April 22, 2020
We are so excited to have a guest post to share today from the one and only Wendy Foster. You can read her bio below, but basically, she’s the founder of Mamalates Online, the queen of postpartum rehab and, such a lovely human being.
Although the advice below is catered toward the brand new mama, these are things we all should be doing, at all phases of life, to keep our core strong and prevent injury.
Thank you, Wendy! Let’s dive in!
Wendy Foster is the founder of Mamalates Online – a video streaming site for prenatal and postpartum wellness. As a licensed Pilates Instructor with over 20 years in health and fitness, she is a Birth Recovery Specialist who is passionate about helping mom’s find safe exercise and wellness options for motherhood. She is the mother of 2 active boys and lives in Portland, OR.
When you hear “postpartum workout” or “after baby exercise”, you may have a preconceived idea of what that looks like.
For many women, the idea of strapping on running shoes or sashaying back into barre in those early months sounds unimaginably exhausting. And we get it! You carried a baby for 9 (ish) months, birthed a human, and you’re just trying to get some sleep and figure this mom thing out. It’s ok to take your time.
When you do feel ready to resurface and integrate a little more movement into your life, start slowly. Don’t jump back into your pre-pregnancy workout. Now is a perfect time to start fresh and rebuild a foundation of strength and endurance.
TIP #1 START WITH BREATH
Proper breathing can make or break your recovery. If you are a breath holder your shoulders may never relax and tension will be all you know. If you are a belly breather, you may have more challenges recovering from separated abdominals (diastasis recti).
Try using a Pilates-inspired breath by inhaling through your nose, expanding the sides and backs of ribs, then exhaling through your mouth. This is the beginnings of a deep, diaphragmatic breath.
When you lift your babe (or anything heavy), do so on the EXHALE. Save the INHALE for lengthening and preparing for the activity. Proper breathing technique is something that can be started the day your little bundle of love is born.
TIP #2 REALIGN
After baby is born, your shoulders may be rounded and your low back may feel over arched. If you lay down on the floor and start banging out crunches in this position, you are just going to exacerbate already existing back conditions, neck pain, etc. Take a few minutes before you start each workout to make sure you are aligned as possible to prevent exacerbating any structural issues and for the most efficient workout.
One way to adjust your alignment is with a foam roller. Rolling out your muscles helps release and lengthen fascia. When you lay down on the roller, face-up, your bra strap should be in contact without your shoulders rounding forward.
To check your standing posture, ensure that your weight is back on your heels, ribs are over pelvis and ear lobes are over shoulders.
TIP #3 MODIFY
Now that you have your breathing down and your posture in line, you are ready to get moving. However, when you head back into that yoga, barre or Zumba, remember that you may still have weakness (or tightness) in certain areas. You will likely need to modify your poses and possibly reduce your range of motion- especially when it comes to twisting and core work. If something doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
If it is determined that you DO have diastasis recti, avoid crunches, scooping or movements that cause your abdominals to bulge. Modify with side-lying core work or engaging your core through breath and one-legged toe taps. As you strengthen the connective tissue of your core, you will eventually be able to do more advanced variations.
For more information check out the Mamalates Essential Birth Recovery Course. This course is OB/GYN endorsed and is designed for those early weeks and months postpartum.
April 15, 2020
This week on the podcast, we’re welcoming pediatrician, mom, and dietitian Dr. Natalie Muth. She’s a practicing physician in Carlsbad, California and author of How to Raise Healthy Eaters and Family Fit Plan.
Last week on the show, we had my friends at Alavita on to talk about developing a healthy eating plan for yourself while you’re pregnant and after baby, but what about getting your baby off to a good start with solid foods?
Dr. Muth has the answers. Listen as she talks about what to do and what NOT to do when getting going in the early months.
“There’s a lot of right ways to start solid foods… Early on it doesn’t really matter what you start with…It doesn’t really make a difference what the food is… you just want to start with a single ingredient and make sure it’s soft enough and small enough that the baby’s not going to choke.”
April 7, 2020
You’ve had the baby, you’ve taken care of yourself well throughout your pregnancy and now…well, now you’re in a body you maybe don’t recognize so well and, if you’re being honest, don’t really like so much.
I get it. I’ve been there. And it took a long time for me to move from seeing my body as something to criticize or constantly work on to seeing my body as a gift – one that brought life into the world and that allows me to do all the things I want to do (like play with my kids and dance and travel (when there’s no COVID-19 around)). Body image issues postpartum can contribute to postpartum depression and anxiety, and generally steal the joy from our experience as
On the podcast this week, I welcomed some of my favorite people – Anna and Megan from Alavita Nutrition. These powerhouse mamas are not only rock solid businesswomen, they’re also experts at guiding women through eating healthily in the months around their babies’ births. They’re also experts at changing the discussion around to food completely – making it less about getting skinny or looking perfect and more about feeling good in our own skin.
