Transciption of the interview:
Renee: Hi everyone. Welcome to Facebook Live. We are not a Midwife Monday today because it's actually Friday. This past Monday, we were catching a baby, so we had to postpone our Midwife Monday, and the following, the prior Monday, I was re casted, still have broken bones over here, which is kind of a drag, but I have good movement in my fingers.
So, today we're talking about pregnancy, fitness, postpartum fitness, and we have the lovely Nikki [Herrera 00:00:32], who teaches, she's a birth fit coach. So, some of you have heard about birth fit. So, she's a birth fit coach. She works up here in Santa Clarita, and works out of the training club here, which is a private gym here in Santa Clarita. Your company name, your business name is-
Nikki: Birth Fit.
Renee: Birth Fit. So, we're gonna talk about the importance of pregnancy fitness and postpartum fitness and how they all go together, and we talk a lot about when is the right time to start with a midwife, right? We say, well, the sooner you start with a midwife, the better. You get all the benefits throughout your pregnancy. It's far better to start with a midwife at eight, 10 weeks pregnant than it is to start with a midwife at 37 weeks pregnant because we want that length of time to really create relationship, work together, know who you are, know what works for your body, and Nikki is saying it's the same with your fitness, right?
Nikki: Absolutely. So, the sooner that you can create the connection, just like Renee was saying, it's a lot easier to work outside of compensation. So, what we mean by that is saying early on, we can set up the standard for the mindset piece. We can set a purpose behind the training that we're doing, and just, like you, each mom is different.
Renee: Right. So, when you say without compensation, that means before there's an injury or before there's a problem to solve.
Renee: So, before you're pregnant, you're thinking about getting pregnant, you want to work, you want to get your body into a healthy place.u realize you're pregnant and you're not maybe where you wanted to be, or you just want to continue to say fit, and there's lots of different ways you can do that.
Nikki: Oh, yeah [crosstalk 00:02:26].
Renee: [crosstalk 00:02:27] degrees, so it doesn't mean you have to be like this super ripped ...
Renee: Muscle person. You can be softer than some others, right?
Renee: So, but talk about getting started right from the beginning so you can maintain a healthy body, right?
Nikki: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Renee: We're not talking about weight. We're not talking about the number on a scale. That's really important, okay?
Renee: So, we very much don't believe that the number on the scale means something. So, some people have a higher BMI than others. We want to always just make sure that the body is working at your optimal level. Is that right?
Nikki: Absolutely. You will never, ever, ever see me was a pre or post client weighing them.
Renee: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Nikki: It's not my concern.
Nikki: My concern is how are they feeling, what's their nutrition looking like, how are they nourishing their body, how is their body moving, what's going on mindset wise, what's going on, what is their day to day look like? What are they putting into their body? How are they moving their body?
Renee: How do you see that that helps them through, because you specialize in pregnancy.
Nikki: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Renee: And postpartum.
Renee: So, when you start with someone in the beginning, tell me what are you looking for and what the goals, what are you hoping to achieve for these, with these people?
Nikki: That's such a good question. So, because I have multiple levels of women, some of my women have been training with me five, six years. So, before they even conceived or thought about to conceive, a lot of women come to me from other gyms or come to me just, maybe they've never even worked out before.
So, it starts out with setting an intention, setting down, what are you trying to achieve here? Obviously healthiness, nutrition, fitness, but what does that look like? What's your current life look like?
Nikki: So, I'm not trying to have somebody come in and train with me that maybe their regiment is yoga and walking once or twice a week, and coming in and thinking that I'm gonna set them up on a barbell.
Nikki: And having them run miles and things like that. No. It has to be realistic, it has to make sense, it has to really fit into their lifestyle, too. So, I want to know are you a working mom? Are you a stay the home mom? How many other kids do you have?
Nikki: What time do you go to bed? What kind of hours do you work? Also, too, what's life like? What's life like day to day? Then, how do I meet you there? How do we figure out what that looks like, what your version of healthy looks like, and how to implement that.
Renee: Do you work with them on their nutrition?
Nikki: Absolutely, yeah. So, that's a really big piece of what we believe as Birth Fit coaches is there's pillars within our training, so the mindset piece, the fitness piece, the nutrition, and we believe in being healthfully adjusted. So, chiropractic is really important to us within Birth Fit.
Renee: So, within Birth Fit, so what, the first pillar was, say, nutrition?
Nikki: Or mindset, actually, mindset.
Renee: So, tell me what that means.
Nikki: It means basically where are you with this? Was this a wanted pregnancy? Was this something that maybe there's been miscarriages before? Is there some trauma connected? What are you looking to get? Are you in a place where this is 100%? Where you're going?
Renee: Do they know how to answer that question?
Nikki: Sometimes no.
Renee: I would think, if you asked me in my pregnancy, and you also work with non-pregnant-
Nikki: Absolutely. Oh, yeah.
Renee: So, you could work with me.
Nikki: Yeah, absolutely.
Renee: Because apparently, I thought I had no diastasis recti, right? I thought my abdominal muscles came together fine, but there's some question about how we've been checking, and so we're gonna do some investigating, Nikki and I, on how to check for a diastasis. So, there's a potential that I have a three finger breadth diastasis from fairly high down to almost my pubic bone, which is, that's really significant.
Renee: My ego is a little bit bruised by the concept that that might be true, but it was really interesting when we were checking today and we were learning how to check in a different way. So, if I were to go to you and you would ask me, what? Your first question would be what, if I come to you, say Nikki, I don't know. What's going on? But I don't have a six pack and I really want, I don't know ... I'm not concerned about losing weight, gaining weight.
Renee: I'm really healthy, I hike fairly frequently, I do hot yoga when I'm not broken.
Renee: And fit. So, I just want to, as I'm going, I'm gonna be 53, I'm older, I want to stay really fit. How can you help me?
Nikki: So, I think the things that I would ask you directly is just what you've said, what your goals are, what you're trying to do. Then going into it, I would ask you, hey, do you pee your pants when you-
Renee: I don't.
Renee: If I did, I wouldn't tell you. Just saying, but I don't.
Nikki: But I would mean by that is active, so when you're sneezing or jumping-
Renee: I don't.
Nikki: Or do we have a hard controlling the urine stream-
Renee: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nikki: Is that a thing?
Renee: I know. That's very common.
Nikki: Yeah. So, those would be really right out of the gate questions that I have.
Renee: What's your pelvic floor integrity like, and so you're gonna ask very specific questions.
Nikki: Absolutely, yeah.
Renee: That's a question you're gonna ask someone in the beginning of their pregnancy, and you're gonna ask them six weeks postpartum as well.
Nikki: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Renee: No matter the age, right?
Nikki: Absolutely, yeah, because these are questions that kind of have been taboo-
Nikki: And not everybody has asked for so long, and my goodness, I believe I was, my son is 20 now, and I was, I believe highly-
Renee: We have kids the same age.
Nikki: Yes. Isn't that cool?
Renee: She was really, really, really, really young.
Nikki: I was a young mom. I was 20 when I had him. But so, that makes me, yes, 40.
Renee: Yeah, yeah.
Nikki: But that's okay. So, yeah. I believe that I was living with pelvic floor dysfunction for probably about 17 years. It's only been through the functional progressions that we teach within Birth Fit and that's really being conscious of that, that I [inaudible 00:08:31] fix that.
Renee: So, you didn't even really do any recovery work for yourself until 17 years.
Renee: So, that's a question that comes up is, is it too late for me? When should I start doing this? And it sounds like-
Nikki: Postpartum's forever.
Renee: Postpartum is forever.
Nikki: Ever. Forever and ever. I'm 20 years postpartum.
Renee: I think today I might be having some postpartum depression. Can I blame it on it?
Renee: Or anxiety, postpartum anxiety.
Nikki: Mine was yesterday, so.
Renee: So, we are always postpartum, correct?
Nikki: Yeah. Always.
Renee: That's true.
Nikki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Always. That's why the whole, you hear a lot of people, get your body back, your pre-baby body back. We-
Renee: You can never get your pre-baby body back, because that was your pre-baby.
Nikki: Yes, yeah.
Renee: Our bodies change.
Nikki: We're created to create.
Renee: Our bodies change. It's like, I would like my 18-year-old body-
Nikki: 25 again, yeah.
Renee: [crosstalk 00:09:24] body back whether I had babies or not, and that's just not the progression of our bodies.
Nikki: It's not, yeah, and it's not the way that we're intended to be, and it's not the mindset that we want to live with, so that's a big thing that I'm really trying to help women connect with, and it's just not a thing.
Nikki: Not a thing.
Renee: So, how much work ... So, we have busy families, right?
Renee: We have people that are having babies that have, we just had a mom [inaudible 00:09:48] that has three babies, and she works. So, the likelihood that she's gonna be able to get to the gym-
Renee: And financially be able to swing it-
Nikki: Oh, yeah.
Renee: Time-wise be able to swing it, because we can barely get up in the morning and even finish a cup of coffee, right? So, you get up in the morning, you make your cup of coffee, and then [inaudible 00:10:06] the last time you were able to to get up ... you're pretty good. Kelly's our social media person.
Renee: In the background.
Renee: You're pretty good because you have a real good, a lot of families do have a really good structure to their day, and a lot of moms like, look. I'm gonna get to my Pilates class. I'm gonna get to my yoga class.
Kelly: Yeah, mine is very structured. It has to be, though, because I run my own business.
Kelly: So, everything is [crosstalk 00:10:29].
Renee: But that's, so structure for some is-
Renee: It's different, and it's [inaudible 00:10:35]. But then we have other moms that are like, I get up in the morning, I'm just trying to-
Nikki: [crosstalk 00:10:37].
Renee: They're trying to make sure the kids don't kill me-
Nikki: Have a day.
Renee: And that they're not dead by the end of the day, right?
Renee: So, how do they, how can you help them?
Nikki: So, I love that. I'm so glad you asked that, because my goodness, I just have to tell you that that is 99% of the women I work with.
Renee: Because they don't even want to start, because they're like, forget it. I can't afford it-
Renee: I don't have the time to do it-
Nikki: They have already-
Renee: My kids, I'm already overwhelmed. I can't add this, and I know that I need to do it, and-
Renee: I'm peeing when I'm playing with my kids on the trampoline.
Renee: I'm, right? It's like, I can't jump on the trampoline with the kids, and I really want to play with them, but my back hurts too much.
Nikki: Oh, yeah.
Renee: And all these things. So-
Nikki: All these things, yup. As moms, I think we just put ourselves second, third, fourth, fifth. The thing that I always try to teach is I'm really big on, just like you are, the empowerment piece of what we do. I want what I teach women for them to be, I teach them to be able to do it in their living room.
Nikki: Wherever it's available.
Nikki: So, we teach the functional progressions within Birth Fit, which are four movements that basically are stabilization. It's working with DNS, which is dynamic neuromuscular stabilization, and big words. So-
Renee: Stabilization. Okay.
Nikki: So, we're teaching the pelvic floor-
Renee: How to stabilize your big muscles.
Nikki: Yeah, and the little ones too, and how to actually breathe through it and have major intention on that, and everybody has a pelvic floor. So, this is highly, highly, highly valuable to anybody.
Nikki: So, my husband has a six pack on a six pack on a six pack, makes me sick, by the way, because he can eat whatever he wants. But anyways-
Renee: I think that testosterone might have something to do with it.
Nikki: Yeah. He has a pelvic floor. So, what I teach and through to my pre and post, he does it, too, because he knows the value of it and the way that it sets up the core.
So, anyways, those principles can be taught and then taken on with them, and taken to at home, in between a diaper change, in between picking up at school and say, I tell my moms, this is absolutely your time. Set aside, I teach people how to do it for basically about 20 minutes. In 20 minutes of your day to do this, and then the technique that comes behind that is kind of what you make of it. So, whatever you're doing, yoga, functional fitness, Pilates, anything like that, just hiking, if you can set up your day with this intention to do these functional progressions, you are going to set such an intention throughout any type of training that you do.
Nikki: That you're gonna, it's life long.
