5 Simple Ways to Chat with your Pelvic Floor

pelvic floor health


Not that long ago, I stood on the side of the road, 4 months pregnant, having peed my pants.

Not that long ago, I stood on the side of the road, 4 months pregnant, having peed my pants. It was not a glorious moment for me. Unfortunately, I had horrible morning sickness and well, the pressure was so strong that, yup, I peed my pants! And at the time, I thought that was normal.

You know, that’s what happens when you’re pregnant, right? I still believed it to be normal, albeit very embarrassing, when I couldn’t manage to do jumps in my postnatal exercise class because when I did, I peed a little bit.

I wanted to share this experience because I know that women are looking for answers, for help.  I see it every day! It’s not easy for me, or for any of us, to share these embarrassing moments but it’s time to get all this out in the open so we can get the help we need and lead a vibrant and healthy lifestyle.

‘Lift your pelvic floor’ she said, to which I replied ‘wha??!!’

The number of times I sat in a yoga or pilates class and was instructed in various ways to engage my pelvic floor is pretty impressive considering when I was in those classes, I had NO idea what the hell they were talking about!

I mean, I had many wonderful, knowledgeable teachers but those muscles were completely foreign to me. Even after doing my own yoga and pilates training I was still left a bit mystified. I knew approximately where they were but I wasn’t quite sure what it meant to engage, or lift, or squeeze.

But I did my best…

I clenched my butt and I imagined lifting, I went through the motions, and went through the motions, with absolute urgency during my pregnancy, yet I still wound up with pelvic floor issues. It’s not easy to share with all of you and as well as the rest of the Internet that my pelvic floor muscles were less than stellar but I know there are women out there who are right where I was a few years ago. Completely out of touch with that area of their body and frustrated with the way things are working and feeling ‘down there!’

Don’t worry, we’ve all said ‘whaa?’

Most of us have no real connection to the pelvic floor muscles. We aren’t sure exactly where they are or how they work, we just know we need to work ‘em.

It really has been a taboo subject here in Canada up until recently but in many European countries Pelvic Health Physiotherapy has been part of standard care for postpartum women for decades… amazing! Thankfully this is changing and the information women need to feel better and more confident in their bodies is slowly coming to light!

Pelvic floor meet brain, brain meet pelvic floor!

Let’s take a look at some of the contributing factors to our disconnection of the pelvic floor muscles and what we can do to increase our awareness and function of these muscles.

We assume dysfunction is normal.

I hate to use the word dysfunction… and I just used the word dysfunction. No one likes to think of themselves as broken but if there is pain, or the muscles are not working optimally, there are things that can be done to help. A lot of women figure that experiencing a little bit (or maybe even a lot) of incontinence is normal during pregnancy and postpartum. But there is a difference between NORMAL and COMMON. Many, many women are experiencing incontinence, pelvic pain and discomfort throughout their pregnancy but that doesn’t mean it’s normal. Misalignment, improper breathing techniques, increased tension and trauma of the tissues can contribute to a weakening and/or decreased function of the pelvic floor muscles.

It’s embarrassing.

When it comes to incontinence even though we may think it’s normal, most likely we’re dealing with it silently and not really broadcasting it to everyone. I mean how many people want to tell the world they peed their pants on the side of the road?

It can feel quite disheartening, especially after having given birth and not necessarily feeling comfortable in your “new” body. I know for myself I felt like something must be wrong with me and this was just something I’d have to live with.

Incontinence, painful sex, pain when inserting a tampon, even an increased pressure in the pelvic area can be really hard to talk about. If you feel uncomfortable with a certain area of your body it is going to directly affect your relationship with those muscles and most likely, you will shy away from actually working on those areas/muscles because it feels overwhelming and scary to start.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Another big reason we feel disconnected from that area of the body is that unlike many other muscles in our body, we don’t actually see the pelvic floor muscles because they are internal. Generally, we don’t talk about them. We don’t often touch them and we haven’t received a whole lot of education on these muscles. And our muscles can’t speak to us either. Well they can, however, if we aren’t entirely sure how to identify their stress signals, how are we to know that there’s something wrong with them in the first place?

