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I just had a baby at the end of October and am looking for a studio in the
Berkeley/Oakland area to do Pilates in. Have never done Pilates but am trying to
get back in shape. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Your post specifies Berkeley/Oakland but if you are willing to drive a little further I can recommend a
wonderful Pilates instructor Richmond N&E. Lilianne Younes has a fully equipped Pilates studio and is a
wonderful instructor--encouraging yet exacting. I had a baby in April that left me with a severe case of
diastasis recti, which 10 sessions with Lilianne took care of. She is incredibly knowledgeable and will work
with you to modify all exercises so that you can progress both efficiently and safely. You can reach her at
My friend Anne just bought the studio Optimum Pilates on Piedmont. She herself has a two-year old
so knows all about reviving a post-birth body!
I would recommend checking out Fitwise Pilates in El Cerrito. The instructors are very good and the
equipment is great. Classes are always small (8 people or less) and I get a fun/challenging/never
dull workout that goes by very quickly.
Looking forward to my weekly Pilates class
Congratulations on your baby! The studio I go to sounds perfect for you. It is very kid/mom friendly. It is
Bayside Pilates in Piedmont (www.baysidepilates.com). They offer the 'standard' private, duet, and small
mat classes but what I love and recommend is the 'communal' workout. The communal combines directed
teaching with independent/supervised practice, so I'm able to work at my own pace. If I need to stop and
nurse or whatever, I totally can! Babies are very welcome. The owner, Faye, has a young son so she has
lots of nice wooden toys and a safe play space for the kids. My daughter and I have been going 4-5 times
a week for the past year and I feel such a difference in my body. They have morning and afternoon
workouts, so if we miss one then we go to the other. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.
I recommend postnatal Pilates with Niki at Pilates 2 the people on shattuck and Dwight in Berkeley.
I took the class every week from when my daughter was 6 weeks to 6 months old and it did wonders
for my abs!
New mom too
I have more than one recommendation for you:
Piedmont Ave: http://www.optimumpilates.com/index.html--Caitlyn, Ann
Again, I must recommend Karen Casino (karencasino.com). She offers a pilates
workout for new mothers. She works your core and helps you get your pelvic
floor back to its pre-pregnancy state (or better, depending on where you
started). I had an ab separation (diastasis recti), which was no surprise after
twins, but I was surprised how Karen's exercises were able to close the gap so
quickly. I read horror stories on the internet about moms doing crunches and
making their diastasis recti problems worse, so I was set on doing it all the
right way. Turns out it's about working your tranverse abs to help the rectus
abdominus back together. The class is an hour and a half long and she has an
amazing babysitter for moms at the same time included in the price. The cost of
the class is less than you'd pay for a babysitter for the hour and a half! The
end of class is dedicated to baby massage, which is so much more fun than I
expected. Doing baby massage was the first time I elicited real smiles from one
of my twins at 6 weeks old!
Viva Pilates is exactly what you are looking for. It's right on the Berkeley/Oakland
border, and Kristen is amazing. I had done mat-based pilates previously but never on
the machines (which, frankly, always seemed kind of intimidating) and post-baby, I
wanted to get back in shape but there was no way I was going to try in a ''public''
Kristen has worked with many new moms before--she knows how to work within my
limitations post-C-section, but at the same time helps me get the most out of each
exercise so I can build strength faster. I recommend booking a series of private
classes (it's cheaper, and it really makes a difference having someone with you every
step of the way.)
The website is: http://vivapilatesoakland.com/
stronger, leaner mama
Alissa Gibbins Pilates is the way to go! I went to Alissa for help with the aches and pains
associated with the third trimester of pregnancy, and was SO happy I did. She really
understands the body and tailored our private sessions to both my needs and skill level. Her
guidance helped me work through my discomfort while giving me tools to further strengthen myself
at home. Most importantly, she was patient and kept me happy and feeling good about myself
throughout our training periods. She's truly a wonderful teacher! Here's her website:
www.alissagibbins.org. Laura A.
