What Fitness Does for Birth

I follow a page on facebook called Made to Birth, and she asked a question: How do you go with your body? What do you do to be tuned in to birth? For me it always goes back to fitness, because that’s how I’m wired and trained to think. Babies and workouts are my two biggest passions, so here is how I answered her…

“As a pre/post natal fitness specialist, I must answer this awesome question from my experience. From what I’ve seen in myself through 3 pregnancies and in other women, the more a woman exercises in safe ways, the more in tune she is during the ultimate workout of birth. She is unafraid of a little cramping, a little rush of pain. She knows the payoff is worth it, and she knows her limits. Each contraction is just one more set in the workout, one more exercise in the routine. And we breathe… and we tune into our core’s deepest muscles, and we summon strength we didn’t know we had to bring forth a healthy NEW life! Okay… I gotta go blog this!”

Most of my members come to me hurting and injured. They are recovering from birth or being beat up in bootcamps – military and gym style – and they realize they need to start at the beginning because they are finally tuning into what their body really needs: progression.

Just like labor starts with a tiny twinge, a braxton hicks tightening of the transverse, then a tenseness that wraps around the belly and into the back, and then a menstrual cramping feeling in the low belly, and all of that builds and fades, builds and fades, builds bigger and comes quicker, over and over… So a workout routine must start small. Fit mamas know this: You don’t get pregnant and give birth the next day. There is progression, development, growth, adaption, and then you’re ready for the biggest workout of your life. Keep reading below…

What Fitness does for Birth - Fit2B
Founder of Fit2B Studio, Bethany Learn, STANDING during a gnarly contraction after climbing out of the tub. Her sister is giving counter-pressure. She’s at 6 cm and it’s 90 minutes before her son’s birth.

It’s a workout that is exhilarating and painful and emotional and rewarding and difficult and wonderful and you’d never want to do it again anytime soon, but maybe you do because WOW! That is how my two natural births felt. I was in tune. I knew the power and the push was all me. I was as strong as the contractions because I was the contractions. It was my birth, my children, my womb, my core muscles working in unison to bring forth LIFE!!!

Birth is the day of the race that you supposedly have been training your body for. There is a warm-up, then the interval training with the peaks of contractions and the rest in between, then the burner set of pushing and – just like at the gym – sometimes we yell to get through those final reps. We call on spotters and assistants to stand beside us and support the weight we are pushing … And then it’s over, and you’re cooling down and shivering with the excitement and adrenaline of muscles that have been pushed to their max. Only, unlike the gym, you don’t just move onto the next set – unless you’re having twins.

Just as a life starts as a microscopic joining of egg and sperm and grows into a human ready to breathe, cry and crawl to the breast… AND just as birth starts as a small flex and grows into the biggest marathon event of your life, so your workouts should start small as you get going. And that’s what we offer here at Fit2B Studio: Progression. You start with short, easy workouts that are safe for if you’re dealing with injuries like split abs or sore knees (because it’s really not safe to just go right into Turbo Fire after having a baby). Then you move forward through over 50 more videos that will build your strength, challenge your endurance, and lower your body fat percentage OVER TIME. It’s all about progression and tuning into your body’s pace, your body’s rhythm, your body’s needs. Are your ready? If so start by checking your belly for a diastasis!

6 thoughts on “What Fitness Does for Birth

  1. Darlene Watson says:

    Awesome analogy and so fitting! I am constantly telling my students that they cant be static their entire birth and then expect to endure the marathon that is labor! The baby sure isn’t just sitting there in the womb eating cheetos…nope he’s busy with the latest kickboxing moves on your bladder LOL.
    thanks for the great article!

  2. Jenn Bonner says:

    Bethany – what a great analogy. What is interesting for me is that I was scared beyond belief of child birth. My whole pregnancy I was morbidly obese and the only working out I did was getting out of my car and walking into Krispy Kreme. I never thought of my pregnancy as a 9 month workout, bootcamp or otherwise. Now, after losing the 187 pounds safely, in a healthy manner and in a relatively short amount of time (15 months) I can relate to the idea of pushing through the pain, the sore muscles, the fatigue to finish the workout. Even tonight as I was on my 50 minute run (training for a marathon right now), I had a side cramp. I adjusted my core, my breathing and my form and the cramp went away and I was running stronger and faster. It would have been amazing to be able to go through child birth without being afraid of pain or fatigue. Keep up the good work!

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