Episode 29 –
Pre- and Postnatal Fitness with Certified Fitness Coach, Kim Perry
“It’s just really important to remember that everything is temporary. Your body is temporary, every stage that your baby goes through is temporary, pregnancy is temporary, nothing will last forever and you are in charge of your body and you should feel empowered to make the changes!”
Are you confused on what exercises you can safely do while pregnant and postpartum? On this episode of the Raiseology Podcast, I speak with Kim Perry who coaches women on just that! Kim shares how her programs are keeping moms safe and happy and I know I would have loved to have a resource like this while pregnant!
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Sharon: If you’d like to discuss your specific situation and how the resolve 60 day system can help transform your life, your relationship with your spouse, your relationship with your children, and most importantly your relationship with yourself. Book a free 15 minute call at Raiseology.as.me/consultation.
Hi everyone. Welcome back to the Raiseology podcast. Today I have with me Kim. Kim is a dedicated and energetic fit mama. She is a mother of two girls and she’s a prenatal and postnatal certified fitness coach and she helps pregnant women stay fit during her pregnancy so they can recover quicker. Hi Kim!
Kim: Hi, thank you so much for having me today.
Sharon: Sure. Thanks so much for being here. I would love to hear more about your family and what it is that you do and then we’ll get into talking about how the moms listening can really help themselves and figure out how to stay fit during these special times in our lives.
Kim: Of course. So my little one Rosie’s here with me. She’s three months old. She just found her voice, so if you hear her, she, by the way. So I’ve always been into fitness, very athletic growing up. And I started a fitness instagram a couple years ago and just trying to document my workouts and I was almost like self-conscious to share it with my friends and family. So it was anonymously made and it was just something I did for fun and to keep myself accountable. Um, and then I got pregnant and I had to figure out a way to continue doing my workouts while I was pregnant. I didn’t realize there were so many things you couldn’t do, things that weren’t safe for your growing body. Um, I really felt restricted during my first pregnancy because of all the limitations. And I was like, there has to be a better way, there has to be some kind of workout out there. So I was, I was creating my own and it wasn’t until my second pregnancy with Rosie who’s now three months. Um, so this time last year I started doing my own workouts again and I had a lot of new and expecting moms asked me, you know, what are you doing, what kind of workouts, um, are safe during pregnancy or just asking me for advice and tips. So I went ahead and got my prenatal postnatal fitness certification because I didn’t feel comfortable giving that information without that certification.
And now I coach, um, groups of moms and pregnant women on my workouts or I teach them how to stay fit and energized because I know that can be such a struggle, not only just knowing what we’re going to do but being able to do them with the lack of energy and all of the symptoms that come with pregnancy. Um, so I’ve been able to help a lot of moms in that way.
Sharon: That’s awesome. I am sure I probably could have used you during my pregnancies too, and really worked on myself a little bit more during those times. Um, but I do find that, you know, I mean, I guess the most common advice that you get when you’re getting pregnant from your doctor is, you know, if you were doing something before you got pregnant, you can do it after. But it sounds, from what you’re saying, that that’s not entirely true. What are the most common limitations? I guess, what are some things that when you get pregnant you really shouldn’t be doing?
Kim: Ok, yeah. There’s almost like two sides of this. So I see a lot of women that are either really concerned and nervous and afraid and they don’t want to hurt anything or you know, they’re really nervous because they have this new precious baby inside of them and they don’t want to risk anything, which I totally understand. And I, I’ll tell you this, I did have a miscarriage in the past in between the two pregnancies are. And what I learned is a miscarriage is never the woman’s fault. It’s never the mother’s fault. And I didn’t want this whole conversation to be about that topic, but with that being said, taking care of yourself is very important and having that feeling of like nervousness and worry all the time, um, is not healthy for a new, for a pregnant woman. So I see a lot of women who are nervous and pregnant or pregnant and nervous and then a lot of women who are like, I want to keep my workouts, I want to, you know, keep up the intensity and I want to stay fit and stay healthy. So there are two sides of it and I, and I’ve heard from doctors, different things, like some doctors will say, you know, you really need to have the full spectrum of exercise and you need to take it down a notch.
