What is Glowing Expectations?
Glowing Expectations is about pregnancy and new mum care for real women. There are 2 programs on offer: a pregnancy fitness and well-being program for mum to be, and a postnatal program to assist recovery from birth and get mum ready to exercise again.
Rachel Livingstone developed these programs from her experience of looking after over 3000 pregnant women and new mums and asking what they really want from a pregnancy and postnatal fitness and wellbeing program. To ensure the programs are holistic, she incorporated the advice of several other guest experts she refers to in her day to day work — a Nutritionist, Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Counsellor and Stylist.
The Glowing Expectations online programs are fun, easy to use, affordable and accessible from any device, anywhere.
What can people expect from joining the program/ how does it work?
Members enjoy weekly emails to keep them motivated, workouts with instruction videos and print outs, fact sheets and guest expert videos covering a wide range of topics, ‘mumspiration’ tips and a private Facebook group to keep them connected.
The pregnancy program includes over 50 different exercises and stretches. There are also different levels of workouts. It is suitable for the mum to be who does not currently exercise and just wants to do some simple exercises at home to look after themselves and their growing bub. It also provides workouts for those who are regular exercisers but don’t know what to do for the best now baby is on board. Sometimes conditions occur during pregnancy and a usual exercise program may need to be adjusted. The fact sheets teach members how to modify their exercise if this happens so they can keep active, not give up exercising altogether.Ultimately every mum to be just wants to exercise in a way that is safe and of the most benefit to her and her growing baby.
The postnatal program provides a step by step program for home, to strengthen and stabilise the pelvic floor, abdominals, lower back and pelvis. There is also a fun equipment-free workout to do with bub. This is the program to get mum’s body ready to go back to exercise.
Pregnancy and new mum well-being is about much more than exercise so the programs also include real life eating advice — not diets! from Nutritionist Sally Officer and invaluable info about the pelvic floor and abdominal separation from Women’s Physiotherapist Lyz Evans. We cover the stuff no one talks about but most women need to talk about with Counsellor Ginette Lenham and have some bump and new mum wardrobe fun with Stylist Belinda Janis.
Why should people join the program instead of working out at the gym?
This is not an either/or. Glowing Expectations provides workouts for the gym or home. It includes exercises using different types of equipment — machines, dumbbells, fit balls, exercise bands, or just body weight — many of the exercises can be done in the park for those who enjoy the outdoors. The fact sheets provide useful info from ‘monitoring exercise intensity’, to, ‘how to train your abdominals safely’. So, pregnant women can adjust their workouts and carry on using their gym memberships knowing they are looking after themselves and bub — without the cost of a personal trainer. Or, they can workout in the comfort and privacy of their own home.
Glowing Expectations is about mental well-being as well as physical health. Counsellor Ginette chats about the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy and transition to becoming a mum. This is a side of pregnancy that is often not thought about or addressed. Real life mums also share their tips and experiences. Creating this connection to the new world of motherhood offers preparation and support — and is not something that is going to happen on the treadmill at the gym.
Is there a connection between exercise and a successful pregnancy/birth?
The short answer is Yes! on so many levels.
Unless a doctor advises otherwise moderate exercise during the first trimester of pregnancy is not only safe but beneficial. It promotes the development of a thicker, healthier placenta, which is the oxygen and nutrient support system for the baby until birth.
Keeping active also helps mum stay in a healthy weight range and less likely to develop gestational diabetes. This is because exercise burns excess sugars and keeps muscles more sensitive to insulin (the hormone that stores sugars). Since obesity and type 2 diabetes are two of the fastest growing health problems and the presentation of gestational diabetes doubles mum’s chance of developing diabetes in the future and with an earlier onset, exercise is good for mum during pregnancy and for long term health. Gestational diabetes can also complicate birth and add unnecessary stress for new parents and bub.
Many of the common complaints of pregnancy can be lessened, or even prevented, with exercise. Activity enhances energy levels helping to manage the fatigue experienced in the first and third trimesters. This is invaluable if a woman needs to get through a busy work day or run around after other kids. Constipation can be alleviated as the working muscles of the torso help massage the digestive system and push food through and out. Specific prenatal leg, lower back and core exercises can prevent lower back, hip and pelvic pain keeping mum more comfortable and therefore happy throughout the day and better able to get a good nights sleep.
Birth is perhaps one of the most unpredictable events of life. Can exercising during pregnancy guarantee a perfect birth? Of course not. But, it can ensure that a woman’s body is in the best physical condition to enter the experience of birth — whatever form it takes. The right kind of deep abdominal exercises create pushing power for birth or speed up recovery from a c section birth. Working out also provides mum with a confidence and mental resilience that will useful during birth and into motherhood.
There is so much information about birth and pregnancy these days. How can people know what to trust?
There is so much information but not necessarily good or accurate. Check out the source! Social media means anyone can share information with the world by writing a blog, or posting photos and information on Instagram, Facebook or 100 other platforms. Don’t follow advice without checking someone’s credentials. What qualifications do they have? How much experience? What do reviews say? Do other health professionals work with or refer to them?
Any advice taken should only be used in conjunction with what an expectant mums own GP or Obstetrician says. Every body is different as is every pregnancy. Something that is completely safe for one mum to be can be unsuitable for another because of her medical history or the development of a special condition during pregnancy.
Also, if a woman’s own mind or body is telling her something doesn’t sound or feel right, she should listen. Like women’s intuition, mums intuition is a valid voice.
How can readers fund out more about the program?
Check out www.glowingexpectations.com.au for more info. There are videos to watch about the program and the experts, video reviews from former members and clients, free tips to download and interesting blogs to read.