We’re excited to announce new programming designed to support parents and pregnant/postpartum athletes! Coach Anne, a new mom herself, is kicking off the initiative on August 19 with an informational session for moms, pregnant women, and women who are thinking about becoming pregnant. She’s also spearheading a Saturday afternoon parents’ WOD (launch date TBD) that includes childcare—no more sprinting back and forth between a stroller and your squat rack!

We caught up with Coach Anne to learn more about these new family-friendly offerings. 

What inspired you to introduce the Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism seminar and the family class?

I’m introducing the PPA seminar and subsequent classes because of the aimlessness I felt early in my pregnancy—looking for a little guidance on what to do or not do and when.  By the time I had James, I had found that guidance, so when I got the postpartum exercise clearance, I had a plan. But I know so many women who didn’t/don’t know what to do at that point.  Frankly, that aimlessness and bad, horrible, harmful messaging about “bouncing back” and “body back” suck.  My goal is to provide some guidance, help, and support for moms-to-be and moms in our community.  We all need it.

The family class was inspired by a desire to be able to get a workout in, without having to make elaborate childcare plans.  Both parents, one parent, one kid, lots of kids—doesn’t matter what your family looks like, bring them by.  The adults and kids will all get some play time in.

What kind of specialized training have you done to prepare for the PPA seminar?

When James was a newborn and napped a bit more, I did Brianna Battles’ online PPA coaching course.  It was so informative and sent me down so many internet rabbit holes, looking for more material from the contributors in each field.  (And Shante has an interview in it, so it was nice to see a familiar face after 40 or so hours of course work!)  I also plan on attending seminars by other professionals in the field—Antony Lo and Tracy Sher—in the near future.  I’ve learned a lot and want to learn more.

So many pregnant women are told to listen to their bodies or do what they’ve always done. Why is this generally insufficient (and sometimes bad) advice?

I heard it when I had my first OB visit after finding out I was pregnant with James, and so have so many other women—“keep doing what you’re doing” or “listen to your body.”  So not helpful!  Every woman and every pregnancy is different, so we all need slightly different approaches.  Pregnant women are far from fragile, but also not invincible.  We just need some help navigating the in-between.

And the postpartum athleticism part—oh man.  I’m so glad I had found someone to guide me by the time I had James.  I had a plan once I had been cleared for exercise by my doctor, but I know so many women who didn’t or don’t.  The early postpartum stage is when we need the most help.  No matter how your little one came earth-side, odds are you’ve got some healing to do, even after you get that clearance.  Incontinence, pain, wobbliness, loss of endurance—the list goes on (and gets more personal).  Then there’s the lack of sleep and a regular schedule.  Throw in some horrible messaging about “getting your body back.”  It’s a mess.  I want to help clean up some of the mess.  It doesn’t have to be so confusing, painful, or humiliating (whoops! I peed when I sneezed!).

Also, by keeping the PPA seminar a ladies-only event, I hope to encourage women to discuss their experiences openly. Pelvic organ prolapse is super common but embarrassing for most, so if someone’s got that going on, or just something else that they’ve been dealing with that feels weird to share, I want to make it a little easier.  But babies are welcome!