Why Pre- and Postnatal Fitness?
Having and raising children are feats of physical strength.
Like any athlete, we deserve care that recognizes and supports our unique physical fitness needs as our bodies change and respond to the demands of pregnancy and parenthood. Unfortunately, in the United States we rarely receive appropriate, evidence-based care and support to feel fit, comfortable, and physically empowered throughout the pre- and postnatal phases of our lives. We have accepted life-long physical dysfunction as a ‘normal’ part of having kids, and it doesn’t need to be this way.
During my decade working as a public health practitioner in the United States, it has become alarmingly clear that maternal health and wellness are not a part of our larger cultural values. We are often treated as if our agency and boundaries evaporate once we’re pregnant, and rarely receive clear helpful guidance on how to care for ourselves throughout these monumental changes. Depending on our employment and economic circumstances, we may get a few months to recover post-birth, and many receive only a few weeks. Given what our bodies have experienced, this is simply unconscionable. Largely due to gaps in healthcare and health insurance, insufficient research and provider training, and a lack of available educational and supportive resources, mothers are rarely set up for success in pregnancy and the postpartum period. Nearly every mother I meet reports feeling weak, fragile, broken. Back pain, pelvic plain, chronic incontinence and Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) are among many symptoms that mothers live with during pregnancy and for months, years, and even decades postpartum.
As a trained Public Health Practitioner, Certified Personal Trainer and Pre- and Postnatal Coach, I offer evidence-based, body positive fitness and wellness coaching to safely build strength, stability and flexibility in response to the unique demands of having and raising children. The progression of our work together will be tailored to your unique body and phase of pregnancy or parenthood, as well as your preferences and health goals.
I take issue with a lot of the fitness products and programs marketed to mothers. Aside from the fact that many of them promote exercise that is dangerous and doesn't reflect evidence-based practice guidelines, there is a baffling focus on “bouncing back,” returning to your pre-pregnancy body, weight, abilities, self. As I like to say, we never bounce back— and why would we want to? Experiencing pregnancy and birth offers an opportunity to step forward into our new selves. I want to guide those steps to embrace the incredible people we have become, and to approach that process with honesty and self compassion. I believe that the endless capacities for love, flexibility and compassion that we have for our children can also be applied to ourselves.