Mama Mgeni’s Guide to Babywearing Fitness

Before kids, we hardly found time to squeeze in an hour for working out. Now that we’ve got kids, it’s all but impossible to juggle life, family, work, and the needs of a tiny baby. With all these demands on our time, it’s especially difficult to find time to work out. The good news is that your baby can actually help you to get back in shape!

One of the best ways to get fit postpartum is to incorporate your baby into your workout. All you need is your baby and a baby carrier of your choice – a lesso, sling, wrap, or soft structured carrier. (The carrier should support your baby’s legs from knee to knee and you should wear your baby facing you for better support.) The earlier you start working out with baby, the better! Your baby will act as your weights, and as he grows, you will naturally be adding gradual weight to your workout.

Benefits to working out while babywearing:

  • Baby is not an excuse to miss your workout, she becomes an incentive! There is no need to squeeze workouts between feeding and naps, so you will have more time to work out.
  • Babies tend to fall asleep when being worn, especially with the swaying, bouncing movements that come with babywearing workouts.
  • Babywearing is a wonderful way to reconnect with your body while bonding with your baby.

Types of babywearing fitness:

  • Babywearing yoga is a gentle practice that incorporates poses modified to suit babywearing. In Nairobi, you can try babywearing yoga at Ayatana Yoga Lounge (The Greenhouse, Ngong Road, Tuesdays 10:30 – 11:30) or Acacia Studios (Viking House, Westlands Roundabout, Fridays 10:45 – 11:45).
  • Hiking or walking is a great babywearing activity that you can make as leisurely or challenging as you want, from strolls through parks and forests to walking safaris, to climbing local hills and mountains! With the right baby carrier, you should be able to tackle most any terrain, within reason. You can go for babywearing walks in Karura Forest, Arboretum, or the Safari Walk at Nairobi National Park. You can up the ante by babywearing during hikes in the Ngong Hills or even Mount Longonot!
  • Babywearing workouts often incorporate weight-bearing moves to strengthen both the upper and lower body. Exercises might include lunges, squats, side planks, tricep dips, wall push-ups, twists, and steps. If babywearing workouts interest you, you can find online resources and create your own babywearing circuit (try thebabywearingworkout.com, breakingmuscle.com or fitforexpecting.com).

If you’re a busy mum struggling to find time to work out, incorporating your new baby into your fitness routine can help! Not only will wearing your baby add weight to your workout, but it will also give you a chance to bond with your little one while doing something that’s good for you. Let your baby be your personal trainer and help you get back into shape!

(This article originally appeared in Nairobi’s UP Magazine, and was reprinted with permission.  Photos by Natasha Sweeney.)

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Storymoja Festival

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I took Sugarplum and Sweetpea to the Storymoja Festival at the National Museum this week, and we had such fun! Started in 2007, the Storymoja Festival is a celebration of storytelling, poetry, personal expression, writing, and performing, with a particular focus on African authors and artists. I am a huge fan of supporting and encouraging African authors and children’s stories about life in Africa, so I was really excited to bring the kids out for this event.

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Mama Flamingo feeding shawl giveaway

Since Sugarplum arrived, I have been in desperate need of an updated breastfeeding wardrobe. When Sweetpea was still breastfeeding, I was a big fan of wearing a nursing tank / camisole under my shirt. I could wear almost any top, and I would just lift the shirt, and lower the cami and my nursing bra. It was very discreet, and allowed me to wear most of the shirts in my wardrobe. This also allowed me to keep my belly and sides covered up. (To be honest, I was a lot more worried about people seeing my belly than I was about showing a bit of the top of my breast!)

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Shirt-up-tank-down method…

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International Babywearing Week 2014

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Babywearers of Nairobi, International Babywearing Week is coming up, and we’ve got some plans to celebrate and promote the many benefits of babywearing!  Babywearing Love Kenya, our local babywearing group, will be participating in International Babywearing Week with babywearing groups around the world by hosting a series of fun and educational events throughout the week.

  • Babywearing walks at the Nairobi Safari Walk and Oloolua Trail in Karen
  • Picnic and Playdate
  • Babywearing Yoga
  • Babywearing wrapping and ring sling classes
  • Babywearing photography sessions with Natasha Sweeney

We are really excited to celebrate International Babywearing Week with all of you! Stay tuned for more details and a schedule of events. Let’s get out there and wear those babies!

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The best mascara

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I don’t normally do beauty posts. In fact, to be perfectly honest, until a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t wear any makeup at all unless I was going out on a date with hubby. You might say this makes me unqualified to recommend a certain kind of mascara. OR, you might say, “Damn, if Tara is talking about mascara, it MUST be good!” And it is. It is sooooo good. It’s so good that it has completely converted this no-makeup girl. It’s Clinique’s Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula. AMAZING. Continue reading

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Is this thing still on?

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Sorry for the long, long silence… We had a wonderful three weeks in the US, and we’ve been back in Kenya over a week now. And I’ve been struggling with a dilemma – to blog, or not to blog…

I had an unpleasant experience a few weeks ago. It started out as a case of copyright infringement, which was easily solved. However, it evolved into a much bigger, uglier problem which is not so easy to solve… It has made me painfully aware that the Internet is a vast, largely ungovernable space, and I need to decide how much I really want to put myself – and especially my kids – out there.

So as I ponder the existence of this blog, what it has been, and what I want it to be – or IF I want it to be, please bear with me! In the meantime, I will try to feature content that doesn’t focus on my family so much…  Some things to come: breastfeeding-friendly clothing (and how my preferences changed between breastfeeding Sweetpea and now Sugarplum), some amazing mascara (a special recommendation coming from someone who HATES mascara!), and homemade ice cream that doesn’t require a fancy ice cream maker…  Stay tuned for more!

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Gardening at Nonnie’s House

My mom has a huge garden and vegetable patch at her house, and Sweetpea loves helping with the flowers and veggies. A few days ago, she went outside with my mom and my grandmother to help weed the flowers around the mailbox.

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Frolicking at the beach…

I’ve been terrible about posting, so here are some family photos at the beach this afternoon!

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We survived 31 hours of travel!

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It was an epic journey. Three flights, three continents, a grand total of 31 hours, door-to-door. And we survived! Continue reading

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Off to the US!

Copyright 2014 Tara Wambugu

We are on our way to visit family in the US for a few weeks – I am so excited! It has been well over a year since our last visit, and the first time we’ll be visiting in the summer months since 2008! Continue reading

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