How soon after giving birth do women start exercising again? I'm
nursing my 3 month old and between that and the lack of sleep I'm
wondering when I will have the energy to start exercising again. The
baby hasn't really gotten on any sort of schedule so short naps and
the 3am feeding leave me a bit tired. I see moms with 8 week old
babies doing ''baby boot camp'' or running with their tiny babies in
their jogging strollers. I just don't understand how they have the
energy for that and taking care of a little baby who is up at night. I
definitely feel that I need some ''movement'' for my body--I've always
been active and even though I'm slowing losing weight, this belly
isn't going to go away on its own. Plus, with the nursing I feel
hungry ALL the time and can't seem to shed these 8 lbs. I try to not
over indulge with food but if I cut back my calories I just end up
exhausted. So far all I can do is walk with my baby (stroller or the
bjorn). I've been thinking about getting into running again, but I
just think I will get run-down and sick right now. If I don't get
enough sleep my immune system gets weak. I think the nursing just
exhausts me, but I don't want to give it up for at least another 3
months. When do most women start to exercise again? And can it be done
while nursing too?
--Running on empty
Oh, honey. I remember that wrung-out, totally exhausted feeling
of having a new baby. Good for you to even think about exercise.
Although it seems counterintuitive, exercise gives you more
energy to deal with the baby, not less. What worked for me was
to go on long hikes in the hills with the baby in a Baby Bjorn,
or later when he was bigger, a backpack. It had the added
benefit of calming the baby, and since I didn't have child care,
it was my only option. I would also swim on the weekends. Do
what you enjoy, get back into it slowly, and you will feel better.
For your abdominal wall, you should start with specialized
postpartum exercises that recondition the Transverse Abdominis
first. This is key for both flattening the abdomen and developing
core strength and stability.
Eight pounds over your pre-pregnancy weight at 3 months pp, is
really good. Remember, you're operating a milk factory, so are
carrying more fluids than before. Most likely, you have less than
4 pounds of additional stored fat, which in the big picture, is
also really great.
The postpartum body is more cylindrical than before pregnancy.
Not only are the abdominal muscles weaker, but they are also
longer, a condition called laxity. The rib cage is still expanded
too. But these conditions are easily corrected with proper post
natal reconditioning exercises.
I don't recommend running at this point, as your ligaments, which
hold joints in proper alignment, are still lax and do not provide
adequate stability for high impact/high intensity/high volume
Try to walk briskly, with your baby in a stroller or a front-pack
for a minimum of 40 minutes every day, or at the very least, on
most days of the week During the first 20 minutes aerobic
exercise our bodies primarily use carbohydrates (stored as
glycogen) as fuel. Think of this as your body's snack food, ready
to be consumed. It's only when this source of energy is depleted
do our bodies "go into the pantry" and start burning a
significant proportion of fat as fuel. So when you exercise for
40 minutes, about half the calories will be from carbohydrates
and half will be from fat. Burning fat as fuel is crucial for
permanent weight loss and long-term healthy weight management.
Regular exercise will increase your energy levels and brighten
A couple of points: Walk, don't run until you feel up to it - just get
and fresh air to keep yourself sane, and it will make you feel better
You can nurse and run with no problems. I've run a marathon while
nursing and the
only problem was that my baby didn't much like sweaty nipples. Some say
acid affects the taste of the milk, but my babies didn't seem to mind;
While you are nursing your body will store fat (I think it's the
estrogen) - I didn't
lose my mommy tummy until I had weaned and then the last 5-10 pounds
with no effort;
If you must run, invest in a good running bra.
mommy on the run
I have two different experiences to relate about exercise
post-partum, one from my first baby and one from my second.
