Functional Movement for a Functional Body

Functional Movement for a Functional Body: Why You Should Definitely Workout During and After Your Pregnancy by Amanda Fay

If you are a strong, empowered female - you are in the right place! The Functional Bump is a local small business that focuses on bringing pre and postnatal group fitness classes to towns and cities across New Hampshire. Owners and head coaches Amanda Fay and Kieran Doucette are both pre and postnatal corrective exercise specialists among other educational backgrounds and bring a myriad of experience to each and every private session or group class.

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The mission behind The Functional Bump is to lead women to move, think, and breathe throughout their preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum journeys to be stronger and more functional than they ever have been before. To be functional means to move through daily life effectively, reducing wear and tear and imbalances in the body, therefore reducing injury and pain in the future. The Functional Bump provides coaching, mentorship, and industry knowledge in all things preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness. Visit a group fitness class or schedule a one on one consultation with our team. Read below to find out why movement is so important during pregnancy. Check out www.thefunctionalbump.com for more info and to visit a group fitness class!

In my opinion, pregnancy is one of the BEST times in a woman's life to exercise. When else are you going to be able to train with a 10-30 pound weight vest on, knowing that you will be taking that weight vest off almost all at once nine months later? Imagine all the muscular adaptations you will undergo by training with that weight vest on, adding half a pound to it each week. And may I add, NEVER taking it off. So you have the opportunity to create muscular adaptations even when bending down to pick something off the floor, making love, standing all day on your feet, and especially exercising. It is 100% achievable to come out of your pregnancy far stronger and more functional than you were before. Maybe even the strongest and most functional you have ever been in your entire life!

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Now of course, you can actually cause damage by going out and doing just any exercise class or routine. I highly recommend hiring a pre and postnatal corrective exercise specialist (like our team) for a minimum of one to three months but best case scenario would be throughout your entire pregnancy and one year postpartum. A good coach should be able to show you how to properly move with correct form, which muscles to engage, which exercises to avoid due to pregnancy changes within the body, and which exercises to add more of into your routine to strengthen your specific muscular imbalance patterns. Looking for something more affordable? Visit a group class and make some new friends. Here in New Hampshire, The Functional Bump has weekly classes in Bedford, Concord, Hampton, and Laconia! Plus we are always working to add more.

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There are SO many benefits of exercising during pregnancy to not only you, the pregnant woman, but also to your baby - your womb-mate! For one, labor is a stressful event to your baby. Exercise is a stressor as well. Engaging in exercise regularly throughout pregnancy helps babies prepare for other kinds of stressors. Babies are in better condition at the start of labor and are better able to tolerate the stresses of labor throughout. And since babies of exercising moms are better able to tolerate stress, these babies are born with increased blood volume, more oxygen present, and normal heart rate reactions. Outside of utero, they are better able to maintain body temperature, regain initial weight loss, and retain blood glucose levels. Studies have shown these women also had the fewest obstetrical complications during labor, less likelihood of cord entanglement, and less meconium present. Babies born to exercising moms transition to life outside of utero easier and tend to be more alert and easy to care for and have shown to remain physically and mentally ahead as they age into toddler years and beyond. During pregnancy, exercising moms experience better toxin removal and nutrient delivery to baby via the placenta. In Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, Dr. James Clapp’s studies show the placentas of moms who exercise through early and mid pregnancy grow faster and function better than those not exercising (15% more blood vessels and surface area).

Now let’s talk about you! Wanting a vaginal birth with little to no interventions? Exercise will be a huge part of your pregnancy plan to help you achieve those goals. There is a 35% reduction in the need for pain relief during labor in women who exercise through pregnancy. Exercise and labor use the same pain relieving hormones so if you train those hormones how to elicit more efficiently during exercise, you will do the same during labor. Examples are increased capacity to produce catecholamines (energy boost for mom and baby as baby travels down the birth canal), increased sensitivities to endorphins (induces feelings of pleasure and euphoria), and the efficient production of oxytocin (chemical for love, bonding, orgasm, and trust). There is a 50% decrease for non surgical interventions, 55% reduced chance of episiotomy, and a 75% decrease for operative interventions such as forceps and c-section. Exercise alone reduces a woman's chances of a c-section from one in three to one in twelve! Studies have shown babies of exercising moms are more likely to deliver at full term and on time. And since there is a 75% decrease in exhaustion during labor, exercising moms typically cut their overall labor time by one third! Exercising moms experience less weight gain and fat accumulation and have less pregnancy discomforts such as pelvic pain, low back pain, stretch marks, varicose veins, core dysfunction, weakness, and lack of stamina. Moms have increased immune function, energy, and maintain positive attitudes about themselves, their pregnancies, and their upcoming labor and delivery. Come try one of our funkybump classes for pregnancy.

Postnatally, Moms who exercised throughout their pregnancy feel better and burn fat faster! Once cleared to exercise again, this is also going to be a very important time to exercise. You now are constantly holding a roughly seven pound weight that will get bigger every day and is going to cry when you put it down. Again, you have the opportunity to make the best out of your new environment and create new muscular adaptations. Exercising will help in the maintenance and balance of all the important hormones playing a part postpartum such as progesterone, estrogen, prolactin, oxytocin, cortisol, thyroid, vasopressin, relaxin, etc. Exercising equals better hormonal balance which equals lowered chances of postpartum depression. With the presence of relaxin still in the body postpartum, common discomforts such as joint pains, postural strains, and tension headaches will either become more exacerbates by lack of movement or mediated by muscle balance and alignment through proper movement. Moms who exercised through pregnancy and continue to postnatally experience a 55% return to pre-pregnancy weight by six months and a 75% return to pre-pregnancy weight by one year. The weight retention of women who do not exercise is three times as high by the one year mark. Lastly, exercising through pregnancy and after contributes to a stronger core and pelvic floor, reducing chances of incontinence or severe abdominal separation (diastasis recti). Come try our current postnatal classes entitled funkybaby and funkymom.

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Pregnancy Classes: funkybump

Tuesday and Thursday 5:30-6:20p at Eden Yoga in Concord

Wednesday 5:30-6:20p at Relief in Hampton

Wednesday 6:30-7:20p at the Downtown Gym in Laconia


Postpartum Classes: funkybaby (exercise with baby!)

Tuesdays 9:00-9:45a at Nini Bambini in Bedford

Fridays 10:30-11:20a at Eden Yoga in Concord

*Please check website for current schedules.

Pre & Postnatal: funkymom

Wednesday 4:30-5:20p at Relief in Hampton

Thank you so much for reading! So excited to meet you!