Exercise During an ITP Pregnancy

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Also with Antiphospholipid Syndrome, you have to exercise like heaps anyway…

First Trimester

  • Ballet – Monday & Wednesday.  I stopped going to Friday class because I was so tired.
  • Yoga – Did a little yoga at home, until I joined a prenatal friendly yoga class on Tueday’s
  • Walking – A wise person told me a very long time ago that if you walk every day of your pregnancy, you will never notice how much the belly weights.  You will be accustomed to walking with the weight of it each day and your body will grow stronger to hold it.  If you stop for just a few days, when you head out to walk, the belly will feel difficult and heavy from the changes.  So with that in mind, I am walking.

Second Trimester

  • Ballet – Just Monday nights for a little while.
  • Yoga – Once a week for an hour and a half.
  • Walking – Almost every day, unless it was raining.

Third Trimester

  • Ballet – twice a week, beginner classes.  Monday and Wednesday.
  • Yoga – Once over the weekend.  there are a couple of classes I can go to that are suitable, so I just fit them in around seeing friends.  I went to a pregnancy yoga class but found it really boring.  All they talked about were babies and everyone’s feelings.  Yawn.
  • Walking – Walking around Sydney a lot.  Walking to friends houses and to go shopping.

Post Baby

  • Ballet
  • Yoga
  • Walking

If you want to try it out – I suggest the GRACEFUL & FIT PREGNANCY BUNDLE from Mary Helen Bowers, if you can’t get to a Ballet class, and are interested in trying it.  I have her other DVD’d to do at home, during ballet breaks.  But I continued going to Ballet classes where my teachers could guide me along.  So I didn’t end up buying the Pregnancy DVD’s in the end.

What was your exercise routine like during your pregnancy?  Did you have people telling you, you couldn’t do this and had to stop doing that?

A Healthy Change for the New Year

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It is almost time for the new year.  This is the time when my life is filled with two things, New Years Eve plans and New Years Resolutions.  While New Years Eve parties are a grand farewell to the year past, it is our New Years Resolutions that keep up looking forward with fresh eyes and renewed promise.  Making resolutions is one thing, keeping them is something else entirely.  So how can we make sure we keep our New Years Resolutions for 2016 and what is the best way to make them?

For me, New Years Eve parties have always felt like a happy but final sendoff to the year gone by.  They are a finish to everything that has come in the previous year, whether it be positive or challenging (or if you had a nasty year, a really great wake).  New Years Eve has always felt like a goodbye.

New Years Resolutions have always felt like a hello.  To me, they are a way of welcoming the new year and of planning ahead to ensure my future will be a little brighter.

1. Begin by looking back over the past year.  Making resolutions of all the thing I want to change can often leave me feeling like a bit of a failure.  The act of sitting down and writing all the things I should do better, haven’t done or aren’t very good at, can be pretty demoralising – so instead I begin my resolutions by looking back on everything I have already achieved.

I divide my year up into different categories – for example, Family, Work, Health, Adventures, Love, Me, Education… (whatever you like).  Then write down every great thing that happened in those categories.  This makes New Years Resolutions more of a process of filling in the gaps.  Now take a look at the year that has past.  Which categories did you ignore?  Where could you focus more attention?

2. See how far you have come.  It is important to see how far you have come in just one year.  This process will put you in a positive mind to write your new years’ resolutions.  It will help you to see just how much is possible in a year and what you are already able to achieve.

3. Plan your next year.  Now you are ready to write your resolutions for 2016.  This is a great time to simply plan your year, look at what is ahead and start to get prepared and excited.  Make sure you are writing a positive plan for the year to come, with plenty of rewards, adventures and joy.

What does this have to do with ITP?  Have you considered your autoimmune disorder in your New Years Resolutions?  This year I am making a special mention of ITP as I sit down to plan 2016.  These are the questions I am asking myself…

  • What have I been wanting to try, but keep putting off?
  • Which treatments have I attempted but never really committed to?
  • What treatments have you been sceptical about?  And how can I be more open minded?
  • How am I going to approach my ITP this year?


2016 is a long time, and there are plenty of months to try, stumble and try again before you sit down to plan 2017.  Is this the year you try meditation?  Is 2016 the year you commit to returning to exercise?  Is this the year you slowly begin to overhaul your diet?

What are your New Years Resolutions for 2016?  Sharing your resolutions can help you commit to them and motivate you to see them through.

Add them to the comments below.


Yoga and ITP

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I have been going to yoga classes on and off for the past few years.  Sometimes I find myself falling into a wonderful habit of going a few times a week, other times I spend a few weeks doing it everyday from home and then there are those times when I look in my diary and realise it has been three months since I really sat down and stretched.  Those are the worst times.

Stretching, going to yoga, meditation and mindfulness are so important, especially for someone who is struggling with ITP on a daily basis.

I have tried to find a more scientific approach to describing the benefits of yoga but the truth is, you just have to do it to feel the benefits.  One day I will do a study on Yoga and it’s effects on ITP, but for now I just have to keep chatting about anecdotal evidence.

Fitting Yoga into the Routine

Yoga is great if you can fit it into your life style without turning it into a chore.  That is why I try as often as possible to keep my yoga practice at home.  That way I can stay in my pyjamas, or my yoga gear (or pull dirty clothes from the washing basket).  I don’t have to worry about having a shower or brushing my teeth or being late, or weather it is warm outside.