After my first baby, I was completely exhausted, but being a
person who jogged before, I felt like I needed to just out get
out and get my body back as soon as possible. I had a friend
who, with a certain lack of sensitivity, cheerily told me that
she was back to running after 6 weeks. So, at about 8 weeks, I
pulled on the old jogging bra, and set out. It was horrible. My
breasts were so huge and heavy, that after just that one run, my
bra straps had rubbed all the skin off my shoulders. I tried a
couple more times, but it was just not pleasant. Afterward, I
felt that maybe I had actually hindered the healing in my pelvic
area (all the ligaments holding things up) by going running too
soon. So, post-second baby, I joined the YMCA. At about 7 wks, I
went, put my baby in Childwatch, grabbed one of those Hollywood
rag magazines,and got on one of those low impact machines,
starting really slow and for only about 20 minutes. Gradually,
over time, I increased the time, speed, resistance, etc. This
was SO MUCH BETTER for me than trying to just dive back in to
running. Low impact was key for me; this allowed me to get
exercise without bouncing everything. Your body is healing for a
LONG TIME after giving birth. It is true that getting exercise
will actually give you more energy, but that was true for me only
with my second baby, when I did it right. With my first, I tried
too early and too much, and I think it just made me more of a
Big Fan of the YMCA
I'm looking for a good Pilates instructor in the Berkeley/Albany
area. I need someone who's knowledgeable about postpartum issues
(abdominal muscle separation, etc.). Any good classes out there?
How are the instructors at the Berkeley Y?
Hoping to get back into shape
ProBalance in Alameda is the Pilates studio you are looking for.
Suzanne Koval specializes in pre and postnatal Pilates and is very
aware of the do's and don'ts of postpartum exercise. The number to
the studio is 510-523-1900.
You can check out her bio at
Caitlin Smith is an excellent teacher for both pre and post partum
fitness. She is also a doula, so I would think that would make her
way more knowledgeable on the pre and postpartum topic than most
teachers. I have been very happy with her and really appreciate
that she gives an energetic workout. I have made great progress
with her.I think she has a physical therapy background as well.
Her phone number is 385-4433. He email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking for recommendations for Post-Partum yoga (or exercise
classes in general). The archives have a few but they are a number of
years old. Flexibility with the new baby is a must! I am interested in
people's experiences good and bad. If dad can come too that would be great
but not a deal breaker.
Hi, Congratulations on your new baby! There will be a
parent-and-baby yoga class at Yoga Mandela beginning in October,
led by Uma. I'm taking her amazing pre-natal yoga class right now,
so I know the post-natal will also be wonderful. Class will be
Mondays beginning October 6, 3-4:30pm. www.yogamandalastudio.com.
Also, there is a parent-baby class at Yogalayem on Fridays,
For the most actual exercise I would recommend Melanie at the
Berkeley Yoga Center.
There are Moms Only and Mom & Baby classes in Alameda. The studio
is on Park St. in Alameda and the classes are $25.00-$35.00. Check
out http://www.partummemom.com for details. Pilates based exercise
are amazing for new Moms and these classes are focused on the
specific needs of the postpartum body with all of the do's and
don'ts discussed. A must do class for women looking to get back
their body after baby! 510-523-1900 Fit Momma
Exercising with your baby is a great idea! You will find you have
more energy and getting out of the house is always good. I've been
working out with some mama friends who are personal trainers and
they are opening up their workouts to other mothers starting this
weekend. Check out their website at
http://www.workingoutwithbaby.com/ I was hesitant to do a
stroller-type class at first (I carry my baby in an Ergo
everywhere), but it's worked out better than I expected-- my little
guy loves to look out and he can nod off whenever he wants. I love
the Mountain View Cemetery (Piedmont Ave. dead ends into it)-- it's
a beautiful and peaceful place to go for a stroll anytime, but I
find that getting out the door to be at a class at 9:30 starts my
day off right. Joaquin Miller Park is also an amazing place to work
out in. If indoor classes are more your style, I've heard good
things about the Dailey Method, which offers childcare
(thedaileymethod.com) I tried some of the post-natal y!
oga classes, but they weren't giving me as good of a workout as I
wanted. Good luck finding something that works for you and your
I'm about a month postpartum with baby #3. I was on bedrest for
the last 4 months of pregnancy so have done almost no exercise in
5 months. I want to start exercising again, but what kind? I
still have sciatica so walking is extremely painful after about
10 minutes. I've gained so much weight I don't want to appear in
public in a bathing suit. Suggestions about a class I can take
or things I can do on my own?
