Getting back into shape after having a baby can seem like an intimidating process for many women.
Now, there are fitness classes in which babies actually help their moms lose weight.
Victoria Samia is teaching one such class at the Spectrum Athletic Club in El Segundo.
Samia designed the class for moms after she had her first child.
She consulted with her OB-GYN, a delivery nurse and got training in perinatal fitness. The class trains moms in cardiovascular and strength training.
When worn by the moms in a baby carrier, the babies provide resistance for strength training.
Moms are encouraged to bring their babies as young as 6 weeks old, when they typically weigh about 12 pounds.
"As the months go on that little baby is going to grow," Samia said. "As you get stronger, the weight you’re carrying gets bigger, so you have to work a little bit harder."
New mom Rachel Ford said she was nervous the first time she brought her baby to class, wondering how the newborn would behave.
Her fears quickly disappeared. “She loves it," Ford said. "To be able to work out, not just drop them off in the nursery but be able to work out with them, it’s really fun.“
Christina Wilson took the classes after the birth of both her children.
“It made it easy because you didn’t have to find a babysitter, you could bring the baby with you," WIlson said. "You were in the same situation as everyone else."
Ford said her goal is to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight, which means she has about 20 pounds to lose.
"We'll keep doing the class until we get there," she said. "The stomach is starting to get a little flatter, the hips are starting to go down a bit.”
Beyond the physical, there are the social benefits.
“These mommies meet other mommies," Samia said. "They have something in their week that they have to get to, and they get out of the house, they meet other moms.”
This class is offered at the Spectrum Club in El Segundo, and there are many other mommy and me classes in other parts of town. Among them, are Stroller Strides, which are prenatal and new mom fitness classes.