Good Monday morning!! I recently asked one of my good friends to tell me more about her journey with Pregnancy and Post-Partum Coaching. I wanted to learn more about what she does and who can benefit from this type of coaching, so I could share it with you.
I'm excited to welcome Gina Montanez to my blog! Check her out and please reach out to her if you have any questions or would like more information.
I mean, did you know that peeing yourself while running, jumping, sneezing, isn't NORMAL?! It's not, at all. Read on to find out more about it and how to get help so you can STOP peeing yourself!
Q: WHAT IS PREGNANCY AND POSTPARTUM COACHING?
A: Coaching athletes through their pregnancy and their pursuit of athleticism through motherhood. 80% of women will become pregnant at some point in their lives. Because the change in the fitness industry and sports like CrossFit coming about and changing the idea of what women can and cannot do, or should and should not do, it's important to have fitness professionals to guide them and have up-to-date information to provide these athletes during their pregnancy. This information can help them make informed decisions on their fitness goals.
Postpartum coaching helps athletes get back to what they love in a healthy and mindful manner. It is aimed towards health, healing, acceptance of the current season – not getting pre-baby body back – to eventually return to doing what they love most, be it running, lifting, CrossFitting, etc.
Q: HOW DID YOU GET INTO IT?
A: When I started my fitness journey, I thought I was on my own. Nobody talked about peeing yourself when you coughed, laughed, jumped, etc. My coaches were men and I started my fitness journey in my mid-30s, having 4 kids; I didn't think they could relate. I was suffering from stress incontinence and thought it was just what happened after kids & I had to live with it, that I had to use a pad when I had to jump.
I kept getting the same questions that as an athlete I had asked myself. I mainly coach women’s only classes (beginner/intermediate) and fundamental 101 classes (true beginners). When I started coaching, I got approached by numerous athletes and didn't have any answers. I just kept repeating the same bland statements that were said to me. I started looking for information online and stumbled upon Brianna Battles. After learning more about her personal story, I discovered her program for coaches. After reading through what it covered, it seemed like a good idea. She was the only one who actually made sense to me, provided useful information that I could understand and could apply to myself and share with others.
Q: WHO BENEFITS?
A: I think everybody benefits, women and coaches alike. Even if you have an athlete that has never had a baby, we can all learn how to move better. If you’re pregnant and want to keep moving, this is for you. If you just had a baby and want to get back to doing what you love, this is for you. If you suffer from stress incontinence, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, diastasis recti, lower back pain, this is for you. If you had a baby 2-3-5-10 years ago, this is for you. Coaches are the first line of defense. Athletes trust us and we need to provide them with more than generic answers.
My scope of practice is limited to what I see as a CrossFit coach and personal trainer, but now I have the necessary knowledge and can provide useful information to any athlete that has a concern or question. If it's out of my scope of practice, I am building a network of professionals that I trust and can refer them to.
Q: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT TRAINING PREGNANT AND POSTPARTUM WOMEN?
A: Pregnant athletes that have been working out since before the baby or are competitors, runners, marathoners, CrossFit athletes etc. have a hard time listening to the voice in their head that says: “slow down.” When you are pregnant, you should learn to listen to that voice. Balance risk vs reward. Honor your body in the season it is in. They have to learn to move a different way and think more about being intentional in how they manage pressure in their bodies. In most cases, pregnancy is a 9 month commitment. Postpartum is forever.
For postpartum athletes, it's a bit trickier. Most of the time, you will be cleared by your doctor to workout 6 weeks after having the baby. It took 9 months to grow the baby, plus the trauma of having the baby either by C-section or VBAC. 6 weeks really isn't enough time to jump right back to what you were doing pre-baby. Letting the body heal and slowly building up to their previous intensity levels will help them get back to doing what they love.
Q: IS INCONTINENCE COMMON?
A: Incontinence happens to women who have had kids and those who have not. It happens to girls as young as 11 years old. It happens to grannies, to athletes who run, lift weights, jump and it has been labeled as “normal.” If you cough or laugh too hard and pee a little bit, it’s “ok,” “you get used to it, you live with it, just wear a pad.” The truth is, it's not normal, but it's common.
Through the P&PA course, I was presented with medical and professional interviews on: 1) the fundamentals of anatomy/physiology; 2) how our bodies work; 3) the relationship between our pelvic floor and core; 4) what are the dysfunctions of the pelvic floor; 5) strategies to help minimize/prevent incontinence and how to apply them; 6) what is my scope of practice; and, 7) providing a safe place for anybody/everybody to share their experiences and not be made fun of, belittled or dismissed.
Q. HOW CAN PEOPLE GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU?
A: I coach out of CrossFit Cafe in Virginia Beach off of Birdneck Road. I also have a small gym set up at my home and do home visits. My contact information: Gina Montanez, cellphone 787-300-1380, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yourchicagina/ or Instagram: gina_maria01
Q: ANYTHING COMING UP?
Next month, there will be a Pelvic Floor and Core Workshop at my gym hosted by yours truly and an amazing Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist with more than 25 years experience. It will be a 2 hour workshop with an educational aspect and practical aspect. March 28th 9-11am. Stay tuned!
Gina, thank you for sharing your story with us. Again, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Gina. She provided a lot of good information and if any of it sounds like you, reach out!
I hope y'all have an awesome week!
With love and wellness,