Watch out for the ''sciatica'' After the birth of my first, I
thought I had sciatica and let it go for four months until the
pain was unbearable. Found out that I had slipped a disk during
delivery, and because I let it go for so long had to have
corrective surgery. As for getting back into shape, cut out
meals after six and start walking at least a half an hour a
day. I dropped twenty pounds in three months doing this. Doc's
orders, as the extra wieght and carrying around the baby and
all his stuff was hard on my back. Good Luck....
This is so not the answer you want, but PUT ON THAT BATHING SUIT.
I am probably one of those annoying, reasonably thin people who
you don't want to hang out with in a swim suit...but trust me, I
couldn't care less what you look like in a swim suit and I
applaud your efforts. Your goals are the same as mine -- get
fit, get healthy. Go for it and ignore the 17-year-olds in
string bikinis. None of us are ever going to look like that
again. With wisdom comes ugly tummies and really sweet little
Biking, biking and biking. Besides swimming, biking is the best
available to people due to the low impact of the sport. When I had
biking around was about the only way I could get around. With the
and in combination with the appropriate fit, biking is quite
Berkeley has a
network of bike friendly streets. You can get in contact with the
Coalition or Bicycle Friendly Berkeley Coalition for more
about safe cycling.
You might take a look at the Power 90 in-home boot camp dvd
the related website... beachbody.com. The guy who does the video
front man) is a
sort of present-day Jack Lalane. Some of his dialogue is kind of
but it is fun.
He focuses on form and consistency. There are alternatives for
exercises are too difficult at first. You can also see reviews of
dvd program and
purchase it from amazon.
Congrats on #3 after bedrest, that is rigorous to endure.
You may like to look into some help for your sciatica. Back
bending stretches have helped mine. You have to avoid twisting,
bending over too much, and do exercises like the yoga ''bridge''
''reset'' the spine. Take a post-partum yoga class or two and buy
yourself a DVD you will use (try some from the library, too). Go
out to Lk. Temescal and walk to the path, Redwood is good, too. I
find getting out in nature to a place with some hills is better
mentally than just walking the neighborhood. Good luck!
I went to Karen Casino's class ''The New Mother's Workout'' and it
It's pretty gentle, and focuses on strengthening core muscles and
restoring all of the
various parts that are impacted by pregnancy, childbirth, and new
the mis-alignment that can happen from all of that baby holding.
not a calorie-
burning workout and not focused on weight management, but will
strengthen core muscles, feel like a million bucks and ease all of
pains so that you can go on to do something else such as walking.
knowledgeable about what your body is going through, and will help
sciatica too. You are encouraged to bring your infant with you to
class. It's a
small class with individualized attention and friendly new moms
much all in the same boat and trying to lose the baby weight.
Hi, I gained a ton of weight over the last 10 years, about 50
pounds, and about eight months ago got sick of being fat. I
hired a personal trainer and have done circuit training since
that time, have lost 30 pounds (gaining about 15 pounds in
muscle) and feel better than I have ever felt -- EVER -- and I'm
46 years old, not 20 anymore. I've done weight training in the
past, cardio, etcetera. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING has done
what circuit training has done to get my entire system back to
where I want it to be. One of the nice things about circuit
training is that once you get down a good repertoire of
exercises, you don't need a gym; you can do them anywhere, you
don't necessarily need weights as you can use your own body
weight as resistance.