It’s no wonder that the majority of us are walking around without any kind of awareness or relationship with these muscles!

Generally, it’s not until we experience some kind of dysfunction that we become aware of these muscles and begin to look for help. I can remember these wonderful teachers trying to cue how to engage the pelvic floor muscles but it wasn’t until a physiotherapist suggested I actually touch and feel those muscles that I had a better understanding of where they were and how they should work.

Decreased function and sensation.

The one thing that most of us think of when we hear about the pelvic floor is kegels. We’ve all heard we should be doing them religiously – morning noon and night, plus every time we hit a red light!

Kegels focus mainly on the engaging aspect of the pelvic floor muscles and many of us are actually dealing with hypertonic pelvic floor muscles, meaning they are too tense. Tight and stiff muscles don’t work to their full potential and have a limited range of motion.

We can imagine that when we think of our hamstring muscles.

When we feel stiff in our hamstrings they don’t have as much yield to them and feel stuck. Well, that tension and lack of pliability can definitely occur in the pelvic floor as well. When tension builds over time these muscles will not move through their full range of motion therefore we don’t have a good sense of what they feel like when they are relaxed because they are living in a constant state of tension.

Deepening our awareness of the pelvic floor muscles (and other muscles as well) has a direct impact on how well our muscles function. Along with increased awareness comes the ability to move more accurately, ensuring that the proper muscles are working and that we’re not just compensating – this includes our glutes too! Having the pelvic floor muscles working optimally means that your internal organs, spine and pelvis are properly supported.

Let’s explore five ways that we can increase our awareness and deepen our relationship with the pelvic floor muscles.


1. Feel the Rhythm.

I have written about the Core Breath (coined by Bellies Inc. but also known as Diaphragmatic Breathing or Pelvic Breathing) before and what this really means is retraining our core muscles to work in synch with each other as they naturally should. Child’s pose can be a really helpful position to practice this breathing in as it naturally lengthens the pelvic floor muscles allowing us to feel the releasing phase more easily.

Come down onto the floor and rest your bum back toward your heels, knees can be apart or together. Place a pillow under your bum if it does not comfortably rest on your heels. As you inhale imagine the SITS bones (the bones in the middle of each bum cheek) widening apart. As you exhale see if you can feel a gentle lift. You are not squeezing on the exhale but allowing the pelvic floor muscles to naturally draw up. If that doesn’t resonate with you try thinking about the pelvic floor muscles softening or relaxing on the inhalation. If you cannot actually feel any movement just visualize the muscles moving with each breath.

avoid diastasis

2. Let it go.

For some of us the pelvic floor muscles may not actually move that much because of excessive tension. Try placing a tennis ball (or Yoga Tune Up ball) under one bum cheek, just to the inside of the SITS bones. Allow your muscles to soften and release as you stay here and breathe. You can do this sitting on a chair or on the floor.

baby & me fitness diastasis

3. Get some feedback.  

It can be really hard to sense the subtle movements of the pelvic floor, so using some kind of prop may allow you to feel the muscles better. A yoga bolster or something that resembles one (such as a few pillows or a rolled up blanket) works well. A stability ball is another great tool. If you are using a blanket or bolster you will sit on it with your legs on either side of the prop so it is directly below your perineum. Practice diaphragmatic breathing here and feel for the release of the pelvic floor muscles into the prop beneath you.

kegels

4. Get in touch.

Many of us are tactile learners so actually touching our bodies and palpating our muscles greatly increases our awareness. Oftentimes we hear or read about anatomy but if we don’t have personal experience with these muscles and bones we don’t have the clearest picture possible. External palpation of the bony landmarks around the pelvis is really helpful as is internal palpation of the muscles and tissues. Remember, education is key in helping you to feel more connected and more confident in your body and with your body!

