How Being Trained As a Doula Made Me A Better Fitness Coach
When I started Mom’s Fitness Boutique, I knew that I wanted to focus on the woman, not the goal. I also understood that pregnant and women who are early postpartum needed special care due to the changes that are happening within their bodies, their relationships, and emotions.
Pregnancy, birth, and motherhood is an intense process. Because of this, I wanted to support my clients better. I wanted to provide a different approach than the traditional fitness program that was targeting new moms.
I signed myself up for a Doula certification course.
I knew that I needed to understand pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period in a way that women needed. The physical recovery is one thing, but the emotional shift was something Completely different.
I myself had postpartum depression following the birth of both my children and fully expect to have it return after my third baby. The first time around, I was not prepared, not supported, and it nearly ruined me. I didn’t want another women to suffer through that alone.
In becoming trained as Doula, I learned how to properly support women in their journey by learning to listen to listen, not listen to respond. I learned to take my own shit out and not attach a story (which is far to common with coaches and trainers). After all, their journey isn’t about me. Not one bit.
Empathy also plays a huge role in my coaching. The women that I work with need to know that they’re cared for and respected. They also need to know they they’re in a safe space and won’t be judged. If they are struggling, they can open up and be heard and not feel dismissed.
Often in fitness, the focus is on how impressive a woman at 37 weeks is “all belly” or how a mom at 3 months postpartum “bounced back” and what is never mentioned is the toll it took. I choose not to work that way. I help with supporting a healthy pregnancy by functional training and preparing for the upcoming birth. In postpartum, the very first we begin to debrief the birth to begin the recovery process, moving at a pace that is comfortable. Then we focus on the physical side of things, starting with practicing core and pelvic floor engagement. There is absolutely no rush or timelines when it comes to fitness post-pregnancy. Taking care of the emotional wellness has to come first.
Coaching is an art that I’m still working on every single day. Every woman’s needs are different and I myself need to adapt. My style of coaching isn’t about being a cheerleader or screaming in your face. It’s individual to you but also understanding where you’re currently at, not where you want to be 6 months from now. It’s about listening to you and what you need, educating you on the facts which will help you to make informed choices about your fitness goals.
Love Your Baby Body,
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