Successful birth of a writing role
Liz Coates IT started with a bump - and now a former international croupier is bouncing back with a career involving birthing balls and books.Mark Hibbitts, 46, has carved out a new role as a pregnancy and post natal fitness consultant inspired by his wife Michelle's first pregnancy with William - six this week.
IT started with a bump - and now a former international croupier is bouncing back with a career involving birthing balls and books.
Mark Hibbitts, 46, has carved out a new role as a pregnancy and post natal fitness consultant inspired by his wife Michelle's first pregnancy with William - six this week.
Building on his background as a personal trainer Mr Hibbitts took a range of specialised courses focusing on anatomy and physiology that have earned him resident expert status writing in magazines and online for websites like supernanny.co.uk.
His aim was to fill a gap in the lifestyle market and help Michelle to keep exercising safely before and after the birth, resisting the temptation to “slob out.”
Mr Hibbitts said that generally women were told to put their feet up when pregnant when the best thing to do was to keep active and work on their pelvic floor.
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His book The Essential Exercise and Birthball Handbook for Pregnancy and Beyond is being marketed as a companion to people who already own a Miracle Box anti-burst birthing ball or any other brand but are not sure how to get the best out of it.
He said: “What I am about is trying to help women have an easier birth and keep them fit and healthy. They do not have to sit there and take it easy, people are better off being active all the way through the pregnancy. Pelvic floor exercises are so important, they are your pushing muscles and you need to keep them strong.”
It's all a far cry from the macho, muscle straining of the Iron Room which he co-founded in the 1980s, now Top Body gym, and working the world as a croupier in Russia among other places.
“I have got older and softer and this is a very rewarding thing to do. I think I have found my forte, I like writing and reckon there are a
few more books in me.”
Mr Hibbitts also works as a personal pregnancy trainer and runs a website newborn
fitness.co.uk. He is a full member of the Guild of Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Teachers. The book and ball is a joint venture with lifestyle entrepreneur Martin Beckley.
London-born, he holidayed with his Gorleston grandparents every year before moving to the town when he left school.
The book comes with a pelvic floor and core exercise dvd and is being launched as a fundraiser for Children in Need. Visit www.birthball-handbook.co.uk and click on Pudsey Bear and £2 of the £9.99 cover price will be donated to the appeal.