Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

Safe Pregnancy Exercise Tips you simply must know to keep you and your growing baby safe

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

sitting slip legged over fb copyAdjusting exercises as your pregnancy progresses: If you’re using light weights or body weight exercises you may find it more comfortable to sit down to support your lower back rather than stand. Slow your pace right down and focus on form over number of repetitions. As your pregnancy progresses, swap high impact exercise such as jogging or jumping to lower impact options, for example walking and swimming.

Avoid jerky movements: Your ligaments and joints are more relaxed and loose, so take extra care when picking up weights, twisting and moving throughout training sessions and avoid fast sudden movements or sudden changes in direction.

Do not exercise lying flat on your back after the first trimester: Lying flat on your back squashes the major vessel that supplies your baby with oxygenated blood.

Abdominal exercises: Engaging and working your abdominal muscles is important to help support your lower back and prevent/relieve back pain. If at any stage you develop a gap of more than 2 cm or 2 finger width down the midline of your abdomen, stop any crunching exercises and focus on tightening and relaxing exercises.

Stay cool: Wear cool clothing, stay well hydrated and avoid exercising in hot or humid conditions.

Pace yourself: You should still be able to speak normally and carry out a conversation during exercise. Never exercise to fatigue or exhaustion as this can divert blood flow away from your uterus, baby and placenta. Focus on quality of exercise rather than quantity of exercise.

Gear up: You may need to buy a new pair of joggers if your feet become swollen and puffy closer to your due date. Wear a well fitting supportive bra to help reduce breast trauma, you may need to buy a bigger size when your breasts start to produce milk. You may want to consider wearing a belly belt to provide extra abdominal support.

Rise slowly: Pregnancy hormones can place you at risk of random spells of low blood pressure as blood rushes to your feet when you stand, leaving you feeling faint and dizzy, so take your time when rising from the floor.

Eat just before and directly after exercise: Very low blood sugar levels can affect your baby, so make sure you eat before and directly after you exercise and carry a snack around with you. NEVER exercise if you are hungry.

Pelvic floor exercises: Remember to squeeze your way through 3 sets of 10 kegal exercises. Hold each lift for as long as you can.

The safest way to exercise though your pregnancy is to have an exercise regime specifically tailored to your pregnancy. Our Registered Midwife and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own customised Pregnancy Program safely customised to how many weeks pregnant, any pregnancy related complications or discomforts you may be experiencing, degree of stomach muscle separation, pelvic floor weakness, previous pregnancy history and more....

How much weight gain is healthy for your pregnancy

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

measuring baby bump copyHow much weight gain is right for you?

During your first trimester of pregnancy your baby will only weigh approximately 5g. The weight you gain in the first half of pregnancy is mostly maternal weight (blood, fat, fluid), as your body prepares and adapts itself to pregnancy. The weight you gain during the second half of your pregnancy is mostly from the growth and development of your baby.

Weight gain in the first trimester should be around 0.2-2kg but the amount of weight gain which is recommended for women in pregnancy varies from one individual to another individual depending on what their weight was before pregnancy. Women who are overweight do not need to gain as much weight gain compared with women who are considered normal weight or underweight.

So here are the recommended weight gain guidelines for pregnancy that we are referring to. These guidelines have been created and designed by medical professionals and now these weight gain guidelines are recognised world wide and are followed by medical professionals all around the world. Keep in mind that different organisations have slightly different weight gain recommendations but they are all very similar. These guidelines are based on what your weight was just before you conceived. This weight is then used to calculate your prenatal Body Mass Index (BMI). This pre pregnancy BMI reading is then used to determine your recommended weight gain for your BMI during pregnancy to promote healthy straight forward pregnancy and a healthy happy baby. Putting on too much weight or not putting on enough weight can lead to a problematic pregnancy and can impact on your baby’s health.


Use this formula to calculate you BMI just before you were pregnant

(Please note this formula is in metric, if you are using imperial measure use pounds instead of kilos and inches instead of metres.)

Your weight divided by your height squared.

