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Mommy and Me: Classes for moms and their children

Dana Jost and Lyla exercise together, with mom doing the work during a Mommy and Me fitness class at West River community Center.

The Mommy and Me classes are unlike any others at the West River Community Center. While the group fitness leader calls out exercises, the  toddlers are playing with the apparatus, getting a “pony ride” on their mother’s back or lifting their own weights.

Krystal Irwin, who is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, is certified in pregnancy and postpartum fitness coaching.

“I describe the classes as mainly strength training for moms because pregnancy takes muscle away from us,” said Irwin. “It’s a little bit of cardio vascular, its low impact because we’re dealing with women who have just had a baby and it helps address pelvic floor dysfunction.”

Irwin works on  breathing and strength training that activates the entire core and pelvic floor .

“I didn’t know I had bladder prolapse, I had to figure it out on my own,” she said. “We like to open up conversations on taboo subjects, and not to feel ashamed of pelvic floor dysfunction topics -- we’re happy to talk about these things in class.”

Irwin said it’s kind of taboo to talk about postpartum depression.

“Having taken Mommy and Me classes, we interacted with each other, became  friends and set up playdates -- that’s what got me over the hump. We leave all judgement at the front door - we’re in the same shoes, we’re all moms here to support each other, no matter what our bodies look like. We’re trying to be judgement free,” she said.

Irwin credits her journey to postpartum fitness coaching to her son, Zander.

“I call him my little life coach -- if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be on this path. I had postpartum depression -- I didn’t want to get out of the house. I was introduced to Mommy and Me postpartum classes in Texas and grew to love them so much I wanted to start instructing it.”

Irwin and her husband moved to Dickinson with the oil and gas industry and she decided to stay home with her son.

“I noticed other moms -- mostly in the oil and gas industry -- that their spouses were moving around a lot and didn’t have family nearby. They need something to attend in the community.”

After moving to Dickinson, Irwin also launched a support group for moms -- Dickinson Fit Moms -- who get together  for neighborhood walks or a moms night out.

“This group helps women be gentler with themselves in their postpartum journey and gives them a community of support.”

Babies are always welcome in the classes. That’s what makes makes the classes unique -- maybe their children don’t do well with daycare. Maybe they wish to sent an example of a happy healthy mom. Or maybe the mom has PTSD after the loss of a previous pregnancy and can’t be separated from her newborn.

“This gives her the opportunity to leave the house,” she said.

Dana Jost comes with her daughter, Lyla.

“I come to get a workout  and still spend time with my little one,” she said. “She hates daycare, so this way, I’m recovering my shape and I don’t have to ask Grandma to help.”

Lacey Lewton comes with Daisy.

I have a six-month-old too. I try to balance out my time with them. Krystal is also my personal trainer,” she said.

Clarissa Roberts comes with Rhett.

“I can work out and spend time with him -- he knows the routine -- he wants to grab a  mat and exercise with me.We do a lot of strength training, which is great. Having children, you lose your core, and she gives that back to you.”

Mommy and Me classes are 10 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

To learn about Dickinson Fit Moms, visit their site on Facebook. Krystal Irwin and her classes can be found on her website, krysann.com.

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