Don’t just sit around waiting for the baby to arrive, keep fit and active, say experts to K. Jeshis

Lamaze

Naturopath Dr. Shilpa Shah,

Chief Medical Officer, R.K. Nature Cure

Lamaze or child birth education focuses on natural child birth. French Obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze was inspired by yoga, meditation and breathing techniques practised in India, implemented the same for pregnant women during labour.

Gynaecologists now hardly spend time with their patients. They just carry out the mechanical check-up and do not focus much on the dos and don’ts of pregnancy. There is no counselling for patients.

Pregnant women are increasingly inactive. Mothers and grandmothers keep them away from cooking. They also caution them against exercises. Staying fit is very important as a pregnant woman has to handle the extra weight, aches and pains. We tell the pregnant woman about the changes her body is going through. We suggest ways to handle nausea and aches without medication. We take teach them correct breathing techniques and joint exercises which includes pelvic floor exercises and simple strengthening exercises for the abdomen and the back muscles. The deep breathing and the deep relaxation techniques allow the expectant mothers to bond with the baby. The more relaxed and healthier the mother is, the happier the baby. They say this bonding has a positive impact on the health and intelligence of the baby.

Though simple moves such as neck, shoulder and joint exercises are good, expectant moms should keep away from high intensity moves such as jumping and those that press against the abdomen.

A pregnant woman can start exercising right from the start of five months and continue till delivery. They can do it every day, alternate days or once a week. Pregnant women these days do not squat or climb stairs. As a result, the muscles tend to get rigid. Lamaze has pelvis floor exercises or Kegel exercise followed by pranayama and deep breathing. Conscious breathing is important as it nourishes the baby and keeps the mother and the baby happy. Family members are trained to provide emotional support to pregnant women.

Tai Chi

Sonika Vickraman

Instructor

Slow down, sit back and relax. That is the perfect way to achieve a perfect balance of body, mind and spirit. Tai Chi works wonders for pregnant women, both physically and emotionally.

The fitness routine strengthens you from within. An expectant mother can do the Tai Chi workout through her pregnancy, but not without her doctor’s recommendation. It packs in gentle stretches and exercises that strengthen the muscles.

We start with the right way to breathe. Then teach the right posture so that that the mothers learn how not to put too much weight on her back muscles. It improves blood circulation and helps handle the minor body aches and problems such as water retention and swollen feet. Working women whether they like it or not, tend to be stressed out. And, it is their responsibility to choose a routine that helps them de-stress. Exercise is an absolute must. Gentle movements relax, strengthen and leave the mother rejuvenated. Breathing exercises are coupled with gentle upper and lower body movements. The moves are customised based on the individual’s requirement and physical condition.

Sonika conducts customised pre-natal classes over the weekends. Call her at 98431-32079.

Workouts

L. Reshma

Centre Head, Pink Fitness One

Endurance, flexibility and stamina of a pregnant woman matters during the pre-pregnancy workout. We go through her medical history, consult our in-house physiotherapist and design a workout routine based on it. Mild biking, floor workouts, Pilates, yoga, dynamic and self stretches are recommended. Stretch exercises mobilise and lubricate the muscles. Passive stretches done with an assistance of a trainer is also helpful.

Pregnant women come for health counselling right in the first trimester and start exercising from the fifth month onwards. We focus on strengthening abs and back muscles. And, the workout routine is customised to suit the individual’s needs. Core muscle exercises and breathing techniques can be continued through the pregnancy. Even doctors recommend this now.