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Wednesday September 14, 2011

Postpartum workout

Get back in shape after childbirth with appropriate exercise programmes.

GETTING into an exercise programme after childbirth has many health benefits. Apart from returning a woman to her pre-pregnancy shape, regular exercise can also raise her energy level to cope with the demands of motherhood.

Pilates instructor Jaclyn Thooi says postnatal pilates programmes are aimed at realigning the pelvis, helping to rehabilitate the pelvic floor muscles and strengthening the body.

“Exercising during the postnatal period with an appropriately designed programme helps also to build confidence and prevent or minimise postnatal depression,” she explains.

Thooi points out that many new mothers, especially those who have had a caesarean section, have little time to rest and recover from their operation.

“They are sent home with limited instructions on how to care for themselves. If someone has a knee or shoulder surgery, follow-up visits are common. Therefore, rehabilitative exercises are very important for new mothers,” she says.

Thooi established bAlign Pilates Studio in Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur, with her partner May Cheng, after having personally experienced the benefits of pilates.

“Frankly, pilates does not help to reduce your dress size. Pilates focuses on breathing, core muscles of the abdominals, pelvic floor, and postural alignment, and builds strength and stability. These are all essential elements for an effective postnatal exercise programme,” says Thooi.

“In natural delivery, the clients may start exercising six weeks after birth with a qualified instructor. However, if one has undergone a C-section, it is better to wait three months and after gaining a doctor’s approval.”

Pilates is a low-impact set of exercises with various possibilities of modifications within its repertoire to cater for different needs of individuals. It is performed either on a mat or using special studio equipment.

To find out what exercises you can do, go to ParenThots.

Focus on the Family

Strong families are built on a foundation of love, and love, as you know, doesn’t simply happen. Love takes work, especially when the details of the day-to-day grind seem to crowd out everything else and leave you short on time and sapped of energy.

“Making memories” is one way to maximise even the humblest effort to create a lasting sense of common identity and shared family heritage among the members of your household.

Focus on the Family’s Dr James Dobson explains how to make memories.

Readers write in

One mother writes about bleeding throughout both her pregnancies, having others doubt her and finally finding out what the problem was.

Shanthi A.M. Vijayan shares her experience of letting her child develop at his own pace.

Ivy Chong talks about her sons’ sibling rivalry. Will they ever be friends?

One mother-to-be views her pregnancy with both trepidation and anticipation.

Also, read about Jovinia Yong’s shock and depression at finding out about her pregnancy.

If you have a parenting, pregnancy or fertility story to share, send it to parenthots@thestar.com.my. The best story each month wins a RM200 voucher from Giant Hypermarket.

Contest

If you want to win a copy of The Groovy Guide To Parenting Gen Y And Z by Jamilah Samian and her husband Ahmad Fakhri Hamzah, just enter ParenThots’ Groovy Parent Contest.

There are 15 copies of the book to be won. The contest closes on Sept 30, 2011.

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