Re-Build: Strong After Baby
(a postpartum exercise class)
Accepting New Members: 11/11/19
Start this program with a 6 week commitment, next opening from 11/11 - 12/20!
Classes offered 3x a week in the morning or evening.
Baby can be with momma (during any class) and there is an option for childcare for toddlers+ (at the morning class only)
This program is for any mom during pregnancy, postpartum or even years postpartum. We focus on re-building core strength and endurance while preventing, minimizing, or healing common postpartum issues like incontinence, diastasis recti, weak core, or chronic back pain. The exercise strategy that is taught can be used for ANY movement or your favorite exercise.
We start at the "beginning" and focus on rebuilding movement patterns & endurance, so it is appropriate for all experience & fitness levels! Once you get through the 6 week into you can continue in the program as a member.
In this course you will:
✔️Rebuild your strength and cardio
✔️Rebuild your fitness foundation so that you can continue your favorite physical activities
✔️Learn the tools to rebuild high-intensity & high-skill movements such as jumping, running, etc.
✔️Learn from 5 different education sessions w/ local women’s health professionals including a pelvic floor PT
✔️Get information about healing and restoring the postpartum body with topics such as: preventing, minimizing, or healing postpartum issues like incontinence & diastasis recti, overcoming postnatal depletion, & postpartum nutrition
✔️Be able to bring your baby to the workout and have access to childcare
✔️Be welcomed and encouraged JUST AS YOU ARE with the support you need to grow and adapt as you navigate motherhood!!! Find your mom tribe. We have a "gathering time" 30 min prior to class start to build our connection with one another.
Here is what moms have to say about this program:
✳️ “I felt so lost when I went back to a different gym on my own. This program helped me ease back into working out, with direction and without pressure.”
✳️ "It is perfect! Gentle at first and informative, nurturing, easy going, confidence building then challenging . It’s really helped restart an exercise routine and commitment."
✳️ "The focus on reconnecting and rebuilding core was exactly what I was looking for"
✳️ "Helped rebuild confidence to working out especially after cesarean section."
A note from the coach:
I’m glad you stopped by to read this. Let me start by introducing myself. I am Coach Lauren, and I have been coaching at Chuckwalla since July 2016. I have enjoyed sports & running since middle-school and CrossFit since 2013. My other favorite things are coffee, ice-cream (or chocolate), being outside & time with my family. The birth of my (firstborn) son, Kyrie, on May 9, 2016, became my reason to be a better person (wife & mother), to be a better coach and to be a stronger, healthier athlete. That July I got the “all-clear” from my OB to return to exercise. No one had ever talked to me about (pre or) postpartum exercise, so I knew I needed more information. I knew my body had changed and my lifestyle & sleep habits are altered; therefore jumping right back into my old ways of exercise (CrossFit & running) didn’t make sense anymore. Plus I started hearing that it was "normal" for mos to pee during exercise, etc, and I was not ok with that being my normal! My body deserved better. I made it my mission to find answers and began to search for postpartum exercise recommendations! I thought I would find out what (exercises) to do and what (exercises) not to do. Soon I realized there is a bigger part of the equation, there is more to the story than just “listen to your body” and “return to exercise.” Now I am learning pre/postpartum strategies that heal, protect & strengthen my core. I want to share with you what I am learning, and what I have applied to my first return to exercise and then second pregnancy (due July 2018) and return to exercise. All moms deserve to know these strategies and be told that there is healing. Even if you never lift a barbell, you are lifting your baby, car-seat, diaper bag...etc...all day long!
I am learning to workout differently during pregnancy! Yes, exercise has many benefits and can be done safely during pregnancy! And physically I can (did) maintain much of my strength or even set new personal records. But now I am learning to consider my core and pelvic floor and to consider my alignment, form and bar path during pregnancy. Strenuous lifting, traditional ab exercises (i .e. sit ups, kipping, crunches, etc) and high impact exercises (i.e. running or jumping) can cause more risk than reward I can make small changes to my exercise routine during my next pregnancy that will better preserve the function of my core and pelvic floor.
I am learning that motherhood brings out my strength! Mama let me make one thing clear: modifying the way you think about exercise in your pre-postpartum days is NOT because you aren’t strong enough. One thing I quickly learned as I entered motherhood is that mamas are fierce. Mamas are a force to be reckoned with. Our bodies are capable of incredible feats, and just the daily acts of motherhood require strength, grit & determination. So it’s not about what you CAN do. Because you CAN do anything you put your mind to. Moms are built that way. It’s about what you SHOULD do. As Brianna Battles, MS CSCS, teaches, the question about exercise has become, “What is the RISK versus the REWARD?”
