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HAWC offers class for new moms

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Health and Wellness Center is scheduled to hold a Mommy Readiness Training course at the medical center here from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. July 15.

The training class, which is open to everyone with base access, will focus on the importance of exercise and nutrition for pregnant and postpartum women.

"This class focuses on pre-natal exercise guidelines and techniques that can be done safely and effectively throughout pregnancy, as well as calorie needs, healthy weight gain and pre-natal food choices," said Jennifer Murrell, a HAWC exercise physiologist.

Each month the HAWC provides specialty training for mothers, expecting mothers and spouses. These classes focus on infant and child nutrition, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation awareness, breastfeeding, postpartum depression and postpartum fitness.

Ultimately, the program is designed to help guide class participants to stay within the recommended guidelines for healthy prenatal weight gain, which increases the likelihood of the healthy mothers and babies.

"Studies have shown that women who exercise regularly and gain the appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy increase their chances of having an easier delivery, healthy newborn and a smoother transition back to pre-pregnancy weight," Ms. Murrell said.

Learning how to adjust back to Air Force fitness standards after a pregnancy is an important step for military members, because active duty women return to these standards after just six months postpartum. The class provides women with the tools needed to reach their fitness goals by including hands-on instruction on various exercises women can do while in the pregnancy and postpartum stages.

The HAWC recommends following the objectives found at the Healthy People 2010 Web site. One such objective states "to increase the proportion of mothers who achieve a recommended weight gain during pregnancies. Material weight gain is susceptible to intervention and represents an avenue for prevention of poor birth outcomes."

The readiness training also provides a means for mothers to build social networks with other mothers from the local community.

"This class brings mothers together, giving them added support," Ms. Murrell said. "The class also allows the participants to become acquainted with the key personnel here at the medical center, which will benefit them if they have any questions in the future."

Those people interested in participating in the mother class can call the HAWC to sign up at 606-2221.