Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Specialist Certification



Become a trusted Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Specialist. Support mothers on their unique fitness journey, guiding them with specialized techniques and knowledge to enhance strength, health, and joy during pregnancy and beyond.

Online | Self-Paced | Complete in 6 Months or Less | Digital Textbooks Included

Empower New Moms and Moms-To-Be to Look and Feel Their Absolute Best.

Exercising during and post pregnancy requires specialized knowledge and focused attention to ensure safety of the mother and baby.

That’s why AFPA created a curriculum for working with new moms and moms-to-be that is powerful in both theory and application.

The AFPA Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Certification program provides personal trainers and fitness professionals with higher-quality education and advanced skills specific to prenatal and postpartum exercise prescription.

Empower postpartum moms as a Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Coach

The Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Specialist Certification Program Includes Everything You Need to Support You and Your Clients.

Get a comprehensive education, plus helpful handouts and resources:

  • All course materials (3 digital textbooks with lifetime access)
  • Flexible workout plans – for strength, cardiovascular conditioning, agility, and balance for each stage of pregnancy and the postpartum period
  • Fitness assessment worksheets
  • Resources for eating well to support pregnancy
  • Online Final exam
  • Bonus: yoga exercise guidelines for each trimester
  • This course is approved for 1.9 NASM/19 AFAA CEUs, and 16 AFPA CECs.
Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Specialists improve overall health and wellness for pregnant women

What Can I Do As a Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Specialist?


Instruct pregnant clients on proper exercise techniques as a Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Specialist

As an AFPA Certified Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Specialist, you will be able to effectively:

  • Describe principles of basic exercise physiology and kinesiology as it relates to pregnancy
  • Instruct clients on evidence-based exercises and fitness goals that are important to include in exercise programs for women who are prenatal, pregnant, or postpartum
  • Recognize the symptoms of overtraining in both the mother and the fetus
  • Recommend and demonstrate exercises for relieving discomfort and relief of symptoms for the pregnant participant
  • Select and integrate mind-body exercises, effective breathing, and relaxation techniques into an exercise program for pregnant women
  • Integrate a variety of small exercise apparatus into group and one-on-one sessions
  • Design appropriate exercises for prenatal, pregnant, and postpartum clients in the personal training setting
  • Discuss the changing nutritional needs for prenatal women in each stage of pregnancy

Is This Program Right For Me?

Anyone interested in making an impact in the lives of women will benefit from this course. If you are a personal trainer or fitness professional, learn how to safely and effectively train pregnant and postpartum clients. Health coaches and other wellness professionals can gain from better understanding the prenatal and postpartum periods. Expecting and new parents can also apply course learnings to their own training.

  • Flexibility: As an AFPA-Certified Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Specialist, you can work for yourself or at a wellness center, spa, gym, boutique studio, fitness training center, and beyond!
  • Easy Entry: There is no need to spend years going to school to work with pregnant and postpartum clients.  Obtaining your Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Specialist Certification will allow you to bring your passion and expertise to clients seeking a professional to help them meet their fitness goals (and for a lot less money, too).
  • Positive Change-Maker: Teaching clients how to meet new challenges, strengthen their bodies during pregnancy, and improve their self-esteem is extremely rewarding—for you, mothers-to-be, and their families.
Start a career as a Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Coach

What You Will Learn

As a graduate of the Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Certification program, you’ll be qualified to structure appropriate exercise regimes for clients, coach on maternity health as well as properly address common prenatal and postpartum concerns.  These include:

  • exercising during pre-conception and early pregnancy
  • how to determine exercise intensity-level during pregnancy and postpartum
  • how a baby in the womb reacts to exercise
  • potential risks of exercising during pregnancy
  • misconceptions concerning exercise linking to infertility and miscarriage
  • physiological changes your client experiences immediately following birth and up through the first 12 months postpartum

Understanding Prenatal Physiology Answer

Start by digging into the physiological changes that occur to nurture the growing fetus and prepare the mother’s body for labor and delivery. You’ll learn how to pair these adaptations with reasonable means of exercise in order to appropriately support the mother in each trimester.

  • Prenatal Physiological Adaptations
  • Musculoskeletal & Metabolic Adaptations
  • Maternal Responses to Acute Exercise
  • Fetal Responses to Acute Exercise

Developing Trimester-Specific Exercise and Nutritional Programming Answer

As a pregnancy personal trainer, you’ll master how to train pregnant clients of all fitness levels  – from sedentary to competitive athletes, determine and recommend nutritional advice, and create specialized programs to enhance your client’s well-being during each stage of her pregnancy.

