The down-low with the Fitness Doula
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!
More Inspiration: Check out this article on dealing with morning sickness,
Follow Kim at www.pelviennewellness.com for more information on her book and program.
To see more of Christine’s work online visit her at www.runwithit.ca, on twitter at @christineruns, or on Youtube at runwithitcb1.