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Kimmy Smith – Understanding Postnatal Wellbeing

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week we welcome Kimmy Smith to the show. Kimmy inspires mums to achieve post-natal weight loss and fitness in a safe and positive way through exercise and positive thinking. She created the Fit Mummy Project because she wants to help all mums to feel the way that they deserve to feel.

In this interview we discuss the best ways to nourish and strengthen your body at this time, and also the strategies, tips, and techniques to use when feeling down, enjoy.

Audio Version

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • How important is postnatal nutrition?
  • Can new mums jump straight back into their post-pregnancy exercise routine?
  •  What are your 3 top tips for super-busy mums?

Get More of Kimmy Smith

If you enjoyed this, then we think you’ll enjoy this interview:


Full Transcript

Stu

00:03 Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long lasting health. I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do.

00:23 Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range [00:00:30] of super foods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website, that is, 180nutrition.com.au and take a look.

00:41 Okay, back to the show. This week, I’m excited to welcome Kimmy Smith. Kimmy inspires moms to achieve postnatal weight loss and fitness in a safe and positive way through exercise and positive thinking. In this interview we discuss the best ways to nourish and strengthen at this time, and also [00:01:00] the strategies, tips, and techniques to use when feeling down.

01:04 This really is a great conversation as we get asked a lot about this subject, so I’m really grateful to be able to share this knowledge with you today. Okay, over to Kimmy.

01:17 Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and I am delighted to welcome Kimmy Smith to the podcast. Kimmy, how are you?

Kimmy

01:24 I’m very well, and super excited to be here today. Thank you.

Stu

01:28 Yeah. It’s a topic I think that [00:01:30] is going to be of huge interest to so many people out there. So, before we delve into all the questions and get stuck into the juicy stuff, I’d love it if you could just tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Kimmy

01:43 Okay. Awesome. So, my name is Kimmy Smith, and I’m the founder of the Fit Mummy Project App and the Nourish Mummy Project App, and I’m a mom to three little girls. I guess I’m sort of in my, I feel like it’s [00:02:00] my second life. My first life I played professional sport, so I played for the New South Wales Swifts, and I was member of the Australian netball squad. For a long time, that was who I was, so extremely fit and very competitive. At the same time, I was studying law and working as a corporate lawyer, so very type A.

Stu

02:21 Yeah, very busy.

Kimmy

02:22 Very busy, yeah. I’d get up at … For a while, I played for a New Castle team, so I’d drive up to New Castle [00:02:30] three or four times a week from south of Sydney. Then when I was working in law, I’d get up at 4:30 a.m., drive me to work, do my own training, work all day as a lawyer, and then drive to training, train for a couple of hours, and go home.

Stu

02:44 Wow.

Kimmy

02:44 So, yeah, huge. I got a good preparation for motherhood. But yeah, I think fast-forward five years into my law career, I realized that I sort of didn’t want to sit at a desk all day and I was really quite [00:03:00] stressed, and I just broke in a rash all over my body, and I think that was the beginning of the end of it for me. So, I quit and I started working with a fitness group in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

Stu

03:13 Yeah.

Kimmy

03:14 I just loved it. I just thought this was the best. I’ve always been so into sport and health and wellbeing that I just was so passionate about it. So, I did that, and I fell pregnant with my first, Allegra, in [00:03:30] 2012, and I thought it was the best because I’d trained all throughout my pregnancy. I ate really well, and then I went back into it really early. She was quite a big baby and I ended up with all these postnatal complications, prolapse incontinence, stomach separation.

Stu

03:49 Oh boy.

Kimmy

03:50 Everything. I almost ticked every single box that you could get, and so that was a huge shift for me emotionally. [00:04:00] I had to almost let go of all the labels I’d always defined myself with. When I fell pregnant with my second, I knew that I wanted to take better care of my body and listen to whatever I was saying and not rush back.

Stu

04:13 Yeah.

Kimmy

04:13 I was just so bored. I was like, “I can’t go for another walk. I cannot do another pelvic floor exercise.” I found it really boring and I was looking at websites for incontinence and it was all for women who were 80.

Stu

04:27 Right.

Kimmy

04:30 [00:04:30] I went and saw pelvic floor doctors, and I was like the youngest one in the waiting room by 30 years. So, that was sort of the seedling for the Fit Mummy Project that I wanted to support women to exercise really well throughout their pregnancy and postpartum in a way that supported their body, but also still doing the exercises that they love, rather than just, you know, swimming or yoga, whatever.

04:56 I love those things, but for a lot [00:05:00] of women, that’s not their ideal exercise. There’s just such a lack of information out there, or there was at the time, and it’s transformed this industry a lot in the last five or six years. But yeah. I guess now all my focus is on prenatal and postpartum health and wellbeing. It’s kind of moved from fitness to yeah, more holistic because just I think motherhood just opens up so many changes, [00:05:30] and I love embracing all of them, so yeah.

Stu

05:32 Fantastic. Well, that’s an awesome story, and it’s great that you have found something that you’re so passionate about as well. It’s a great topic for me as well, because we were just talking before. So, I’ve got three little girls myself, and two of those are twins, so we’ve kind of had a really radical time, or at least my wife did during pregnancy.

