Welcoming a new baby into your life. It’s supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life but for around 15% of women, it’s actually one of the darkest times in their lives because of postpartum depression. Today’s guest, Clare Schexnyder was a successful career woman who found herself in the midst of that dark depression after giving birth to her daughter, Sophie.
As with most people in depression, the person suffering from postpartum depression often doesn’t recognize what’s going on. It wasn’t until Clare was forced out of the house to join a group of moms for a daily walk, that she began to recognize the problem and understand how much if affected women. She began to see that exercise and community were a lifeline for new moms, whether or not they were struggling with postpartum depression. An idea was sparked and soon Oh Baby Fitness! was formed. Clare never returned to her job at CNN.
Hear more about how Clare took her experiences with postpartum depression and turned into a business that has the changed the lives of thousands of moms and moms-to-be. Listen to the podcast
From her experiences, Clare developed a deep belief that community and exercise could be life-changing for new moms. Community helped people feel less isolated and normalized all of the concerns that women had as new moms. It provided a support system. Exercise enabled women to start to feel better both mentally and physically. The company expanded to include pregnancy classes to help women prepare their bodies for birth. Now they offer classes all over the country, certification programs for trainers, and resources on their website.
The lessons Clare learned through her journey with postpartum depression came back around during another dark period of her life. During a routine mammogram, doctors discovered lumps and Clare was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy and had her breasts rebuilt with her own fatty tissue from her stomach. It was a long and complicated surgery which required much more recovery time than a normal mastectomy. Clare says that her fitness community, an Atlanta-based company called FitWit) and her level of fitness, particularly core fitness were instrumental in her recovery. At the time, she had no idea how important a strong recovery would be but when her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer not long after her surgery, Clare realized that her breast cancer was only the beginning of what would be an incredibly difficult year.
Listen to the podcast for the entire story!
More about Oh Baby Fitness!
At Oh Baby! Fitness, our focus is to give new and expectant moms a place to find support, make friends, get fit and bond with their babies! We offer the widest variety of pregnancy and mom & baby exercise classes in the USA. Moms can take yoga, toning, water aerobics or Pilates classes during pregnancy. After they have their baby, they can return to all the same class types (plus Stroller Workout) and baby is incorporated into the exercise routine. Classes are designed to take moms from pregnancy through birth, and then into the toddler years with their child. Our programs allow Mom to get out of the house, get her body back in shape and spend time with baby.
Check out their website or facebook page to find a location, start a location or get trained!
Find out more about Clare’s recent work with the Postpartum Support International Georgia Chapter here.