Weight/height in metres  (squared)

scales- stepping onto scales, feet view copy

EG: If my weight is 60kg and my height is 164cm

Weight kg /height(2)

60kg/1.64cm (2)

60/ (1.64*1.64)

60/ (2.6896)

BMI= 22.3



RANGE - kgRANGE - lbsMEAN RANGE - kg/weekMEAN RANGE - lbs/week
Underweight(Less than 18.5 kg/m2)12.5-18 28-400.51 (0.44-0.58)1(1-1.3)
Normal Weight18.5-25.9 kg/m211.5-1625-350.42(0.35-0.5)1(0.8-1)
Overweight25-29.9 kg/m27-11.5 15-250.28(0.23-0.33)0.6(0.5-0.7)
Obese/Greater than 30 kg/m25-911-200.22(0.17-0.27)0.5(0.4-0.6)

These figures are based on the assumption that weight gain in the first trimester is 0.5-2kg or 1.1 -4.4Ibs.

Twin pregnancy:

If you are carrying twins your total pregnancy weight gain will be higher than the above figures, averaging 15-22kg or 33-48.4 Ibs.

Our Registered Midwife and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own customised Pregnancy Program  to help you control and manage healthy pregnancy weight gain. Your program is safely customised to how many weeks pregnant; any pregnancy related complications or discomforts you may be experiencing; degree of stomach muscle separation; pelvic floor weakness, previous pregnancy history and more....Your program comes with your very own personal nutritional guide.

Recognising Emotional Eating

Monday, February 20th, 2017

women eating block choc with tape measure around copyYour body needs food for fuel, however, you only require a certain number of calories each day. Yet when you are bored or emotional you're more likely to turn to food for comfort AND probably reach for quick fix comfort foods.

Emotional Eating

We are all guilty of emotional eating. You may have had a stressful day or you may have received bad news…. then your eyes lock onto a packet or biscuits or a piece of cake or a tub of ice cream and before you know it you're reaching for that feel good quick fix to make you feel better. You know it is not what you should be eating but your emotions have got the better of you, it tastes good and it fills that empty or lonely void but only momentarily and as soon as you have finished eating the guilt hits hard. In that short space of time you could have consumed hundreds of calories, the only benefit will be to your growing waistline. Eating this way will play havoc with your energy levels, ups and downs with sugar highs and lows, and can have a huge impact on your health and can contribute to major medical problems like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and infertility. Emotional eating is often a reactive reflection of psychological issues, perhaps the loss of a family member, injury, disease…. the list goes on. Try and work through these issues with someone you trust maybe a family member/friend or you may want to go to your GP who can refer you to a specialist to help you find the root of the problem. Dealing with the problem can help you move forward and find alternative healthy coping mechanisms instead of turning to comfort eating. Start taking control of your actions, reactions and decision making, once you are able to manage this you are well on your way to achieving your goals.

Boredom eating

We are also guilty of boredom hunger. Boredom hunger is exactly how it sounds; when we are bored we eat to stimulate the mind often giving into cravings. If you let these “cravings” take control, you are putting yourself in a place where YOU are no longer in control. Everything that you eat and drink is by choice. No one is forcing you to eat or drink (they certainly shouldn’t be if they are) so it is down to you to make the right choices from this moment on. Use distraction techniques such as, reading a book, plan your next day, arrange to meet a friend, watching your favourite programme on TV, Skype family / friends, anything to keep your mind occupied. Every time you resist the urge to eat for the sake of boredom is a little win!

Physical hunger

Real hunger! When, your stomach starts to grumble, you feel tired and grumpy, you can’t think or focus straight, your energy levels are low, you possibly have a headache or tired, sound familiar?  These are signs of physical hunger. This is your body’s way of telling you that you need to eat. During your program we recommend you eat every 2-3 hours as this helps to keep your metabolism firing and keeps you feeling full and satisfied. If you don’t have a healthy meal pre-prepared and ready to eat, then chances are that you will grab something quick and easy, which tends to be loaded with calories with little nutritional value. So, try and have a healthy meal available on hand or have meals frozen in the freezer ready to defrost and eat when hunger strikes and make sure you are eating every 2-3 hours.

