We are obsessed about making exercise less complicated and encouraging everyone to move especially our amazing mammas and mamma’s to be. We have so many amazing women in our life who are about to have babies or have just had babies so this is so top of mind at the moment for us here at UNIT NINE. We have had the pleasure recently to collaborate with Dahlas who is a specialist in pregnancy and post-natal exercise who has created some amazing work out guides and also given our SWEAT PACK a test out.
How did you originally get into personal training?
Growing up, I loved sport and fitness. So as soon as I graduated high school I become a Group Fitness Instructor. Then while I was studying Marketing Communications at University I became a personal trainer - Group Fitness and Personal training was a fabulous part-time job especially while studying and backpacking overseas. I loved doing this so much, that I continued to work part-time in the Fitness Industry while I had a full time Marketing Career.
Why did you choose to specialise in pregnancy and post natal exercise?
When I first became pregnant, despite being in the fitness industry for over 10 years, I found a tonne of conflicting advice (even from fitness professionals) about safe and effective pregnancy exercise. I continued to do the same workouts I had also was done as I received the advice “ you are pretty fit so ust keep doing what you have been doing”– so for me this included instructing high impact sessions like BodyStep, going on 1 hour long power walks and lifting heavy weights. However, after I did these workouts something really didn’t feel right.
So, I trusted my own instincts and my own body and took myself off to Melbourne to become certified in Pre and Postnatal Exercise with some of Australia’s leading women’s health physiotherapists. This was a massive education and I quickly learned, that the trouble with this very common advice provided to pregnant women is not always accurate or helpful. Blanket statements do not work as every woman and every pregnancy is so different ! How you exercise during pregnancy needs to change as you are changing in so many ways both physically and mentally.
What is the biggest challenge our mammas to be and new mammas face when trying to exercise?
Most women I meet have the best intentions when it comes to exercise during and after pregnancy. However, I feel, unfortunately due to so many pressures from social media etc to “look good”, most ladies have the mindset they need to push them selves to exhaustion to get results. This can result in some pretty devastating consequences to the weakened abdominal, core pelvic floor muscles. I love to empower women during and after pregnancy about how to train safely and effectively and meet their body where it is at….pregnancy and post birth recovery are temporary, but injury can be long term.
What are the biggest benefits from still exercising whilst pregnant and post natal?
There are so many !! However, after training hundreds of mamas and mamas-to-be, plus learning an incredible amount during my own 3 pregnancies I have discovered the physical changes of pregnancy can cause many women to lose a connection with their core. However, with proper training and specific exercises, this connection can actually improve in pregnancy and continue postpartum. As during pregnancy your deep core is strong )...it is supporting a baby ! (and I don’t mean the 6 pack ) So now is the time to nurture and tap into this, then major benefit happen such as :
- Better posture and alignment
- No dreaded pregnancy aches and pains
- Improved strength for the challenges of birth, recovery and early motherhood
- A deep core connection to avoid diastatis recti and pelvic floor dysfunction
- A healthy pregnancy weight gain with less chance of the dreaded mummy pooch
- Shorter labour, delivery time or better c-section recovery
Any tips to share?
You can actually breathe your way to a better core ! Learning how to breath correctly as you move during a workout or as you go about your day can have an amazing positive impact on your core. Core training goes way beyond just doing crunches, planks and sit ups (especially as these are not appropriate during pregnancy and postpartum)
Check out my full Unit Nine Sweat Pack WORKOUT here – including video. That is suitable for pregnancy and postpartum (if you have medical clearance to exercise). As a bonus I have a freebie for you. EXERCISE MODS FOR PREGNANCY & POSTPARTUM – A downloadable cheat-sheet for SAFE alternative exercises and moves you can do when you hit a gym class or workout during your pregnancy and post birth recovery.
What next for Body Fabulous Pregnancy?
Very soon I am launching my online 8 week training course called the Ultimate Pregnant Core – find out more details here …and yes a Unit Nine Sweat pack will come in very handy for this !
What forms of training do you do?
In my Ultimate Pregnant Core program and with all my pregnant and postpartum clients I focus on fun total body workouts. These include resistance training including body weight, bands and weights, safe cardio and pilates based exercises - which include functional mobility moves to help prepare for all those crazy mum moves that happen like carrying prams, toddlers, groceries and the rest !
Where do you get your sweat on?
Variety is essential for me when exercising, so I love to get my sweat on with resistance training, boxing, hot yoga and swimming. I also still love instructing pilates and spin classes regularly.
Where is your favourite spot to refuel?
I am originally from Sydney so, Restaurant Hubert is my favourite place to visit anytime I am home. In Brissy I can’t go past the amazing Botanica Real Food their salads are incredible and on high rotation for lunch and I can never resist their gluten free chia brownies !
Find me at Dahlas Fletcher
WEBSITE : www.bodyfabulous.com.au
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/bodyfabulouspregnancy
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BodyFabulous/
YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKKMm4vKXZkwrU8VwncU1cg
Here about more sweat packs here: