FAQ’s about FittaMamma Maternity Sportswear
Need more info about our maternity fitnesswear and how our range supports your active pregnancy?
We’ve answered your most frequently asked questions.
Couldn’t I just buy a bigger size of my ‘normal’ sportswear?
You could of course! But you’d be sacrificing the benefit of the support that will keep you exercising throughout your pregnancy. Think sports bra for your bump – our maternity sportswear will lift and hold throughout your pregnancy so you can exercise with style and comfort, your baby bump, back and boobs held securely. If you’re serious about fitness you’ll know the difference your sports bra makes – transfer that level of support and comfort to your baby bump and you’ll understand immediately why you need supportive fitnesswear during pregnancy.
And, whilst your body is going through so many changes it’s good to feel positive about the way you look too! Going up a size is not the most flattering option.
What size should I buy? And will I have to buy a bigger size as my bump gets bigger?
As a general rule you should buy your normal pre-pregnancy size but if in doubt, go slightly larger. For instance if you are on the 12 side of a 10-12 go for the medium not the small. Our maternity sportswear is designed to stretch and grow as you get bump gets bigger, it will fit throughout your pregnancy and regain it’s shape whilst you regain yours. Our leggings are especially flattering and comfortable for postnatal wear, many of the FittaMamma team are still wearing their leggings years after their baby was born!
Do I need to wear a sports bra under your tops?
We’ve included an inner bra on the Ultimate maternity fitness top, the High Support Top and the Workout Support Top. Our inner bras are designed to supplement your favourite sports bra rather than replace it, especially for high impact activities such as running. Your breasts will inevitably increase in size as your pregnancy progresses and doubtless get even bigger after your baby is born – it’s well worth giving them all the support they deserve.
Did you know? Your Cooper’s Ligaments support your breasts but over time they can stretch, causing your breasts to droop and lose their shape. The size and weight of your breasts can strain the ligaments and unfortunately it’s a one-way stretch, they won’t regain their structural integrity. The more support you can give your breasts, the better – supplementing your sports bra with the additional support our tops offer will help keep them secure – your boobs deserve it!
What makes your pregnancy fitness leggings different to ‘ordinary’ maternity leggings?
Active pregnant women are at the heart and soul of the FittaMamma ethos – our maternity leggings offer the ultimate in comfort and support. The waist panel is not only super-stretchy with a high elastane content to fit throughout your pregnancy it’s also double thickness so it holds your baby bump firmly when you exercise. It’s high enough to pull up over your bump, but can be rolled down to sit underneath, depending on which trimester or postnatal stage you’re at, what exercise you’re doing and where it feels most comfortable and supportive. The waist panel is just as high at the back too, holding your lower back and supporting where you need it.
What makes your ‘Ultimate’ leggings different to your ‘standard’ range?
We produced the Ultimate range in response to feedback from customers who wanted leggings in a high performance sports fabric, with even more technical performance features. The biggest difference is the fabric – it’s a man-made performance fabric with excellent moisture-wicking and a high elastane content to stretch and support you throughout your pregnancy. There are breathable mesh panels behind your knees to help keep you cool ….they look cool too! We’ve included a discreet additional band just under your bump too, to help lift and hold the weight of your baby and a concealed pocket in the back for keys and change.
The standard range is made from a cotton fabric with a super-stretchy, high elastane content. They have a similar high waist panel which holds your bump firmly and securely for exercise – but they don’t have the additional performance features of our Ultimate fitness leggings.
These are probably a better choice if you want to wear them as everyday maternity leggings – they look great under a jumper or a tunic top.
At what stage of pregnancy would you advise switching to FittaMamma maternity gymwear?
You’ll notice the changes in your body quite early in your pregnancy. Many of our customers tell us they wish they’d switched earlier, no-one has ever said ‘I wish I’d waited longer before buying your clothes’! Why endure the discomfort of leggings that are tight round your belly and fall down when you bend down? Or tops that ride up over our bump and don’t offer any support? We would suggest you wear our tops from around 10 weeks onwards – they’re designed to stretch and support throughout your pregnancy.
What about after my baby is born? Can I wear FittaMamma gear for postnatal exercise?
