Are you a trainer, coach, or group fitness instructor that wants to enhance your knowledge of prenatal and postnatal fitness modifications? Consider becoming a certified FIT4MOM pre-and postnatal fitness trainer! You might be familiar with FIT4MOM from their popular branded classes like Stroller Strides or Stroller Barre, and this certification is a new offering available to all fitness instructors.
The program is online and self-paced, making it easy to complete from the comfort of your home. It’s ideal for enhancing your ability to train moms of any fitness level.
Disclosure: I was provided complimentary access to the FIT4MOM® Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Certification. As always, all opinions are my own.
Overall Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
The FIT4MOM Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Certification covers the major changes that occur during and after pregnancy, as well as into later stages of motherhood. The certification offers CEUs for fitness professionals, and is easy to complete at home.
- Comprehensive dive into prenatal and postnatal fitness
- Fully online, self-paced course
- Trimester by trimester movement pattern guidelines
- Covers both the how and the why, to ensure full understanding of modifications
- Also includes key information on mental and emotional health
- Provides continuing education credits from ACE, NASM, and AFAA
- Cost may be a challenge (but keep in mind this comes with CEUs). You can get a 25% discount with code Chrissy!
- Some folks may need to slow down to fully digest written content (but switching between written content and video helps you stay engaged)
That’s the quick info – now let’s take a deep dive!
Why Get Certified?
If you train moms in any stage, this certification program will be valuable. Not only will you learn more about trimester-by-trimester training modifications, but you’ll also learn about hormonal changes, mental health concerns, and red flags to watch out for that may justify referrals to other medical professionals.
For me, the interest in this certification was part professional development and part personal curiosity. Back when I was pregnant, I had a fairly easy journey through the nine months as well as delivery. But getting back into exercise afterwards? Hot mess express, my friends!
I didn’t realize there were still hormonal changes and physical recovery taking place, and went back to teaching corporate bootcamp classes about 8 weeks after delivering. One bout of high knees in that first class back led to a sprained ankle. I hadn’t realized that relaxin levels could still be somewhat elevated, and also hadn’t properly built up my stability before jumping back into fitness.
Even though I’m years past that stage, it’s stuck with me and made me a little nervous when providing advice to new moms. So when the opportunity to jump into this certification came up, I was all for it to enhance my knowledge.
The FIT4MOM Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Certification is broken down into the following sections:
- Training the Female Body – overview of functional fitness and the six key movement patterns (push, pull, squat, lunge, hinge, and rotation)
- Training the Female Core – review of core anatomy, functional core training, pelvic floor issues, and diastasis recti
- Training the Female Mind – common mental health concerns during pregnancy and postpartum, as well as eating disorder red flags
- Prenatal Training Overview – ACOG guidelines, red flags and contraindications, cardio and strength tips, and gauging intensity
- Training by Trimester – in-depth breakdown of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th trimesters (4th being the postpartum healing phase), including a deep dive into what’s happening physically and hormonally, and how to modify movements in each of these stages
- Postpartum Fitness – what’s going on in the body and how to continue to progress workout routines after the 4th trimester
The course is a mixture of written and video content. Some folks may not prefer reading the articles intermittently, however I found this approach much more engaging than solely video content. Constantly mixing up the format meant that I was “forced” to pay attention throughout. And when I say “forced”, I don’t mean in the sense that I didn’t want to read the information – but rather keeping my brain locked in as it tends to wander when I’m sitting at the computer only watching videos!
There are also little quiz checks throughout, which helps you process the information you just learned about and ensure you are picking up the most important concepts.
Favorite Parts and Aha! Moments
There was a lot to love about this course – here were some highlights for me:
- I really loved the specific cueing ideas the course provided, because that is where science meets practical application. For example, to encourage clients to position themselves properly before an exercise, reminding them to “roll your shoulder into your back pockets”. On the flip side, there were also tips for what to avoid during cueing, like “sucking in the belly button”, as that can exacerbate diastasis recti.
- One particularly interesting part of the “training the core” section discussed the pelvic floor and running, mentioning that the pelvic floor is key for stability and form during running. Since the force transmitted through the pelvic floor can be as high as 2.5x your body weight, weak pelvic floor muscles that can’t handle that force leads the body to adapt in other ways that can cause imbalances and injuries.
- It was helpful to learn that woman who focus on pelvic floor health during exercise in the third trimester are less likely to have pelvic floor disorders after giving birth.
- One part I found very interesting was the comparison of the past ACOG guidelines from 1985, compared to the current updates which were developed in 2015 and reaffirmed multiple times since. For example, the 1985 guidelines were specific on keeping heart rate below 140 beats per minute, while the current updates recommend using RPE rather than heart rate. Even when I was pregnant in 2015, I remember my first doctor telling me not to get my heart rate above 140 bpm, even though that was no longer the guideline.
- I really appreciated that the course covered topics like racism and bias in the medical system, and risks of maternal mental health, support, and mortality. This is not discussed nearly enough in the health space.
- The course provided is a four-zone system that pairs intensity with a talk test to determine the proper exercise intensity. This is one of the most valuable pieces I got from this course, and something I plan to use with pregnant runners.
- I really liked the trimester-by-trimester breakdown of what exercises to start, stop, and continue. Each trimester included an overview of what was going on in the body (as far as hormones, postural changes, etc.) and how this impacts exercise recommendations. Each trimester contained videos and written descriptions of how to modify different exercises for the six core movement patterns (so helpful).
Additional Certification FAQs
Here are some common questions that may come up as you decide whether to pursue this certification:
How much does the FIT4MOM Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Certification cost?
The program costs $399. However, you can save 25% off your certification by using my special code: Chrissy!
How many CEUs are included?
This depends on your certifying body. The certificate of completion lists:
- ACE: 0.80 CECs
- AFAA: 8.00 CEUs
- NASM: 0.80 CEUs
Keep in mind that these are the options in which FIT4MOM is an approved provider. If you have credentials through another certifying body, the course may be eligible for CEUs for that one too. Check with your certifying body.
How long does the certification take?
The course is self-paced, so this will vary based on the time you have to commit to it each day, how much information you can retain at one time, and your personal learning style. I found it took me about two weeks to complete by working through 1-2 sections at a time.
The Bottom Line
The FIT4MOM Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Certification provided a helpful overview of prenatal and postnatal training modifications, as well as a thorough understanding of the why behind those modifications. Considering most trainers and group fitness instructors will work with pregnant or postpartum women throughout their career, this is an excellent course to enhance your professional competence, comfort level, and skills. Don’t forget to use code Chrissy for a 25% discount on your certification!
Transparency – How Was This Reviewed?
I personally took the entire certification from start to finish, including watching all videos, reading all text, and taking all the course quizzes. As a personal trainer and running/triathlon coach, I felt comfortable participating in the certification and providing my opinions above.
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