Our Registered Midwife, Clinical Nurse and Personal Trainer with over 4 years experience within the fertility sector will design you, your very own 12 week exercise program and nutritional program customised to your pre pregnancy, pregnancy or post pregnancy needs .... Check out our programs here

Eat smart to help avoid Common Pregnancy Discomforts

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

pregnancy discomfort written on belly copy 2Foods which are consumed in pregnancy should be rich in nutrients that help to ease and prevent common pregnancy discomforts. Vitamin A, C and E, zinc and essential fats are especially helpful in keeping you comfortable as your pregnancy progresses and should be consumed as part of your everyday diet. Here are a few examples of how choosing the right foods to eat during pregnancy can help overcome these unpleasant but common pregnancy discomforts

Tired? Craving foods? Lethargic? Jittery? Thirsty? Forgetful?

A diet which is high in “bad” or simple carbohydrates can initially cause a spike in your blood sugar levels giving you temporary energy and that feel good feeling, but then very shortly after your blood sugar levels plummet rapidly leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.

Bruising and Swelling

Vitamin A helps with bruising so foods that contain Vitamin A will help speed up the recovery process.

Abdominal Muscles Separation- (Rectus diastasis)

Vitamin A helps with the healing process so food that contains Vitamin A will help repair your abdominal muscles.

Swelling “down below”

Vitamin A helps with healing and bruising and Vitamin E helps with skin elasticity so food that contains Vitamin A and E will help speed up the recovery process.


A diet that lacks good fats and zinc can contribute to you feeling down. So eat foods rich in zinc and good fats to boost your mood.

Stretch marks

Vitamins A,C, E and zinc can help reduce and fade your stretch marks. So consuming a diet rich in these nutrients can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Constipation and/or Bloating

Not enough fibre can cause constipation which also comes hand in hand with bloating, gas and possibly haemorrhoids from straining when trying to use your bowels. Fibre is especially helpful if you’re sore down below! 


Cramps are often due to lack of calcium magnesium sodium and potassium. So eating a diet rich in these elements with help alleviate cramping.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are often a result of low vitamin C and collagen. So eating a diet rich in these nutrients can help reduce the severity of the veins.

Our Peak Pregnancy recipes are jam packed full of meal ideas and foods that contain these helpful vitamins and minerals which will help ease and/or prevent common pregnancy discomforts. Eat up! Our Registered Midwife and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own customised Pregnancy Program  safely customised to how many weeks pregnant; any pregnancy related complications or discomforts you may be experiencing; degree of stomach muscle separation; pelvic floor weakness, previous pregnancy history and more....Your program comes with your very own personal nutritional guide.

Are artificial sweeteners safe in pregnancy

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Depending on who you talk to will depend on what information you will recieve. Everyone seems to have their own opinion as to whether it is safe or suitable for pregnant women to consume artificial sweeteners in pregnancy.  There are many artificial sweeteners available on the market each come with their own positives and negatives. Food and drug administration (FDA) have released guidelines on artificial sweetener consumption in pregnancy.

SplendaFDA has approved the consumption of Splenda in pregnancy. Splenda starts as sugar and is then processed into a form that the body can not absorb. Sucralose leaves less of that artificial sugar after taste making it a popular choice.
Sweet’N LowFDA has approved the consumption of Sweet’N Low in pregnancy, but advise women to limit thier consumption in pregnancy.
Equal/ NutrasweetFDA has approved Equal/Nurtrasweet in pregnancy, but advise women to limit their consumption in pregnancy.
XylitolApproved for consumption in pregnancy in moderate amounts. Xylitol is a sugar that is derrived from plants.
SteviaNot yet approved by FDA. Stevia is a natural sweetener derived by a shrub but because it’s so new to the market research has not yet proved it’s safety in pregnancy
SunnetteFDA has approved the consumption of Sunnette in pregnancy. Sunnette is 200 times the sweetness of sugar, but FDA advises women limit their intake during pregnancy
SorbitolFDA has approved the consumption of Sorbitol in pregnancy, but approach with caution and limit your intake because too much will lead to a laxative effect and weight gain. There are more calories in Sorbitol than other sweeteners.
MannitolFDA has approved the consumption of Mannitol in pregnancy, but limit your intakje because Mannitol can cause stomach upsets


pregnant in fridgeDiffering opinions

Despite FDA approving all but one of these sweeteners in pregnancy many people still question their suitability in pregnancy.

