Take the Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Coaching Postpartum Women?

The 8 Topics Anyone Working With Postpartum Women Should Be Prepared For
By Molly Galbraith

Let’s be honest: Coaching women in the postpartum period requires a unique set of knowledge and skills.

Women who are postpartum have not only just “grown” a human, but birthed that human and been thrown into the demanding role of motherhood.

They may struggle with…

  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Diastasis recti
  • Postpartum depression
  • Incontinence
  • C-section recovery
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of sleep

… in addition to the fact that they just went through a huge life event and are now coping with the physiological, emotional, mental, lifestyle, and social changes that come with the transition into motherhood!

Given that the majority of women will be pregnant or postpartum at some point in their lives, it’s a pretty safe bet that if you work with adult women, it’s not a matter of if you will work with postpartum clients — it’s a matter of when.

So with that said, how prepared are you to handle curveballs like these when you’re working with your postpartum clients?

Are you confident about your knowledge of postpartum anatomy and physiology?

Are you ready to navigate challenging and sensitive conversations with your clients, such as in the case of postpartum depression or infant loss?

Are you willing to test your knowledge to identify where you’re already prepared — and where you still have more to learn?

When It Comes to Coaching Postpartum Women: Are You Ready?

There are eight key topics in which health, fitness, and nutrition professionals should be well versed when it comes to coaching postpartum women. Developing your skills in these areas and preparing to work specifically with a postpartum client base will not only give you more confidence but make a huge positive difference in the lives of your clients.

Our quiz gives you a chance to assess your skills in each of these eight topics so that you can take an objective look and see where you’re already super prepared — and where there’s room for improvement.

Quick tip: When you’re answering, be honest with yourself. There will be areas where you’re less familiar, and you know what? That’s exciting! It’s an opportunity to learn more. 

Plus, at the end of the quiz, you’ll find an excellent selection of resources so that you can learn more about the topics covered here.

And if you’re still hungry for more, if you want to know exactly how to answer client questions, obtain an even better understanding of what they’re going through, and have hundreds of pages of evidence-based information at your fingertips, we recommend checking out our GGS Pre- & Postnatal Coaching Certification.

Our team of experts (including PhDs, pelvic health physios, OB/GYNs, and pre- and postnatal fitness experts) created this cutting-edge, comprehensive curriculum to teach health and fitness professionals exactly how to confidently coach pre- and postnatal women and keep them safe, healthy, and strong — both during and after pregnancy. So if you have more learning to do, we’re here to help.


Quiz Time!

Before we begin, it’s important to note that the questions in this quiz are focused solely on specific situations postpartum women may encounter or experience, meaning we are not testing you on the basic coaching skills that anyone working with clients should have. For example, you will not see questions about:

  • Basic coaching communication and listening skills.
  • How to write training programs for different goals.
  • General anatomy and physiology.
  • The biomechanical differences between male and female clients.
  • The similarities and differences in coaching psychology when working with male versus female clients.
  • Building rapport and trust with your clients.
  • Aerobic capacity, blood pressure, or fat distribution.
  • Modifying, progressing, or regressing any exercise at a moment’s notice during sessions.
  • Helping clients set behavior-based goals.
  • And many, many more essential coaching skills.

Rather, you will see questions on topics like postpartum anatomy and physiology, postpartum nutrition, and your professionalism when it comes to working with this clientele. Please note, though, that anatomy and experience varies among women, and that not every question will be relevant to every woman.

For each of the questions, give an honest assessment of your knowledge on a scale of 0–5, where 0 means you know nothing about the topic, and 5 means you’re an expert.

Coach Postpartum Quiz

Topic #1: Female Anatomy & Physiology Changes After Pregnancy

A client is 3 years postpartum and realized she has a large diastasis that isn’t healing well. How confident do you feel addressing this concern?
Not at allSuper confident
A client reveals that she is leaking urine during exercise, and you can tell she’s embarrassed while bringing it up. How comfortable do you feel talking to her about this and modifying her workout accordingly?
Totally uncomfortableSuper comfortable
Your client is five weeks postpartum, and reveals that she’s experiencing bloody discharge. How comfortable do you feel talking to her about this?
Totally uncomfortableSuper comfortable

