During pregnancy I had inclinations to be a little active in order to avoid turning into a couch potatoe. But the pains in my joints and the morning sickness stopped me in my tracks. Walking very slowly is all you could get out of me. There was also the light movements you get to do during the nesting stage of expecting. My fitness goals did not exist after baby number 1. Instead I immersed myself fully into learning to care for my new baby. I wanted to be fit for my second pregnancy. But the idea of it was still the last thing on my mind. The biggest reason was enduring the discomforts of being with child whilst having a toddler to keep me on my toes. The aches tend to get worse with subsequent pregnancies. I excelled at waddling and limping.
When I felt that I had recovered from giving birth the second time I started to think about
getting into walking again. But then, as I was kicking back one day with my baby asleep in my arms, my toddler sitting beside me and phone in hand scrolling through Facebook as mummies do, something new caught my eye. It was a post in a mother’s group, by another mummy, about Kangatraining – a new exercise thing that was being run in an area I could get to and I could take both of my children with me. I enquired, I booked, I tried and I’m hooked.
What is Kangatraining? It’s a postpartum fitness activity for mums and bubs. A workout designed to allow mums to exercise with their babies mostly being held in a baby carrier (sometimes referred to as babywearing). This group event is not limited to mothers only. Dads and other carers are encouraged to join too.
When I turned up for my trial class I was expecting just a little bit of dancing. But much to my surprise it was so much more. There was floor work that involved my baby which kept him happy to see that I was still there. It was entertaining to see my toddler trying to imitate the instructors moves too. There were squats and lunges, a little bit of dance, and of course some choreography that targeted specific body parts, such as the arms and legs – ouch! The next morning I could barely move and was thinking to myself “what have I done?!!”
Then I received a beautiful follow up message from the trainer. She reminded me to stretch and walk whenever I get a chance. I started to feel great about myself as she said that I did so well for my first class. Talk about motivation booster! I got what I needed to feel energised. What sore muscles?
My Kangatrainer Mercia is an inspirational mother to one gorgeous boy and soon to one precious baby girl. Yes, she’s expecting and still has the energy to train. Mercia executes her classes with a strong, bubbly, and friendly boot camp mummy manner. Don’t let the words ‘boot camp’ stop you from reading on now. Mercia is fully into her fitness and loves a good workout. But she will never force any mummy in her class to push herself further than the level she is comfortable with. If you have two or more little ones to bring along to the class Mercia welcomes you all with open arms. Being a mother herself Mercia empathises with you. When the children get a little restless she doesn’t hesitate to offer a helping hand so that you can get the most out of your workout.
Baby carriers were never something I was into with my first baby. I didn’t bother doing any research about them either. Boy I wish I did. My oldest boy was just over 2 years of age when my second was born. That’s when I started looking into the different accessories you can get for prams. I still didn’t consider the baby carrier and the babywearing practice until I did Kangatraining.
I didn’t have my own carrier at the time and it was excellent to be able to hire one from my Kangatrainer. It’s an amazing feeling when I’m dancing with my baby. I feel alive with as my baby is cradled against the sound of my heartbeat and fast asleep. So I started to like the idea. Mastering babywearing takes a little practice. It was reassuring for me to see how Mercia checked every single one of us before commencing any of the dances when the babies were strapped in the carriers.
As I kept going to Kangatraining I became accustomed to babywearing and bought a Manduca carrier for myself from Mercia – being a certified Kangatrainer she was also a stockist for this brand. What made me choose this brand were all the safety features. I love the fact that the baby’s hips and head position is considered the most in the design. I know my boy is safe when he is close to me. Having this option to keep him closer at times he needs me most makes it so worthwhile.
Participating in Kangatraining has been a positive experience for me and my children. For myself I rediscovered my love for working out. I’m socialising again after a self-inflicted time off from it during my first year of motherhood – I can call it a gap year maybe? I’m also getting more special bonding moments with my children. What I learn in the classes I bring home with me to set an example for my boys. For the babies and their siblings it is a chance for them to see other mummies and their little ones enjoying this activity together. It’s broadening their perspectives of the outside world and nourishing their hungry minds within this community.
It’s such a breath of fresh air to get out of the house for something that is for mother and child. If you want to try it there is most likely a Kangatrainer near you and remember… you go at your own pace!