For most women it takes a while to get your pre-baby bod back – those 9 months of change can take up to 9 months to reverse. The FittaMamma range is designed to wear for postnatal exercise too. The firm waist panel on FittaMamma capris and leggings will help hold your ‘mummy tummy’ together, encouraging your abdominal muscles to knit back together if you’re suffering from diastasis recti. Our range is also very flattering, smoothing your curves so you feel good about the way you look.
I have a planned C-section – do you have any recommendations?
Absolutely! Our standard maternity leggings are a MUST! They are soft against your skin, don’t have irritating seams to aggravate your scar and will help hold your belly whilst it heals.
Couldn’t I just wear a belly band?
Our maternity sportswear incorporates all the support and comfort of a belly band – whilst being designed specifically for women who choose to stay active during pregnancy. They won’t ride up, roll down, bunch up or rub….whether you’re working out or simply wearing them for work. They are REALLY comfortable and there’ nothing to stop you living in your maternity activewear!
Where should the waistband on the tops sit? I don’t have a waist anymore!
The waistband is actually designed to sit around your hips, underneath your baby bump. You’ll really see the benefit of the band as your pregnancy progresses and the hormone relaxin starts to loosen your joints in preparation for birth. The firm elastic is designed to hug your hips, holding them more firmly to help if you’re suffering from pelvic girdle pain. At the same time the band sits under your baby so it lifts and holds the weight, easing the pressure on your pelvis.
What is FittaMamma maternity sportswear made from?
For the Ultimate range we’ve chosen a high-performance sports fabric that will easily wick moisture away from your body, combined with mesh panels for enhanced sweat wicking where it’s most important. The mesh is behind your knees in the leggings and under your breasts on the top, combined with a mesh back to keep you cool during exercise. The actual fabric is a man-made fibre (polyester) with a high elastane content for maximum stretch. The inner bra is made from a soft polyamide which feels good against your skin. It’s easy to wash at a low temperature and doesn’t need ironing.
All our other maternity sportswear is made from soft cotton with a high elastane content to make sure it’s super-stretchy and holds and retains its shape.
So what does ‘cross-back technology’ mean?
It’s a unique design feature that helps to make our maternity fitnesswear even more supportive. The hidden cross is designed to support your back, helping to lift the weight of your bump onto your back and shoulders where you are naturally stronger. Improving your posture and encouraging you to stand tall avoids the ‘D’ bend in your lumbar region – helping to avoid backache as your bump gets bigger.
I HATE itchy seams, my skin is very sensitive
The Ultimate range has lovely flat seams with nothing to chafe or irritate. The no-chafe finish feels good against your sensitive pregnant skin. We’ve even avoided itchy stitched-in labels, it’s a small detail but one that we think you’ll appreciate.
What’s the point of the silicone strip on the inner waistband of your Ultimate tops?
When you bend and stretch that silicon strip is an added precaution to make sure the fabric of the tops doesn’t slip and slide against the fabric of the leggings. We want to make absolutely sure the top doesn’t ride up when you reach up – it’s another little detail designed to make our maternity sportswear the best option for your pregnancy workout
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10 Reasons Why Oats Are Good For Pregnant Women
Oats offer so much more than a warming breakfast as the mornings get chillier! Getting your oats on a regular basis is a surefire way to boost your healthy pregnancy diet. And don’t just keep them in the food cupboard …. oats are beneficial for your skin too, perfect for making a gentle bath soak to soothe your sensitive pregnant skin.
Check out our ten favourite oaty facts and uses
- Oats are a great source of carbs and fibre but they’re also exceptionally nutrient dense with more fat and protein than most grains. Ideal as part of your pregnancy diet, half a cup of oats contains around 20% of your daily iron requirements, 20% of the zinc you’ll need, 11% of your folate and 39% of your Vitamin B1. All in just one breakfast bowl!
- Oats can help lower blood pressure. High in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols, oats include a unique group of antioxidants known as avenanthramides. These are thought to help lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide, a gas molecule which helps dilate blood vessels improving the flow of blood. Especially important during pregnancy when you have up to 50% more blood in your system!
- Oats are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre is the one that helps your digestive tract to process food, helping you avoid the dreaded pregnancy constipation. Oats are particularly high in beta-glucan, a soluble fibre which slows digestion and has added benefits in lowering cholesterol. It also helps to make you feel fuller for longer.