05:54 Because of what I do and with the podcast and the nutritional side of things, people often ask me, ” [00:06:00] Well, how should I eat, and how should I move?” It’s like, well I don’t know. Because when you’re pregnant, for me, it’s a whole different ball game. So yeah, I’m really thankful that you’re on and you can answer some of these questions.

06:14 But I wanted to kick off with a question that I do get asked quite frequently. It’s all about weight gain during pregnancy. Because I have an inner circle and a few friends at the moment are pregnant [00:06:30] and there’s a little bit of a camp there about well, I’m pregnant, I can eat whatever I want. It doesn’t matter.

06:38 Then the other side is, well I still got to be mindful of like I don’t want to put on too much weight. Obviously everyone is different, but what’s your thoughts on that? Should females be conscious of their diet during pregnancy and be concerned about weight gain? Which does sound ludicrous, but I don’t know.

Kimmy

06:56 Yeah. Like you said, [00:07:00] everyone is so individual.

Stu

07:02 Yeah.

Kimmy

07:03 So, there’s a few things during pregnancy. We do have to be really conscious of how we’re nourishing our bodies. First of all, women who go into pregnancy overweight or extremely underweight do have to be really conscious of what they’re eating, and I will work with their healthcare professional as to the ideal amount of weight.

07:27 Often, this is calculated on BMI, which I think [00:07:30] is really outdated system, but extremely underweight or extremely overweight, yes. But for the normal, average, healthy woman who goes into their pregnancy at a healthy weight, they don’t have to be too concerned with weight gain. A lot of the time it’s out of our control.

Stu

07:45 Yeah.

Kimmy

07:45 But I think what they do have to be really conscious is how they’re nourishing their body, because there’s such incredible demands on the female body during pregnancy that we really need to, especially when it comes to balance [00:08:00] of our macronutrients, so proteins, fat, carbohydrates, but also micronutrients, so having really good supplements.

08:07 I’m such an advocate for not guessing, for going and getting a blood test, working with a nutritionist or a naturopath. I mean, you spend so much money during pregnancy and postpartum on babies and clothes and everything, why not invest a little bit of that into yourself? Because I mean, you’re not eating for two. It’s not a free- [00:08:30] for-all. The baby’s nutritional needs are actually really small. But it can be very easy for the mother to become depleted during pregnancy.

08:39 Especially if a lot of women are now heading into pregnancy later in life, we’re working really hard. We had these really strong careers and maybe we haven’t been taking as good a care of our health and wellbeing as you would have liked and then we head into pregnancy and all of a sudden, we’re meant to just be these perfect [00:09:00] clean eaters, drop all the foods we love.

09:03 So, it can be a really big transition. So, I think working with a professional during this time is such a wonderful gift to give yourself. It just makes sure that you’re staying, your iron levels, zinc, iodine, all those things are staying in the optimal range, which will help not only for the pregnancy, but also postpartum.

Stu

09:23 Great. That’s good advice. Do you find, and obviously it’s a little bit of a loaded question, but the [00:09:30] healthcare providers that are advising on diet, how informed are they of new science as opposed to the old ways of eating, old school pyramid, don’t touch fat, eat huge amounts of healthy whole grains, all of that stuff, are they living in this time turn or no?

Kimmy

10:00 [00:10:00] Yeah, it’s a loaded question.

Stu

10:00 Yeah.

Kimmy

10:03 It depends who you see. I like to see these are people who are very aligned to my philosophy. So I eat a lot more fat, obviously I skip my carbohydrates. I try to get them from whole foods. But I was really, really prone to banana bread during this last pregnancy, but your average GP is probably looking at an old style food [00:10:30] pyramid, a lot of carbs, a lot of dairy. Yeah, so I think …

10:39 This is where it gets really confusing for women. So, I think because they don’t trust that advice, they turn to Google and there’s just a whole range of different advices out there. So, I think you can’t go too wrong when you stick to whole foods. Everyone says shopping around the perimeter of the [00:11:00] grocery store, a lot of fruit and vegetables, getting lots of green leafy vegetables onto your plates.

Stu

11:09 Yeah.

Kimmy

11:09 Palm size protein, and lots of those amazing essential fatty acids. I saw a stat the other day that baby takes around seven grams of DHA from the mother’s body, brain passes through the placenta to the baby during the third trimester. So essential fatty acids are really important, and that’s one supplement I really [00:11:30] recommend women get onto.

Stu

11:32 Yeah, no. That’s a good point. Boy, that is some … That little growing embryo, if it’s consuming that amount of goodness from the mom, then the mom really does need to ensure that she’s getting enough goodness from supplementation. So, that is a good point. So, you mentioned postpartum.

Kimmy

11:49 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stu

11:51 I didn’t even know what that meant. I had to look it up. So, postnatal, postpartum, explain please. [00:12:00] Perhaps explain why that period matters.

Kimmy

12:07 So, postpartum, postnatal is just the period after birth. So, before she gives birth, obviously pregnant, that period after and how long that period is differs. But it’s a term that’s coming back into fashion now because we’re starting to really realize the importance of it.