Some people argue that sweeteners tricks your body into believing you are consuming sugar therefore releasing insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin is known as your "storage" hormone releasing extra insulin into your system could lead to excess storage of fat and can drop your blood sugars.

Some individuals prefer not to put anything unnatural or artificial into their bodies during pregnancy at all and prefer the real thing.

Others are not convinced with the safety of artificial sweeteners because of the contradicting research over the safety, side affects and adverse affects of sweeteners.

Others question the credibility of the FDA, some foods which have initially been approved have then been retracted and the status of the food safety been advised otherwise.

The ultimate decision is up to you if you choose to consume artificial sweeteners during pregnancy!

White sugar substitutes other than artificial sweeteners:

  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Raw sugar
  • Palm sugar
  • Honey
  • Dried fruits
  • Fruit

These food will help sweeten your foods naturally but remember that these foods do contain high concentration of calories, high GI and high carbohydrate levels so consume in moderation. Moderation is the key to a balanced diet.

Our Registered Midwife and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own customised Pregnancy Program  safely customised to how many weeks pregnant; any pregnancy related complications or discomforts you may be experiencing; degree of stomach muscle separation; pelvic floor weakness, previous pregnancy history and more....Your program comes with your very own personal nutritional guide.


Sunday, February 8th, 2015

scales- stepping onto scales, feet view copyIf your goal is weight gain, I'm going to be honest and say that gaining weight will be
confronting and a battling mind game that your going to have to make peace with and learn to accept.... keep reminding yourself that you need to gain body fat to improve your fertility and regulate your reproductive hormones. Stick with the scales and record your weekly weight gains. Don't worry abut taking measurements, this only really relates to weight loss goals.

If you goal is weight loss, it’s easy to become disheartened and frustrated when you're training hard and eating well but the scales aren’t budging! But scales can be misleading if you are losing fat and gaining muscle, so a more accurate way to track your weight loss progress is by taking your body measurements. Many times you’ll find the scales aren’t moving but your body measurements are shrinking. To maintain accurate readings take your measurements at the same place under the same conditions. Follow these tips to help you obtain accurate readings:

Clothing. Wear tight fitting clothing that won't affect your measurements or measure wearing nothing at all and remember to take off your bra before you take your breast measurements.

Measuring tape. Use a soft cloth or flexible plastic measuring tape, if you don’t have a measuring tape use a piece of string and measure the string against a ruler. Keep the tape measure level with the ground and in line with the appropriate body part.

Posture. Stand up straight, relax and breathe normally, don’t suck in your stomach or hold your breath when you are taking your measurements.

Body Measurements

Step 1: Upper arm. Wrap the measuring tape around the thickest part of your upper arm, usually around the bicep.

Step 2: Bust. Wrap the measuring tape around your chest at nipple line.

Step 3: Chest. Wrap the measuring tape around your chest just under your breasts.

Step 4: Natural waistline. Find your natural waist line, which is the narrowest part of your waist usually about 1 inch above your belly button. Relax and breathe normally, do not breath in!

Step 5: Larger waistline. Take a second measurement 1 inch below your belly button. This is where weight is usually gained first.

Step 6: Hip. Wrap the measuring tape around your butt/hips at the widest point

Step 7: Upper thigh. Wrap the measuring tape around the widest point of your upper thigh which is usually about half way.

Calves. Wrap the measuring tape around the widest point of your calf which is usually about ¾ of the way up from the ankle.

Step 8: Take your weight.

Take your measurements every four weeks and compare back to your original pre start measurements. This is a great way to keep you focused and motivated to continue working towards your weight loss goals.


Sunday, January 18th, 2015

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Believe in Yourself

Believing you can achieve something can be the difference between success and failure. If you believe in yourself and believe that you can achieve your goals then you are setting yourself up for success.  Your mind is one of the most powerful possessions you own and you can achieve anything when you believe in yourself so keep telling yourself that you WILL succeed you WILL reach your goals, dig deep and find the belief inside of you.



Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 5.13.24 PMThink Positive

Look where your life is right now. You have no doubt made choices and decisions along the way that have led you to unhealthy lifestyle choices. There would have been times when you have spoken down to yourself, felt degraded and possibly been embarrassed by yourself. Thinking and speaking negatively will only make things worse. LOSE THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS! Start thinking and speaking positive words out loud and surround yourself with positivity. Remove yourself from negative friends and family, hanging around people who are negative will bring you down. This is about your transformation and thinking POSITIVELY. Use positive affirmations such as “I will do this”, “I will reach my goal weight” instead of “I can become healthy” and “I can reach my goal weight”. You need to take control and tell yourself that you will achieve your goals and you will become a better version of yourself. Write down a list of your positive affirmations to help you achieve your goals. Stick these next to your goal list and read them each day.

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 5.34.40 PMExcuses

Excuses, excuses, excuses! The truth is, we are all very busy these days for many different reasons. Your story is probably very similar to other women who wish to lose weight and get fit and healthy for pregnancy. Unfortunately though, the one thing that tends to be put to one side is our health. We don’t eat right because it takes time to prepare so we grab things on the go because it is easier. We don’t have time to get to the gym or go for a run because we have other commitments that supposedly need to come first. We are living in countries where the numbers of women (and men!) who are overweight or obese  is high, far too high, this puts a huge strain on the female reproductive cycle and ability to conceive. Many women are struggling to become pregnant and are diagnosed with pregnancy health problems that are simply due to carrying excess weight and making poor lifestyle choices which can be prevented by weight loss, exercise and eating healthy. This is your time to kick those old lifestyle habits and work on becoming a new and improved healthier you to help you conceive easier, experience a healthy pregnancy and straightforward labour.

Some women may feel embarrassed and self conscious about the way they look which often comes hand in hand with feeling down, lacking energy or motivation and prevents us from living life to the full which is a vicious circle to try and dig yourself out of. We’re not the only ones who are suffering, others around us are also feeling our pain and struggles. Simple things like trying to keep up with friends and family can become a struggle.

The only person that can make the change happen is YOU. You are in control of all your decisions in life. To transform into a healthier version of yourself ready for pregnancy, you need to tell yourself that you do have the time to workout and you do have the time to eat clean and healthy. Everyday tell yourself  that no matter what gets in your way, you will eat clean and healthy and you will get your workout in. There may be days/weeks when you simply cannot exercise for whatever reason, we all have times when things don’t go to plan but try and get back on track as soon as possible, refocus on your goals and reset you mind before you continue with your program. Even if you only have 30 minutes to train, take full advantage of every minute available to you and do the best you can, 30 minutes is better than nothing at all.  Healthy lifestyle choices can boost and improve your fertility, your ability to conceive more easily and the overall health of your pregnancy.

Discreetly fit

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Effect of Pregnancy on your pelvic floor muscles

incontinenece copy 2

During pregnancy your pelvic floor area is placed under stress which weakens your pelvic floor muscles and the surrounding support muscles and ligaments. The pressure exerted by  your growing belly as well as the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which is produced to help stretch and relax your pelvis for childbirth contribute to the weakening of your pelvic floor muscles. So, you need to focus on engaging and strengthening your pelvic floor regularly to help prevent continence problems and problems down below after your delivery. Studies suggest that pelvic floor exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which gives you more strength and control to push in labour. You may already be experiencing some degree of urinary incontinence, but don’t worry, you're not alone! Working on your pelvic floor muscles will help strengthen these muscles. In most cases incontinence can be totally reversed after you deliver baby.

Finding your pelvic floor muscles

Engaging your pelvic floor- Tighten the muscles that you would use to stop the flow of urine, feel your pelvic floor muscles lift and engage. Engaging your pelvic floor muscles also switches on your trans abdominal muscles.


Once you have found your pelvic floor muscle you can perform pelvic floor exercises randomly throughout the day and people won’t even know you are doing them! You can do them standing, sitting, lying…….Start with 10 repetitions and hold them for 2-3 seconds. As your pelvic muscles strengthen hold the squeeze for up to 5-10 seconds, challenge yourself further each time.

Our Registered Midwife, Clinical Nurse and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own 12 week exercise program and nutritional program customised to your pre pregnancy, pregnancy or post pregnancy needs .... Check out our programs here