Archives For Fit & Fabulous

No need for compression, right?  If you have a good pair of support hose, that’s all you need?  Because compression and support hose are the same thing?

Wrong!

There are actually some very big differences between support hose and compression hose.   In fact, there is even a difference between compression and gradient compression.  Let’s break each one down.

Support Hose

In the world of hosiery, support and control mean the same thing.  An example of this would be like control top pantyhose.  Basically, you have a garment that smooths out abdominal bulges and bumps for a more flattering look.  But the difference is only cosmetic.  The garments don’t actually provide any of the health benefits of compression, nor do they provide support to the legs or feet.

What about items beyond hosiery – like support garments and shapewear.  There are some significant differences here, too.

Compression

Support garments, shapewear and athletic compression are all examples of what is known as all-over compression, or compression that has the same amount of “squeeze” throughout the whole garment.

Support Garments

Here’s where things get a little confusing.  Although support hose generally refer to hosiery like control top pantyhose, support garments are a little different still.  Support garments, or garments that typically cover the abdomen or torso area of the body, actually offer much-needed support for the wearer, as well as gentle shaping.  Preggers Maternity and Postpartum Support Garments are great examples of these.

Shapewear

You’ve surely seen these items from time to time.  Shapewear, like control-top pantyhose, are meant to slim and shape the waist and body by squeezing bulges and bumps.  They’re like the modern version of a corset or perhaps a bodysuit.

Athletic Compression

Athletic compression is another good example of all-over compression.  A popular trend among professional and amateur athletes alike, athletic compression helps to give athletes extra stability and support.  The types of garments can really be anything, including socks, pants, shirts or sleeves.

Gradient Compression

A gradient compression garment takes the cake, as these items provide the most health benefits – especially for pregnant mamas.  Gradient or graduated compression is tightest at the ankle and the pressure decreases gradually as it moves up the leg of the garment.  The graduated element is what makes gradient compression so healthy, because it promotes circulation, energizes tired, achy legs and helps to prevent and reduce swelling.  Pregnant mamas know how beneficial that can be!  All Preggers legwear products offer a level of gradient compression.

Preggers_FootlessT_LS

Compression Levels

Our products are available in four different compression levels – known as mmHg or millimeters of mercury.  The levels are aptly named Light (10-15 mmHg), Mild (15-20 mmHg), Moderate (20-30 mmHg) and Firm (30-40 mmHg).  Most people, including pregnant women, can wear Light compression to promote better blood flow and to energize tired achy legs and feet, without the direction of a doctor.  Anything higher than that, however, should be at the advice and direction of a physician.  A physician who knows your individual condition and history can correctly diagnose issues that may benefit from higher compression levels.  Your doctor will also know best as to which compression level is right for you, as well as to ensure you are properly sized.

 

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be informational.  Always follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor.  Consult your doctor before doing anything that you feel might be risky.

 

Postpartum Exercise

Perhaps you’ve already delivered your bundle of joy.  Perhaps you’re nearing the home stretch of pregnancy.  Or maybe you’re still in the early days, but you’re the ultimate planner.  (I’m a notorious planner, so I get it!)  Whatever your circumstances, you’ve probably begun thinking about postpartum shaping and a post baby exercise plan.  You’re not alone.  We gathered a list of common questions that many moms have and looked to our best sources for answers!

When can I begin exercising?

If you had a healthy pregnancy and a normal, uncomplicated vaginal delivery, you should be able to begin light activity as soon as you feel up to it.  However, if you had a cesarean delivery or experienced other complications during pregnancy or birth, you will probably need to wait longer in to allow your body proper time to heal.  Regardless of your situation, you should consult your doctor before beginning to ensure that it is safe for you to begin.

What exercises are best to begin with?

The best things to begin with is pelvic floor exercises.  These exercises improve circulation to the pelvic area, helping the perineum and vagina to heal more quickly.  Stronger pelvic muscles help to protect against urine leaks also.

The next thing to begin doing is light walking.  Take the baby for a walk in his stroller around the neighborhood.  Or, if your postpartum period is during the winter months, stroll around your favorite store or shopping center.  Begin with short walks of around 10 minutes and work up to longer walks.