postpartum fitness

5. See a professional.

It can be overwhelming to book an appointment with someone who’s going to take a look at your lady bits and let you know what’s going on in there. I get that. Sometimes ignorance is bliss! But I guarantee you will not regret getting a clearer idea of how your body is working, especially if you’re experiencing pain, discomfort, incontinence, a sensation of heaviness in the pelvic area, or even a feeling of weakness in the abdominal muscles. A pelvic health physiotherapist will help guide you and work on any specific issues you have but that being said I cannot stress to my prenatal clients what a great resource a physiotherapist is as you prepare your body for childbirth.  

I’m not saying this journey is an easy one. It takes time to build a relationship with these muscles. I would love for you to consider the ways that you can learn to connect to your pelvic floor so that the next time you are in a pilates or yoga class (or even some really great cardio/strength classes) you will know exactly what they are talking about. You could also jump into classes that are specifically designed to connect you to your core and pelvic floor. Many of the classes I offer are designed specifically for optimal function and alignment in the body and we get to know our pelvic floor a whole lot. Hopefully, one day we’ll even come to love our pelvic floor.

Pregnancy Posture: What You Need to Know!

Pregnancy posture

How to help your body feel and function better!

I don’t know about you but I felt like a total celebrity during my pregnancy! No, not because the paparazzi wouldn’t leave me alone or because I rocked my baby bump in designer gowns. I felt like a celebrity because I had an entire team of people trying to keep me from falling apart. There was the chiropractor, massage therapist, naturopath, doula, and midwives, the whole nine yards.  Okay, well maybe it wasn’t as glamorous as Beyonce’s pregnancy, but all that attention did feel great. It wasn’t until after my first son was born that I started to realize that I couldn’t purely rely on the professionals to keep me feeling good. It was something that I would need to be aware of and work on everyday… all on my own.


Pain is just a normal part of pregnancy, right?!

A woman’s body undergoes a ton of changes during pregnancy and it is incredibly common for women to experience pain and discomfort. Most women just assume that pain is a natural part of pregnancy; that it’s par for the course. What’s interesting is that most women move into pregnancy with some existing physical imbalances, that they may not even be aware of, and are then exacerbated by the fact that they are carrying around another human…. All. Day. Every. Day. These pre-existing imbalances may contribute to common issues we associate with pregnancy. 

“It’s not actually pregnancy that is causing these issues but the fact that our body is already misaligned and then compounded with extra weight and pressure.”

Here’s the thing – the way we use our body on a regular basis GREATLY affects not only the way our body FEELS but also how it FUNCTIONS. By making a few changes to your alignment, you can reduce the amount of tension and pain you experience and even positively affect the way your body works during labor.

NOTE: This is NOT to say that there isn’t a DEFINITE need for health care and wellness practitioners! Sometimes a treatment, adjustment or a massage is exactly what our bodies need!

“We absolutely possess the ability to create change in our body and I firmly believe that we need to be engaged in our own health and wellbeing, not solely relying on the professionals. And here’s a little secret: the professionals are relying on you to do your part so they can celebrate your success with you!”


Now let’s look at the most common misalignment we fall into during pregnancy and postpartum and how it affects our body.

For the sake of a visual I’ve added a couple pics of my two-year-old son and I so we can take a look at a very common posture that both pregnant women and new moms (and really anyone who carries around a bunch of weight out in front of them) tends to slip into.

Take a look at my legs in the photo on the left. Notice how the line starts at my hip (the outer hip bone, also known as your greater trochanter for the anatomy enthusiasts) and falls down in front of my knee. This shows that my pelvis is not properly stacked on top of my legs and that I’m actually pushing my pelvis forward. This is a very common stance during pregnancy and postpartum because women are carrying a lot of weight out in front of them and generally we don’t possess the strength and support needed to counteract the weight of a growing or wiggly baby/toddler.

