have to stress over cooking. Our favorites include Sakara Life, Splendid Spoon and Urban Remedy. Just remember to add in snacks for the extra 300 calories you need while pregnant. 

Take a Signature class at FPC to get a healthy sweat on and prep your body for labor and postpartum recovery. We also begin and end each class with a short meditation and breathing practice which will help keep you sane and calm throughout your pregnancy and labor. 

Play model for a day and book a maternity photographer to snap pics of your gorgeous new body. If you are in the New York area our favorite happens to be Rob Fitch. He will make you feel totally comfortable and confident. 

Last but most important, pregnancy is a fantastic excuse to begin your practice of saying no to things. Don't feel like going to your cousin's sons 3rd birthday party? Just blame pregnancy. Would you like to go home at 3pm from work on Fridays? Say you have an OBGyn appointment. Not in the mood for a friend's 10pm going-away party? Just say no. 

Much love from us and as always, remember to #pumpandkegel 

 

 

 

 

Debunking Myths Surrounding Prenatal Exercise #3

pregnancy-2196931_1280.jpg

The Myth:

A woman can not lie on her back during pregnancy.

Why this myth exists

There is a risk of the depression of the vena cava (a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood to the heart) by the weight of the placenta, uterus and baby while on your back during your 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

FPC’s answer:

In a healthy pregnancy, lying on your back for a short period of time, for example, the completion of one exercise, isn’t likely to have any repercussions.  In general, we usually don’t put women on their backs during our workouts, but sometimes we may.  (For example, pelvic tilts are a great way to release lower back tension!)  Your body will let you know long before you are at risk.  If you feel faint, lightheaded, nauseous, dizzy, or short of breath, move yourself off your back and on to your side.  Once you adjust your position, the symptoms will resolve with no harm to you or your baby.  

.  

Move of The Week: Get Ups

We teamed up with the lovely ladies from The Parent Collective to bring you a functional fitness series!  

Check out week one: Get Ups! 

DEBUNKING MYTHS SURROUNDING PRENATAL EXERCISE #2

Last week we talked about why the advice to "continue the same workout you did before pregnancy" wasn't entirely true.  This week, we're debunking another common myth during pregnancy.

 
heartratemonitor.png
 

Prenatal Exercise Myth: You can't get your heart beat above 140bpm’s.

 

 Why this myth exists

The heart rate cap was introduced in 1985 by the ACOG. They based this number on a small amount of research, mostly performed on animals and believed that strenuous exercise could affect the fetal heart rate and birth weight of a baby.  Even though they lacked the evidence showing either to be true.  This was debunked in 1994 by the ACOG but unfortunately, news doesn’t travel very fast and doctors still tell their patients this today. 

FPC’s answer

One size doesn’t fit all.  Women who workout are from all different backgrounds, genetics, fitness levels, and overall levels of health.  140bpm’s on an athlete or woman that pushes her workouts hard does not have the same effect as it does on a woman who has zero to little fitness in her life. That’s why we now use what’s called the “Talk Test” or “Perceived level of exertion”.  

The "talk test" being, if you can still talk during a workout and you aren't completely breathless, you are fine to keep pushing.  

The "perceived level of exertion" is being able to push yourself up to a 9 on a scale of 1-10.  10 is working to the point of passing out...we never want to go there, but a 9 is completely do-able, even during pregnancy.  

 

 

Debunking Myths Surrounding Prenatal Exercise

We recently overheard someone’s prenatal trainer tell their pregnant client “Don’t bring your knees above your belly” at one of the biggest gym chains in New York City. This gave us the idea to start a series to debunk some of the pregnancy exercise myths floating around in the universe.  

 

image1-2.jpeg

Carolina did headstands before pregnancy so she's fine to do them now, right?

Well that depends.  Is she properly engaging her TVA and pelvic floor?  

 

 

THE MYTHIt’s safe to continue doing all the same workouts you did before pregnancy.

Why this myth exists

We hear this advice coming from the media AND our prenatal care practitioners.  The media is the media but your Dr or provider should know better, right?  Not exactly.  It’s not your OB or midwife’s job to make sure you are exercising safely during pregnancy.  They have a general knowledge of exercise science and general knowledge says exercise is good for humans and especially great for moms-to-be.  Unless there is a medical concern, they want you to keep exercising but they haven’t spent the countless hours geeking out over the science that studies the safest and most efficient way to make that happen…lucky for you, we have!

