Motherhood is confusing at the best of times. From all the things about how to best care for your baby to all the things, mums are ‘supposed’ to do it can be incredibly overwhelming.
After you’ve navigated your way through all of the mum and baby noise you finally turn your attention to doing something for you; movement and you are once again thrust headfirst into trying to figure out what on earth you are even looking for in a Personal Trainer let alone getting in touch with one.
For many mums, this can put the quest to find a PT into the WAY too hard basket or they go with the first person they find because they ‘seemed okay’. I want to make this part of Motherhood much easier for you to navigate.
Having worked in the Fitness Industry for over 14years and with 12 of them working only with mums themselves or trainers who also specialise in working with mums I have found there are a few key questions that you can ask them to find your trusted fit.
Knowing these questions will also help you to feel empowered in the process and you will become more educated throughout the process.
Do you hold a pre and postnatal certification?
Simple question but not often asked. Not all trainers are made equal and in-depth pre and postnatal education is not taught as part of standard PT qualifications. Ask them what course they did, how long ago they did it and also to see their qualification.
Do you work with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist?
If they don’t know what a WHP is or can’t instantly offer you a referral tread carefully. Ideally, you want to work with a trainer that has an open dialogue and receives a report back from the physio after your visit. In short, a PT is not able to see or feel your pelvic floor, which is an internal muscle. Nor can they properly assess your abdominal wall. They need this partnership to prescribe the best possible exercise for you.
Question (or more observation) #3
What kind of pre-exercise questionnaire do they do with you BEFORE you start training with them?
If the only questions you get asked about your pregnancy and the postpartum period are:
Have you had a baby in the last 12months?
Have you had your 6week check-up?
Do you feel okay?
Then it might be time to seek out someone new. A PT that truly understands how to work with both pregnant and postnatal women will go into much more detail about your experience.
Postpartum questions will include but will not be limited to:
What kind of delivery did you have?
(If vaginal) How long were you pushing for?
Was it an assisted delivery? (forceps or ventose)
Did you have any tearing or an episiotomy?
(If c-section) Was it planned or an emergency?
Were you pushing beforehand?
How is the scar site healing?
They will then cover off questions about your pelvic floor and abdominal wall – and MORE!
So, in just three simple questions or observations, you are now much more aware of the kind of Personal Trainer that would be best suited to you throughout your Motherhood experience. Obviously, I highly recommend that you like the person too as no amount of education in the world can cover up a personality clash and when you are working that closely with someone you want to ensure they are your best possible option for support both educationally and energetically.
Jen Dugard is the founder and creator of https://mumsafe.com.au/. MumSafe™️ – the go-to website for mums to connect with Personal Trainers that are certified, experienced and partner with Women’s Health Physiotherapists so that you know you are in very safe hands.