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Trainer Tip: Listen to Your Body (vs. Your Plan)

This important tip comes from Danielle Devine-Baum, a PROnatal Pre/Postnatal Performance Training Specialist, former Flywheel Master Instructor, founder of SweatConnected, and also a mother of two.  Read about the important lesson Danielle learned during her first pregnancy, and how she applied what she learned the second time around.

What was your motivation for working with the pre and post natal population?

I’ve always been fascinated with the capability of the human body. In my eyes, pregnancy is one of the most incredible examples of what the body can do. In my group fitness classes, pregnant women and women who recently gave birth often look to me as their instructor for guidance. While I was able to help them generally or refer out to a pre or postnatal trainer, I wanted to be able to do more. In 2016 I gave birth to my son Hudson and the whole process was the most empowering experience of my life. While it was of course not always fun (hello, morning sickness), I was amazed by the changes my body went through but I was also deeply challenged by how it impacted my normal fitness routine. Pregnancy forced me to listen to my body more closely than I ever had. This experience motivated me to learn as much as I could about pre and postnatal training and share that knowledge with other women. I am so thrilled to be a part of the PROnatal community!

What is one tip you always give your clients?

While staying fit during pregnancy is important, it’s also very important to do what feels right in your body vs. blindly sticking to a plan

There is a lot of pressure out there culturally around staying fit during pregnancy. On top of this, it is natural for women to want to continue to do what they loved before pregnancy. That said, the process of growing a baby not only consumes a ton of energy, but it also creates many physical changes that can be painful.

Personally speaking, when I was heading into my first pregnancy, my workout routine was super intense. During my 2nd trimester I started having really terrible stretching pain in my hips as the baby grew, which made most activities I loved extremely uncomfortable. It was very hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of slowing down and I had to adjust the way I viewed my own athleticism. What my body was ultimately training for at the time was birth and motherhood, and that’s a pretty awesome main event. I learned that modifying my plan was integral to feeling good. There are days when our bodies are sending us a message, and it’s our job to listen.

Therefore, in my second pregnancy, I took what I learned the first time around and ensured that rest was an integral part of my own training plan. For example, sometimes I would swap out a workout for a brisk walk, stretching, a prenatal massage or acupuncture session, or even taking a nap!  I also loved meditating or simply focusing on the amazing process going on in my body while I moved throughout my day. Overall, I gave myself grace and I am so happy I did.

I think now more than ever, women should feel like they have permission to take it easy when their body needs it. The best part is the that on days when a woman is feeling great, the workout will feel that much more amazing!

Interested in learning more about Danielle, or working with her? Check out Danielle’s profile.