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Why isn’t my stomach flat after pregnancy?

This is one of the most-asked questions I get as a Women’s Health PT and Postnatal Pilates Specialist.  It’s a question I vividly remember asking myself one week after the birth of my first child, when my once flat stomach bubbled up to the surface of the water as I attempted to relax in the tub.  I poked at this flabby skin pouch with a mixture of confusion and fascination.  The body I had once known and had grown to love over the first 28 years of my life...

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Why Being Pregnant Puts You at Increased Risk for Abdominal Muscle Separation

Diastasis Rectus Abdominus, or DRA for those of us short on time(!), is an abnormal separation of the left and right rectus abdominus muscles and can happen in babies, athletes, men, and women!  Having a history of being pregnant (no matter the method of delivery) can put you at increased risk for this condition for several reasons. 

Excessive amounts of force on the linea alba (connective tissue between the rectus muscles)

The abdominal region is the only area where you’ll...

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Why Movement Is More Important Than Exercise

It seems we’ve gotten a little turned around. 

If I were to have a deliciously healthy breakfast of chicken sausage and onions over a bed of quinoa and then have fast food and soda for lunch and dinner, would you look back on my day and conclude that it was a nutritional day for me? 

Of course not, that would be absurd! 

Yet droves of people are dragging themselves to the gym to sweat it out for an hour, and then slumping back into their cars to drive to work, or...

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Top 5 Exercise Principles That Every Mom-to-Be Should Follow

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! NOW, WHAT?!

If you look online, you’ll be bombarded with well-meaning fitness advice from well-intentioned trainers. This is not the time to put your body in the hands of an amateur. If we were friends (and I hope someday we will be!), here’s what I’d tell you:

  1. Immediately upon the egg implanting into your womb, your vessels experience dilation. But, you have the same amount of blood coursing through these now larger vessels which can...
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Let Go of These Exercises

“To Everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn). A time to gain, a time to lose.”

The Byrds were first to remind us, and then the migrating geese, and finally the Fall trees shedding their leaves are one final reminder that “letting go” is part of the natural order of things.  We humans don’t embrace change nearly as easily.

And from my experience, the same applies to women and their exercise regimens. It can be hard to let go of the...

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Exercise and Pregnancy Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Pickles

What if I told you there was a magic “elixir” with no side effects that you could take in pregnancy that might help reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling.

It may help prevent or even treat gestational diabetes.

While it could increase your energy, it will also help you sleep better at night.

Oh, and it will decrease your chances of requiring a Cesarean section, may decrease your postpartum recovery time and prevent depressive episodes in the postpartum period?...

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Nine Things I’ve Learned in my 39th Year

self-care Aug 18, 2020

On July 22nd I will turn 40.  I typically don’t make a big deal out of my birthday and don’t particularly enjoy being in the spotlight.  This year, I do feel like celebrating though.  More of a quiet, introspective celebration of all that I have learned (and have yet to learn) and all that I have to be grateful for.  

Here’s what I have learned:

  1. You can’t depend on someone else to make you happy.  You have to learn all the big and...
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DRA and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Diastasis Rectus Abdominus is an abnormal separation of the rectus abdominus (“6-pack”) muscles that occurs from excessive, repetitive force on the connective tissue of the abdominal wall.  While this condition is not unique to the pregnant individual, women who are pregnant are more vulnerable to this condition due to their hormonal environment combined with the excessive forward pressure being placed on the connective tissue from the growing uterus.  Some statistics...

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Let’s Talk About Sex (after) Baby

In Week 3 of my Postnatal Pilates class our topic is “Let’s Talk About Sex (after) Baby.” The reasons most women don’t want to have intercourse or don’t enjoy intercourse can usually be broken down into 3 main categories: 
Pain
Emotional Factors, and
Core Changes and Feeling stretched out “down there”

Let’s start with pain. Usually, pain is the result of decreased lubrication, scar issues, skin disorders or infection, and/or tight pelvic...

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When I am 100 Years Old by Gabe (Age 6)

self-care Aug 18, 2020

My 6 year old son recently celebrated 100 years of school in his Kindergarten class.  They were allowed to dress up like 100 year old people, and they were asked to bring in 100 items for counting and math practice (he chose cotton balls).  He was so excited to show me the paper he worked on, outlining all the things he will do when he is 100 years old.  In addition to having “gray hair”, a “beard” and a “mustache” (a very hairy 100 year old...

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