In this week’s episode of the podcast we got to chat with the lovely and inspiring, Chanelle Lagace.
Chanelle is a pre and postal fitness specialist from Houston, Texas where she lives with her husband and three children. She is a wealth of knowledge for mums, from her life and professional experience and she shares it all with us in the pod.
Let’s get into the episode!
“Can You Tell Us How You Became a Pre and Postnatal Fitness Specialist?”
“I actually started getting into postnatal fitness after my second pregnancy”.
“I was trying to really understand my body. I don’t want to say I “got in shape again”, but I got strong very quickly after having my first two. I knew I was going to have another one and I wanted to learn a little bit more because from what I heard after I have three kids, it’s just harder for everything.”
“I just wanted to have my foot in the door to really understand more about what’s going on in my body. When I was pregnant with my third, I actually got certified as a pre and postnatal specialist.”
“I had my third child and I actually had issues. They started around eight or nine months postpartum”.
“This happened right before the pandemic hit. I had a really bad cough. And I don’t wanna get into too much detail, but I felt a ton of pressure (downstairs). I wasn’t engaging properly down there and I felt so much pressure and it got worse and worse”.
“I never got diagnosed by anybody but just knowing the things that I knew, I started really focusing on my breathing again and how to engage my core and pelvic floor. Fast far ward, I healed myself, which was a miracle. It was great. It’s something that I worked on every day, a couple times a day, and it started with breathing”.
“So that’s when I was like, okay, if this happens to me and I’m a fitness professional, and I understand the body, I can only imagine how other women are feeling right now and the problems that they may be having. So that’s when I started my business.
“I want to help mums to feel strong again, to regain their strength, to do the activities that they did before they had their kids”.
“Can You Tell Us More About Your Business?”
“It’s called Chanelle Lagace Fitness ‘CLF’. It’s basically workouts for mums. I have a ‘Body After Baby Bundle’, a program for postnatal mamas, and then my on-demand classes, it’s a group of mums and they’re quick workouts”.
“All my signature classes are 45 minutes. And then I have condensed versions- 30 minutes. I also have mini workouts, like ‘mini sizzles’. Even five minutes long, ‘if you’re so tired, you can just do a quick little five minute core engagement.”
“So that’s what I’m doing right now and I’m loving it”.
“How Has Your Personal Experience with Birth and Postpartum Been?”
“My labours were pretty long. My first labour was two days. It was long, it was hard. I tried to do hypno-birthing. I took a hypno-birthing class, cause I was terrified to give birth. Actually, I don’t want to say to give birth. I was terrified of having an IV and to go in the hospital. I really didn’t think I was able to give birth. I was petrified. And so I took these breathing classes to gain control, to get calm [and learn] how to stay calm”.
“After my water broke, I used those techniques for the first 24 hours with my first pregnancy-I was completely natural walking around in pain, but really breathing through it and staying focused. They checked me and I was half of a centimetre after 24 hours of 2.5 minute apart.
“And so of course I got so discouraged. I ended up getting an epidural. I didn’t really want to, but mama was tired. I was tired. I was hungry. I was fading and I just needed it. So 24 hours later, I had her and my recovery was pretty good with all of my kids”.
“How Did You Go with the Body Changes That Come with Being Postpartum?”
“I was large and in charge, I gained 60 pounds and I was still working out. I was teaching and I gained 60 pounds with all of them. It was miserable. They said it was a lot of water weight, and I never had diabetes with it. I just gained a lot of weight like how my mom said she carried. So I think it’s just kind of how we carry. My belly was just huge, people asked if I had triplets”.
“I knew this was just a short time of my life, something that my body needed to do to create a human being. So I didn’t really take it too personally. I just knew I could work hard and I would get strong again. I was very determined and I did do that, so for me it wasn’t too bad.
“I think there always is that moment when you’re like, oh no, like you see yourself, you look in your mirror and you don’t recognise yourself. And that can be so hard. I’ve cried. I’ve totally cried. I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and thought I was so ugly, especially postnatal.
“So yeah, it was a little tough, but I knew I would just get a grip on it and say, you know what? Chanelle, you got this, just keep working. It’s not going to happen in a day, but it’s stepping stones”.
“How Was the Birth with Your Second?”
“The second was fine. I was actually late.I should do that in quotes. I was late for my due date. You know, the due date’s not really like when you’re really going to have your baby. It’s just a guess.
“But I was about a week and a half past that day. My parents were visiting and they were leaving in like four days. They were there for two weeks already. I’m like, I gotta have this baby. I need some help when my parents are here. And so I actually got induced, which was extremely painful. I got an epidural [and] that labour was only eight hours”.
“What was Your Postpartum Recovery Like with Your Second?”
“It was kind of the same as my first. I started teaching within eight weeks. I was back on a spin bike. But I didn’t know anything. Like how to really breathe after you have a kid, how to engage properly, but I still had very strong core muscles”.
“How About Your Recovery After Your Third?”
“I did start to leak a little bit. So that’s when I was like, okay, rewind let’s let’s back up here and take those things slowly. And especially after I had bronchitis and was coughing so much, I just wasn’t engaging. I wasn’t holding myself. And that just created so many problems. It’s a huge problem because women don’t know how to regain their strength properly in their core and pelvic floor- you can really damage yourself. You can really injure yourself so much more than what you think, and you have no idea what’s going on”.
“What Would You Do Differently to Prepare for Postpartum?”
“I think I would’ve, honestly, done my own program I created. So if I had something that I could go into before I had my baby, then I would be more prepared, and feel more comfortable and calm”.
“Because that breathing technique that we always talk about. I mean, you could do that while you’re pregnant, first of all. And then right after you deliver, you can start doing those exercises and the recovery is faster. So that is the main difference”.
“Any Advice for New Mums Returning to Exercise?”
“The biggest hurdle that I have heard is women say- I don’t have time because they are so tired”.
“I want to say how I flip it is- I understand you’re tired, what helps that, especially when you have a newborn is that some of these workouts, they’re just a breathing exercise or it’s one core”.
“It’s something that you can do in three to five minutes. So you do have the time, you know, you can do it when your baby is napping. It’s something that you have to make a priority and it’s hard because you think my baby is my priority, which it is, but mum, you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of them”.
“So that’s what I try and tell them to get it done”.
“And then for my clients who have older kids and then a newborn, I try and have them do it after they drop off the other kids at school, then they delegate, you know, 20 minutes to a workout or 30 minutes or my 45 minute class, whatever it may be to get it in”.
“So I ask them, what’s your schedule? Let’s find time to put it in and I’m going to hold you accountable. It’s just that accountability. Like everybody’s tired. Everybody thinks that they don’t have time, but we do, we absolutely do. You just gotta figure out where to put it, and if it’s important, you’ll make it”.
Make sure to check out Chanelle on her Instagram page here and visit her website https://www.chanellelagacefitness.com for on demand classes and coaching.
I highly recommend the ‘Body After Baby Bundle’- it’s perfect for new mums!
If you loved this post you’ll love the other Postbump Journey stories we have over on the Blog!