Where to Acquire Your Pre and Post-Natal Qualifications
As you can probably see now, I'm working on a series of articles to help you stay informed about qualifications potentially relevant to you, so you can pursue continuous personal development (CPD) and provide a better service to your clients.
How can a pre and postnatal certificate can help you if you're not interested in working with pregnant women or new mums? It's simple. Most in-person trainers work with many female clients of varied age. Some of them will at some point get pregnant. If you don't have the relevant qualifications, you will need to refer them to a trainer that does.
Not to mention that women who have given birth at some point will always be postnatal and some symptoms can develop years or decades after their babies were born.
So, with that in mind, here are some of the routes you can take to get qualified in training pre and postnatal women. I grouped the qualifications based on where the companies are located; however, a good chunk of these courses are online.
Just like with other specialist qualifications, NASM and ACE run their pre and postnatal courses that are both fully online.
Via NASM you can qualify for Women's Fitness Specialization (WFS). The course includes younger, pre and postnatal and older women's needs so you can serve all your female clients better.
You will find many independent companies providing courses on pre and postnatal women, before you spend your hard-earned money, make sure you do your research, look up reviews and testimonials and even ask around in forums for fitness professionals. Here are a few my Google search has brought up:
Girls Gone Strong
You have probably come across Girls Gone Strong before. Last year they launched their very own Pre & Postnatal Certification Course. The feedback is great; they have a big community on Facebook, and the course was designed with a similar structure as the OTA, so once you are in, you take the units at your own pace, and the exam is online too.
The company targets both fitness professionals and practitioners with their pre and postnatal course and mothers-to-be with resources so they can help as many women as possible go through pregnancy feeling healthy and fit and get back into exercise postpartum when the time is right in the right way.
All leading authorities and organisations approve their courses in the fitness, sports and nutrition field and the testimonials are all about praise. They claim to be the #1 holistic pre and postnatal CPD company. It may be worth checking them out during the weeding process.
Burrell Education - Jenny Burrell
Jenny Burrell's institution is committed to help fitness professionals learn more about female fitness and health of all ages and it has been around since 2007. They started with classroom courses and as they expanded, they added many online courses to their course list.
Whenever you ask UK PT groups for pre and postnatal course recommendations, Burrell Education receives the most praise from their students. Their work is not limited to Great Britain though, professionals from all over the world are welcome to join their courses. Even if you already have completed a pre and postnatal CDP somewhere else, Jenny Burrell's material is claimed to be the most comprehensive and up-to-date based on the latest research.
The National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT) has collated a list of course providers who offer pre and postnatal courses on their website. Feel free to use Google search to find a provider in your area as there will be many smaller companies offering the course.
Lucky for you Aussie trainers the Fitness Australia website is amazingly organized and lists a whole host of courses and course providers that offer qualifications in the pre and postnatal specialisation.
Whether you are looking for a course to help women in a group setting or 1-2-1, you will find a few options. It's easy to assess how many CECs you receive for each and see how much you need to invest.
Rest of the World
I recommend you double check in your country and state what type of qualification you legally need to be able to work with this population and don't forget about asking your insurance provider either; they may have other requirements too. Generally speaking, there's no reason you couldn't buy any of the online courses already mentioned, but if you need to sit a classroom course to meet your country's requirements, the best thing to do is to look for local course providers.
In Canada, you may be okay if you have an online certificate from any of the US-based big providers, but you can also choose to work with a company like Infofit.
In Europe, most countries, even if they are EU members will have their own system, and it's highly likely they will prefer if you completed a course in the country. If you are in Ireland for instance, the National Training Centre runs classroom courses in Dublin and Cork.
Remember, if you are just after the knowledge to make sure you can help your clients choose the right path for their situation, you may be ok with an online course. If you are planning to build a niche around pre and postnatal women, make sure you have the right paperwork in place.