The Flourishing Fit Moms encourage women to keep exercising throughout pregnancy and postpartum, and to appreciate their bodies while embracing their new roles as moms. It’s all about finding that balance!
Story Katrine Anker-Nilssen
Upper Highway duo Robyn Krause and Caitlyn de Beer are not short of energy, enthusiasm and zest for life. They met when they were studying at Stellenbosch University 10 years ago, then lost touch, but reconnected when they both fell pregnant. They immediately signed up for the same antenatal class, and that’s when a close friendship was formed and ideas started flowing.
Caitlyn and husband Hendrik welcomed daughter Sarah into their lives in December 2015, and a baby brother is due in August. Caitlyn went through a rough time after matriculating and has since very intentionally created a life that she loves waking up to every morning. “After seeing the positive effect of optimism, healthy living and embracing who you are, I have made it my life’s mission to inspire others to do the same,” Caitlyn says.
Pursuing three different careers, she loves the excitement that each element brings to her life. With an Honours Degree in Clinical Psychology, Caitlyn lectures at Varsity College. “While I love reflecting on the past, I’m even more passionate about looking towards the future,” she says. In 2011, Caitlyn qualified as a life coach and, in 2015, she added motivational speaking to her brand.
Robyn and husband Tim have a little boy, Mackenzie, who was born only a week after Sarah. Robyn is also pregnant again – due in December. “I grew up on a farm in Underberg, where my family and I spent every possible second exploring our surroundings,” says Robyn. “My passion for the outdoors and keeping fit has stayed with me from school days through to university, where I chose to make a profession out of it with an Honours Degree in Biokinetics.”
Back in Durban and a few years later, Robyn added a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine to her repertoire. “The additional knowledge this degree afforded me is the driving force behind my passion for working with specialised groups, such as top performing athletes and pregnant ladies,” she says.
It was after having their babies that Robyn and Caitlyn realised they were among a select few who had continued to exercise throughout their pregnancies and postpartum. “We were often approached and asked how we knew what we were doing,” explains Robyn. This is how Flourishing Fit Moms (FFM) was born.
“The science behind how our bodies work and what they need in order to bounce back is something I put seven years of my life into understanding. This ties in so well with Caitlyn’s skill set, that it makes sense for us to work together,” says Robyn.
Social media accounts were launched in April in an attempt to begin building a community of moms who are determined to stay active. “The website launched in May and we have been overwhelmed by the response,” says Caitlyn.
FFM have developed four programmes, one for each trimester of pregnancy and one for six weeks postpartum, available to purchase on their website. “Our programmes are medically approved, easy downloads that include the use of basic equipment. Trimester two, three and our postpartum programmes can all be done from home,” Caitlyn explains.
The duo have also collaborated with Esjay to create pregnancy workout pants with a supportive band over your growing baby bump. This band can then be folded down and the pants used postpartum. There’s also the FFM blog, which inspires moms with fitness tips, recipes and personal stories.
“Our intention is not to create gym-body type moms, but to encourage the everyday mom to take a step towards not only loving her body, but getting it ready for labour, running after a toddler and, ultimately, to be in the best shape to welcome her newest family member into the world,” says Caitlyn, adding that swimming and walking are excellent exercises to focus on. “Don’t forget your Kegel exercises!” adds Robyn.
So how do the Flourishing Fit Moms find a balance between work, family and their new venture? “What I love about FFM is that it perfectly aligns with what I am passionate about: active living, motherhood and healthy self-esteems,” says Caitlyn.
“I am currently only practicing part-time as a biokineticist and am able to focus more on FFM and keeping fit,” says Robyn. “With FFM, I have the opportunity to engage in a career that challenges me intellectually, but at the same time gives me irreplaceable time at home with my little boy.”
Both go-getters at heart, Caitlyn and Robyn have set their short- and long-term goals high. “We would love for this concept of staying active during pregnancy and bouncing back quickly postpartum to spread worldwide, and we’re passionate about building a community that do just that! We’re also launching a nutritional guide for pregnancy in the coming months.”