Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ashland, Oregon Resources for Pregnant Women Who Want to Stay Fit

A front page article in yesterday's Tidings, written by co-author Jennifer Margulis, lists the many ways pregnant women can stay fit in Ashland, Oregon.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

A new study conducted by researchers in Norway has discovered yet another benefit to exercise for pregnant women: In addition to keeping moms-to-be healthy, exercising while pregnant also helps keeps down the birth weight of the newborn.

The study, published in the October issue of "Obstetrics & Gynecology," tracked the outcomes of over 35,000 singleton births in Norway and found that regular exercise — at least three times a week — reduces the chances of giving birth to an excessively big baby by 23-28 percent.

Too-big babies (the scientific name for this is "fetal macrosomia") have been linked to increases in birth complications, including post-partum hemorrhages, C-sections, and low Apgar scores.

Although the authors of the study report that fetal macrosomia seems to be on the rise and that the numbers of pregnant women who exercise regularly are on the decline, that does not seem to be the case in Ashland. where it is common to see pregnant women bicycling, walking, swimming, and doing yoga.

"Women who get plenty of exercise during pregnancy benefit in innumerable ways," said Sheryl Grunde, owner of, who teaches prenatal and postnatal yoga classes in Ashland. Grunde, 33, also offers pay-what-you-can massage for pregnant women and works as a doula (a trained birth assistant) at Ashland Community Hospital.

"Healthy, regular metabolism, a strong heart and low blood pressure, and the ability to breathe deeply are some benefits to exercise that come to mind," Grunde said.

The list of Ashland, Oregon resources at the bottom of the article are as follows:
**Prenatal yoga classes cost $12 (less for a punch card) and take place on at the Ashland Yoga Center (at Fourth and A streets) Wednesdays from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Contact instructor Sheryl Grunde at 541-951-7474 or for more information. Grunde also teaches postpartum mom and baby yoga classes at The Studio at Fourth and B streets on Mondays at 10:45 a.m. Participants must pre-register for this six-week class. Focus is on core strength, stretching, and baby play.

**Prenatal swim classes at the Ashland YMCA, free for members or $10 (for a guest pass to the Y), are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. Contact the YMCA at 482-9622 for more information.

**Ashland Community Hospital offers an early pregnancy class ($10), a prenatal yoga class ($10), a four-week basic childbirth education series ($50, which includes a book), waterbirth and doulas class, breastfeeding, and a four-week monthly infant massage class, as well as a free one-day class for siblings-to-be and a free new parents group that meets Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information call the birth center at 201-4210.

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