Featured Article in The Miami Herald

In antic­i­pa­tion of the offi­cial launch of Baby Weight TV, Micky talks to Cam­my Clark of the Mia­mi Her­ald about the site, her pro­gram, and her Mia­mi events.

Baby Weight’ author launch­ing exer­cise video series for moms and moms-to-be”

By Cam­my Clark

The 6-month-old smiled and gig­gl14etKa.St.56ed as his moth­er, MacKen­zie Oak­ley, held him in her out­stretched hands while she did a strength­en­ing yoga chair pose at a pub­lic beach in Islam­ora­da.

Oak­ley was get­ting a great work­out and her baby boy, Worth, was enjoy­ing the activ­i­ty and atten­tion.

The heav­ier he gets, the hard­er the exer­cise is for me,” she said. “And he’s already up to 24 pounds.”

Oak­ley, 33, also worked out with Worth while he was devel­op­ing inside her womb, get­ting guid­ance from phys­i­cal ther­a­pist Micky Marie Mor­ri­son to make sure the exer­cise was safe for both of them.

Over the past sev­en years, Mor­ri­son has become an expert on safe and effec­tive pre- and post-natal exer­cise. She devel­oped a pro­gram called Core­Ma­ma that she will present in a free ses­sion Sat­ur­day morn­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mia­mi Health System’s Well­ness Cen­ter, which began offer­ing the pro­gram last fall taught by instruc­tors Mor­ri­son trained.

A lot of women would freeze their mem­ber­ship when they got preg­nant, think­ing they couldn’t keep work­ing out because it wasn’t safe,” said Cather­ine Bernath, account­ing man­ag­er for the 2,800-member Well­ness Cen­ter. “We want­ed to have a spe­cif­ic offer­ing for preg­nant moth­ers. We also want­ed to have some­thing that would lure new moms back in the facil­i­ty soon­er, and offer a class where they feel more comfortable.”

Mor­ri­son, who splits her time between the Flori­da Keys and Guatemala, said it all start­ed dur­ing her own preg­nan­cy when she mod­i­fied a core work­out class she had been teach­ing. Soon, preg­nant women in the small Guatemalan moun­tain com­mu­ni­ty of La Antigua- most­ly expa­tri­ates work­ing for diplo­mats and non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions — sought her advice on exer­cise.

Because of my med­ical back­ground, I kept get­ting asked ques­tions and real­ized a lot of women want­ed to know what they could and could not do,” Mor­ri­son said. “I felt it would be sim­ple and easy to write a book.”

After three years of research and writ­ing, she pro­duced Baby Weight: The Com­plete Guide to Pre­na­tal & Post­par­tum Fit­ness (Body Works, 2011). It details her Core­Ma­ma pro­gram, which focus­es on mus­cles weak­ened dur­ing preg­nan­cy and child­birth, espe­cial­ly in the abdomen and pelvic floor.

Every­one who reviewed it, and a lot of the con­sumer feed­back, said: “You need videos,‘ ” Mor­ri­son said.

And so, on Wednes­day, she launch­es BabyWeight.TV, a dig­i­tal library of 70 stream­ing fit­ness videos that offer begin­ner, inter­me­di­ate and advanced work­outs for moms-to-be and new moms.

The first batch of videos was filmed in La Antigua, where she owns the Heal­ing Hands Ther­a­py Spa, with a vol­cano as the back­drop. Anoth­er 10 videos were taped on a beach in the Keys, and are sched­uled to go online in the next few weeks.

Most were shot out­doors because it’s much more peace­ful and inter­est­ing to watch,” said Mor­ri­son, 39, who has a 7-year-old son and 10-year-old step­son.

She said she hopes to address the needs of women of all fit­ness lev­els through­out their preg­nan­cies and post-par­tum recov­ery, whether they deliv­er nat­u­ral­ly or by Cae­sare­an sec­tion.

Like many women, Oak­ley expe­ri­enced too much morn­ing sick­ness ear­ly in her preg­nan­cy to even think about exer­cis­ing. She’d been a jog­ger, swim­mer and ten­nis play­er before con­ceiv­ing, but by the time she start­ed want­i­ng to exer­cise again, two months before her due date, she was out of shape and much heav­ier.

Oth­er women bring no fit­ness rou­tine into preg­nan­cy but decide they need to start doing some­thing healthy for them­selves and their babies. Either way, said Mor­ri­son, the impor­tant thing is to know and lis­ten to your body.

For exam­ple, she said, many women don’t under­stand how the hor­mon­al changes of preg­nan­cy affect them.

Lig­a­ments soft­en so the pelvis can open to have the baby. But it affects all the joints in the body,” she said. “So knees are loos­er, ankles are loos­er. You’re more prone to have joint injury, so you just have to be care­ful and espe­cial­ly avoid impact move­ments or impact activities.”

Low-impact aer­o­bic activ­i­ties like swim­ming, walk­ing or the sta­tion­ary bike are often the best choice. “Senior class­es are also great because they pro­tect the joints,” Mor­ri­son said.

It’s also impor­tant for preg­nant women to strength­en their abdom­i­nal mus­cles, she said, but not to push it too far.

Your six-pack mus­cle has two strips on either side of your bel­ly but­ton, and it can open like a zip­per once it’s stretched over the uterus.”

Then there are Kegel exer­cis­es to strength­en the mus­cles in the pelvic floor.

The poten­tial ben­e­fits of exer­cise dur­ing preg­nan­cy include decreased aches, pains and leg cramps, greater ener­gy and less weight gain. It also helps pre­pare women for the ordeal of deliv­er­ing a child. Mor­ri­son said stud­ies show that exer­cise can also short­en labor.

Oak­ley gave birth to Worth in just six hours, she said. “I think a lot of the exer­cis­es helped strength­en my pelvic area. I just felt stronger and didn’t feel I need­ed med­ica­tion. … There was a time I want­ed it, but it was too late.”

Exer­cise also can help new moms com­bat post-par­tum depres­sion and bond with their babies, Mor­ri­son said.

Even with exer­cise, many women bat­tle their baby weight. Oak­ley, who is 5–7, saw her weight bal­loon from 133 to 177 pounds over the course of her preg­nan­cy and drop to the 150s soon after giv­ing birth. Now, after six months, she’s down to 138.

I tell every­one, “It took nine months to gain it and you should give your­self the same amount of time to lose it,‘ ” Mor­ri­son said. “But while my com­pa­ny is called Baby Weight, I try not to focus so much on the num­bers on the scale. It’s real­ly about health and wellness.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/25/3364432/baby-weight-author-launching-exercise.html#storylink=cpy

To view the entire video, subscribe today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *