We recently had the opportunity to partner with Roma van der Walt, Owner of Chitta Wellness, a personal and group training program that provides transformative tools to achieve your ideal body. Read our Q&A below to learn about her impressive journey, and how you can be on your way to living your healthiest lifestyle.
Q: What has your experience been in fitness and wellness, and what inspired you to start Chitta Wellness?
A: My own experience in fitness has been as an athlete from a very young age. I started with horseback riding and track and field before I went to elementary school, by the end of fourth grade, I was competing and by 6th grade I took up the Modern Pentathlon. Modern Pentathlon is a beautiful sport because it combines some very technical sports like fencing, shooting and show jumping (horses) with very linear sports like swimming and running. I think being a multi-sport athlete is what I still use in my work with Chitta Wellness to make sure people don’t get bored in their training. You would be surprised how many non runners I was able to start running a bit and now they love it and send me photos from their holiday running trails. Just as one example.
I started Chitta Wellness because after almost a decade of sitting at a desk, I realized that it wasn’t for me and it was actually making me sicker. I developed anxiety and back issues. Now that I make my own schedule and work with people, I’m much happier and much more efficient when I do work on the computer.
I want to help people be happy and healthy and make wellness and fitness an integral part of their life, especially parents because children learn from experience from a very young age.
Q: Talk about the “three Ps” Chitta Wellness focuses on. What do each of these mean and what can someone expect to learn in each of these focus areas?
A: The three p’s are pre-conception, prenatal and postpartum fitness. Each of these phases is a special one in a woman’s and in a couple’s life. When a couple decides to conceive, there’s often a moment of “OH!”, our life is about to change. Parents strive to be healthier whether it’s the woman carrying the child or her partner. During pregnancy, the general advice from the medical field is limited to not doing too much but women aren’t sick, they are “just” pregnant and working out has proven to be very beneficial to both the mother and the baby. I think my son really liked it when I ran with him in utero. Postpartum is usually when parents run into a whole new set of problems. Personal time and fitness are a rare commodity and have to be juggled with childcare, so offering them workouts 1:1 and in groups that are at convenient times or where they can bring their children has always been something that I offer. Babies and children are welcome in my workouts and you would be surprised how well it works out (pun intended).
Q: Some people thrive with 1:1 training and others in group training. Does Chitta offer both? What kind of atmosphere is best for beginners?
A: Chitta Wellness offers both. Beginners are usually most comfortable 1:1 I have found, especially if they are pregnant or postpartum and then eventually they merge in to a group setting or they choose to work out with their partners. I love working with couples. It’s almost like therapy, just more fun. In my groups, I don’t discourage talking. I try to bop in and out of the workout and partner exercises without interrupting the flow of conversation too much. It’s cathartic, people want to exchange themselves and I have learned a LOT about child rearing, body issues during and post pregnancy and there’s alway a point in every workout where someone either cries or laughs and then gets uplifted by their peers. There’s nothing more beautiful for me than to see people come together that way!
Q: What are some key takeaways you hope to leave your customers with after a class or session?
A: Inclusivity, fun and wanting to come back. I don’t tolerate unfriendly behavior of participants towards each other. We are all busy and stressed and rather than taking that out on someone else (or me) I expect people to discuss it and maybe we can all help find a solution. I also hope to see all genders, ages, colors and denominations in my workouts because again, it teaches me and everyone else a ton to hear diverse viewpoints and it gives so much food for thought. Inclusivity in an age of social media and often upsetting global news day-to-day, that discourse is something we don’t get in too many areas of our lives. Or we simply don’t meet people outside of our immediate circle. In a workout we’re all exposed and have to face some insecurities so it’s very real. Ultimately what I have noticed and people in my workouts, is that most of us really strive for the same values in life for ourselves and our families. So for me, that’s incredibly reassuring to see.
To learn more about Chitta Wellness, visit their website!
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell
As I get closer to delivery (only five more weeks), my husband and I were advised by my OB to review a series of questions and “what if” scenarios. I found a detailed check list on The Bump, which provided a great starter template. But you have to keep in mind; plans don’t always go the way you envision. So, play out a few different scenarios so you are not surprised, or caught off guard!
Here are some interesting things they brought up that I didn’t really think about:
- Do you want the lights bright or dimmed?
- Do you want interns present from the birth?
- How do you prefer to spend your first stage of labor (i.e., in a bath tub, walking around, with music or in silence)?
- During delivery, how do you want to be positioned (i.e., stand, squat, lie on side, lean on partner)?
And here are some really important questions to ask yourself and consider:
- Would you like labor augmentation? Do you even know what that is?
- What kind of pain relief do you want to use? There are a lot of options.
- What level of fetal monitoring do you want?
- After delivery, what do you want to do with the umbilical cord and placenta?
- What if you have to have a c-section. Read about options and recovery. You have decisions here too (i.e., want your partner there, want to see the baby come out via mirror)?