And sorry I’m trying to like, this is such a loaded topic, but pregnant women or some are able to keep up with whatever they were doing pre-pregnancy. So women, pregnant women do not make any modifications. There are pregnant women running marathons, there are pregnant women doing crossfit, there are pregnant women squatting their own body weight and that’s fine. That is great. So it depends on the individual. If they’re really fit and strong going into it, they might be able to continue exactly what they were doing with minimal modification while others, you know, need to make certain modifications in order to protect themselves, to protect the core, to keep their muscles intact. So what the basic modifications that I give are, let’s see as far as intensity level, like I, I love high intensity workouts so scaling it back was hard for me. But when you’re pregnant, little movements end up feeling like really hard, you know what I mean? Like just go walking up a flight of stairs, you’re breathless and that kind of makes it easy because you don’t have to do as much and you’re still getting a good workout, which I really love about pregnancy. Like you don’t have to use any weights. You could just use body weight, which is great.
But on that scale of one to 10, if pre-pregnancy you are working out and try and go for high intensity and getting that 10 like Max out level when you’re pregnant, you should really aim for a six or seven on that scale. So six would be like, okay, this feels uncomfortable and challenging and seven is like, okay, this is hard. Um, so stick within that range in terms of intensity. And then when it comes to movements that you should modify, anything where you’re in a plank position, like a pushup position where your, where your belly is kind of hanging underneath you for a couple reasons.
One, you know, safety, you don’t want to land on your stomach. And then two, it’s putting a lot of pressure on your core, um, and you want to avoid that at any, at any time. And then the third tip I’m going to give is just your posture during pregnancy, you have to really, really pay attention to how you’re standing, especially when your belly starts to get bigger. And the second and third trimester you don’t want to back. You don’t want to be doing that. Pregnancy model that we all see, I know it feels better walking like that, but it’s not good for your posture. It’s putting a lot of pressure again on your core, um, and you your back. I don’t know, any pregnant woman that didn’t have back pain and posture will definitely help reduce that. So just engaging your core, standing up straight. Um, you know, your feet are hip width apart, slight bending the knee, just finding that comfortable stance where you’re not leaning forward or back.
And then, you know, posture comes into play huge when we’re talking about new moms because you’re leaning forward all the time. Breastfeeding, leaning forward, changing a diaper, leaning forward, picking up your baby. There’s a lot to be said for posture.
Sharon: Yes. Although I, I happen to also be a lactation consultant and I usually try to get moms not to lean forward while they’re breastfeeding and we say bring the baby to you rather than bringing yourself to the baby. Because it does help a lot in many ways.
Kim: Yes, definitely. And the reason I talk about like the core and posture so much isn’t because that, you know, your six pack is so important and you want to save your abs and all this stuff. What’s really important is that connective tissue that’s holding your abs together. So a lot of women or I didn’t, I honestly am one of them. And my first pregnancy, I had no idea what diastasis rectus was, I had no idea what my pelvic floor was. And what I’ve learned is that, you know, those muscles are being stretched during pregnancy. Your pelvic floor acts as a hammock for your baby that’s inside of you, and your baby’s just weighing down on those muscles, um, and that’s fine because we can restore them, but they are weakened during pregnancy and they’re stretched. So you want to be mindful of that during your workouts, going to be mindful of that with your posture, to just keep those muscles engaged and just focusing on them. And having that mind muscle connection during your pregnancy will help restore your core post-pregnancy.
Sharon: Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about diastasis rectus because I think that that’s something that a lot of women listening have probably experienced since we have a range of moms listening that, you know, something might be in their first pregnancy and some might be on their third or fourth. Um, and it’s something where basically the muscles, I’m like you said they stretch and they make it difficult for you to feel like yourself, I think after you deliver. Um, so what you’re saying is there are ways to minimize that. I’m not sure it can be completely prevented.
