Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. There are way more pregnant women and women pushing prams than usual. The HCF (this is the private insurer – Hospital Contribution Fund of Australia) reported an increase of 22 per cent in newborn deliveries to the end of the March 2021 quarter. The numbers are in stark contrast to the statistics from 2020 when births fell to a 13-year low.
This equates to 1,400 extra babies being born in Victoria alone between April and August. With the other states following suit with increases.
Yes… we are having a baby boom!
Certificate III + IV in fitness are not adequate.
For nearly 2 years I was on the board that reviewed the educational content that makes up Certificate III + IV in fitness. This process is routinely undertaken to ensure that the qualifications reflect the needs of the marketplace. I was invited onto this review board because of my work with COTA (older adults) and also for decade-plus work with promoting women’s health.
With my starry-eyed naivety and optimism, coupled with my force of nature, I believed I would be able to swoop in and make huge sweeping changes.
But alas from this process I learnt 2 things:
- No one person, or indeed a board of people can impact the path of a huge lumbering beast that makes up the education content of Cert III + IV in fitness
- Exactly what is in each and every module of these qualifications
This second point is important because I am here to tell you, the information and education given in the pre-post natal period are seriously lacking.
The missing topics in Cert III + IV in fitness.
Here is a list of exactly what is missing from the current education. Can you check off if you have adequate knowledge to cater to the women who will be coming to you with their pregnancy? Or for those clients coming to you post-birth?
- The changing training needs of each pregnancy trimester
- How to assess DRAM (the splitting of abdominal muscles) post-birth
- How to modify training if your client has DRAM. And spoiler alert: Your client’s baby may not be a baby anymore and this still might be an issue. Therefore, you need to check for all postnatal women
- How to empathetically engage (say the right thing) when your client experiences miscarriage and/or stillbirth
- How to ask the questions that need to be asked. For example:
- Did you have a cut (episiotomy) or a tear?
- Did you experience any birth trauma?
- Has someone checked your pelvic floor?
- Do you have any incontinence issues?
- So you have any heaviness / dragging feeling with your internal pelvic organs
- Are you mentally coping? Do you have an adequate support network?
- How to design/modify training programs to work with these answers
Scope of practice
Asking these questions is NOT outside of your scope of practice. However, declaring that you can assess and fix the problems, is. That is why it is essential you team up with like-minded* pelvic health physiotherapists who can appropriately assess, diagnose and support your programming.
*Like-minded because not all pelvic health physiotherapists are created equal. You will want to partner with one who
- appreciates that you provide an important ongoing role with working shared client
- is going to support your shared clients’ exercise goals
However, NOT asking these questions, or training women with a guesstimation of what you think you should be doing, or repeating with what worked for you when you were pregnant, does infringe on your duty of care.
Having the words “I can’t fix or diagnose” should live in your back pocket. Ready to be pulled out when your client (inevitably) asks you a question that would require you to have x-ray vision to answer.
Sure, it is ok to share your own personal experience, or that of other clients… but for true diagnosis – this has to come from a professional in that field.
Awkward conversations made easy.
I have written many courses to support Fitness Professionals – with this one and this one being best suited to working with pregnant and postnatal women. Thousands of fitness professionals have taken these courses. Here is some of the feedback.
“Appreciate your effort it creating your comprehensive course. Thank you for your supportive words & positive feedback. As with your good self, I like to be thorough! Keep up your fine work!”
“I recently competed the mishfit® Pregnancy and Post Pregnancy Course and absolutely loved it. It’s a great course for those wanting a good sound knowledge about what women experience/feel during and after pregnancy and the types of exercises to prescribe and to be careful of. The course is easy to understand and read and it doesn’t take too long to complete.
I definitely recommend this course for both female and male personal trainers and give this course a 5/5 rating. For the guys, if you are training women in general not just pregnancy and post pregnancy, you should really take this course as it relates to all women.”
“Thank you for this course, I will make sure I build the information I have learned into my sessions.
The certification should, in my opinion, be part of every PT’s tool box.”
Unfortunately, undertaking the “extra” education is only step 1.
There are another 2 factors that often trip up fitness professionals to adequately cater to their pregnancy and postnatal clients:
- Creating the systems inside your business of client induction / initial assessment that give the space and time to ask the questions
- And the confidence to ask these questions
EVEolution™ is here to help.
That is where my brand new course EVEolution™ is here to help.
As an experienced online educator, and with the 2021 Educator of the Year award under my belt… I have created an online course for YOU to work with YOUR clients.
EVEolution™ has a whole module dedicated to pregnancy and postnatal. This includes how to assess DRAM. And what to do about it.
EVEolution™ is organised in such a way, that you can be one step ahead of your clients, learning and then implementing the “doing”. The best learning comes when there is a dialogue between the learners – EVEolution™ is delivered module by module – allowing women to learn together and revolutionise how they see exercise, themselves, and YOU as the coach and the expert.
EVEolution™ is a 50% partnership between me (the course creator) and you, the on the ground expert.
EVEolution™ has a 100% money-back guarantee if you do not make your initial investment back in 3 months.
EVEolution™ partners have 3 months FREE on the EVEolution™ directory. A way to connect with more clients.
Interested to learn more?
If you’re a fitness professional or any other service provider for women and want to become an EVEolution™ partner CLICK HERE.
If you’re interested in learning more about EVEolution™ CLICK HERE.
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