So, I have mentioned in a few of my recent posts that I recently got my certification as a Pre & Postnatal Corrective Exercise Specialist. Since some of you have been curious about the program I wanted to give you a little more information and write a review.
First, a little about the course:
The course is called “Fit For Birth: Pre & Postnatal Corrective Exercise Specialist” the price is $377 and at the completion of the course, you earn the title of “Fit for Birth Pre and Post Natal Corrective Exercise Specialist.” Completing the course also earns you substantial continuing education credits for ACE, NASM, NCSF, Commission on Dietetic Registration, REPSSA and AFAA and more are coming.
Who is the course for?
This course is mostly targeted to fitness professionals. Specifically, personal trainers, or group exercise instructors. However, the participants in the course videos had a diverse background including a physical therapist, massage therapist, Yoga and Pilates instructors, and a Doula, and all seemed to gain useful knowledge that they could apply to their area of expertise. I also think this course would be great for any expecting mom with an interest in staying in shape and having a healthy pregnancy.
What is included in the course?
There are 8 lessons with lesson 5 and and 6 being broken down into an a and b section. Each lesson is accompanied with powerpoint slides, a written manual, and often handouts, charts or resources. Although there were a few (minor) typos in the material, I found it easy to read, not like a text book.
The content of each lesson is as follows:
Lesson 1: “Birthing in the Modern World”- Gives a history of how pregnancy and obstetrics has changed and makes the case for why it is important to empower your client with information.
Lesson 2: “Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy”- Be prepared to be blown away by the many amazing benefits that exercising moms experience. This will help assuage any fear or doubts moms have about exercising during pregnancy.
Lesson 3: “Common Pregnancy Considerations”- Find out how hormonal changes affect the body during pregnancy and how the pregnant woman’s cardiorespiratory system responds to her pregnancy. Also discusses how nutrition plays an important role in having a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Lesson 4: “Musculoskeletal and Physiological Considerations”- How the main core muscles are affected during pregnancy and how stress plays a role. Why belly breathing is one of the most important exercises a pregnant woman can do.
Lesson 5: “Corrective Exercise Coaching and Assessment Skils” – This is the meat of the course and this will help you with any client not just pre/post natal. Find out how to assess your clients movement patterns, breathing and cardiovascular health.
Lesson 6: “Prenatal Program Design” – Learn how to design a safe and effective prenatal exercise program, and how to progress your client. How to correct and prevent the physical ailments of pregnancy: Pubis Symphysis Disfunction, SI Joint disfunction, Diastasis Rectii, etc.
Lesson 7: “Postpartum in the Modern World”- Goes over the main concerns of postpartum: Depression, weight loss, hormonal changes, stress, misalignments and rehabilitation.
Lesson 8: “Postnatal Program Design”- Understanding the needs of the postnatal client and developing a safe and effective program to help them reach their goals. How to progress the program and how to pitch it to your client.
You can see that the content is quite thorough and covers a variety of important topics. The video lessons are about 16 hours of video from a recorded live 3- day workshop, which is cool because you get to see actual people going through the program. It starts with a 30 minute intro video, explaining how Fit For Birth got started. Then the rest of the videos for each section are approximately 1.5 hours-2 hours. There are also 2 meditation videos, about 30 minutes in length each.
There are also 6 quizzes to test your comprehension at the end of each lesson. An 80% or higher score is required on all quizzes in order to schedule the final consultation and receive certification. I felt well prepared for each quiz and was able to pass each one easily, just by going through the course information.
Finally, the most-underhyped part of the course is the Video Conferencing with Fit For Birth Head Coach. This was an awesome experience and not like a “test” at all. You have to bring a client (preferably pre-natal but doesn’t have to be) and the fit for birth coach will walk you through an initial consultation with them. Not only do you learn about how to optimize your consultation and help your client but you also learn about how to talk so that your client will want to train with you and will be more likely to buy your services. My husband, who acted as my client, also came away with valuable feedback on how he could improve his performance at the gym. In my opinion, this consultation is really worth the price of the course.
How long does it take to complete?
It took me about 2 months to work through the course, and that was with me going through about 1 lesson per week: watching the videos, reading the manual and powerpoint slides.
The fit for birth website gives this break down for how much time the course should take:
- Prenatal Manual: 5 Hours
- Postnatal Manual: 3 Hours
- Video Footage of the 3-day Live Course with PowerPoint Manual: 16 Hours of footage
- Quizzes: 2 Hours
- Video Conferencing with Fit For Birth Head Coach: 2 Hours
How is the Course Material Presented:
This is the really awesome thing about the course: everything is online. You don’t have to go anywhere and you get instant access as soon as you pay.
Also, I spent a lot of time accessing the course through my iPhone or iPad and the material was still very easy to view and navigate.
If you prefer, you can also download all of the material and watch or view it offline or even print it out. This was really useful when I went on vacation to Mexico and didn’t have a great internet connection. I downloaded the videos, manual and powerpoint to my laptop in advance and was able to work through the course while away.
I really enjoyed this course. This is one of the few continuing education courses that I actually looked forward to consuming the content. James delivers the content in a fresh and engaging way that is really eye-opening.
I was also worried that since this course was delivered mostly by a male that he would not truly understand or be able to create a plan suitable for the sensitive time that is pregnancy for most women. Just call me sexist, because when James started with a history of pregnancy and obstetrics I knew that he clearly had done his research and had more comprehension on what a modern pregnancy is like than most pregnant women.
I was also able to use the content of this course– the corrective exercise portion, to help clients that were not pregnant. The breathing exercises were especially helpful in getting one of my older male clients to access his Transverse abdominis correctly and consistently for the first time!
As I mentioned before the Video Conference at the conclusion of the course was also a great experience. It is rare to go through an online course and then get in person feedback from the creator of the course and that is exactly what the VC session provided for me.
I would highly recommend this course to any of my fitness professional colleagues and to any mom-to-be interested in having a fit and healthy pregnancy.
-Easy to access and navigate online content
-Very comprehensive information (covers everything from pregnancy history to diastasis rectii to postnatal programming)
-Price is reasonable
-You will walk away with knowledge you can use
-In person access to your Fit for Birth Coach
-If you are not an “internet savvy” person this may not be for you as all the content is online
-There is a lot of content (this could also be a pro, but if you are looking for a quick certification this is not it)
-The sound is spotty in some of the videos (i.e. when someone forgot to pass the mic. This didn’t affect the content much and should be resolved in the newest course update.)
-You have to do the Video Conference to test out (Again, I think this is more of a pro, but if you don’t see yourself setting up time or have the resources to have a video conference with the Fit For Birth Coach, this may not be the course for you.)
Overall I think the Fit For Birth Program is one of the best fitness education courses I have gone through. I can not recommend it more highly. If you would like to check it out, please click on this link to find out more information.