During my pregnancy, I knew in my heart that continuing to hit the gym was not only good for me physically, but mentally and emotionally, too. For me – fitness, specifically lifting weights – is as much a mental test as it is a physical one, and I felt it was preparing me for birth and motherhood in so many important ways. It made me feel that my body could do anything, empowered me to know I was strong enough to grow and give birth to a healthy baby girl, and to reframe all of my preconceived notions of pregnancy and birth. In addition to keeping up my fitness routine, I did a lot right during my pregnancy—I read and prepared for childbirth, I received weekly chiropractic care, I meditated and concentrated on breath-work, relaxed and managed stress and ate an extremely healthy, well rounded diet—so I felt great and felt ready to meet my baby.
My sweet Olivia decided to enter the world 2 and ½ weeks late, so my labor and delivery did not go as I planned, to say the least. However, I gave birth vaginally to a healthy, beautiful baby girl, so I was grateful and feeling pretty good. But, after I took that sweet baby girl home, it really hit me: I had no idea what I was in for. I felt completely out-of-body (and, truth be told, out of my mind, too). Even though I had been extremely active during pregnancy, the postpartum time took a real toll on me: mentally, physically, and emotionally. I didn’t quite know what to make of how I was feeling. I was beyond exhausted, my body felt like a big ball of mush, I was emotional, my relationship was suffering, I’m pretty sure I googled “how to take care of a newborn,” and I felt defeated. “How did I let this happen!?,” I thought. I realized that in all of my research and preparation, I had completely overlooked the reality of the situation: after the birth.
I was delighted to find out there was a San Diego BIRTHFIT Regional Director (where I lived at the time of Olivia’s birth). I dug into it a little more and found that there was a BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series starting just when I needed it most. The BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series truly helped me know that I wasn’t alone—all of the other women were experiencing the exact same thing! In addition, I was able to get back to basics with breath-work and functional movements, which helped me tremendously in feeling stable and grounded, both physically and emotionally. BIRTHFIT helped me realize that exactly what had allowed me to have an enjoyable pregnancy is what could help me in the postpartum time: proper nutrition, focus on a growth mindset, proper functional fitness, and regular chiropractic care. (Also, getting out of the house to meet with other moms was a good thing, too). I began to feel empowered again.
Participating in BIRTHFIT also helped me realize my life’s mission. I had already been working with women in the areas of fitness, nutrition and mindset through my holistic wellness coaching business, Molly Powell Wellness, but after going through my own Motherhood Transition, I realized that working with women during this time was my passion. So, applying to be the BIRTHFIT Milwaukee Regional Director in my hometown of Milwaukee was the surest I’ve ever felt about a career move in my life.
I wish I had found BIRTHFIT sooner and had the chance to take the Prenatal Series; knowing firsthand the benefits of BIRTHFIT lights a fire under me to make sure women in my community know about us and have the resources to be the best version of themselves. Every single day, I’m thrilled and humbled at the opportunity to serve the women in Milwaukee and help them become BIRTHFIT. What does that mean to me? Empowering women to listen to and have confidence their bodies and their hearts. Empowering women to become educated and understand their options. Empowering women to embrace and enjoy this time in their lives. Empowering women to come together as a community. Empowering women to do something good for the world and tap into their passion. That’s why I’m BIRTHFIT.