Stu:

12:28 Right.

Kimmy

12:29 Ancient traditions [00:12:30] have known it for a long time, so you would have heard of the confinement period or sitting in period in traditional Chinese I guess traditions.

Stu

12:40 Yeah.

Kimmy

12:40 The woman was really protected and cocooned and supported and her village did everything for her [inaudible 00:12:52] had this postpartum period where the mother’s health and wellbeing was I guess the [00:13:00] pinnacle. We’ve lost that in Western society.

13:03 What is it? It’s the period of recovery for the mother and the forming of bonding between her and the baby. So, physically, she’s recovering but also hormonally, emotionally, mentally adjusting to life as a mother, but also there’s relationship changes as you would know.

Stu

13:24 Yeah.

Kimmy

13:25 Bonding to the baby, setting up that beautiful rhythm and relationship between her [00:13:30] and the baby of give and take. There’s huge changes that’s happening to the mother’s brain, neurologically rewiring. So, it’s a really important period, but in the West now, we tend to ignore it and we are in this phase as super mom. The faster you can get back to work, the faster you can get back to exercise, the faster you can get back into your old clothes, the better you’re doing as a mother.

13:57 So, we’re just ignoring this period, and what we’re seeing is [00:14:00] women are becoming really depleted, maybe experiencing anxiety, some are even experiencing postpartum depression. Physically, we’re seeing all these complications arise, maybe not after the first baby but after the second and third because we’re pushing ourselves physically through this period as well. It’s a hugely important period, and I guess I like to think of it as the first year after a baby is born.

Stu

14:29 Right.

Kimmy

14:29 A lot [00:14:30] of women think of it as the first six weeks. They go get their six week checkup from the GP, the GP looks at them, pokes their belly, asks them how they’re going, checks the baby, it’s all in 10 minutes and yeah, you’re good to go. At six weeks, there are still so many changes and so much healing still going on within the mother. So, I like to think of it as the first year.

Stu

14:54 Right.

Kimmy

14:55 First year after birth is the time of huge healing, yeah.

Stu

14:58 That’s interesting, because [00:15:00] when we look at the media, so all of the magazines that you see out there, the almost trashy mags that expose the celebrities who are getting uber skinny weeks after giving birth and just look ripped. From your perspective then, totally unrealistic and unhealthy?

Kimmy

15:22 Yeah. Really, I hate, I wouldn’t say hate, hate is a strong word, but I really dislike. [00:15:30] I’m like, you take two cells in a mother’s body and somehow without really any conscious activity on her part, those cells transform themselves into a human, and all these amazing changes happen just like when you experience it, it’s miraculous and a lot of women think it’s one of the most emotional and transforming experiences they have to go through. Then we have transformed that into a weight loss [00:16:00] comp.

Stu

16:00 Yeah.

Kimmy

16:01 It’s like the only thing that matters is weight loss, and I’m like we had this huge like amazing experience and all anyone cares about is what our belly looks like.

Stu

16:09 Yeah, it’s nuts.

Kimmy

16:10 It’s sad. It is, because it puts so much pressure on women to bounce back and really our bodies are not designed to bounce back after birth. They’re designed to bond and support and feed our baby, and it’s a long [00:16:30] process. But I would say I get that feeling of really wanting to get back to how you were, not being able to eat.

16:40 You feel like really heavy during pregnancy. It can be a tough time, so you want to get back to feeling really good and healthy and strong again, and I get that. But I think these celebrity, I guess, media obsession pushes [00:17:00] women to return to exercise they’re not ready for to try and deprive themselves during this time, and just to feel really down about their bodies when they don’t look perfect and trust me, not many women’s bodies look perfect like that.

17:16 I still look … My baby is six months old and I still look about six weeks pregnant at the moment, because it’s just my belly is so stretched. It’s my third baby. I have a hernia, you know, it’s like … To be bombarded with those images every day, [00:17:30] it’s hard.

Stu

17:30 Yeah.

Kimmy

17:30 But yeah, I think also the general conscious is changing and I’m seeing a lot more women embracing that, especially on social media, showing stretch marks and things, and showing those postpartum bellies and being proud of what they’ve achieved rather than what they look like. I feel like it is shifting, but it will be a long time before we’re there.

Stu

17:50 Yeah. No, I think so. You wonder also how much Photoshop has played a part in those pictures too.

Kimmy

17:56 Oh, yeah. Yeah, oh fully, [00:18:00] it’s not real, is it? Yeah.

Stu

18:01 No, it isn’t. It isn’t, so …

Kimmy

18:02 Yeah it’s not real is it?

Stu

18:00 No it isn’t, it isn’t. So you mentioned in there, deprivation as well. People are depriving themselves of perhaps the most important things that they need during that period to nourish their body after what can only be described, from a man, as trauma. This is a huge event for a woman, from my perspective at least, to grow a baby and then to give birth and support this [00:18:30] new baby through breastfeeding and beyond. So, postnatal nutrition then, so you spoke about that first year, should you be doing anything more specific than just trying to your best and eat a healthy diet?

