The Mindset Around Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness

Fitness Professional and 2022 HER Expert Panelist, Jenna Somich discusses the two sides of the spectrum when it comes to the mindset around prenatal and postpartum fitness. Jenna discusses the answer to striking a balance.

By Jenna Somich


Hi there, everybody, this is Jenna Somich. I am a fitness professional. And I’m coming to you from in between clients and school pickup because that is how life goes. Today I wanted to talk to you about the mindset around prenatal and postpartum fitness.


So, in working with individuals, I often see people on one side of the spectrum or the other side of the spectrum. One side of the spectrum is the individuals that are going to do it with me, or they’re going to do it without me. Regardless, they’re going to do it, these individuals may continue to just do what they’ve always done, because that’s what they’ve always done, continuing to do the workouts, continuing to do the movements that are programmed for them, because they don’t know what else to do, and they need to continue. They feel they need to continue to keep moving.


Okay, on the other side of the spectrum, are individuals who are going to do it with me, or they’re not going to do it at all. So they feel overwhelmed, or perhaps concerned that whatever they do in terms of movement, and fitness in the prenatal or postpartum space, is going to be the wrong thing. Or they’re going to hurt something or cause issues for themselves or their child or their healing or that sort of thing. So these individuals don’t move, they don’t utilize fitness, that sort of thing. So you can see, perhaps, that both situations of this spectrum aren’t effective for either time period.


So the individual who is pregnant or postpartum who just continues to approach movement in the same way. Maybe isn’t  leaving room for recovery, rehab healing, maybe they’re not able to adapt to the biomechanical changes that take place during pregnancy and postpartum. Maybe they’re not able to tune into, you know, their energy stores, what’s going on with their hormones, that sort of thing. So there’s definitely considerations to take.


But we don’t want people to go so far with considerations or feel so unsupported, that they just don’t do anything. So not moving also isn’t effective, right? Not not utilizing movement to help you, with your rehab, with your recovery, with your mindset, we all need movement and some alone time for us, right. So finding that balance in between where we’re not just doing what we’ve always done. And we’re not doing nothing, right.


That’s where individuals like myself come in. And what’s interesting about this spectrum, is that there is no one size fits all. And it would be so much easier if there was, right? But the thing is, everybody is different. Every body is different. Every person comes into pregnancy with their own history, with their own wishes, wants and goals. And then in pregnancy, every pregnancy is different between individuals, but also, within your own pregnancies. If you’ve had multiple pregnancies, every birth is different, every postpartum is different.


So this is where I love meeting people where they’re at and kind of figuring out all those things, all those gray areas that you can’t put on a list of do’s and don’ts to during prenatal and postpartum fitness.


One thing that I love in working with people in the prenatal and postpartum space, is helping them tune into their body and notice what is happening with their movement because there are big shifts and changes that are taking place. When individuals can tune into their body, in the prenatal and postpartum space, they’re able to create boundaries. They’re able to create boundaries around fitness and movements and challenges and what works for them and what doesn’t work for them.


And I am someone who definitely believes that time with fitness and movement is kind of our practice ground for taking on other challenges or mindsets out into the world. So if we’re able to have boundaries around our fitness and our movement based on the feedback that our body is giving us, then we can take that same set and kind of apply it to other areas of life. What are the boundaries we have around the messages about our food or our nutrition? What are the boundaries that we have around empowering our children to have boundaries around their movement around their food choices, things like that. I find when you work with people and they are empowered to have boundaries, they are then more likely to empower other people to have healthy boundaries as well, including their children.


To sum it up, if you are pregnant, or you are postpartum, and you don’t know how to approach movement, and you don’t know how to approach fitness, reach out, try to find some support. Try to ask some questions. I’m always here to help. But if it feels like just doing what you always have done isn’t quite the answer and if it feels like doing nothing isn’t quite the answer, then I’m here to say you are absolutely right, and your gut is steering you in the right direction.

Jenna Somich began her career as a Personal Trainer and Coach at a gym in LA, where she received her CrossFit Level 1 certificate before becoming a Trainer and Coach full-time. She worked with all individuals but was extremely passionate about working with women, pre-teens, and teens. Upon moving to Raleigh, NC where she currently resides, she expanded her knowledge by becoming certified as a BIRTHFIT Coach and was able to coach countless Moms through their experiences and transitions of pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond. Jenna has completed the Active Life Immersion Program, the The Pelvic Health, Pain, and Performance Intensive by RX Physio, the HAES Trainer Intensive led by Brit Guerin at Current Wellness. and is currently in the process of completing the Girls Gone Strong Pre/Post Natal course, as well at the Menopause For Athletes course by Dr. Stacy Sims. Jenna’s movement approach with her client’s is very much centered around the unique individual in front of her. She strives to help support individuals in building the strength that already lives within them. Jenna supports individuals at Current Wellness as well as at Neuse River CrossFit, both located in Raleigh, NC.

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