Once your doc gives you the okay, you can begin to add in other activities like swimming, light to moderate cardio and strengthening exercises.

Will I be able to exercise and breastfeed?

Yes.  Beginning an exercise routine won’t affect your ability to breastfeed, even once you’ve worked your way up to vigorous exercise.  But, it is imperative that you drink plenty of extra water to stay hydrated.  You’ll also want to avoid any activities that cause your breasts to be sore or tender.

What’s the best way to lose weight after giving birth?

Aerobic exercise that elevates your heart rate is the best way to lose weight after giving birth.  Running, biking or swimming are all excellent aerobic exercises to help drop the pounds.  You’ll want to wait until you’re at least 6 weeks to 2 months postpartum and have been cleared by a doctor before beginning, however.  Dieting too soon after giving birth can affect energy levels and milk supply, if you’re breastfeeding.

Will these simple postpartum exercises really help me?

Yes!  Exercise is great for most people, postpartum moms included.  Things like pelvic floor exercises and light walking may seem like they are not doing much, but in truth they are.  They are gradually returning your body to safe activity levels, which have many benefits for new moms.  For one, daily exercise improves the quality of sleep.  And since you probably aren’t getting as much sleep as you’re used to, quality sleep is a must.  Daily activity promotes safe weight loss, restores muscle strength and tone, boosts energy levels, relieves stress and helps to prevent and promote recovery from postpartum depression.

What signs should I watch for to know I’ve done too much or other things that I should be aware of?

One big sign to slow down is if your vaginal discharge (lochia) becomes redder and flows more heavily than it had previously.  This probably means you’re doing too much.  Listen to your body’s signals.   Avoid excessive fatigue and stop exercising if you feel any pain.

You should also be aware of your relaxed joints and ligaments.  They’ll still be loose for about three to five months from the relaxin released during pregnancy.  You’ll want to watch your step closely to avoid falling.

Many women experience a condition called diastasis recti during pregnancy, which is the separation of the abdominal muscles as their belly expands.  It will usually take four to eight weeks after birth for this gap to close.  Beginning abdominal exercises before the gap is closed will put you at risk for injury.  If you suspect you are experiencing diastasis recti, or even if you just want to be sure you’re not, have you doctor examine your muscles during your 6 week postpartum exam.

Don’t forget the importance of a little rest after a workout, especially for sleep-deprived new mothers.  A little rest will help you feel replenished.

How much exercise is recommended for postpartum women?

It is recommended that healthy postpartum women get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.  You should try to spread the time out over a full week exercising 20-30 minutes per day.

Can I try exercise classes?

Yes.  In fact, look for classes that are specifically for postpartum women or a low-impact class that focuses on toning and stretching.  Postpartum classes will be designed with activities that are safe and are at appropriate levels for postpartum women.  Check out your local YMCA, recreation center, gym or yoga studio for a list of postpartum classes.

What should I do to prepare for a workout?

Be sure to take time for warm up and cool down, as they are just as important now as always.  Drink plenty of water during and after your workout to maintain good hydration, especially if breastfeeding.  If you are breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to feed your baby or pump milk before your workout to avoid the discomfort of engorgement.  Wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes that you won’t get too hot in.  Wear a comfortable, well-fitting and supportive bra.  You can try a Preggers Nursing Bra for a super soft and supportive bra with easy access for nursing.

Is there anything else that I can do to help shape and support my body during postpartum?

A Preggers Postpartum Support Band will help to support the back and abdomen during pregnancy recovery.  Our Preggers Postpartum Support Band is made of super soft and seamless material and features a form-fitting design allowing it to be worn discreetly under clothes.  The gentle abdominal compression is the perfect way to support the body while it gradually returns to a pre-pregnancy shape and size.

Disclaimer – This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments or exercise.

Note – Answers compiled from the following sources: babycenter.com; babycentre.co.uk; fitpregnancy.com; mayoclinic.org; acog.org.

