These are questions I ask myself every day.

As many of you know, one of the reasons I teach postnatal fitness with such passion is because of the silly mistakes I made along the way. I still find it really hard to respect my body’s needs as I come from a ‘no pain no gain’ background and thoroughly enjoy a hardcore workout. However, I now ask myself if it is worth the fallout – quite literally as unsuitable exercise can, and has, caused a prolapse that sent me running off to see Jenna at The Powder Rooms Physio for some urgent advice…

I am constantly asked about exercise during pregnancy and after giving birth – “Could I plank, run, play sports, lift heavy weights just after having a baby?” The answer for most is yes. But more importantly, should you? What benefit does overloading your already pressurised and weakened body have on your short and long term health? Does this exercise have any functional benefit for you? And is it going to help and support your body right now?

Yes, you must stay active if you want to enjoy a long, healthy and happy life, but please ask yourself (truthfully!) if what you are doing right now is what your body and pelvic floor muscles really need.

Remember that we are all different. Yes, so-and-so from the gym might be doing more than you, but they are doing it with their body and not yours. Some of the problems I currently face are the result of competing with other people. Instead of listening to my body, I just pushed myself even harder, ignoring signals like not being able to breathe properly. Oh, I proved that I could still do it, but I will regret my stupidity for a long time to come.

You can do it differently. Love your body for what it is RIGHT NOW. It may be a little different but it is even more amazing than it was before. Be kind, respect yourself and choose a workout that does not push your organs out through your pelvic floor. Just a suggestion…

We all tend to think that pelvic floor dysfunction is something that happens to other people. But one in three mums will experience this at some point in their life. And let me tell you this – once you start peeing your pants or feel like a golf ball is permanently wedged between your legs, you will wish you had paid better attention to your body.

Watch out for more exercise and pelvic floor hints, tips, tools and techniques from the Pregnancy & Parenthood team in 2018. Together we can create positive change.

I have heard this many times before an interview, presentation or event. Personally I think the word fail is very negative. I mean, does failing make you a failure? I really hope not because I fail regularly as a parent and look at it as a learning curve on my journey as a mum.

However, there is no denying that preparation can help and make things easier. This Sunday hundreds of runners will complete the London Marathon. Weeks and months of training, following exercise and eating plans all to enhance their performance and lessen the risk of injury.

So why is it many pregnant mums do not feel the same about preparing for birth? Lately I have spoken to lots of mums-to-be who are fearful about birth, mainly because the stories you hear are the negative ones and what’s shown on TV is drama.

Birth is amazing. Women carrying and growing new life is incredible. We need to celebrate pregnancy and birth and not be frightened of failing in some way. Knowing the sensations and intensity of birth is you and your body delivering your baby.

I didn’t think I needed to prepare for my first pregnancy. During those nine months I believed that because I was strong and had dealt with everything life threw at me with determination and strength, birth was going to be a breeze. I was adamant that my body would bounce back into my jeans within a few days and my baby would be the one who slept beautifully (yep, I actually thought that!). I went into that birth thinking “How hard can this really be?”. What I did not know was that I would experience feelings and sensations that I had never felt before. I was alive, but I didn’t know how to breathe and I certainly didn’t know how to let go and flow with what was happening.

Baby number two was different.
I was fortunate to be educating as well as attending pregnancy yoga. I prepared myself as best I could and boy did it pay off. Birth preparation comes in many forms: yoga, pilates, antenatal classes, hynobirthing etc.

Looking after your body and baby is important but birth prep is more than that. Attending classes brings you into contact with other mums, building a network that will help you before and after birth (whether you’re a first-timer or mum of five). Learning about what to expect mentally and physically lets you know that not fitting into your old jeans after a few days or having a baby who doesn’t sleep doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you normal!

BabyFit will be with the Pregnancy & Parenthood team at the Bump & Beyond and Toddler Fair on 30 April 2017 at the Norfolk Showground, where I will be talking about birth preparation and breath.
Debbie x

In her latest annual report, the Chief Medical Officer makes recommendations on a wide range of women’s health issues, most notably obesity. Professor Dame Sally Davies highlights obesity as one of the biggest risks to women’s health, affecting all aspects of life from birth, family planning and pregnancy to menopause and later life.

In England, 56% of women aged 35 to 44 and 62% of women aged 45 to 54 were classified as overweight or obese in 2013. Dame Sally says that the growing obesity problem is so serious that the government needs to make tackling obesity in the whole population a national priority.

She has asked all women to work with healthcare professionals to make positive changes when planning to get pregnant and to stay healthy throughout their pregnancy.

She said: “In women, obesity can affect the outcomes of any pregnancies they have and the health of any future children they may have. This is a difficult message to convey, as it risks burdening women with guilt and responsibility, but I believe that it can also empower women to take positive steps like eating more healthily and taking more exercise. It is never too late to take action for a healthier lifestyle – for you and your family.”

