A Holistic Pregnancy Approach
A Woman’s Wellness brings together women at all stages of life to connect and learn about holistic lifestyle benefits. Focusing on fertility, pregnancy and menopause, A Woman’s Wellness provides yoga, pilates, meditation, acupuncture, naturopathy, nutrition, chiropractic and holistic health techniques to women on the Gold Coast.
We asked Tenille from A Woman’s Wellness to answer some of the most important questions we have about holistic health and pregnancy.
How important is it to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle when both trying to conceive and once you have fallen pregnant?
I believe that your diet and lifestyle is most important when trying to conceive. Your body’s physical, mental and emotional state, at time of conception will affect you throughout the rest of your pregnancy and your baby’s development. If you can prepare your body for pregnancy you are likely to have a much happier and healthier pregnancy and baby. The conceiving partner also contributes equally to the make up of your baby’s health so they too should be aware of their diet and health.
Once pregnant, it can be much more challenging due to morning sickness, food cravings and possibly a more restricted diet. However think 80/20. 80% good, healthy and wholesome food and the other 20% eat what you crave and desire.
How can activities like yoga and pilates help to reduce stress during labour?
Specialised pre-natal yoga and pilates classes allow mum time to herself to connect with her breath and growing baby. It’s automatic relaxation to just be body and breath aware, and have time to simply slow down. A specialised Yoga class will help prepare you for labour through teaching you controlled and aware breathing, keeping the hips, spine and pelvis mobile and creating greater body awareness. A specialised Pilates class can offer the same as Yoga but furthermore, it will assist in pelvic floor strength, posture (which is very important in a body that’s continually changing) and help strengthen you quicker post-natal.
How did your passion for holistic health and wellness begin?
I’ve been working in the industry since 2005 and my passion for holistic health and wellness has only grown more and more each year. My knowledge and experience in this field is greatly due to the many courses I have completed, the many amazing trainers and specialists I have worked under and years of working with many different body types. However, honestly, my passion grows more each year from my own personal experiences as a dancer, a runner, a basket-baller, a graduate, an instructor, an entrepreneur, writer, mother…. With a background in dance and fitness and a niche for working with people and creating a positive and healthy environment my work is really my passion.
How did this passion develop into “A Woman’s Wellness”?
Since working in the industry for the last 13 years I have managed Yoga and Pilates studios and owned a successful Pilates and Wellness studio for 7 years. In 2015 when my daughter was 1, I decided it was time to re-focus my business and structure it around having a family. I wasn’t 100% sure at first what I wanted to do so I took a week away in Byron to do a Yoga Course, which specialised in Women’s Wellness. There was a lot of focus on Fertility, Pregnancy & Menopause during this Yoga Course. These areas are either something I have worked with many clients in the past or I have experienced myself. And I knew that I had so much knowledge, experience and passion to share with other women. During this week course I started planning my new business idea around these 3 women’s stage cycles and also started writing my book on ‘Preparations for Fertility’. I then took the next 6 months, which was throughout my second pregnancy, to plan, research, learn & create a new holistic business just for women… ‘A Woman’s Wellness’.
Whilst I am still teaching classes and private clients, I also focus now on my Birthing and Restorative Yoga workshops, with more Events and Retreats to come in the future. I feel my journey has evolved so naturally and organically and I am so excited for what the future brings in women’s holistic health.
Why is the relationship between a ‘mother to be’ and her specialists so important?
The most important part of your relationship with your specialist is that you believe in their practices and what they do. You have to feel comfortable with them and trust they are there to support and guide you through this magical time. A trusting and comfortable relationship with your specialist will not just make you feel more at ease but also your support partner and baby.
Do you feel that it is just as important to have the same type of holistic support during motherhood as you did during pregnancy? Why?
I believe that holistic support during fertility, pregnancy and motherhood is very beneficial for a safer, healthier and happier process. Depending on the individual and their lifestyle and preferences, different types of holistic care may be suitable at certain life stages. For example, for fertility a naturopath or acupuncturist is great to help prepare the body for a successful and healthy pregnancy. During Pregnancy, Yoga and Pilates is a great choice to support you and your growing baby and also helps prepare the body for labour. During Motherhood you may find the mother is needing more Pilates care to help strengthen pelvic floor and core again. Or possibly your baby is in need of Chiropractic care after their birth and rapid growth stages. All is very individualised and circumstantial.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to conceive, or has just fallen pregnant?
If possible my best advice is to allow your body time to ‘prepare before conceiving’. Give your body and health 3-6 months to prepare for a healthy, happy and more aware pregnancy. Work with your GP, naturopath and/or Acupuncturist to do a thorough health check including bloods, nutrient levels, stress levels, diet, exercise, injuries etc… Not just for mum-to-be but also just as important for the conceiving partner.
If you are already pregnant… Congratulations. My advice would be to listen and trust your body. Stay Healthy (remember the 80/20 rule) but also treat yourself, and try minimising your stress levels. Choose an exercise that you are comfortable with and will prepare you for labour and motherhood. Don’t stress over following every single rule about what you can and can’t do when you are pregnant. Intuition is your best friend during pregnancy, so take time to just listen and connect to your body through Yoga, Pilates, meditation or acupuncture.