Aileen shares her tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and building stamina during your pregnancy between your Antenatal Aqua classes.
Labour and early motherhood is really all about stamina! I encourage all my Mums-to-be to keep walking every day to help build this stamina. If you are not having significant problems with your pelvis, walking is a terrific way of keeping active. I generally think little and often is better, so 20 minutes at lunchtime and another twenty minutes in the evening once dinner/dishes done either by yourself for some headspace or with a chatting buddy really does make the time fly. Saving yourself for a three hour marathon in the Dundrum Centre is just not going to do it!
I think the activeness of Aquanatal complements Yoga or Pilates very well where postures are more static and slow.
But, you really can’t beat the water for easy three dimensional movement. You can kid yourself into feeling not pregnant at all! Going to your local pool in between classes and doing some of your favourite bits from the class will keep your stamina building too. If you want me to run through anything with you, just ask at your next class.
Image copyright Courtney Boyd Myers via Flickr
Now that the summer is coming, once we get through the snow this week, May eek!, it’s important to spend some time thinking about shoes.
As your body grows and blossoms with your pregnancy, your weight increases. The arch of your foot is the structure that supports this weight and naturally flattens a little bit with the extra loading. This makes your foot temporarily bigger. Towards the end of your pregnancy you may take up to a whole size bigger.
When considering your summer shoe purchase, things like ‘easy on and off’ are of course important, (gladiator sandals just won’t figure this summer!) but also, a shoe/sandal that will accommodate your foot in its skinniness in the morning and possibly a bit puffier come evening is needed.
Supporting the arch is probably the most important thing to protect your footshape and keep pain at bay. Very flat shoes put a little more stress on the arch, particularly if you have tightish calves or are used to wearing heels at work. Up to an inch of heel is considered good, but it needs to be a broad heel to help with balance and ankle stability. No stilettos!
No one shoe fits all, let alone suits all styles so there is no perfect answer. Things like Birkenstock and crocs score high on arch support, but are quite flat. Fitflops generally have some arch support and some pitch in the heel too. Teva-type walking sandals generally have good support and pitch but are disastrous in the fashion stakes. Sometimes a compromise can be reached with things like converse/vans by adding an off the shelf arch support but again you’ll need to keep stretching out your calves.
Let comfort be your guide, but spare a thought for your arches!