Kimmy

18:50 Yeah well I think try and do you best is an awesome starting point.

Stu

18:54 Yeah, always.

Kimmy

18:55 There’s so much going on at that time. It’s [00:19:00] really important but there’s a lot of pressure on mums so, trying to do your best, if you’re doing that, that’s awesome and then I guess if you want a layer on top of that, you just think about how much is happening physically. So our pelvic floor, our core, are all healing, recovering, we’re trying to lay down new fascia, so we’re trying to build connective tissue. Our organs are returning to their right places, our [00:19:30] digestion could often be really sluggish, what else is happening?

19:35 We’re both focused on very little sleep, so a lot of high cortisol levels, that can affect our recovery time. We’re breastfeeding, so we’re giving out a lot of nutrients, and we’re taking care of a new life so there’s a huge amount that’s going on so, in the very first six weeks postpartum a lot of ancient traditions recommend having [00:20:00] warm, easy to digest food and especially in the first probably two weeks after birth. So really easy to digest, so A). You’ve got to look for trying to reduce the vada, so the cold windy element with warm, oily Kitchari, Congee, Chinese inhibited, things like that, foods like that. So often carb [00:20:30] rich, very low in protein but high in fat in those first early days and that is to provide the mother with that sense of warmth and comfort from her nutrition.

20:43 And then as we build on, sorry avoiding smoothies. A lot of women have smoothies and salads postpartum ’cause they wanna start losing the weight straight away but that’s almost like the worst, not worst things, but it’s not one of the best things you can do for yourself in that time. Your body needs lots of warmth and nourishment.

Stu

21:00 [00:21:00] Got it.

Kimmy

21:01 Yes, so the other thing is that women are really good at taking care of their nutrition normally when they’re pregnant, and really terrible at taking care of it after they give birth ’cause all their energy goes onto the baby. So my tips are to always, as much as you can during your pregnancy, stock up on healthy food so I made a lot of soups. I use 180 in my soups to boost the protein content because otherwise for me it’s just a lot of veggies [00:21:30] in my soup so I wanna try and make sure I’m getting those macronutrients. So protein powder in the soup is really good to boost the protein and the essential fatty acids. So I made a lot during pregnancy and I froze them, so that after the baby came, I could just whip out a really nutritious meal for myself.

21:51 So preparation is really important, and then there’s just so many things I think [00:22:00] at six or eight weeks seeing a nutritionist, a naturopath and seeing what you are depleted in, is really important so that you can start to build those micronutrients back up. Staying hydrated is super important especially if you’re breastfeeding and also because during this time, while our pelvic floor might be weak, we really don’t wanna be constipated, so having a diet that’s got quite a lot of fiber and really hydrated [00:22:30] is very important so that you’re not bearing down or pushing on that pelvic floor because constipation is one of the main risk factors for prolapse, so that’s something that a lot of women don’t really think about, but it’s actually really important.

22:46 And then it’s I think caffeine and alcohol stimulants and things like that, they all pass through the breast milk so that’s something-

Stu

22:56 That was a question.

Kimmy

22:58 Yeah.

Stu

23:00 [00:23:00] You can breastfeed for a reasonably long time rather than others. Some mums just want a glass of wine to relax, is that, in your books is it a no no? Like irrespective of how long you’re breastfeeding for, like just stick off the alcohol?

Kimmy

23:15 No.

Stu

23:15 Okay.

Kimmy

23:18 No, I think you know what? So they straight after a breastfeed is the best time to have a glass of wine. If you want a glass of wine, you have it straight after you feed because ideally, [00:23:30] you have three hours. So the alcohol has passed through your system and isn’t going onto the baby. If you did wanna have a few drinks out, then expressing is a really good thing to do if your baby would take the bottle, but just be aware that alcohol and caffeine do pass through the breast milk to your baby and also just on that note, so do toxins, so if your diet is full of toxic [00:24:00] sort of foods or even if you’re trying to detox for example, it’s really not recommended while you’re breastfeeding because those toxins flush out just like they do through sweat and urine, they flush out through the breast milk so you just got to be more mindful.

24:16 I love coffee and I quite enjoy having a glass of wine on the weekend and you go nine months without a lot of those things, so I do support women just being really balanced and not taking [00:24:30] this all or nothing approach to nutrition, but just being mindful that maybe you feed your baby and then you indulge.

Stu

24:38 No that’s great advice. And so we got your food, the nutrition and hydration, that’s all sorted, but exercise, so I know that many mums who were veraciously exercising before and it becomes part of their lifestyle, much like you. Sounds like you were super [00:25:00] active before pregnancy and wanted to get back into as soon as you could. How safe is it to jump straight back into your pre-pregnancy exercise routine? What are the considerations that you might need to think about?

Kimmy

25:17 There’s a lot to consider. So I think I’ve mentioned it a few times. There’s a lot of physical repair and healing going on. [00:25:30] No matter how you give birth, so whether you give birth vaginally or whether you have a c-section, your pelvic floor and core will both be weakened and stretched just from the nine months of pregnancy. So first of all those inner support systems need to heal. So that is always my starting point because if your pelvic floor and core aren’t functioning, you’re going to compensate by using other muscle groups so that can relate to injury. [00:26:00] But also if you think about your core, just basically is your pelvic floor of the base, your abdominals and your supporting spinal muscles at the back, and then your diaphragm at the top.