I am learning that motherhood brings out my weaknesses. Postpartum is hard and mom-ing literally changes your world! In this context I’m referring specifically to my physical weaknesses. Let’s start with my core, which includes the diaphragm, inner abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor. Not to mention the alignment of my hips & pelvis from carrying and birthing a baby! Did you know breastfeeding (or pumping) even once a day introduces the hormone relaxin, which relaxes your joints/connective tissue and puts them at risk for injury? I had to learn that! Plus there is just overall muscle weakness, even if you exercised during your pregnancy, compared to the pre-pregnancy days. Just like returning to exercise post-op requires a rehabilitation process, so does returning to exercise after having a baby.
I am learning what they mean by, “it takes a village!” This ties into motherhood bringing out my weaknesses! Motherhood requires me to lean in to the strength of those around me, because we are stronger together. I want you to know that here at Chuckwalla CrossFit, we can be part of your village. We will guide you through exercise strategies that promote healing and strengthening and we will refer you to other professionals if needed. Plus we have childcare! I can’t tell you how helpful it was in those newborn days to have a reason to get our day started, to spend an hour with a community of people who supported me, held my baby, and let me get a workout in!
I am learning to slow down. Bri Battles reminds us that pregnancy is temporary and postpartum is forever! In an exact quote from a blog post by Bri, “Pregnancy is temporary, we are durable, strong, cautious and empowered. Postpartum we are strong at heart, but still so fragile, vulnerable and need support in every single aspect. We do need to be cautious of our health, self-care, function and needs. Be gentle with yourself, with your clients, with your friend who just had a baby. It’s a process and with the right support, you can be an athlete- a strong, empowered woman- and do it in a smart and safe manner.” Postpartum is a time to learn the new routine of motherhood (they are only a newborn once!), a time to heal physically, mentally, & emotionally, and then we have the rest of our lives to (slowly) return to exercise! I know that slowing down is hard especially on the “athlete brain”, but stay humble, work on the process, and soon you will be strong & confident again.
I am learning all about the system that is my core, which is powerful when it is in optimal function. My core is a team of muscles shaped like a canister, with the diaphragm at the top, pelvic floor across the bottom, and it includes my inner abdominal muscle (transverse abdominis). As you can imagine, the core is what bore the brunt of pregnancy & labor, and therefore needs immediate attention & rehabilitation. My abdominal muscles are stretched, have lost density, and have a degree of separation, which is called diastasis recti, and if not healed can contribute to a hernia and/or increased instability and pain. My pelvic floor needs to be trained to be dynamic part of the system, lifting and relaxing with my breath, or else it cannot support my organs, which can lead to leaking urine, pain, or prolapse (POP - pelvic organ prolapse). A pelvic floor physical therapist is vital in the process of healing the core & retraining these muscles.
I am learning strategies of alignment and breathing that create stability and allow my core to work as a piston when I move! In optimal alignment of ribs over hips, butt (pelvis) “untucked” and weight in my mid-foot, my core is set up to work better. Piston breathing utilizes the teamwork of the core muscles: inhale (relax/open pelvic floor) and exhale (lift/engage pelvic floor) during exertion. When proper alignment and breathing is applied to all movement, whether squatting or lifting the car-seat, and applied to all positioning such as standing, nursing, carrying the baby, etc, the core can work together to be stable and strong. These little things make a big difference to allow me to exercise the way I want and know that my body is working with me not against me!
I am learning there is hope and help! You know your body mama. When things don’t “feel right” in your stomach, abs, or “down there,” when you’re extra fatigued from sleepless nights - zombie like from the frantic survival mode, when you’re leaking urine, or having low back pain, those are signals to listen to. Learn the signs & symptoms of dysfunction, then listen to them! You need a coach who listens to you, asks how postpartum is going, helps you create balance in life-stress & exercise-stress, talks about your pelvic floor & diastasis recti, and teaches strategies for an exercise program that heals not destroys. Healed diastasis recti & proper core function (piston science!) will not only reduce dysfunction (bye-bye incontinence!) but also allow you to generate more strength & power! You deserve to exercise and to feel healthy and strong, and my goal is for you to safely attain that!
See what I wrote:
I’d love to chat and offer you guidance and resources
as you pursue health & fitness as a new mom!
Jessie Mundell on exercising after a c-section
Julie Wiebe, BSc, MPT: Piston Science DVD
Jennifer Campbell, on how to check for diastasis recti
Jessie Mundell on running after pregnancy
Brianna Battle's "Pregnant & Postpartum Athlete" course
How can pelvic floor physical therapy help?
Ashley Nowe of Get Mom Strong on the pelvic floor after pregnancy (PS: she is in Tuscon AZ and offers virtual strength coaching & nutritional counseling for moms! Plus you can get her workouts on Playbook and Instagram)
Matrescence: Beyond the Birth! Educaiton & support to thrive not just survive that postpartum season.
Recommended pelvic floor PTs in Phoenix: