This is Juliana

Hi Lovelies, my name is Juliana. I am 40 years old, the mother of two boys aged 4 & 8 and wife to Sebastian. We are a spontaneous family and love to travel. 

When I was pregnant with my second, in 2014, I had the strong desire to just be with my family. Just the four of us. My husband and I kept a small portion of the business, sold the rest and went on a road trip for 3 months. We had a fantastic time! We stayed in Grand Cayman for 4 weeks, and traveled

through California with the kids.

On heritage:

I was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, but my origins are in Ghana. Back in the seventies, it was normal in Ghana to leave the kids with a relative. I grew up in a German foster family and only saw my parents at the weekends.

When they got divorced, I was 9 and my Mom moved to New York. But at that time I stayed most of the time with my German family. Sadly, I don’t speak any Twi and I only learned about my culture when I was older and traveled to Ghana with my Dad.

My husband is from southwest Germany.

On career:

After I finished my sports management school and my pilates certification in New York, I was busy building my business. At that time, in 2004, pilates was not well known in Germany. There were only a few studios and it was like a well hidden secret. I strongly believed in this method, as it had helped me to recover from a hip injury.

I was able to become an affiliate of what was, at the time, one of the biggest companies in the pilates business and founded one of the first classical pilates teacher training programs in the German speaking region. Studio 1880 – Das Pilates Zentrum - was born.

Meanwhile, my husband and I decided to go all in and he moved to Hamburg. As a licensed Physiotherapist, he wanted to build his own practice. We joined forces and over time, my little studio became a physio and osteopathic clinic too.

We expanded the practice over the years and the Pilates school grew bigger and bigger. We established branches in Switzerland and Austria. It was a crazy ride and I didn’t want to miss a minute of it.

In 2010 I became pregnant with my eldest son. I thought it would be a piece of cake. I worked, I traveled, I was constantly on the road until my 26th week. I had just came back from Mallorca, where I was teaching a retreat and the next day I was lying in the hospital, not knowing how long I would be there. After 7 weeks of bed rest, I started to question my life and realized that there is nothing more precious than this baby in my womb. It was at that moment that I decided to specialize in pre- and postnatal care and fitness.

On daily life:

Two years ago we moved to the countryside, because we had always dreamed of having a house, a garden, and the whole “picket fence” life. But after only ten months, we realized that we needed the city life. We made great friends and the children loved it but we also encountered racism and rejection from older people in the neighborhood, who called my children names. At that point, we decided to move back to Hamburg. It was the best decision for many reasons.

I am currently a full-time student, studying Physiotherapy. Either my husband or I take the kids to school and Kindergarten and then I am off to school and he to work. In the afternoons either he, or my uncle, or I pick the children up. I am home at the latest at 4pm and then we do homework, PAKUA- martial arts or breakdance. During the afternoons I try to stay away from my phone, so I can really be with the kids. Once they are in bed I fall asleep or study.

I love the physio school. I want to broaden my knowledge and complete my skills from my sports and fitness background with the medical one. My passion is to work with mothers during and after pregnancy. There is so much women should know, to make well-informed decisions and they should get the treatment they deserve as mothers.

Alongside my studies, I still maintain my services via The Center and I recently published a book (German language) for postpartum fitness.

On physical & mental health and motherhood:

After my second pregnancy I had Diastasis Recti, incontinence, and experienced heaviness in my pelvis. These conditions are not life threatening but a huge restriction in a woman’s life.

My own postpartum experience motivated me, together with the therapists from our practice, to create a program for women who suffer from birth injuries and/or traumatic birth experiences. For a woman’s health, it is crucial that she gets the right treatment after birth.

In France every woman gets to see a pelvic floor specialist six weeks after she has given birth. The female body is a miracle but sometimes it needs a little help. I always ask myself what we can do better to help women get back their physical and emotional strength.

I personally have a daily training regimen. If I don’t manage to do it, I at least sit down for 10 minutes to meditate.

What I love about motherhood is seeing my children walking in front of me, then turning around and smiling. This warms my heart in the most amazing way. I can still hardly believe that they grew inside me. The unconditional love is what makes me most happy. Even the challenges my children bring into my life make think in a different way and I love to learn from them.

On diversity, representation & inclusion:

I spent most of my life being the only black girl. I grew up in a white neighborhood, with white parents and white friends and went to school where I was the only black kid. As my children grow up, I want them to see the world and learn about other cultures.

Unfortunately, in Germany we are lacking role models of people of color. There is still not enough representation. Black kids in Germany need to see that the sky is really is the limit.

You have to be smart and work hard to achieve what you want. I don’t want my children to believe that they don’t have the chance to be successful in a predominantly white world and environment. This is why I love social media. I get to see moms from all over the world and like to see what they do, how they live.

I recently saw the new Polo Ralph Lauren advertisement and I love how they feature different kinds of families from all countries. I wish that there were more companies including different ethnicities and showing a more colorful picture of the world. It would encourage young people and parents as well.

The feeling of being a minority should not be present anymore. Companies that exclude a certain culture or race are simply not worth supporting.

On All Our Mothers:

I was so happy when I first heard about All Our Mothers. It’s exactly what we need.

Platform for ALL mothers! We can learn so much from each other, no matter where we come from. Thank you for creating this wonderful space!

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You can follow Juliana here and visit her informative website.

Michelle Gibbs