Student earns a living by helping pregnant women keep fit

Ms Eileen Mulaa, a gym instructor helping an expectant woman to exercise. She says regular exercise helps a pregnant woman get good sleep and after delivering, makes her getting back into her shape after the baby is born easier – Photo/CGN TEAM


By CGN Reporter

Life is always hard for university students. Lack of tuition fees and upkeep money, taking lunch of Sh20 from ‘One Star hotel’ and then rush back to class is the order of the day.

Some are forced to engage in clandestine activities to earn a living which makes it a tough balancing act between books and looking for money.

Others are students during the day and touts at night. Majority of them own barber shops around the campus while other hawk pirated DVDs to get extra coins for buying mitura and mikombero.

But for one, Eileen Mulaa now 23 years, a fourth year student at Kenyatta University from the department of Exercise Science and Recreation Sports, has taken advantage of the course she is doing to earn a living.

When she is not in class, you will find her in one of the lady’s gyms at Kahawa Wendani area helping ladies to cut off some weight at a cost.

In an interview with the County Guardian News, Ms Mulaa said most of her clients are expectant women who come for her services with recommendations from ante-natal clinics (ANC) to do physical exercise to keep fit.

According to the student, they pay a subscription fee of Sh1000 every month for three sessions a week. “It’s not a must we do the exercise from the gymnasium. You only need a gym instructor to do physical exercise,”

“Normal gymnasiums in the Central Business District (CBD) charge between Sh5, 000 –Sh10, 000 a month but I opted for Sh1, 000 since am still a student. They like my services since am they done by a professional,” said Mulaa.

Ms Mulaa said she has five women groups that comprises of 8 women each aged between 25- 35 years saying 70 per cent of them are expectant.

“I have four days in a week that am not in class since we are finalizing on our studies. It’s this free time I use to train my clients. During classwork, I train them between 6:00am – 7:30am and then I rush to the campus for my studies,” said Ms Mulaa.

Mulaa said on a good month, she takes home between Sh20, 000 – Sh30, 000. “I can pay bills, rent and buy clothes for myself without necessarily bombarding my parents with many calls asking for pocket money,”

“I love what am doing since it can bring food to my table. Sports is fun and parents should not condemn their daughters when they want to take sports related courses over perception that it’s meant for men. The best man for a given job or task is always a woman,” said Ms Mulaa.

She said her parents are in full support of what she is doing.

Mulaa said she decided to help pregnant women in keeping fit since they undergo life threatening conditions that can cause death even after giving birth.

She said some of the life threatening conditions that can lead to death after giving birth include blood clots, infections, postpartum depression and postpartum hemorrhage.

She said some of the early signs include chest pain, difficulties in breathing, heavy bleeding, severe headache and extreme pain such complications can be avoided if expectant women do physical exercise at least 2-3 three times a week for 30 minutes.

“Exercise keeps you fit during pregnancy. It helps build endurance ready for labour by improving a woman’s muscle tone, strength and endurance which may make it easier for her to adapt to the changes that pregnancy brings,” said Ms Mulaa.

She said regular exercise helps a woman get good sleep and after delivering, makes her getting back into shape after the baby is born easier.

“Regular exercise in pregnancy improves the pumping of the heart. Swimming is the safest form of exercise to a pregnant woman since she exercises the arms, legs, works the heart and lungs,” said Mulaa.

Others are cycling, walking, dancing (aerobics); pelvic floor exercises, breathing exercises, postural education and back care.

“Don’t do physical exercise in the event of medical or obstetric complication during pregnancy unless after a medical assessment. Exercise should not be performed in case of arterial hypertension induced by pregnancy, premature rapture of membrane, premature labour and cervical incompetence,” said Ms Mulaa.

Other conditions are vaginal hemorrhage, morbid obesity, history of premature birth.

Mulaa said physical exercise should be suspended if a pregnant woman suffers from constant dizziness, hypertension, breathing difficulty, headaches, thoracic pain, contractions, Cardiac diseases, Chronic vascular diseases and Chronic pulmonary disease.

“If exercise causes excessive fatigue to a pregnant woman, she should stop such practice immediately as it can cause death,”