Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need equipment?
The only equipment you will need is a resistance band. These can be purchased on our website or from other equipment suppliers online.
When can I start this programme?
You can start Phase 1 of this programme from birth if you have had a normal vaginal delivery with no complications. You will need to get your doctors approval before starting.
What if I have had a C-section?
The Fit Mummy Manual is entirely suitable for post c-section. This programme has been designed to help educate those who have had a c-section not only focusing on re-connecting the core but regaining sensitivity around the scar area by massage plus movement and specific exercises.
Phase 1 of this programme, TVA Breathing/Pelvic Floor work, could be started from birth but you would need to wait until 8-10 weeks post natal to move onto Phase 2 to allow proper healing time and you will need your doctor’s approval.
What about loose skin?
No specific exercise is going to improve excess skin with regards to pregnancy, c-section or weight loss. It can depend on so many different factors and each may have its own outcomes. Good nutrition, hydration, toxin removal are just a few things we can do to help loose skin without surgery.
What if my babies are older?
This programme is designed for all different levels and it’s never too late to start. Showing you how to re-connect with your core, condition the pelvic floor muscles, re-align your back & strengthen the body are all important at any stage after pregnancy.
What if I have pelvic floor weakness/incontinence/prolapse?
The Fit Mummy Manual Phase 1 will help connect the muscles that make up your pelvic floor. It will help you re-connect the muscles and make it stronger. If you do have severe pelvic floor weakness or even prolapse it is advisable that you avoid any high impact exercise as this will only make it worse. Focusing on Phase 1 of the programme and building the connection back to your core and pelvic floor muscles with the techniques of correct muscle engagement and TVA breathing is essential.
What if I have a hernia?
You would need to check with your doctor first for advice and diagnosis of the hernia before starting this programme, as each case will be different. Phase 1 Core and TVA Breathing exercises would help the healing over time but any intensive workouts should definitely be avoided.
What If I have Diastasis Rectus? Will this help? Will it close up?
Diastasis Rectus happens when their is increased tension on the abdominal walls which can create a space in the center of the stomach that initially causes little or no pain. Women who have had multiple pregnancies may experience this condition as a result of previously stretched abdomen muscles. No exercise routine can guarantee to fix every situation, as each one will be different. Depending on the severity of the gap, which your health professional will be able to examine, will depend on the specific restorative exercise programme you undertake. If your gap is more than 3 fingers apart we ask you seek medical advice before starting the Fit Mummy programme.
The Fit Mummy Manual will teach you how to restore/reconnect your abdominal walls with certain breathing techniques and exercises, which will strengthen your deep abdominals and may close the gap.
What can I expect from this programme? Will I get a flat tummy?
The Fit Mummy Manual will guide you with nutrition for weight loss plus balancing hormones, corrective abdominal exercises, effective exercises and reducing stress. The 8 week programme will help restore, re-connect,strengthen your stomach muscles to help flatten the tummy. The result of a flat tummy will also depend on the fat layer. Therefore you will need to lose that as well. This programme and our follow on programmes can help you with that..
Can I do this programme during pregnancy?
While some of the elements of the programme could be done during pregnancy, we wouldn’t advise it. You can find more information on our website regarding pre-natal specific exercise.
When can I move onto the next phases in the programme?
Each phase will be determined by your Rec-Check and your fitness levels.
What do I need to wear and have with me during the workouts?
Wear comfortable clothes and supportive shoes for the workouts. Have a bottle of water and a towel near by.
Will I ache?
Depending on your fitness level before and the phase you are at then yes. To help reduce muscle aches keep moving as much as possible between sessions, take hot baths and plenty of water to aid recovery.
I already attend post natal fitness classes, Can I continue to do so?
Yes. However, your Fit Mummy Manual exercise programme should always come first. Once you’ve completed those workouts, anything on top of that, e.g. classes, a walk or swim would be a bonus.
When I’m working out at home, can I just skip the rest periods?
The rest periods are very important. If you get to the end of your work period and feel like you could keep going then you need to up the intensity during the work, e.g. do extra repetitions, go faster, choose the harder alternative.
Do I need extra calories if I am breast-feeding?
Yes, NHS UK recommends 500 calories extra per day.
Can I eat too much fruit?
Try to keep fruit to 2 portions per day, although it is a natural sugar it does produce a certain blood sugar response.
Which cooking methods can I use?
We would recommend steaming, stir frying, oven baking, grilling and using a slow cooker.