 

mamaalignment4


This misalignment can:

  • Wreak havoc on our body because it overloads certain areas of the body while other areas become underworked and a little bit lazy. When we are properly aligned, our weight is evenly distributed through our feet, legs and pelvis, but this pelvic thrusting posture places excessive pressure on the front of the foot, the hips and lower back. As a result this excessive pressure on our body contributes to joint and muscle pain as well as some other major issues including plantar fasciitis, decreased circulation, varicose veins and diastasis recti.
    .
  • GREATLY affect the function of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles act like a sling to support our internal organs and keep them in place while also working to keep us continent which is just a polite and fancy way of saying, it helps us not pee our pants! They also create stability and support for our pelvis and spine, they’re kind of a big deal.Both the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles naturally undergo increased strain during pregnancy (as they are meant to) but poor posture can work to increase this pressure. The pelvic floor muscles also play a HUGE role in childbirth and postpartum healing so reducing the amount of pressure and tension in the pelvic floor is incredibly important!.
  • Cause long lasting dysfunction. Not only does this pelvic thrusting posture place excessive pressure on the pelvic floor but it can also shorten the muscles. The pelvic floor muscles attach from the tailbone at the back and to the pubic bone in the front so when your pelvis is pressed forward it pulls the tailbone forward slightly as well and shortens the pelvic floor muscles. Over time, short and tight muscles become stuck and stiff and can’t function very well.We’ve all experienced this in one way or another, like tight hamstrings from walking more than usual or a stiff lower back after moving a lot of heavy objects. This tension coupled with the excessive pressure placed on these muscles (not to mention the 30, 40, or 50 extra pounds of baby weight) can lead to incontinence, organ prolapse (falling down), back pain, pelvic pain, pubic symphysis (the separation of the two halves of the pelvis), compromised breathing, diastasis recti (the over separation of the abdominal muscles) as well as unyielding pelvic floor muscles.
    .
  • Cause mum bum. Ah, the infamous Mum Bum. A lot of my friends and clients complain that somehow after the birth of their babies they “lost” their bum. Well good news is, it’s still there. It’s just hiding. Or more accurately, it’s being squished! Like I said above, when we press our pelvis forward our pelvis tucks under and therefore our glutes get flattened a bit. We also tend to grip our glute muscles in an attempt to create some support because our body is being pulled forward when the pelvis is thrust forward like this, further con
    tributing to tight flat bums. Read on to find out how you can help get your bum back!


So what do we do about all of this?!

It can feel a bit overwhelming for sure! Wouldn’t it be so much easier if there was a nice quick fix?!?! Unfortunately and fortunately, it’s not that simple. The great news is that we absolutely DO have the power and ability to make changes and affect the way we feel and how our body functions! Helping your body move toward a neutral alignment is key so here are a couple of tools that can help you assess your own alignment and help with your awareness of your pregnancy posture or postpartum posture. 


How to improve your alignment: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Grab something you can use as a plumb line. A phone charger, laptop cord, or a dog leash can work. Something that is long and has some weight on the end. Now walk around, don’t think too much. Just walk. Then stop and settle into your natural standing posture, again try not to make little adjustments or stand how you think you “should”.
    .
  • Take your belt to the bone that sticks out on the side of your hip and let the weighted end of the belt hang down. How does the belt fall? Does it look like mine did in the picture on the left, with the line falling in front of your knee and leg? Ideally the line should fall straight down so your hipbone, knee and ankle are stacked vertically. This is not how the majority of us stand so don’t worry. Now you know and now we can begin to work on it!
    .
  • Bring your awareness down to your feet and notice where your weight falls. If you feel the majority of your weight is on the balls of your feet, shift the weight back to your heels. Not so much that you feel like you’ll fall backwards, however, it may feel very odd to you as your body is not used to being in this position.
    .
  • Let’s check in with the positioning of the pelvis as well. Now that we’ve got a good neutral alignment going on with our legs stacked vertically, which will reduce the amount of pressure on the legs, abdominals and pelvic floor, let’s check that your pelvis is in neutral alignment as well. Take the heels of your hands to the two bony protrusions on the front of your pelvis (this is referred to as your ASIS or more commonly as your hip bones). Let your fingertips point down toward your pubic bone. Check to see how your hands are aligned. We’re looking for your hands to be vertically aligned. Notice if your fingertips are in front of the heels of your hands or if your fingertips fall behind the heels of your hands.


