When most people hear BIRTHFIT they think of the obvious- fitness during your pregnancy, birth or postpartum period. What they may not initially think of is the time before conception, which BIRTHFIT entirely incorporates.
As a BIRTHFIT Regional Director, most people would think I know everything about the birth process, and most think I have been through it personally. But, the truth is, I have not had any pregnancies and haven’t started trying. Even though pregnancy is not currently, nor previously, a part of my life, this doesn’t mean that BIRTHFIT is not a part of my life. I live the four pillars every day, and practice many of the BIRTHFIT practices. I want to be in tune with my body before I am pregnant, and stay connected with myself once I am. The four pillars of BIRTHFIT are extremely important for anyone even considering to become pregnant; here is how they have impacted me.
Fitness is important in my life because it helps me think about and look towards the future. Even though I need to have strength to be a good chiropractor, the main reason I continue to build up my fitness is because I want to be able to stay active during a future pregnancy. It is this thought process that has helped me maintain an active lifestyle, which will continue once I become pregnant. An important part of BIRTHFIT fitness is the functional progressions as a warm up. I make a point to do these nearly every day, with each workout and workday starting with them, ensuring my core is functioning optimally. This will continue through pregnancy and the postpartum period, preparing me for the best possible birth and recovery.
Nutrition is the foundation for which all health is built upon, which is why it is a BIRTHFIT pillar. I have taken this to heart and have been eating a well-rounded, nutrient dense diet, with little to no processed foods. I know it is what my body needs because I feel better and I have more energy than when eating a Standard American Diet! With good nutrition you can decrease the overall inflammation in your body, and allow for faster healing and better function. Proper nutrition can’t be solely looked at as only having an immediate effect on the body, because it has a cumulative and long-lasting effect. Proper fetal development requires adequate amounts of certain nutrients that must be in place before pregnancy. I want to make sure my body is at its optimum level for when I become pregnant. It is because of this that I have been on prenatal vitamins: not because I am pregnant, but because I know it is beneficial to have these nutrients for when that time comes.
As a chiropractor, I know how important proper movement and stability are. If one area doesn’t move very well, compensation will occur at other areas, increasing your risk for potential injuries or dysfunctions. Proper movement is not a singular event; it is shared over multiple joints and areas of the body. In my practice, I treat all of my patients with this model of movement. If I can get them moving better, through chiropractic, they are more likely to keep feeling well or begin feeling better.
This is probably the one that I have most recently implemented. Mindset does not come easy for me. My life is often times all over the place, but taking a few minutes to connect with myself every day has helped greatly to reduce my stress. It has helped clear my mind so that I can function more efficiently, and been a great tool to help with some of my fears and weaknesses. With practice, I have become more comfortable with presenting to groups of people and - more importantly - with the person that I am.
I want people to know that even though they aren’t pregnant or recently postpartum, they can still utilize the principles of BIRTHFIT.
Although I’ve never been pregnant, I am proud to say I AM STILL BIRTHFIT.
Dr. Kenzie Wood-Burgei, DC