26:13 If you create too much pressure in that canister, if you squeeze it in, it’s gotta go somewhere and it often goes down or out through the middle so if you return to exercise, prior intensity exercise that your pelvic floor and core can’t support, you’re going [00:26:30] to probably end up with some sort of pelvic weakness such as incontinence or prolapse or something like that, and say for instance someone who is experienced at that, I wish I had just taken it a bit slower for that little tiny period of my life, rather than having to take it slow for the rest of my life.

26:48 So first of all, that is all happening. Then secondly, there’s skeletal changes when you’re pregnant, so your pelvis widens, your ribcage widens, so all of these [00:27:00] structural changes are happening which affects the ability of our brain which connects to our muscles to engage. So a lot of women have really lazy glutes postpartum. They just cannot find that neural pathway to connect, but also because those structural changes to their pelvis, they’re probably dynamically just not moving the same way that they used to. So whilst they might go back to running, they’re running with this really weird gate. They’re very heavy in their running steps and [00:27:30] all of this again can just lead to injury.

27:32 And I often find in the postpartum period, there’s a heap of advice about what not to do, and then nothing about what to do. So very early on postpartum, in the first six weeks postpartum, we’re often told to do nothing, but you would know having babies and especially twins-

Stu

27:53 It is pretty hard.

Kimmy

27:55 It’s physical, it’s a really physical job. You’re constantly holding, picking up, putting [00:28:00] down, carrying baby bags, car seats are the worst, so we’re asking mums to all these really weird movements and then telling them but definitely don’t do any exercise. So what I like to do is, focus on internal strength in the first six weeks and functional movements because you’re better off practicing how to pick up, how to twist and rotate and put your baby, I’m twisting here … [00:28:30] Yeah but to put your baby safely into the car and pick them up safely then and practicing that in an isolated environment with just your body weight or your baby’s weight rather than doing it out in the real word where you’re maybe not so controlled.

28:42 So for the first six weeks, pelvic floor, super important, doing those exercises twice a day if you can and a study showed that 50% of women don’t engage their pelvic floor properly and 25% actually bear down. So they do the opposite of what they’re trying [00:29:00] to do. So instead of trying to lift it up, they’re actually pushing it down. So if you feel like you are one of those women who have no idea what you’re doing, you can go and see Women’s Health Physio. They can do an internal exam which makes some women uncomfortable but it’s the best way to work out whether you’re engaging your pelvic floor, or they can do it with a ultrasound. So they put an ultrasound over your pelvic floor or you do a contraction and they can see what’s happening.

29:27 So that’s a really valuable tool to [00:29:30] use, and another super simple thing that women can do in the early postpartum period is just to work on posture. Sitting really tall to feed, standing tall when you are holding the baby or pushing their pram. And just when you stand with a neutral posture, you’re giving your core a chance to heal and function properly. When we inhale, our diaphragm pushes down and it pushes down in our pelvic floor, and we exhale, our diaphragm naturally lifts and creates this little suction which [00:30:00] lifts up and contracts the pelvic floor. When we’re slumped, that function doesn’t work properly. So even just sitting and standing tall is always something to be really mindful of. Do you want me to keep going or?

Stu

30:16 No I’m just thinking, it’s really good advice because I can’t tell you the amount of people that I know who have pulled their back or pulled a muscle of sorts when they’re reaching over with this baby to get into the [00:30:30] car and put the baby in the car seat which is a nightmare in itself, like crikey, we’ve done that with twins, and a three-year old at the time. But then in the same vein, doing the same thing trying to get the baby out of the cot and you’re just, maybe it’s like a sideways lunge and you’re trying to pick up this weight and then all of a sudden it’s like, oh my word. When would you ever do that kind of stuff in real life.

30:54 You wouldn’t go to the gym and hold out a very heavy weight far away from your body and [00:31:00] you’re gonna pull something, so to be aware of all that kind of stuff and the importance of strengthening and stability and utilizing your core, I think is really really important because the last thing you need is to pull a muscle when you got these newborns that you need to take care of, and you’re depleted of sleep and ultimately it’s not going to put you in the right head space. No it’s good advice. It’s really good advice.

Kimmy

31:28 Yeah a lot of women get some [00:31:30] really sore backs postpartum because you’re constantly holding that baby, you’re using muscles that you haven’t really used a lot before and in fact that’s probably the most common complaint I have is back pain so a lot of strengthening of that kind of … That muscle group is really important.

Stu

31:49 Excellent. So mindset now. Let’s talk about strategies then that you might recommend for [00:32:00] mood, mindset, anxiety, and then at the furthest point, depression. I’m sure it’s super common and certainly, it’s quite usual I would imagine to experience those things because you’re gonna be robbed of minerals, and you’re gonna be depleted of your exercise, you’re not gonna get any sleep, and you’ve got all of these demands on you. And often times we heard [00:32:30] many professionals say, “Well it’s completely natural to feel this way,” but what strategies would you recommend if people are just thinking, “You know what? This sucks!”