Kim: So everyone does experience, some are gay, some ab separation and that’s just the growth of the baby is going to do that. But there are different cases, you can have a mild case, you can have a moderate case and then you can have a severe case of it. There’s a way to measure it too. And this is for post post pregnant moms. Uh, but you can measure it with your two fingers. I have a whole instructional video, I know it’s really hard to explain that over of our podcasts, but if you’re lying on your back and you tilt your hips in, so you’re kind of tilting your pelvis in, um, and you can feel with your two fingers horizontally. If you can fit two fingers into your core or into your abs, like in between, you can kind of feel the muscles. You can fit two, that is diastasis. You really want to keep it less than two. If you can feel three, that’s a pretty moderate case. And if you can fit three or more, that’s a severe case. Um, and there are some symptoms, a lot of women have it and don’t know, they just have symptoms like leaking urine. they’ll have incontinence, they won’t be able to hold their pee. Um, they’ll have lower back pain and they’ll have that belly pooch that just doesn’t go away. And they’re like, why is this not going away? It’s probably because you have this and you need to restore your core. Um, so again it is, if you picture the six pack muscles, there is a connective tissue running down the center of your Linea Alba, that is the connective tissue and it, it does stretch during pregnancy and to minimize that, like I said, you want to reduce the amount of pressure on your abs. You don’t want to be doing crunches, you want to stay away from traditional ab exercises like anything lying on your back. Bicycles, leg lifts, all those. Um, and then avoiding the planks, pushups, and even simple things like when you’re in the shower. I know there’s a lot of women telling me this, like when I’m in the shower, I see coning, that’s something to look out for when you’re pregnant. If you lean back in your stomach, a little dome, that’s a sign that there’s too much pressure on your core and you need to avoid that movement, whatever it is.
So it might not even be a core movement. You might just be in the shower to like wash out your shampoo and you see that stress happening. So that is what you want to try to limit and it will reduce the chances of getting it. One thing I don’t want is, I don’t want anyone to be scared or like I get a lot of messages like, oh my God, I have diastasis recti is write down, what do I do? It’s fine. Calm down. We can fix it. We can first of all, limited a lot of women. Like I said, it’s more than 80 percent of women that have it. It’s just a matter of how severe it is. Um, and then restoring it postpartum.
Sharon: What is the likelihood that you can restore it postpartum? I mean, I can understand if you have a mild case, um, but if you have a severe diastasis recti, you had twins or you had, you know, is it possible to restore it? And then, I mean, I’m sure you can make big improvements. If not.
Kim: If someone has a mild to severe case, I always recommend that they seek help from a physical therapist because every case is different. It’s, there’s only so much I can do online through my programs. You can have it different areas and there are different exercises you can do. A physical therapist is going to get you where you want to be and will be able to help you 1 on 1.
But can you restore it? Here’s an example, and I read this an article. That’s so true. A lot of bumps think that once you have a baby, that’s it. It’s like, well, there goes my body, like I’ll never have that again. I now have to have this mom body for the rest of my life where it’s really not true. And if you do feel funny, she’s not even crying. She just wants to be a part of the conversation. She just wants to chat!
Athletes get injured or they’ll, you know, have a sprained ankle or they’ll break a bone and you don’t say like, well, that’s the end of their career. No, they, they seek treatment, they get the best treatment and then they’re back in the game for the next season or whenever they. So yeah, that the analogy I heard, I’m like, wow, that’s really empowering to know or to be able to tell women this isn’t the end, this is just part of the process and I personally myself, I feel stronger after having two babies versus, you know, before when I was just trying to be fit and I wasn’t actually being very healthy. I was just trying to do what I really didn’t have the education that I do now and I feel stronger and better post-baby than I did before I had kids.
Sharon: Yeah, I can tell you my experience. I have four kids and my youngest is three and a half and I have started paying more attention to my body in the last six months or so, and I can tell you I probably feel better and look better than ever before in my life. I think.
Kim: So there is hope like I so many pregnant women have that fear. I did too. I was like, well, I didn’t really have abs before. How am I going to have abs after I have a baby? And just being fearful of what you’re going to look like, what you’re going to be able to do in those first few months is really challenging mentally. Not only are you going through so many changes, you know, you coach on this, like all the changes that happen, you’re still getting used to this new body and it’s, it’s just really important to remember that everything is temporary. You know, your body’s temporary. Every stage that your baby goes through is temporary. Pregnancy is temporary, nothing will last forever and you are, you are in charge of your body and you should feel empowered to make the changes and know that change is possible and you can be healthy and fit and strong and a mom.
Sharon: Yeah, absolutely. And you offer, you offer exercise programs for during pregnancy and after pregnancy. Correct? Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in those programs and who you’re helping?
Kim: Okay, so my pregnancy program I designed after or during my pregnancy with Rosie, um, a lot of women, like I said, we’re asking me what I was doing so I was keeping track of my workouts and I broke it down into first, second and third trimester and I even a fourth trimester in there just what to expect, but I talk about nutrition, workouts, modifications that you need to make, what’s happening with your body. That is all included in my pregnancy program, so it is all written out, but there are workout videos included that you can follow along.
