Exercising and Pregnancy

Exercising and Pregnancy

The Do’s and Don’ts of Keeping Fit

While most women will want to maintain fitness during pregnancy, you don’t want to do anything that could put yourself or your baby at risk. There is so much conflicting information out there, but you’ll be pleased to know that many forms of exercise have benefits during all stages of a normal pregnancy. The only thing to remember is that every pregnancy is different, so even if this isn’t your first baby, consult your GP, midwife, or obstetrician before starting any form of exercise.

Do’s:

  1. Always keep moving whether it’s just walking the dog to the park or a lap around the block – the goal should be 30 minutes a day. 
  2. Swimming, yoga, stationary cycling, and low impact aerobics are all great choices when you have a baby on board.
  3. Find a professional that you can work with for a tailor-made program.  It could be a personal trainer, through an online program, physio or pilates instructor, or someone who understands your needs and has experience in pregnancy related training.
  4. It’s always a good idea to involve pelvic floor exercises in your routines. 
  5. Make sure to find supportive maternity activewear that will keep you cool and comfortable. 
  6. Always exercise in well ventilated areas.
  7. Stay hydrated!

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t ignore any signs of overheating or overexertion, and ensure you never work so hard that you run out of breath.
  2. Don’t ignore warning signs like light headedness, dizziness or feeling nauseous. These signs can indicate a range issues. Stop exercising immediately, rest, drink plenty of water and consult a medical practitioner if needed. 
  3. Don’t do exercises that can involve your stomach, lying flat on your back, or any strenuous or contact activity. 
  4. Don’t do exercises that are repetitive high impact with lots of turning and twists, high stepping or sudden stops.

Some exercises you can try at home:

  • Quadruped arm/leg raises
  • Wall squats
  • Modified push ups
  • Lunges
  • Heel raises
  • Bicep curls 
  • Shoulder abduction

Whatever you choose to do, remember that if you’re able to stay fit during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period can be so much easier!

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Healthy Muesli Bars

Healthy Muesli Bars

This is a delicious and simple lunch box (or after school) treat that the kids will love. It’s packed full of healthy ingredients and is a much better choice than the store bought alternative.

 

Makes 16 slices

157 calories per slice

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (350g) natural Bircher Muesli (see notes for Gluten Free option) 
  • ½ cup (50g) LSA – ground linseed, almonds and sunflower seeds 
  • 3 eggs 
  • ⅓ teaspoon vanilla 
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) raw honey

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C fan forced. 
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until mixed through. 
  3. Spoon mixture into baking tin lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 
  5. Cool then slice into 16 portions. 
  6. These bars will store in the fridge for up to five days.

Tips:

For gluten free  or paleo diets substitute Bircher Muesli with three  cups of almond meal, seeds, walnuts & sun-dried dried fruit.

For those with egg allergies substitute for mashed banana.

Pump on the protein add a packet of vanilla protein powder.

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Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad

Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad

Salads can be BORING, but not this one! The mix of sweet and salty from the sweet potato and feta cheese makes it a moreish, satisfying, and healthy  meal.

 

Ingredients:

  • Large handful of baby spinach 
  • 1 medium size sweet potato 
  • ½ block of feta 
  • ½ cup of pine nuts 
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt & pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar 

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Cut sweet potato, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste,  then mix well.
  3. Place sweet potato on tray and bake in the oven for around 10 -15 mins (or until cooked).
  4. Toast pine nuts in a fry pan then set aside.
  5. In a large bowl add baby spinach, chop or crumble feta, and add toasted pine nuts.
  6. Once sweet potato is cooked add to the bowl with the other ingredients and mix.
  7. If you like, you can drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top and mix ready for serving.

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Banishing Nightmares and Night Terrors

Banishing Nightmares and Night Terrors


I have four children, so thought I knew how to deal with most kid-related dramas.  But then my third child started having night terrors. After a month of him these frightening episodes I spoke to all my mummy friends and even had a chat with my GP.  Thankfully I have been successful in minimising his night terrors I want to share what I’ve learned to help you and your kids.

What are Night terrors?

Night terrors (also known as sleep terrors) are episodes when children wake up suddenly at night and act very upset or agitated. They might scream and even jump out of bed. They might be sweating, breathing fast, disoriented, or have a racing heartbeat. During a night terror it can be quite difficult to calm your child down and can last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. They can be as frequent as 2 to 3 times per week and usually occur around 90 minutes after the child goes to sleep. Your little one won’t remember the night terror the next morning as it occurs during deep non-REM sleep.

What are nightmares? 

Nightmares can be very scary, sad, or even upsetting dreams that wake your child. After a nightmare children often have trouble going to back sleep. Nightmares usually happen in the second half of the night when dreaming is more intense.

Tips on how to have a good night’s sleep

  1. For a nightmare, remind your child if was only a dream and not real. That she is safe and you are there for her.
  2. If it’s a night terror, stay and comfort your child until the episode stops, you should not wake her up and your child will go back to sleep.
  3. Have a set bedtime routine for your child.
  4. Keep your child’s bedtime and wake up time about the same everyday even on school and non school days.
  5. Make sure an hour before bed is quiet time eg; no TV technology or high energy activities
  6. Keep your child’s room dark and quiet (if scared of the dark use a night light, favourite toy or even a dream catcher).
  7. Use of diffuser with calming essential oils (lavender, frankincense, chamomile just to name a few) depending on the age of your child and their preferences.
  8. Create magical monster spray, you might be able to pretend to disappear those monsters away.
  9. Change in routine or schooling can often lead to sleep disturbances.  Try to limit these, or talk through the changes with your child.
  10. Over tiredness (including young children not having a nap during the day) can cause sleep issues too, so try to ensure your child is having enough rest time.
  11. Keep a sleep diary to track your child’s disturbances, and their routines.  You may find a common denominator that leads to a solution.
  12. If your concerned about your child talk to your doctor (bringing your sleep diary along is very helpful!). I wish lots of sweet dreams for everyone!

 

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Thermomix Apricot and Coconut Balls

Thermomix Apricot and Coconut Balls

 

These apricots balls are extremely nutritious, kids love them as so will you. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to  a week in the refrigerator.

Ready in 10 minutes

Makes 10-15 balls

Ingredients:

  • 50g almonds
  • 200g dried apricots
  • 1 tbs orange juice
  • 2 tbs water
  • 70g desiccated coconut, plus extra for rolling
  • 3 tbs wheat germ
  • 1-2 tbs maple syrup

Method: 

  1. Place almonds into mixing bowl and mill 20sec/speed 9
  2. Add apricots and chop 1 sec/speed 8. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  3. Add orange juice and water and mix 5 sec/speed 2.
  4. Allow to soak for 1 minute
  5. Add coconut, wheat germ,  and maple syrup  and mix 25 sec/speed 7 or until combined. Roll mixture into small balls and then roll in extra coconut.

For variety you might like to replace half of apricots with dried figs.

You can substitute wheat germ for either Flaxseed, Wheat Flour, Bran or sunflower seeds.

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