Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Serenity Yoga & Pilates Studio: new 5-week session of prenatal yoga, 5:30 PM Mondays, beginning July 12th

Serenity Yoga & Pilates Studio will be starting a new 5-week session of prenatal yoga 5:30 PM Mondays beginning July 12th. The five classes will be $70. If you are interested, please respond to serenity.yp@gmail.com and we will send it to you. Please let me know if you are registering for the class and already have your paperwork completed.

Dates: Mondays July 12, 19, 26, August 2, 9

Time: 5:30-6:25 PM

Class Includes: Yoga Postures to help release tension and open the hips, breathing techniques to help calm the mind, and exercises to help you stay in shape through your pregnancy and prepare for the demands of labor.
Bamboo Birth Services
Certified Birth Doula
"empowering no-to-low intervention hospital births"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Coralville: River City Pilates

Pilates and Pregnancy
By Carey Sadler or Rivercity Pilates Studio

Moderate exercise is generally recommended for most women during pregnancy for a variety of reasons. Exercise helps to keep the body strong, flexible and balanced so that the new mom is more comfortable as her body changes and grows. Also she is better prepared for labor and delivery, as well as taking care of her newborn baby.

Why is Pilates so ideal for pregnant women?

Pilates is a method of exercising that focuses on body movements that create optimal balance throughout the body and allows the body to move with ease. As a pregnant woman’s body changes, individual pilates sessions can be tailored to individuals, with exercises that will help the new mom-to-be adapt to her rapidly expanding body. Maintaining a balance of strength and flexibility in the body can help pregnant woman have a comfortable pregnancy and help them stay active to continue their day to day activites.

Pilates is also ideal for postpartum recovery for many of the same reasons. Pilates’ exercises focus attention on core muscles and pelvic floor muscles, which assists post partum women work on the areas most affected during pregnancy.

2751 Oakdale Blvd. Suite #3

Coralville, IA 52241



Josh O'Leary of the Iowa City Press Citizen write about doulas

Doulas try to create positive

birth experience

Monday event lets women and partners

learn about services

Josh O'Leary • Iowa City Press-Citizen • May 18,


All too often, it's the war stories from the delivery

room that first come to mind when mothers look

back on the birth of their children, Jun-Nicole

Matsushita said.

Instead, she hopes that her work and that of other

doulas makes the experience a positive one --

which was the case for Maria Perez, whom

Matsushita assisted in the birth of her first child,


"It was incredibly powerful and empowering to have

a natural birth," Perez said.

Iowa City's cooperative of trained doulas -- workers

who provide non-medical support for women from

pregnancy through the early postpartum period --

will host a meet-and-greet event Monday for those

interested in learning more about their services.

"We're really trying to help women learn about their

birth options and what their choices are in the

community," Matsushita said.

Perez and her husband, Erik Rader, of Coralville said

having a doula working alongside certified nurse

midwives at the University of Iowa Hospitals and

Clinics last year helped them achieve their goal of a

birth with the least amount of medical intervention.

Perez, whose daughter now is 15 months old, said

Matsushita was able to teach her techniques to cope

with pain and improve her comfort, as well as create

an environment in the hospital that was best suited

for the birth she and her husband envisioned.

"The biggest thing in working with a doula is that

even the terms we used to describe the birth were

different," said Perez, 34. "She actually got away

from talking about pain to instead talking about

surges. When you have a contraction, that's a surge

of power and energy that means that your baby is

coming soon. And that's something to welcome."

Matsushita said doulas provide information to

expecting mothers who are weighing their choices,

which can include obstetricians, midwives or at-

home births. She said there is a growing interest in

natural and low-intervention childbirth approaches,

and more hospitals are offering support to doulas.

Matsushita said local doulas have worked with a

number of women, many of whom drive from as far

as Des Moines to UIHC, who aim to have a

traditional birth after previously undergoing a

cesarean section.

"One in three women now has cesarean sections,

and after that, many of them are trying to have

vaginal birth," Matsushita said. "Not many other

hospitals are providing access for that. University

Hospitals does, and the certified nurse midwives are

very supportive of that. And of course the doula is

another member of that team who can help make that

a positive experience."

The Iowa City Doulas, which is a cooperative of

seven childbirth educators of varying specialties, a

lso provide cost-reduced and volunteer services,

depending on a family's financial situation.

"Anyone who says I can't afford a doula just hasn't

asked," Matsushita said. "People can always find

someone who is in training or who will volunteer

their services."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prenatal -- Postpartum -- Yoga and Pilates

Dear Bamboo Birth family and newsletter subscriber,

My graduate school classmate just bumped into me outside my house and we have met to collaborate. Marcie is the owner and instructor of prenatal yoga at the Serenity Yoga ad Pilates studio in Iowa City. She has asked me to pass the following message on.

Many greetings,


Hello! Hope this email finds you happy and healthy and enjoying your summer! We will be starting a new trial 2-week session of prenatal yoga 5:30 PM Mondays starting June 21st and 28th. The two classes will be $30. You will need to preregister for the class by sending your payment as soon as possible. There is paperwork that will need to be filled out by your doctor. If you are interested, please respond and I will send it to you. Prenatal yoga has many benefits! Please see below!