Our bodies have unique nutritional needs in the postpartum period, especially if we’re breastfeeding. It’s critical that we take good care of our bodies so we have more energy reserves (and milk!) for our babies.
Alavita’s comprehensive nutrition programs are 100% virtual. That means, in times like these, you can get your healthy eating education in without leaving the house (which is a good thing since you really shouldn’t right now).
March 23, 2020
We know thinking about welcoming a new baby can be daunting and we also know right now, with COVID-19 influencing literally every aspect of our lives, it can be more difficult to get credible information about how to prepare for the big day and beyond. SO, we created the Taking Care of You and
Even when we’re not dealing with a pandemic, many new parents take local classes to learn basic baby care skills but they’re often generic and LONG, often making them hard to absorb for parents-to-be. They’re also irrelevant for many parents, designed to meet the needs of all parents without addressing the specific concerns of any one parent.
I realize our book, The New Baby Blueprint, just hit shelves, but I just couldn’t wait to bring this resource to you in light of what’s going on all around us.
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone just gave you all of the information you needed to know in bite-size chunks you could come back to over and over again, once your baby was actually around, in the comfort of your own home? Someone who has the professional expertise you need and the personal experience to back it up? Someone who has their finger on the pulse, who knows what new parents really need and want to know? The Taking Care of You and Your Newborn online parenting program is our answer.
We created our online parenting program, Taking Care of You and
It includes 11 video classes and a downloadable course manual that teaches parents to be (but especially mamas to be since that’s our passion):
Taking Care of You and Your Newborn is just what the doctor ordered for new mamas as they venture out on their motherhood journeys.
March 17, 2020
No matter what’s going on in the world, new parents need help navigating the early days and weeks with a new baby. The New Baby Blueprint gives them the information, resources, and tools they need to make early parenthood not just tolerable, but successful!
“They say motherhood doesn’t come with a manual, but The New Baby Blueprint, brought to you by the American Academy of Pediatrics, comes pretty close. Author Whitney Casares, a pediatrician and mom of two, walks expectant parents through all the essentials of prepping for baby’s arrival, including what to expect in the first days and weeks, and how to prepare your home, your partner and your brain for having a newborn—all through a relatable mix of humor and practical advice.” —Ashlee Neuman, The Bump
“In this internet age of ‘experts’ giving advice on parenting, Dr Casares, a skilled pediatrician and mother, distills down volumes of information into a single, easy-to-read guide. Her book is honest and practical–a fresh focus on the mother’s needs as well as those of the infant. Her candidness about her own struggles with bringing her babies home, combined with her work with countless new mothers in her practice, informs this modern blueprint for the well-being of the professional mother and her family.” —Nicole Cirino, MD, reproductive psychiatrist; director, Women’s Mental Health Program, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Center for Women’s Health; and professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of psychiatry, OHSU
“Dr Casares shares her expertise on newborns from her professional role as pediatrician and mom in a funny, practical, and down-to-earth manner. Her book provides the most practical advice for new moms that I have read . . . form preparing for the birth of the child to managing expectations of new moms and sharing her own personal experiences to giving parents-to-be all they need to know but were never told about having a baby. New moms everywhere will find this guide to being a parenting invaluable and refer to it again and again.” —Deborah Rumsey, executive director, Children’s Health Alliance
“Pediatricians often get emails, texts, and calls from friends seeking parenting advice from someone with a pediatric medical background. Dr. Casares wrote a book that meets this need! She blends practical parenting tips and medical knowledge in this fresh and fun perspective on parenting. It’s a great read for any parent who is interested in the pediatrician-mom perspective!” —Lauren Rose, MD, FAAP, newborn and pediatric hospitalist
“A wonderful, practical resource! With both the good sense of a mom who’s ‘been there, done that’ and the seasoned experience of a pediatrician who’s helped hundreds of moms navigate the same journey, Dr Casares offers wise guidance and practical tips to parents of newborns. Easy to read, it strikes the right balance between an overall approach to parenting and practical advice on the nitty-gritty details. It’s like having coffee with a best friend who, by the way, just happens to be an expert on all things related to new babies and new moms. I can’t imagine a better baby shower gift.” —Janelle Aby, MD, FAAP, author of The Newborn Book and clinical professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine
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