 

It’s January – the month of resolutions and getting healthy!  While the folks around us are lacing up their running shoes and hitting the gym, or the pavement, mamas-to-be don’t have to be relegated to the sidelines.  That’s right!  Most doctors say that in normal, healthy pregnancies, women not only can participate in light exercise, they should!

yoga

And how about a little something to give you mamas out there an extra boost.  You already love the gradient compression found in your Preggers legwear.  Like Preggers, TheraSport, another brand offered by Therafirm, delivers true gradient compression as well.  Engineered to help athletes improve circulation and provide more energy for greater endurance and enhanced performance.  The increased blood flow improves oxygenation and enhances athletic performance.  Athletes that wear athletic compression garments may experience less delayed onset muscle soreness, less fatigue, improved performance, less edema post-competition and faster recovery.

therasport-pink

TheraSport Athletic Performance and Recovery Socks are the perfect accessory for the athletic mamas-to-be.  Who doesn’t need extra energy – especially soon-to-be mamas?!  TheraSport socks are made with a super soft and lightweight material for exceptional comfort.  A comfortable band provides a non-binding grip to help the socks stay up.  High tech, moisture wicking yarns, as well as breathable mesh paneling and moisture-wicking fibers keep feet cool and odor under control.  A unique “Y” heel stitching helps to keep socks in place.  Additional Achilles and foot protection provide greater support and stabilization.  Finally, a lightweight cushioning helps to absorb shock and protect feet during athletic activity.

therasport-blue-female

So, ladies, you can lace up your shoes right along with the rest of them.  And if you’re needing a few ideas for some pregnancy safe exercises, check out this previous blog post.

But, remember, as with everything, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning anything new.  Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016 for all the Preggers mamas and their growing families.

Brrrr!  The January chills have definitely set in, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stay active.  Since regular exercise is important for a healthy pregnancy, we thought we’d suggest a few indoor exercises.  Stay warm, get active, be healthy!

  1. Treadmill Walking

Since walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women, get on the treadmill and move your bod!  Walking isn’t too hard on your knees and ankles and helps keep you fit throughout your nine months, making it the perfect thing for mommas-to-be.  But, maybe the treadmill isn’t your thing.  Many gyms and health clubs have an indoor walking track.  Or, you could join the retired set and do some mall walking.  Stop in to the baby boutique and get a cute new outfit for Junior while you’re out!

 

  1. Yoga

Yoga helps you to stay flexible and maintain muscle tone.  With little impact to your joints, it’s a great way for mommas to stay fit.  Look for yoga classes at your local gyms.  Your doctor may even be able to help you find a maternity yoga class.  Experienced yoga moms can even do yoga in the living room.  No need to go out in the cold air!   Check out this previous blog post on Prenatal Yoga.

yoga

 

  1. Pilates

Pilates can help your body with flexibility, strength and endurance.  You’ll need these skills later, why not practice them now! Like yoga, look for Pilates classes at your local gym or try it out at home.

 

  1. Low Impact Aerobics

Another class-focused exercise.  Aerobic exercise tones your body and strengthens your muscles.  You won’t just need toned muscles for birth, but you’re getting ready to be carting around a little one and the ridiculous amount of gear that comes with these tiny people.  Tone those muscles now, while you have the chance.

 

  1. Swimming

I know we’re looking for indoor activities, but there are lots of community centers and YMCAs that have indoor pools.  Swimming is a great exercise for pregnant women due to the cardiovascular benefits, as well as the feeling of weightlessness.  Ah the feeling of weightlessness!  You want to go swimming right now, right?!  Just make sure that after swimming, you dry off fully, including your hair, before going out into the cold.  That’s what my mom always said anyway.

 

  1. Dancing

You know that phrase, “Dance like no one is watching”?  Okay, you may feel like you don’t want anyone to watch you dance right now, but what a better way to have fun and get some beneficial exercise.  Just turn on your favorite tunes and dance it out in your living room.

Remember to throw on a pair of Preggers compression leggings or tights with your workout gear.  The gradient compression offered in Preggers will help to increase circulation – an important benefit during your workout and always.  True gradient compression hosiery delivers a controlled amount of pressure greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases towards the top of the stocking promoting better blood flow to help energize tired legs and feet, improve circulation, and assist in the prevention of swelling. And, with everything, be sure to consult your doctor before trying any new exercise activity.  Your doctor will help you determine if these exercises are indeed a good idea for your unique circumstances.

