Q: I heard my heart rate should remain at 140 beats per minute, is this true?
A: While you may find heart beats per minute quoted all over the net as a guideline; be cautioned. This, as well as any other information, should have references and dates associated with them that are current. Heart rate is a very inaccurate way of determining safe heart rate levels as it does not consider age or stage of pregnancy. Heart rate response to exercise is quite variable and not an indicator of safe or even un-safe heart rate levels. This is why most governing bodies and the research they have collected (American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiologists) recommends TALK TEST. A heart rate of 140 beats per minute for an unfit woman may be unsafe. These women may not pass a talk test despite their heart rates being so low, indicating that oxygen levels are low creating higher risk. Alternatively active women may achieve a higher heart rate of 160 or even slightly higher and pass a TALK TEST. Talk Test is when you can talk for 1-2 minutes without being breathless. In this case while working quite hard cardiovascular level of fitness has these well trained women utilizing their oxygen levels much more effectively than an untrained woman.
Q: When is the earliest I can get started?
A: Each individual has different postpartum recovery periods based on individual circumstances. A new mom who has had an uneventful vaginal birth with bleeding that has completely subsided may be able to start at 4 weeks postpartum. Some moms who have had complications from caesareans, for example, may need 3 months. Your approval for exercise will come from your caregiver.
Q: How can I get involved with FITMOM?
A: To find out if you're a candidate for joining the FITMOM team and bringing FITMOM to your region please fill out our confidential application request form.
Q: Where can I find FITMOM?
A: Fitmom is in many locations across Canada with licensing now available internationally! We also have 3 DVDS in the FITMOM Media series along with online support available at our sister site www.newmom101.com
Q: Will exercise affect my milk supply?
A: Research shows that exercise increases the levels of lactic acid . However this is not a concern for baby's health. Most babies reject breast milk due to the salty taste of mom's sweaty breast, not the slightly altered taste of the milk. However, once you rule out the sweat factor remember within 1.5 hours the lactic acid levels have dropped. A good measure is to feed baby right before exercise to give yourself time to recover postpartum.
Q: Does exercise cause miscarriage?
A: Exercise has been shown to not increase the risk of miscarriage. Despite the myths and associated fear, caregivers aware of the current guidelines encourage first trimester exercise in healthy pregnancies. The benefits outweighing the risks have been well documented.
Q: I am pregnant with twins can I exercise?
A: Twin pregnancy is what is called a relative contraindication. It means many women with twins may exercise but must consider the exaggerated pregnancy symptoms that come with twins. It is recommended that you work with your caregiver and prenatal exercise specialist.
Q: When is the best time to start exercise during pregnancy?
A: Current guidelines recommend starting as soon as possible. IT IS NEVER TOO LATE. With caregiver's permission, begin at any time is possible, following the guidelines for exercise during pregnancy and the FITMOM 3 point assessment protocol. They are listed in order of importance: Evaluate and screen for contraindications, determine level of fitness then lastly stage of pregnancy. Individual needs are met by personalized program design by our specialists, based our findings and within the recognized guidelines.
Q: What specialized training and certification do the instructors have?
A: FITMOM instructors, before even being considered, must have the minimum certifications to be accepted for training. We have a very thorough screening that helps determine candidates qualified to become part of the FITMOM team. Training with FITMOM involves our in-class and practical components. Hours do vary based on initial level of experience. Instructors are evaluated and deemed certified once they have successfully completed our Obstetrician endorsed training. Instructors are also required to maintain their certification through continuing education with constant access to updated information in this ever developing field.