And then in my postnatal program I was so excited to design and I did that right after I had Rosie. Like I was doing it as I was creating it. I was using my workouts as I created it. And when I say workouts, I’m talking about transverse Abdominis, breathing deep core breathwork, pelvic floor activation, just making that mind-muscle connection. So I don’t want people to think you should be working out in the first few weeks postpartum. More like making that mind-muscle connection and in those are exercises that I wouldn’t do in the gym. There exercises that you can do, you know, in between breastfeeding and changing your baby’s diaper. So.
Sharon: Well, it’s so interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone talk about any kind of, um, we’re going to call it a workout even though it doesn’t sound like a traditional workout that you can do immediately after delivery or in those first few weeks. And it really is, it’s probably very helpful and empowering to know that there are things you can start doing right away before you get the all clear to go workout in the gym or whatever.
Kim: Right and that was question that was getting so frequently. One, can I work out, when can I start exercising, when can I get to the back to the gym? And a lot of women have that six week mark in their mind because, you know, that’s just what we hear. That’s what the doctors say, come back in six weeks. But in reality, some women need more, some women aren’t healed after six weeks. So women need way more time and some women heal very quickly and they were fit and active during the entire pregnancy and they don’t need to wait the full six weeks. Now I’m not saying you should start doing burpees, you know, two weeks postpartum. I’m saying, this is what I tell women that asked me that, like, when can I start? Well, first of all, you should definitely talk with your doctor, check in with your body and make decisions based on your health, knowing that you’re doing what’s best for you.
Second of all, it’s not so much when you start, that’s important, but what workouts you’re starting with, what exercises are the first ones you’re going to be doing because you don’t want to further injure yourself or risk injuring yourself. Your body’s still healing. So those first few weeks you’re priority is recovering and your priority is healing. Um, and I do believe that there are certain things you can do to help improve or increase the speed of your recovery. And that’s something I do talk about in my postpartum program.
So I talk a lot about the fundamentals of your core. understanding, you know, all those different muscles, what just happened to them, what to expect and then I have workouts that are based on level so I have like level one and how to know you’re ready to start doing these level one exercises and level two, level three, and then they have a bonus section for when, you know, these moms are fully recovered, they’ve done all the workouts and they are starting to crave some fat burning like at-home workout. So that’s in my postpartum program and I’m really excited about it because I’ve heard nothing but great feedback from the moms who are currently in it and we all just had our babies together and now we’re all doing these core workouts and I love being able to connect with them and share this with them.
Sharon: Yeah, that is really cool. Um, do you talk about nutrition during that postpartum stage as well?
Kim: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. It’s a huge, huge role. I do talk about nutrition in my pregnancy guide too. I think I mentioned that. Yeah. Yeah. We talk about what to eat, breastfeeding, how many calories you’re going to need, what not to do, like dieting and trying to restrict calories and how that can prevent your recovery. So I do talk about nutrition. Mental health is in there too, you know, the baby blues, postpartum. I cover a lot of topics in the postpartum program. Just related to overall health and what to expect.
Sharon: Yeah, it sounds amazing. I wish it was around when I was delivering my babies because I was totally clueless about fitness.
Kim: Right. This idea, you just have an idea in your mind of what you think you should do and that’s what I found though. I did too. I was like, oh well I can’t do anything until I’m six weeks. That’s how I felt with Ayla, but my body was craving movement. I was craving, you know, just like a little bit of a sweat session. Just something, anything. Because for me, exercise is more than just what I’m doing to my body. It’s like a mental clarity. It just makes me feel good and not giving that to a woman in the first few weeks after they had a baby and they, they’re really missing it and craving it. It’s almost terrible. Like you don’t want someone to feel sleep deprived, not like themselves. All these things like you can’t exercise, you have to sit down like all of those things and just having that little outlet, I’m like, okay, I’m going to take 10 minutes and do some breathing exercises and focus on me. That is something that I want to be able to deliver to new moms.
Sharon: Yeah. And it really is so important to, to really do as much as you can to take care of yourself and whatever that means for you. Right. Some mom hear I can work out for six weeks and it’s like a blessing for them and for, you know. And that’s fine.
Kim: I talk about too, I’m like, I don’t want exercise to be an additional stress on you as a new mom. It should not be that way. And if you feeling like is stressing you out, then you need to step back and take some time before you figure out how this work. I was going to fit into your schedule.
Sharon: Yeah, for sure. But, um, but I do think it’s an amazing thing to offer moms and it’s such a special time in everyone’s life that it’s, um, it’s hard for me to, to see so many moms struggling through this period and that’s really one of the main reasons that I decided to start doing what I’m doing and really help coach moms through that period. And I think that this is just an added valuable thing that you’re offering. I think it’s amazing.
