During my pregnancy, I was keen to keep up my fitness levels. That is, until morning sickness struck. Then I was keen to do anything to stop feeling sick – this was only achieved by eating multiple packets of crisps each and every day (I’m not normally a crisp fan) and steak and burgers as often as I could (pre-pregnancy I hardly ate any meat let alone a big fat juicy steak!). This could be the reason my weight gain was excessive..?
Once I had reached the half way mark, I was over the sickness, we’d been away on a Babymoon and I felt “Blooming” so I started to think about exercise (after all, studies show that exercise can help reduce the length of your labour, let alone increase your stamina for dealing with it!). The problem was, I didn’t have a clue about what was safe for myself and my bump. I turned to Google but post after post contradicted itself, in fact the only constant was that working your pelvic floor is a must! *starts exercising them whilst typing* It was during these hours of Googling that I stumbled across FitMama..
FitMama was founded by Marie Behenna whose fascination with pregnancy began when she was a small girl (when she would often walk past a local pregnancy exercise class on her way home from school) and evolved into The FitMama Method.
The FitMama Method book by Marie Behenna
I liked the sound of FitMama so ordered The FitMama Method book from Amazon and loved it. So informative and written in such warm, friendly manor. It’s full of useful information on diet and fitness during pregnancy, breathing techniques and birthing positions.
I found out that Marie and her business partner Lola were teaching a weekly pregnancy class in my home town and the next class was timed perfectly for the rest of my pregnancy, so I signed up!
The classes started with an introduction from Marie and Lola, then each pregnant lady would take a turn in describing how far gone they were, how their week had been since the previous class, any thoughts or worries they had about their pregnancies and how they were feeling in general. Then on to some light exercise and/or a guest visitor in the form of reflexologist/chiropractor. Finally, classes would finish with a 5 minute relaxation to gentle music – the more pregnant I became, the harder I found it to stay awake!
FitMama’s performing abdominal exercise in preparation for pushing during labour.
I really enjoyed the classes not only because of everything I learnt about labour positions (including the use of a swiss ball and the importance of gravity!) and breathing techniques. Or that I strengthened my pushing muscles, learnt to prepare my pelvic floor for labour (eek!) and met my Son’s amazing chiropractor (Verity Wills @ Hook Chiro). But also because I made some fab friends. Those FitMama friends will, I hope, be lifelong buddies for myself and their little boys for mine (myself and the 5 FitMama’s that I stayed in touch with from my class all had baby boys!!).
Both Marie and Lola are absolutely lovely and so supportive of not just their FitMama’s but of all women. They are devoted to empowering and developing confidence in women. Both use their own experiences to relate and help others. In fact, the lovely Lola has recently started a blog, a very honest and brave blog, discussing amongst other experiences, Antenatal Depression. Have a look at Lola’s blog here. It’s inspiring and really eye opening, especially if like me, you’re only really aware of postnatal depression.
Since my pregnancy class, I have stayed in touch with Marie & Lola, and have seen FitMama grow even more. The FitMama Studio, based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, has been open for 9 months now and offers many different training sessions. From the pregnancy classes, to postnatal exercise and education. As well as functional classes and personal training. There is something for all wannabe FitMama’s!
For more details on FitMama, visit their website – www.thefitmamastudio.com.
To read Lola’s blog, visit – truthofafitmama.blogspot.co.uk.