  • Aerobic & resistance training effects in labor & delivery
  • Exercise guidelines: pregnancy & postpartum
  • Nutrient requirements in pregnancy
  • Exercise programs for all 3 trimesters
  • Yoga postures specific to pregnancy

Understanding Postpartum Physiology Answer

You’ll explore the metabolic and hormone changes that postpartum clients experience and practice developing proper exercise programs with special considerations for both C-section and vaginal recoveries. Topics include:

  • Postpartum exercise programming
  • Post menopause & exercise

Optimizing Maternal Health and Safety For Prenatal & Postpartum Clients Answer

You will gain the ability to effectively coach pregnant and postpartum clients by implementing protocol that follows the ACOG safety guidelines for exercise during and after pregnancy. Learning objectives include:

  • Exercise, drugs, medication
  • Emergency procedures, legal procedures & safety programming
  • Conducting a fitness assessment
  • Conducting a physical limits assessment
  • Debunking common pregnancy myths and misconceptions

“Convenient, comprehensive, and very practical certification. The materials are diverse yet consistent and really educate you in all aspects of the subject. Being a fitness professional who is also pregnant, this was essential for my education as a practitioner and an individual. I highly recommend this certification.”

Janeen M.

Let Customers Speak for Us

Customer Reviews

Based on 180 reviews
Justine R

Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Specialist Certification

Dean Merces Seeman

Pilates for Rehabilitation

Lisa Earle
Yoga instructor

This whole experience has been great. I love yoga and this course has given me more knowledge on it. The fact I can take my time and really let it all sink in has been a great experience. When every I have a question I get a response very quickly.

So happy to hear this, Lisa! Enjoy the remainder of your studies!


How long does it take to complete this course? Answer

The program is designed to provide you with flexibility and ample time to progress at a pace that is comfortable to you. It is self-directed, self-study, and may be completed in six months or less. If you require more time, you can request a six-month extension for a fee of $75.

How soon can I start this course? Answer

We have open enrollment, so you may enroll whenever you are ready. Shortly after completing your purchase, we will grant you access to the learning portal where you can begin your course.

Are textbooks included in my enrollment fee? Answer

Yes! Your enrollment fee includes lifetime access to all of the digital textbooks you will need to complete this course.

Digital textbooks allow us to offer the most up-to-date curriculum, give you immediate access to the materials, plus offer portability across devices.

We understand that learning styles and preferences vary. If you are interested in purchasing physical textbooks in addition to the digital textbooks that are included in your course enrollment fee, you can find a complete book list within your online student learning platform.

Can I earn continuing education credits for completing this certification program? Answer

Yes! A newly acquired AFPA certification has a value of 16 continuing education credits (CECs) that count toward the renewal requirements of an existing AFPA certification. To qualify for CECs, you must successfully complete the certification program.

Can I take this course if I’m not a fitness professional? Answer

Absolutely! Other wellness professionals can benefit greatly from learning more about the prenatal and postpartum periods, and expecting and new parents can apply their learnings to their personal health and training.

Are there payment plans available? Answer

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Pick the loan that fits your budget and make payments over three, six, or 12 months. Our payment plans offer instant approval and are safe and secure.

Learn more about payment plans.

Do I qualify to enroll in this course? Answer

To enroll in the Certified Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Specialist Certification, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
    Have a solid understanding of the English language.

Exam Requirements:

  • You need a minimum final exam grade of 85% to pass.
    A $75.00 retest fee will apply.

After successful completion, you will earn the title of “Certified Prenatal & Postpartum Fitness Specialist” on your certificate.

What does a prenatal fitness instructor do? Answer

A prenatal fitness instructor specializes in designing and leading exercise programs tailored to the unique needs and challenges faced by pregnant women. Their primary role is to provide safe and effective fitness guidance throughout pregnancy. Prenatal fitness instructors focus on promoting physical health, reducing discomfort, and preparing expectant mothers for labor and delivery. They create exercise routines that help improve strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance while considering the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy. Additionally, they provide valuable information and support to address any concerns or questions pregnant women may have regarding their fitness and well-being during this crucial time.

Can a personal trainer train a pregnant woman? Answer

Yes, a certified personal trainer can train pregnant women. However, it’s crucial for personal trainers to have the knowledge and skills necessary to adapt exercise routines to the specific needs and safety concerns of pregnant clients. Pregnancy brings about significant physiological changes, and exercise programs must be tailored to accommodate these changes while ensuring the well-being of both the mother and the baby. It is advisable for personal trainers to pursue additional certification or training in prenatal fitness to provide safe and effective guidance to pregnant clients.

What is a postpartum trainer? Answer

A postpartum trainer is a fitness professional who specializes in providing guidance and support through exercise, fitness activities, and recovery strategies to individuals during the postpartum period, which begins after giving birth. These trainers have expertise in helping women regain their strength, fitness, and overall well-being following pregnancy and childbirth.

