Guest Post: 4 Things To Consider When Choosing A Maternity Fitness Program by Maura Shirley, Bodies for Birth
Congratulations! You probably just found out you are going to be mom for the first (or fourth!) time. Perhaps you learned during your last pregnancy that you should have stayed more active? Perhaps you’re an athlete looking to safely continue your fitness routine? Either way, you have come to the right place!
One only has to “google” maternity and fitness to know there are a lot of choices in the Greater Seattle Area. While there is no doubt studies have shown you CAN and SHOULD exercise during pregnancy, how do you know how to choose the right exercise program for you AND your baby? We all know “googling” can leave you feeling more rather than less confused!
Read on for some important things to consider when choosing a pregnancy fitness partner (we’re in this together!):
1. Being a Mom “alone” does not make someone qualified to teach prenatal and postpartum fitness. You wouldn’t let your next door neighbor deliver the baby because she also had a baby, right? Sounds extreme, but the truth is the TRAINING OF THE TRAINER MATTERS!
Maura combines the tribal knowledge of being a mother with a true medical background and extensive education. A Registered Nurse in WA state since 2012 (WA License RN60257242), Maura has also undergone hundreds of hours of continuing education. She currently maintains four different Pre & Postnatal Fitness Certifications and is in the process of developing and licensing her own certification. Maura has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences and special events, has assisted in childbirth education classes for the infamous Seattle birth legend, Penny Simkin and continues to forge powerful bonds in the local birth community.
2. Don’t just “go where your friends go.” Camaraderie and having a social outlet are always listed high in surveys as “Reasons someone sticks with an exercise program.” Bodies for Birth gets that. We do. But you wouldn’t pick the same physician or hospital as a friend without doing your due diligence. Consider your fitness routine part of your overall pregnancy medical care. Make sure that you are choosing the right program for the right reasons. We welcome you to bring your friends along and we’re confident you’ll make some new friends along the way!
3. Fitness during pregnancy is more than just physical wellbeing! Pregnancy hormones and the constant physical and emotional changes you experience in pregnancy are real! It is important to make sure you are treating both your mental AND physical well being. Does the physical environment lend itself to taking care of both of these components? Does the program address and/or offer resources to “take care of the whole you?”
At Bodies for Birth, we believe this is vital. We embody holistic wellness in all that we do. Our intentional program design includes an emphasis on establishing and strengthening the mind- body connection through breathing exercises, guided imagery, meditation and visualization–all vital tools for the work of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood.
We regularly host free workshops from local providers in the birth community, provide a weekly newsletter and blog full of information and resources, and provide tips for ways to incorporate the work we do in class into your busy lifestyle. We’ve created a peaceful environment full of all
the amenities you need to feel comfortable, supported and loved. We know this is an exciting and challenging time of life. We want you to have the skills, support and community to navigate it with confidence and grace. We’ve got you.
4. Last but not least: “You get what you pay for!” When the expenses seem to be piling up and you may be even considering an extended time away from work to care for your newborn, it is natural to look at the “price” of something.
Fitness is NOT a luxury, it is a crucial part of your overall pregnancy plan. You may be tempted to look at a “big box franchise” where the apparent costs seem lower. But ask the right questions. What training do they have? How much experience do they have? Remember the old adage “No Pain, No Gain”? While popular in the 90’s we all know now that NO PAIN is a good pain. It is safe to push yourself, but if your trainer is recommending you do something that doesn’t feel right, if you physically feel uncomfortable, nervous or in pain, you need to ask yourself if this is the right program for you?! If you get injured in your second class during the 2nd trimester of your pregnancy, you will have to sit out and heal, potentially not being able to work out at all.
We’re in this for the long haul and one of our greatest goals is that you stay as active, as comfortable and as strong as possible for as long as possible…ideally right into childbirth and postpartum recovery.
Of course, we expect to make modifications along the way. But what we see in practice may surprise you! What we see is true fitness gains throughout pregnancy, not the opposite. Often, it’s our pregnant mamas at 40 weeks who are radiating the most strength and calm in our most challenging exercises. It’s a remarkable gift to witness this evolution. We feel confident telling you that OUR TRAINING WORKS!
Bodies for Birth is a premium prenatal and postpartum fitness program where the number one priority is SAFETY for you and your baby. It’s Smart Training for Smart Moms. The Bodies for Birth Way.
Maura is always available for questions and inquires and personal consultations for one on one or group training. Have a friend or two that you want to train with semi privately? We do that too!
Let’s Get Started!
Read more about Bodies for Birth and our other OMC Fitness Programs here!