When I first started this regimen, I also completely renovated
my diet; no refined wheat, sugar... nothing that is processed or
otherwise ''unnatural''. I eat simply, but well. A lot of veggies,
meats (of all kinds), beans, and hearty, whole grains.
Eliminating the refined starches and sugars helped me lose 30
pounds easily and without any discomfort. It's a bit of an
adjustment for a few weeks, but you get used to it. That, with
the exercise (two to three times per week) and I continue to
lose weight, am in tremendously good shape, and feel better in
all ways. If you can't afford a trainer, please do get some
books from the library. Try the Abs Diet book for starters --
the dietary tips at least are well worth the cost of the book --
and the exercises they recommend are stellar.
Poor baby. 4 mos on bedrest! Now, I wish you werent shy about
being in a bathing suit, as that would be a great start to
getting some exercise. But even before that I would say
stretching! I know it sounds wimpy, especially if you've been an
exerciser before, but after 5 mos off and 4 on rest you would
really benefit from some serious, routine stretching. I would
also do ab/core exercises, but not crunches! Have you heard of
the poorly titled Lose Your Mummy Tummy by Julie Tupler? A very
good explanation of what to do (and not do) and why. Many of the
standard ab exercises are innapropriate, especially after
pregnancy! (lots of ! in this post - lol). You can get a good
solid foundation of flexibility and core stability/strength while
you shed the weight just as a matter of not being pregnant
anymore (and if your nursing, even better). Then, once you're
feeling limber and stable you can/should start swimming and/or
yoga and/or power walking. Then after doing the stretching, core
, and light exercise you can add light weights and more intense
Please do not judge yourself in a bathing suit. No one else is!
I look at moms and always think WTG!, not ''what a cow'',
for me (I had my third 9 mos ago) who I AM critical of :( We
have to stop that!
If you want more details or ideas, you can contact me
It's possible that your pain is related to postpartum pelvic
instability. Normally the joints of your pelvis, your sacroiliac
and pubis, have no movement. But in some women, the hormones of
pregnancy will over stretch pelvic ligaments and allow for too
much movement, which causes pain.
As to exercise, start with postpartum core stabilization
exercises. For more detail about these types of exercises go to:
Then after you've built up a strong base, consider joining a
stroller based new mom fitness class, or starting a fitness
walking program. If you have access to a pool, and like swimming,
you could try that too. Swimming will help your back, but it is
not effective for weight loss.
Make sure that you use good body mechanics when lifting and
carrying your baby, groceries, and stand, sit and breastfeed with
good posture etc., so that you do not further stress your pelvis
I totally understand, it can be so hard to get back in shape after
baby. The first thing
I recommend is seeing a chiropractor, because an adjustment might
sciatica. I recommend Dr. Kevin Wong in Orinda, I think he's
that's feeling a little better, walking is your best bet to get
Once that's a little
easier, I would start going to Baby Boot Camp. Their website is
www.babybootcamp.com, and you can find a class in your area. I
baby, and I lost all my pregnancy weight and then some. You bring
baby with you
in a stroller and it's free to bring your spouse. Try it! I hope
Hi! And congrats on your third beautiful baby! I can truly
identify with you, I have three and was on bed rest with my third
after slipping a disc in my lower back, with resulting sciatica
among other things, not to mention preterm and all that. My first
thought is that I wonder why you are so concerned with your
weight so early? I understand the idea of feeling uncomfortable
with extra pounds, but I would really hope and advice that you
think about why those pounds are there, just part of the many
sacrifices we make for our kids, letting go of our bodies for
awhile. I think if you can let go of a negative impression of
yourself, that's more than half the battle! Perhaps you can look
at all those new pounds as lovely curves, desirable in many other
cultures that don't celebrate eating disorders, like ours does?
