Recently, we were lucky enough to sit down with Pregnancy and Postnatal exercise guru Nina (@movewithnina) to discuss all things Yoga, Pilates and the entire pregnancy experience.
Tell us a little bit about your background? And what you do?
I have been teaching Yoga, Pilates and Meditation for about 10 years now having had a former life in the corporate legal and financial world. Previously, I had a strong focus on pre-natal pilates and yoga, but these days I've developed a love affair for postnatal, "The 4th Trimester". I am also a mum to a busy little boy Hunter, and currently pregnant for the 2nd time.
Why the recent interest in postnatal? And what is your goal when it comes to working with pregnant women?
My main goal is to improve women's awareness around exercise during and post pregnancy. Before I fell pregnant, I was only interested in high-impact exercise and the "punish my body” mentality. That type of exercise was really promoted in every exercise class I did throughout school, university and as a young adult. When I fell pregnant with my first, my mindframe around exercise all changed. Luckily, at the same time, low-impact, mindful movement also started to become more and more popular, such as Pilates, Barre & Yoga. Fortunately, I had lots of options to explore throughout my pregnancy and beyond. I see now that exercise needs to be tailored more towards the individual rather than a one size fits all approach. Being respectful of where you’re at with your body, mind and circumstances.
For example, it’s really important to rest post birth. I am a big believer in the 40 days rest post birth. And then it is about guiding mums in the right direction from then on. I didn't do that myself with my first birth, and it backfired. You pay for it down the road, trust me! It's never too late to completely transform your exercise routine. The work that I'm in now is all about nurturing women and movement that is sustainable.
You're very active on Instagram, and have recently started up a YouTube channel, what sort of content should we expect from you?
I am mostly filming pregnancy/postpartum exercise, including pilates and yoga. I think it's important to demonstrate what I preach and keep moving! I never used to have the time to do all these little extra things. I was working long hours and didn't have time to embrace this new journey that I'm on. But since moving interstate to Queensland, my lifestyle has shifted. I now have more time to focus on growing my business and making more time for my family.
What are some of the other benefits of group exercise/pilates/yoga classes?
Well firstly, it's always good to have a support network around you. That includes experts in certain fields. One of the hardest things when pregnant and once a mum is not knowing what to do. And sometimes it just takes a professional’s advice to send you in the right direction. Also, classes are a great way to meet fellow mums who share a common interest. And even online classes have their own benefits, as you don't have to leave your house and can workout when it suits you.
Tell us a little bit about your birthing experiences?
I had a fairly positive birth experience the first time round. I had my baby boy safely with no intervention or pain relief in hospital. However, this time I want the experience to be even greater spiritually and so I’ve decided to have a home birth with two beautiful and very spiritual midwives. We meet regularly, I feel prepped and grateful for that connection as I moved to a new area with no family or friends. It was post-birth where I struggled. I wished I had more support in terms of nutrition and breastfeeding in particular.
My home birth wish may not be for everyone, but for me I need something that gives me a greater connection to the birth process and the journey that comes before labour than what a hospital birth system provides. I'm due in November, and if everything looks safe to proceed, that’ll be the pathway I take. My advice for women is that sometimes professional, neutral help/advice just makes life more manageable, especially when there’s a baby involved. Don’t be afraid to ask and seek help.
How did you discover Emamaco?
It was actually recommended to me by other mums! And I thought the brand aligned well with what I was doing with my YouTube channel. So I reached out. I love how the leggings are high, yet they still stay put. With other brands this doesn't happen. I love the tops because you can wear them normally, but then they are also practical for breastfeeding as well. Another thing I noticed is that a lot of other brands are fine to wear during the day, but not as good to work out in. That isn't the case with my Emamaco gear. So yeah, very practical if I am working out and then need to breastfeed quickly, but also my body needs the support that the leggings provide. The leggings have grown nicely with my bump so far, and they don't feel too restrictive at all.