Of course we cannot maintain perfect alignment all day everyday!

Nor should we. Our bodies are resilient and made to work in a variety of different positions BUT we often slip into habitual postural patterns without being aware of it. By starting to take notice of your alignment is HUGE! You’ll begin to:

  • reduce the weakening of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles
  • reduce back pain, pelvic pain, neck and shoulder tension
  • encourage lengthening of the pelvic floor muscles, allowing them to work better throughout pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period


If you found that your body tended to slip into that common forward thrusting position here are a few next steps to work on:

  • release tension that is pulling your body out of alignment
  • strengthen certain areas to help keep you in better alignment
  • check in with a pelvic health physiotherapist to assess the function of your pelvic floor and core muscles

We will look at these next steps in more details in the coming weeks so that you have a better idea of how to do those things. For now, just start to notice your alignment as you move through your daily life and hopefully you’ll begin to feel a bit better. Finally, I want to add that, if you’re looking for some TLC, booking yourself a massage and having someone take care of you is never a bad thing!

‘Til next time – move well, feel well.

~Laura

 

Top 7 Fitness Directories – A Smart Way to Grow your Fitness Business!

Fitness Directory

This is not a blog about generating more blog posts, or even social media, however, if you have a fitness business you probably think about these topics a lot!

Yes, blogs and social media are fabulous ways to connect with potential clients, but time and time again fitness professionals come to us frustrated with creating content, only to get nowhere when it comes to engagement and community building.

How to NOT post on social media:

There is actually a very simple way to turn this around and it comes down to the 80/20 rule! Just as wellness pros talk about the 80/20 rule with nutrition, we like to talk about the 80/20 rule with social media.

What most business owners do is spend 80% of their time creating/writing their content, only to post it once and watch it die a quick and unloved social media death.

What you really should be doing is creating 20% of the time and posting, sharing, commenting and repeating 80% of the time. You need to be spending more time getting yourself out there and creating the visibility that is so important for generating business.

That’s great, but what does this have to do with Fitness Directories?!

A whole lot, let us paint a picture for you.

You become a fitness/personal trainer. You get certified, you build a beautiful website, you create your social media platforms, you get more certifications, you attend more conferences. All of that is fabulous, and let’s face it, part of the fun, but much of your effort is going towards preparing and perfecting the business, rather than putting the business in front of the people who need it. Again, you are missing that VISIBILITY piece that is so important.

You could be the best trainer, have the best branding, be the most prepared and if you are not getting your business out there, none of that matters.

That’s where directories fit in!

Whenever your website is linked on any high traffic site, like a directory, your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is improved. What does this mean? It means that you rank higher in Google searches, which is a very important step when increasing the visibility of your business. Your goal should be to get your business listed on the first page of Google so when someone searches prenatal or postnatal fitness in your area, you show up!  Getting yourself listed on directories will help you reach this goal.

Our advice to many new business owners is to get your business name/website/contact on every directory you can find. If you are not already listed on Google, Yelp, and Bing (yes, Bing!) you are missing out…big time!

You are also going to want to jump on some industry specific directories like we have listed below:

The Top 7 Fitness Specific Directories

1. YDC – http://www.yogadirectorycanada.com/index.html

This is a great place to be if you offer yoga in your business. It is free and links to all of your social media channels and your website. You can also list workshops, retreats and job opportunities. Downside? It is only available in Canada.