- The beta-glucans in oats help slow the absorption of sugar by the body, reducing blood sugar spikes and keeping your blood sugar levels stable. According to one study, the fibre in oats helps improve the metabolism of glucose – good news if you’re aiming to reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity. That big bowl of porridge in the morning will provide slow burn energy, ideal to fuel your pregnancy workouts.
- Oats for breastfeeding. Many breast-feeding mothers recommend oats to increase their milk supply. The iron-rich properties of oats, combined with the potential benefits of beta-glucan in raising the levels of the breast-feeding hormone prolactin can boost breast milk production. Or maybe it’s just the comfort factor of a warming bowl of porridge that simply relaxes you, helping your body produce more milk!
- For skin care buy uncooked whole oats and grind them in a food processor until you have a fine, even powder. Test the consistency by adding a spoonful of your freshly ground oats to a glass of water – the liquid should turn a milky white.
- Treat yourself to a truly relaxing oatsoak bath. Add a generous handful of ground oats into your tub as it fills up with warm water and then shake in a few drops of lavender oil or a pinch of dried lavender. As you relax in the bath the oatmeal will cleanse your skin and lock in moisture, while the lavender releases a calming, soothing scent. Avoid staying in too long – 15 minutes oaty soaking is recommended.
- Oatmeal can help to normalize your skin’s pH, alleviating irritation and softening and moisturising your skin – a perfect natural balm for easing the itchiness often associated with pregnancy, especially as your skin stretches as your bump gets bigger.
- Oat Body scrub. There’s something about being pregnant that encourages you to ditch chemicals and over the counter products in favour of natural products with ingredients that you’ve mixed yourself. If your pregnancy body scrub is good enough to eat then you can be pretty sure it’s ok to rub it on your pregnant skin. Blend ½ cup of ground oatmeal with ¼ cup of coconut oil and ½ cup of brown sugar – demerara works well, but experiment to see which works best for you. You’ll get the same cleansing and buffering properties without all the unnecessary harshness…and, as an added bonus, the coconut oil will give your skin a healthy-looking pregnancy glow
- Dress up your porridge. Whilst the Scots swear by pinhead oats soaked in water overnight most of us opt for the easier ready rolled oats that can be cooked in minutes. We suggest a ratio of one cup of porridge to two cups of liquid – try one cup of whole milk and one cup of water to bring an extra boost of calcium to your pregnancy diet without being too gloopy. Have fun with the toppings! Add sultanas, chopped nuts, seeds (linseed, flax or pumpkin seeds work well), cranberries or goji berries. Top with slices of banana, apple or blueberries. Add a dollop of yogurt, a swirl of honey or an indulgent spoonful of golden syrup.
Are you ‘taking it easy’? Or are you ‘Pregnant, NOT Powerless’
FittaMamma launched the Pregnant Not Powerless campaign to combat the perception that pregnant women should avoid anything more strenuous than a gentle walk.
We’ve been working with the University of Portsmouth to conduct research into the motivators and barriers to pregnancy exercise and it seems that women are still put off exercise by conflicting advice and anxiety around what exercise is safe to continue. Even health and fitness professionals often err on the side of caution, recommending that pregnant women should ‘take it easy’.
But ‘taking it easy;’ means different things to different women. If you’re used to running marathons, ‘taking it easy’ could mean scaling back to a half marathon. For women who factor in an hour at the gym every day, exercise is part of their identity and ‘taking it easy’ is not an option.
Yes, of course you should listen to your body. Take heed of the ‘Talk Test’ – if you’re exercising so hard you can’t talk it’s time to ease up, slow down or take a break. Your runs should be are not so far and not so fast, and yes, it’s perfectly ok to walk up hills. Choosing lighter weights and more repetitions is recommended during pregnancy and as your bump gets bigger you’re going to need to adapt your routine.
But swapping your runs for a walk or ditching your gym sessions in favour of some ‘gentle stretches’ simply isn’t an option for many women. And there’s nothing more aggravating than someone sharing their opinion that you shouldn’t be exercising …..especially when you KNOW that exercise during pregnancy is good for you and good your baby.
We asked many amazing pregnant women to help us share the Pregnant Not Powerless message…
Check out these inspirational Fit Mammas wearing their Pregnant Not Powerless vests with pride!