Kim: Thank you so much.
Sharon: Sure. So how can the audience get in touch with you if they’re interested in either the prenatal or postnatal programs that you’re offering?
Kim: So you can find me on instagram. I’m on instagram every single day. My handle is KimPerryCo. You can find me at kimperry.com is where you’ll find me. All my programs are in Kajabi. Um, so you can find links to them through my instagram.
Sharon: And I’ll put links to everything in the show notes as well. Um, we’ll put the links to the programs. We’ll put the links to the instagram and um, when the website changes over, we’ll change it over as well. Um, and then you have, um, you actually have a new program that is starting very soon. And registration ends in just a couple of days. So we’re going to give the audience a chance to hear about it and decide if it might be something that’s right for them.
Kim: Yes! So I’m opening up group coaching. I actually started group coaching last year I did a small group of pregnant moms. We were all in our second or third trimester and that was so much fun. Now everyone has their babies and we’re able to like chat about it and share pictures and just connect with each other. And then I did it again in the fall and everyone in the group is pregnant or was pregnant and people were asking me to do it again and again. And I’m like, alright, you know what we’re going to do it, but this time it’s gonna be even better. So I’ve created a membership login area so when you are part of my group coaching, you’ll have access to videos for pregnancy and videos for postpartum. It is different however from my programs because it’s going to be more coaching from me. So if you’re looking for encouragement, if you need that motivation, if you’re looking for answers to your questions, the group coaching is the best place for you to get more of me.
So I will be, open enrollment is open now and I’m going to be closing it so we can really start on February 1st and just dive in with this first group of women and I’m really excited about it. I already have a bunch of girls in the group, they’re all in their second or third trimester like I said, and they’re excited to get started and they’re all surrounded by other women who want to stay fit and healthy and energized and just feel safe knowing what they’re doing is best for them and best for their bodies and their babies.
Sharon: Yeah, and you’re planning on opening it back up again in the spring in case someone’s listening after the fact.
Kim: So, I get it like in a lot of people are asking me like, well how long is this going to last and I have this planned out for 2019 and I understand like you might be, you know, in your first trimester and you have a good handle on things but your body will start changing over the next few months and maybe in March or may or april you’ll, you’ll be interested.
So I will open it back up later, but this is for moms who you know are ready to go who are confused about their workouts. They just need a little more guidance. They want to be surrounded by other women in the same position and they just have a lot of questions for me and I will be able to answer them in the group coaching.
Sharon: Yeah. And it is all virtual so it doesn’t matter where you are, right? Participate.
Kim: Yes. So we’ll be meeting online. We have, like I said, that private membership area as well as a group area that we’ll be connecting in and we saw, like I said, there are pregnant women but they’re also just new moms who are in it, so those postpartum moms who have just been through what you’ve been through and they’re trying to figure out their new routine and I will be there before you during pregnancy, labor and birth and then postpartum.
That’s how I designed the group coaching. I wanted to help you transition from the pregnancy to fit mom and giving you the guidelines for how to make that happen and the modifications, the workouts and answer your questions in between.
Sharon: It sounds amazing. Well, thanks again for being here and um, I’m excited to share this with everyone and I think they’ll benefit a lot from the episode and I’m even more so if they contact you. So good luck with the coaching program and it’s been really fun.
Kim: Thank you so much for having me!
Sharon: Join the Raiseology parenting facebook group where I’ve been sharing parenting tips via live video. Can’t wait to see you guys there!
Thanks for listening to the resolve the podcasts head over to www.Raiseology.com where you’ll find plenty of. You’ve got this resources for parents and any links or tools mentioned in today’s show. Be sure to hit subscribe on your pod catcher so that you can listen to the next episode. The minute it’s out. Until next time, have an empowered week.
Meet Your Mentor
Sharon is a general pediatrician, loving wife and mother to 4 daughters.
After a decade of practicing general pediatrics and working with families, she realized there often wasn’t enough time while tending to children’s medical needs to help parents in the way that would be most helpful in shaping their children’s futures.
The Raiseology Program was developed to teach parents how to raise their children with the love and authority necessary to promote resilience and responsibility.
Sharon’s experience with hundreds of families as well as her own help her meet you where you are on your parenting journey to help you make it what you want it to be.
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