BabyFit offers several courses specially designed to help women get or stay fit and healthy during pregnancy, birth and beyond. Classes are suitable for everyone, even those new to exercise. Contact us with any questions at all.

1. No time for a regular exercise class? Get on the yoga mat, you’ll be surprised at how hard you work

2. Learn how to safely throw your children Active Baby Yogaaround. Develop your confidence as you learn the safe way to play actively

3. Baby getting too heavy to carry? Develop your strength and agility in line with your baby’s development

4. Restock your song library – learn loads of new fun songs and action rhymes to delight your baby and make you smile

5. Learn together how to chill out – yoga will teach you both how to relax yourselves, helping digestive and sleep problems

From around seven months (sitting sturdily if not yet active) up to around 18 months. We use fun props like scarves, balls big and small and musical instrument to keep everyone entertained.

The next course of BabyFit Active Baby Yoga starts at the Willow Centre, Cringleford
10-11am Tues 24 Feb to 31 March
A six-week course costs just £50 including handouts of all new songs

To book, email

This workshop with BabyFit founder, Kate Coulson, is designed to involve your partner and make them feel/be more useful, without scaring the pants off them!

5.30-8.30pm Monday 16 March
At the Oasis (upstairs, reception will show you the way)
For anyone 20+ weeks on 16 March (right up to D-Day and beyond)
Just £50 per couple, including handouts and refreshments

What dads say about the workshop:
“We have been to a couple of antenatal classes and there was no comparison, the way you explained and described situations was very engaging and a pleasure to listen to and most amusing at times as well”

“Fantastic!!! When my wife said it was 3 hours I did think oh no that’s a bit long but how wrong was I. The time flew past and I found it very enjoyable.”

What does the workshop involve?
Perfect on its own or as a complement to other antenatal classes, this workshop gives a really helpful insight into what you and your partner can do during labour. We look at ways of getting your baby into the most comfortable position for birth and breathing and massage techniques. Your partners will learn simple ways to reduce pain, aid the descent of the baby and make you feel safe and comfortable.

To book, please email Kate at

Get Your Pregnant Belly Painted for Comic Relief
Yoga with Kate – How to Find Happiness
Childbirth Preparation Workshop with Kate
New Pregnancy and Postnatal Fitness Courses
Yoga for the Mind, Sleep and in South Norfolk!
New Group for Single Mums in Norfolk

happinessHappy New Year! We all say it but how do we do it? We hear that happiness is a choice but if it was that simple, surely no one would ever be unhappy…

Happiness is not living without pain. Nor is it denying that difficult things happen. For me, happiness is knowing that whatever life throws at me, even though I cannot change it, I can choose how I react.

There is no happiness switch. It takes time, practice and patience (like all things worth learning). Yoga has helped me and it might help you. If you fancy hearing more, come along to my next Norwich workshop.

Sunday 25 January

6-7.25pm (intermediate level, some experience of yoga preferable)
Change your perspective. Upside down, back to front – look at things in a different way!

7.30-9pm (beginner level, no experience necessary)
Happy New Year or Miserable New Year. You choose. How yoga can help you be happier.

£10 for one session or £15 for both. At Happy Ohm Yoga, Studio 1, Capitol House, 4-6 Heigham Street NR2 4TE
To book, please email Kate here

Ball fitness

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new pregnancy course. BabyFit Pregnancy Fitness is a six-week course aimed at maintaining and building stamina and strength while protecting your changing body and baby.

We do have to be careful when we are pregnant but it is important to be fit for pregnancy, birth and motherhood. It is hard work pushing buggies and carrying car seats! Our safe and effective workouts combine movements and principles from fitness, yoga and pilates to offer a functional fitness class that will support your pregnancy and prepare you for birth and beyond.

And as well as focusing on safety, the classes will also be fun and friendly, giving you the opportunity to get to know other pregnant mums.

BabyFit instructor, Debbie Bagley, has taught pretty much every fitness class there is. Having babies prompted her to specialise in pre- and postnatal fitness and train with experts Jenny Burrell and Jane Wake.

BabyFit Pregnancy Fitness starts 7-8.15pm Thursday 29 January to 12 March (no class 19 February)

Suitable from 14 weeks, courses are held at the Oasis, Thorpe St Andrew.
A six-week course costs £50 including all equipment.
For more information or to book a place

Read the November BabyFit News to find out more.


Keep Calm and Enjoy ChristmasBabyFit founder, Kate Coulson, is visiting from her home in France, bringing her unique blend of happiness and yoga.

We all know that Christmas is a time of joy (blah, blah, blah) but that joy can get lost in the mad rounds of gift buying and competitive cheer. Step off the merry-go-round and learn how to really enjoy every moment.

In the first session (4-5.30pm), we will explore how anything – even exercise – can bring us back to now. In the second (5.30-7pm), discover techniques to help you stop and smell the roses.

How much? £10 per session, £15 for the whole workshop

Where? Happy Ohm, Studio 1, Capitol House, 4-6 Heigham Street, Norwich NR2 4TE

How to book? Email Kate at

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