Every pregnant woman who wears the Pregnant Not Powerless vest is making a difference, inspiring other women that exercise during pregnancy is not only safe but beneficial for both mother and baby. Join our inspirational FittaMammas and help spread the message ….it’s so important!
Prenatal Yoga – The Gentle Exercise During Pregnancy
Studies show that healthy and fit pregnant women have easier childbirths. Yoga is especially helpful during pregnancy: it provides relief for body tension, helps with many aches and discomforts, leads to a deeper breathing capacity, focus, as well as peace of mind and helps to build a connection to the baby. Prenatal yoga also includes strengthening exercises for more stamina and energy, which are very helpful throughout pregnancy and labour. Besides all the physical benefits, regular pregnancy exercise also brightens your mood.
FittaMamma asked Sarah from the Keleya Pregnancy App to share her five simple tips for yoga in pregnancy.
- Start slowly: If you have never done yoga it’s best to start at the end of the first trimester. The hormonal changes you’ll experience in early pregnancy will change your physical being – but as you enter your second trimester you’ll probably have more energy to learn a new activity and yoga is a great source of relaxation.
- Forget performance principles: During pregnancy, it is no longer about ‘digging a bit deeper’ when you work out, or striving to stretch a little bit further. Instead, it is about wellbeing and general fitness. Be careful not to overstretch, as the hormone relaxin already makes the ligaments and joints softer.
- Listen to your intuition: Your body will let you know which activities are pleasant and when you need a break. If you feel any discomfort or dizziness, don’t go further – and feel free to use props.
- Take note of special conditions: Any pregnancy exercise should be adapated as your baby bump develops. Prolonged lying in the supine position, such as the final relaxation in your yoga session, is not suitable from about week 24 onwards as the combined weight of uterus, amniotic fluid and baby presses down on the important vena cava vein.
In the later stages, asanas such as the deep squat, can cause your baby to slip deeper into the pelvis, which is undesirable if your baby is not yet in the right birth-position and could cause contractions due to pressure on the cervix.
If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your baby you should always check with your midwife or doctor before you take up prenatal yoga.
- Relaxation: Your body is doing an amazing job over the course of your pregnancy, which makes it even more important to factor in relaxation – especially after your yoga routine. Learn to let go and calm your mind. This is not only helpful for childbirth – the more relaxed you are the more relaxed is your baby. Stress hormones aren’t good for a growing baby and now you’re relaxing for two!
Try the reclined butterfly – a relaxing pose for your prenatal yoga routine
- Creates space for your breath and the baby belly
- Relieves discomfort of the urinary tract and uterus
- Opens groin and hips and helps prevent sciatica
- Promotes blood circulation in the abdominal and pelvic area,
What to do
- Place two yoga blocks or firm pillows in a T-shape
- Pad the blocks with a folded nursing pillow and an extra small pillow for your head
- Take a seat so that your lower back touches the two ends of the folded nursing pillow
- Place the soles of your feet together and allow your legs to fall apart to the sides
- Place your hands next to your buttocks and ease yourself into position until your back is resting entirely on the nursing pillow and your neck is resting on the small pillow
- Place your arms out to the sides with your palms facing up or place your palms on your belly
- Close your eyes and inhale deeply into your abdomen
You may linger and relax in this pose as long as it feels comfortable to you. Getting up again takes place slowly in the reverse order.
Keleya is the go-to app for expectant mums. it offers you a personalised program for workouts with yoga and pilates, created from information you provide about your health, due date and symptoms. We’ll also provide you with healthy recipes based on your own tastes and an automated weekly newsletter with practical advice to help with the feelings and changes you may be experiencing in that particular pregnancy week.
We want you to feel fit and relaxed in your pregnancy. Within the app you’ll find healthy recipes and a big variety of yoga and fitness workouts, tailored to your needs. Here are our tips for working out during pregnancy:
Sarah Müggenburg, co founder of Keleya and mum of two has been a pre- & postnatal yoga teacher for over 13 years. Her experience of working with over a 1000 women throughout their pregnancies and after giving birth coupled with those of her own two pregnancies inspired her to develop the Keleya programme.
Make sure you do your kegels!
Chances are you have been told at some point in your pregnancy to ‘make sure you do your kegels’. While paying attention to the pelvic floor whilst pregnant is an absolute must, you’ll improve the benefits if you have a better understanding of what you’re doing, how to do it and why.
