Brittany Citron, Founder
Brittany Citron had always been a lifelong fitness enthusiast, but an eye-opening experience during her first pregnancy – feeling the impact that proper training can have on a woman’s pregnancy experience, labor, and recovery — motivated her to leave her long-time career in the corporate world to pursue what she felt was a far more important mission in helping women train for the “event of a lifetime.”
Brittany launched PROnatal Fitness in 2015 – recruiting a team of experts, including a seasoned advisory board and Carolyn Appel – to bring her vision of offering the Gold Standard in pre and post natal resources and education to life. Brittany holds a BBA from the University of Michigan, a Personal Training Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), a Group Fitness Certification from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and several pre and post natal specializations, including Program Design, Corrective Exercise, and Diastasis and Pelvic Floor rehabilitation. When she’s not working or exercising, she enjoys spending time with the three people who originally inspired the idea for PROnatal Fitness – her supportive husband and two children, Liam and Isla.
Carolyn Appel, Director of Education
With a background in competitive, collegiate-level tennis, Carolyn Appel has built a career on her passion for fitness, athletics, and skill development. Carolyn Appel received her Master’s degree in Motor Learning and Control from Columbia University and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the NSCA. She spent several years on the faculty of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, and is a frequent presenter at the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) Personal Trainers Conference, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) NY Chapter meeting, and the annual Fitness Education Institute’s Eclipse Summit.
Carolyn’s primary passion is teaching fellow fitness professionals. As the Director of Education for PROnatal Fitness, she is “the brain” behind the company’s innovative Performance-Based Education Programs, leveraging the latest research and evidence-based strategies to teach professionals how to train women for pregnancy and the postpartum period like they would train for any other major athletic event. Of all her accomplishments, Carolyn is most proud of her role as mom to her toddler son, Julian.
Jamie Jones, Community Manager, Trainer, & Instructor
Jamie Jones spent the earlier part of her career working in corporate hospitality. Fitness was simply a personal passion…until her first pregnancy changed everything. Wanting to stay healthy and active through her pregnancy, Jamie continued to exercise and push herself – thinking she was doing the right things – but ended up with injuries like diastasis recti and pelvic girdle pain. She felt incredibly frustrated and disempowered that her good intentions completely backfired simply due to a lack of appropriate information and resources. However, Jamie decided to turn this situation into a positive by pursuing an education in the fitness industry.
After receiving her personal training certification, and successfully healing her own injuries, Jamie decided to leave her corporate job, and pursue a career in fitness – with the specific goal of focusing on the pre/postnatal space and helping women avoid the many challenges she faced. She discovered PROnatal Fitness, and the rest is history. Today, she is a PROnatal Certified Personal Trainer, Group Instructor, and runs the company’s community and social media engagement.
Helen Henry, Personal Trainer
Helen began her fitness career as a professional swimmer. She then began running triathlons as well – winning the Ukraine championship multiple times, and then moving onto win the silver medal at the Europe Championship. In 2010, she moved to the United States, where she received her personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), as well as an MBA degree from Iona College.
Today, Helen is an internationally recognized fitness expert and certified life coach. She holds three Pre/Postnatal specializations, as well as a specialization in Diastasis Recti and Pelvic Floor rehabilitation, and has worked with pregnant and postpartum clients of all stages and fitness levels. She also holds specializations in corrective exercise, weight loss, and nutrition. Her approach is to push each of her clients to achieve their personal best in the safest and most loving way possible. Helen recognizes that each client is unique in her needs, goals and background, but she believes that positive reinforcement never fails to encourage.
Dariya Karelina, Personal Trainer
Once 22lbs overweight, with poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle, Dariya used to despise anything fitness related. After developing some health issues, however, she became motivated to make a change in her body and mind, and set out to create a healthier lifestyle through proper exercise, nutrition, and stress management.
As Dariya learned more about fitness, it gradually grew from something she hated to her new passion. Today Dariya is an internationally recognized fitness expert, wellness coach, and pre/postnatal exercise specialist. She holds a Personal Training Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, two Pre/Postnatal specializations from PROnatal Fitness and Annette Lang Education Systems, and is a Precision Nutrition Coach. She also writes for fitness magazines, and has published e-books, cook books, and a fitness and nutrition online course. Given her personal experience, Dariya strongly believes in the connection between mind and body – so much so that she is now pursuing her BA in Psychology at the City University of New York. Because of her belief in the mind body connection, she takes a very holistic approach to working with clients – focusing on good nutrition habits, smart physical activities, sleep and stress management, and mindful self-esteem work.
Lisa Reinschmidt, Personal Trainer
Lisa has over 12 years of experience in the fitness industry as a holistic health and fitness coach. She holds a Personal Training Certification through the National Council on Strength and Fitness, a Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, two Nutrition specializations through the Institute of Integrated Nutrition and Precision Nutrition, a Holistic Health Practitioner Certification through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Her primary focus – and true passion – is working with women who are trying to conceive, expecting, or postpartum. She has been working almost exclusively with the pre/postnatal population since 2014, and holds three pre/postnatal specializations from PROnatal Fitness, the American Fitness Professionals Association, and Annette Lang Education Systems. She is also a certified Doula.
