Dear Moms, Babies and Moms-to-be,


Today I am announcing my new baby…A change in structure with MommyMoves Fitness & Education that will positively affect my ability to reach as many people as possible, while still spreading joy, fitness, and safety through PreNatal Aquafit and Mom & Baby Aquafit.


First and foremost, my goal has always been to help pregnant and new moms overcome the physical, emotional and cognitive difficulties that are related to becoming a mother. Pregnancy takes a toll on the body in ways that many people don’t know about. For example, did you know that a pregnant woman’s blood volume increases by up to 50% by mid-pregnancy? Or that a hormone is released that actually increases a woman’s risk of spraining her joints, amongst other potential injuries? And the effects of this hormone persist after baby is born? Aquatic fitness helps prevent or minimize the discomforts associated with pregnancy and after childbirth. The resistive and buoyant forces that you experience in the water help to support but gently challenge your body.


One of the best parts of coming to PreNatal or Mom & Baby Aquafit are the friendships you develop. It’s about becoming part of a community of people who are experiencing the same or similar things that you are. Many of my former participants have contacted me to let me know of friendships that began in PreNatal or Mom & Baby Aquafit classes and have continued on for years. This “support group” can also help you feel connected emotionally as you start or continue this journey called Motherhood.


I have always striven to offer a good PreNatal or Mom & Baby Aquafit class that will not only support a pregnant or new mom physically and emotionally, but also give her the knowledge to improve her quality of life and possibly save her baby’s life.


At the moment, I and 1 other amazing instructor teach all of the PreNatal Aquafit and Mom & Baby Aquafit in Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Maple Ridge and Port Coquitlam. We have been contacted to teach classes in many other cities but we just can’t fit it into the schedule! There have been several times when I’ve thought it would be great if I could just replicate myself. And then it occurred to me……I can!


I am a Trainer of Fitness Leaders. I have taught for many years in the BPK department at SFU. I present workshops and courses to fitness instructors all over the province and in the US. If not me, then who would do it?


Therefore, we will be moving away from teaching individual classes in the various communities to teaching other instructors and providing informative resources to help them become the best they can be so they provide you with the excellent instruction and knowledge you’ve come to expect from MommyMoves Fitness.


I will not be personally teaching any of the Mom & Baby Aquafit classes as of March 31, 2017 as the municipalities start to manage the individual programs. Some of the cities will have an immediate replacement, but others may provide an alternative Mom & Baby course in the interim. It will be up to the individual community centers to evaluate their options with respect to the program or have their in-house instructors trained to deliver it. During this time, I ask that you please be patient with them, however let the programmers know that you are still interested in it.


So please let your friends and social groups know about the changeover so they can also let the cities know what kind of programming they want.


Bernadette and I will continue to be teaching the PreNatal Aquafit until June 30th. After this time, Bernadette will probably continue teaching the class in the areas that she has been teaching in but I will not be. I am in the process of developing a PreNatal Aquafit Instructor course so that more instructors can be trained to take over for me at the end of June.


Call to Action: You can help us in this period of transition by contacting your local rec centre or pool and requesting either PreNatal Aquafit or Mom & Baby Aquafit. You don’t need to mention MommyMoves Fitness & Education as a Fitness Education Provider, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. Just the fact that they have a record of people in their area requesting a class like the ones we are known for will hopefully get them looking for some sort of certification course for their instructors. The best ways to submit your requests are via comment card (at the facility), email to the programmer or via social media.


Once they have a program in place, ask about the instructor’s certifications.

Ideal scenario:

  • Aquatic Fitness certification/registration PLUS
  • Pre & Post Natal Fitness Specialist certification PLUS
  • PreNatal Aquatic Fitness certification OR Mom & Baby Aquatic Fitness certification (depending upon the class that is being taught)


Other acceptable combinations of qualifications include:

  • Doula, midwife, nurse or other related professional designation PLUS Mom & Baby Aquafit/PreNatal Aquafit certification (depending upon the class that is being taught)
  • Aquafit certified professional PLUS Pre & PostNatal Fitness Specialist certification (not just a 4 hour, unevaluated workshop)


Ultimately, our goal remains the same – to provide pregnant and new moms with an amazing and safe mode of exercise to participate in! Thank you.



Yours in Health & Motherhood,

Leah Esplen


MommyMoves Fitness

Leah Esplen is a certified canfitpro Pre & PostNatal Fitness Specialist PRO TRAINER, CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist and BCRPA Trainer of Fitness Leaders in Aquafit, Fitness Theory and Resistance Training who had the crazy idea that she didn’t know enough about health and fitness so she decided to go back to university and get her Masters degree in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology when her children were 3 and almost 2. She liked it so much that she decided to continue to teach in the department while running her own Pre&PostNatal Fitness and instructor education company, MommyMoves Fitness & Education, Ltd. Thankfully, her husband supports her many endeavours by cooking delicious and nutritious meals for the family! Her girls, Grace and Rose, started out as being colicky little beans who would never let their mother rest but have blossomed into active pre-teens who enjoy running, hiking, surfing, kayaking, snow-shoeing, taekwondo-ing and, above all else, swimming with their parents!
Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!