Renee: So, what are the consequences in pregnancy when you see women start, so you can probably compare, I guess my question is so if you have a pregnant person that starts in the first trimester with you versus someone who starts in the third trimester with you, tell me what the benefit that first trimester person, what's ... I guess my question is how much more, what's the goal at the end of this pregnancy for her? What are you hoping, what is that pelvic floor going to do? Do you have enough time throughout the pregnancy, if you start later in the pregnancy, you see where I'm getting at?
Renee: Is that enough time to have an effect, what kind of effect are we hoping for?
Renee: See what I'm saying?
Nikki: The best part of what, when I say the earlier the better, the same in your world. Because from the second that you get your hands, I say my hands on a mom, to set up that intention and be able to say, what I want, set up a goal, set up a birth plan, making sure that when they're training, they are not training inside their compensation because in pregnancy, whatever is trained, in anything in life-
Nikki: Whenever you're training outside of function, so your body's not maybe moving correctly right, it's got some little twitch, get up, things like that because you're training outside of a function and you're training now in compensation.
Nikki: That's gonna transfer over.
Nikki: So, the sooner that I can have my hands on that, and I can have visualization of what's going on, and each mom is different.
Renee: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Nikki: So, we talk about the DRA and all that kind of stuff-
Renee: Diastasis recti.
Nikki: Diastasis can be present sooner in some women and later or not at all.
Renee: Are you paying attention to the diastasis in pregnancy?
Nikki: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So, right away we're gonna be removing, removing, any type of flexion extension. No sit ups. We don't need to be doing sit ups when we're pregnant.
Renee: No sit ups when you're pregnant, right?
Nikki: And toes to bar. Things like that, where you're hanging and that's, I know it's a crazy word for you, but gymnastics movements where we're working an extreme trunk flexion and extension, there's just no purpose. We're not doing that.
Renee: [crosstalk 00:15:32].
Nikki: Yeah. So, I can immediately eliminate that and teach these women what to use in place of those movements.
Renee: You're eliminating those because ...
Nikki: Because it's outside of-
Renee: Going to create-
Nikki: Create a dysfunction.
Renee: A problem.
Renee: Right, right.
Nikki: So, we're not training that function.
Renee: So, right. We're really big at that when we're talking about prenatally exercises to do. We say there's no, don't do, and I don't know that I'm saying the right thing, perhaps, but I say no core work.
Nikki: Oh, yeah. No, you-
Renee: But no crunches.
Renee: No whatever you just said, about trunk to knee, or-
Nikki: No, your extension and flexion and all that.
Renee: [crosstalk 00:16:09].
Renee: So, we say no crunches because pregnancy's a time to be soft and parallel, and we want those abdominal muscles, and correct me if I'm wrong, to separate gently-
Renee: Because the uterus is going to win, right? In that growth as the uterus is growing, and it's stronger than the abdominal muscles. So, we want those abdominal muscles to naturally separate so the uterine muscle can get bigger without tearing. Is that correct?
Nikki: Right on the money.
Renee: So, tell me about some results. Tell me, have you had women have a baby and then come to you for the next one, and tell me what they say? I'm just curious what [crosstalk 00:16:52] you're seeing, yeah.
Nikki: Yes and yes. I'm seeing incredible things. It's really cool. I'm just, it's literally in front of my eyes daily right now. So, right now, I'm working with three different moms that I had throughout their entire pregnancy-
Renee: I think you're, not sure, but one of our moms sees you, but I don't know if she sees you regularly.
Nikki: Yeah, so, yes. I do see her, but not regularly.
Nikki: She's super healthy, super, yeah.
Renee: Emotionally, she's in such a great place.
Nikki: She's amazing.
Renee: Yeah, she's [crosstalk 00:17:23].
Nikki: Yeah, she's great, and she is very familiar with the style of training that I am really well versed in.
Nikki: So, it's very easy for me to watch a video of her, to shoot dialogue back and forth, to be able to text message. She is very, it's so, I'll see her probably two or three more times and she's been amazing. She's a great client in that sense.
But right now, I'm working with three women, all post, worked with me prior, almost all the way.
Nikki: Now we are about within that eight to 12 week marker for all of them-
Nikki: Post, mm-hmm (affirmative). What I'm noticing with them is their return has been ...