As a master in the art and science of personal transformation, Lisa takes a very holistic approach in working with clients – focusing on exercise, diet and nutrition, lifestyle, and mental and emotional health. She empowers her clients to take responsibility for their health and fitness – focusing on simple and sustainable changes that can make a huge difference in their bodies and minds over the long-term. She takes a sincere interest in the health and happiness of her clients, always telling them “Your success is my success. I will match my commitment level with yours, and together we will create life-lasting results.”
Jessica Walters, Personal Trainer
Jessica Walters has always had an interest in proper functional movement and corrective exercise, graduating with a BS in Exercise and Sports Science, and additional focus in physical therapy. She began her career working as a Physical Therapy Technician and a Kinetic Integrations Exercise Professional – focusing on clients with chronic and acute injuries. After successfully working through her own rehabilitation – and feeling the dramatic improvement in her quality of life – she became motivated to pursue a career in personal training to help people learn to move better and help prevent pain or injury in the first place.
Today, as a Pre/Postnatal and Functional Movement Systems Specialist, Jessica applies her extensive education and personal experience to helping her clients grow stronger and train more effectively for their specific goals in a way that minimizes their risk of injury and helps them move pain-free. This expertise has become invaluable in working with her pregnant and postpartum clients given the importance of building sufficient strength to endure the physically demanding events of childbirth and early motherhood, but in a way that minimizes injury risk due to the extreme stress placed on the body during this time. Jessica firmly believes that anyone can achieve their goals if given the right tools, and that is exactly what she focuses on with her clients.
Natasha Ross, Personal Trainer & Group Instructor
Natasha Ross always had a love for movement. She grew up as a dancer, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in dance in college. However, it was the completion of her first marathon in 2009 that really sparked a passion for fitness, especially as it related to how to effectively train the body to conquer extreme challenges. Today – 8 years and 10 marathons later – Natasha is a highly sought-after Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, working for such organizations as Equinox, the YMCA, and the Fitness Sanctuary in addition to her work as a PROnatal Personal Trainer and Stroller Workout instructor. She holds a Personal Training Certification from the American Council on Exercise, a Group Fitness Certification from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and a Pre/Postnatal Specialization from PROnatal Fitness.
Natasha especially enjoys working with women during and after pregnancy, and applies her passion and experience in marathon training to helping her clients train for what she calls “life’s ultimate marathon,” as labor alone can last 4-6 times longer than a marathon, and women enter it after 9 months of extreme stressed placed on their bodies, and are forced immediately after into the grueling 24/7 demands of caring for an infant with no rest! Natasha helps her clients successfully conquer the extreme physical and mental challenges of pregnancy by applying similar principles of marathon training, and has helped her clients come out even stronger than they were before!
Leticia Campos, Personal Trainer
Leticia Campos has over 12 years of experience in fitness and health care. She holds a BA in Physical Therapy and Specialty in Rheumatology from Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), a Personal Training Certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a Pre/Postnatal specialization from PROnatal Fitness, and additional certifications in Pilates, TRX, and Functional Training.
Leticia moved from Brazil to New York City in 2016. Prior to her move, she worked as a Physical Therapist in a sports rehabilitation clinic catering to high performance athletes, working with post-injury clients and those with chronic pain. She also opened and managed her own Pilates studio. With her background in physical therapy and Pilates, she focuses a great deal on proper core training and posture alignment as the foundation for any training, especially pre and post natal training. When working with women during and after pregnancy, she also leverages her experience in working with performance athletes – viewing the journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood as the major athletic event that it is, and training women to safely and successfully meet the specific demands of each stage, and come away healthier and stronger than ever.
Christine Barbas, Personal Trainer
Christine holds a Personal Training Certification from the American Council on Exercise, a Nutrition specialization from Precision Nutrition, and a Pre/Postnatal specialization through PROnatal Fitness and Annette Lang Education systems. She has worked as a top-level personal trainer at some of New York’s most elite gyms.
Christine’s passion is helping people actualize their best selves through goal setting, education, and accountability. She values attention to detail and open communication with her clients. She has worked with a variety of clients – from those just beginning their health and fitness journeys, to athletes, to those recovering from surgeries or injuries. She particularly loves working with women during and after pregnancy. She considers it a privilege to work with women during such a remarkable journey, and feels no greater reward for her work than watching women come out stronger (physically and mentally) than ever.
Stacey Menchell, Personal Trainer
Stacey Menchell is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). After successfully rehabilitating from an emergency C-section during the birth of her daughter, she became especially passionate about prenatal and postpartum fitness. Due to the lack of resources for postnatal recovery, especially after C-section, she has recently designed two programs, Body After Baby and C-Section Solutions, which she launched at the JCC Manhattan.
As a former professional dancer, Stacey fuses core training with strength, calisthenics, and coordination work to create a workout focused on balance and pliability. In addition to her PROnatal certification, she has also taken courses in Pre-Post Natal Fitness from Ilene Bergelson of The Sport of Motherhood and Annette Lang. Stacey is trained in the M.E.L.T Method, TRX Suspension Training, Pilates, Kettlebell Weightlifting, and Corrective Exercise.