Kimmy

32:39 It’s sucks, yeah. So first of all I think … So postnatal anxiety and depression, if you feel like you are experiencing something more than I guess the baby blues or temporary feelings [00:33:00] of, “This sucks,” then going to seek professional support is the best course of action and I’m actually an ambassador for coat which is a center of perinatal excellence and they have a really good newsletter called ‘Ready to Cope,’ and it just cuts through a lot of the BS about parenthood and lets mums and dads know what to expect, and when to start seek professional help. What are the warning signs to look out [00:33:30] for, how to support someone you care about if they are showing some of those warning signs, so that is a really good resource, but for just mental health in general, I think the number one thing you can do is to release expectations of how it’s gonna be.

Stu

33:46 Yes.

Kimmy

33:48 Yeah I think like you said with the celebrities, a motherhood or parenthood is portrayed as this blissful bubble and often it is sleep [00:34:00] deprived, you hate your partner, you are covered in poo and vomit, and it’s like if you expect it to be one way and it’s something completely different, that can be really hard. And a lot of women are really embarrassed to talk about some of the challenges because they’re not nice to talk about, so not bonding with your baby straight away, hating your body at a time when everyone’s like, “Love your postpartum body,” and [00:34:30] you hate it. Finding your relationship completely changed with your partner, having no sex drive, there’s so many things, dropping all of the labels if you’ve gone from the term CEO to wiping the floor with baby wipes for the 50th time that day, it’s a hard adjustment and …

34:52 So I think first of all, dropping the expectations of how it’s gonna be. The second thing is to [00:35:00] have just one person that you can call on for support and have really frank open honest conversations with, and it doesn’t have to be everyone and it definitely doesn’t have to be on social media, but just to have one person who you can say, “You know what? I’m finding this very challenging,” and who won’t judge you is just priceless. And then if you can extend that support to a village who maybe … My parents and my parents-in-law are amazing. They come [00:35:30] over, they’ll help with dinner, they mind the kids if I need a nap, so I’m so luck to have that support but a lot of women won’t ask for it.

Stu

35:38 Yes.

Kimmy

35:39 It’s this role of Marta, I’ll do it all myself and that just never makes anyone happy. And people are more than willing to help, and it’s often just communication. You probably know with the dad as well, it’s hard in those first few weeks if the mother’s breastfeeding, and she sort of seems like she’s [00:36:00] gotta do everything for the baby. It’s hard to know when to step in.

36:00 She’s gotta do everything for the baby. It’s hard to know when to step in. So just being open and honest in your communication and saying, “Can you please help me with this, I’m not coping with this?” is a really [inaudible 00:36:13] tool. And then the other thing is just taking time out for yourself, ’cause you’re still a human being with needs. And it’s okay, it’s not selfish. And yeah, taking time out for yourself to do the things that you love and that you enjoyed before kids [00:36:30] is perfectly acceptable and actually really good for you. And you’ll probably come back into the house with renewed energy, and feel like [crosstalk 00:36:37].

Stu

36:37 Totally. That is great advice. And I remember at the time, I think the acceptance was really key for us because we had a three year old or barely three, and then there was these twins that came through. And people used to say, “Oh my God, they’re so cute. It must be so wonderful for you.” And it was like, no. This is not wonderful. This [00:37:00] is absolutely the worst time of my life. But I accept that, because I have no sleep, I’ve got a billion and one duties to do, and I have got zero time to myself. I know that this is going to be terrible, probably for six months until we get on top. Because we were living in Australia, and all the family were in England. And so very, very little help. But we did get the baby bonus at the time, which was great. [00:37:30] Of course we had twins, so we had double the baby bonus.

Kimmy

37:32 Double, yeah.

Stu

37:33 So we spent that on a nanny to give us four hours on a Saturday morning, where I would go ocean swimming with my friends down at the surf club, and my wife would go boxing with her friends. And that was our little bit of time, that little window of normality I guess, and it made everything so much better for us. But yeah, we certainly realized that this is not going to be easy, and just laughed about it in [00:38:00] the end. It’s just funny. When the kids were going off, and we had one in each arm … It was like stereo crying. We had the iPhone out, and we were just recording this. “We’re going to have to show these kids on their 18th birthday, because this really sucks.” But it was funny at the time.

Kimmy

38:18 That’s the thing. I think it’s such a funny period, because you can … I just adore my girls, I think they’re the best, and then a minute later, I’m like, “Oh my God, I just [00:38:30] need a space for myself, please, everyone get off me, go away!” It’s an emotional rollercoaster, that’s for sure.

Stu

38:38 Yeah, it totally is. Super busy mums, mums that just have so many entries in their calendar, so many things that they wanna do … What are your top three tips? And this could be anything; it might be you’ve just found [00:39:00] that these three things work for you really well, and it might be, have a great breakfast and nourish yourself first thing in the morning, and that kind of sets up the rest of the day. Things like that. What would you recommend?