The Kegel Exercise was named after Dr Arnold Kegel. He saw women struggle with their pelvic floor connection after giving birth. He used a biofeedback device called a perineometer to help women learn to contract and relax their pelvic floor muscles. This act of contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles became known as ‘the kegel’.
Exercising more, harder or faster is not always better – and that’s especially true with pelvic floor exercises. The true intention of a kegel is a balance between contracting, lifting and then letting go of that lift and contraction. It’s a voluntary exercise that can help retrain the pelvic floor, build endurance and increase strength.
The pelvic floor works in coordination with the breath and is anticipatory, meaning it should work subconsciously. It anticipates our moves and ensures the inner core unit is ready to support us throughout the day. Things like posture, pregnancy and birth can lead to challenges like incontinence, back pain and organ prolapse. The good news is that the inner core and pelvic floor can be retrained. Using kegels in conjunction with breath work is very effective in pregnancy, in birth and for postpartum recovery.
The Core Breath as we like to call it, is a powerful approach to pelvic floor fitness in pregnancy and will optimize your pelvic health for life.
When you breathe in, the diaphragm descends, the ribs expand, the belly expands and the pelvic floor eccentrically lengthens. When you exhale, the pelvic floor recoils and contracts, the transversus abdominis co-contracts and compresses the belly, the ribs soften and the diaphragm rises back up. This happens all day long and when we harness this by adding in voluntary pelvic floor contract/relax cycles, it can really up the ante on your core training.
Try sitting on a fitness ball and pull the flesh of your butt cheeks outwards so you have a strong sense of your perineum on the surface of the ball. Ensure there is a gentle curve in your low back and that your ribs are not flared outwards but are instead soft, down and in line with your pelvis. Inhale and imagine breathing sideways into your bra strap. Feel the lateral expansion in your ribs, the overflow into the belly and the sense of fullness in your perineum on the surface of the ball. Now as you exhale, imagine sipping a milkshake through a straw with your vagina (I know…a bit odd but stick with me…) Visualize the edges of your vulva coming together and drawing upwards as you breathe out through your mouth and sip your milkshake with your vagina. As the next inhale starts, feel that lift and engagement subside. Congratulations, you have just completed your first functional kegel!
In your pregnancy, take about a minute a couple times a day to sit and connect with your breath and pelvic floor.
As you approach your due date (sometime around 37 weeks or so) make this slight adjustment: inhale to expand then as you exhale keep that expansion. As you work to birth your babe you don’t want to be sipping up milkshakes. You want your pelvic floor to let go of tension, expand and yield to the sensations of stretch and pressure to allow your babe to enter the world. Practicing with this awareness before you are in labour will help you learn what to do ahead of time.
The Core Breath is the first postnatal recovery exercise you should do once your baby is born and the sooner you start, the better your recovery will be. Even if you don’t sip milkshakes right away, doing intentional breath work with the visualization will help increase circulation, stimulate nerve growth factor and enable muscle memory.
The advice of doing kegels is good but enhance your application of it with intention, consistency and adjustments. Use the Core Breath to prepare, recover and restore.
Bellies Inc is a company on a mission to bring the philosophy of mother roasting to modern mamas to be. With their innovative Ab System, they are helping pregnant women prepare for birth, optimize recovery and restore their core postpartum. The company was founded by 3 women, a pelvic floor physical therapist, and 2 pre/postnatal fitness specialists.
What Should You Wear When Running During Pregnancy?
If you were a regular runner pre-pregnancy you’ll know how good it makes you feel: running is inexpensive, accessible and can be fitted into your life at times that works best for you. Now you’re expecting a baby, of course you want to carry on doing what you love. The good news is that you CAN run pregnant – running is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise for pregnant women and safe to continue just as long as it feels comfortable to do so.
But comfort is of course a key issue! Wearing the right running gear for pregnancy will help keep you going for longer. That’s longer runs and further into your pregnancy.
As you get bigger the last thing you need is leggings that fall down when you run or a top that rides up over your beautiful baby bump just as you’re getting into your stride. But most importantly you need fitnesswear that provides support where you need it, lifting and holding you securely so your bump doesn’t jiggle when you jog and your boobs are held comfortably with minimal bounce. And ideally it needs to look good, fit well and still be ok to wear after you’ve had your baby.
