I’m not sure why it was I connected so much to helping mamas! Maybe it’s because I was ready to be a mama. But I have always enjoyed helping others through coaching. Through a lot of reading and the BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar I took in 2018, I realized how much I did NOT know about pregnancy, birth/labor, and postpartum. I couldn’t stop talking about it all! Just ask my husband. 😉 I was learning things that literally contradicted everything I knew about pregnancy and birth. I mean if I didn’t know all this stuff I was learning, what are the chances that anyone else really knows this stuff unless they were researching all this information!
When it comes to training and exercising while pregnant, I LOVE the idea that you are training for labor! I mean it is the most athletic event of most women’s lives. So if we know that we will experience labor why not train for it and learn breath and movements that will aid during labor. As I have had two unmedicated births, I can tell you all that I learned and my physical capacity I had built up, really helped me through both labors tremendously! And when it comes to breath, if we know how to connect to our core we can connect to baby even more. If we use our breath and voice throughout labor, we can work through the pain that comes with it. Imagine feeling confident in your physical capacities going into labor. Then learning that exercising and staying fit through your pregnancy benefits you and your baby. Even more reason to stay active throughout pregnancies.
The other aspect that really really hooked me was how I could prepare for labor and birth mentally. I learned to trust that my body is made for labor. That if I had a safe space and people who brought the kind of energy that I needed in my birthing room then I could, more easily, progress in labor without interventions, i.e. pitocin or epidurals. (I would like to add neither are bad; I had to have both for my second labor.) But if you can avoid them then why not if your goal is for an unmedicated birth. A book that really changed my perspective was Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. She explained the stages of labor and how they worked. She explains what your body and baby are doing during labor and why midwives tend to have a more hands off approach in comparison to Obstetricians. What really hit home was the last line of her book. “Your body is not a lemon”. Something I feel like I grew up hearing and thinking was true for many that birth was super painful and scary. When in reality, it seems the environment most women are put in may not be the best case scenario. If you have the time I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of getting pregnant, pregnant, or thinking about having another baby after maybe a traumatic birth. Labor and birth is so physically demanding but requires you to fully surrender. I mean fully SURRENDER! You have to let your body do it’s thing and work with it. The more you fight it the worse it’s going to feel. It takes a lot of self belief and constant self talk that you can do it.
And lastly when I learned about Postpartum and Pelvic Floor Dysfunctions I was even more excited about the idea of helping mama’s who were struggling! Examples of pelvic floor dysfunctions are urinary incontinence, separated abs, pelvic organ prolapse. There are others but those tend to be common. I learned that a specific breath paired with functional progressions, we could greatly improve pelvic floor dysfunctions. I always want to shout this but will not write it all in caps, but “Incontinence may be common but is it NOT normal.” Ok there one just one word with all caps. I also know I don’t know everything and if there isn’t significant improvement after working with me, that we should then reach out to a Pelvic Floor Therapist. Yes those exist and I wish they were a part of all postpartum recovery here in the US for every woman. The biggest takeaways from the course I went to was that, 1. Postpartum is FOREVER and 2. Your focus should be about recovery for almost the 1st year of being Postpartum. That means having to work on changing your mindset about how you train if you tend to be a competitive person, or maybe you think you need to get started exercising as soon as you can move to get that “pre-baby body back”. Ugh I hate that statement. Please remember, your body is not gone and your body is a freaking rockstar for creating life and birthing it. So instead of hating your postpartum body, try to learn to love and appreciate it while you are recovering.
What do you want from your motherhood transition? Whatever it is I believe it means doing some homework and figuring out what you want. This is why I love helping mamas! I hope any of the information I have learned can help someone make a decision of what route they want to go or if that means asking more questions. I believe the more educated you are the more empowered you are through your journey!!