Meet Riina Laaksonen, CEO and Founder at Post-Natal Fitness Programme: Nordic Fit Mama

Nordic Fit Mama helps women to recover safely after pregnancy and childbirth, with an easy and efficient online programme. Nordic Fit Mama’s Post Natal Programme is a research-backed, 6-week programme and has already helped more than 30.000 women (in Finland) to feel confident in their bodies.

Our mission is to provide mums with information that is relevant to their recovery and well-being. And also to provide them with support, so that no one feels left alone, possibly with a unfamiliar body.

Pregnancy and childbirth often result in changes for a woman that are difficult to live with; incontinence, back pains, mommy tummy, and even organ prolapses. That’s why we came up with Nordic Fit Mama, we bring a virtual expert to every mother’s home with a fast and easy way to recover. Daily exercises won’t require more than 10 mins of time and are doable in the comfort of your own home. And I’m there to support every step of the way.
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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

My own experiences led me here where I am today. After I had two children very close together, at my post partum check up the doctor only told me: you’re an athlete, go and do what you have always done. And I went and I did, and did a lot of harm to my vulnerable body. And I’m not the only one. There’s millions of mums who desperately need more support. According to research*, 90% of new mums feel they would need like support.

When we started sharing information about safe postpartum recovery we also started getting messages and requests to help all over Finland. There were more people wanting to participate in our first online programmes than we could initially facilitate. Mums really need as much relevant information regarding their new bodies and the information should be available for them.

We were the first to market, in Finland, to help mums digitally and it’s revolutionary to offer the best maternity healthcare in the world as an online programme, that is available for everyone. The old way was going to a doctor or other specialists, which was time consuming and expensive. The new way is time and cost effective and also available for a lot more people.

Besides Finland, we have piloted in Canada, in the US, in the UK, in Ireland and in Nigeria and are now excited to have officially launched in the UK. Although there might be some cultural differences, pregnancy and childbirth are somewhat universal, so is the need for help. With over half a million babies being born in the UK yearly, the market is huge, and is the opportunity to help and make a difference is extensive.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

We have done very successful international pilots and cooperations with different partners, who share the same goal: helping mums and wanting to prevent possible health issues in the future. The well-being of a new mother is essential for not only her but ensuring the well-being of the whole family.

As well as launching into the UK, the team has grown and for several years now we have partnered with Finland’s biggest private medical chain, which provides us experts into our “extended team”.

Our partner network has grown to be big in Finland and in the UK we are seeking partners as well. At the moment we are doing research with Sheffield Hallam University, and are planning to start even bigger research in the US, UK and Sri Lanka. All this is very exciting and I hope we could be able to help mothers via public sector as well, so that every mother, regardless of her socio-economic status would be able to get the information she needs.

What can we hope to see from Nordic Fit Mama in the future?

I hope Nordic Fit Mama grows to be a global movement. We don’t only help mums to enhance their physical and mental well-being, but we offer our support as well. In our community we empower mums and they can also contact other mums and share experiences and encourage each other.

Nowadays we live in an individual culture and mums are under a lot of pressure. It is amazing how powerful encouragement of our sisters is and how we start to bloom, when our body and mind works and are in balance. Strong women change the word!