Hey there …would you like to know why I became a pregnancy and postpartum trainer ? I started working in the fitness industry when I was 17 as I loved sport and exercise and thought it would be an awesome part-time job during my university studies. It sure was – I trained as a personal trainer but I especially loved group fitness and continued to instruct classes not only as I studied but also when I travelled overseas and also when I had a full time career in advertising and marketing. I loved the vibe of classes, I loved the energy rush and stress release plus connecting with my PT clients !
My first pregnancy and fitness
When I became pregnant for the first time. I continued to train in pretty much the same way as what I had prior to pregnancy…I asked my Doctor about modifications and I was just told that I should watch my heart rate (which is now very outdated advice). I also couldn’t get any clear tips from any other fitness professionals about what I should and shouldn’t be doing during pregnancy and post birth.
- I continued to instruct Body Step classes, which was apparently all o.k – but afterwards my boobs really hurt and my hips felt really tender. I didn’t feel right.
- I continued to instruct Spin classes, which was apparently all o.k – but afterwards my lower back really hurt and I was also quite breathless during the class – which made it hard to talk as an instructor. I didn’t feel right.
- I continued to lift weights at the gym – but when I did deep squats and dead lifts my tailbone hurt and I had neck pain afterwards. I didn’t feel quite right...but thought “just push through it”
- I still also went on my 1 hour plus long power walks down by the river every Sunday afternoon – but I woke up very stiff the next morning. I didn’t feel right but everyone gets pregnancy aches and pains don’t they ?
Becoming a certified trainer – post birth
Post birth I was a little concerned how my body didn’t ‘bounce back” sooner to how it was. I mean why not – I was “fit” and I had continued to exercise all throughout my pregnancy, I even managed labour with no drugs (that was not planned my baby came very quickly). Surely everything would go back to “normal” – your pretty tough my ego told me….and just keep doing those Tracy Anderson workouts every time you baby goes to sleep !
Then I started to tune into that niggle, those feelings that I had when I was exercising during pregnancy, that some things didn’t feel quite right. Fortunately I never suffered any long term injuries, but that niggle just would not disappear so I searched for a Pregnancy Postpartum Exercise Certification Course – and over 10 years ago there where not that many around. However, I found one and despite having a baby under 1 years old, I booked into a course in Melbourne with renowned Women’s Health Physiotherapist Lauren Gabriel. The pregnancy postpartum certification course was intense, I missed my baby but I learned SO much and immediately realised ….
12 key principles for safe and effective pregnancy postpartum exercise
- You don’t always KNOW until you KNOW !
- “Keep doing what you have always done” is poor advice – your body goes through rapid changes during pregnancy and post birth so all movements should take this into account.
- Exercise during pregnancy has fabulous benefits and you may be able to physically perform ALL movement- but different variables during pregnancy have an impact on your body, so it important to educate yourself on the risk vs the reward…and make your EGO step out of the way.
- A modification is not necessarily easy – if done correctly and consistently it can be challenging.
- Ongoing pain after exercise is your body’s way of saying something isn’t quite right so tune into it – your motherly instinct is powerful !
- You are in maintenance mode during pregnancy – don’t worry about loss of strength or skill that will return.
- Pregnancy and postpartum recovery is temporary but damage due “pushing through it” can be permanent !
- Pelvic pain is often dismissed as lower back pain and is NOT something you can stretch your way out of. Here is why.
- Pregnancy is the best time to train your core (NOT by sit ups and crunches) but by tapping into that already strong deep core that is supporting your growing baby. Learn how right here.
- Exhaling on exertion is a game changer !
- No one is invincible and no-one is exempt from core and pelvic health issues – especially if you think you are super fit …most of the people I have met who have had a prolapse are exercise professionals or fitness fanatics !
- It is NEVER to late to address diastatis recti, incontinence and pelvic floor issues…even if you have had a baby 30 years ago. Just like ANY other muscle in your body this deep core CAN be retrained.
Why I became a pregnancy and postpartum trainer and why I love it…
Every woman, every pregnancy, every birth and every recovery is different. Over the past decade, I have learned the most not from text books or additional courses, but from personally training hundreds of pregnant and postpartum women. I have learned there are always individual and task specific considerations for every exercise…and because of this you could say I am a bit of research nerd and functional movement junkie. However, when I say task specific I don’t just mean “in the gym”. How you move during your daily actions can make a massive difference to your pregnancy and postpartum well being. I have also applied these principles during my own 3 pregnancies and recoveries and although I didn’t believe it at first…it does work !
This allowed me to personally learn and standby my philosophy that exercise is wonderful way to connect to your body and shouldn’t just be a tool to change it !
Learn the basics of safe and effective pregnancy exercise with my complimentary guide right here. If you are a regular exerciser, a fitness professional or an athlete – slow down and learn to connect with control and if you can do this consistently then maybe add a challenge. But if you can’t do the foundations (slowly and effectively) during pregnancy and post birth – you are not ready for more. Trust me. Trust this process – your body will thank you !
And importantly …
Why …because during my own first pregnancy journey I hated the feeling like….
“Why didn’t anyone TELL ME that what I was doing was not the best for my body, not only during pregnancy but LONG TERM”.
I also still hate it when women come to me injured as they have followed a random workout on social media, be given ill-informed advice ….or simply because they felt they HAD to push themselves to get results during pregnancy post birth and beyond !
Stay fabulous Mama and please if you have any questions don’t hesitate to connect with me in my Facebook Community.
P.S If you are are trainer and would like to become a fully certified pregnancy or postpartum coach. Check out my blog post on how you can do this !