“Kegel exercise, also known as pelvic floor exercise, consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor, now sometimes colloquially referred to as the "Kegel muscles". The exercise can be performed multiple times each day, for several minutes at a time, for one to three months, to begin to have an effect.”
While pregnant, and into postpartum your health practitioner may recommend Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Although widely suggested, it is not recommended from a Yoga/Pilates Instructor perspective. Unless you have been to a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist to examine your pelvic floor, you may be doing more harm than good by doing Kegels.
Kegels will NOT benefit a hypertonic (too tight) pelvic floor. Doing Kegels under these circumstances will compound your pelvic floor problems. As an alternative to kegels for pelvic floor strengthening, we recommend the following:
Moving with mindfulness for overall healthy postpartum healing. Our posture and alignment have a profound effect on our overall health pre and post baby and beyond. Keeping our bodies in a neutral alignment, avoiding slumping down when we're sitting, as this causes pressure systems in the core and pelvic floor. Remembering to roll to our side when lying down or sitting up, are a few ways to avoid a weak core and pelvic floor muscles after having your baby.
To restore proper function in the core after having a baby we must reawaken the intrinsic muscles of the trunk. If these muscles are not working properly, this can inhibit the overall function of the core muscles. Possibly causing problems in the long run. (think wearing depends at 50!!)
Breathing properly also has an adverse effect on our healing and pelvic floor health. Our bodies need to be able to expand and contract properly for the amount of work the body takes on. Practicing this breathing technique throughout the day will assist your body in the healing process. Breathing through the rib cage- inhale wide and down - exhale lifting from the pelvic floor.
Another great way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles is squats. They are just about the best thing you can do postpartum. We want to remember to stay in neutral alignment. You challenge yourself by placing a small pilates ball in between your thighs to wake up the adductors. The femurs stay way back in the hips joints and we lengthen through the glutes. inhale - down - exhale up. you can also support your self-using the kitchen counter, or the back of a chair.
-Melissa & Maria
Unique reformer sessions that are exclusively designed for postpartum women to strengthen the muscles most affected by pregnancy. Return to your pre-pregnancy shape through inspired breathing and movement using the Pilates method. My approach is rooted in the classical teaching of Pilates, with a fun and magical modern twist, that allows you to improve posture, decrease stress while enhancing overall health and wellness so you can feel amazing in your body and live a more present life.
The Pilates method focuses on breath, concentration, control, centering, precision, balanced muscle development, whole body movement and relaxation.
1 session $40
5 sessions $175.00
10 sessions $340.00
Pilates Circuit Training
Pilates mat & reformer exercises
This class is perfect for those looking to connect the mind and body while creating elongated muscles , flexibility and coordination. Each class is customized to your specific needs and goals.
Pilates is an exercise system developed to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and improve overall health. My teachings are rooted in the Classical Pilates repertoire, with a modern twist. Breath, concentration, control, centering, precision and whole body movement are the core principles of Pilates. Integrating movement into a flowing whole body experience, connecting the mind, body and spirit to create a life balance.
Rebounding boots lymphatic drainage and immune function, it helps to create circulation and oxygen throughout the body to increase energy, improves muscles tone and strength, as well as helps to improve balance.
Foam Rolling is a wonderful way to provide the body with a self massage, the roller helps to smooth out and hydrate the fascia. This oxygenates the blood and improves circulation throughout the entire body, boosting lymphatic drainage and flushing out toxins from the body. The roller also helps to lubricate the joints, reduces inflammation in the body while increasing flexibility and range of motion. Foam rolling the skin and muscles helps the skin to look and feel more supple and youthful.
$45.00 per session
5 Circuit training sessions $200.00
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
**Medical clearance from your primary care provider is required before starting any postpartum fitness with Huron Birth.
I remember being pregnant in July. I can't say it was my favourite time to be pregnant. The heat, the swelling, the sweat, oh dear! I do have some fond memories none the less- the beach, the garden, and iced tea!
So our team has dreamed up a little self-care day for all the expecting mothers out there this July! Diana Lythia will lead a pre-natal yoga class, we will have mocktails, belly casting, painting, professional photos and a Dancing For Birth™ class taught by Amanda Yearley.
This event is open to all expecting women and is FREE!
Thursday, July, 5th, 6-9pm
We had so much fun this past Saturday at the Mamas & Makers event at the Huron County Museum! Not only did we have a lot of fun but we were also able to generate funds for our Maternal Outreach Fund! We wanted to give a big shoutout to everyone who helped make this an AWESOME event as well as share some pictures that Laurie took.
Special thanks to...
The Goderich Makers Market, Mercantile & Creative Space for helping us put together this event.
To the Hive of Bayfield for setting up the beautiful Photo Booth area.
Courtney Henry for her amazing face painting skills.
To Lynda from Themusicjamfactory.
A big thanks to Mike from The Trusted Tradesmen for his loose parts play set up!
To Jennifer Reaburn for her fun yoga class!
Lastly, to Miss Aimee from The Music Box for her exciting music class!
Also... a HUGE thank-you to the vendors and to everyone who came out!!!
Amanda has finished her Dancing For Birth training and is excited to start up her first class!
This class is uplifting, fun & educational! It's an awesome way for expecting Mothers to prepare for childbirth, stay active, have fun & meet some other expecting Mothers. Discover how functional movement can ease birth. Expect childbirth education to give you the knowledge and confidence to trust your body and your baby to go through birth together.
*Postpartum women are encouraged to attend as well! This class is gentle enough to participate postpartum with your babe. We so value having women on the other side of the birth to share and journey with!
May, 23rd- June 27th
68 main street south Exeter. 7-8:30.
100 dollars for 6 weeks, 20 dollars drop in.
Email email@example.com for more info.
Laurie had the honour of attending to this beautiful family as their doula. Laurie has a ton of photography experience and is quite skilled. So when she became a doula... birth photography was a natural step for her.
Her lovely doula client & her family has consented to Laurie sharing some of the images she took from sweet Aengus' birth. We love this mighty family & are so thankful to witness them.
Stay tuned for more from Laurie in the photography world.
Lots of love to the L family!
At Huron Birth, we're all about the village. We know how enriched our lives (& our family's lives) are when we live in community & help each other out. We have a lot of amazing women in our lakeside community that are forever uplifting, helping & inspiring us. We think it's time to recognize them!
Amanda has come up with an awesome idea to do just that... The Huron Heroine. We're asking you to nominate an everyday heroine in your life! Tell us why she is an amazing person. Who do you know that has made a big impact? We want to celebrate them!
We will take nominations until May, 15th and then draw a winner at random from the submissions. The Huron Heroine & her nominator will win a photoshoot with Laurie, have hair styled by Amanda (who also happens to be an amazing professional hair stylist) & make-up by Sara. The Huron Heroine & her nominee will get to choose the location for their photoshoot and will receive pictures together and separate.
This is open to all women! Mothers, aunts, grandmas, sisters, neighbours, friends, & strangers who make the world a better place. Let's celebrate the beautiful women in our community!
Our Strong as a Mother kicked off this week & we couldn't be more thrilled. There's an amazing group of women, our instructor Maria is so knowledgeable & uplifting, the space is gorgeous and the children are such a joy.
The lovely Darien Funk dropped by today and took some photos of the class. How great are these?!
A big thank-you to this amazing group of women, Maria, Amanda & Darien!
We have space for some drop-ins on Wednesday. Send us an email if you're interested in trying out some classes.
As I approach my sons 4th birthday, and I reflect on pictures from my pregnancy and birth; the well of emotions floods. I am taken back to being 35 weeks pregnant and hearing the ob-gyn in Stratford tell me I would not be allowed to have a "trial of labour" with my midwife at the hospital. It felt as though after months of planning and praying for a VBAC- it was being taken away. "I have reviewed the files again and I feel uncomfortable with allowing you to have your trial of labour at this hospital, we can schedule your c-section right now while I'm on the phone with you and I expect you to be in for your weekly check up next week so we can discuss a plan" was what the ob-gyn said over the phone after telling me the day before in person that she would sign off on my midwife assisted VBAC. This was the doctor I had trusted less than two years before to give me sound advice and deliver my daughter but the words she was saying felt wrong after all the research I had done. "Do I have other options?” I asked through choked back tears "Well I can refer you to London but I mean your midwife wont be able to go there and they are going to say the same thing I said.” and with that I was referred to London.
