If you follow the MumStrong social media channels, listen to the podcast or know me (Helen) personally you’ll know that I’m not one to shy away from demanding the best for women, especially where pregnancy, labour & delivery, and postnatal recovery is concerned.

I take such pleasure in helping women to advocate for themselves and their bodies and encouraging them to demand the best healthcare and support available to them.

Whilst this covers many areas and instances, right now I’m going to talk to you about why I feel it’s so important that you work with the right fitness Coach whilst you are pregnant and throughout your postnatal recovery.

As pregnancy is an entirely natural and extremely common aspect of life for a woman it is often the belief that we know exactly what to do about it. Because it happens to 85% of women, it can be too easy to assume that what works for one woman will be appropriate for another and that because a fitness trainer has either worked with a pregnant woman before and/or been pregnant themselves that they are the right person to turn to when looking for exercise and training help at this time.

However, I’d like to encourage women to ask for more from their Coach at this time.

Here are a few reasons why you should work with a specialist Pregnancy & Postnatal Coach:

  • Education – we have studied and been thoroughly assessed to ensure we fully understand the full implications of pregnancy, labour & childbirth on the body, how that affects fitness and exercise, and the full spectrum of a postnatal recovery.
  • Application – we have an extensive range of tools to ensure we’re able to deliver the absolute right exercise programme for you and what your body is currently going through.
  • Experience – we’ve likely worked with a multitude of women who have all experienced unique pregnancies, labours, births, and recoveries; who have all had different symptoms and conditions; with varying goals and ambitions. We know that your pregnancy is entirely unique to you at this time and are fully prepared for that.
  • Assessment – we are constantly thoroughly assessing you. We don’t programme workouts based on “feel”, we know all the signs and symptoms to look for to help us adjust your training to keep you progressing and happy; nothing is left to chance. Once you’ve had your baby, we want to know all about your labour and birth and how your recovery is going because we know the full extent of the impact that has on the body!
  • Background – we likely, at least I certainly do, have a background in Coaching which means I’ve spent a long time watching people move, getting them fitter and stronger, and knowing how to help them reach their goals. My education extends beyond my specialism and I combine them seamlessly!
  • Empathy – I always say that, as a Coach, I spend more time talking to my clients about how their day is going and how they feel mentally and emotionally than I do about how their workout has gone. I feel what my clients are feeling and offer them space to talk and be heard.
  • Signposting – I work with a very carefully chosen group of professionals that all support my clients in ways that I can’t. I work incredibly closely with women’s health physiotherapists to ensure my clients receive the care they fully deserve and that my work compliments that care 100%.

If you are someone who has a consistent training background and is comfortable working out, particularly in the CrossFit world it can be tempting to “go it alone” or choose a coach for not quite the right reasons. Whilst, for example, it’s beneficial to continue strength training throughout pregnancy, it’s important that a mental shift happens that moves away from numbers on the bar and towards providing the right stimulus for a healthy body, mind, and recovery. As a specialist Coach, I’m able to navigate this often distressing time and support you through your recovery when your identity seems taken away from you and all seems lost – you will get there!

If you’re someone who is relatively new to exercise, pregnancy can be a worrying and confusing time which is where my expertise shine in helping you to navigate your health and fitness confidently and safely.

If you are a fitness trainer and find yourself coaching a pregnant woman or new mum, I’d like to challenge you to ask yourself if you are the very best person for her right now. Whilst there are countless wonderful, experienced, supportive coaches out there, pregnancy and postnatal recovery is an incredibly complex and delicate area and isn’t a time to be testing your coaching skills. By signposting your clients to a specialist, they are more likely to return to you and continue to trust in your coaching and expertise because it’s obvious you care about them enough to find them the right support.

How can I help specifically?

Consultations – these are perfect for those who train regularly and just need some advice and support into how they can adjust and modify their training.

Personal Training – one to one sessions focussed solely on the client, and their goals and requirements.

Personal Programming – workout programmes written specifically for the client, their goals, requirements, and access to space, time, and equipment.

Classes – group exercise classes suitable for all stages of pregnancy and postnatal recovery.

Included in all services is advice and guidance on breathing, core, and pelvic floor exercises, access to physiotherapy referrals, and emotional support.

Visit our dedicated Pregnancy & Postnatal training page for more information: https://www.crossfitoutwork.com/pregnancy-postnatal/

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