Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism and Pelvic Global Academy: A Power-Packed Partnership (an Interview with Brianna Battles)
by Heather Edwards, Pelvic Global Academy Course Coordinator and Content Manager
Some of you may have noticed and others may have already signed up for this hot ticket, but did you know that you can now get your Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Certification through Pelvic Global Academy (Pelvic Guru, LLC)? Among the fantastic benefits of bringing this incredible training to a larger stage, the other noteworthy news that this partnership brings us is that US PT/PTA in all 50 states can now get PT/PTA CEUs for this training! What could be better??
We get lots of questions from people who are enthusiastic about this population but want to make sure that this training is the right move for them, so we thought we’d take a minute and talk to Brianna and her team about this certification and the passion behind it.
Heather: We have been so thrilled for this partnership. Your course has been quite popular and we’ve been hearing great things about it! Brianna, you’re a fitness professional, what was your driving force in wanting to bring this course to physical therapists?
Brianna: I’m incredibly excited to bring this course to the physical therapist community. I spoke at CSM in 2017, and after that, I had so many emails and messages from physical therapists in attendance that loved the idea of incorporating fitness into rehab and wanted to learn more about programming and guiding sport/athletic specific progressions.
A really common thing I heard was, “I have a lot of CrossFitters coming to me now, and I’m not sure how to help them get to what they want to do.” Yes my course addresses barbell athletes, but I believe that athleticism exists across the spectrum of interest and ability, and we need practitioners and coaches who can support that strategically.
Check out Episode 52 of the Practice Brave Podcast to listen to Brianna and Tracy Sher discuss the benefits of coach and practitioner collaboration.
Heather: It seems like there is so much fear about doing nearly anything when pregnant. How do you balance safety with fitness when you’re working with pregnant people?
Brianna: So much of it is learning to meet the person where they are at. It’s knowing what their goals are, not just for the immediate future, but long-term athletic interest and performance. Understanding their mindset and relationship with their body and fitness during this season can help with providing guidance that they will actually buy into, vs disregarding and doing their own thing. We can balance safety, interest and “maintenance” by addressing the whole person, including their motivations, goals, and unique core and pelvic health considerations. Once they understand the “why,” they are more willing to trust the “how”.
Heather: Do you often get people coming to you who want to START working out while they’re pregnant? I’ve often heard that this time is not ideal for BEGINNING a workout program, but is that a myth? What are your suggestions for how to work with these clients?
Brianna: Unless medically contraindicated, it is healthier for a person to pursue some exercise during pregnancy than not. Exercise in pregnancy, and honestly all seasons, does not have to be an all or nothing effort. For somebody who has not exercised before, teaching them basic movement patterns and keeping it extremely simple and sustainable (low volume, low time commitment, minimal barriers etc), can help begin the habit and establish trust in their body and routine.
Heather: This phrase “get your body back” is one we see associated with postpartum time. What are your feelings about this phrase? Is this the philosophy you use?
Brianna: I do not have this philosophy, although I absolutely understand and relate to the sentiment. I think we can look at it as our body and lifestyle moving forward. Postpartum really brings attention to so much change in our physical, mental, and emotional state, and we forget that we are always evolving. We do not have the same body and lifestyle that we did 10 years ago, things have simply changed and will continue to do so. Changing our perspective to think about moving forward with new circumstances, goals and interests can keep it framed in a more positive and attainable way.
Chasing the “was” will never serve the now and the becoming.
Heather: When you think about your work going out into the world, what are the most exciting ripple effects that you hope to see? In other words, what feedback do you get that is most likely to give you that reaction of “YES! THIS is why I do what I do!!”?
Brianna: I love seeing people become P&PA Coaches.
Coaching is so much more than exercise prescription, it is making a lasting impact, educating the community, connecting with other like-minded professionals, growing a business and feeling passionate about the service we provide. There will always be pregnant and postpartum people, and we desperately need professionals who can support them and their goals from the inside out.
Heather: You’re a mom with kids… was it your pregnancy and postpartum experience that drove you to start this program or was this drive there for you prior to having your own children?
Brianna: I was a career strength and conditioning coach, and lifelong athlete before becoming a mom. It was my training during pregnancy, and struggles postpartum that acted as a catalyst to get better information out there. The sentiment of, “I wish I would’ve known, why didn’t anybody tell me”, the motivations behind “athlete brain”, and feeling like no one understood or could help me was eye opening. I wanted to become who I needed, from both a coach perspective and an athlete perspective.
Heather: What was it about Pelvic Guru, LLC that interested you in collaborating with us? (We’re obviously thrilled that you did!)
Brianna: Tracy has been an incredible mentor, friend and colleague for years now. I saw first hand how invested she was in supporting people in her practice, as well as her professional colleagues. She was all in on becoming the go to, trustworthy resource for her fellow professionals, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do with the P&PA brand and movement.
Heather: If you could change one thing about the fitness world, what would it be?
Brianna: Obviously there is a lot, but there’s a significant lack of “quality control“ in the pre- and post- natal fitness community, specifically. There are many people who have a baby, and then sell a program, give advice, etc. and do not have any training or education, simply personal experience. While personal experience is absolutely valuable, there is so much that coaches and fitness professionals need to understand about working with this population that extend far beyond safe vs unsafe, breathing or the diastasis fear, misinformation and obsession, for example. I wanted to solve this (in the ways I can) by creating evidence-based, practical and relatable curriculum for coaches and practitioners so that we can take it from theory and actually know how to apply it to the people in front of us.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us! We look forward to continuing our relationship and helping you get the word out about how we can best serve pregnant and postpartum athletes!
If you’re interested in Brianna’s certification training, check it out HERE!
This course is self-paced and online for your convenience.
PT and OT CEUs are available in every state.
What you will learn in Brianna’s course:
Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism is an introductory – intermediate online certification course that equips personal trainers, physical therapists and other health practitioners to support pregnant and postpartum athletes. This certification helps coaches and practitioners bridge the gap between rehab to athletic performance while taking core and pelvic health symptoms and athlete behavior and mindset into consideration. The course consists of 10 modules of content that educates students on how to understand the motivations of their clients, recognizing the client’s mental and physical needs before, during, and after pregnancy, as well as how to adjust training to accommodate the changing needs of the athlete.
At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Explain the importance of supporting female athletes in all stages of life and apply that knowledge through safe and proven training methodology.
- Apply their understanding of athlete mindset, fitness culture, and effective communication to build connections and trust with the women they will be helping. 3. Explain the scientific foundations of the core pelvic health and performance strategies taught and be able to apply these principles to the client or patient.
- Recall core and pelvic health considerations common among pregnant and postpartum women.
- Determine the best way to address different injuries, assess athletic readiness, and progression for coaching clients.
- Design program and exercise adjustments for pregnancy and managing symptoms and considerations postpartum.
- Assess and effectively coach a pregnant athlete beyond modifications using cue adjusted core and pelvic health strategy, positioning, periodization, and training applications.
- Assess postpartum symptoms and help clients manage them with informed fitness coaching.
- Create programming that will lead clients toward improved function and performance through progression, regression, and adaptation.
- Model holistic understanding of mothers and how to guide conversations around weight loss/gain, mental health, social media, hormones, and body image within your given scope of practice.
- Summarize different implementation options that resonate with the student’s interests, vision, and comfort (ie: group classes, workshops, remote coaching, personal training, etc.)
If you’re interested in this, or any of our courses but would like to save 10% of the registration price, consider becoming a member of the Global Pelvic Health Alliance Membership! With GPHAM, you will have access to dozens of professional educational handouts, 10% off all courses, an expanding set of 40+ expert webinars (for FREE), professional illustrations for your personal use, and much more. Check it out by clicking the button below
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