I messaged my friend Jess whom had just had a water birth at home and I poured out my sadness. "Ok my doula will take you on" crazy how those words later impacted so much. Within 3 hours Kirston and I set up an appointment to meet and discussed costs. I remember her saying her price and being totally taken back with panic, we had a 20 month old, my husband was on disability and I had no extra income. How would we make it work? But I met with Kirston anyways to talk and we clicked. She had my back and believed in me. I knew I had to figure it out. I sat down and looked at my budget and I saw that it would be really tight, but I moved things around and set up a payment plan with Kirston.
I went to London at 37 weeks met my doctor and she was all for my VBAC. I met with my midwife at 38 weeks I was 2cm dilated she did a sweep and nothing.I met my doctor at 39 weeks she did a sweep and nothing again. 40 weeks another sweep and nothing. Kirston and I met again a couple times. She was knowledgable, encouraging, calming, gave me birthing tips encouraged me and supported me in making a plan. 40+3 I ate an entire pineapple, the midwife did another sweep and nothing… NOTHING. I thought I was going to be pregnant for ever. People would send me messages every day " Baby yet?!” and it was driving me nuts I messaged Kirston one of those times "IM SO F***ING DONE WITH BEING ASKED!” her response was a joke link to a big no baby yet.. 41 weeks I felt SO done- I met with my ob-gyn in London and we agreed that at 41 and 3 we would do a c-section because I felt that was best for me. I remember crying and messaging Kirston feeling like I failed but she said "Trust your body and your baby".
I went to bed and woke up at 10pm with contractions that were 10mins apart and that's how they remained until morning. I text Kirston in the morning "OMG KIRSTON ITS HOSPITAL TIME OMG OMG OMG" and we met in London. The doctor that was in took a look at me laughed and told me to go walk around and see if it sped up contractions and they would check me in 3 hours. 3 hours later, I was sure the contractions were getting stronger. Kirston walked all around the hospital with me, kept me calm, suggested some movements to help, and we went back to get checked. Half a friggin cm that was all! They sent me to labour at home and said come back in when they are 5-7mins apart. So I went home and Kirston assured me she was available if I needed her…
Hours and hours went by, I took baths, sat on my birth ball, took more baths.. ate ice cream. I was still nursing my oldest so I nursed her to sleep and went to sleep between contractions. Then they stopped just stopped for like 3 hours I had none. I messaged Kirston freaked out and she said to take a break and get some rest while I still could. So I did and after 3 hours; boom contractions. At about 10pm, they were so strong I couldn't handle the pain so I got in the tub because they were only 8-10 minutes apart and I knew it wasn’t time. I sat there for hours riding the waves as they came being one with my body and listening to me body at 1am they were 5-7mins apart I knew it was time to go in. I messaged my mom(who was going to be watching my oldest as well as was our ride to London) and they waves started coming closer. Half way to London, around 2am at this point, I realized I didn't message Kirston! So I called her and she promised to meet me there. My contractions were between 3-5 minutes apart when I made it to the birthing floor but the moment i was put in the triage room they slowed almost to a stop. I was so scared they wouldn’t let Kirston in with me and my husband yet and my fear stopped my contractions. But the nurse checked me and I was 4cm and the reassurance that my body was doing its job which helped me relax and the contractions came back. They got me into a room and let Kirston come in at 3am. With every wave, I felt like I couldn’t keep going but Kirston kept reminding me to trust my body and of my goals. I begged for an epidural by 3:30am but Kirston gently reminded me of my goals and of all my progress. I was 5cm so I asked for the gas just to take the edge off and it was working for a bit. By 5am I was begging again for an epidural, I remember looking at Kirston not the doctor and asking seeking her opinion or approval or both I don’t even know lol.. they checked me again and I was "only" 6cm do I decided yes I wanted an epidural. At this point I had been in labour "forever" and I felt I couldn't do it anymore. It took them until 6am to come in to do it and after eight failed attempts they called in a new Anesthesiologist to do it. Through this time Kirston was there talking me through every contraction as I fought to sit still while they poked at my back. The second anesthesiologist did a few more attempts and finally they got it after an hour and a bit of trying to get it into place. They then checked me and I was between 8-9cm so the while time they did the epidural I was in transition and if they had of checked me right before I would have known I didn’t need the epidural.