How do I become a postnatal fitness instructor? Answer

Becoming a postpartum fitness instructor typically involves several key steps:

  1. Educational Foundation: Start by gaining a solid understanding of postpartum fitness, anatomy, and the unique needs of postpartum clients
  2. Certification: Pursue certification in postnatal fitness. Choose a program that covers postpartum recovery, exercise programming, nutrition, and emotional well-being to provide holistic support to your clients.
  3. Build a Client Base: Start working with postpartum clients, either independently or as part of a fitness facility. Build your reputation and network within the postpartum community. Consider gaining practical experience by working under the guidance of an experienced mentor or as an assistant in a fitness facility.
  4. Continuing Education: Stay updated on the latest research and trends in postpartum fitness. Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences to expand your knowledge.
  5. Marketing and Networking: Promote your services through social media, local networks, and collaborations with healthcare providers who serve postpartum clients.

What is the best pre and postnatal coaching certification? Answer

When seeking a certification for pre and postnatal coaching, it’s essential to choose one that is reputable, comprehensive, and recognized within the fitness industry. AFPA offers a highly regarded Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Specialist certification program. This certification covers a wide range of topics, including exercise during pregnancy, postpartum recovery, nutrition, and emotional well-being. AFPA’s program equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to provide safe and effective coaching to pregnant and postpartum clients. Ultimately, the “best” certification is one that aligns with your career goals and allows you to provide the highest quality support and guidance to expectant and new mothers who plan to incorporate fitness, exercise, and recovery strategies into their plan.

Can I speak with an Enrollment Specialist before signing up? Answer

To speak with an Enrollment Specialist, email us at [email protected] or call us at 800.494.7782.

Commonly Asked Questions About Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness

When should I start training postpartum? Answer

The timing for starting postpartum training is a crucial consideration for new mothers. It’s important to approach postpartum training with care and patience to ensure your body heals properly after childbirth. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: Before starting any postpartum exercise program, consult with your healthcare provider. They can assess your individual situation, taking into account factors such as the type of delivery, any complications, and your overall health.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay close attention to how your body responds to exercise. If you experience pain, discomfort, bleeding, or any unusual symptoms, stop immediately and consult your healthcare provider. Your body will provide valuable feedback, and it’s essential to respect its signals.

What to avoid during postpartum recovery? Answer

Postpartum recovery is a crucial period for new mothers as their bodies heal and adjust after childbirth. To promote a safe and effective recovery, it’s essential to be mindful of what to avoid during this time. Here are some key considerations:

  • Strenuous Exercise: In the early postpartum weeks, it’s essential to avoid strenuous exercise, especially high-impact activities like running, jumping, or heavy weightlifting. Your body needs time to heal, and intense exercise can strain muscles and tissues that are still recovering.
  • Ignoring Pain: Pain is your body’s way of signaling that something is amiss. Avoid ignoring any pain or discomfort you may experience during postpartum recovery. It’s crucial to address and investigate the source of the pain with your healthcare provider.
  • Skipping Postpartum Checkups: Regular postpartum checkups with your healthcare provider are essential to monitor your recovery and address any concerns. Avoid skipping these appointments, even if you feel fine.
  • Ignoring Emotional Well-Being: Postpartum recovery isn’t just about physical health. It’s crucial to prioritize your emotional well-being as well. Avoid neglecting self-care and seek support if you’re experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety.
  • Neglecting Nutrition: Proper nutrition is essential for postpartum recovery, as it supports healing and energy levels. Focus on a balanced diet that provides essential nutrients.
  • Rushing the Process: Postpartum recovery takes time, and it’s essential to be patient with yourself. Avoid rushing back into your pre-pregnancy routine and give your body the time it needs to heal.
  • Skipping Rest: Adequate rest is essential for healing and recovery. Avoid the temptation to overexert yourself, and make sure to get enough sleep and relaxation.

Is it ok to do squats postpartum? Answer

Squats can be a beneficial exercise for many postpartum women, but it’s important to approach them with caution and proper technique. Squats can help strengthen the lower body, including the glutes and quadriceps, which can be especially helpful for postpartum recovery. Before starting any postpartum exercise program, including squats, consult with your healthcare provider. They can assess your individual situation and provide personalized recommendations.

How soon can you start running after giving birth? Answer

The timeline for returning to running after giving birth varies for each woman and depends on several factors, including your overall health, the type of delivery, any complications, and your fitness level before and during pregnancy. It’s essential to prioritize a safe and gradual return to running to avoid injury and promote postpartum recovery. Before resuming running postpartum, consult with a healthcare provider. They can evaluate your individual situation and provide personalized recommendations based on your health and recovery progress.

What happens if you lift more than 20 pounds while pregnant? Answer

Lifting more than 20 pounds during pregnancy can be safe for some women but may pose risks for others. It’s important to remember that the impact of lifting weights during pregnancy varies depending on your individual health, fitness level, and how far along you are in your pregnancy. In general, if you are accustomed to heavy lifting before pregnancy and have received approval from your healthcare provider, lifting heavier weights can be totally fine.

How can I reduce my postpartum belly? Answer

Reducing postpartum belly or “baby belly” is a common concern for many new mothers. It’s essential to approach this goal with patience, realistic expectations, and a focus on overall health and well-being. Consider working with a postpartum fitness specialist who can provide personalized guidance and support.

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