Isn’t it dangerous to eat more than 3 eggs per week, will I increase my cholesterol?
No, it isn’t dangerous. There are 2 types of cholesterol, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ also known as HDL and LDL respectively. Eggs contain good cholesterol and are absolutely fine to be included regularly in your diet.
Why can’t I eat things that are from a gluten free range, like bread, cookies etc?
Most of the products you find in the ‘free from’ aisle at the supermarket will tell you they are free-from gluten, wheat, dairy etc, but what they don’t advertise is the fact that they contain sugar, and more often than not e-numbers and other preservatives.
Where will I get my energy from if I cut my carbs?
Carbohydrates are not limited to bread, pasta, potato etc, they are found in all fruit and vegetables.
But doesn’t bread help regulate your bowel movements?
Certainly not, in fact it can do the exact opposite. Modern wheat is very heavily processed and can aggravate the gut wall. It’s so heavily processed that it can be almost impossible to digest. As an example, how do you make glue as a kid? Water and flour! What is bread made of?
Surely wholemeal/rye/dark etc bread is good for you?
These products will also contain gluten, are very carb-heavy and stress the digestive system big time.
Isn’t drinking too much water dangerous?
We recommend you drink 3 litres of water per day to help eliminate excess toxins from your body, hydrate your cells so that they work as efficiently as possible and to aid muscle recovery.
Can I flavour my water with cordial?
No. Cordials contain a sugar substitute called Aspartame; an intense sweetener, around 200 times sweeter than sugar. It can be found on food labels as NutraSweet, Aspartame or E951 and have many reported side effects from very serious medical conditions to joint pain and cramps!
Can I have decaf coffee?
No. In order to remove caffeine the coffee beans must go through a process, which often involves chemicals. In addition to this, to be classified as decaf, the product only needs to contain 97% less caffeine than traditional coffee.
What is the best place to get some of the ingredients and foods for the recipes in the pack?
Your local supermarket will sell most things, but for more specialist items that you can’t find there then check out your local health food store online.
How important is it to stick to the nutrition plan?
VERY! Your nutrition will form around 75% of your results, exercise speeds up the process and supplements do exactly what their name suggests; supplements a great nutrition and exercise plan.
Can I have sparkling, soda or tonic water?
No. Nowadays, tonic water is heavily sweetened using either corn syrup or sugar. Sparkling water and soda water, also known as carbonated water, are quite acidic. The body is in its ‘optimum fat burning state’ when it is slightly alkaline.
As we are reducing our dairy intake, where will I find my calcium?
There are many sources of calcium outside of the dairy food group. Foods such as almonds, rice milk, broccoli, leafy greens, salmon and sesame seeds are all high in calcium.
Will exercise affect my milk supply if I’m breast feeding?
Research shows that exercise may increase the levels of lactic acid. However this is not a concern for baby’s health. If your baby doesn‘t feed well immediately after a workout, it is often due to the salty taste of mum’s sweaty breast, NOT the slightly altered taste of the milk. Make sure you feed before the workout and wash down afterwards.
Does exercise decrease milk production?
No. Exercise contributes to your overall health and is beneficial and appropriate for breastfeeding mums like you. Even vigorous exercise does not significantly affect the amount or composition of milk your body produces. And despite what you may have heard, it’s unlikely that your baby will reject your milk even if you breastfeed shortly after exercising.
When is best to breast feed? Before or after a workout?
Ideally, feed your baby or express before you workout, so that you feel more comfortable and avoid breast tenderness during exercise.
What are the warning signs for me to stop any workout?
Excessive shortness of breath
Chest pain or palpitation
Pain, particularly in the back or pubic area
Excessive pelvic girdle pain
Calf pain or swelling
How will I time my workout?
You can use a stop watch or alternatively we recommend www.gymsymphonies.com.
From this website you can download tracks timed specifically to match the formats of The Fit Mummy Manual workouts, which tell you when to work, rest, start and stop.
Before purchasing tracks from Gym Symphonies please make sure you have iTunes or a program on your computer that can play music, if you haven’t you can download it from http://www.apple.com/uk/itunes/download/
Once you have downloaded the zip file, which will be on the purchase receipt, save the zip file to your desktop or computer. You can either play the tracks from another program or you can open up your iTunes, click File, then Add File to Library. Then find the workout music and save to iTunes. You can then transfer the music to your iPhone/iPod/iPad.