Today I bring to you an interview with a very special friend and sister in Christ of mine, Jemila Medley. Jemila wears a lot of hats, as you will come to learn below. She is an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, Occupational Therapist, and pre/postnatal fitness coach. She pours her servant’s heart into all that she does, and her main goal is to help her clients and patients improve functional performance in everyday activities, through exercise, modification/adaptation, education, therapeutic activities, and research.
I would recommend Jemila to every single one of you momma’s reading this blog. She truly is a gem. Read the interview below to learn more about Jemila, her heart and mission behind what she does, and the services she offers!
Hi! I am Jemila. I am a mama to one handsome little boy, Major. Myself and my husband were both born and raised in NJ, however, we currently reside in Dallas, TX. I am a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist specializing in Pelvic Floor Therapy. Alongside my pelvic floor therapy practice, I am also a trained pre/postnatal fitness coach and group exercise instructor. My passion for helping women in the prenatal and postnatal phases has grown even more as I have become a mom myself. I am so blessed to be able to help mommas daily through my virtual and in-person services! In addition to my professional roles, I am also a former NBA dancer and a singer/songwriter. My passion for serving others began when I started dancing and singing to serve the Lord and realized He wanted to use all of my gifts to reach others.
What are some safe workouts you recommend for pregnant women to do? Are there certain moves to avoid while pregnant?
During pregnancy, it is extremely important to find exercises that will be safe and are also within your provider’s guidelines. Before beginning any exercises or programs, I highly urge all mommas to check with their provider, regardless of the individual’s credentials to ensure clearance from a medical provider first.
Based on the literature, the best practices for exercise during pregnancy is to continue what you were doing prior to becoming pregnant (i.e. if you were a runner before pregnancy, you may continue running during pregnancy; if you never worked out pre-pregnancy, it is not recommended to start during pregnancy). There are some exercises that are highly recommended and safe during pregnancy and for labor/delivery prep, like walking, LOW impact training, squats, yoga, Pilates, deep core strengthening, and strength training, just to name a few. Again, the recommended guidelines are to continue what you were doing prior to and modify as needed to meet your growing and changing body. Modification of exercises typically occur toward the mid to end of the second trimester, however, may occur sooner for some mommas.
With that said, there ARE exercises you should avoid during pregnancy for your safety. It is recommended to avoid exercises that increase pressure in your abdominals (pushups, planks, crunches, heavy lifting, etc.), and avoid exercises that make you nauseous, decrease your vital signs, make you dizzy, or lightheaded. There are alternatives and modifications to all exercises. Seek guidance from a professional who can properly assist you in modifying and adapting your exercise program as your body changes. These are just a few tips and what is recommended based on the literature. Always receive clearance from your provider before beginning an exercise program. And again, if a momma was doing CrossFit before pregnancy, she would be recommended to continue at her regular intensity and modify throughout each trimester.
Do you offer special workout plans for pregnant/postpartum mommas?
Yes! I offer a plethora of options for my pregnant and postpartum moms. My most popular packages are my prenatal package and my custom postnatal package. In the next month or so, I will be releasing a 14-week postpartum recovery program geared toward healing deep core strength, improving pelvic floor function, and overall rehabilitation in the postpartum phase.
You talk about breathing a lot, can you tell us the importance of that?
Breathing is essentially the foundation of your core and pelvic floor function, and in turn, your core and pelvic floor function both contribute SIGNIFICANTLY to your labor, birth, and postpartum recovery, strength, and overall function. Many of us are taught to be chest breathers and have gotten into this habit over time, however, this breathing pattern is not at all beneficial for improving core and pelvic floor function during and after pregnancy. Because breathing is so important, I created a full self-paced course on breathing that I recommend to all moms!
What packages and services do you offer?
I offer a Prenatal Package, a Postnatal Package, a Pre-Pregnancy Package, a self-paced breathing course called “Foundations of Breathing”, a 1-hr consultation call to answer questions and give insight, and my soon-to-be-released 14-week Postpartum Recovery Program.
My Prenatal Package is an all-inclusive package with modifications for each trimester, 1:1 monthly calls/check-ins with me, an initial 1 hr consult, and a follow-up call at the beginning of your postpartum phase! My Postnatal Package is a custom fitness program created just for you, ranging from 4-12 weeks based on your needs.
What are the best ways for mommas to get in touch with you if they are interested in working with you?
Mommas can get in touch with me using any of the platforms below:
A huge thank you to Jemila for taking the time to answer these questions for us and allowing us to learn more about her amazing insight into women’s health, and the services she offers.
If you are interested in working with Jemila or would like to schedule a phone consultation with her to ask any questions you might have, please don’t hesitate to reach out to her!