 

 

 

Print

Take a deep breath Preggers Mommas because you could win this fantastic giveaway from Birthing Mama & Preggers!

Up for grabs is a Birthing Mama Online Holistic Pregnancy Program Subscription (over $200 value) & $100 to spend at Preggers.com on support garments during & after pregnancy!

Corinne co-founder of Birthing Mama answered some of our Preggers Momma’s questions about prenatal yoga and other ways to help swelling & leg aches besides using Preggers legwear.

Birthing Mama is your pregnancy companion, accompanying you to take the best care possible of yourself and your growing baby.
The online program includes 30 prenatal yoga videos (totaling over 6 hrs!), 6 audio recordings of guided meditations & relaxations, and over 150 pages of written content, including inspiration & education, developmental benchmarks, nutrition & recipes, self care practices, and creative activities to cultivate mindfulness.
Free gifts to the program include: audio recordings from live prenatal yoga classes, library with extra articles, ghee from Ancient Organics, gift bag from Nordic Naturals and discounts on online products and Birthing Mama contributors/practitioners.

ENTER TODAY!

(ends 10/1/14 at 11:59PM CST)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERACorrine Andrews of Birthing Mama has been kind enough to offer her expertise in answering some of your prenatal yoga questions!  If you’ve ever wondered about prenatal yoga – this is a great resource!

 

I’ve been curious about prenatal yoga, but haven’t tried it yet. I’m 36 weeks now. Is it too late to try?

It’s never too late! A good prenatal class will mix yoga postures and practices that help strengthen and prepare for labor with tips and tricks that you can use during labor to create greater ease and comfort. So even if you just get to one class, you might learn something, like sounding, hip circles, or breathing techniques that changes the quality of your birth experience. And if you can take a few classes and incorporate them into a short daily practice for even a few weeks, your body can change remarkably in a short time. You can develop both increased tone and the ability to release in your pelvic floor, for example, or open and loosen your hips, which will support your baby in his/her journey into the world.

 

I wasn’t very active before pregnancy, I’m 23 weeks. I spend most of my days in bed. . Would this be a good thing to start? Which type of classes?

As stated in the previous question, prenatal yoga classes offer so much more than strengthening and exercise. They offer women who are going through a profound and transformational journey the chance to spend time together and learn techniques for easing typical pregnancy pains and discomforts. Whether you’ve got varicose veins, acne, night sweats, anxiety, or you just sometimes pee a little in your pants, chances are your body is doing some things that you haven’t seen since adolescence.   Yoga supports your body’s internal process of healing and awakening, harnesses the power of your mind to influence your emotions and physical symptoms, and connects us with each other, reminding us that we are not alone.

 

What are some good positions to start the labor process?

In general I tend to recommend that women refrain from trying to start labor unless they have been encouraged to do so by their care provider. It’s incredibly hard to be patient when you can be waiting for weeks for the most significant event in your life. There really is no parallel in modern life where we know something life changing is definitely going to happen in the next three weeks or so, but we have no clue exactly when. I encourage women to be with this incredible mystery and experience their reaction to waiting, rather than trying to push things forward.

If you are past 40 weeks and labor is imminent and just needs a little nudge, some good postures include squats, wide legged child’s pose, still and moving lunges, cat/cow on hands and knees, and standing postures like warrior one. The good news is that none of the postures will bring on labor if it’s not ready, but they can help move things along if your body and your baby are ready.

 

How often should I practice yoga to get the full benefits?

Ideally every day. Even 15-20 minutes a day can have a huge impact. Of course that requires taking what you’ve learned in class and developing your own practice at home. The Birthing Mama program (www.birthingmama.org) offers 30 individual 10-20 minute videos with specific practices to help you soothe various pregnancy-induced ailments, connect to your growing baby, develop strength & flexibility and prepare for labor & birth. These videos are perfect for assisting you in creating your own unique daily practice.

 

I feel so huge – can I really do yoga without feeling like I’m squishing the baby?