Either way, I'd also advice the simple steps of getting up every
single day and showering when possible, anyone can find two
minutes to wash your wash and brush your teeth and hair. Instant
energy boost. If walking hurts, perhaps you have something worse
than sciatica, but get down there on your floor and do some
stretches. Yoga, even light. Get massages, pamper yourself while
your partner is there. Boost your confidence and the rest will
come. Obviously eating right will do wonders, perhaps you can
afford a gym? Kaiser offers ( i think free) baby and mother yoga
classes, if you have help for the others. And treat that sciatica
, because as long as you keep active, playgrounds and such,
running after three kids should be about all you need!! Good
Congratulations on your baby!
I saw that you have sciatica which can be related to pelvic floor
issues. Many other issues also go hand in hand with pelvic floor
problems. I saw the recommendation for core exercises and wanted
to caution you before you begin these type of exercises. It is
common for women with pelvic floor issues to also have diastasis
recti (the separation of the recti abdominal muscles). I just
found out that it carries over postpartum and core exercises will
continue to make it worse. Remember how you were told not to do
crunches, etc while pregnant? I had been doing pilates and other
core strengthening but was feeling worse from the exercise. I
went to see a physical therapist who is helping with 4 years of
SI joint problems, pubic bone problems, sciatica, etc all related
to pregnancy and pelvic floor issues. I had no idea about the
connection and that my pelvic floor was in fact unstable.
Here's a description of diastatis recti - it includes info on how
you can test yourself for it (warning - it can be a little gross
to feel the separation).
Here's also the website for my physical therapist. I not
necessarily recommending them but they have articles and such on
So my advice - and I'm not a doctor - is test yourself for
diastatis or find someone who can - the right treatment, exercise
can help with this and possibly your sciatica.
I am looking for recommendations for a postpartum exercise for Mom and
Baby in either Berkeley, Albany, or El Cerrito. I was also wondering if
anyone had tried ''baby boot camp'' at cesar chavez park in berkeley? Do
you need a jogging stroller for this course or will any stroller do?
Thanks in advance
Yogalayam offers post-natal yoga classes for parent and baby. The place is
small and low-key. The instructor is not some hot young thing but an older
woman who has been teaching yoga for 30 years or so. It's not some new
trendy yoga place which is nice. The classes are offered on Tues. and Fri.
from 10a-12p and cost 4. It's located at 1717 Alcatraz Ave. (near Adeline)
in Berkeley http://www.yogalayam.org/classes.html
I am attending New Mother's Workout with Karen Casino. It's a series of
10 classes to strengthen all the muscles that have weakened and loosened
during pregnancy and birth: abdominals, back, glutes,
perineum, etc etc. Karen is an attentive and fun instructor, the classes
are small (only 4 people or so), and she has a babysitter to watch the
kids! It's wonderful. There are also stretches and self massage with
various props, dancing with baby and baby massage. Her studio is lovely,
set in the midst of
her beautiful garden (this is at Derby and Sacramento
in Berkeley). Her website says more about her work:
www.karencasino.com. I definitely feel my body
changing after the class, plus it's great to be with
other moms and babies.
Maybe I'll see you there!
I am coming up to the due date of my 3rd (and final) baby in 3
1/2 years and I am thinking ahead to a time where I feel like my
body is my own again. Because we were so focussed on having our
kids close together, I didn't worry too much about losing
pregnancy weight inbetween pregnancies. I feel ready to get back
into shape and get to a lower weight than I was after #1 and #2.
I have heard that weight watchers is good for nursing moms and I
will probably do that. I am wondering if anyone has other
recommendations for weight loss programs or for a good personal
trainer or exercise program .... someone who would be sensitive
to the fact that I will be nursing and that my body will be post
partum while still helping me move ahead. Thanks!
I'm in an identical situation except 8 months later. Just nursing
and eating as I pleased was enough to get the weight off for me.
My waist has been shrinking constantly, I keep needing new pants,
and about 6 or 7 months my arm and leg fat started fading away.