Generally, if you are not already doing yoga or Pilates pre-pregnancy, you should consider attending a class with an instructor who is specifically trained in prenatal/postpartum yoga or Pilates. If you choose to continue doing yoga or Pilates in your current class, there are many positions that are unsafe during the prenatal period. If you do not know if your instructor is trained in prenatal yoga/Pilates, you should ask or seek someone who is. Here are some of the benefits of prenatal/postpartum yoga & Pilates:


1. Helps open the hips and prepares the body for the stress of the birthing process

2. Helps to relax the mother and de-stress her, releases relaxing hormones into the bloodstream that can be good for the unborn baby

3. Introduces breathing techniques and sound therapy that may be helpful during labor and child birth

4. Helps the mother better connect to her body, thereby allowing her to better connect with the baby

5. The baby can feel mom moving, which creates a gentle, fluid, and nurturing environment

6. Helps decrease problems with swelling and circulation

7. It is a great way to introduce partner yoga to dad’s-to-be as well!


1. Helps to strengthen the ligaments, tendons and muscles around the hips during the postpartum period

2. Helps mom to refill her giving cup and take time for herself

3. Can help decrease chances of post-partum depression

4. Helps to retrain the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles to prevent incontinence (urine leakage)

5. Helps to tone the rest of the body

6. Can encourage weight loss

7. Helps relax and calm nerves

I’m pregnant! What should I know about Prenatal Yoga or Pilates?

Changes in mom’s body cause a hormone called relaxin to course through the body during this time. This hormone causes much more freedom in the joints (joint laxity). Unfortunately, relaxin is not specific to any joint in the body. It works on all of them. Overstretching is a major concern during the prenatal period and also up to 6 weeks post-partum or more (depending on breast feeding). Overstretching can cause dislocation of the joints, possibly permanently.

We do so many motions in our yoga and Pilates classes, we have to think about how those motions could affect our unborn baby. A wise yogi once said, “You can, but should you?”

Yoga is totally safe during the prenatal time with some poses omitted, and with other important poses added to prenatal classes it can be extremely beneficial for mom and baby, or the whole family! Seek a certified prenatal instructor to help you develop a safe and effective practice.

Thanks and Namaste'!


Marcie Evans, MA, ACSM, E-RYT, BCES, ACE

Co-Founder Serenity Yoga & Pilates Studio



For those of you who live in Coralville and North Liberty please visit the Riverside Pilates studio with Carrie Sadler [future post in the works]

Friday, June 4, 2010

Perceptions of a mother: Birth Art

I had the pleasure of working with Heidi and Andy as their doula during their pregnancy. The couple are both ceramics artists and Heidi has recently shared her blog. She writes:

"My artwork is my diary. It holds secrets and memories of the past and illustrates my anticipation and vision for the future. It simultaneously depicts fears that haunt me, and reveals fantasies that are beyond reality. Currently this diary contrasts my personal experience of motherhood with more conventional expectations and perceptions of mothers. My hope is that my work will not only bring humor and discussion to the topic of motherhood, but also challenge the pressure of responsibility that mothers hold in raising their young."

Bamboo Birth Services
Certified Labor Doula
"empowering no-to-low intervention hospital births"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

UIHC Community Seminar: Understanding Preeclampsia

Understanding Preeclampsia

A free community seminar

Thursday, June 3

6:30-8 p.m.

2117 MERF (Medical Education Research Facility)

The University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Hear the powerful and heartwarming story of a new mother who survived preeclampsia and get the latest medical information on this potentially life-threatening condition at this free community seminar. Our featured speakers will be Lauren Larsen, President of the Foundation for America's Blood Centers, and Mark Santillan, MD, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Preeclampsia is a leading known cause of premature birth, and without proper care can threaten the lives of both the mother and the child.

It is a serious problem for as many as 1 in 12 women during pregnancy, and generally occurs in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. The condition is marked by a sudden increase in blood pressure (development of hypertension), protein in the urine, and swelling in the hands and face. A more severe form of preeclampsia can lead to liver failure, kidney failure, and seizures.

Lauren Larsen's life took a dramatic turn in the spring of 2000 when preeclampsia threatened the life of her baby and landed Lauren in the intensive care unit for six weeks. Lauren will share her personal story and tell why she is now a crusader for volunteer blood donation and preeclampsia awareness.

Dr. Mark Santillan will discuss:
•What is preeclampsia?

•What are the warning signs?

•Am I at risk of having it?

•Can my health care provider treat it?

•Is there a cure?

•Is there a link between preeclampsia and other future disease?

To register, call 319-335-8886 or 877-MED-IOWA, or register online.

Presented by: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
In collaboration with the Preeclampsia Foundation and the Foundation for America's Blood Centers.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please call Tom Walljasper, External Relations, in advance at 319-384-1745.