In a prenatal yoga class you won’t be practicing deep abdominal twists, belly down backbends, or any other postures that would squeeze your baby. We specifically focus on postures that create space inside to help accommodate for your new roommate. As your baby grows your organs tend to get displaced and squished, so we work on lengthening and stretching, as opposed to crunching or twisting. You may practice drawing your navel gently in and up, hugging your baby in with your deep belly muscles, but this is a sweet cradling motion and not a squish.

 

I feel self-conscious going to a yoga studio that others will see how un-flexible I am – are there simple poses I can feel safe doing at home by myself?

As I mentioned, the Birthing Mama program (www.birthingmama.org) offers 30 different prenatal yoga videos that can help you build a supportive and satisfying home practice. But I would also encourage you not to skip out on the group class because of self-consciousness. Many women come to prenatal yoga who have never done yoga before, so you won’t be the only one who can’t touch your toes. And truly – we don’t care if you can touch your toes, as this is not what yoga is truly about. Many prenatal yoga classes begin with a sharing circle, and you will quickly discover that everything you feel is also experienced by at least one other woman in the room. We’re all self-conscious about something, but yoga can help us release self – judgment and look at ourselves with compassion.

 

What are some poses to help with ankle & leg swelling?

To support yourself with any ankle or leg swelling, try viparita karani, or ‘legs up the wall’ pose. Lie on your back with your head on a blanket and get your butt as close to the wall as possible. Take your legs up the wall and breathe here for a few minutes. You can take a reclined version of this with your body on a bolster set up on an incline. Or you can just lie on the floor or a couch and rest your legs up on something higher than your heart. There’s a whole video devoted to just this subject in the Birthing Mama Online Program! Whichever posture you choose, try inhaling for the count of 1-2-3-4 and exhaling for the count of 1-2-3-4. This breathing technique will help reduce stress and tension within your mind and body.

 

Thanks Corinne!  So very helpful & informative 🙂  Now that you know all about prenatal yoga, head on over here to enter our giveaway! (Giveaway starts 9/25/14 and ends 10/1/14)

 

*This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions.  Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns conditions, and recommended treatments or exercise.

 

BIO: mynewheadshotCorinne Andrews is the founder and head author of Birthing Mama ~ An online holistic pregnancy program. A subscription to Birthing Mama includes 30 prenatal yoga videos (over 6 hrs!), 6 audio recordings of guided meditations, and over 150 pages of inspiration & education, developmental benchmarks, nutritional recommendations & recipes, self-care suggestions and creative projects to cultivate mindfulness.  It also includes an extra library and discounts on online products and consults with Birthing Mama practitioners.

Corinne has been teaching yoga since 2003 and is a senior Embodyoga® teacher, teaching weekly gentle, vigorous and Shabbat yoga classes. She is the Co-founder of Birthing Mama Yoga, teaching weekly prenatal, postnatal and toddler yoga classes.  

In addition to yoga classes, Corinne teaches private yoga sessions for health and healing at Atkinson Family Practice. She is the mother of two children who are her greatest spiritual teachers and the focus of her life when she is not practicing or teaching yoga.

www.birthingmama.org

www.shraddhayoga.org

Facebook

Untitled-1

Weight gain is an obvious expectation when it comes to being pregnant, however, working out can provide all kinds of great benefits for during and even post-pregnancy like:
• Better mood
• Restful sleep
• Improved circulation
• Increased energy
• Smoother delivery
• Easier to drop those post-pregnancy pounds

You might consider the following list of pregnancy-safe exercises as you develop your workout routine:

• Lunges
• Squats
• Light-Weight Lifting – (remember to lift from the knees!)
• Aerobics
• Stationary bicycling
• Yogawordcloud

Before you get started, remember these do’s and don’ts:

Do:
• Drink a glass of water before you start exercising
• Remember to breathe
• Eat more calories
• Stop when you feel you’re nearing the point of exhaustion
• Build up slowly – Start with just 15 minutes a day and work towards a goal of half an hour a day

Don’t:
• Lie on your back while exercising
• Take part in high-stress activities or moves that require exceptional balance like waterskiing, roller skating or ice skating
• Continue if you feel dizzy or queasy

Do you have any general work out tips or advice for Preggers mommas to add? Sound off in the comments!

*This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.


By Jenna Baker. Jenna on Google+