For our clients, one of the emails thats we send out is about body care and the importance of movement, and we strongly believe it is important! Now, I am not talking couch to Crossfit, but walking is great! But you know what is even better? Working with a personal trainer who knows the pregnant and postpartum body through advanced education and training. And that person is Jenna Somich!
Jenna is personal trainer who sees clients in North Raleigh, downtown Raleigh, and private sessions via Zoom and she specializes in prenatal and postpartum movement. We recently connected with her, and are excited to share some of the conversation we had!
What made you first get interested in working with women to improve their fitness?
I have been involved in fitness all of my life. I started gymnastics when I was just 2.5 years old and have continued to move in new and different ways since then! Something that gymnastics specifically taught me is that anything is possible. In gymnastics we break down complex movements to the simplest form and complete them over and over again. We do this until our body and mind are ready to take on that complex task. Living this experience was extremely empowering, but also acknowledging that not everyone grew up learning to trust their body, their power, and their strength drives me to help others. I see that women specifically are not taught to embody their power and strength. I hope to change that through my work!
How often do you recommend pregnant folks move their body? What if exercise was not part of their routine prior to getting pregnant?
I generally recommend that folks aim for exercise and/or movement for at least 30 mins 5x per week. Research shows that the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to exercising through your pregnancy (especially under the guidance of a trained professional), and for this reason, folks can absolutely start a new exercise routine when pregnant. For example, many individuals I work with are connecting or reconnecting with their movement. During our sessions, not only do we focus on movements that are effective and safe for pregnancy, we also work to create a toolbox that they can access should they have movement in their labor and birth. Additionally, their solid foundation will serve them in postpartum!
What is something that you wish more pregnant or postpartum folks knew about their bodies?
Our bodies are wise, strong, and are working with us. If we can work to tune into our intuition, it will serve us in pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and parenting!
How have you noticed that regular movement and exercise can positively impact pregnancy and the birth process?
Not only does the research show that regular exercise can lead to healthier outcomes for birthers and babies, I have witnessed it countless times. Regular exercise can lead to less discomfort throughout pregnancy, gaining strength, gaining confidence and gaining stamina. I also believe that every time we engage in movement we present an opportunity to tune into our mindset. All of these things are beneficial for pregnancy, labor, and birth. No matter how you birth, you will be called upon to go to places you have not been. Exercise and movement help us get comfortable with the unknown.
What kind of postpartum recovery do you recommend and when should that begin?
I believe it is extremely important for folks to respect postpartum and take things slowly. I believe that just as each pregnancy, labor, and birth is different, each postpartum journey will also be different. I recommend that folks wait until they have clearance from a healthcare professional to begin a rehab routine. Generally, folks will need to reconnect with their breath in postpartum first. Slowly, adding in functional movements that are effective for them. This is a sensitive time period, where having a team of professionals to help guide and support you is key. I am here to help folks during this time and have a trusted team as well!
When you are not working with clients or at the gym, where can we find you?
You will find me out exploring with my daughter Lily, cuddling my lab Zoe, or enjoying food with my husband Mike. If you asked me this a year ago, I would have added “traveling” to the list – perhaps one day again 🙂