As as fitness freak and later on a Les Mill Trainer/Instructor and Personal Trainer, I never found any trouble finding a gym to work out in. There were always plenty to choose from with classes and gym space galore, which catered to my every need both on a personal and professional level.
However, all that changed when I became pregnant for the first time at 37yrs old.
It seemed that all that was around at the time was a varied selection of yoga or pilates. I must admit these ended up being a Godsend, and became my exercise staple whilst expecting, as the benefits were amazing during pregnancy, after birth and during recovery. But I was saddened at the lack of choices available to me. Granted I was living abroad in the Far East at the time, but I know the same problem exists here in the UK.
So before I go any further let me tell you a little about myself and my personal story and how I got to where I want to be now. After moving to Asia, I was unable to work in my original field of TV and media. However, an opportunity was given to me which allowed me to follow a love and passion I have always had since I was 18 and that was to work in the fitness industry…
Whilst living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I was approached to train as a Les Mills Body Pump Instructor… I jumped at the chance. Just over a year later, I was asked to join the Les Mills Asian Pacific Team as a Trainer and Presenter. I’ve now been teaching Pump for nearly 14 years, loving every moment. I also trained as a Body Vive Instructor and a Born to Move Instructor (a wonderful, engaging programme released for children aged 2-16yrs). Being a Les Mills Instructor opened many wonderful doors for me, it allowed me to travel throughout Asia, as well as teach in many wonderful gyms in KL. One of those doors led me to train as Fitness First Personal Trainer, which I thought would compliment my role as an class instructor. Our clubs had a huge membership of Mums and it was predominately this wonderful group of ladies that I taught both in classes and on the gym floor.
When I turned 47, I got pregnant with my second child and once again I noticed there was nothing to cater for the needs of Mums-to-be or Mums with new-borns. As I continued to teach my classes and train PT, I realised that there was a huge need for experienced Personal Trainers trained in Pre & Post Natal… my passion for fitness had just reached the next level.
During this time I knew that a move back to the UK was on the horizon, so when I returned back to in 2015 I decided to research the fitness options available to Mums in the UK.
Having taught BP in a few of the gyms covering my local area the results are pretty much the same i.e. there is no specific place Pre or Post Natal Mums can go to seek training, either in a PT format or class (apart from the usual yoga or pilates classes, or private PTs). Most of the gyms I have either taught in or been to have young Personal Trainers starting out with little or no experience of how to train a Mum expecting or with a new-born and the same goes for class instructors.
My passion for Pre & Post goes beyond training. I am also very keen for Mums to be taught that being fit and healthy before (yes I am including conception here), during and after birth is not just important for Mum and baby. I believe that this wonderful experience should be holistic and fun, because being a new Mum (or a second or third time one), can be daunting and lonely. Let me explain further….
When I fell pregnant with my eldest Sam (now 16) my pregnancy immediately became a medical issue. The minute we knew we were bombarded with so many facts and advice that our brains went into overload. Being first time parents, we didn’t know what we should or shouldn’t do, and I know many of my friends felt the same. Many times I felt personally confused as there still wasn’t much advice on fitness and pregnancy, birth or recovery. I wasn’t in the industry at the time, so that is why I decided on yoga…the only option open to me at the time.
However, when I got pregnant with Michael (now 6) I knew I wanted my choices to be very different. I didn’t want it to be medical. I wanted a natural birth so I chose Hypnobirthing and was fortunate enough to find both an Obstetrician and Mid-wife trained in both. I was also treated with homeopathic remedies during and after. Then because I was now trained and working in the fitness industry, I knew exactly what exercises to do to maintain my health and well-being – crucial not just for me but also baby. This time I felt in control as I had all the facts and could weigh up all those that would work for me and disregard those that wouldn’t. For example, what foods to eat, exercises to maintain a healthy weight and strengthen my core and pelvic floor, and procedures to have if the birth didn’t go exactly the way we planned. I built myself a sense of well-being not only physical but mentally. I felt in control. The result from beginning to end; 3 hours, water-birth using Hypnobirthing techniques (which meant no medical intervention at all) and a baby who finally came out with his water-sac intact!
After Michael’s birth my passion grew even stronger. I want Mums to experience this wonderful journey the same way I did. Yes unexpected things can arise but like me, wouldn’t it be wonderful to be armed with an array of tools that you can call on anytime day or night to help you through such times. Keeping fit and engaging in regular exercise, coupled with diet is extremely important but why not take it to the next level?
My vision is to help Mums and Dads right from the beginning (before conception), through pregnancy, through delivery and then recovery. It was from this vision that my company was born and I have called it You Baby Beyond.
However, my vision just doesn’t stop here! In addition to my own expertise, I have found a number of amazing qualified, female professionals to collaborate with. Each one is specialised in their particular chosen field and are extremely dedicated and passionate about how they can best serve you and this wonderful journey you are either going to embark upon or have already started. Interested? You can meet each team member on the Contact the Team page and find out what their profession and passions are.
So this is my story and I look forward to meeting and working closely with you no matter at what stage you are currently at.
Happy Body, Happy Mind, Happy Baby!
Three words that describe me: dynamic, passionate & loving
VTCT Level 3 Award in Designing Physical Activity Programmes for Antenatal & Postnatal Clients
Complete Personal Trainer Diploma
Advanced Anatomy & Physiology
Level 3 Exercise Programming & Coaching
Nutrition and Weight Management
Client Psychology & Motivation/Behaviour Change Coaching
Advanced Resistance Training
Functional Equipment Training
Exercise for Fat Loss
Les Mills Instructor
Advanced Body Pump (Ex-Trainer & Presenter)
Born to Move (Ages 2-16)
First Aid Trained, DBS Checked
Affiliations: The Guild of Pre&Postnatal Exercise Instructors
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