Mother Starts Business To Solve Own Problems

By Wehtahnah Tucker

ENCINITAS – The sleepless nights and days and more sleepless are enough to bring a vulnerable body crashing to its knees. Now add to that the lunging, the twisting, the contorting movements that new motherhood brings and you have a recipe for disaster.

An innovative new product is on the market that helps new mothers relieve post-natal pain caused by the repetitive, unfamiliar movements that they often make in their new role as caregiver.

Kim Evans came to a very painful realization after the birth of her first child – her body was not prepared for the tasks required in caring for her infant daughter. As she felt the pain in her wrists, shoulders and back worsen, she called a friend for help. Luckily Evans’ best friend, Sandra VanGilder, is a physical therapist.

VanGilder developed an exercise regimen targeted to strengthen Evans’ core muscles and increase flexibility. She also incorporated Evans’ daughter into the routine to ensure that Evans would have sufficient time to complete the short routines.

Evans was so impressed with the positive results that she approached VanGilder about developing a DVD for other mothers. As a result of their shared experience, “Fit + Giggles” was born.

The two Encinitas residents collaborated on the most effective methods to strengthen a mother’s body using “functional therapy.” The exercises incorporate mane familiar movements to the new mother, including lunging and lifting, said Lisa Shepard, a physical therapist who has viewed the DVD. “I think it’s a fantastic and easily understood idea and very effective,” said Shepard.

The resulting product is an exercise program to fit the functional demands of a new mom while creating a fun environment that benefits the baby as well, according to Evans. “The exercises help mom to get ride of all her pain – the sore neck, stiff back – while it helps develop the baby’s motor skills.”

The exercises are performed with the baby placed in a front positioned sling on the mother’s chest so that exercise time becomes bonding time. VanGilder explained that the program is also good training for the baby in terms of early movement patterns.

As the physical demands of caring for a baby increase, the program is easily modified to fir the mother’s needs. “It is practical and easy to do. My son gets what he needs which is me holding him and I get my exercise,” said Cory Dunn, who uses the video.

Heather O’Quinn hosted the “Hot Mama” trunk show August 24, which featured local vendors with products that make a mother feel good. At her new boutique, Dreamy, located in the Lumberyard, mothers and father, many with their children in tow, sampled the products. Evans explained that Dreamy is their first wholesale order. We are so excited to have our product here. Heather has been very supportive.” The DVD also comes with a onesie for the baby and is available through the company’s Web site.

For new, Evans and VanGilder are splitting their time between the demands of growing a new company and raising a family – VanGilder is expecting her first child in just a few short weeks. Their goal is to reach as many new mothers as possible to increase awareness that there is relief from the physical strains of motherhood. And as for the babies, Dunn agrees that the benefits of the exercises surpass good neuro-muscular training. “It’s true – my son really does giggle when we do the exercises,” laughs Dunn.

Contact staff writer Wehtahnah Tucker at wtucker(at)
This article has been transcribed from the paper edition.

Fit and Giggles LLC