Kimmy

39:17 I guess the first thing: a lot of women are really busy now, and I think first of all, it’s just knowing your values. Because you can’t do everything at once. You can do everything, but just not at once. And so for me, [00:39:30] my values are my family, my health and my work. And sometimes that means saying no to social things and missing out, and that does bother me from time to time, but I’m like, “There’s three things I’m giving priority to in my life at the moment.”

39:47 Last week, I had a heap of things on but I felt really exhausted, and I wasn’t coping very well, and I had to ring up and say no to all of them. And that sucked, I felt really horrible about that. But I was like, ” [00:40:00] You know what? My health is more important than making those people happy.” So I guess knowing your values is very important.

40:07 The second thing … This works for me. So movement. I just think … As I said, being a mum is a very physical job. But also movement, just any kind of movement, helps you to shift your emotional state. And if you pair that movement with some sort of positive thought or affirmation, it really helps to [00:40:30] change the way you are feeling about yourself. So at very least, getting out and going for a five or ten minute walk with the baby in a pram on those afternoons when you’re really struggling. I think that … Within the app that I created, the Fit Mummy Project, all the workouts are 15, 20 minutes, and that’s one percent of your day. I think all women can find one percent of their day to give to themselves, and just to create a feeling of strength [00:41:00] and confidence that comes from movement. But whatever form of exercise you choose, just something that makes you feel good.

41:09 The third one is sleep. I think if you are busy, the busier you are, the more you need to prioritize your rest and recovery.

Stu

41:22 Yeah.

Kimmy

41:22 I’d love for women to be able to mediate, but I know that’s quite polarizing for a lot of women. But sleep is something that we all agree on that we [00:41:30] all like. I say if you have a spare five minutes, sit and watch your breath in stillness. If you have a spare 10 minutes, do a guided meditation. If you have a spare 20 minutes, have a nap, and if you can’t find any spare time throughout your whole day, then you really need to prioritize the evening routine. When you are sleep deprived, your hormones can’t balance. It can lead to weight gain, emotional [00:42:00] stress, and everything just feels like it could be falling apart. So really try to spend some time before bed winding down, getting of those devices. And magnesium is really good to help with sleep and relaxing before bed. So yeah, really trying to prioritize sleep is such a big one.

Stu

42:20 Fantastic. You mentioned that in those three tips as well, the apps. And I’m keen to learn a little bit more about the Fit and the Nourished Mummy Projects [00:42:30] as well. Tell us about the apps. What do they offer? What can we expect if we download them?

Kimmy

42:37 Yeah. I created the Fit Mummy Project and 2017. [inaudible 00:42:43] Like I said, I was trying really hard to find exercise to do for myself that was safe for my body but not boring. And I heard this from so many women, “What can I do? What can I do?” And I was writing all these blog posts about do these exercises, [00:43:00] and listing out these exercises, and writing 15 instructions for each one. I thought, “I hate looking at exercise like this. No one else is going to like looking at exercise like this. I like doing videos. I like seeing …”

43:13 I love going out to do exercise, but I had two little girls at the time, and it just wasn’t a possibility for me, and definitely not an everyday possibility. So I thought, “You know what? I’m going to create exactly what I wanted.” So I created the Fit Mummy Project app, which was all video content, so full length videos. [00:43:30] And it takes women from early postpartum, so pelvic floor, core relief from back pain, early toning and strength workout. So it’s pelvic floor core safe. Healing stomach separation, which is a big one for a lot of women; they wanna get their core back functioning again, and reduce the … It’s called separation. It’s not actually separation, but separation of the abdominal muscles. And then it builds on that to strength. It’s got bar, [00:44:00] yoga, guided mediations and then finally fitness workout. So it progresses them through the stages of their postpartum recovery. But they can pick and choose; there’s programs within there that put it together into an ideal week, or they can just choose their favorites.

44:19 That’s been really popular. It’s so easy to use and simple. And then last year, I combined with Jeanne Ulrich, who’s a [00:44:30] nutritionist and Alice Bingham, who’s one of your ambassadors.

Stu: 44:33 Yes, yeah.

44:35 Yeah, we created the Nourished Mummy Project app because of the same thing; we had so many women asking us what to eat, what to feed their little ones. And so we combined to put all the recipes into the one app for pregnancy, postpartum, baby and toddler. Jeanne’s a nutritionist, so she reviewed all the recipes, and we just released a meal plan for that as well, for postnatal. Women [00:45:00] know … again, there’s so much information on what not to do-

Stu

45:04 Yes, of course.

Kimmy

45:06 … and not a lot of information on what to do, and then even less on how to practically put that into your life. So we wanted to make the whole postpartum really easy for women.

Stu

45:16 Great. That sounds fantastic. So where would people go if they wanted to find these apps, any particularly keywords that you’d search for?

Kimmy

45:24 Yeah, they’re both on the App Store, so the Fit Mummy Project and the Nourished Mummy Project. Or my website, kimmysmithfit. [00:45:30] com. They are all there as well. So yeah, it’s … I want to make them really affordable, so they’re not subscription. It was really important to me that … Like you say with a [inaudible 00:45:43], it’s a funny timing period in people’s lives when they want to step back from work, and want to-

Stu

45:48 That’s right.