The best way to fit Yoga into your routine is to do it as often as possible.  This is a great way of making sure you notice the days that you don’t so yoga and might actually start to miss it.

Yoga at Home

Click here for Yoga DVDs

My favourite at home yoga is by Rodney Ye, who is pretty famous in the American yoga market, but not many Australians seem to have heard of him.  I love the AM/PM YOGA DVD’S as they are designed as short 20 minute yoga sessions, that over the week add together to work through your entire body.   They are addictive because you cant miss a day or you wont be even.  So you keep doing them.  The am session will wake you up and the pm sessions will easily wind you down.

However, there is only so much progress you can do on your own, before you need the help of some very qualified Yogi’s.  A yoga class, once a week, is a great way to move forward and stay on target, as you maintain a yoga practice at home as well.

Stretching for Sleep

The body will naturally fall asleep in a safe environment when it is completely relaxed.  Stress tension and worries are a large contributor to difficulty falling asleep.  Muscle soreness, tightness in your joints, tension in you hips and back and pains in your neck will also hinder your ability to get comfortable and fall asleep.  I have written other articles on Stretching before bed.  It is the number one factor for me, in having a good night sleep.  Read more about STRETCHING FOR SLEEP.

Recommended Yoga Schools in Sydney

YOGA SYNERGY –  Yoga Synergy runs on 9 week cycles that follow the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Ether.  Each term is a focused intensive where you follow and learn a series dedicated to that element.  Each week the series becomes more complex as you become more proficient at the asanas and more familiar with the flow.

PRESHANA YOGA  – Preshana Yoga is a highly disciplined yoga school, focusing on alinement and precision.  The progress made while practicing at Preshana will be slow and perfect, allowing you to master more advance yoga asanas with an ease you never expected.

BLACK LOTUS – The Black Lotus Yoga Studios incorporate props, blocks and straps into their practice, which can be a bit fiddly for those who are not used to assisted yoga.  There is not so much a focus on flow and breath, as there is an awareness of body positioning and pushing, focusing and challenging the asana.

MIND BODY LIFE Yoga Studio – The Mind Body Life Yoga studio’s have come highly recommended from my sister in law who was practicing there before, during and after the birth of her beautiful Baby girl.  Their Prenatal Classes come very well recommended.

The HOUSE OF YOGA – The House of Yoga, in Redfern is the first Sydney yoga studio to offer Anti gravity Yoga.  The images look totally fantastic and I am heading down there next week to check it all out.  I will keep you updated.

Recovering from Exercise with ITP

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Is there a risk for people with ITP when they exercise?  Yes.  However these risks associated with exercising must be weight against the benefits of such exercise.  What is a bruise every now and again in comparison to you or your child’s health?

Always common sense must prevail.’Vigorous exercise may lead to more “huffing & puffing” resulting in more petechiae than usual on the face and neck, but unless one has severe ITP with regular bleeding – nosebleeds or internal haemorrhage would not be expected with exercises that improve cardiovascular performance or muscle strength.’  ITP SUPPORT UK This article from ITP Support Uk goes on to say that this risk increases when patients are involved in contact or more active sports such as football, netball or basketball.

Recovery – How do you recover ?

The worst thing about a really great workout, is that for three days afterwards you can’t do another really great work out.  Post exercise, your muscles are aching and you can feel stiff and sore.  These side effects of exercise are compounded with ITP, as platelets are involved in the recovery process. Platelets are so importance in the recovery process that some sports specialist and orthopedists are offering platelet rich plasma injections as treatment for sport recover and to heal problems such as tendonitis.  ‘Within platelets are also powerful growth factors, substances which stimulate tissue repair of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.  PRP is a blood preparation that contains few red blood cells, but a highly concentrated amount of platelets,‘ from Hunterdon Orthopedic. So how can you ensure that you give yourself the best chance possible of maintaining a healthy exercise routine?  Here are a few tips to keep you fit, and able to exercise as much as you like.

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The Most Stylish Paleo Eater in the World

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So I know that this actually has got nothing to do with having ITP – but here at my house at the moment there has been a lot of talk about Paleo in our kitchen.  After stumbling across an old interview from 1952 where Marilyn Monroe spoke about her oddly Paleo eating habits.

“I’m sure that I couldn’t allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods.”

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Livingston’s Meredith Prescott to Hold 5K Fundraising Run

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After a very successful event, raising over $45,000, I decided to plan my second 5k walk/run this June with another fighter, Linda McGuirl, to find a cure and help rid this world of ITP. Linda and I were both diagnosed at 21, and although we are decades apart in age, we both take strong pride in raising awareness and taking control of ITP. Riding the roller coaster in the world of ITP is so much better when you’re not riding alone.

Don’t let your compassion stop at wishing to see others free from suffering. Do something.

To pre-register, or make a donation or for more information, visit this link.

Registration/Check-in will begin at 12:00pm and the event will begin at 12:30pm at the Livingston Oval in Livingston, NJ on Sunday, June 8th.

If you can’t make it to the run but you would still like to be a part of raising itp Awareness, you can join the dicussion on Instagram.  Lots of itp patients are spreading the itp awareness love at Hashtag #itpawareness!  Share your photos today.