The FittaMamma Maternity fitnesswear range was designed with pregnant runners in mind:
The FittaMamma Ultimate Top is a high performance maternity activewear choice for running and workouts.
The secret is in the unique cross back design of the back panel which lifts the weight of your baby onto your back and shoulders where you have more natural strength. We love the feel of the firm waistband which sits under your bump, adding support around your hips and pelvis (great when those pregnancy hormones start loosening your joints).
And there’s a soft built-in bra to supplement your sports bra to hold your boobs securely. Top marks for style, support and comfort.
The FittaMamma High Support Top is a value option with all the support you need for running and high impact pregnancy exercise.
Made from moisture-wicking cotton it has cleverly designed panels to hold and lift where you need it, combined with a super stretchy waistband to hold firmly under the bump.
FittaMamma maternity exercise leggings have a deep supportive waist panel that offers all round support for your bump and lower back. Wear it over or under your belly for personal comfort. Both the standard cotton range and the high performance Ultimate range come in a choice of full or Capri length – ideal for pregnant runners.
Good news is that lifting and supporting the weight of the baby can ease the pressure on your pelvic floor and help alleviate the bladder issues so often experienced when you’re pregnant – especially when you’re running. Feedback from pregnant runners suggests FittaMamma maternity exercise clothes help ease the ‘need to pee’ issue.
Wear a well-fitting sports bra – your breasts will be bigger during pregnancy and need the extra support. The Hotmilk nursing sports bra offers excellent support during pregnancy and is ideal for speedy access for feeding after your baby is born.
A good pair of running shoes is even more important when you’re pregnant to ease the impact on your joints and ensure you don’t slip. Your feet can increase in size during pregnancy so it’s well worth checking to make sure your running shoes fit properly.
A heart rate monitor is useful to make sure you’re not over doing your training – you should be able to carry on talking when you exercise but a monitor will give an accurate record. And don’t forget your water bottle!
When to shop?
Just as soon as your bump starts to show! Why wait? Enjoy the improved comfort and support throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born for postnatal exercise and running too.
Jenny Lee Allenwho writes for Run South Florida magazine adds‘A few quick tips for prenatal running: First, make sure you wear extremely supportive clothing. A high-impact sports bra paired with the FittaMamma High Support Top will keep the girls in place! I’ve also found that compression socks help reduce swelling in my feet and ankles.’
Jeni Harvey of ‘Marathoning for Real Women’ recommended the FittaMamma High Support Top for running during pregnancy, saying: This top is extremely supportive of the bump – it describes itself as a “bra for your tummy” and that’s just what it feels like – but also of the back and chest as well. An inbuilt crop top is firm yet comfortable, acting like an additional sports bra, while the “unique back panel” distributes weight from the front across the whole back and shoulders, meaning that the weight being carried on the front is borne by the whole body, improving posture. It’s almost like particularly soft scaffolding for your back, bump and boobs.
A thick waistband sits below the bump, on the hips, and serves the useful double purpose of not just being supportive, but also keeping the top in place, thus preventing the riding up that is an issue with so many running clothes, particularly during pregnancy. In short, this is one supportive and comfortable running top.’
FittaMamma Tips for safe running during pregnancy:
- Remember the talk test – if you’re running so hard you can’t continue a conversation ease up and slow down
- Don’t strive for a PB, the mantra should be ‘not so far and not so fast’
- Make sure you fuel up before you start and stay hydrated, carry a water bottle with you
- Warming up and cooling down is even more important when you’re pregnant
- If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your baby consult a midwife or health professional
Why Coconut Oil Is Good For Pregnant Women
WHY COCONUT OIL IS GOOD FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
Coconut oil is one of our favourite products – it’s packed with nutritional benefits for pregnant women! Like any fat, we wouldn’t advise eating it by the jar but the positive health benefits make it a useful alternative to other oils or butter.
But it’s not just a fantastic addition to your pregnancy diet you can use it topically too ….it can help alleviate a whole raft of pregnancy ailments.
Check out our top ten reasons as to why coconut oil deserves its place on the kitchen shelf ….and in your bathroom cabinet too!
- Coconut oil is more than 90% saturated fat – but if that raises alarm bells, in this instance it shouldn’t! The primary fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid that has been shown to have positive effects on your levels of good cholesterol as well as antimicrobial features that will boost your immune system – and potentially your baby’s immune system too.
