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I’m thrilled to be able to share with you another fabulous positive birth story. Today I’m chatting to Shakira Akabusi all about her pregnancy journey and her birth.

Shakira is a personal trainer, fitness coach and a writer and commentator. If you’re a Brit, you might recognise her surname; her dad is the former UK athlete and gold medalist Kriss Akabusi, so you could say that she has health and fitness running in her DNA.

Shakira gave birth to her son Rio on new year’s eve last year so her birth is still fresh in her mind. We’ve been trying to get this chat done since March but both our diaries have been a bit crazy and our little ones have a habit of disrupting plans! But we made it in the end.

When Shakira first found out she was pregnant, she was completely over the moon, but also totally terrified. During our chat, she shares the fears that she had during her pregnancy and how she dealt with them and overcame them to have the positive birth experience that she wanted. Shakira chose to have an epidural for her birth from the outset and during our chat she explains why, despite having a fear of injections. She talks alot about what it was like giving birth having had an epidural so if this is something that you’re considering, it’s well worth a listen.

Now one things that’s really interesting to listen to is Shakira’s persepctive on fitness and exercise during pregnancy as well as post-natally. As a personal trainer she was really keen to maintain her fitness levels and had to find ways to adjust as her pregnancy progressed. During our chat she also shares with us how she prepared for birth as well as kind of things she did post-birth. As a result of her experiences as a mum trying to stay fit and regain her body post-birth, she’s started to develop a fitness concept to help mums continue to exercise WITH baby.. by using baby as part of the exercises. She even posts videos of some of her work-outs with baby Rio on her Twitter feed and on her YouTube channel. This has kicked off a whole new venture for her which she’ll be launching next year at Strong Like Mum so stay tuned if you’re interested in learning how you can stay fit with your baby. Here’s a little peak at one of her videos.

Shakira is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and her latest article is about breastfeeding: Bullied Into Breastfeeding: Rise of the Midwife Mafia? so we spent a bit of time talking about the challenges she had with breastfeeding. She is still breastfeeding little Rio, but it wasn’t always a smooth ride for her and she has some great advice for new mums to help them cope.

You can follow Shakira on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned with all the great post-baby fitness stuff that she’s sharing.

What has been your fitness experience during your pregnancy? And what about post-birth? Tell me in the comments or come and find me on Facebook!

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Alexia Leachman

Alexia is the host of the Fear Free Childbirth podcast and the author of Fearless Birthing, Childbirth, Midwifery & the Media, and Clear Your Head Trash.

Alexia supports families planning pregnancy and birth. She helps them to overcome their fears and feel calm and confident about birth and pregnancy.

Alexia also trains birth professionals in the Fearless Birthing, a unique approach to birth preparation that is ideal for those who have fears around birth.
Alexia Leachman
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