I rested for an hour, then it was around 7:30am and I just needed to let the last little bit of contracting happen. At 8:30am I felt the pressure and I knew it was time but they told me I had to wait "NO GET A DOCTOR IN HERE NOW OR I WILL PUSH WITHOUT THEM" I had found my voice and I was ready to advocate for myself because of the support and encouragement of my midwife and Kirston. I was taking control of my birth & I felt like I roared it… I probably said it in a tiny voice but either way I was powerful. I started to push as I felt the waves come a doctor came in and within 5 pushes he was crowning. The doctor kept telling me to push harder. I looked at Kirston and blocked out the rest of the sound and she couched me in a gentle voice and within a few pushes I was ripping the hospital gown off and pulling my naked slippery meconium covered perfect baby boy to my chest. I kissed his head and listened to him scream and Kirston reminded them I wanted delayed cord clamping. I delivered my placenta with one tiny push and they took my sweet boy to weigh him and wrap him up. I remember kirston holding him and seeing the love in her eyes for her job and her telling me she was so proud of me. My husband was in the room the whole time but Kirston was pivotal to supporting us.
Looking back at the cost and the struggle of budgeting it vs the support and service I have no regrets. We sacrificed our cable and internet for 2 months and you know what? I can honestly say I would do it again tomorrow of I found put I was pregnant again. If I had not have hired Kirston I would have agreed to the plan for a repeat c-section and I would have missed the most healing incredible experience in my life.
So we've put this out there but have yet to say much about it... so here's all you need to know.
We all know the importance of being physically active & how being physically active does wonders for our mental health. We love supporting Mothers & this feels like a big piece that we were missing- the physical aspect. We've done some Mom & Baby Stroller Bootcamps in the past- which were great but didn't feel quite right for what we wanted to offer.
So we stepped back and put some more though into it. We knew we wanted an awesome program that met women exactly where they were and embraced them right there (in struggle & triumph). We didn't want women to feel pressured to loose weight but instead to be comfortable moving. We wanted women to be challenged in their mind & body in a way that felt good. It was also important for us to have a fitness instructor that didn't have a quick fix to sell you & that was knowledgable in pelvic floor health.
And you know what? I'm pretty sure we nailed it. We're so proud of this program & I'm certain we have the perfect women leading it!
Maria is a certified pilates instructor and holistic nutritionist. You can also find her handcrafted products around Huron County :) Maria is passionate about whole body wellness & making strong connections within our bodies. She is the owner of The Wellness Potion. Maria will be teaching the classes.
Amanda will also be leading this group. She will be hosting the Mom's Night Out at the end, running the online accountability group & showing up to each work-out & sweating it with you, while cheering you on. Bless her. We knew Amanda would be perfect for this. She's so candid and the perfect person to journey alongside with.
The classes can be described as a healthy, productive routine that will assist you in feeling physically better, as well as enhance your mental and emotional well being while connecting with other moms and bonding with your baby. Fun and inspiring classes that are designed to elongate muscles, tone the body and pelvic floor and provide a sense of calm.
So we'll have 16 classes at Maria's beautiful studio, an online accountability group full of inspiration, check-ins & sharing of ideas. you'll receive one of our Strong as a Mother shirts, we have an awesome prize for the participant with the best spirit & a Mom's Night Out to celebrate all your hard work!
Each class will celebrate you exactly as you are while challenging you physically & mentally.
As always, a percentage of all profits benefit our Huron Birth Maternal Outreach Fund.
You can purchase tickets here;
Check out the facebook event here;
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for more info!
Registration is due by April, 5th so we can have the shirts ready in time.
Huron Birth Blog
Our blog will encompass our current happenings, findings, pictures, musings, and guest blog posts on an array of parenting topics.