2. IDEA Fithttp://www.ideafit.com/fitnessconnect

IDEA is a large directory dedicated to inspire the world of fitness, we love that! The directory gives you the opportunity to list your specialty and clients have an opportunity to rate you!

The one problem? The directory does not link to your website which does not help much with your SEO.

3. BAM Pre/Postnatal Fitness Directoryhttps://babyandmefitness.com/fitness-trainers/

This directory is perfect because it is niched for pre & postnatal fitness specifically. Clients can search for you based on your specialty and your location, plus they can give your amazing classes or sessions 5 stars which also helps your Google ranking. You can choose a free listing or you can pay to make your listing stand out by having the option to customize your listing, making it as beautiful and appealing as possible.

One of the most unique aspects of the Baby & Me Fitness directory is the focus on creating content to drive pregnant women and new mothers to the website and mailing lists, sending more potential clients your way.

4. Certified Personal Trainers Networkhttp://www.cptn.com/Find/find_trainer.asp

This is a very large directory and certifying body that spans throughout Canada. There is a $70 membership fee but If you are CPTN certified and already a member you can be sure that your profile is up here. You can also post jobs and find training facilities for rent in your area.

5. Precision Nutrition Coach Directoryhttp://www.precisionnutrition.com/fitness-pros-directory

This is another large directory that spans the globe but you do need to be a PN coach to get on it. It is a free directory which is great, but the search capabilities could be refined. Currently you are  able to search in your city/province and the fitness professionals are listed in alphabetical order. What does this mean? Unless your name starts with ‘A’, people probably will not search the pages of lists to find you. It also makes it challenging to find a specific trainer if a client wants to search by name because they have to scroll through the alphabetized lists to find the specific person they are looking for.

6. FitnessTrainer
http://fitnesstrainer.com/

Specific to Personal Trainers in the US, this directory is very sleek in design and easy to search by location. It is a wonderful tool for potential clients but as a professional you will be working under the FitnessTrainer umbrella, which means booking/payments run through the site.

7. Fitness TOhttp://www.fitness-to.com/

This directory is for Fitness Pros and Yoga Instructors local to Toronto. Not only is this directory up-to-date both in its appearance and search capabilities, it includes most social media platforms as well as blogs and videos. Plus it shows you the weather!


What now?

Once you have your business listed on a few directories, be sure to keep a close eye on your Google analytics. If you don’t have your website registered with Google analytics yet you can do so here. This is the best way to keep track of which directories are sending traffic your way!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email us, we can help get you and your business set up on the right directory!

A Big Opportunity for Fitness Trainers!

prenatal and postnatal fitness

The competition in the fitness industry is fierce, it takes more than being a ‘good trainer’ to stand out in the crowd and get booked solid with clients, or fill your classes. Luckily, the market is rapidly growing and more individuals are looking for quality trainers that are perfect for them and their unique situation. So how do you ensure that they find you on their search?


Choosing a specialty will grow your fitness business.

You will become lost in the crowd if you rely on Google to bring up your business under ‘Personal Trainer’ or ‘Fitness Classes’. When you add a speciality into the mix it differentiates you from the ‘pack’ and you have a chance at ranking higher. Just think, if you are one of the only people in your city who specializes in therapeutic aquafitness, you have a much higher chance of showing up on the first page of Google when someone searches for ‘personal trainer aquafitness’.


How do I know what to specialize in?

Deciding how or what to specialize in can be a bit of a balancing act. Not only should this be something you love to do, it also needs to be a target market you love working with, and a large enough market to sustain your business. The answer can lie within your fitness specialty such as certifying in something unique like aqua yoga, or it can lie within the persons you choose to service, for example, yoga for runners.

Fitness trainers

Looking at the equation this way leaves you with a lot of options to choose from so your next question might be ‘is there a large enough market for what I would like to specialize in?’ One of the obvious answers would be aging population since it is the fastest growing age group that is expected to double in the next 25 years.

