Name: Sandra Flores Gheno
Location: Mexico City
What was your first thought when you learned about the Coaching & Training Women Academy and the Pre- & Postnatal Coaching Certification?
The first word that crossed my mind was Wow! I felt it was an opportunity to learn more and improve what I am already doing now. I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the existence of an Academy specializing in training for women and even more a Certification in Pre & Postnatal fitness care.
I thought that if I got certified, I could provide a better service and also help future mothers to continue training in a safe way.
What do you do?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Sciences, I am a Pilates trainer, Yumeiho therapist, PNL2, OTC and I am currently doing the GGS-1 certification.
For the last 15 years I have been helping women over 40 years of age to create better posture habits that allow them to maintain a healthy back and spine, so they can perform and enjoy any preferred physical activity and share those moments with their loved ones.
What else do you do?
I love spending the weekends with my 10-year-old son, going to the movies or amusement parks. He’s a thrill-seeker and I’m his adventure partner! But, I also enjoy going to a small restaurant for breakfast or just go for a dessert!
I like to take pictures, traveling and listen to music from the 80’s.
Best compliment you’ve received lately:
“You were my motivation for having a blood test”.
I have a client who recently discovered that she has very severe anemia. For some time, she had been feeling weak, without energy and she attributed this to the excess of work.
In our last class before the holiday period, I mentioned to her that I would go for my annual blood test because I wanted to know how my year had ended and how the new one would begin. That way I would know what habits I should improve or keep. I told her that I personally thought it was good to have an annual check-up, but that it was also worth doing it twice a year. She gave me that compliment when we returned to classes in January.
Favorite way to treat yourself:
I like to go shopping for new clothes or something nice for me.
“There are only two days in the year when nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to love, grow and above all live.” — 14th Dalai Lama
Three words that best describe you:
Leadership. Integrity. Determination.
It’s a bit difficult to decide which book is my favorite, but I recently read The Art of Happiness at Work, by the 14th Dalai Lama and liked it a lot.
What inspires and motivates you?
I am inspired by successful and courageous women. Women who face their fears and move forward. Women who — instead of avoiding problems — seek solutions, alternatives and do not hesitate to ask for help from someone to solve what they need to solve.
Helping others motivates me. But learning how to help those who need the most, motivates me even more.
Describe a typical day in your life, from waking up to bedtime:
I get up at 6:15 a.m. Together with my husband and son, we have breakfast and get ready to leave at 7:15. My working schedule at my Pilates studio covers two shifts. Mornings from 7:30 a.m to 1:15 p.m. and afternoons from 5 p.m. to max 8:30 p.m.
At lunch time, between 1:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m., I have enough time to return to my apartment, prepare food, and eat with my family. When I finish, I review homework with my son and prepare to go out for the afternoon sessions.
Before going to bed, I do a 15-minute exercise routine, take a shower and study between 40 and 60 minutes. Then, rest!
What event(s) or situation(s) in your life lead you to enroll in the CPPC?
Around 10 years ago, I had two clients who were in their 2nd trimester of pregnancy. I prepared a very basic Pilates program for them and they continued exercising till their delivery. However, in 2017, another client became pregnant and I realized I was out of practice. With authorization from her doctor, we started a routine of Pilates exercises.
Fortunately, I came across the Moms Gone Strong manual in April 2017 and I acquired it immediately. It worked great for us and even though my specialty is Pilates, the program that was described in the manual helped me a lot. When the CPPC was announced in September of that same year, I did not think twice.
I felt that I needed to do this certification to be able not only to provide a better service to my clients, but to feel confident about what I was doing and even more, why I was doing it.
How would you describe your pre- and postnatal knowledge before taking CPPC?
I had a very basic knowledge and I could say that, up to a certain point, it was incorrect.During my certification as a Pilates instructor, the subject of working with pregnant moms was not very well covered. The scope was limited to working with them only in the second trimester.
We were not advised to work with them during the first trimester because it was believed to be very dangerous, especially in the case of a first-time mother. It was also believed that exercising during the third trimester would be very uncomfortable for the mother and it was preferable to avoid it in order not to induce unwanted labor.
Mistake — I was wrong!
I realized that as long as I rely on a network of appropriate health care professionals, I can use the knowledge I acquired during my certification and my knowledge of my clients to help them feel physically well during pregnancy, and even enjoy it!
The best is that it does not end here. The postnatal period also requires attention and this area was completely new to me.
Why do you think learning the information that’s included in the CPPC is so important to your profession?
Because as a Pilates instructor, it puts me one step ahead. In addition, concepts such as pelvic floor and diastasis recti — common in Pilates terminology — are handled in much more detail and depth in the CPPC.
What’s been the best part about going through the CPPC?
Definitely the case studies! They helped visualize how I could improve to reach the same level of sensitivity to understand each of my clients.
Now that you’re an official Certified Pre- & Postnatal Coach, what impact are you hoping to have?
I feel there is a lack of information out there and many moms do not know how to take care of themselves before, during and after their pregnancy.
I feel that the information shared with moms should not be limited towards child care, but also how to take care of themselves, how to identify certain signs that indicate something may not be right or normal either.
For example, it is very common for some doctors to say that it’s normal for women, during pregnancy and the postpartum period, to unconsciously produce small amounts of urine when they perform simple muscular efforts such as jumping, laughing, running, etc. and there is nothing that can be done about it.
Completely false! And yet there are many moms who do not know that they can strengthen their pelvic floor and continue to have a normal life!
What effect has your new Certification had on your business so far?
My clients look for me when they know they are pregnant or recommend me to their friends. I have a client who has been with me for one year already. She knew I was doing this certification. When she got pregnant in the middle of last year, she did not hesitate to tell me. She has a special condition because she has Lupus.
Fortunately, I felt very confident in what I had to do. There was communication with her doctors and her pregnancy went wonderfully! Her delivery went well, she has a beautiful baby and she feels incredibly good!
How has your thinking about pre- and postnatal care changed since completing the CPPC?
For me, the change was very significant. With each chapter I studied, I reflected on my own pregnancy and I learnt many things I did not know back then. I feel that my pregnancy could have been less fearful and the postpartum period easier if I’d known what I know now.
My way of thinking took a 180-degree turn. As a mom, you focus on caring for your child and you push yourself away. It seems that society agrees with that approach too. But it should not be like that.
As women we should love and take care of ourselves. We should convince ourselves that if we are well, our children and loved ones will also be OK.
What would you say to someone who’s on the fence about enrolling?
I think I would first ask “why not?” If your goal is to:
- Have information based on science, not myths.
- Learn from professionals with experience in the subject.
- Have a support group who can direct you when you have doubts.
- Get learning materials of excellent quality and be able to study at your own pace, in a flexible program where you choose what days and how much time you can devote to study.
- Learn the true coaching skills that will allow you to give not only a professional service, but a “personal” one as well driven by the compassion to understand your clients.
Then don’t think twice: this is the way!
You can learn more about Sandra on her website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.