Woman pressing a kettlebell overhead, lake in background

Years ago, when I started learning to work with kettlebells, I had a coach who taught me an invaluable lesson:

That I am strong.

It was something I had never believed.

When I started working with kettlebells, I started small.

Like, really small. My coach had these cute “baby bells” and those are what I started with when I pressed overhead.

And where I felt weak on one side, my other side felt weaker. I always felt asymmetry, and I thought that was a bad thing.

I was hard on myself. And I didn’t always say nice things to myself.

And this coach wouldn’t tolerate it.

He insisted I talk about my strong side and my stronger side.

No side was weak.

Over the years, this sentiment has stuck with me:

Strong and stronger.

In pregnancy and postpartum exercise, we do a lot of correctives- we work through bunches of movement, alignment and breathing compensations that develop around the growing babe.

Unavoidable. And also, let’s not lose sight of the forest.

As a coach, alongside correctives I make a point to highlight all the stuff that looks really great right out of the box. Movements that are super strong. Squats that are gorgeous.

Because, truly, I have yet to work with someone who isn’t very strong in many ways and isn’t doing a lot of things very right.

Recently, I’ve had two postpartum folks note that this was the first time since having their babies that anyone has said anything positive about their bodies.

Bodies that JUST PRODUCED TINY HUMANS and then rallied to provide for that baby’s physical and emotional needs. And THEN rallied to show up to a session with me.

To these clients I said:

You’ve been done a disservice.

Your body is remarkable.

You are already SO strong. And from here you’ll only get stronger.

👆🏽This is the message I want my new parents to receive. That I want YOU to receive.

You are strong. Everything you’re doing right now- in the gym and in your childbearing year- is making you even stronger.

You are built for all the transitions and transformations you’re experiencing.

Strength is a journey, not a destination. And you’re somewhere on the road already.

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Redmond, WA-based Seattle birth doula Laura Jawad, headshot

My mission is to make sure that having a baby is not a reason why you can’t do all the things.

Contact me if you have questions about exercise or pelvic health pertaining to pregnancy or postpartum. I also offer personal training services and consultations to folks locally (Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland) and online.

Certified Prenatal & Postnatal Coach, Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Coach and Postnatal Fitnesses Specialist.