I’m excited to share, I recently had a baby girl! Since I’ll be taking some time off, in addition to having some great recipes, cooking videos and blog posts/articles all ready to share with you, I am also going to be having a BABYSITTER BLOG, where esteemed colleagues in my field will be sharing a blog post with you! I hand picked these people (most of whom are my friends and co-workers!). I hope you enjoy their posts!
And without further ado, my very first post is by one of my prenatal yoga teachers (can’t have too many!!!), colleague and friend, Desi Bartlett! I love and resonate with her message, and still have good friends I met at Mommy and Me classes with my first child!
MILF’s; A Community of Support
By Desi Bartlett, MS CPT E-RYT
After living in LA for over 10 years, I realized that giving something a fun and sexy name can appeal to more people. My brand is the MILF Workout™. For me, MILF stands for Mothers Into Living Fit. My joke is that the name sounds R rated, but it is definitely G rated. I am passionate about teaching Moms how to keep their core strong throughout pregnancy so that that pregnancy, labor, delivery, and recovery can be easier. After the baby is born, I love to teach Mommy & Me Yoga & Fitness classes with Moms and babies singing, dancing, and lunging together.
What has been a beautiful extension of this work is the sense of community that the Moms have. It is so beautiful to see women bonding over such a joyous time in their lives. In Los Angeles, the vast majority of Moms are from other cities. Those who have lived here for a while often have great friends, but not necessarily friends that have babies at the same time. This can sometimes lead to a sense of isolation during a time that should be a celebration.
Wherever you live, it can be really empowering and supportive to find a prenatal yoga, fitness, or dance class, to meet other pregnant goddesses. Knowing someone that is in the same phase of life that you are, provides a sweet opportunity to connect. After the babies are born, it is wonderful to have a group that celebrates the birth of your baby. Many of the Moms in my classes get together for play dates, and some even go on to enroll in the same preschools.
I have been in the field of health and fitness for over 20 years, and I still remember my graduate school professor asking what the single most important factor in exercise adherence is. That simply means, what is the #1 reason we stick with an exercise program. The answer is ‘accountability.’ When we have a friend, trainer, or teacher waiting for us, we feel accountable to them to maintain the appointment. This totally makes sense. There are days when we might not feel like exercising, but if we know that someone is waiting for us, we are much more likely to show up. When an entire group of women is waiting to see you, it can be a powerful motivator for sticking with your program.
Community is something that we have lost sight of in our modern world. It is great to have a supportive online community, but having that same support in real life is even better. When we are having a hard day and we need a smile or a hug, that affirmation can make all of the difference in the world as to how the rest of the week goes. While pregnant, baby feels everything that Mommy feels, so when Mommy is happy, baby benefits from the feel good chemicals that Mommy’s nervous system naturally releases.
Whether you are pregnant or a new Mom, check out the classes in your area. Look for a style of movement that your body enjoys, and for a group of women that feels safe to you. Like any group dynamic, some groups are lighthearted, others are more serious, it might take a few try’s to find the right fit. The benefits of the community are a gift to Mommy, baby, the entire family, and you can become a MILF (Mother into Living Fit) that is, in the process☺
Desi Bartlett, MS CPT E-RYT has been in the field of health & fitness for over 20 years. She is the star of 8 fitness, yoga, and dance DVD’s, and the creator of the MILF Workout™. She believes in the message of ‘Mothers into Living Fit,’ and the joy of movement as a way to empower pregnant and new Moms. Originally from Chicago, she now lives in LA with her husband and 2 young sons.
For more information on Desi Bartlett, please visit mothersintolivingfit.com