Avoiding Becoming a ‘Mental Midget’!

24 Oct

Ha, ha, ‘MENTAL MIDGET’ what a great phrase, courtesy of a great book I was reading this morning.  The chapter was all about ‘never-ending-learning’ and that if you don’t commit to reading/learning/listening to audio books in the same was as you do personal hygeine (I hope :-)) then you’re just not going to be operating on all cylinders on a personal or business development level, so in the spirit of assisting your professional growth here is  a little something I compiled regarding information resources for the Pre/Post Natal Specialist that you might find useful.

How to Get a Great Foundation Education & Commit to Never-Ending Learning!

As a Fitness Professional, as soon as you take a step into the world of medicine, your education in your subject area MUST be deep, wide and on-going.  This sorts the players from the pretenders and in both the short and long term, will have a huge impact on your reputation as a true specialist.  I guess I’m preaching to converted here as you are currently reading this article or have subscribed to this programme.  They key thing is to be honest with yourself.  Where are the holes in your education?  What subject areas make you nervous when broached?  Then TAKE MASSIVE ACTION!  We are living in the INFORMATION AGE, education and high quality information is everywhere and incredibly easy to access.  Books are the cheapest they’ve ever been thanks to ‘New & Used’ on Amazon and every medical organisation relating to pregnancy and the post natal period has a website. There are an unlimited supply of CPD courses, DVD’s and remote learning possibilities, you just quite simply, have to get on it and stay on it! 

Take your information from ALL quality sources, a course carrying accreditation and CPD or CEC points is not necessarily THE HIGHEST QUALITY or the most relevant to your needs (although it does show that someone other than the vendor has rated the quality of the offering)!  Recommendation from other trusted fitness professionals and bodies goes a long way and a few choice phone calls to the education providers also helps.  Some of my reading, education & internet resource list is attached to the end of this article.  Take a look and see if it inspires you then go ahead and fill those holes to the brim!  You know it makes sense.  You cannot teach what you do not know!

Also, another way to improve your understanding of your pre/post client is to read the magazines, booklets, leaflets and websites directly aimed at them.  So much information is freely provided by the NHS both online and in hard format from the local GP’s surgery, the chemist, family planning clinics and ante-natal clinics in hospitals.  Just wander along, ask if it’s ok to pick up some leaflets and away you go.  The NHS Direct site also has lots of baby information and of course there are the published magazines such as Prima Baby, Pregnancy & Birth etc., available from all newsagents.  A midwifery textbook, a mom’s ‘Conception, Pregnancy and Birth Bible’ and illustrated dictionary are also priceless and can both be bought used on Amazon.  (My personal choices are listed below).

This Month’s Tasks & Food For Thought

  1. 1.     Where are the holes in your education? Where could you be better? What do you need to learn to make you a stand-out professional? 
  2. 2.     Research, time & cost effective ways of filling your holes in the short-term. 
  3. 3.     Plan your long term education trajectory, is there a ‘big’ course you would like to take, start making steps to achieving this.

 Action Points

Start a weekly Study group/ DVD share/Book Share with a few committed colleagues and commit to never-ending learning.

Join Mumsnet  and any other mommy portal – even if you aren’t a mom, there’s lots of great insight and information there and an opportunity to advertise your business to local mothers – www.mumsnet.com.

If you are a medical professional and/or have a good science background join MIDRS – The Midwives Information and Resource Service – www.midrs.org or you ca’n subscribe to the ‘Midwives’ electronic newsletter which also provides great up-to-date information on current Pregnancy and Post Natal issues.

Cruise the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists Website, it has a huge range of Patient Information PDFs relating to the Pregnancy and Post Natal periods that are indispensable and up-to-date – http://www.rcog.org.uk/womens-health/patient-information

Go on line and look up Emma’s Diary – www.emmasdiary.co.uk

Go on line and look up www.mypregnancyguide.com

Go on line and look up www.babycentre.co.uk

Go on line and visit the National Childbirth Trust website www.nct.org.uk

All 4 are well respected invaluable resource for day-by-day accounts of everything related to Pregnancy and Birthing.

Purchase an Illustrated Dictionary of Midwifery – I use a version that I purchased on Amazon, it’s pocket-sized and obviously filled with illustrations relating to pregnancy, birthing and the post natal period.

Purchase a ‘new and used’ copy of the Midwifery Degree textbook by Coad with Dunstall

Make friends with your local Midwife – trade your services, everyone would love to have a Personal Trainer.

Visit Dianne Lee’s Site – one of my personal guru’s, a highly rated Physiotherapist based in Canada – www.dianelee.ca

Buy pregnancy and mother and baby magazines each month or visit their on-line versions.

Google  & YouTube “Pregnancy & Post Natal Exercise” and take a cruise around what turns up, I bet you could do better!

  •  Take a look on-line at what is on offer within your own fitness facility and locally  for moms (just Google Pre/Post Natal Exercise (wherever you live) or look at Mumsnet or the NCT offering in your area and start thinking about what you could offer those mothers that would really make a difference to their lives.  Try to canvas a few of your mommy friends and find out what services are really lacking, where they need help.  What kind of a class could you have done with when you were Pregnant or early Post Natal.  All this with an aim to creating a service that moms will find unique, sorely needed and irrestitible.

Lastly, the best plan in the world won’t work if you don’t so GET GOING!


Action Points Tracking Chart


Researched – YES  or NO


Researched  quality education to ‘fill your holes’   
Connected with a few like-minded colleagues   
Joined Mumsnet   
Cruised the MIDRS site   
Downloaded the Patient Information PDFs from the RCOG website   
Bought your Illustrated Dictionary of Midwifery   
Purchased a Mom or Professionals ‘Conception, Pregnancy and Birth Bible’  
Visited http://www.babycentre.co.uk   
Visited http://www.emmasdiary.co.uk   
Visited http://www.mypregnancyguide.com   
Visited http://www.nct.org.uk   
Made friends with a Midwife and traded your services   
Purchased a few Pregnancy and Birth magazines   
Visited http://www.dianelee.ca   
Follow this link to the NCT website to get an understanding of the need for great Pregnancy and Post Natal help for moms – http://www.nct.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/view/236   



‘Anyone can become an expert at anything!  It’s all about your dedication to mastering the subject matter’. (Anthony Robbins)

www.burrelleducation.com – Passionate About Pregnancy & Post Natal Health & Fitness Education FOREVER! 



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