Kimmy

45:51 Yeah, so I’m really proud of them.

Stu

45:54 Fantastic. We’ll add those links in all the show notes as well, and ensure that everybody knows exactly [00:46:00] where to go to check them out. I have a question, ’cause we’re just coming up on time as well, and I have a question that I’d like to ask everybody. Given your journey to date, what are your non-negotiables to ensure that you crush every day? And it might just be the smallest things that you have to do every day to set yourself up for a really good day.

Kimmy

46:22 Exercise.

Stu

46:25 Right.

Kimmy

46:25 You knew I was going to say that. I have to. [00:46:30] I feel like it’s my emotional release, physical, everything. I always do it first thing in the morning. I feed my baby. I’ve got a little routine now; I feed my baby, and then I put her in a bouncer, and I set my big girls up for breakfast. And then I do my … as long as I can do, until they come demanding my attention.

Stu

46:51 What sort of exercise would that be?

Kimmy

46:54 I do pelvic floor exercises every morning, and then I alternate between doing [00:47:00] Pilates style exercises with weights and bar, or yoga. So I alternate between those two. And I like to include the weights, because it’s so important for women to be strong. Just generally; it’s really good for your bones and everything, but especially in this physical role as a mum. And then I try and do a walk or some sort of incidental exercise throughout the day, so I try to do something that’s really focused on me, and then just [00:47:30] lots of general bits and bobs.

47:31 I really like to set an intention for my day. I feel like if I don’t, my energy gets really caught up in other people’s energy, especially my children’s energy. So I really like to set the intention for how I wanna feel throughout the day.

47:46 And then the other thing is water. I drink a heap of water. I try and drink two, two and a half liters a day, just … I don’t know. It helps me to avoid over-eating, [00:48:00] it helps me feel a lot more clear. And yeah, it’s good for your skin …

Stu

48:06 Absolutely, yeah. Well, good on you. That’s fantastic. Well, everybody has their own little intricacies that they like to work into every day. But like you said, if you’ve got an intention, you start the day with movement, you’re well hydrated, then you’re probably going to have quite a reasonable day. I think you’re not going to start out …

Kimmy

48:26 You can’t go too wrong.

Stu

48:27 You can’t go too wrong. Exactly right. So [00:48:30] what’s next, what have you got in the pipeline? If anything.

Kimmy

48:34 Yeah, I do. I have … For next year. I’m working with a women’s health physio actually on a complete new prenatal and postnatal program, that’s … We’re going to combine with psychologists and nutritionists, and it’s going to be a lot more I guess medical-based for women. I’m going to use a lot of herb knowledge, along with [00:49:00] a lot of my experience in postpartum fitness to combine and do a whole range of different videos, but also educational videos, workouts, and especially for women who do have prenatal complications or postpartum complications. If you are diagnosed with a prolapse, or you do have pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy, instead of having to make a weekly check-in to a physio, you’ll be able to do this program from home. So really [00:49:30] supporting all of the populations, all of the micro-populations as well as having lots of general fitness.

49:40 We’re slowly chipping away at that, but we’re both in the midst of motherhood as well. So hopefully we can release that mid-next year. I’m really excited about that, because I’ve worked so closely with physios to heal my body, and so to be able to take that out into the world [00:50:00] is something that is … I just think will be so valuable. So yeah.

Stu

50:05 Exciting. Very exciting.

Kimmy

50:05 Yeah, yeah.

Stu

50:08 And for everybody that wants to find out a lot more about all of your projects and all of your apps, you mentioned kimmysmith.com. Is there anywhere else that we should send them outside of that address?

Kimmy

50:27 Kimmysmithfit.com.

Stu

50:28 Oh, I wanna get that right!

Kimmy

50:28 Don’t forget “fit”!

Stu

50:28 I wanna get that right.

Kimmy

50:29 I feel like it’s kimmysmithnotsofit at the moment. [00:50:30] I think everything’s there. Yeah, everything’s there. Obviously and the App Store and Google Play, you can find the apps. But I try and put everything into my website. Oh, Instagram, @kimmysmithfitagain and @fitmummyproject at-

Stu

50:48 Got it.

Kimmy

50:48 … there, but …

Stu

50:52 Fantastic. We will highlight those links. I’ll make sure I get them right as well, and we’ll share them with our audience, because [00:51:00] amazing information. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast today, because I think that there is so much confusion, but it sounds like you’ve managed to create a little micro-world in there that you can answer a lot of these questions and clear up the confusion for people in their time of need. So thank you so much.

Kimmy

51:20 Thanks, Stu. It’s been such a privilege to talk to you.

Stu

51:21 Yeah, no. It’s great. Hopefully we’ll be chatting to you again, perhaps when the next project comes [00:51:30] to fruition as well. We can delve into that and see how you’re going.

Kimmy

51:34 Yeah, awesome. Thank you.

Stu

51:35 Thank you so much. We’ll speak to you soon.

Kimmy

51:37 Thanks, Stu. Bye.

Stu

51:38 Bye bye.

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