- Coconut oil is a ‘healthy’ fat that will help you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins making it a real boost for good pregnancy nutrition. It helps you to absorb calcium, essential for healthy bone development.
- Some sources suggest that the lauric acid in coconut oil can stimulate production of breast milk – the lauric acid is the same fatty acid that is naturally present in breast milk, helping to protect you and your baby from viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
- Coconut oil taken regularly as part of your pregnancy diet can help settle your stomach. A spoonful of oil can help alleviate pregnancy nausea and ease pregnancy heartburn. Stir it into soup, smoothies or your morning bowl of ‘Power Porridge’ .
- Use coconut oil to moisturise your skin – rub it on your baby belly to help combat pregnancy stretch marks and use it after your baby is born to help any marks to fade. It’s super-soothing if your skin is feeling itchy and uncomfortable too.
- Has your pregnancy hair gone frizzy? Rub a small amount of coconut oil into your hair after washing for softer, glossier locks.
- The lauric acid in coconut oil is effective against a number of harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses – it’s safe to use topically to alleviate a range of complaints from mouth ulcers to athletes foot.
- Add a few drops of coconut oil to your bath water for soft smooth pregnancy skin and a lovely relaxing tropical scent.
- Once your baby arrives, coconut oil is gentle on your baby’s skin and can be used as a massage oil. Gently massage into your baby’s scalp to treat cradle cap, or to sooth nappy rash. Coconut oil is a natural product and is very unlikely to cause any irritation but always do a small patch test first to be sure.
- Coconut oil is ideal to help sooth cracked or sore nipples after baby is born – it’s effective and safe to use.
Organic virgin coconut oil is the purest available – simple ‘Virgin’ coconut oil tastes and smells good and is laden with medium chain fatty acids antioxidants.
5 Reasons Why Buggy Running Is Awesome
Fitting in exercise can be challenging at the best of times, let alone when children come along. Postnatal exercise that involves your baby will help keep you active and can be good for your baby too!
We’ve invited Wendy Rumble from RunningBuggies.Com® and co-founder of Buggy Squad® to give us the lowdown on why it’s a great idea to include buggy running in your postnatal exercise routine ….and why using a buggy designed for running has so many added benefits.
- Multitasking: Whether it’s because you have no time, you’re keen on making life super-efficient or maybe it’s hard to force yourself to exercise, doing a buggy run as a nursery drop off, trip to the post office or your means of vehicle to a playgroup is a brilliant way to help you fit it all in. Pack light, accept it’s okay to wear your activewear in non-active situations and feel good about adding an extra level to the term ‘multi-tasking’.
- Mental wellbeing: When you have a baby it can be all too easy to stay indoors but this can be lonely and for many mothers can exacerbate postnatal depression. When you exercise, your brain chemistry changes through the release of endorphins (sometimes called ‘feel good’ hormones), which can calm anxiety and lift your mood. Having the right buggy can mean you can step out your door and get exercising straight away, on your family’s’ schedule. Suddenly you have freedom to exercise on your terms again.
- Body confidence: Buggy running could help you lose weight but it will also help you tone up. It uses your core and arms as well as your legs which make it even better than normal running! Running around after children is exhausting and it certainly helps if you rebuild your fitness and strength through recommended exercises like the MUMHOOD programmes and then at around 6 months gently build up to running continuously with a run walk program.
- Good for Babies: In the days of Vitamin D drops, it is advised we get our babies out into natural daylight as much as possible. A study from Liverpool’s John Moore’s University has found that babies sleep longer when exposed to plenty of light in the afternoon, a time when many mothers used to put babies in the garden in their prams or take them to a park. In many Scandinavian countries babies still sleep outside in the day to benefit from the fresh air too. Just wrap your baby up in the winter or apply sun cream with suitable shade for adequate protection in the summer month and take them out for a run.
- Role model! There are some worrying statistics in the media about childhood obesity epidemics in the UK. Our children learn from us, parents are their primary role models. Active mothers are more likely to raise active kids – and children who see their parents exercising regularly are more likely to factor exercise into their normal lives as they grow up. Make it fun and get them involved, with running trips to the park, taking part in events like parkrun and nature trails!
Sounds great, when can I start?
Most buggy manufacturers recommend 6 months is the earliest age a baby can be run with in a buggy, some say 9 months. It’s also a sensible timeline for mums, ensuring that core and pelvic floor is restored ahead of starting a high impact activity like running.
Knowing which buggies are suitable for running with can be pretty challenging, with many models called SPORT and JOGGER but are suitable for neither! Running Buggies will help you to choose and purchase the buggy that suits you best, explaining what features to look out for on a buggy to make it suitable for running with, what are the best brands, the ideal posture and the top stretches to use.
FittaMamma Tip: Look good and feel good when you run. Our supportive fitnesswear isn’t just for pregnancy, it’s designed to hold and support your postnatal curves too. If you’re exercising whilst breast feeding, the Hot Milk sports bras will hold you firmly whilst offering easy access for nursing your baby
Ease Aches and Pains With Pregnancy Yoga
Prenatal yoga poses to ease your aches and pains
Prenatal yoga improves your strength and flexibility, preparing your body for the birth of your baby and can help alleviate stress and tension, lowering your blood pressure and calming your mind. You’ll also find the breathing techniques practised during your prenatal yoga sessions are invaluable when it comes to managing the pain many women experience during childbirth.
But it’s not just the pain and discomfort of birth than can be alleviated by practising yoga during pregnancy. The hormonal changes your body experiences during pregnancy, combined with the additional physical strain on your body, can cause all sorts of less enjoyable side effects from headaches and heartburn to simply feeling tired and lacking in energy.
We’d like to share our favourite prenatal yoga poses to help ease some common pregnancy niggles and discomforts:
Tense shoulders and aching back?
It’s very common, especially if you’re still working and sitting at a desk all day.
Cat Pose releases tension in your upper back and shoulders, taking the pressure of the baby off your spine. Take it slowly for maximum benefit.
- Start on your hands and knees, hands planted firmly on your mat below your shoulders, knees under your hips and your back flat. Breathe deeply.
- Exhale, and arch your back upwards, drawing your belly button towards your spine and lowering your head so you look towards your legs.
- Inhale slowly and deeply, gradually lowering your spine vertebrae by vertebrae until your back is flat. Lift your head and gently stretch out your neck.
- Alternate these movements, smoothly lifting and lowering your back without letting it drop.
Our favourite pose to ease backache is the Child’s Pose, taking the weight of your baby off your lower back and releasing tension in your pelvis and hip joints.
- Kneel on your yoga mat, knees wide apart, feet turned inwards. Come forward slowly, moving from the hips and lengthening your spine. Place your palms on the floor, stretching your arms out in front of you and lower your body until your forehead touches the floor….and relax.
- Come up slowly when you’re ready to do so.
- If you don’t feel comfortable in this pose lean over a large cushion or a bean bag, focussing on making sure your back feels comfortable and relaxed.
Suffering from heartburn?
Cow Pose is a simple yoga posture that helps make more space in your diaphragm, easing the pressure in your stomach which can make your heartburn worse.
- Sitting up tall, breathe out and lengthen your back, rolling your shoulders gently to release them.
- Stretch your right arm up, bend your elbow and drop your hand down the back of your neck.
- Now reach up behind your back with your left hand, reaching as high as you can so the fingers of both hands meet. If they don’t touch, use a yoga belt or a scarf to make the connection, working your hands as close together as you can without straining.
- Hold the pose for about a minute, lengthening your lower back and neck and breathing deeply. Make sure you keep your neck free and don’t allow your arm to push against your head.
- Release both arms, breathe deeply and relax for a minute before repeating on the other side.
Preparing for birth
Garland Pose is a real mainstay of pregnancy yoga, opening up your hips and pelvis, lengthening and relaxing the muscles in your back and stretching your perineum. As you approach the end of your pregnancy it will encourage your baby’s head to engage in preparation for birth. If you can learn to be comfortable in this pose it can be an ideal birthing position offering the correct angle for the baby’s descent and making use of gravity to help the birth process.
- Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, keeping them flat on the floor and simply lower yourself into a squat.
- Use yoga blocks under your buttocks if you can’t manage a full squat.
- Practise this regularly so it becomes easier and more comfortable to maintain the pose.
FittaMamma Tip: Don’t keep your FittaMamma Yoga leggings just for the yoga mat, enjoy the support they provide for your baby bump and lower back every day. We’re great advocates of living in your activewear!