Renee: So, they're back to-
Nikki: Oh, yeah.
Renee: Their pre, their return back to pre pregnancy.
Nikki: So, it's a progression.
Renee: Right, right, right.
Nikki: So, it's like a ladder.
Nikki: With what we believe in within the Birth Fit model that I'm certified in is slow is fast.
Nikki: So, the return in our function and the way that we move, the slower to get there faster.
Nikki: That's the goal. But what I'm really seeing is the way that the body is, when we're not training in compensation, so during that pregnancy, eliminating certain things that may have transferred over falsely, they're coming back beautifully.
Renee: Wow. Yeah.
Nikki: So, it's this whole circle that's kind of completing and falling back right into place, and what I'm really, what I love is the way my moms are feeling. They're feeling very in control. They're feeling very, they feel good about it.
Renee: The emotional component of setting aside time for yourself, even if it's 20 minutes a day-
Renee: Moving your body in a way that is positive and feels like you're helping your body recover, it's so very important for your emotional wellbeing, right?
Nikki: It's, I can't, it's yeah.
Renee: It's not about the shape of the body, right? We want to be really clear. It's not about, oh, I'm skinny. Oh, I'm not skinny. Oh, I have a six pack. I don't have a six pack. It's not about what other people are seeing. It's about what you are feeling that makes you feel better in your day and helps you cope better. Often as a mother, we have more tolerance. We not as on edge, and we're eating better. It just is a self-perpetuating cycle where we want to do better and more and more.
Nikki: Absolutely. It just kind of, it's a whole, the way that you're hormonally, too-
Nikki: You can control things a little bit differently. I'm super blessed to have a space where the women can bring their babies with them to train, so-
Renee: Just really great-
Renee: Because a big problem in our post recovery is that if you do belong to a gym, many of those gyms can't even do, you don't want to put your kid in the childcare until they're-
Renee: A few months old.
Nikki: Yeah, yeah.
Renee: But certainly not at six weeks, eight weeks, 12 weeks.
Renee: Even six months. Often women are really uncomfortable bringing their babies to a situation like that, so being able at your gym to be able to bring them is-
Renee: That's kind of amazing.
Nikki: It's really special, yeah. It's really special. It's a gift. For me, it's a gift.
Nikki: For these women, it's something that, it's become the culture.
Nikki: Inside the training club, so you'll hear people say, you have a baby in the gym.
Renee: That's okay. No, he can play in there.
Kelly: Yeah. You can go play.
Renee: And you can go in there. We'll be right in there.
Nikki: So, you'll hear that a lot.
Renee: [crosstalk 00:20:54]. It's okay, it's okay. Do you want to show me that guy? We have a mom coming in for her six week postpartum right now. Oh, that purple guy is super duper.
Kelly: [crosstalk 00:21:02] the baby came. Last time I saw you, you were like, this baby.
Renee: We're talking about postpartum recovery, is actually what we're doing our-
Nikki: Yeah, I actually got to work with her a little bit, couple, last week?
Speaker 4: Last week.
Renee: Wow, awesome.
Speaker 4: Yup.
Renee: So, one of our six week moms just walked in, and that's a coincidence.
Nikki: Yeah, yeah. That's right.
Renee: So, we were just saying, oh, being able to bring the kids in.
Nikki: Yeah, it's a-
Renee: It's amazing.
Nikki: Yeah, it really is. At first I didn't know kind of what that was gonna look like. Our culture's smaller, so we don't have huge class settings, and so it's studio training. So, at first it was very, very, like, okay, what is this gonna look like?
Nikki: A lot of my training is one on one training. Sometimes that's just what mom feels comfortable with, but-
Nikki: What I'm learning is because of that culture, because it's starting to feel so just real, and it's organically, so now this morning, I had, yesterday we had two babies, one eight week, one 12 week.
Nikki: Then I had a 31 week pregnant-
Nikki: All in one class [crosstalk 00:22:07] class setting.
Renee: Awesome. How nice for the pregnant person to be able to see the postpartum person-
Renee: And sort of chat about it, and it's another way to connect to the community.