There is a hidden gem that is often overlooked when deciding on a fitness speciality: Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness. This market is growing at a remarkably unexpected rate. Furthermore, it is a market that can feel very rewarding when you are passionate about the promotion of women’s health and fitness.


Specializing in Babies, Birth & New Parents.

Pre/postnatal fitness is a specialized target market that, of course, we at Baby & Me Fitness live and breathe. If you feel this kind of love for baby bumps and babies you are totally in luck because there is a baby ‘Boomlet’ happening in North America. Approximately 380 000 babies are born in Canada each year and our southern neighbours see 4,000,000 babies born per year – yep, that’s a lot of babies! More importantly, that’s a rather large pre and postnatal market!  In Canada alone the number of children under the age of 5 has increased by 11%, the largest increase since the baby boom 50 years ago.

This Boomlet took many by surprise simply because it looks so different than the baby boom that happened post war. For the first time on record, birth rates are higher for women in their late 30s than in their early 20s, where the average age for a first time mother is now 28.5 years old, compared to 21 years old in the ’70’s . The difference now is that even though many are waiting longer to have children, younger women are still having babies, leaving a 20 year cohort where babies are being born.

A lot of couples/women are now waiting until they are in a better financial place before having their first child. Those that are actively choosing to wait are typically better educated, more active and more involved. As a result, family centered/baby businesses are booming and waiting lists for both city and private programs for children under 5 are at an all time high. This trend is expected to continue for at least another decade. And let’s not forget about the Millennials! This group of individuals are known for being health conscious and informed, and they are also starting to have children. The findings of Baby Center’s Millennial Moms Report shows that Millennial moms are more likely to be laid back, share the parenting load, and have a greater desire to have larger families than the generation before them. Further fuelling the Boomlet fire!

New Mothers and Media

Now, if we are talking about Google and having your business found online, searches like prenatal fitness or prenatal yoga are up 32% just in the last year. There were 113,650 searches for Prenatal Fitness in Canada for May 2016 and, are you ready for this?! Prenatal Yoga searches were nearly 3x that number!!! For any yoga instructors reading this, this is a clear indication that there is a niche market ready and waiting for YOU!


Google Searches for Pre/Postnatal Fitness Related Topics

Fitness trainers

As a Fitness/Yoga Instructor you know that peak months for fitness related searches are early in the new year, surprisingly enough (or maybe not) it is the same for prenatal fitness, but for different reasons. More babies are born in late summer/fall which means January is the perfect time for a soon-to-be mother to start joining a specialized fitness class that will get them ready for the demands of birth and parenting. Not to mention, more births during the summer means more babies and mothers (partners too) in your stroller fitness class!


Getting Started with Your Pre/Postnatal Fitness Training:

Baby & Me Fitness has been certifying Pre/Postnatal specialists for 30 years and are known as the original Pre/Postnatal Fitness Certification. We take the idea of being a specialist very seriously and focus all of our time and energy on creating the next generation of experts in the pregnancy and parenting market. That is ALL we do, and we think it is important work!

Our certification ensures you are getting the most well rounded certification available. Not only do we make it easy for you to modify and adapt your current fitness services, we help you create programs that are exactly what this market is looking for. Yes, we want your clients to stay strong, safe and healthy throughout their pregnancy, but they will also be going through some major life changes and will come to you looking for advice and support. We will make sure that you feel 100% prepared to: be the support that they need; be able to answer the questions they have; and feel confident to identify yourself as an expert in this field.

We also want you to feel supported and have all of your questions answered as you move through the certification process. Your training is all online to make it easy for you to go at your own pace and your instructors are never more than an email or phone call away. All your videos, notes, slides and final exam are all available for you on an easy-to-use personal website designed just for you!

To get started you can sign up online here or you can contact info@babyandmefitness.com if you have more questions!

