March 3, 2005
A big concern for postnatal mothers is getting their figures back, and exercise can help. This month’s Exercise of the Week series is focused on exercises that new mothers can perform to get back in shape.
But being in a class with other new moms can do more than work the body — it can also address emotional needs.
Erin Guerena, 23, of Mesa says sharing the joys and problems of motherhood is a great reliever of postpartum depression. Guerena, who teaches prenatal/ postpartum water aerobics, is a participant in Kim Foley’s Mommy and Me class at the Mesa YMCA. The two had children just weeks apart and now share baby tales as they work themselves back into shape.
"Many times new mothers are focusing on the needs of others and not on their own needs," Foley says. "(Exercising) is something they do for themselves. When you feel better, you are a better mom."
Frequently moms are hooked after one class.
"It’s kind of like a support group," Foley says.
Mommy and Me meets 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays at the Mesa YMCA, 207 N. Mesa Drive, and is free to members. Mothers with infants 6 weeks to walking age participate in the class, which includes stretching, cardio and weight exercises. Equipment includes strollers and mats; classes are held in the gymnasium and a park, depending on weather.