FPCs answer

We always say, just because you can, doesn't mean you should

Your OB or midwife is very good at what they specialized in and so are we!  Their recommendation to “continue the same workout you did prior to pregnancy” is coming from a very good place.  We want you to continue your favorite workouts as well, but you need to continue doing it with more intention, better posture and a deeper understanding of how to incorporate your entire core from the diaphragm to the pelvic floor. Your comfort during pregnancy and postpartum recovery depend on it.  Whether or not you chose to devote your entire pregnancy to FPC workouts or not, it is a good idea to come in for at least a few classes (or check out our online workouts if you can't access the studio) to solidify a safe prenatal exercise practice. 

 

What have you heard?  Leave a comment on our Instagram or Facebook and tell us what myths or mysterious exercise advice you’ve received since becoming pregnant and we’ll talk about it in an upcoming post!

Move of The Week: Balance

We believe we should test and train our balance every day in pregnancy and postpartum.  The hormone, relaxin, makes our ligaments more lax and it’s important to test and strengthen our bodies using balancing poses in a safe, controlled environment to minimize injury when we step out into the real world.   

Join Joanie as she takes us through this simple at-home exercise and don't forget to #pumpandkegel 

Move of the Week: The Perfect Squat

"Squat 300 times a day, you're going to give birth quickly."

-Ina May Gaskin

#GOALS

Join Joanie and learn the ins and outs of The Perfect Squat.

Meet Your Instructors: Jess Parks

 

We took ten minutes to sit down with our friend and FPC instructor extraordinaire to find out more about her (and how she keeps 43 plants alive!)

JessHappyHeadshot.JPG

Hometown?

Detroit, Michigan. Well, actually Plymouth, MI, but I think Detroit makes me sound more hard core.

Current location?

I’m a Brooklyn girl.

What is your background?

I started dancing when I was 3 years old and never looked back! I danced all throughout high school, received my undergraduate degree in Dance from the University of Arizona and moved to NYC right after graduation to pursue my career as a professional. I worked as a dancer for 11 years during which time I had the good fortune to perform and teach both nationally and internationally and, eventually, even had my own contemporary dance company.

While I was dancing I fell in love with the practice of yoga. It taught me about my body and myself in a way that I had not had the opportunity to explore before. I knew that the next step would be to make the yoga practice a primary component in my life. Fast forward to 8 years ago, I did my first teacher training at Yogaworks. I was fascinated when we covered prenatal yoga. Learning about the innate intelligence of the female body during pregnancy and childbirth inspired me to continue my studies at Yogaworks and to begin teaching prenatal yoga. I loved working with my pregnant students and felt that I learned so much from each of them (I still feel this way!).  My interest in supporting women continued to grow.

At this point, I left behind my career as a dancer and began school at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine to pursue a degree in Chinese Medicine with a speciality in women's health. I already knew that becoming a doula was something that I was very interested in and, during an externship in L&D at the NYU Lutheran Medical Center, my interest was confirmed. Shortly thereafter I became a doula.

My passion for women's health, yoga and movement were the perfect combo that lead me to FPC!

What do you do when you don't teach at FPC?

Currently I spend most of my time studying! When I don’t have to study you’ll find me practicing yoga, bathing in nature, mixing essential oils and cooking.

What inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by my students. I literally live to pull people towards the depths of their potential. When someone is along for the ride and they learn something about themselves that they didn’t know was there, well, that’s inspiration!

Describe your FPC Flow class.

My FPC Flow class is a bit of a hybrid. I combine the intensity of strength training with the calming nature of a well choreographed flow sequence. Students can expect to break a sweat, find some calm in our crazy city and, most likely, hear a few tidbits about the anatomy, science and magic of pregnancy.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Well, I’m pretty grown up already BUT I do have a future dream that I am in the process of building. I hope to open a space dedicated to women’s health and well-being. A place where I can combine my work as an acupuncturist, herbalist, yoga instructor and doula to support, educate and inspire women.

What is your favorite 90s jam?

"You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette. Yep. Still love it.

Current favorite song?

"Black Book" by ORI. I CAN NOT stop listening to this song.

If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be and why?

Definitely a gazelle. They are so light on their feet and move through means of effortless leaping. Pure magic.

Tell us something that not a lot of people know about you.

I shaved my head in my early 20's! Poor decision.

Last but not least, what's your secret to keeping 43 plants alive?!

I really love my plants! I've given each of them a name and feel like they have their own personalities. I guess I just commune easily with the plant world. Also, luck!?!

 

You can find Jess at FPC on Tuesdays at 9:30am and 6:30pm. Sign up for class here