My advice is don't do any special diet until 6 or 12 months. that
way you see what your body doe son it's own and you don't put
your milk supply at risk.
3 under 4
Hi - I had my 2 kids 19 mos apart & never really lost the
weight from my 1st before getting preggers with #2. After 2nd,
I found my weight topping over 210 lbs at 5'8''! (Prior to
having kids, I hovered around 140 lbs, but I was never in
really great shape eventho I hike/mt bike.) Here's what I did
after giving birth to #2: Nothing for the first 4 months!
Just nursed & carried the baby around in a sling, then a
backpack & ran after my toddler. I lost like 20+ lbs just doing
that. Then I joined Curves. It was perfect for me as I didn't
have much time/$ to invest in working out & I could be flexible
about when I worked out. Plus, I was in bad shape & could work
at my own pace. (As I got stronger I simply increased the
intensity so that I continued to get a great 30 min workout).
Shortly before I stopped nursing at one yr, I began to really
watch what I ate & tried to eat more sensibly (low fat/salt,
high fiber/fruits/veggies/lean meats..) & religiously kept
track of everything I ate at: fitday.com. (THIS IS KEY! I
weighed & measured everything. One can easily get fooled on
portion/serving size. This assured me that I was, in fact,
eating the amount of calories appropriate to lose weight
responsibly.) 18 mos after giving birth to #2, I was in the
best shape of my life, weighing in at 145 lbs, but with much
less fat than pre-kids so I felt really trim. After 2.5 years,
I still feel great & I still go to Curves (as it is my best ME
time) & when I feel the weight is creeping up (such as around
the holidays), I head back to fitday.com. So that was/is my
strategy. Hope it helps.
In shape Mommy of 2.
I've also heard that WW is good for nursing moms. But whatever
you do, exercise is always an important factor as well. For
that I recommend Stroller Strides (www.strollerstrides.com).
Mainly because you have your infant with you while you are in
class. It's for moms with their babies in strollers - outdoors
in various locations around the Bay Area. It includes walking
and strength training and a bit of aerobics. It's a great way
to get in shape, be with other Moms and instructors who are
trained and understanding of your ''mommie'' status.
It's really fun!
Stroller Strides Momma
I can't say enough about Weight Watchers - it helped me lose 50
pounds, and I've kept it off two years. Go to the meetings, go
every week - you'll lose. HOWEVER - I think for me the key part
is exercise, both for losing and maintaining. I can manage
everything if I am exercising, regularly. And on that note - I
can't say enough about the ICE CHAMBER. I started going there
two months ago, after reading great reviews on BPN, and it's been
the best thing I've done in a long time! You can take classes -
the morning boot camp are really fun, hard, and go by fast - and
you can get personal training. It has both a hard core athletic
edge (you get to do REAL stuff) but also a very welcoming, open,
accepting vibe - there are people of ALL shapes, ages, abilities
in the classes. The couple who runs it are awesome (Maya just
had a baby! She's an incredible athlete) - and the trainers are
also incredible - several are moms, several didn't get into
exercise until after babies/later in life. They push you,
encourage you, and wow - in two months my body has become so much
stronger and fitter than it has ever been. They combine cardio,
strength training, flexibility, core strength - it's amazing what
happens in 45 minutes! Check out their website. It's in Albany,
I drive all teh way from Oakland because it's so worth it.