 

Confessions of a Parenting Expert

Untitled design (16)

Yesterday my doula friend was over with her kids.  We were chatting over coffee about the newest parenting course I had been certified in… and then, blood curdling screams.  It was my older son, having an epic meltdown, which evolved into the biggest freak out of his entire life.   This was the kind of tantrum that pushes all your buttons and triggers you so deeply that you need to devote a therapy session to unpackage it all.  The kind that leaves both you and your child utterly exhausted, physically and emotionally.

All these thoughts and worries ran through my head after my friend showed herself out.  The irony of the timing, with me showing her my new parenting workshop notes.  What right do I have giving advice to parents, when things are so far from perfect in my home?  Will my friend let her kids still play with mine?  Does she think I’ve created a monster?  Is this a reflection of my parenting?  Logically I know, that I am parenting from my heart, with empathy and a lot of patience, and that I would not, could not do it any differently.  But these doubts sometimes creep in (EGO)! 

When I share inspirational thoughts, stories and memes on social media, the last thing I want to do as an educator is to make parents feel less-than, but it happens, just like it happens to me.  Many parents appreciate the information or anecdotes, but some may feel like they are failing when their life doesn’t match up to what they see through Facebook coloured glasses.  And that is the last thing I want to do. My goal is always to empower families. Then one day it dawned on me, I was in Psychotherapy residency,  future therapists were participating and sharing their personal stories, issues and challenges, and I realized –we help others because we too needed help, and maybe still do. This post has been percolating for a couple years now, and I feel I owe it to parents to keep it real and share some truths. 

I don’t always take my own advice.

And I am tired because of it. I know how to recover when I have reached burn out status.  Go to bed earlier, lay off electronics 1-2 hours before bed, drink smoothies and reduce processed foods.  But it has taken years to get to the point of knowing my signals of burn out and remedy accordingly.  I am still working on the proactive part of the equation, I still require help in this area, and that is ok!

My house is a mess.

I try! And I find having a clean and organized home pretty key in my personal quest for balance. I’m not so good at letting the mess go, as many a poignant meme would suggest.  Alas, sometimes it is more pressing to get down on the floor and get dirty with the kids.  So for sanity’s sake, I go outside with them so I can be present and not annoyed by the cluttered kitchen and messy beds. When guests come over and my house is clean, I am secretly quite excited by my luck!  But just so ya know, if I go to your house and it is messy, I am also excited and it kinda makes me like you more ☺

I fight with my husband.

We have been together for over 15 years and are the best of friends.  I can teach couples how to resolve conflict respectfully, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get tired sometimes, hurt sometimes, and veer off the most healthy of scripting when I bring up an issue with my own husband.  Marriage can be tough.  Marriage with children, tougher!  But I love him beyond words, and know in my soul that there is no one else on the planet I could imagine growing old with, so we work at it. Moment to moment, one day at a time.

I love wine and coffee…

Sometimes we eat fast food…

I raise my voice…

I cry…

I get anxiety…

I use the ipad too much…

I still have so much to learn…

And I feel isolated in my choices.

+The isolation when my first son was born was so heavy. All the dreams I had of mommy play-dates when I was pregnant were shattered when the intensity of caring for a little human came to be. The polarizing philosophies to muddle through with all the cattiness and politics just made a hard situation nearly unbearable some days.  I wanted desperately to be validated for doing what was so instinctual yet in some ways counter-culture.  So I sought out some like minded parents via the interweb, I ate up all I could about developmental psychology, took parenting class after class and began studying psychotherapy.  My mission is to empower parents.  To eliminate all the shaming around not just the kids, but people of all ages/races/backgrounds.  This is the essence behind what I do.

As it turns out, my sweet friend Julie had no expectations that my house and family always look like my Instagram account.  Her being present during a moment of realness actually helped facilitate us growing closer.  That’s what we all need.  To be freed from the pressure to live up to some façade of perfection.  Even us parenting experts know –the struggle is real, and you are so far from alone.  Let’s vow to raise one and other up from here on out, get out from under our clouds of shame and be ok with wherever we happen to be in our own journeys!