Total for this section 0/15

Topic #2: Common Musculoskeletal Concerns After Pregnancy

A client describes a feeling of heaviness in her perineum and reports that it feels like something is "falling out" when she lifts anything more than 25 pounds. How confident do you feel in your ability to appropriately respond to her questions while staying within your scope of practice and in your knowledge of where to refer this client for specialized help?
I’m cluelessVery confident
Your client says she recently had a friend diagnosed with prolapse and now she’s terrified she has it too because she’s been feeling some pressure in her perineum during exercise. How prepared do you feel to respond to her concern?
Totally unpreparedI got this
Your client tells you she’s having lower back pain during kettlebell swings. Do you feel confident adapting exercises or her technique in performing those exercises, taking into account some of the physiological changes from pregnancy and childbirth?
Not at allYes, totally
Your client is having discomfort, tightness, and tingling around her C-section scar. She’s wondering if that’s normal and if there’s anything she can do about it. How confident do you feel answering this question?
I’m cluelessI’m an expert

Total for this section 0/20

Topic #3: Rehab & Recovery After Pregnancy

Your client asks you if there’s anything she can do in the first 6 weeks before she returns to your gym to help “speed up” her recovery. How confident do you feel answering this question?
Not at allCompletely confident
Your client is six weeks postpartum, and she says she’s getting pelvic pain when she does bodyweight step-ups. How certain do you feel helping her with this?
Not at allCompletely certain
Your client doesn’t feel up to going back to the gym yet, but she’s wondering if there are any stretches or exercises she can do at home to help relieve her sore joints and muscle tension that wouldn’t be too taxing. Do you feel prepared to give her recommendations on rehabilitative movement that won’t cause pain or harm?
NopeYes, I know just the thing

Total for this section 0/15

Topic #4: Returning to Exercise After Pregnancy

Your client who had a C-section wants to return to exercise, and she wants your guidance on how to restart a training program. How well do you understand how recovery from a C-section may differ from recovery from vaginal delivery?
I’m cluelessI’ve got it covered
Your client is five weeks postpartum, and she wants to start coming to the gym on a regular basis starting after her doctor’s appointment next Monday. How comfortable would you feel developing a return-to-exercise coaching program for a six-week postpartum client?
Totally uncomfortable100% confident
Your client is early postpartum and really eager to lose weight after seeing how quickly her sister dropped her baby weight. She asks for your help. How certain do you feel about how to approach the situation?
Completely uncertain100% certain
Your client wants to compete in a triathlon in six months (she’s eight weeks postpartum), and she’s wondering if you can design a program that will get her ready in time. How confident do you feel talking to her about this goal?
I’m cluelessI’ve got it covered
Your client had her first child almost seven weeks ago, but now that she’s back in the gym she has no idea where to start or what she wants to focus on. How prepared do you feel to help your client set appropriate postpartum goals throughout her recovery?
Not at allI’m a pro

Total for this section 0/25

Topic #5: Nutrition After Pregnancy

Your client is wondering if she needs to adapt her diet while she’s breastfeeding, and if what she eats will affect her baby’s development. How knowledgeable are you about the specific nutritional needs during breastfeeding?
Not at allI’m an expert
Your client is four weeks postpartum and anxious to lose the weight she gained during pregnancy. She asks if it’s OK for her to do the same keto diet that helped her sister drop 20 pounds. Do you know how to answer this question?
Your client asks if there are any types of foods or supplements that will help her recover faster after her C-section. How comfortable do you feel talking about this aspect of nutrition with her?
Not at allTotally comfortable
Your client asks if it’s safe to drink alcohol while she’s breastfeeding as long as she “pumps and dumps.” Can you answer her question and provide scientifically backed reasoning?

Total for this section 0/20

Topic #6: Postnatal Coaching & Psychology

Your client’s three-month-old daughter recently passed away, and she’s coming in for her first session back. How confident do you feel that you know how to compassionately handle this situation?
Not at allVery confident
You have a client who is four months postpartum. She’s missed multiple sessions with you, and in the sessions she does make, she seems unmotivated to train. She’s even started crying in a few of the sessions. How equipped do you feel to be able to help her?
I’m clueless I got this
Your client is really frustrated that she hasn’t been able to ramp back up to the training she was doing prior to pregnancy, and she feels like she’s never going to get her strength back. How comfortable are you having a conversation about her mindset and the standards she’s holding herself to?
Not at allI’m a pro
You’re worried about your client because she’s been frequently saying things like, “I just can’t do it all anymore — it’s too much!” and “I’m so burned out!” How familiar are you with the concept of emotional labor and how it can affect your client’s ability to reach her goals?
Not at allVery familiar
Your client is three months postpartum, and she’s repeatedly brought up how “gross” she thinks her stomach looks now because she still has some stretch marks and loose skin that “should’ve gone away by now.” In a situation like this when a client has unrealistic expectations about what her body should look like, how confident do you feel in your ability to help her reframe her mindset and goals so that they’re more realistic?
Not at allTotally confident

