Thursday, August 18, 2016

Zika virus fears have left pregnant women with serious questions about how to avoid contracting the virus, and whether the use of insect repellents will put their fetuses at risk. Zika isn’t the only disease that’s bug borne (ticks also carry diseases such as Lymes and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever) so avoiding these types of insect borne diseases depends upon the use of chemicals that deter bites. The first line a defense is avoiding areas that are affected by Zika, but the CDC has suggested that the virus will spread within the US, so the use of repellants is recommended for all pregnant women.

The most effective mosquito (and tick) repellent contains DEET, and it's considered safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding by the EPA. An alternative repellent is Picaridan, but that and other newer repellent chemicals haven’t been as rigorously tested for safety during pregnancy.  In studies that compared the effectiveness of 20% DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and plant based repellents such as citronella, cedar, lemon or eucalyptus, the DEET product was the most effective against the Aedes species mosquito that carries Zika.

Here are some tips for the best protection from mosquito bites:
  • Most people notice mosquitos are more prevalent during early morning and dusk, but keep in mind that the mosquito that spreads Zika is more active during they day.  Make a habit of applying insect repellent every time you are going to spend time outdoors.
  • Clothing can provide a barrier from bites, so when possible wear long sleeves and pants, and socks. Permethrin coated clothing provides the highest level of protection, but be sure to avoid spraying that products directly on your skin. The EPA has not seen any adverse fetal developmental issues associated with pregnant women wearing permethrin coated clothing when used as directed.
  • Make sure that your home window screens aren’t torn or open in any areas.
  • Some repellents decrease the SPF (duration of protection) of sunscreens, so for best sun protection apply an SPF 30 lotion or higher before applying insect spray, and reapply your sunscreen frequently when outdoors.
  •  Use products that contain at least 20% DEET, which provide up to four hours of protection.  A 20-30% DEET product provides protection from 90% of mosquito or tick bites.

During pregnancy, the benefits of using DEET to avoid the Zika virus and serious birth defects for the fetus are far out weigh the concerns.  For the best protection and safety when using these products remember to carefully read all repellent instructions and apply as directed. 
For more information on the use of DEET and other products during pregnancy go to:
Organization of Teratology Information Specialists OTIS

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

High Heat Environments and Pregnancy Are a Dangerous Combination

Summer is a great time for outdoor exercise, but pregnant women need to be especially careful to avoid overheating when the temperature soars.  Hot and humid environments may cause dehydration during pregnancy, and in severe cases can lead to premature labor.  During the first trimester, sustained bouts of high maternal core temperatures during the use of hot tubs and saunas has been associated with neural tube defects, but exercise in environments that allow for maternal heat regulation has not been shown to increase core temperatures to dangerous levels.

 To avoid these concerns, pregnant women should avoid exercising in an environment where they cannot dissipate core heat effectively, (such as high heat index days) the use of saunas or hot tubs, and heated exercise rooms such as those used for hot yoga. 

Pregnant women can avoid the risk of overheating during exercise by following these tips:
-Avoid exercising outdoors when the heat index is considered dangerous-check with your local weather report to see what the index is on hot days.
-Exercise in a climate-controlled facility during the hotter and more humid summer months.
-Drink fluids early and often when exercising.  
-Monitor hydration level by checking weight before and after exercise and drinking fluids after exercise to regain lost fluid weight.
 -Exercise early or late in the day when temperatures are lowest.
-Discontinue exercising if symptoms of overheating occur (lightheadedness, nausea, faintness, excessive sweating, and feeling uncomfortably hot) and move to a cool environment.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Updated ACOG 2015 Committee Opinion, "Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period"

 The American College of Obstetricians an Gynecologists has issued a revised Committee Opinion, Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period in December 2015 that further expands support for exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The updated guidelines provide information on safe activities for women with uncomplicated pregnancies, and lists physical conditions and warning signs and symptoms that may make exercise contraindicated.
The Committee Opinion concludes that maternal exercise in a healthy pregnancy is safe and beneficial, and women who include a fitness routine during pregnancy gain less fat weight and may even reduce their risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and complicated deliveries.
You can access the 2015 ACOG number 650 Committee Opinion at this link:
 For information on our CE course that contains the most recent ACOG guidelines, Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise Design, please visit us at:


Thursday, August 4, 2016

 Summer Special Offer 

Free copy of "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" book with any course order through the month of August.

"Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise Design CE Course"2016 4th Edition

Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise Design CE Course-4th Edition 2016

By Catherine Cram and Gwen Hyatt

Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise Design CE Course-4th Edition

$99 online format, $109 print format

To Order
Call: (877) 582-2227

A continuing education course for personal trainers, group exercise instructors, and health/fitness professionals working with pregnant and postpartum women. 

Product Description
Course components can be delivered as printed products or online:
                          -Continuing education exam

Discover what every fitness professional working with pre- and postnatal women should know about designing safe and appropriate exercise routines with the Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise Design, Fourth Edition CE Course. Learn the effect of exercise on maternal and fetal health and how to set intensity levels and modify exercise based on guidelines from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOCG). This course covers the latest research; demonstrates appropriate core strengthening and pelvic floor exercises; and includes suspended body-weight, flexibility, relaxation, and breathing exercises. It also suggests guidelines for strength training, water exercise, and competitive sports during pregnancy.

This self-guided course allows you to work at your own pace and explore the material through a comprehensive text and study guide, finishing with a 55-question exam composed of multiple-choice and true-or-false questions (test may be taken online, or mailed/faxed) and certificate and CEs provided at completion and passing of test.  
About This Course
Chapter 1 Benefits of Exercise During and After Pregnancy
Effect of Prenatal Exercise on Maternal Health
Effect of Exercise on Fetal Health
Effect of Postpartum Exercise on Maternal Health and Infant Growth
Self-Check Quiz
Chapter 2 Anatomy and Physiology of Pregnancy
Cardiovascular and Circulatory Changes During Pregnancy
Respiratory Changes During Pregnancy
Metabolic and Thermal Changes During Pregnancy
Anatomical Changes During Pregnancy
Self-Check Quiz
Chapter 3 Prenatal Exercise Prescription
ACOG Guidelines Reaffirmed 2009
International Guidelines for Exercise During Pregnancy and Postpartum
Prenatal Exercise Design
Prenatal Exercises
The Pregnant Competitive Athlete
Self-Check Quiz
Chapter 4 Postnatal Exercise Prescription
Postnatal Expectations
Vaginal Birth Recovery Program
Cesarean Delivery Recovery Program
Scar Mobilization
Core Strengthening Exercises After Cesarean Delivery
Postpartum Exercise Prescription
Abdominal Rehabilitation
Strength Training
Proper Body Mechanics and Ergonomics
Exercise and Breastfeeding
Check Points
Self-Check Quiz
Chapter 5 Maternal Exercise Program Design
Instructor Responsibilities
Program Goals
Fitness Components
Exercise Session Format
Mainstreaming the Pregnant Student
Self-Check Quiz
Chapter 6 Complications and Common Conditions of Pregnancy and Postpartum
Obstetrical Complications
Common Conditions
Bed Rest
Self-Check Quiz
Chapter 7 Professional Responsibilities
Health Screening for Physical Activity
Monitoring Exercise
Record Keeping
Scope of Practice
Emergency Procedures
Self-Check Quiz
Self-Check Quizzes Answer Key
Client Handouts
Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy
Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Essential Nutrients During Pregnancy
Common Complaints and Problems During Pregnancy
Exercise Dos and Don’ts for Prenatal Women
Nutritional Needs Postpartum and When Breastfeeding
Weight Loss While Breastfeeding
Lifting and Carrying Safely
Proper Body Mechanics When Lifting Your Baby
Health History Questionnaire
Status of Current Pregnancy
Physician Consent Form
Maternal Fitness Class Record



ACE                     0.70
ACSM                  7.00
AEA                     6.00
AFAA                   7.00
AFPA                   7.00
BCRPA                6.00
Canfitpro- FIS      4.00
Canfitpro- PFS    4.00
Canfitpro- PTS    4.00
CDR                     7.00
CFES-PT             6.00
Cooper                7.00
COPSKT             0.60
CPTN                  4.00
ECA                     7.00
FNB                     5.00
ICEA                    8.50
ISSA                    7.00
Lamaze               8.50
NASM                 0.70
NASN                  0.70
NCHEC               7.00
NCSF                  3.50
NETA                  7.00
NFPT                  1.00
NSCA                  0.80
NSPA                  7.00
OFC                    7.00
OSHF                  5.00
PTBC                  0.70
REPS                  3.00
SKESA                5.00