WW and Ice Chamber fan
I highly recommend taking a body sculpting/toning/weight
lifting/strength training class. I have had great results--
some weight loss, definite loss of inches/clothing size, higher
metabolism, more strength. I have always been a regular cardio
exerciser, before, during, and after pregnancy, but never saw
the results that I've seen by adding weight training into the
Courtney Zaleski is a great weight loss coach. As you are
concerned about being a nursing mom, you might like to know
that she is also a nursing mom. She knows all about the loss
of body ''ownership'' and the weight issues of pregnancy. I
think she would be perfect for you. Her phone number is (510)
I am interested in info on a postpartum exercise program. I
looked in the archives, and there is limited information. Has
anyone taken Helen Byrnes' class in Montclair? What did you
think? What about Karen Casino's class? Any others that are
good? I am trying to decide if it is worth the money to do one
of these classes, or if I should get a book/video and do it
I have taken Helen Byrnes' postpartum excerise class and thought
it was great! I highly recommend it. She's an excellent
instructor and gives you the individual attention you need in
order to do the exercises correctly. I think it would be pretty
hard to just use a video unless you had already taken this
class. Good luck!
I would definitely recommend Helene Byrne's exercise class. Give the
craziness of the first 6? months postpartum, it was really good for me to
get out of the house twice a week and do some exercise. Helene was very
supportive, knowledgeable, and energetic. I always thought that I would do
exercise on the days that I didn't go to her class, but almost never
did. I'm sure there are some good videos out there, but I would have had
a hard time getting it together to follow them. Being able to bring the
baby to class is also incredibly helpful, but I did find that I was
distracted having my son there. Nonetheless, I found all the pilates based
exercises and stretches really helpful.
Am looking for reccomdations on a good postpartum exercise class. I
looked into the Berkeley YMCA but you have to become a member for $235
and pay a $57 montly in order to take their classes. I'd like to take a
few classes w/o having to make a big investment. Thanks!
a twin Mom
I can highly recommend Marie Morel-Seytoux's postpartum exercise class. She
is a great instructor with a class that's as fun for babies as it is for
moms (an improvement on the classes at the Berkeley Y as there the babies
just hang out on the sidelines). Marie's class starts with the babies in
front packs and the warm-up is to kid-friendly music. The babies really
enjoy looking at each other (if they're big enough to be facing forward) and
moving to the music. There's a low impact cardio segment and some strength
training, then some floor work with the babies. Marie stresses that
everyone should work at their own pace, which makes the class very
comfortable and un-intimidating. And the stretching at the end of the
class feels great. She's got a new series of classes starting on March
14th at the Hilltop Y and the price is very reasonable, even for
non-members. Here is her website with more info on the class:
To the person looking for a postpartum exercise class-- Lakeridge Athletic
Club, on San Pablo Dam road, will be offering a new class : A mom and baby
excercise where you can wear your baby and get an aerobics workout. This
class is also for prenatal moms as well-- when necessary the moves will be
modified to be safe and effective for pregnant women. An excerpt from the
instructor's description: A postpartum exercise class offers exercises
focusing on the specific physical needs of a new mother, such as pelvic
floor and abdominal muscle restoration. In addition to the physical
benefits, a Mom and Baby class provides stimulation for the baby, stress
release for mom, a built-in support group via the other moms in the class,
and promotes mom and baby bonding. Best of all, the hassles of arranging
and the concern of using childcare for a newborn are eliminated.'' Classes
are $10 each or 6 for $50. Childcare for an older child is also available
for an additional fee. Classes will start April 2nd (tues 1:30-2:30). For
more information, call Lakeridge
: 510-222-2500 and ask for me, or check out the instructors website:
www.marieandron.com/maternalfitness. For more information on Lakeridge, or
the Pre/Postnatal excercise class, feel free email me directly, and I'd be
happy to give you more info.
Regarding post-natal exercise, the Karen mentioned on May 21 is Karen
Her number is 644-2066. Call her for class times and rates. I think her
classes are Tues and Fri. 11-12:30; 10 classes for $150-200, which includes
childcare during the class. Note that her classes focus on muscles affected
during pregnancy and childbirth, and there is no aerobic component. I like
them as an addition to my workout routine, but I need more than she offers
to get back in shape. The Y also offers some postnatal classes, and a woman
named Helene Byrne offers a series of post pregnancy classes at times; she
advertises widely in parent-oriented publications and at baby and maternity
-Elizabeth, June 1999
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