After giving birth to six children back to back, it took a major toll on Krystle’s body to the point it was hard for her to walk and participate in any family activities. She wanted to get her strength back, both mentally and physically, in an environment that was supportive. To be in a room with other mothers in similar situations was of high importance to her when she decided to sign up for MultiCare’s Empowering Pregnancy and Motherhood program. Empowering Pregnancy and Motherhood is a 5- week program in partnership with the YMCA that encourages healthy eating for mothers and their families along with ways to be physically active no matter their skill level.
Krystle shared that she wears many hats in her family from being the main cook and food budgeter to the core grocery shopper. However, she felt she needed to retrain herself on how to eat healthy so she could pass these skills onto her children. As she got more into the program series, the educators noticed she brought her own infused water after learning she could use frozen fruit and cucumber to make water more exciting. She mentioned her kids even liked it!
"Sometimes we forget about these skills and need a refresher," said Krystle. "Being around the other women in the community and in a supportive environment was really helpful. If they can be here, I can be here too."
Krystle is a yearlong gardener with the help of her kids. She makes it a family event and they love to grow strawberries, green onions, cucumbers, butter lettuce and are excited to try corn and pumpkins. Discussing what produce items are in season and what grows well in this region was a great way for people to open up during class.
Even though Krystle was recovering from a broken foot, she was determined to exercise with the group. "I enjoyed when we walked during class. It is underrated! Start stretching, feel strength, and be empowered. I never would have thought that I could feel this good," said Krystle. "I learned about exercises I can do at home that are easy and cheap without any equipment. I even purchased an exercise band to use at home."
After learning exercises that can be done in a chair, she was encouraged to start where she was at and suggested that was something the other women should remember after completing the 5-week group. Not to mention, receiving a free YMCA membership for the duration of the program gave her a welcoming place to work out.
Krystle absolutely believes everybody could benefit from participating in this program. "It is a place where you can get the help and support you need, both emotionally and physically. It can be discouraging after you have a baby. Your body is not the same as it used to be so knowing you aren’t alone really helps. Baby steps can get you there."
Get connected with Empowering Pregnancy and Motherhood with the YMCA and MultiCare. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-403-7829 to learn more.