One of the activities I wanted to include during the babywearing events was a local version of Sling and Dance. However, I was creatively challenge and had no idea how to choreograph a routine. Plus, I don’t go to classes like zumba or yoga so I really had no idea how to organize a similar activity locally. Hence, this idea got shelved.
Fast forward to several months later when I met Nadine Casino online. Nadine and I had been corresponding in Facebook, focusing on setting up a breastfeeding support group in Cagayan de Oro City. Along with her friend Meg Gabe, they set up Mommy Bright Side, a support group for babywearing, breastfeeding and cloth diapering families. Together with neonatologist Dr. Jessamine Sareno, the group organized the successful “Pay it Forward CDO” a breastmilk drive campaign for the Typhoon Pablo orphans.
Aside from the milk drive, the group has been conducting regular monthly mommy meet-ups in Cagayan de Oro. Fairly recently (and I am really excited about this!!), the group organized MomBa classes for moms and babies!
The classes were developed by Nadine and her friend Jasmine San Juan. Nadine is a ballerina, tae kwon do jin, cheerleader, while Jasmine is a ballerina who trained with Lisa Macuja. They merged their passion for dancing with their love for babywearing and came up with MomBa – zumba, samba, mamba, salsa but for babies and mommas.
|Nadine and Jasmine|
So what is MomBa? Nadine explains that it is playtime with baby while burning calories away. The activity focuses on core strengthening exercises, arm workouts and cardio workout for mommy
- Core strengthening – Floor exercises concentrating on core strength to tighten those muscles strained from pregnancy
- Arm workout – carrying baby is a workout alright and we are going to use the baby as weights to help tone arm muscles
- Aerobic workout – Wearing your baby burns extra 300 calories. I wonder how much more calories you will burn if you do cardio exercises with baby strapped on! Additional 10 kilos or more wouldn’t be considered much of a burden if the weights you use are your happy babies.
Meanwhile for baby, the workout will be playtime – learning time. Through play the babies will develop their motor, social and cognitive skills.
- Gross Motor Skills. Large muscle groups need to develop first so that they can learn how to sit up, stand up, crawl, cruise, walk, run, jump, and hop. While mommy use baby as weights during her core exercise baby will also develop her gross motor skills. While mom makes baby fly like an airplane baby will develop her upper body to assist in pushing up from the ground. While mommy makes baby move like a snake with the right arm then the left arm we are teaching baby how to use their arms to crawl. While baby tries to keep their position constant while mommy breaks her dance moves their vestibular system tunes in the inner ear’s balancing act.
- Fine Motor Skills. Fine motor skills targets the smaller muscle groups needed. While baby holds on to mommy’s fingers while mom gives her a horsy ride or while mommy points to a body part baby will follow pointing fingers too.
- Perception. Sensory perception enables infants to learn about themselves and their environment so they can make better judgemnets on how they navigate in it. Motor experience together with awareness of their changing bodies sharpens and modifies their perceptual understanding of what is likely to happen if they move in a certain way.
- Cognitive Skills. With the knowledge about Piaget’s cognitive stages of development we know babies can initiate recognize and repeat pleasurable experience. Memory traces are now present so the infant can anticipate familiar events. For example, when we lay baby on the floor and we glide away from her they know that you will glide back to pick them up. Older babies can also learn how to go away from mommy and come to mommy like a snake, dog, a bird etc. Helping them with their imagination
- Social Skills. With the presence of other babies and other mommies our babies get attuned in social situations. They become sensitive to spaces and to the other babies. They can judge distance or look for cues if the situation is secure or frightening by looking at their caregivers
Here’s a slideshow of the MomBa workouts that the pair has conducted in Cagayan de Oro City and Davao City.
For May, Mommy Bright Side regularly holds MomBa classes in Cagayan de Oro city at SM every Wednesday 5:30pm – 6:30 pm. For Davao mommies, you can join the next MomBa session on May 12 at the Mommapalooza bazaar. Read about the MomBa experience of Davao mommy Julie.
For once, I am jealous that I am in Manila while MomBa is in Davao/Cagayan de Oro. Stay tuned though for a similar workout in the next babywearing meet!