- Print out your plan and keep it in your hospital bag. It’ll be a nice source of comfort.
**Fun fact: Lindsay had her baby only one week after writing this post! Good thing she had her birth plan (and this blog) all set.
Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell
Giving birth to your newborn child is one of life’s most precious things to experience (or so I’ve heard). That doesn’t go without saying that there are some not so precious things that occur during labor. To spare everyone of all the glorious details, let’s instead talk about how giving birth can be one of the most luxurious experiences of your life!
You’ve heard it here first; labor can be an experience where you feel like a queen, and it may leave you never wanting to leave that hospital room again.
In an article published by parents.com, they introduce some of the most luxurious birthing suites in the US. That’s right ladies, think spa treatments, 24-hour concierge service, and a private chef! It’s time to leave the roommate life behind, and experience a birthing experience as Amal Clooney would.
- Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
Birthing suites are designed to look like the outdoors! Oh yeah, your food is delivered by a tuxedo-wearing “food ambassador.”
- Rose Medical Center in Denver
Birthing rooms have private bathrooms with Jacuzzi bathtubs, rocking chairs, and flat-screen TVs. To be totally low key, VIPs can enter one of the luxury suites, and be offered the services of a private chef.
- Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles
If a three-room suite isn’t enough, mom can treat herself to an in-suite manicure, pedicure, or haircut. Celebs like Kourtney Kardashian, Rachel Zoe, and Victoria Beckham have given birth here, so start planning your totally casual celeb run-in now.
- The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
Enjoy your luxury suite overlooking Central Park and have your newborn wrapped in muslin cotton swaddling blankets. And no mom leaves without a postpartum massage!
- The Women’s & Children’s Hospital at Centennial in Nashville
How about a 24/7 concierge service to handle your requests? From making sure your car gets an oil change to delivering food from Nashville-area restaurants – can we say VIP?
We provided the top five luxurious birthing suites. For the remaining five you can read the full article, here.
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell
Maternity Mentors is a program designed to help parents navigate life’s greatest challenge through tailored sessions, e-communications, and classes to help mentor new parents.
We recently had the opportunity to talk to Millie Gillon, the face and creator behind Maternity Mentors. Read below to learn more about her and the impressive guidance offered by Maternity Mentors.
Q: You mentioned you spent countless hours researching online boards, articles, mom’s groups, medical journals, etc. What resources helped you the most to answer your new mom questions?
A: CDC, American Medical Association, and combining information from countless blogs, boards, and articles around topics ranging from postpartum care, cloth diapers, to first foods, educational development, and beyond. I feel like I earned a PhD. in new parenthood from all of the research I did during late night nursing sessions.
Q: Why should moms turn to Maternity Mentors as a trusted resource? What sets you apart from an expecting mom’s network?
A: Maternity Mentors is an experienced resource that works 1 on 1 with expectant moms to deliver the best resource for all maternity issues. The mom’s network is composed of mainly mothers’ first hand accounts, whereas Maternity Mentors is a combination of experiential and clinical resources to help.
Q: Why is having a mentor during pregnancy so important? Does Maternity Mentors stay with the mom throughout the entire pregnancy? Can a mom turn to their mentor after the baby is born?
A: Most new parents are focused on the labor and delivery experience, but few focus on the intricacies of parenthood beyond countless ads focused on buying merchandise that they really do not need. A mother about to go into labor is vulnerable from experience. While there are plenty of resources she can turn to (friends, family), none are directly committed to new parents and the baby/babies. The mentorship experience is about focusing on the new parent(s), and baby’s wellbeing.
There are a lot of options for an expecting mother on how she would like her pregnancy to go. A lot can go as planned, but of course some people have to roll with the punches and figure it out along the way.
Birth transforms your life and body completely. Whom you select as your pregnancy caregiver makes all the difference in determining the satisfaction and safety of your pregnancy journey and birth experience.
Village Maternity believes the best birth for mom and baby comes from blending the unique strengths of midwives and doctors with the safety of a wonderful hospital partner.
The Village Maternity team firmly believe that true collaboration of midwives and doctors provides you with the safest and most satisfying birth experience. They approach your pregnancy with energy and enthusiasm and strive to help make your care with Village Maternity an amazing journey.
Village Maternity proudly collaborates with Metropolitan Hospital - a hidden gem for NYC families. Among Manhattan birth sites, Metropolitan has a long history of true midwifery care, including support for unmedicated birth with one of the lowest epidural rates. Metropolitan has one of the lowest cesarean section rates and the least overcrowding. Metropolitan physicians provide support for one of the highest rates of vaginal birth after cesarean section.
Village Maternity offers both Maternity Care (prenatal and postpartum) as well as Preconception Care. Not to mention 24/7 phone access. How reassuring to have your doctor a call away. They even have weekend and evening office hours. Village Maternity offices are conveniently based in midtown east.
Note: Village Maternity did not pay for this post. I met the doctors at Village Maternity and truly believe in their mission. For more information please visit their website.
Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell