Meet Kim Vopni – also known as, “The Fitness Doula” – an authority on helping women preparing for and recovering from pregnancy and birth and getting back into shape. Vopni is a personal trainer, a runner, and is also a contributor to The Globe and Mail‘s Health Advisor group.
In a recent interview, Vopni explained the importance of pelvic health care and how it can improve your core strength while helping you to reclaim your fitness level.
Q: What inspired you to want to help pregnant women have an easier birth and get back into fitness?
A: Growing up I was always afraid of birth and in my mind would never have children. I saw a childbirth video in grade 6 sex ed. that scared me, and my mother told me about her birth experiences and the resulting issues she had. In 2002 that all changed when I watched my sister-in-law give birth. My vision of what birth was all about changed and it empowered me. The following year I was pregnant and my research led me to a pelvic floor biofeedback product that helps you prepare for birth. I bought one and had an amazing experience! I decided more women needed to know about this so I became a distributor for that product. That was my introduction to the world of pelvic health and I have never looked back!
Q: Tell us your fitness background and how it helped you to help others?
A: I am a certified personal trainer, a pre/post natal fitness consultant and I also trained as a doula – hence the term ‘fitness doula’. I coined this term while out for a run one day as I was trying to come up with a way to describe what I do.
Q: Tell us about the Prepare to Push™ method and was this your idea?
A: In 2009 I created a workshop for pregnant women that was all about preparing for birth and preventing or minimizing the issues many women think are normal after having a baby. I was brainstorming ideas for names and this just popped into my head! It started as a workshop and is now individual consultations, an e-Course and a book!
Q: How will it benefit others?
A: I use the fitness principle of specificity to prepare the body for birth by mimicking labour and delivery as closely as possible during training. The benefits are a stronger core for delivery, a mind-body connection to the pelvic floor so that women know how to let go of tension when it comes time to give birth, increased confidence and a better recovery.
Q: You have recently launched your book; where can people buy it?
A: I am excited to see the workshop that I created now be available to people worldwide. It is called Prepare To Push™ – What Your Pelvic Floor and Abdomen Want You to Know about Pregnancy and Birth. It will be live in eBook format by mid-September and the physical books by early October. It will be available on Amazon and my website. I am also hoping to have it available in midwifery clinics and pelvic floor physiotherapy clinics as well.
Q: Have you thought of it being translated into other languages and is there such a need?
A: I have a large following in Quebec, so having it translated into French is on the ‘to do’ list. I hadn’t yet thought of other languages but with a goal of helping as many women as possible I think this is a great idea!
Follow Kim at www.pelviennewellness.com for more information on her book and program.