Total for this section 0/25

Topic #7: Leadership & Professionalism

Your client is struggling to do the Connection Breath on her own at home, and so you want to have her practice as you cue her appropriately. How confident do you feel using words like vagina, anus, and perineum with your clients?
Not well at allCompletely confident
A new client wants to start training with you. She is three months postpartum. How much work do you do, beyond the intake form, to understand each client’s background and identity?
NoneI find out everything I can
Your client has been asking you a lot of questions about postpartum pain, how she can adjust her exercises to relieve it a bit, and what she can do at home to help. How confident are you in your understanding of what’s beyond your scope of practice and when to refer your client to the appropriate health professional?
Not at allVery confident
How often do you say things like, “You look awesome!” or “I can tell you’ve lost weight!” to your clients who are postpartum during your training sessions?
All the timeNever

Total for this section 0/20

Topic #8: Common Postpartum Roadblocks

Your client is really inconsistent with scheduling her one-on-one appointments, and even when she does schedule, she says she’s finding it hard to make her sessions with you. How prepared do you feel to help her with this?
Not at all100% prepared
Your client reveals that she’s struggling with not feeling close to her baby or not feeling happy to be a mom and riddled with guilt. How comfortable do you feel talking to her about this?
Completely uncomfortableI got this
Your postpartum client has seemed really down over the past few weeks, has been more distracted than usual, and has reported that she hasn’t been sleeping much. You’re worried that she might be struggling with postpartum depression. How comfortable do you feel having a conversation with your client to check in about her well-being?
Totally uncomfortable100% comfortable

Total for this section 0/15

How Did You Do?

Feel like you totally rocked this quiz? That’s awesome! Not so sure how you did? No worries! That’s why GGS is here — to make sure you get the information you need to feel 100% confident in each of these scenarios.

To get a better idea of where your skills are already top notch and where you have opportunities to continue learning and expanding your coaching skill set, we have three options that’ll help you level up your coaching game.

Option 1 is to enroll in one of our FREE 5-day courses covering critical women-specific topics. If you already know where you need some help (e.g. pelvic health, pre- and postnatal exercise, etc), you can enroll in one of our FREE 5-day courses about that topic below.

Option 2 is to really take your knowledge and skills to the next level. By enrolling in our world-class Pre- & Postnatal Coaching Certification linked below, you’ll better understand, connect with, serve, and empower your female clients — meaning you can become the go-to trainer for women.

Option 3 is the one for you if you're unsure where you need help. Simply scroll down below the FREE 5-day courses and certifications and click on the green button to calculate your results. There you will find customized recommendations of which FREE articles or courses are best for you based on your individual results.

Remember: No matter how you scored in any of these areas, we’re here to help!


Free Course: Exercises to Do & Avoid During and After Pregnancy

Free Course: How to Get Started Coaching Pre- & Postnatal Clients

Free Course: What You Must Know About Pelvic Health: Your Ultimate Guide to Working With Pregnant and Postpartum Clients

Free Course: The Ultimate Guide to Coaching and Training Postpartum Clients


Coaching Certification: Become a GGS Certified Women's Coaching Specialist

Coaching Certification: Become a GGS Certified Pre- & Postnatal Coach



Want to learn more about the women’s health and fitness issues you care most about?

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Whether you’re a health and fitness professional looking to level up your knowledge or a woman wanting to feel stronger, fitter, and more confident, get the advice you can trust from the experts at Girls Gone Strong.

About the author:  Molly Galbraith

Molly Galbraith, CSCS is co-founder and woman-in-charge at Girls Gone Strong, a global movement of 800,000+ folks passionate about women’s health, fitness, and empowerment. She’s also the creator of the The Girls Gone Strong Academy, home of the world’s top certifications for health and fitness pros who want to become a Certified Pre-& Postnatal Coach or a Certified Women’s Coaching Specialist.   The GGS Academy is revolutionizing women’s health and fitness by tackling critical (and often overlooked) topics like body image struggles, disordered eating, menopause, amenorrhea and menstrual cycle struggles, PCOS, endometriosis, osteoporosis, pre- and postnatal exercise, incontinence, diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, postpartum recovery, and much more.   Learn more about Molly on her website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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