Renee: That's really [crosstalk 00:22:17]-
Nikki: They're very connected.
Renee: Part of it.
Nikki: Yeah. Absolutely. That's the culture that we're setting here, and that's why it's so important for all of us just to be informed and just to kind of be able to support. Moms need, we need support.
Renee: We need support, and we need information.
Renee: Not what we should be doing. You should look like this. You should be eating that. You should feel a certain way. More than how are you doing, and what can we do for you, and what can we do together, and meeting people where they're at.
Nikki: Absolutely, absolutely. You just said it. That's exactly what it is.
Renee: Meet people where they're at, so som people might come in and they're like, super awesome, and they're eating really clean and they're super fit. Then the other person is just starting from scratch, and they should still be able to support one another and give that information to each other-
Renee: And be supported in wherever they're at.
Nikki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That's been incredible to see that.
Renee: Yeah. So, this work is really important. That pelvic floor work, that integrity of the body is important. It's gonna affect how you birth, it's gonna affect how you recover, it's gonna affect you into your older age. So, in your 50s, in your 60s, right?
Nikki: Oh, yeah. I believe I was training-
Renee: [crosstalk 00:23:28] intention.
Nikki: I believe I was training for years in extreme disfunction.
Renee: I think that be [inaudible 00:23:33] training.
Nikki: Yeah. I believe I was. I really do.
Nikki: I just can feel so much more in control of my body, and I just, I'm like, where was this 20 years ago?
Renee: Yeah, yeah. Awesome.
Nikki: But now that we have it, we have it.
Nikki: It's just forward motion.
Renee: Forward motion.
Nikki: Lead from the front.
Renee: That's awesome. So, Miss Nikki is here, and I know that you teach, so you're at the Training Club.
Renee: You also do stuff at Lulu, right?
Nikki: Yes. I'm a community educator for Lululemon, which I just love them.
Nikki: They're so amazing. They're so supportive.
Nikki: Yeah. They are ...
Kelly: They have the best pants on [crosstalk 00:24:10].
Nikki: Yeah, the best pants. But just the support of the community, too, and they're really, really standing by my role and what I do and they really are for us.
Nikki: They want to see this birthing motherhood transition community just come alive.
Nikki: We're gonna be doing that event.
Renee: Oh yeah, we're doing an event.
Nikki: June 2nd.
Renee: June 2nd at the Valencia Lululemon.
Nikki: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It's gonna be at 8:00 AM. We are working on if this is going to be an RSVPed event or not, just because of how special and unique it's gonna be with some of the educators that we're gonna have on staff and talking that day, and ...
Renee: I'll be there talking, you're gonna be there talking.
Nikki: Yeah, I believe Dr. [Herda 00:24:50]-
Renee: Our chiropractor will be there talking.
Nikki: I want to, I'm gonna be reaching out to the pelvic floor specialist.
Renee: And the pelvic floor.
Renee: Great. So, it's gonna be this event at Valencia Lululemon, and so in order to follow, in order to attend this thing, where would they go to get the information?
Nikki: So, we'll have it-
Renee: We'll post something.
Nikki: Yeah, and we'll have it in store-
Renee: On our Facebook page.
Nikki: You can follow our Instagram, which is gonna be the Training Club or Babe Fit SoCal.
Renee: We can add those links to the bottom of this.
Nikki: Yeah. Those will be, I'll always be posting on those to make sure the information is linked on there. Follow the Lululemon Valencia Facebook page, they'll post the event.
Renee: Oh, right. Will it be a free event?
Renee: But it'll be an RSVP-
Renee: Because it's gonna be limited space.
Nikki: It's gonna be special, so-
Nikki: We're gonna really want it to be a very unique environment.
Renee: Great. Great, great, great.
Renee: Thank you so much for coming over.
Nikki: Thank you.
Renee: And doing this, and we really appreciate it. You're doing awesome work.
Renee: So, thanks [crosstalk 00:25:46].
Nikki: [crosstalk 00:25:45].
Renee: Of course email us, give us a call if you have any questions or concern. Follow us on our Instagram, SCB Birth Center, and we'll see you June 2nd at Lululemon maybe.
Renee: Okay bye.